All commands will come from the lead instructor/ trainer (LIT), the Assistant Instructor (AI) or the Range Officer (RO). Some instructors use slightly different commands. An effort has been made to include all of the most commonly used commands here.
During training, the range commands should be repeated by everyone on the range.
Communication is essential to safety. It may seem like a little thing, even silly, or slightly embarrassing to repeat the range commands, but it does actually improve safety on the range.
Importantly, when everyone is repeating the range commands it also instills a sense of awareness and discipline on the range, also improving safety.
Cease Fire - cause for all shooters to immediately stop shooting. Place weapons on safe, point them in a safe direction and re-holster pistols.
Be aware of why the Cease Fire was called.
Standby for further instructions.
All shooters are obligated to call “Cease Fire” if they see, or anticipate something that warrants a Cease Fire, such as wild life, like a deer. If you see something that isn't quite right, or looks like it could be dangerous, YOU can call a cease fire.
The Line is Hot - it is safe to begin shooting.
The Line is Cold - it is no longer safe to continue shooting. There is a pause in training. Rifles are pointed down, or in a safe direction. Place weapons on safe and/or re-holster pistols.
This command is often followed by Unload and Show Clear.
Lock & Load - (Rifle) lock the bolt back, insert magazine, release the bolt and chamber a live round of ammunition.
(Semi-automatic pistol) Lock the slide back, insert the magazine, release the slide and chamber a live round.
Load & Make Ready - load ammunition into the firearm. Make it ready to shoot by chambering a round of ammunition.
Make Ready - This command is used to take a weapon from condition 3 to condition 1, instructing to the shooter to load a magazine and chamber a round in the prescribed manner.
Fire - This command informs the shooter to engage targets.
Clear & Safe - a term used on the range referring to the condition of the firearm. The firearm is clear of ammunition and is therefore safe. It may be used as a range command, such as, "clear & safe all weapons."
Unload and Show Clear - follow the prescribed safe unloading process for you're firearm. On the training range, while keeping you're gun pointed down range show you're gun to the person standing next to you, so they may confirm that the gun is: (1) void of a source of ammunition, such as a magazine. 2) The chamber of the weapon is clear of any cartridges. A visual inspection of the chamber is always required. Do not feel for a cartridge with your finger. Do not rack the slide 3 times or more and hope that it is clear - visually inspect the chamber. Do not press the trigger to confirm the gun is void of ammunition.
If there is no source of ammunition in the gun, such as a magazine, or a belt of ammunition, and there is nothing in the chamber of the gun, the gun cannot be loaded, period.
The gun is deemed to be "Clear & Safe." because it t is clear of all ammunition and it is safe, because it is not loaded.
Buddy Check - while keeping the firearm pointed downrange, show it to the person next to you so they may confirm its "clear & safe."
Down Range - this command means two things, stop shooting, the Line is Cold (follow those procedures) and someone intends to step forward of the firing line.
Safe & Hang - this command is often used during rifle training when the participants have a sling. The correct way to sling the weapon during a training course is muzzle down and not hanging too low. While walking or moving the shooter will maintain positive control of the weapon, always remaining aware of the position of the safety selector switch, which is on safe. When bending over to pick up anything, such as a magazine, be cognizant of where the muzzle of the weapon is pointed. Do not Flag, or Sweep other people on the range.
Check Equipment - Shooters should perform a press check, ensure magazines a filled, stowed properly and that all equipment is ready for action.