We’ve got two major suggestions:
- Assign a “prop gun handler” that will deal with all the unloading/reloading/stowage/reloading/re-prepping tasks. Just having a designated handler will increase your “throughput” tremendously, and adds an extra layer of gun handling safety.
- Don’t rely on the shooter to understand how your prop gun operates. If possible, put an identical carbine in the safety area so shooters can get a chance to handle it at their own pace. If a staged back-up gun isn’t an option, encourage your prop gun handler to explain the gun to people between shooters/stages as time allows.
- Ready Table: When shooters arrive at the match, all the carbines get uncased and laid on one of two long benches along the wall. The carbines
- must point directly at the wall (which is bulletproof), and must have a chamber flag inserted.
- Dots On: When the carbine is uncased, the shooter activates any electronic sights they might have, and leaves them on for the duration of the match. According to Grob, this one thing is a HUGE time-saver, and has some real-world lessons as well.
- Ready Area: Once the shooters lay their carbines down, they carry the rest of their gear back uprange to some benches where their gear will remain for the duration. Doing this keeps the shooter from carrying their (big, awkward) gun case to the firing line and fishing around in it to find their magazines. When the shooter is called, they walk forward to the side table with a loaded magazine or two (only) stuck in their pockets. They pick up the carbine, point it skyward, and walk directly to the firing line – no muss, no fuss, no time wasted.