Gun problems during a course of fire are not fun. Squibs, jams, broken parts and other ammo issues will cause any competitor to stress. This Question of the Month specifically talks about a situation with a confirmed squib, but also applies to any situation where the competitor’s firearm or ammunition has become unsafe and leads to the RO stopping the competitor.
A competitor has a squib on the first string of a multiple string stage and is stopped by the RO. The RO confirms the squib and after Range is Clear, the competitor goes to the safety area and removes the squib from the barrel. Does the competitor get to shoot the remaining strings?
This seems like a very simple question, but does cause confusion for some. There are two key rules to answer this question. The first rule is 5.7.7 (Competition and Multigun, 5.6.3 in SCSA) which addresses the RO stopping a competitor for an unsafe gun or ammo. Basically, if the problem is confirmed then the stage is scored as shot. If no problem, then it’s a reshoot. In this case, because it is a confirmed squib it is a scored as shot situation for the affected string.
But 5.7.7 says course of fire and not string in the Competition rules! Remember that we use the rulebook as a whole ruleset. See the rule right above, 5.7.6 (emphasis added by me): “Where the firearm has failed after the Start signal, the competitor must not be permitted to reshoot the course of fire or string. This includes the instance where a firearm is declared unserviceable or unsafe during a course of fire or string. However, any un-attempted component strings in a Standard Exercise may still be attempted by the affected competitor after the firearm has been repaired, and prior to when match results are declared final by the Match Director.” SCSA rules also say remaining strings can be shot, but as a sub-rule of 5.6.3. And usually the RM needs to confirm that the gun or ammo has been returned to a safe condition or replaced before the un-attempted strings are shot.
And remember that it isn’t an automatic reshoot for gun or ammo issues either. It only is a reshoot if the competitor is stopped by the RO and the problem is not confirmed. Squibs and other gun malfunctions usually are rare so most of the time the RO is flustered and forgets to record the time and scores which leads to a reshoot. If you are the RO, always record the time and score the targets, especially if it is a squib that has been confirmed on the line. Other gun or ammo malfunctions sometimes require the RM to investigate further before an definitive call is made. In that case always score the stage as shot because replacing the scores with a reshoot is easy to do.
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