For this Question of the Month we posed a scoring question: The RO watches the shooter engage the target in the picture and sees the first shot travel through the mesh wall on the left, and the subsequent two shots clear the wall edge. The RO did not see where the first shot hit the target, nor is there evidence on the target to determine which shot went through the mesh. The target has three holes: one Alpha and two Charlie. How do you score the target?
This was an interesting question since the answer wasn’t specifically spelled out in the rules until March 4th when a new ruling was released, but that didn’t seem to change which answer was in the lead all month. The answer that earned the most votes was ‘Alpha, Charlie.’ But, is that correct?
The correct answer is actually ‘Order a reshoot.’ The rule that supports this answer is 188.8.131.52: If a bullet strikes wholly within hard cover and continues on to strike the scoring area of a cardboard target, that shot(s) will not count for score or penalty as the case may be. If it cannot be determined which hit(s) struck wholly within hard cover and subsequently struck another cardboard target, a reshoot shall be ordered.
The section I emphasized in italics is the additional text added by the March 4, 2021 ruling. Walls are hard cover by default and one shot traveled through the wall, but it was unclear as to which hit came from that shot through the wall. As a result, it’s a reshoot.
Usually, when we have shots that travel through an actual surface (e.g. wood, cardboard, barrel) before striking a target we can tell which hit doesn’t belong. Usually that hit either has a lighter grease ring, or if the hard cover was thick enough, the bullet hole may be misshaped. Most of the time the RO can make the call. But mesh walls, which do not provide any sort of interference along the path of the bullet, usually make it impossible to tell which hit came through the wall when scoring the target.
There are easy things that can be done during stage setup to help eliminate reshoots when using mesh walls. The most common solution is to add a strip of wood or cardboard (6-12 inches wide) along the wall edge (see more in this post). That way any early shots that hit the wall can be easily seen by the RO and more than likely, the target will be scorable. A little more work during setup will make the job of the ROs much easier and reduce the number of reshoots.
Make sure to vote in the next Question of the Month on the blog homepage.