Practicing like we play (?)
I shot the local law enforcement pistol/carbine match this weekend. This is held at a small-ish outdoor range, and when each shooter shoots a stage of the match, he is the sole shooter.
Shooting my P.D. carbine, I went to a stage where I was to run hard to a square, fire three shots from week hand, move up to another square and do it again, and move to another square and do it again.
I got to the second square, and found that my cheap oversized ear muffs were interfering with my cheek weld with my stock, so that I couldn't see my carbine sights. This stage allowed no "make-up" shots for misses, and misses were 5 seconds apiece. The clock was ticking. I angrily knocked off the muffs so that they clattered to the ground, and fired...
"Cease fire! Cease fire!" yelled the range officer. I complied, and made the Colt M4 safe. I had gotten one shot off before he hollered. "No shooting without ear protection at this range."
"Am I DQ'd for this stage?" I asked.
"Yes. You can shoot the next stage, with ear protection. But you are disqualified from this stage," he said.
"Okay," I said. You don't argue with the range master. It's his range.
But I've got to admit, it seemed pretty danged silly to punish me so for failing to be muffed against the outdoor report from my suppressed carbine, which was so quiet that on the previous stage the timer hadn't heard my shots.
I'm going to start keeping cheapy yellow foam plugs in my carbine kit, from now on.