Desert Midwinter 2013, Day 2 of 4

If the bullet – not the hole but “the bullet” – touches an inner line, the shooter gets the better score.

Because paper is somewhat flexible, it stretches when the bullet passes through and then shrinks back. The resulting hole is, because of this slight elasticity, slightly smaller than the bullet. Hence, the rule described above.

After everyone shoots, your neighbor scores your target. You then inspect the target to see if you agree with the scoring and, if not, you can talk it over and, if you still can’t reach agreement, either the shooter or the scorer can ask for a plug. Shooter and scorer look again to see if they can then agree.

The “plug” is a small metal cylinder the same diameter as the bullet. It fits snugly into the hole and some come with a small plastic lens to help in the determination.

Here’s the rule again: if the aluminum part of the plug touches the inner line, the shooter gets the better score.

How would you score this one? (Click for a huge image)

(At the bottom of this post, I’ll tell you how this was decided.)

But some shots are incredibly close and, even with the plug, the shooter and the scorer still may not agree.

For a buck, the shooter can then “challenge” the score. A jury of three experts – typically High Masters – are assigned and they make the final determination. If the jury decides in the shooter’s favor, the dollar is returned. If not, the buck is gone.

There is no higher court.

Today we had one challenge. (Not this target.) The challenge was decided in the shooter’s favor so he got his dollar back.

Challenges are always exciting. It comes down to eyesight, lighting, condition of the paper and hole and a dozen other factors.

The interesting part is that Bullseye shooters are normally a very agreeable bunch. For example, if someone arrives late and they’ve missed shooting their first target, in most ranges they can ask, “Okay if I just shoot 20 shots on the next one and you divvy them up for the two targets?” The answer is almost always, “Sure. Be glad to.”

And if there’s a big ragged hole in the center of the target that was obviously punched out by three or more bullets but the scorer can otherwise find only nine holes in a ten shot target, the rules state that the benefit of the doubt should be given to the shooter and it should be assumed that the missing shot passed through the big hole without leaving any record of its passage.

That’s the rule.

But Bullseye shooters are also sticklers for the letter of the rules. We all know they bite both ways and either you have a rule and you always follow it, or if you’re gonna adhere to a rule sometimes but ignore it others, then you might as well not have that rule.

Either it’s a rule, or it’s not.

For the above target, yes, it was scored as an “X” because the edge of the aluminum plug does come into contact with the white circle around the “X” ring.

We had about 65 shooters today in two relays for the 22 caliber 900. And a total of nine four-person teams competed in 22 and center fire team events after lunch.

Temperatures were cool but the sun was “full on” all day. In spite of the covered firing points, my face is a bit on the pink side from the time we spent down at the targets.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the center fire 900, two relays again, and then after lunch will be the team 45 competition and EIC match. (I think there’s a service pistol team competition also – better take enough for that as well.)

It promises to be another full day.

See you on the line!

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