Range Safety Officer (RSO) Commands

These Commands are to be used during competitions and shoots.

  1. The purpose of range commands is to provide concise, clear and standard methods of range operation. This provides the shooters or participants with easy to understand guidelines and enhances safety.
  2. All sanctioned competition and many organizations have standardized range commands which may supercede the the commands posted here.
  3. Command: CEASE FIRE! The purpose of this command is to stop all shooting immediately.
  4. Command: MISFIRE! The purpose is to notify a RSO and other participants during a competitive shoot that a round did not fire when the trigger was pulled and to alert other shooters along the line that a hazardous condition may exist.
  5. Command: LOAD! The purpose is to notify participants that they can load the prescribed number of round during a shoot.
  6. Command: IS THE LINE READY! The purpose is to determine if all shooters on the line are ready
  7. Command: READY ON THE RIGHT (Left)! The purpose is to declare that the shooters along the line are ready.
  8. Command: READY ON THE FIRING LINE! The purpose is to notify all participants that the range is about to be under live fire and that if anyone is not at all ready he should call an RSO; otherwise, wait the next command.
  9. Command: COMMENCE FIRING! The purpose is to declare the range formally open for live fire.
  10. Command: SHOOTERS YOU HAVE (X) NUMBER OF MINUTES LEFT TO COMPLETE THE COURSE OF FIRE or SHOOTERS FIRE YOUR REMAINING ROUNDS! The purpose is to alert all shooters that a general cease-fire is about to be called and to allow the slower shooters to complete the course of fire.
  11. Command: SNAP CAPS! (Muzzle loading only) The purpose is assure that the flash hole is open and the barrel is free of any material capable of causing a hang fire. In some events, this command is also used to determine if all firearms are unloaded.
  12. Command: THE RANGE IS CLEAR! The purpose is to alert all shooters along the line that travel beyond the firing line for purposes of target change or retrieval, and the removal of brass and trash is approved by the RSO.