Club Safety Rules
1 These Rules govern the conduct of the Club’s activities at Blairadam Range and must be strictly complied with by all members of the Club and by the Club’s visitors, guests and spectators.
2 Each Range Conducting Officer (RCO) must have full knowledge of the Range Orders issued by the Blairadam Shooting Association (the “BSA Range Orders”), as well as these Club Safety Rules. In the event of any conflict or ambiguity between the BSA Range Orders and these Rules, the BSA Range Orders shall take precedence. In addition to these Rules and the BSA Range Orders, the NRA Rules of Shooting and Programme (the “Bisley Bible”) published annually by the NRA shall apply to the Club’s activities at the Range, unless modified by these Rules and/or by the BSA Range Orders.
3 The headings and paragraph numbers in these Rules are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation.
Range Conducting Officer
4 An RCO shall conduct proceedings on the Range at all times. All RCOs must be duly qualified as such by the National Rifle Association (NRA) or by any successor to the NRA who assumes responsibility for the training and certification of RCOs.
5. The RCO shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with these Rules and the BSA Range Orders at all times while the Club is using the Range. The RCO shall have the powers set out in, and shall be entitled to act in accordance with, the Range Conducting Officers’ Course Instruction Manual published by the NRA (or any equivalent document published by any successor to the NRA who assumes responsibility for the training and certification of RCOs).
6. The RCO must control the Range from the Firing Point in use at the relevant time. An individual shooter may not act as their own RCO. If an RCO wishes to shoot, then another qualified RCO who is not shooting at the same time must be appointed as RCO instead.
7. The RCO must have a functional mobile phone available to him or her at all times in order to contact the emergency services, if required.
8. The RCO shall ensure that one First Aid kit is located at (a) the Firing Point and (b) the Butts at all times during the period of the Club’s use of the Range.
9. It is the responsibility of the RCO appointed for the last detail to ensure that the person collecting the red flag from the top of the hill above the Stop Butt has returned safely.
Butts Officer and Procedures
10. The RCO must nominate another experienced person as the Butts Officer. The Butts Officer is under the command of and is responsible to the RCO, but the RCO remains responsible for all activities at the Butts, including clearing up at the end of firing.
11. Proper communication must be established between the RCO and the Butts Officer before firing commences.
12. The orange or red swivelling marker (“Butts Flag”) must be displayed at the Stop Butt as soon as practicable during the setting-up of the Range, prior to the commencement of firing. Firing must not take place when the Butts Flag is displayed.
13. The Butts Flag must only be turned or displayed on the instructions of the RCO, other than in the event of a loss of communications between the Firing Point and the Butts, in which event the Butts Officer must display the Butts Flag, order all targets to be lowered, and order all members of the butts party to stay under cover. It is then the responsibility of the RCO to re-establish contact with the butts party, via a person delegated by the RCO for this task, after the Firing Point has been fully cleared.
14. No person may leave the safety of the butts without the permission of the RCO, who must first ensure that the Firing Point is fully cleared and that the Butts Flag is displayed.
15. Firing must stop if an aircraft (e.g. a low flying glider) strays within the danger zone over the Butts and is in danger from a possible ricochet.
16. Smoking is strictly prohibited in the area of the Butts and in the surrounding wooded area to minimise fire risk.
17. The red flags specified in the BSA Range Orders must be hoisted at least thirty (30) minutes before firing commences.
18. Firing must not take place if any of the red flags specified in the BSA Range Orders cannot be clearly seen from the Range Entrance, at the Car Park adjacent to the 500 Yard Firing Point.
Clear Range Procedure
19. The person(s) tasked to position the red flags must inform any persons they may meet that they are within the Range’s Danger Area and that they must immediately vacate the Danger Area.
20. To ensure so far as reasonably practicable that the Danger Area remains clear during firing, the RCO and all other Club members must remain alert to any possible incursions by unauthorised persons into the Danger Area. If this occurs, the RCO must be notified immediately.
21. On receiving information that an unauthorised entry into the Danger Area has taken place, the RCO must immediately order a ceasefire. Firing must not recommence until the unauthorised entry has been investigated and the Danger Area has been confirmed clear.
Safety and Suitability of Firearms and Ammunition
22. The owner is responsible for ensuring that his or her firearms and ammunition are safe and suitable for use, and additionally for complying with all applicable legislation and insurance requirements. If so required by the RCO, a shooter must submit their firearms and/or ammunition to the RCO for inspection.
23. To the fullest extent permitted by law, neither the Club nor any of its officers shall have any responsibility or liability to any person in respect of any loss of or damage to property, or the death or injury of any person, caused by a defective, damaged or unsuitable firearm and/or ammunition (including without limitation handloaded ammunition).
Conduct at the Range
24. All persons must remain behind the Firing Point at all times (except where participating in butt-marking or the erection or removal of range safety flags and equipment) and must comply with all instructions of the RCO.
25. All guests and spectators must be supervised by a full member of the Club at all times when in the vicinity of the Firing Point or the butts. Spectators must be advised by the RCO to wear ear protection (which is mandatory) and safety glasses (which are strongly recommended).
26. Children under the age of 16 years must, in the vicinity of the Firing Point or the Butts, remain under the supervision of a parent, guardian or other competent adult at all times while firing is taking place.
27. Children under the age of 8 years are not allowed on the Range while firing is taking place, unless permission is given by an official of the Blairadam Shooting Association who is present at that time or by the RCO.
28. Any person (including without limitation a Club member) who in the opinion of the RCO acts in a dangerous, disturbing or otherwise improper manner shall be forbidden to take any further part in the shoot and may be required by the RCO to depart the Range forthwith. Such person shall also be prohibited from participating in any further events at the Range until a report has been submitted to the Blairadam Shooting Association and the circumstances fully investigated, both by the Club and by the Blairadam Shooting Association.
Conduct of Firing
29. All persons involved in a shoot at the Range (including persons in the Butts and spectators) must wear ear defenders at all times while firing is taking place. This is mandatory under the BSA Range Orders.
30. No person may move onto or place firearms and/or equipment on the Firing Point unless permitted to do so by the RCO.
31. Except when the RCO has given permission to place firearms on the Firing Point immediately prior to the commencement of firing on a particular detail, all rifles must have their bolts out, and any detachable magazine removed. (NB this applies even when rifles are contained in rifle cases or gun slips, including when inside vehicles at the car park.) In specific situations, the RCO may also permit a bolt to be inserted into a rifle for the purpose of checking trigger pressure and/or for essential armourer repairs.
32. No firearm may be loaded or fired unless the RCO has given the order to the relevant shooter(s) to commence firing.
33. Aiming or dry firing a firearm (whether or not unloaded) is prohibited except as part of a properly organised course of instruction, or when in a firing position on the Firing Point, and then only if it would, in all respects, be safe to fire a shot, and permission to do so has been granted by the RCO.
34. At all times when a firearm is being loaded, unloaded and inspected, it must point horizontally at the shooter’s target.
35. A loaded firearm must at all times point horizontally at the shooter’s allocated target.
36. If a safety-related incident occurs during shooting, the RCO shall immediately order “Stop! Stop! Stop!”. All shooters shall immediately stop firing and comply with the RCO’s further instructions.
37. In the event of a misfire or hangfire, the shooter must keep the bolt closed and keep the rifle pointed at the target for at least 30 seconds. The shooter must also inform the RCO. After 30 seconds have elapsed, the bolt must be opened with care, ensuring that (a) there is no one immediately behind the rifle, (b) the shooter’s hand is forward of the bolt handle, and (c) the shooter’s face is well clear of the breech when the bolt is being opened.
38. Once a shooter has finished firing, the shooter has the primary responsibility for checking that his or her firearm is clear and that the bolt and any detachable magazine has been removed. The shooter’s register keeper or coach must then check the firearm to ensure that firearm is clear and that the bolt and any detachable magazine has been removed. (If no register keeper or coach has been appointed, the RCO shall perform this additional check.) If any shooter, register keeper or coach fails to properly carry out these checks, this may be considered by the RCO to constitute dangerous behaviour in terms of Rule 28.
39. All firearms must be cleared and removed from the Firing Point before the butt party may leave the cover of the butts.
40. Firing may take place with centrefire rifles only if the acoustic barrels are used, with the muzzle placed at least 9 inches inside the body of the acoustic barrel. Centrefire rifles that are fitted with sound moderators may however be used at the Firing Point without using the acoustic barrels.
41. Safe custody of firearms and ammunition is the responsibility of the individual in charge of them. For the purposes of these Rules, the road and the car park are public places and all firearms being carried to, from and in the vicinity of the car park or the road must be covered or enclosed by a suitable gun bag or case. Firearms and ammunition must not be left unattended anywhere on the Range at any time. In particular, firearms and ammunition should not be left out of sight behind the acoustic fence at any of the Firing Points.
This following addendum is non-normative, in that these items have not been approved by the committee nor by the membership; but these items are appropriate to the continued good use of the range; [1..5,7] maintaining a good relationship with the owners of the range;  safety.
1. Shooters must be aware of possibilty of crop damage on the range, and shall conduct themselves accordingly.
2. The Range Duty Officer for the day may designate at most one vehicle which may drive up & down the range.
3. The RDO may decide that it is inappropriate to take any vehicle what so ever into the field, for reasons of crop or field damage.
4. The designated vehicle will make at most two return trips up & down the range.
5. So as to minimise crop damage, the designated vehicle shall be driven as close as sensible to the North [i.e. LH] boundary of the field.
6. Inspite of what is written in rule 36 above, and in accordance with MOD practice, anyone may shout "Stop! Stop! Stop!" if they see anything unsafe happening. [The reasoning is that the RCO can't always be looking everywhere all the time, and we can't afford the time delay in the individual spotting a safety incident informing the RCO or worse waiting on the RCO to notice.
7. Additionally, the owner of the Binn wood has raised the issue of the [commercial] damage to timber and to chain saws due to bullets embedded in trees. Most [all?] of these bullets have been found to be 9mm [i.e. military origin]. Still, firers are reminded that the only place to fire bullets at is into the target face, or if zeroing or blowing off, into the sand. The range safety certificate is granted on the premise that, and the regulations are formulated around the premise that all shots are fired into the stop butt, and the purpose of the danger area is merely to capture ricochets.
8. Muzzle brakes: Muzzle brakes are discouraged, and should one be used it must be shot through the 'barrel' indentified for that purpose. The point is damage to the foam
9. Concerning Loading a rifle & 'stop' procedure First two definitions of terms, which I believe are necessary because the word 'loaded' is getting open to interpretation.
"Loaded": a rifle is loaded when a [live] round is in a rifle, be that on the loading platform, or in the chamber, or partway between. Note there is no mention here of where the bolt is.
"Cocked": a rifle is considered "cocked" when the sear on the firing pin is in contact with the bent on the trigger. This will ocur when the bolt is fully forward, and the bolt handle may be anywhere between fully up and fully down. When the rifle is "cocked" it is only the trigger mechanism that prevents the firing spring from driving the firing pin forward into the primer. Apparently triggers, especially light triggers, have a habit of failing to hold, so the rifle goes off when not under the control of the firer. It is for this reason that a "loaded and cocked" rifle must be maintained pointing at, and only at, the stop butt (11degree).Now to the events:
First: If a RCO (etc) has reason to cry 'Stop, Stop, Stop!', firers stop shooting, keep the rifle aimed at the butt stop area, and await further instructions. The RCO shall issue the commands "open bolts and clear chambers"; i.e. that all rifles shall be "un-cocked" and "un-loaded". The firers should not be surprised to be asked to remove the bolt. EG if it is merely a walker who is going out of the danger area, then waiting "open bolt and cleared chamber" is fine. If however there is work to be done in front of the FP, then bolts out. See NRA probationary training course notes, page 51.
Second: A rifle must only be "loaded" & "cocked" when it is pointing through the acoustic barrel, within the 11degree cone at the butt stop. This is trivially simple to achieve by F & Tr/F shooters, but not Tr shooters. Tr shooter mode d'emploi should be similar to....
- starting with the rifle on the ground, both unloaded and un-cocked,
- raise the fore-end (the rifle is now not within the 11 degree cone.)
- put ones left hand under the sling at the fore end.
- place a round on the loading platform - the rifle is now "loaded" but remains "un-cocked".
- slide the bolt forward, but only 50% or so, so the round will not fall out.
- place the muzzle into the acoustic barrel and raise the butt to ones shoulder.
- orientate the the rifle to point at the butts (the rifle is now within the 11 degree cone).
- slide the bolt forward the last 50% and draw the bolt handle down thus cocking the rifle. The rifle is now both "loaded" and "cocked".
- go on aim.
- fire the shot.
- lift the bolt handle so the sear no longer touches the bent; the rifle is now "un-cocked" [and unloaded].
Range Messages for TR & F Class Shooting
The following messages should be used for communication between the RCO and the Butts Officer (preceded where appropriate by the relevant target number).
Firing about to commence - raise targets.
No spotting disc visible
Spotting disc unmistakably disagrees with signalled value. Check that the spotting disc shows the last shot and signal its correct value. (RCO to view target before passing Message 3 to the Butts Officer.) Confirm result by radio / phone.
A shot has been fired but no signal has been made. Examine target carefully and signal the shot if found or a miss. Confirm result by radio / phone.
Shooter has challenged for a higher value for his or her shot. Examine the whole target and signal the correct value. Confirm result by radio / phone.
(SR only; Incorrect number of hits reported. )
A miss has been signalled but the shooter has challenged for a scoring shot. Re-examine the target carefully and signal the shot if found or a miss. Confirm result by radio / phone.
Marking / shooting appears to be unduly slow. Butts Officer / RCO to check and correct where necessary.
Marking/Shooting appears to be unduly slow, please hurry up. [Use with caution, it may upset the other end!]
Stand easy. Half mast.
It is suspected that the wrong shot hole has been patched out. (Message 11 should only be sent after Message 4 or Message 7 has been sent.) Butts Officer to consult marker and confirm correct value. Confirm result by radio / phone.
Stand easy. Lower target, patch out and put target back up.
(MR only; lower the targets whilst blow-off shots are being fired.)
It is suspected that there is a second shot on the target. Inspect the target and indicate any further shot found, in addition to the shot presently shown. Confirm result by radio / phone.