At a match, avoiding involvement with a tourniquet and a trip to the emergency room is imperative to having a great time.
In my experience, it seems that USPSA-sanctioned matches hold a superior standard of safety and education for their Range Officers. Still, no matter the location of the match, there are only so many RO’s to go around, which leads to a very concerning trend I have personally witnessed regarding people who paste targets.
I was at a club match the other weekend and an A-class shooter was demolishing targets on a tough memory stage. To my horror, I noticed 4 or 5 other shooters walking out to their scored targets while the shooter was still engaging his targets. After the range was called safe, the RO gave these individuals quite an earful. They didn’t walk out onto a “hot" stage for the rest of the match. I can count at least 2 different occasions where this has happened throughout my experiences at ranges.
Pasting targets for other shooters while you are not shooting is a USPSA match etiquette tradition.
Don’t get me wrong, target pasting for other shooters is a polite and strongly encouraged action so that a match runs smoothly and efficiently, but the timing needs to be right. I cannot imagine how badly that shooter or RO might have felt if the shooter had to backtrack and re-engage a target, only to find he accidentally injured one of his squad mates. On a gun range, regardless of where you compete, we are all responsible for promoting safety on the range. Also, new shooters are watching us and how we promote safety awareness.
For your own safety, and for the safety of others, please do not walk out to paste targets until the RO has holstered his gun and the RO calls the range clear.
As a nurse, I do not want to have to take care of any of my shooting friends due to a gunshot wound. I do carry a tourniquet in my range bag, but I’d really rather not have to use it.
Let us know your safety experiences in the comments below.