Please review the rules specific to the Top Cop 3-Gun competition. Rules are subject to change. Any changes will be published below.

1. General Conduct & Dispute Resolution

1.1 It is the competitor’s responsibility to read and understand the rules set forth for this match and agree to be subject to these rules while participating in this match.

1.2 Written Stage Briefing: (WSB)

It is the competitor’s responsibility to read and understand the Written Stage Briefing (WSB) and obey any special conditions or requirements stipulated therein, any rule differences from this rulebook shall be written in the WSB and will be the governing rules as stipulated for that particular Course of Fire (COF).

1.3 Federal and State Law

It is the competitor's responsibility to know, understand and adhere to all Federal, State and Local Regulations regarding the use and transportation of firearms, including all applicable National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations related to the construction, transportation and use of any firearm regulated by NFA rules.

1.4 No competitors or spectators shall consume or be under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs at the event site. Any competitor found to be impaired because of legitimate prescription drugs may be directed to stop shooting and requested to leave the range.

1.5 Competitors and spectators are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous and sportsmanlike manner at all times. Any person who violates this rule may be ejected from the event site at the Match Director’s discretion.

1.6 Clothing with any offensive or obscene logos, sayings, pictures, or drawings must not be worn or displayed while at the event site.

2. Safety

2.1 All events will be run on cold ranges. Competitors’ firearms will remain unloaded at the event site except under the direction and immediate supervision of an Event Official.

2.2 Eye protection is mandatory for competitors, spectators and officials at the event site. It is the competitor’s responsibility to put eye protection back on if they come off during the course of fire. A re-shoot will not be granted.

2.3 Ear protection is mandatory for competitors, spectators and officials while on or near a stage. It is the competitor’s responsibility to put ear protection back on if they come off during the course of fire. A re-shoot will not be granted.

2.4 Competitors’ firearms will remain unloaded at the event site except under the direction and immediate supervision of an Event Official.

2.5 Firearms may be transported to, from and between stages only in the following conditions:

2.5.1 Handguns must be unloaded, in a case or holster, de-cocked and with the magazine removed. 

2.5.2 Rifles must be unloaded, cased or secured muzzle up or muzzle down in a stable gun cart/caddy, or carried slung with the muzzle up or down. Actions must be open, or a chamber flag inserted, and detachable magazines removed. The use of high-visibility chamber flags is recommended as a courtesy to other event competitors.

2.6 If an UNLOADED firearm is dropped during the course of fire, (between the Load and Make Ready command and Range is clear command) the competitor must retrieve it before proceeding with the Course of Fire. When it’s retrieved, the competitor will point the muzzle down range in a safe direction, show the Event Official it’s clear and then re-holster or sling the gun. 

2.7 Firearms may only be abandoned in one of the following conditions:

  • 2.7.1 Loaded, safety catch fully engaged, muzzle pointed down.
  • 2.7.2 Completely unloaded (no ammunition in the firearm),detachable magazine removed, muzzle pointed down.
  • 2.7.3 Abandoning a gun in any other condition will result in a Prohibited Action Penalty, at minimum. 

3. Ammunition

3.1 Handgun ammunition shall be 9mm Parabellum (9x19mm NATO) or larger, unless otherwise stipulated under equipment division rules.

3.2 Rifle ammunition shall be .223 Remington (5.56x45mm NATO) or larger, unless otherwise stipulated under equipment division rules.

3.3 Shotgun ammunition shall be 12 gauge birdshot (no slugs or buckshot), unless otherwise stipulated under equipment division rules.

3.4 Ammunition containing tracer, incendiary, armor piercing, steel jacketed or steel/tungsten/penetrator core projectiles is unsafe and prohibited.

3.5 Magnets may be used to inspect ammo at any time while on the venue property. Competitors found in violation of possessing/using prohibited ammo will receive a Match DQ and will not receive a refund. 

3.6 Max velocity of rifle ammunition is 3,000 feet per second. Faster than this can cause damage to steel targets and is prohibited.

3.7 Each team is responsible for bringing their own ammunition. The following quantities are the MINIMUM recommended PER TEAM and assumes no missed shots or make-ups. It is highly recommended that you bring additional ammunition. Some stages will also require the use of multiple magazines.

  • Rifle - 240 rounds
  • Pistol - 234 rounds
  • Shotgun - 18 shells

4. Firearms

4.1 All firearms used by competitors must be serviceable and safe. No prototypes are permitted. Event Officials may inspect a competitor’s firearms at any time to check they are functioning safely. If any firearm is declared unserviceable or unsafe by an Event Official, it must be withdrawn from the event until it is repaired to the satisfaction of the Range Master.

4.2 Firearms capable of fully automatic or burst-fire (“machine guns”) may be used only in semi-auto mode (i.e. not more than one (1) round fired with each pull of the trigger). Violation of this rule will incur a Prohibited Action Penalty per occurrence.

4.3 Competitors must use the same firearms for the entire event.

4.4 If a competitor's firearm becomes unserviceable, that competitor may replace their firearm with another of a substantially similar model, caliber, and sighting system only with the approval of the Match Director.

4.5 Competitors generally may not reconfigure any firearm during the course of the event. Explicitly permitted attachments include slings and other minor accessories (e.g. scope covers).

5. Equipment

5.2 Handgun holsters must safely retain the handgun during vigorous movement, and must completely cover the trigger. Revolver holsters must completely cover the trigger and the cylinder.

5.3 The belt upon which the handgun holster is attached must be worn at waist level. Shoulder holsters and cross-draw holsters are prohibited.

5.3.1 Handgun allowances

  • Magazines length up to 140mm
  • Iron Sights or Red Dot
  • Compensators

5.3.2 Rifle allowances

  • One (1) electronic or optical sight or iron sights.
  • A supplemental magnifier may be used with the permitted optical sight provided the magnifier does not contain an aiming reticle, cannot be used as an aiming device by itself, and remains mounted in the same location on the rifle for the duration of the event. A competitor may use the magnifier in either the magnified or the unmagnified mode without restriction.
  • All feed mechanisms, including belt-feed, are allowed (but remember score is degraded for each missed shot).
  • Supporting Devices such as bipods, tripods, shooting bags and other rests are prohibited.

5.3.3 Shotgun allowances

  • One (1) electronic or optical sight or iron sights.
  • All choke types allowed.
  • All feed mechanisms allowed.‍

6. Scoring

6.1 Stage points will be awarded to competitors according to their stage time relative to the fastest time on that stage, using the equation STAGE_POINTS = ( FASTEST_TIME / competitor_TIME ) x 100.

6.2 Total points accumulated for all stages will determine the event placement by division. Highest score wins.

6.3 Stages are assigned 100 points per stage unless noted in the WSB.

6.4 Cardboard Targets

  • 6.4.1  Unless otherwise stipulated in the stage briefing, cardboard “shoot” targets must be neutralized by receiving either one (1) A-zone hit, one (1) B-zone hit or two (2) hits anywhere in the scoring area.
  • 6.4.4 The hit or hits only need to touch or break the perforation to avoid penalty.
  • 6.4.5 Only holes made by bullets/pellets will count for score/penalty. Evidence that the bullet made the hole must be present on the target (i.e. crown or grease ring/mark). Holes made by shrapnel, fragments, wads or flying debris will not count for score/penalty.
  • 6.4.6 Paper or cardboard targets are considered impenetrable, and shoot-through shots that impact a target after passing through a paper or cardboard target will not count for score or penalty.
  • 6.4.7 Shots that are not completely inside the scoring area of a paper target may hit another target for score.

6.5 Steel Knockdown

  • 6.5.1 Steel knock-down targets (e.g. Pepper Poppers, knockdown steel, etc.) must fall to score or receive a penalty.
  • 6.5.2 There is no calibration. Props will be set and maintained at a reasonable resistance.

6.6 Static/Swinging Steel

  • 6.6.1 Static/Swinging targets must react in the manner that the Event Official sees or hears an impact or make the target move.
  • 6.6.2 Electronic flashers may be used to aid the Event Official in calling your hits. The Event Official must still call your hit for it to count. If a flasher falls off, it will stay off for the duration of the day or match and does not constitute a re-shoot.

6.7 Frangible Targets

  • 6.7.1 Frangible targets (e.g. clay pigeons) must break by gunfire to score. A target with a significant piece visibly detached is considered “broken”. A clay that falls from the stand while being engaged but does not break will be scored as a hit.

6.8 “No Shoot” Targets

  • 6.8.1 Scoring hits on designated “No Shoot” targets will incur a penalty per hit. The hit or hits only need to touch or break the perforation to incur a penalty. Steel “No Shoot” targets must fall/react/leave an impact mark to score.

7. Penalties

7.1 99 yards or less

  • Paper Failure to Neutralize (FTN) (only 1 hit in C or D zone) = +5 seconds
  • Miss = + 10 seconds
  • Aerial Clay Miss = +5 seconds

7.2 100 yards or more

  • Steel Miss 100-299 yds = + 20 seconds 
  • Steel Miss 300+ yards= +30 seconds

7.3 Other

  • No Shoot Target Hit (per hit) = +5 seconds
  • Procedural = +5 seconds
  • Prohibited Action Penalty = +45 seconds 
  • Fail to Rotate Spinner = +45 seconds
  • *There are no Failure to Engage penalties.

7.4 Steel Color Codes – General guidelines, may vary, see WSB to confirm

  • White=  Pistol Only
  • Blue= Rifle Only
  • Yellow= Drop mag then shoot target. Magazine can not be touching the gun.

7.5 Minimum Distance to Engage Steel (this includes props, walls, etc.)

  • Impacting steel targets or steel closer than the following minimum safe distance will result in a Prohibited Action Penalty plus the cost of the target, if it is damaged. The Match Director sets the target cost and payment is due immediately.
  • Pistol - 7 yards
  • Rifle - 35 yards

7.6 At no point may the competitor shoot a firearm while holding a second firearm. A Prohibited Action Penalty per shot fired will be applied plus any targets hit during that time will not count.

8. Match Disqualifications

8.1 A violation of the following rules will result in a Match Disqualification of that competitor, not the entire team. Competitor will not be eligible to walk the prize table or continue to shoot. Depending on the competitor's mentality, they may have to vacate the property.

8.2 A competitor who causes an unsafe discharge. Unsafe discharge includes but not limited to: Discharge that travels over a backstop, a berm, or in any other direction deemed by Event Officials to be unsafe. Note that a competitor who legitimately fires a shot at a target, which then travels in an unsafe direction, will not be disqualified.

8.3 A shot which goes in a direction that does not impact within 10’ of a target.

8.4 A shot which occurs during remedial action in the case of a malfunction.

8.5 A shot which occurs while transferring a firearm between hands.

8.6 A shot which occurs during movement, except while engaging targets.

8.7 A competitor who performs an act of unsafe gun handling.

8.8 Use of any unsafe ammunition as described within these rules.

8.9 Abandoning a firearm during a stage in any location other than a designated safe abandonment location (dump barrel for long guns and dump bucket or re-holster for pistol).

8.10 Allowing the muzzle of a firearm to break the180-degree safety plane, designated safety plane, or prohibited muzzle safe direction in the stage briefing.

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

  • 8.11.1 Exception - sweeping of one’s own lower extremities (below the belt) while drawing a handgun, provided that the competitor’s fingers are clearly outside of the trigger guard.

8.13 Pointing a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, downrange while people are downrange or in any direction deemed by Event Officials to be unsafe at certain times.

8.14 Driving faster than the posted or verbally stated speed limit on the range.

8.15 Unsportsmanlike conduct. Examples of unsportsmanlike conduct include:

  • 8.15.1 Cheating, such as intentionally altering a target prior to the target being scored to gain advantage or avoid a penalty.
  • 8.15.2 Altering or falsifying score sheets.
  • 8.15.3 Altering the configuration of firearms or equipment without permission of the Match Director.

8.16 Threatening or assaulting other competitors or EventOfficials.

8.17 Disruptive behavior likely to disturb or distract other competitors while they are shooting.

8.18 Willful disregard of Event Official instructions.

8.19 Not Resetting. Everyone is expected to reset except the competitor that just finished, the current competitor, the on deck competitor and the in the hole competitor. One warning will be given. The second offense will result in a Match DQ.

8.20 Dropping a LOADED gun anytime between the Load and Make Ready command and the Range is Safe/Clear command from the Range Officer. Loaded is defined as one or all of the following: Magazine inserted, round in the chamber, or any ammo in the tube or gun.

8.21 Shooting in a restricted area of the range. Competitors may shoot in the zero range, when open, or on a stage under the instruction of an event staff. All other areas are off limits without expressed permission from event staff.

9. Stage Procedures

9.2 Commands (these may vary based on the Event Official, but have the same meaning).

  • 9.2.1 Make Ready: If desired, take a sight picture and/or load your guns per the stage description. At this point, if you drop an unloaded gun, you may pick it up and proceed. If you drop a loaded gun, you are disqualified from the match (Match DQ).
  • 9.2.2 Unload and Show Clear: Unload all guns and show an empty chamber to the Event Official. Once confirmed, point at a berm or safe direction and pull the trigger as a redundancy safety check.
  • 9.2.3 Range is Clear: This means everybody will start the reset.
  • 9.2.4 Stop: Just stop, point your gun in a safe direction, and wait for further instructions.

9.3 Once a competitor abandons a firearm and moves 3’ (or more) forward of the dump barrel, that gun is out of play and can not be retrieved or used anymore on that stage. If you try to retrieve it, the Event Official will remind you. If you continue and retrieve it, the Event Official will stop you and score the stage as is.

9.4 Reshoots will not be given if a participant’s equipment fails.

9.5 If a target falls over or wasn’t reset and the competitor hasn’t fired at it yet, the competitor will fire a shot at where the target should have been. Reshoots will not be issued for this.

9.6 It is the competitor’s responsibility to designate a squad mate to walk with the Event Official when scoring your targets and clearing your guns. For the sake of match efficiency, we won't wait on the competitor to verify a target.

10. Other

10.1 Competitors may not touch or hold any firearm, loading device, or ammunition after the “Standby” command and before the “Start Signal” (except for unavoidable touching with the lower arms).

10.3 Hot reholstering of the pistol is permitted. It must be returned to the holster in a legal condition as follows: Unloaded, or in the case of single-action autos or double-action autos with manual override safeties, the safety catch must be in the “safe” position. In the case of double-action autos & revolvers without safeties, the hammer must be down/forward.

10.4 Any rule not explicitly covered by this document will be resolved with a ruling by the Match Director or his designee. Rulings by the Match Director or his designee will be final, and will serve as a precedent for the duration of the event.

10.6 Weather rules and corrective measures may include but are not limited to:

  • 10.6.1 Postponing during periods of lightning strikes. Bagging paper targets to protect from moisture, plaster loss and replacement. Adding inert material to the shooting area to improve dangerous footing conditions. Using rubber bands, clips or other devices to secure knock down steel targets and clay targets.
  • 10.6.2 Match officials may have to take actions to ensure completion of the match such as removing stages from the competition and any other measures deemed necessary to complete the competition.  
  • 10.6.3 In extreme circumstances, if the competition cannot be completed, match officials reserve the right to end the competition and distribute the prizes via a random draw instead of order of finish.

10.7 Coaching is allowed. Only Event Official’s can call hits. Coaches are required to stay behind the Event Official. Coaches can hand you anything but a loaded gun. See 10.7.1.

  • 10.7.1 If they’re handing you a gun it must meet the following requirements:
  • a. Come from the pre-designated area marked by the Event Official.
  • b. Confirmed by an Event Official that it is completely empty (no magazine inserted, no ammo in the chamber, tube or gun). This will be done prior to the competitor starting.
  • c. Carried muzzle straight up to the competitor.
  • d. Not exceed the requirements of the division you’re shooting in.
  • e. Not meeting the requirements of the above a, b, and c rule will result in a Match Disqualification for the person handling the gun and the competitor can not use it.

10.8 Walls, props and banners can not be shot over, under or through unless stated differently in the WSB. If this happens, it is a Prohibited Action Penalty plus the targets engaged will be scored as a Miss.

10.9 The Match Director has the right to change or revise these rules as needed. Any topic not covered in this ruleset is completely up to the discretion of the match director.