Member's Handbook

CHAPTER VI. General Range Rules


The General Range Rules govern all activities conducted at the outdoor range. A summary listing of the General Range Rules is posted on the Club web site, and at each firing line. (The copy on the web site will always include the latest approved changes, but the copies posted at the firing lines may not always be up-to-date.) The following is a listing of each rule with a discussion of the meaning of the rule and the reasons behind its existence.


SFT.1 Rules of Safe Gun Handling MUST be observed at ALL times:

The following "Rules of Safe Gun Handling" are the most important in this whole document. These are the rules that keep people from being killed or injured.

A good way to remember the rules is to think of the acronym "T.A.N.K.".

Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot.
Know your target and what is beyond it.

  SFT.1.1 Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.

How many times have you read a newspaper report or watched TV coverage of a gun accident where the person responsible said, "I didn't know it was loaded."?

SFT.1.2 Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

At our range, the safest direction is "down range". If the firearm does inadvertently discharge, the bullet is going to hit the berm.

Straight down is not the safe direction it may seem. If you are standing on concrete, either the bullet may ricochet, or fragments of concrete may fly around.

Up is also bad. That bullet that went up has to come back down. There are verified reports of people being killed or injured by a bullet that came down out of the sky.

SFT.1.3 Identify your target and what is beyond it.

It goes without saying that you need to know what you are shooting at, but you also need to know what is behind your target. You may be shooting at a paper target, but is it sitting in front of some steel that could cause a ricochet?

SFT.1.4 Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot.

Bullets go where the gun is pointed. If you don't point at an unintended target, you won't shoot an unintended target.

SFT.1.5 Ensure the firearm and ammunition are in good working condition and that only the correct ammunition is used.

A firearm that is not in good working condition is a danger to the shooter and to others. Parts may fly off in unpredictable directions or the gun may unintentionally discharge.

Use of the wrong ammunition can be extremely dangerous. Using higher energy ammunition than the gun is rated for can cause the gun to explode showering hot fragments in the vicinity.

Using the wrong caliber ammunition can cause a variety of unintended and unpleasant consequences. It is critical, that if you bring multiple calibers of ammunition to the range, you keep them separated. Some calibers/gauges that are particularly prone to dangerous mix-ups include:
    .380 (9mm short) and 9mm Luger, 
    .40 S&W and .45 ACP, 
    12 gauge and 20 gauge

SFT.1.6 Always keep the action open except when preparing to shoot and always keep your finger out of the trigger guard until ready to fire.

This should be common sense. With most modern firearms, the manufacturers have included features to prevent firing unless the trigger is depressed (this is not perfect, so don't assume that it will always work). 

Many accidents occur because the shooter has his finger on the trigger when drawing or re-holstering; either is likely to result in a bullet in the thigh.

SFT.2 Abstain from alcohol and other drugs before and during shooting.

Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs can cause loss of judgment. Where firearms are involved, this can be deadly! No alcoholic beverages or drugs which can cause impairment are permitted at facilities operated by the Club.

Anyone found at a Club facility with such items or under their influence will be permanently banned from all Club facilities and functions.

SFT.3 No uncased/unholstered firearms are permitted anywhere except on a firing line unless the action is open and no magazine is in the firearm. No firearms shall be made ready to fire unless the firing line is "HOT".

When you arrive at the range, your firearms must be in a closed case/holstered or have the action open and no magazine inserted. Since no one is permitted to handle a firearm except when the range is hot, you may place the cleared firearm on the bench or in a rack when the range is not hot, but must then step back at least two feet and wait for the Range Officer to declare the range "HOT" before making the firearm ready to fire.

SFT.4 No one is allowed down range until a Range Officer has declared that the “RANGE IS COLD”. Anyone not going downrange must remain at least two feet from any firearm. NO ONE is permitted to handle any firearm when the range is cold.

    If the range is equipped with safety lights, RED means the range is HOT; GREEN means the range is COLD.

When the RO is certain that it is safe to do so, he will issue the “Range is cold” announcement. This means that shooters may go forward of the firing line to check/replace/arrange targets as needed. No one is permitted to go forward before this announcement.
Shooters or observers remaining behind need to step back from the firing line so that the range officer can easily verify that firearms are not being handled.

It is recommended that the Range Officer remain behind the firing line to provide security for the firearms left behind.

SFT.5 No firearms may be carried down range except securely holstered pistols or revolvers. If any firearms are left at or behind the firing line when shooters are downrange, all firearms will be empty, with all breeches, bolts, slides, and cylinders in the open position exposing an empty chamber. The use of empty chamber indicators or flags is encouraged during routine shooting and may be required during matches.

One exception is made to this rule. If you are the ONLY person at the range, it is recommended that you not leave unattended firearms at the firing line.

SFT.6 It is strongly recommended that eye and hearing protection be worn whenever shooting is in progress. This applies to both shooters and non-shooters.

Anyone on or within close proximity to the firing line is advised to wear both hearing and eye protection whenever the line is "Hot".  This includes the parking areas immediately behind the firing line shelters.

SFT.7 Upon hearing the command "CEASE FIRE" (uttered by anyone), you must immediately stop firing, keep your gun pointed down range, and await instructions from the Range Officer.

The "Cease Fire" command is used to indicate either the end of the current round of shooting (issued by the RO) or that a potentially dangerous or unsafe condition exists (issued by anyone). It is imperative that everyone stop firing immediately.

If you have only one round left in your magazine, DO NOT FIRE IT! "Cease fire" means immediately.

SFT.8 When more than one person is on the firing line, only STRONG SIDE holsters may be used.

Cross draw holsters (including shoulder holsters and small-of-back holsters) are not allowed to be in active use when there are multiple shooters on the firing line. The drawing motion required by cross draw causes the muzzle to sweep an area that is not down range. This violates one of the primary rules of safe gun handling: "Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot".  If you are alone on the firing line, and no one is endangered by your actions, then and only then are cross draw holsters allowed to be used. Cross draw holsters may be worn, but shall NOT be drawn from.

          Strong Side

Illustration 2: Cross Draw

Strong Side Holster

Cross Draw Holster


OPS.1  Range Officers: If more than one shooter is at a range or pistol bay, a Range Officer (RO) must be present and will control the firing line. The members present shall select one of their number by mutual consent to act as Range Officer. The Executive Committee may appoint Range Safety Officers (RSO) to observe and guide Range Officers. The firing line will be called either HOT or COLD by the Range Officer ONLY. In the interest of safety, ANYONE may call "CEASE FIRE".

When multiple shooters are on a firing line, one person only can be in control. Except when a designated Range Officer is present, as during a special event, those present shall select one of their number by mutual agreement to act as the RO. All members are required to familiarize themselves with Range Officer responsibilities (see CHAPTER VII) so that they will understand the actions required of a Range Officer.

Since the RO must be actively in control and aware of conditions on the firing line, the RO will not normally participate in the shooting activity. The RO may participate in shooting as long as they are able to maintain the needed control and awareness. With more than three shooters, it is recommended that the Range Officer not shoot. Members should consider rotating the RO duties so that everyone gets an opportunity to participate.

The only command which may be issued by anyone other than the RO is "CEASE FIRE". The "cease fire" command should not be issued frivolously. It is intended for use when a shooter becomes aware of an unsafe condition, e.g., a malfunction (which cannot be remedied without endangering anyone), or the presence of someone forward of the firing line.

No disagreement with the RO is permitted (unless the RO makes a clearly unsafe decision). If you do not agree with a decision or command of an RO, and are not willing to follow the RO's direction, you must leave the range. If you feel justified, you may bring the matter before the Chief Range Safety Officer and/or the Executive Committee for a ruling.

OPS.2 All bullets that are not stopped by a target must directly hit and stop in the berm (dirt backstop). Bullets must NOT hit the flat ground. "Bullet" includes any projectile or shot larger than #7-1/2. Always place targets and fire in such a manner that the bullet will impact between the base of the berm and half-way up the berm unless APPROVED backstops are used. Do NOT fire in such a manner that bullets might ricochet off your target, anything beyond your target, or the ground. Do NOT shoot at targets resting on the flat ground. Do NOT shoot at targets NEAR the flat ground.

Bullets striking the ground or target supports are likely to ricochet in unpredictable directions so all bullets are required to impact the berm between its base and mid-point (above the mid-point, there is a possibility the bullet will continue up and over the berm). Backstops approved by the Executive Committee are permitted in lieu of hitting the berm.

The acceptable height of targets will vary with their distance from the berm and the ammunition being used. Where "intermediate" berms are provided, targets should be placed no more than 10 feet directly in front of a berm at a height of approximately one-half of the berm height. If no intermediate berm is provided, the target shall be placed at a height which will cause all bullets to strike the end berm at approximately one-half of its height.

Target Placement Guide

          placed target

This target stand is badly placed. Bullets fired at any target mounted on this stand cannot hit any berm, but will strike the flat ground violating our rules. Moving the stand to the left and a little closer to the firing line would allow bullets to strike the 40 meter berm.

OPS.3 The firing line on any range will normally be the forward edge of the shelter. However, upon agreement of all shooters present, the Range Officer may establish a new firing line closer to the berm in order to more easily meet the requirement that all bullets strike the berm. A designated Range Officer must have actual control over both the "normal" firing line and all personnel forward of the "normal" firing line at all times.

 Care must be taken when establishing a new firing line to insure that all persons present, including newly arriving shooters, are fully aware of the new location of the "Established Firing Line".

OPS.4 Handguns having a barrel length less than 10 inches and using standard handgun ammunition and RIMFIRE rifles only may be used on the right-hand pistol range.

Center fire rifles and shotguns are not permitted on the right hand pistol range (Pistols capable of firing .410 gauge shotgun shells such as the Taurus Judge are permitted). Carbines using center fire handgun cartridges and pistol grip center fire rifles or shotguns are not permitted on the right hand pistol range. Note that .17HMR ans .22 WMR caliber rifles are permitted on the right pistol range since they use rimfire ammunition, but may not be used against steel targets since they are a magnum caliber. (They are also not permitted during the NRA Small Bore Silhouette matches on the rifle range by the rules of the match.)

OPS.5 Center fire rifles are permitted on the left pistol range, but shall NOT be used on steel targets.

The Club does permit the use of center fire rifles on the left pistol range, but they must not be used to shoot at steel targets (this applies whether the targets are supplied by the club or by the shooter). With the higher energies and velocities associated with center fire rifles, there is a very real danger of dangerous ricochets as well as damage to the targets.

OPS.6 Shotguns may be used on the Left pistol range with fixed targets positioned so that all pellets will strike the berm (#7-1/2 shot or smaller may be permitted to strike the flat ground). Airborne targets (e.g., thrown clays) are NOT permitted on the pistol ranges.

Shotgun pellets larger than #7-1/2 shot striking the flat ground pose as great a hazard as pistol or rifle bullets and are required to hit the berm,

Airborne targets pose a danger to road traffic near the range. With a crosswind blowing, shot could easily be carried over the berm and strike a vehicle on the road.

OPS.7 Steel targets on any range shall not be shot with steel core ammunition, shotgun slugs, magnum, +p, or +p+ ammunition, or any ammunition having a muzzle velocity greater than 3250 fps. Steel targets shall be shot only from an "established" firing line (see OPS.3) and shall be placed at least 15 yards from the firing line when using handguns or rimfire rifles or 100 yards when using center fire rifles (any firearm having a barrel length over 10 inches is considered to be a rifle). 

Again, the concern is ricochets (and flying fragments of target material) as well as damage to the targets.

When shooting at steel targets, never stand too close to the target (15 yards minimum, and maybe further depending on caliber of the firearm). There is ALWAYS a danger of flying fragments.

OPS.8 No armor piercing, explosive or incendiary ammunition may be used on the club's ranges. No .50 BMG caliber or higher energy ammunition may be used without special approval by the Executive Committee.  (This does not prohibit the use of muzzle loading firearms of greater than .50 caliber.)

Ammunition of these types pose a danger to both personnel and the facility itself. The distances at which such ammo travels, its ability to penetrate barriers, and the damage it can cause  (to berms, for example) all raise safety concerns.

OPS.9 Automatic firearms are permitted on the range provided all applicable Federal, State and local laws are complied with and all other range rules are adhered to.

Many shooting ranges do not allow fully automatic weapons. The Club believes that members who are legally entitled to own and shoot such weapons should have a place to do so provided that all applicable laws and range rules are complied with. 

Extra caution is called for if you are on the firing line when automatic weapons are in use.

OPS.10 No "junk targets" (e.g., glass, concrete blocks, etc.) or exploding targets shall be used.

Our ranges are designed to be used with paper targets or properly installed steel targets. Improperly installed or designed steel targets will also be considered "Junk" targets. "Junk" targets not only leave our facility looking messy, they can be very dangerous (flying glass or concrete fragments can cause serious injury).

"Exploding" targets are specifically prohibited (as are the reactive targets that roll along the ground since they do not meet the requirement that all bullets impact the berm).

Certain "special" targets can be used under controlled conditions:

Sporting clays may be used as targets provided that rules regarding airborne targets and the requirement that all bullets impact the berm are met.

Bowling pins can be fun to shoot provided that they are set up so that all bullets impact the berm, and that all debris from the pins is removed afterwards.


ADM.1 In case of a medical emergency, call 911. To report property damage, call 803-642-7062.

It is always advisable that members carry a cell phone (test to make sure your carrier has coverage in the area of the range) and to not go to the range alone. 

If someone is injured and requires medical attention beyond simple first aid, immediately call 911 and request assistance. Make sure that you provide clear and accurate directions to the range and describe the nature of the injury. If you are qualified to do so, render aid until EMS arrives, but be careful not to make things worse.

If there is an accident of any kind at the range or damage to any range facilities, notify the Club as soon as practical by calling the Secretary at 803-642-7062. If no one is available, please leave a message including your name and phone number.

More detailed coverage of emergency actions is covered under CHAPTER VII, Range Officer Responsibilities and APPENDICES 4 and 5.

ADM.2 Alcoholic beverages/illegal drugs are not allowed on club property. Persons under the influence of these items will not be allowed on the property and will be removed from the facilities at which time they will be expelled from the club as provided in the club bylaws.

The combination of loaded guns and alcohol or drugs is a recipe for disaster. The Club has a zero tolerance policy, and anyone found to be on the range in possession of or under the influence of either will be required to leave and will not be permitted to return to Club facilities.

The Club recognizes the need for prescription drugs, but members are cautioned to consider the effects of prescription drugs on awareness and judgment.

ADM.3 While using the range, all members must possess and wear in plain sight a valid SRRPC membership card. If any person does not comply with a request to display their membership card or to identify themselves, for any reason, please report this immediately to a club officer, including the VEHICLE LICENSE TAG of the person, for further investigation. At any time while using the range, you may be required to confirm your identity with current photo identification to a member of the Executive Committee or a Range Safety Officer. 

Members are annually issued a membership id card. This card must ALWAYS be visible when the member is at the range.

Any member may request to see another member's membership card anytime they are at the range. Failure of a member to identify themselves upon request should be reported immediately to a Club officer along with any information such as a license tag  number that would help identify the offender.

Anyone at the range may be required to produce a photo id by a member of the Executive Committee or a Range Safety Officer.

ADM.4 Members (including family) shall, before shooting, sign a log book upon each visit to the range, and shall annually sign a waiver of liability ("hold harmless agreement"). The responsible voting adult member shall list each minor in the log book and sign after the minor accepting all responsibility for the minor. Guests, before shooting, shall sign the log book and waiver of liability ("hold harmless agreement") upon each visit to the range and shall indicate in the log book if they live within a 50 mile radius of the range, and are therefore Potential Members. The responsible member is required to sign the guest's log entry and waiver form.

A log book and waiver forms will be provided at each firing line. Members and guests must sign the log book (and fill in all requested information) on each visit to the range. Signing in at either pistol range meets the requirement for both pistol ranges. However, the rifle range requires a separate sign in. Guests must also sign a waiver of liability each time they visit the range. Members need only sign the waiver once per calendar year (with the New Member Application or their Renewal form).

Guest participants in scheduled events may sign the waiver annually provided the event organizer maintains the waivers on file for one year.

While we want to encourage young people to participate and enjoy the shooting sports, we do not want any dangerous actions by immature and uneducated persons. If you bring a minor to the range, you are completely responsible for the actions of that minor. If the minor performs an unsafe act, you may be disciplined by the Club in the same manner as if you performed the act yourself.

ADM.5 A voting member may bring non-member guests to the range. Guests residing within a 50 mile radius of the range are considered to be Potential Members and may visit as guests no more than three times before they must apply for membership in the club to continue using the club facilities. Members are responsible for the actions of their guests and must remain with the guests at all times. If more than two guests are shooting, the member shall act as a Range Officer for his guests and not shoot with the guests (If a Range Officer is already present at the firing line, the member with guests shall act as an assistant to the Range Officer).

We want our members to feel free to bring out-of-town visitors or local residents who may be interested in joining the club. You are allowed to bring non-member guests. However, keep in mind that your guests are your responsibility; if they do not follow the rules, you will be held accountable. If you can't control your guests, don't bring them!

If you have more than two guests shooting, it is felt by the Executive Committee that you cannot properly observe and control them if you are shooting with them. We have, therefore, established a requirement that you act as a Range Officer (or assistant to the Range Officer) for your guests.

We welcome local guests as Potential Members, but feel that in fairness to dues paying members that their visits to the range must be limited.

NOTE: Non-member guests may not act as Range Officer unless they have prior approval from the Club Executive Committee or are under the direct supervision of a Club member.

ADM.6 Each membership is entitled to one firing position on one firing line at any given time (including family members and guests) . More positions may be used if available, but must be surrendered if requested by another member when all firing positions are in use.

A membership grants a reasonable right to use the Club facilities, but not to deprive other members of that usage. Our memberships are family memberships, and we do permit members to bring guests. If the range is only lightly being used, members, their families, and their guests may use more than one firing position, but if it is crowded, they are expected to show common courtesy and allow others to enjoy the range.

ADM.7 Access to the range is controlled by a unique "Keycard" issued to each member. Members are required to swipe the keycard on entering and leaving the range even if the gate is already open (as for a special event). Permitting anyone else to use your keycard may result in termination of membership. In the event the electronic gate is out of service, a combination lock will be used to secure the gate; lock the gate behind you on entering and leaving.

The Club has installed an electrically operated gate which should close automatically behind your vehicle. However, you need to take the time to verify that the gate does actually close. Report any malfunction to the Club Secretary at (803)642-7062.

In the event that the gate is disabled for some time, one of the Club officers will disconnect the gate operating arm and install a padlock. If this is the situation when you arrive at the gate, be sure to lock the gate behind you.

If there is a special event occurring at the range, it will be noted in the Activities Calendar on the Club website. In this case, the gate may be locked open, and it will be okay to leave it that way. The event coordinator will be responsible for closing the gate at the end of the event.

Swipe your card even if the gate is open. It may not be locked open. Someone may have passed through ahead of you, and if you try to go through, it could close on your vehicle.

ADM.8 All shooters are responsible for clean up of their area after shooting. Re-loadable brass and rimfire brass should be taken with you or placed in the containers marked "Brass Only". Non-re-loadable casings (steel, aluminum, and shotgun hulls) must be placed in the trash containers. Do NOT put trash in the brass containers. 

If all members do not clean up after themselves, either the range will soon become unusable or the Club will have to hire someone to clean up the range which would require an increase in the dues.

Buckets have been provided for re-loadable brass (rimfire brass, while not re-loadable, can also be put in these containers since it can be melted down and re-cycled). Members who do not take their brass with them should put it in these containers.

NOTE: Steel and aluminum casings and shotgun hulls are NOT considered re-loadable and should be placed into the trash containers NOT in the brass buckets.

ADM.9 Live rounds shall not be placed in the trash. They shall be placed in the containers marked "Live/Unfired Rounds".

Live rounds are dangerous! If they get picked up by the trash haulers, they could discharge at some time in the future, possible resulting in injury or death.

Marked buckets have been placed at each firing line. Put live rounds that have failed to fire in these buckets. The buckets will be periodically emptied and the live rounds disassembled by a qualified person.

ADM.10 Replace targets, stands, plates, backers, etc., in the storage areas provided. Items that are not reusable must be taken with you or placed in the trash. Trash containers must not be overfilled.

If Club provided materials are being used, they should be returned to the proper storage area. Do not leave targets, backers, stands, etc. out in the open where they can be ruined by the weather and create a general mess.

If using your own materials, either take them home with you or dispose of them in a trash container. The Club has provided a large trash "dumpster" at the rear of the right pistol range. Use this for large items such as targets and backers instead of cramming the small trash containers full.

Do not place your targets on or intentionally shoot at club installed target support posts.  Example: 2x4 and 4x4 posts holding steel.

Do not place large pieces of wood in the dumpster. Cut or break wood target sticks into three foot or shorter sections.ADM.11 Permanent or semi-permanent structures, including target stands, may NOT be erected on Club property without PRIOR APPROVAL by the Executive Committee.

Members are permitted to use their own targets stands while at the range as long as the stands do not pose a risk of ricochets. However, these must be removed from the range when through shooting for the day.

ADM.11 Permanent or semi-permanent structures, including target stands, may NOT be erected on Club property without
PRIOR APPROVAL by the Executive Committee.

If a member wishes to erect a more permanent structure to be used by all shooters, they must first appear before the Executive Committee and obtain approval for the structure and its location. The Executive Committee may also inspect the structure after erection to determine suitability.

ADM.12 Shooting hours at the range are 8:00 AM until sunset every day. 

Keycards will allow access to the range as early as 7:30AM. However, no shooting is allowed before 8:00AM. This is a courtesy to our neighbors.

No shooting is allowed after sunset. This is both a safety issue and again, a courtesy to our neighbors.

ADM.13 Specific Range Rules for different shooting areas may be adopted by the Executive Committee. Such Specific Range Rules will be published in the newsletter and posted on the website and posted on the applicable ranges. Specific Range Rules will have the same force and effect as these General Range rules. In case of conflict, the Specific Range rules take precedence over these General Range rules. Obey all posted signs at the range.

From time-to-time, it may be necessary to impose different rules on particular areas of the range because of changes in conditions or equipment. Such rules may be temporary or permanent. Members will be notified of these changes and are expected to abide by them. When applicable, signs will be posted in the affected areas so shooters need to observe and comply with all posted signs. In the event that the special rules conflict with the General Range rules, follow the special rules.

ADM.14 For situations not otherwise covered in the rules, members and their guests are expected to use good judgment and common sense.

Most of these rules are simply an attempt to put down on paper what "good judgment and common sense" would require in any case. Use your head, and you can't go far wrong.

ADM.15 ALL MEMBERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENFORCING THE CLUB RANGE RULES. If you see a violation of the rules, politely inform the person. If they do not comply, notify an Officer of the club.

This is your club. If you don't report infractions, our range is going to become a less pleasant place for you to be.


This is a shooting range. Infractions of the rules are serious business and can easily result in injury or death. As such, rule breaking must be dealt with in a firm manner.