Multigun RO Course – Warkworth Pistol Club

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Range Officer Course – Multigun

The Warkworth Pistol club played host to a Range Officer course for Pistol NZ’s Multigun Discipline. Multigun is a new shooting sport to NZ – combining the three firearms (pistol, rifle, shotgun) into one course of fire.

While it isn’t the first time that Multigun in some form has been shot, it was the signalling for a formalisation of the rules and setting in motion of regular competition.

Like all the competition shooting disciplines, safety is the primary concern. To this end over thirty people turned up for training to qualify as Multigun Range Officers – learning and discussing the unique requirements of managing multiple firearms on a single course of fire.

3-Gun Nation

In New Zealand, we are adopting a set of rules based on the 3-Gun Nation Ruleset. A simplified set of rules, that, while maintaining high levels of safety, doesn’t bog the participant down in complicated scoring and division rules. Scoring is based soley on time taken, with a time penalties applied for misses or other procedural issues. This results in a faster, quicker competition – which is likely the reason for the phenomenal growth around the world in recent years.

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Specialisation

Most shooting sports result in a bit of a specialisation of equipment. Multigun being no exception. It draws heavily upon the IPSC disciplines – Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun, favouring lightweight, flatter shooting and faster handling firearms. Quick reloads and high capacity magazines are a requirement – as the amount of targets to engage will often be larger than the amount a standard rifle or shotgun can hold. This results in long tubes on the shotguns and large magazines on the rifles.

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Range Officers – there to keep us all safe

For someone who has never shot on a range, the environment of Multigun (and other practical shooting sports) may be a bit foreign. Only one shooter at a time, all under the strict and watchful eye of the RO ((range officer)) – this individual is responsible for carrying the timer (capturing how long the shooter takes to run the course of fire) and is also constantly checking the shooter is maintaining some safety protocol that simply cannot be broken. Brake any number of rules – like ‘breaking the 180’ and pointing the muzzle of a loaded or unloaded firearm anywhere other than in a safe direction, and you are instantly disqualified, won’t be shooting for the rest of the competition and are effectively ‘sent home’. We had one instance during training where a shooter walked up to the firing line with an unloaded firearm – however, he had forgotten to put in his chamber flag. The RO noticed this, stopped the proceedings, and that was the end of the competition for the shooter. No arguments, no negotiation. Both the RO’s and the Shooters understand why things are so strict, and while obviously frustrated, take it in the stride in the understanding that safety sits above the individual in these competitions.

Fail on any number of points – like ‘breaking the 90’ – pointing the muzzle of a loaded or unloaded firearm anywhere other than in a safe direction – and you are instantly disqualified. You won’t be shooting for the rest of the competition and are effectively ‘sent home’.

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We had one instance where a shooter walked up to the firing line with an unloaded firearm – however, he had forgotten to put in his chamber flag. The RO noticed this, stopped the proceedings, and that was the end of the competition for the shooter. No arguments, no negotiation. Both the RO’s and the Shooters understand why things are so strict, and while obviously frustrated, take it in the stride in the understanding that safety sits above the individual in these competitions.

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Fussy? Not really.

Multigun, due to having multiple firearms in use, means further measures to ensure the firearms are controlled and made safe. Multple RO’s walk the field – clearing the firearms that are no longer in use, so that by the time the shooter has finished, the range behind them has already been cleared and made safe, and the other shooters can quickly move out, patch up targets and reset the course for the next shooter.

This all may seem fussy and over the top to newer shooters – but it all results in one of the safest environments to handle and shoot firearms. Anyone who has been shooting competition for a while knows the expectations and high standard and adheres to it. It’s the ‘social contract’ all the sports shooters have between themselves and the general public. We hold ourselves accountable, we get to enjoy this as a sport.

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So, another great weekend at Warkworth Pistol club, and another great development for competition shooting in New Zealand.

Here is a good example of what a multigun run looks like –

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