General Range Rules:
** Failure to comply with the range rules may result in temporary or permanent suspension from APRA ranges and/or BTSA. **
Members must check the BTSA Range Configuration to determine which range(s) are approved for the firearms and ammunition they intend to use and the distances they intend to shoot.
Members are responsible to ensure each firearm is being used on a range designated for that firearm and at the distance it is designated for.
A BTSA club events (i.e. Action Shooting League, Steel Challenge League, ISPSC/USPSA (club matches) will have an Event Lead (EL) and a Range Officer (RO) present and will be responsible overseeing range operations and all shooters must comply with the instructions of the EL.
The EL will have absolute control of the firing line, authority on the range and their instructions are to be obeyed immediately without question.
Anyone (shooters and observers) acting in an unsafe manner will receive a warning from the EL and may be requested to immediately leave the range. The EL will complete an incident report, which will be kept on file.
In the absence of an EL an RO will be present and will step into the Acting EL position.
In the absence of an EL or RO on the range for everyday target shooting practice, shooters are self-regulating and are responsible for ensuring the safety of themselves and all on the range.
All shooters must shoot from the agreed firing line only.
Everyone must be behind the firing line before shooting can commence.
Positions and titles for the following approved organizations; International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), or the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) will follow their existing roles, responsibilities or reporting structures as they will provide their own trained officials for their sanctioned events.
When the firing line is COLD
Once the RO or lead shooter confirms all shooters are behind established firing lines and calls out the command, “RANGE IS GOING HOT, EYES AND EARS”.
All shooters put on eye and ear protection.
RO or lead shooter confirms by scanning that all shooters have appropriate eye and ear protection and calls out the command, “RANGE IS HOT – COMMENCE FIRING”.
The RO or lead shooter or any shooter at any point in time may call out the command, “CEASEFIRE.”
When the firing line is “HOT”:
When the RO or lead shooter has inspected that the firing line is safe, he/she may call out the command “RANGE IS COLD or RANGE IS CLEAR”.
When the range is “COLD OR CLEAR”:
All ranges contain flag poles that swivel with a red and green flag on each end.
- The Red flag indicates that the range is IN USE.
- The Green flag indicates that the range is NOT IN USE.
- The last shooter to leave the range must set all flags to green.
- Upon arrival at a range bay, if the red flag is not raised, range users should change the flag to red then inspect the range to ensure the range is clear of any other range users before setting up.
On the 100/200 metre rifle range, the range should be inspected to ensure there is no other users are present on the range (i.e. –behind the 100-metre berm) before setting up.
The red flag must be raised before any handling of firearms can occur.
Safe Handling Tables
A safe handling table MUST:
On a safe handling table, a shooter may do the following, provided their firearms are pointed in a safe direction at all times:
- Have signage that says, SAFE AREA.
- Be positioned behind any firing line.
- Be positioned against a berm, so that no one may walk in front of it.
- Case and uncase
- Remove any locking mechanisms
- Disassemble / Clean / Reassemble
- Cycle and dry fire
- Holster a handgun
- Pick up a long gun to transfer to a:
- Rack (if the line is cold)
- Firing line (if the line is hot)
At a safe handling table, shooters MUST NOT:
- Handle ANY ammunition
- This includes, but is not limited to; live ammunition, dummy or snap caps or spent shells
- Load their firearm
Remember the Four Rules of Firearms Safety:
Firearms may only be brought to the firing line when the range is hot.
When the range is hot, muzzles must always be pointed downrange.
When the range is cold, long gun muzzles must be pointed upwards while being moved to and from storage racks.
No firearm shall be loaded until it is in a horizontal position with the muzzle pointed downrange, after the Commence Firing command has been given.
No loaded firearm muzzle should be pointed above the berm.
Muzzle loading firearms must be loaded at the firing line only.
If a Ceasefire is called while they are loaded they must be uncapped (the percussion cap removed) or unprimed (remove priming powder) before being removed from the firing line.
Muzzle loading firearms can be capped or primed at the firing line only.
All firearms must be unloaded, with actions open and any magazines removed and properly racked or stored when not being used for shooting.
1. Assume all firearms are always loaded.
2. Never let the firearm’s muzzle point at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger/out of the trigger guard until your sights are on the target.
4. Be sure of your target and what is in front and behind it.
For general member use of the facility, the following rules with respect to targets MUST be adhered to:
- Targets can be placed, changed or taken down only when the range bay is cold or a Ceasefire has been called and the firing line has been made safe or clear.
- No one is to go forward of an established firing line when the line is hot for ANY reason.
- Targets must be set up so that bullets strike the berms and not the range floor or travel through the target and over the berm.
- Aerial targets (sporting clays) are prohibited.
- Paper targets mounted on wooden frames are acceptable and are preferred targets.
- Non-explosive, non-metallic soft targets that do not create excess waste debris are acceptable provided:
- They are set up such that all rounds impact the berm and NOT the ground asphalt or wood rail ties.
- Members to reasonably clean up target debris left behind.
Examples of ACCEPTABLE targets:
- Paper / cardboard targets
- Target shooting specific, self-healing rubber targets – provided they are NOT placed on the asphalt or rail ties
- Balloons – provided waste material is removed after use and balloons are positioned such that rounds impact the berm
- Candy – lollipops, provided waste plastic wrapping and paper sticks are collected
- Static, non-aerial sporting clays – provided members make a reasonable effort to clean up debris (i.e. pick up any pieces larger than 1″)
Examples of PROHIBITED targets:
- Unapproved hard metallic objects of any kind (these can create extremely dangerous ricochets)
- Any scrap electronic device or appliance (these leave behind plastic and metallic debris as well as toxic chemicals that are difficult to remove and potentially hazardous to other range users)
- Tannerite or any similar explosive binary target (these may severely damage the asphalt flooring and are a safety liability the association is NOT insured under)
- Firebird or any similar flammable target (these are a fire hazard)
- Any club fixture (i.e. – wire spools, tables, chairs, trailers, BBQ, target houses – these are for the enjoyment of club members in the operation of the range, please be considerate to your fellow club members)
- Any member caught shooting at prohibited targets or any target in an unsafe fashion will be subject to disciplinary actions, including being charged to repair damage to club fixtures, suspension or expulsion from the club with temporary or permanent revocation of membership, or being reported to law enforcement.
Target shooting is a safe recreational activity; however, there are specific guidelines for shooting at steel targets that all shooters MUST adhere to. Non-compliance with these guidelines may create an unsafe situation or result in costly damage to club targets.
Only steel and metal targets provided by BTSA or approved by the board of directors may be shot on these ranges.
Prior to setting up steel targets, all shooters must visually inspect the targets to ensure they are in serviceable condition.
The following critical guidelines must be adhered to by all individuals shooting steel targets:
- Any steel target that has been dimpled or has holes in it must NOT be used.
- Absolutely NO steel core, jacket or pellet ammunition of ANY kind is to be used against steel targets.
- Minimum range for steel targets is 10 metres for pistol approved steels, 100 to 200 metres for rifle and shot gun slugs with approved steel targets.
- Absolutely NO centre fire rifle, buckshot or slugs are to be used on steel targets approved for pistol shooting only.
- Only Number 4 and smaller (i.e. – 7.5, 10, etc.) lead birdshot may be fired on any steel targets.
Failure to comply with the above rules may result in temporary or permanent suspension from the Homestead range and/or the BTSA and APRA.
Buffalo Target Shooters Association
PO Box 394
300, 8120 Beddington Blvd NW
Calgary Alberta T3K 2A8