PCC Start Positions

Burk Cornelius

Regular guy
Staff member

Rule 8.2.2 , for handgun, specifies a default start position of “facing downrange, with arms and hands hanging naturally by the sides” , and refers to Appendix E3 for an example of this. At present, there is no default start position for PCC, which was by design, with the expectation that course designers and match directors/range masters would specify a specific start position. This doesn’t seem to be happening, with many matches using a generic “port arms” as a PCC start position. Port Arms means different things to different people. In some cases “port arms” can be an unsafe start position, with the muzzle pointing in an undesirable direction. Given the number of questions I’ve been getting about this, and the fact that I’ve been correcting it in all of the matches I’ve sanctioned, let’s discuss a few generic start positions that work for PCC.

First off, most of our classifiers specify “carbine held in both hands, stock touching belt, muzzle downrange, safety on”. There can be a little variation on this, as in “generally downrange”, but it gets the job done and will serve as a default position for now. “Muzzle downrange” is probably overkill as well, since it’s unsafe gun handling to point it uprange, but it doesn’t hurt to specify. Another useful start position is to have the carbine held in both hands, safety on, muzzle touching a mark. The carbine can be shouldered or not—up to you. That works well when the handgun start is with hands touching marks on the stage. Table starts, loaded or unloaded, are generally the same for PCC and handgun, so no problem there.

Other start positions can be “low ready”, which is carbine shouldered, held in both hands, safety on, muzzle pointing downrange and lower than horizontal, but that can be pretty subjective and not enforced consistently, so it’s best to avoid this as common practice. Shouldered and aiming at a random spot (a cone, a mark, or a target) is acceptable, and more consistent, as long as the safety is applied.

In general, PCC start positions must be spelled out somehow, and not just noted as “port arms”. Safety is on when the carbine is loaded and it can be applied—that’s a given. Put a little extra effort into defining your start positions, both for handgun and PCC. Keep them simple, safe, and repeatable for all competitors. This will make your stages more consistent, easier to run and more fun for competitors.

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