In the rulebooks, there are lists of ammunition types that are not allowed in USPSA and SCSA matches mainly for safety reasons and to also reduce wear and tear on steel targets. But what is the penalty for using prohibited ammo? Let’s look at the results of the October Question of the Month and find out!
During a major match, ammo for chrono was collected on the first stage of the day and as chrono is pulling and weighing bullets they discover a competitor is using steel core bullets. The RM is notified and finds the competitor during his attempt on a stage with poppers. The RM stops the competitor mid-stage. After the RO clears the range, how is the stage scored?
First, let’s talk about the ammo types that are prohibited. For all USPSA and SCSA matches, metal piercing, steel core, incendiary and/or tracer ammunition, and steel-jacketed projectiles are prohibited. Steel case ammunition is allowed, provided the projectile does not stick to a magnet. In multigun and shotgun matches, steel and/or tungsten shot or slugs also may not be used. How can you check to see if your ammo is steel core or steel jacketed? Like mentioned above, use a magnet. If it sticks, leave that ammo at home.
But let’s say you forget to check or it is the only ammo you have and decide to use it anyway, what happens if you are caught using it like the competitor in the question? Let’s look at rule 10.5.15 from the USPSA Competition rules under the DQ section for unsafe gun handling: Using metal piercing, steel-core, incendiary, and/or tracer ammunition, as well as ammunition loaded with steel-jacketed projectiles (see Rule 5.5.3), and/or using any ammunition which has been deemed unsafe by a Range Official. (See rule 5.5.5).
The key part of the rule for this question is the the part I put in italics. If you use it, it is a DQ for unsafe gun handling so the majority got it correct this month. The second most popular answer was a reshoot after the ammo was replaced. I can see why the confusion exists for that answer. But there is an exception for ammo that is not prohibited and has been declared unsafe (e.g., multiple squibs) in rule 10.5.15.1. That rule basically says legal ammo that has been declared unsafe is not a DQ, unless the competitor continues to use it. So, if the ammo used is on the prohibited list, it’s a DQ. If it’s legal ammo that has been declared unsafe, it is only a DQ if it keeps being used.
Remember to cast your vote in the current Question of the Month.
If you have questions about this post, please ask via the blog Contact Form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.