In honor of February we decided to pose another Virginia Count based Question of the Month since we know that some of you love Virginia Count so much. Before we discuss how many penalties and for what, let’s review the scenario.
Stage info: 10 round, 50 point Virginia Count classifier course with 5 USPSA targets. The best 2 hits per target will score. The start position is standing within the fault lines, facing down range with hands relaxed at sides. Handgun is loaded and holstered.
Stage procedure: On the start signal, engage T1-T5 with only one round, make a mandatory reload and engage T1-T5 with only one round from within the fault lines.
What happened: Competitor engages T1 with two shots, T2 with two shots, and T3 with one shot. He then makes a reload, and engages T5 with one shot, T4 with one shot, and T3 with one shot. He then removes the magazine and reinserts it, and engages T4 with one shot and T5 with one shot.
When we asked how many procedural penalties were earned by the competitor, a majority of the votes were cast for two stacking penalties plus three penalties for failing to make the mandatory reload when required.
And yes, that is the correct answer and I will explain why. First, let’s talk about stacking. Stacked shots are covered by rule 220.127.116.11 and the definition in App. A3. Stacking is a penalty specific to Virginia Count because in these types of courses, there is a required number of shots on each target and specified procedures on when those shots occur. When a competitor stacks shots, an advantage is gained by eliminating a transition back to the target, such as after a reload.
In this scenario, the stage procedure called for engaging each target with only one round, then performing a mandatory reload, and engaging each target again with one more round. The competitor engaged both T1 and T2 with two rounds prior to the reload and never transitioned back to those targets again. As a result, the competitor saved two target transitions that would have occurred after the reload and earned two stacking penalties.
Now let’s talk about the three penalties for failing to make the mandatory reload when required. The stage procedure specifies that the mandatory reload occurs after each target has been engaged at least once. In this case, the competitor didn’t reach the point of the mandatory reload until T4 was engaged the first time. The reload that was made, occurred two shots early and didn’t count as the mandatory reload because it was done at the wrong time. And dropping a magazine and re-inserting the same magazine is not a reload (see the definition of ‘Reloading’ in App. A3).
After engaging T4 the first time, the competitor takes three more shots (T3, T4, and T5). This earns him three penalties for failing to make the mandatory reload per 10.2.4. Failing to make the reload when required is a per shot penalty until the reload is completed. In this case, the competitor finished the course of fire and did not perform a proper reload before finishing.
It is great that the correct answer was the winner this month. That means that these posts are working. Remember to visit the blog homepage and vote in the current Question of the Month.