SASS Rules Refreshers
REFRESHERS ON FACEBOOK AND MEWE
MARKED-UP COPY OF SHOOTERS HANDBOOK
A link to Shamrock Sadie's marked-up copy of the Shooters Handbook is below. I have added clarifications along with penalty marks suitable for printing on hole-punched paper for placement in a binder. Anytime there is a major update, I update my copy of the latest version of the handbook with clarifications and highlight key rules to review. Be sure to check back 2-4 weeks after a major update to get my latest marked-up copy of the SASS Shooters Handbook. Suggest downloading this PDF to your mobile device for quick access at the range.
COMMON MISUNDERSTOOD RULES
Below are some common misunderstood and overlooked rules (meaning not known rules) with clarifications.
Available in PDF: Common Misunderstood Overlooked SASS Rules - PDF
References are from SHB v. 26.2 (Jan 1, 2022)
170-180 DEGREE RULES
p. 17: “The 170° rule means the muzzle of a firearm must always be straight down range (+/– 85° in any direction). Muzzle direction and muzzle control is important between, before, during, and after shooting a stage. The 170° rule is the backbone of all safe firearm handling and is always in effect.” p. 3: “Any firearm that breaks the 170° safety rule will result in a Stage Disqualification.”
p. 3: “When drawing a revolver, the muzzle may be oriented into the straight down (180°) as it clears leather; but must then go immediately into the downrange 170° (and vice versa on the return). These restrictions against breaking the downrange 180° angle apply to all holsters and methods of draw/re-holster. This allowance applies to all types/styles of holsters, from canted double strong side to cross draw, to shoulder/Huckleberry rigs.”
CLEARING A LONG GUN AT END OF STAGE
p. 17: “If the long gun is the last firearm used, it must be cleared prior to it leaving the shooters hand(s) at the unloading area.”
- Note that after shooting the long gun, the shooter may release the long gun anywhere on the firing line, but must clear it prior to releasing it at the ULT.
COCKED REVOLVER LEAVING HAND
p. 13: “A cocked revolver may never leave a shooters hand, including from one hand to the other. This does not apply when loading or reloading on the firing line.”
- Note that changing the revolver from one hand to the other means transferring from one hand that is gripping the revolver to the other hand gripping the revolver. If cocked during the transfer, then the penalty is a SDQ.
- When a cocked revolver is holstered, once the shooter removes their hand from the grip, the appropriate penalty will apply. (Clarification 2017 Winter Range TG mtg.)
p. 13: “Defined as a standing upright with the butt of the long gun at or below the waist of the shooter, the muzzle at or above the shoulder, and the long gun held with both hands.”
DECOCKING A FIREARM
p. 14: “No firearm may be decocked on the firing line to avoid a penalty if cocked at the wrong time, position or location once a round has gone downrange. Once a revolver is cocked, the round must be expended (shot). However, if a round has not gone downrange, and under the direction and supervision of the TO, the revolver may be decocked. This requires a positive indication/acknowledgement from the TO for the shooter to do so. (See also “Double Jeopardy” avoidance in Safety & Handling Conventions – All Firearms)”
- Note that if decocked without the direction and supervision of the TO, then the penalty is a SDQ.
- This applies to decocking a revolver at the end of a stage as well, such as when the shooter loses count and the TO says that’s all and the shooter leaves the hammer cocked. By decocking (instead of pulling the trigger safely down range) it’s avoiding a penalty such as holstering a cocked revolver or a cocked revolver leaving the shooter’s hand.
DISCARDED LONG GUN - RETRIEVAL
p. 16: “If the long gun is not discarded empty prior to the next firearm being fired, only the shooter may return to open and/or clear the firearm at the end of the stage under the observation of the TO.”
HITTING TARGET WITH THE WRONG FIREARM
p. 2: “Main match holsters must be located one on each side of the belly button and separated by at least the width of two fists at the belt. (Note: Pocket pistol and derringer holsters are not “main match” holsters).”
- Pay attention to the words, “each side of the belly button” (this is the holster at the belt and while shooting):. It might be good to use something like a leather slide (the width of your two fists together) to keep the holsters in place so they do not move while shooting.
p. 3: “Ammunition belts must be worn so all ammo is positioned at or below the belly button.”
p. 28: “Competitors shall not leave the designated loading area with a loaded firearm unless they are called to the stage as the next competitor to begin the stage by the Timer Operator or Expeditor.” Penalty is a SDQ.
LONG GUNS THAT SLIP AND FALL
(Clarification 2020 Winter Range TG mtg) MSV: "If a shooter discards a long gun after use, and is at complete rest for a very brief moment, then slips and falls without breaking the 170, then a MSV. "
Stage DQ: 1) Long gun is in continuous motion and falls. 2) Shooter bumps a prop and long gun falls. 3) Shooter knocks the long gun and it falls.
"Dropped firearm – a firearm that has left the shooter’s control and comes to rest at a location or position other than where it was intended."
MSV and a MISS
If the shooter receives a MSV (and the correct number of rounds has NOT been fired as called for by the stage instructions), then it is also a Miss.
RANGE OFFICERS GIVING COMMANDS
June 2017 End of Trail TG meeting Clarification: “Only the Timer Operator and the three (3) spotters are the only ROs (Range Officers) that can give commands to the shooter and if any of those four (4) ROs give the shooter the wrong instructions, then it “could” be grounds for a reshoot.”
RIFLE/SHOTGUN - SAFE FOR MOVEMENT IN HAND
p. 15: “A rifle is considered SAFE for movement (in hand, while moving through a stage) in the following condition only:
- Hammer fully down on an empty chamber or expended round, action closed.
- Action open, round on carrier or in chamber.”
p. 13: “If no starting position is given, the shooter shall stand upright with revolvers holstered, hands at the sides, and not touching any firearm. (SASS default).”
- SASS default still applies even if not explicitly stated in the stage scenario. e.g.: If the stage scenario calls for hands on hat, hands holding rope, hands touching both sides of window frame, holding dynamite, etc., then the rest of your body must be at SASS default. You do not have to be looking straight down range. You can look down at your firearm. (Clarification 2017 Winter Range TG mtg.)
- Holding an object with one hand does not mean your other hand can be touching your guns, unless stated specifically in the stage instructions.
SHOOTERS’S CHOICE – REPLACING EJECTED/DEFECTIVE ROUNDS (PaleWolf Brunelle, SASS #2495)
A shooter who ejects a rifle round in the middle of a shooting string has FOUR choices:
1) Re-engage same target; then reload at the end of the string for the last target = No Penalty
2) Re-engage same target w/NO reload = Miss for the ejected (unfired) round
3) Skip to next target w/NO reload = Miss
4) Skip to next target w/reload/return to re-engage skipped target = Procedural
STAGING LONG GUNS
p. 15: “A shotgun is considered SAFE for movement (in hand, while moving through a stage) in the following conditions only:
- Action open, round in chamber or on carrier.
- Hammer(s) fully down on an empty chamber(s) or expended round(s), action closed.”
p. 15: “All long guns initially staged on a horizontal surface shall be staged lying flat where at least the rear of the trigger guard is on the staging area.”