Mill Creek Practical Shooting League

MCPSL Multi-Gun Rules


Updated: 24-February-2019

These multi-gun rules update the MCPSL Multi-Gun Rules dated March 23, 2016.  This rule set is based on a combination of 3-Gun Nation Club Series Rules Jan 2016 Rev. 7, USPSA Rifle, Shotgun, and MG Rules, January 2019, and United Multi-Gun League rules v. 1.5, March 2018.  Mill Creek Rifle Club has additional rules that must be followed to participate in Multi-Gun events at Mill Creek Rifle Club.  The MCPSL Board reserves the right to change or modify rules.  It is the duty of the competitor to be familiar with each and every rule. In the event a rules change is made, a notification shall be issued.  Rules shall not be changed during an event. 



Table of Contents
















1.1 It is the competitors’ responsibility to read and understand the rules set forth herein and agree to be subject to these rules while participating in an event.

1.2 All MCPSL events will be run on COLD RANGES.

1.2.1 COLD RANGE (definition):  Competitors’ firearms must remain unloaded at the event site except under the direct supervision of an event official.

1.3 Designated Safe Areas

1.3.1 The Safe Areas will be clearly marked with signs.

1.3.2 Unloaded firearms may be handled and/or displayed in Safe Areas only.

1.3.3 Ammunition and loaded firearms must not be handled in any Safe Area.  This includes loaded magazines and live or dummy rounds.  However, boxes of ammo may be handled as long as they remain closed.

1.4 Transporting Rifle, Shotgun and Pistol (carry from vehicle or between stages.)

1.4.1 Rifles & Shotguns must be cased or if hand carried or slung, the muzzle must be pointed up or down.  Carts where the muzzles are pointed downward are approved.

1.4.2 Rifles & Shotguns must be transported with actions open, detachable magazines removed/tubes unloaded, preferably with an inserted chamber safety flag.  Actions can only be “closed” on an inserted chamber safety flag.

1.4.3 Pistols carried between stages must be cased or remain in holster.

1.5 Grounding Firearms

1.5.1 During a course of fire a competitor may handle more than one firearm at a time, however neither firearm may be discharged until one is re-holstered or safely grounded. Violation of this rule will result in a match DQ.  All safety rules apply while handling two firearms at the same time.

1.5.2 Designated containers/locations designed to safely accommodate grounded firearms shall be unique and pointed out to the competitor during the stage briefing.

1.5.3 “Loaded with Safety Engaged” Pistols with a manual safety must have them fully engaged to satisfy the “loaded on safe” rule, regardless of passive safeties. Pistols without a manual safety must have passive safeties in operational condition; this will satisfy the safety engaged requirements.  Passive safety is a safety that engages automatically and disables the firearm from discharging while the firearm is not being handled.  “Safe Action” striker safeties or passive trigger safeties fall under this ruling.  “Operational” means:  The safety operates correctly as intended.  It must not be altered or disabled in a way that while not being handled, the safety features can no longer prevent the firearm from discharging. If the pistol has no manual safety and the only manual lever is a de-cocking mechanism, it must be engaged and the hammer must be de-cocked to satisfy the safety engaged condition. Re-holstering a hot pistol is allowed.  However, a course of fire will never require the competitor to re-holster a hot pistol after the start signal. Any Rifle or Shotgun with a manual safety must have it FULLY engaged to satisfy the loaded on safe rule.

1.5.4 “Empty Chamber and Empty Magazine or Shotgun Feeding Tube” Empty chamber with no live rounds in feed tube, on lifter, or magazine removed. Spent round in the chamber, slide/bolt forward with no live rounds in the feed tube or magazine or magazine removed. 



2.1 “Make Ready.” The course of fire begins with the “Make Ready” command and ends after the “Range is Clear” command. 

2.1.1 Where more than one firearm will be used during a course of fire, the Range Officer will direct and supervise the competitor through the process of preparing all firearms.  The RO will give the “Make Ready” command signifying the start of the Course of Fire and will then direct and supervise the competitor through the process of preparing and positioning and all “staged” firearms.  The RO will then accompany the competitor to the start position and direct the competitor to prepare the firearm to be initially used on the stage, prior to assuming the ready position.  The initial “Make Ready” command defines the start of the “Course of Fire” regardless of how many firearms are subsequently prepared, loaded, and/or staged following that command.

2.2 “Are You Ready-Standby”:  After the competitor has loaded and staged all firearms to be used in the course of fire, the RO will accompany him to the start position.  The RO shall then issue the commands “Are You Ready” followed shortly by “Standby” and the activation of the timer.

2.2.1 The lack of any negative response from the competitor after being issued the “Are You Ready?” command indicates that they fully understand the requirements of the course of fire and are ready to proceed.  If the competitor is not ready, they must state “No” or “Not Ready”.  It is suggested that when the competitor is ready they should assume the required start position to indicate their readiness to the RO.

2.3 “Stop”: Any Range Officer assigned to a stage may issue this command at any time during the course of fire.  The competitor must immediately cease firing, stop moving, and wait for further instruction from the RO.

2.3.1 In the event that a Range Officer terminates a course of fire due to a suspicion that a competitor has an unsafe firearm or unsafe ammunition (e.g. a “squib” load), the RO will take whatever steps he deems necessary to return both the competitor and the range to a safe condition.  The Range Officer will then inspect the firearm or ammunition and will proceed as follows: If the Range Officer finds evidence that confirms the suspected problem, the competitor will not be entitled to a re-shoot, but will be ordered to rectify the problem.  On the competitor’s score sheet, the time will be recorded up to the last shot fired, and the course of fire will be scored “As Shot”, including all applicable misses and penalties. If the Range Officer discovers that the suspected safety problem does not exist, the competitor will have the option to re-shoot the stage. 

2.4 “If You Are Finished, Unload And Show Clear”:  If the competitor has finished shooting, they must lower their firearm and present it for inspection by the RO with the muzzle pointed downrange, magazine removed or tube emptied, slide/bolt locked or held open and chamber empty. 

2.4.1 Pistols:  Release the slide and pull the trigger without touching the hammer or de-cocker then holster the pistol

2.4.2 Rifle:  Bolt locked back OR chamber safety flag inserted.  

2.4.3 Shotgun:  Bolt locked back OR chamber safety flag inserted. 

2.4.4 Rifles/Shotguns must be carried Muzzle Up/Down when exiting the stage.

2.4.5 The RO will instruct and accompany the competitor to safely unload all firearms used in the course of fire.  However, in order to reduce stage clearance time, a Range Officer may be assigned to clear “abandoned” firearms, at the Range Master’s discretion, provided the stage design allows for this to be done in a way that allows the gun to be cleared in a safe direction.  In such cases, the competitor’s delegate will accompany the official responsible for clearing abandoned firearms. Competitors must be advised of this procedure during the stage briefing. The RO and delegate shall verify that the abandoned firearm is in a legal abandoned state (eg, properly positioned, and safety-on or firearm empty). Upon verifying the condition, the RO will clear the firearm with the delegate confirming it is clear. The firearm may then be transported to the staging area or other specified location behind the firing line. Handguns must be bagged if they are to be moved to the staging area or a safe area. The Range Officer is responsible for the safe handling of the firearm during this process, including (but not limited to) muzzle direction.

2.5 “Range Is Clear”: This command shall be issued only after all firearms have been cleared by the competitor and Range Officer.  This declaration signifies the end of the course of fire.  Once this declaration is made, officials and competitors may move downrange to score, paste, reset, and paint targets.

2.6 Default Start Position.  The competitor assumes the start position as specified in the written stage briefing.  Unless otherwise specified, for a handgun start, the competitor must stand erect, facing downrange, with arms hanging naturally by the sides.  For a rifle or shotgun start, unless otherwise specified, the competitor must stand erect and relaxed, with the firearm held in both hands, stock touching the competitor’s belt, at hip level, muzzle pointing upward, safety engaged and with the finger out of the trigger guard.  Different stages may require the “ready position” to be prone, kneeling, sitting or as otherwise stated in the written stage briefing.  A course of fire may permit a competitor to start a stage with a long gun mounted into the shoulder and pointing toward targets.

2.7 Default gun ready condition.  The ready condition for handguns, rifles, and shotguns during MCPSL multi-gun events will be with an empty chamber (or cylinder), the action must be fully forward and closed (or the cylinder must be fully closed) and the hammer or striker must be fully down or fully forward, as the case may be.  Magazines may be inserted in handguns and rifles.  Shotgun magazine tubes may be pre-loaded, with a shell on the loading gate at the competitor’s discretion. 

2.7.1 Exception to this default gun ready condition.  The stage description may allow the first firearm used in the course of fire and other firearms staged in the course of fire to begin with a round in the chamber, as described below.     

2.7.2 Revolvers - Double Action: hammer fully down and all chambers may be loaded.


2.7.3 Revolvers - Single Action: hammer fully down on an empty chamber or, if a safety notch is fitted, hammer down over a loaded chamber (transfer bar designs excepted).


2.7.4 Autoloaders (treat all Rifles and Shotguns as “Single Action.”): “Single action” – chamber loaded, hammer cocked, and the safety fully engaged. “Double action” – chamber loaded, hammer fully down or de-cocked. “Selective action” – chamber loaded with hammer fully down, or chamber loaded and hammer cocked with external safety fully engaged. With respect to Rules [] and [], the term “safety” means the primary visible safety lever on the firearm (e.g. the thumb safety on a “1911” genre handgun). In the event of doubt, the Range Master is the final authority on this matter.


2.7.5 Courses of fire may require ready conditions which are different to those stated above; ie, empty chamber, no mag in firearm, etc.   

2.7.6 Prone Position Rules: In the event a competitor takes the prone position by choice or by stage instruction and they have a holstered pistol, the chamber of that pistol shall not contain a live round. Violation of this rule will result in match DQ. 


3.0 SCORING     

3.1 Scoring per stage will be time plus penalties, generally standardized to 100 points per stage.  The stage winner receives the maximum 100 points on the stage and other competitors’ points are based on a percentage of the stage winner.  All MCPSL multi-gun stages will have a maximum par time of 180 seconds.  Any targets remaining un-engaged after the par time will be scored with the appropriate penalties.

3.2 Any paper target designated as a “shoot” target must have either 1 “Center” hit in the A zone (USPSA Metric targets), 1 hit within or touching the perforation of the head on USPSA full or half size targets, OR have 2 hits anywhere on the target (inside outer scoring zone perforations) to avoid penalty.

3.3 Steel plates, poppers and mini-poppers designated as shotgun (birdshot) and/or pistol targets must fall to score.  Poppers and mini-poppers must be properly calibrated during set-up.  If a popper or mini-popper does not go down after a visible hit with birdshot or pistol, the shooter may request calibration either immediately or after completing the course of fire.  If calibration is requested, The Chief Range Officer on the squad will first inspect the popper without touching it.  The CRO on the squad has the authority to determine if the popper was not properly set.  In this case, a re-shoot will be granted.  If the CRO determines that the popper was properly set, the Match Director or his designated representative will shoot the popper in question to determine if a re-shoot is allowed or if the stage will be scored as shot.  Steel plates turned sideways on the stand by a hit do not count as a hit and are not cause for a reshoot due to range equipment failure.  Steel plates are not subject to calibration or calibration challenges. 

 Examples of scoring targets include:

  • One (1) hit in the “Center” (A/B zone) = No Penalty

  • One (1) hit within or touching the perforation of the head on a paper target = No Penalty

  • Two (2) hits anywhere on the target = No Penalty


3.2.1 Optional scoring - Course description may stipulate that one slug hit anywhere in the scoring area will neutralize

a paper target.

3.3 Penalties will apply as follows:

a.  One (1) hit on the target not in the “Center” (A/B zone) = 5 Second Penalty
b.  No hits on paper but target was engaged = 10 Second Penalty 
c.  Target (of any sort) was not engaged = 15 Second Penalty
d.  Missed steel or clay (static or reactive ) = 5 Second Penalty
e.  Missed steel beyond 40 yards (static or reactive) = 10 Second Penalty
f.   No Shoot Penalty = 5 Second Penalty per hit.

3.3.1 In the course description, long range rifle targets may be designated as enhanced penalty targets.  A miss on an enhanced penalty target can be increased to a 20 or 25 second penalty. Only to be used for targets beyond 100 yards.

3.4  SCORING CONCESSION for Heavy Metal Limited and Heavy Metal Optics Divisions:   Competitors in these divisions shall only be required to score ONE hit ANYWHERE on a paper target with the Rifle, Shotgun Slug or Pistol to neutralize the target

3.5  SCORING CONCESSION for Pistol Caliber Carbine Open and Pistol Caliber Carbine Optics Divisions:  Competitors in these divisions shall be allowed to shoot all rifle and pistol targets, as designated in the written stage briefing, with their Pistol Caliber Carbines.  Written stage briefings may not override this rule.

For purposes of MCPSL Multi-Gun Rules, “Engaged” means:  To be in a position where the muzzle is in line of sight to the target in question.  Shooting in the general direction of target, shooting over obstructions that targets are behind, or through see-through walls and/or barriers is not allowed.

Notes per rule 3.3 f:   Any round impacting a No Shoot =5 second penalty per hit.  If a shot passes through a “Shoot” target and impacts a No Shoot, both targets will be scored.  The shooter will receive the credit for the hit and will also receive the penalty for the No Shoot.  



4.1 Additional 5 Seconds:  Foot faults, a competitor who fires shots while any part of their body is touching the ground or while stepping on an object beyond a Shooting Box or a Fault Line, or who gains support or stability through contact with an object which is wholly beyond and not attached to a Shooting Box or Fault Line, including designated firearm abandoning containers, will receive one procedural penalty for each hit on target.

4.2 Additional 5 Seconds:  Shall be assessed for failing to follow stage procedures.

4.3 Additional 5 Seconds:  Before the Start Signal, no more than 9 rounds total loaded in the shotgun and the competitor cannot have any ammunition in their hands.

4.5 Additional 5 Seconds:  A competitor cannot use a pistol or rifle/shotgun dump barrel to support their pistol, rifle or shotgun at any time. Each round fired with dump barrel support will be scored as a 5 second procedural penalty.

4.6 Additional 5 Seconds:  Shall be assessed for failure to start in the default starting position as defined in rule 2.6. 



5.1 A Match Disqualification (DQ) will result in complete disqualification from the event and the competitor will not be allowed to continue.  The competitor will not be eligible for prizes.  Stage DQ’s only apply to MCPSL multi-gun matches per rules 5.4.2 (dropping unloaded firearm) and 5.12 (abandoning a loaded firearm not on safe) below.

5.2 Safety violations will not be subject to arbitration.

5.3 Disqualifications will apply for the following violations:

5.3.1 Negligent Discharge:  A competitor who causes a negligent discharge must be stopped by a Range Officer as soon as possible.

A Negligent Discharge is defined as follows: A shot which travels over a backstop, a berm, or in any other direction deemed by the event organizers as being unsafe.  However, a competitor who legitimately fires a shot at a target, which hits and then travels in an unsafe direction, will not be disqualified. A shot which strikes the ground less than 10 feet from the competitor, except when shooting at a target closer than 10 feet to the competitor.  The shooter will be stopped.  The position the shooter was in will be marked as well as the impact point.  Until a ruling is made no one shall walk the stage or the area where the violation occurred. Exception:  A bullet or shot which strikes the ground within 10 feet of the competitor due to a “squib” shall not be subject to rule If the Range Officer determines that the bullet or shot would have struck the ground within 10 feet of the competitor had it not been deflected or stopped by a prop, the provisions of rule will apply. A shot which occurs while loading, reloading or unloading any firearm after the “Make Ready” command and before the “Range is Clear” command. A shot which occurs during remedial action in the case of a malfunction. A shot which occurs while transferring a firearm between hands. A shot which occurs during movement, except while actually shooting at targets. Exception:  A detonation which occurs while unloading a firearm is not considered a shot or discharge and is not subject to DQ.  However, rule 6.1 may apply.

Definition of a Detonation:  Ignition of the primer of a round, other than by the action of a firing pin, where the bullet or shot does not pass completely through the barrel (e.g. when a slide is being manually retracted or when a round is dropped).

5.4 A competitor shall be disqualified for dropping or losing control of a loaded firearm, at any time after the “Make Ready” command and before the “Range is Clear” command.  This includes any loaded firearm that falls after being grounded during the course of fire.

5.4.1 Exception:  Dropping an unloaded firearm before the “Make Ready” command or after the “Range is Clear” command will not result in a disqualification, provided the firearm is empty and retrieved ONLY by an Event Official.

5.4.2 Dropping an unloaded firearm after the “Make Ready” command and before the “Range is Clear” command will result in a stage disqualification, not a match disqualification.  The competitor will receive a maximum 500 second time for that stage.  The competitor will be allowed to continue in the match.  .

5.5  A competitor shall be disqualified for allowing the muzzle of a firearm to break the 180 degree Safety Plane at any time.  Exception rule 5.19.1.

5.6 A competitor shall be disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct, which includes, but is not limited to cheating

5.6.1 Intentionally altering targets prior to the target being scored to gain advantage or to avoid penalties.

5.6.2 Altering or falsifying score sheets

5.6.3 Altering the configuration of firearms to gain advantage.  

5.6.4 Altering the course of fire, i.e. moving props or targets, etc.

5.7 Pistol and rifle cartridges must fire a single projectile only.  Violations will be deemed cheating and subject to DQ.

5.8 Use of steel shot is a Safety Violation and will result in a DQ. 

5.9 Any competitor found with a magazine inserted in their pistol or rifle or rounds loaded in the shotgun, while not under the direct supervision of a range official, shall be escorted to a safe area to check the loaded condition.  If the magazine, tube, or chamber is found to be loaded, the competitor will be subject to DQ.  Shotgun pre-loading at the beginning of a stage is exempt.

5.10 Handling loaded magazines, live, or dummy rounds or a loaded firearm in a Safe Area will result in a DQ.

5.11 A competitor found to be impaired and deemed unsafe as a result of drugs, legal or otherwise, or alcohol will receive a DQ.

5.12 A firearm grounded in a designated container with the chamber, magazine, or feed tube containing live rounds and the safety not fully engaged will result in a stage DNF.  The competitor will be allowed to continue in the match.

5.13 Disqualifications will be issued by the RO, Range Master, or Match Director.  If issued by the RO, the competitor may appeal to the Range Master or Match Director.

5.14 Having a holstered pistol with a live round in the chamber while in the prone position will result in a match DQ.

5.15 Allowing the muzzle of any firearm to point at any part of the competitor’s body (i.e. sweeping) during a course of fire.

5.15.1 Exception to rule 5.15  A match DQ will not apply for sweeping below the belt while drawing or re-holstering the handgun as long as the shooters fingers are clearly outside of the trigger guard. 



6.1 All firearms must be of a factory configuration.  Internal modifications are allowed providing the modifications do not alter the original factory configurations.  All firearms used by participants must be serviceable and safe.  Range Officers may demand examination of a participant’s firearm or related equipment, at any time, to check that they are functioning safely.  If any such item is declared unserviceable or unsafe by a Range Officer, it must be withdrawn from the event until the item is repaired to the satisfaction of the Range Master.

6.2 If a participant’s firearm becomes unserviceable during competition, that participant may replace his/her firearm with another of the same model, caliber, and sighting system approved by the RM/MD or his designee.  In the event that a firearm in the same model, caliber, and sighting system cannot be found, the shooter may use any available firearm but may also be moved to another division depending on the type of replacement firearm used.  All replacement firearms must be approved by the RM/MD or his designee.

6.3 For purposes of this ruling, a “firearm” consists of a specific caliber, receiver, barrel, stock, and sighting system combination

6.4 The same firearm system, for each gun, per rule 6.3 shall be used during the entire event. 

6.5 Participants will not reconfigure any firearm during the course of the entire event (i.e. change caliber, barrel length, shotgun magazine tube length, sighting systems or stock style.)  This will be considered Unsportsmanlike Conduct.   Chokes, slings, bi-pods, monopods, ammo/mag holders, lasers and flashlights may be added, removed or changed at any time during the match, providing that they are allowed in the competitor’s division.



The minimum cartridge case dimension for handguns to be used in MCPSL multi-gun matches is 9x19mm, 9mm Luger, 9mm Parabellum, 9mm NATO or 9mm. The minimum rifle caliber used in MCPSL multi-gun matches is 5.45mm x39mm (except for Pistol Caliber Carbine divisions, which is 9mm) and Shotguns must be 20 gauge or larger.  Heavy Metal divisions have higher minimums for each firearm type, per 7.4 and 7.5.   

MCPSL staff reserves the right to inspect firearms for compliance.  Any competitor not willing to submit their firearms for inspection shall result in an event DQ. 

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8.1 Handgun holsters and Equipment

8.1.1 Holsters must be a practical/tactical carry style and must be able to safely retain the handgun during vigorous movement.

8.1.2 The holster material must completely cover the trigger on all semi-automatic pistols.  Revolver holsters must completely cover the trigger and the cylinder.

8.1.3 The belt upon which the holster and magazine/speed loader pouches are attached must be worn at waist level.

8.1.4 Due to safety concerns, shoulder holsters and cross draw holsters are not allowed.



9.1 Tracer, incendiary, armor piercing, steel jacketed or steel/tungsten core ammunition is specifically prohibited.

9.1.1 Any competitor found in violation of rule 9.1 shall be assessed a $100 fee for each steel target engaged and or damaged.  Fines will be made payable the day of the offense.

9.2 Pistol ammunition shall be 9x19mm or larger.

9.3 Rifle ammunition shall be 5.45mm x 39mm or larger, or 9mm or larger for PCC division.  Pistol and rifle cartridges must fire a single projectile only. 

9.4 Shotgun ammunition shall be 20 gauge or larger,  #6 lead shot or smaller.  Steel shot is specifically not allowed.  Use of steel shot is a safety violation and the competitor is subject to DQ rule 5.10.



10.1 Decisions are initially made by the stages’ Chief Range Officer

10.2 If the complaint disagrees with the CRO’s decision, Range Master, or Match Director will be called to make the final ruling in the matter.  Safety violations will not be subject to arbitration.


11.1 Re-shoots will be issued by a Chief Range Officer, Range Master, or Match Director.  The competitor will be given the choice to re-shoot immediately or have their position moved to the bottom of the shooting order and will be the last to complete the course of fire for that squad.

11.2 If a stage has not been completely reset prior to the issuance of the start signal or if a target falls on its own after the start signal, the range officer shall stop the competitor as soon as possible.  The competitor will then be required to re-shoot the course of fire once it has been reset.