Squibs are serious. We teach Range Officers to “Say STOP when you hear a POP!” And once the competitor is stopped and the squib is confirmed, then comes the task of scoring the stage as shot which was the focus of this Question of the Month.
During a stage, a competitor fires his first round at a target and the RO hears a pop. The RO stops the competitor for a suspected squib and it is confirmed that a bullet is lodged in the barrel. When the RO scores the stage, that target is scored as two misses. Should a Failure To Shoot At penalty also be applied?
We are used to seeing an 80/20 split of the answers, but usually when we have results like these, the 80% answer is correct. However, this month only 20% of you were correct. What? Have you lost your mind?
Let me walk you through the reasoning. First, let’s look at the FTSA rule, 10.2.7: A competitor who fails to shoot at any scoring target with at least one round will incur one procedural penalty per target, plus the applicable number of misses, except where the provisions of Rules 220.127.116.11 or 9.9.2 apply.
In this case, we are not dealing with Fixed Time scoring (18.104.22.168) nor disappearing targets (9.9.2). We are just dealing with your normal target and when the competitor fired their first round at the target, that round ended up being a squib. So, did the competitor shoot at the target with at least one round?
If we look in Appendix A3, a ‘Shot’ is defined as: A bullet which passes completely through the barrel of a firearm. Since that shot was a squib, which didn’t leave the barrel, that target was never shot at. Which means that the target is scored as two misses and a FTSA.
Now, some of you are probably saying that this is overly harsh, or that it usually doesn’t matter since squib stage scores are zero. But what if the squib happened on the last target of the stage? The extra penalty might make a big difference in that situation.
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