Terms and Definitions

General Terms
Firing Line
A boundary along the shooting range where shooters stand when firing guns (see diagram).     
Down Range
Any area toward the targets beyond the firing line of the shooting range.
A group of shooters who shoot stages together. After all the shooters in a posse have shot the scenario at one stage they move as a group the next one until they have visited all the main stages at a shoot.
An arrangements of targets and props designed to be shot in a particular sequence. There are several stages at a typical match. Each stage usually involves 3-4 different guns. The shooter is timed as he or she shoots the prescribed sequence of targets and the time for each stage is recorded as the shooter's score. Click here to see an illustration of some typical stages.
Main Stages
A shoot generally consists of 5-10 stages which represent the primary competition. Generally, all shooters compete in the main stages. The scores from the main stages determine who wins. There may be other stages or target arrangements using the same or different guns used in the main stages. These side competitions are called side matches.
Side Match
A side match is a competition apart from the main stages that a shooters enter at their choice. Some examples would be: 
   Speed pistol using just revolvers.
   Speed rifle using just a pistol caliber rifle
   Long range rifle pistol caliber
   Long range buffalo rifle, a single shot rifle (like a 45-70 caliber)
A "Shoot"
The entire event is referred to as "The Shoot." A shoot may be one day event or some special shoots may last 2 or more days. 
If you sweep a row of five targets, you would start on one end and shoot each target in sequence.
Nevada Sweep
Shooting a line of targets in sequence in one direction (i.e. left to right) and then moving back down the line in the opposite direction after shooting the last target without shooting any target twice in a row (double tapping). For example, the sequence in Nevada Sweeping a row of three targets with a revolver loaded with 5 rounds would be: 1-2-3-2-1

Gun Terms
The moving part of a gun. Long guns, like rifles and shotguns are to have their actions open unless staged on the firing line. This allows the chamber to viewed to verify that the gun is unloaded and there is not a round in the chamber.
 A round is one cartridge, or one shotgun shell.
The portion of the gun's barrel where a round is ready be fired. Revolvers usually have 6 chambers in a revolving cylinder that aligns each cylinder with the barrel before the round in that cylinder is to be fired.