Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Skeet, Defective Ammunition

I was asked what the ruling should be in regard to a weak sounding shell in skeet.

Not visibly seeing the shot string fall short of the target and based on sound alone; if the shooter missed, lost; if the shooter hit the target, dead.

You will know it when you see it in regard to the shot string...

I know many refs to this day give bad ammo calls for off sounding shells based on sound alone, but just because it sounds weak, does not make it a bad shell.

But, everyone does not want to be the bad guy... It is up to the ref, and if he or she wishes to ignore the intent of the rule...

The NSSA & Shooting Community changed the rules on off sounding shells as the lone reason to declare bad ammo a number of years back, because of the number of so called bad ammo calls during a shoot, especially in the .410 and 28 gauge, where some shooters were shooting reloads that were pure junk and reshooting three or four targets each round.

From the 2008 NSSA Rule Book.

12. Defective Ammunition

a. Defective Ammunition will be defined as:

1) Failure to fire, provided firing pin indentation is clearly noticeable.

2) When a target is missed in the case of an odd sounding shell, which in the sole judgment of the field referee does not deliver the shot the distance to the target, and therefore does not give the shooter a fair opportunity to break the target.

NOTE: If a target is broken with an odd-sounding shell, it shall be scored dead regardless and will not be considered defective ammo. Odd-sounding shells where the shot does travel the distance to the bird and provide the shooter a fair chance to break the target will not be considered defective ammo and the results of those shots will be scored.

3) Brass pulling off hull between shots on doubles.

4) Separation of brass from casing when gun is fired (usually accompanied by a whistling sound as the plastic sleeve leaves the barrel).

b. Wrong sized shells or empty shells shall not be considered defective ammunition.

c. Repeated Targets - A target shall be repeated for each allowable instance of defective ammunition.

d. Number allowed - A shooter will be allowed only two instances of defective ammunition from the first box of shells used in that round. After two instances of defective ammunition in a round or a shoot-off round, a shooter may obtain a FACTORY box of ammunition and is then allowed two additional instances per box of FACTORY shells in that round. If shells are not changed in a round after two ammo malfunctions have been ruled, the third and all subsequent occurrences in that round will be excessive. EXCEPTION: If a shooter is provided a proof shell by the referee and defective ammunition is ruled on that proof shot, that instance will not count against the shooter as defective ammunition.

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As a side note.

I had a whistler (separation of brass from casing) this year at a registered shoot.

Missed the target and the ref called lost.

I opened the gun and saw the hull about a half inch above the the brass had separated. A clean break and the plastic above the break was missing.

I bought it to the attention of the ref and was told it was not defective ammo and the LOST call stood. This from someone who had been a ref for a number of years,

We all sometimes get confused on the rules but this person was not backing down on the call.

Fine...

I said your wrong, but I'm not going to argue, but I am protesting the call and wish to re-shoot the target. Just mark the score pad showing the protest. I was allowed to re-shoot and hit the target.

At the end of the day it was ruled the ref had made the wrong call.

I bring this up as there is know point in having a pitch battle over a call on the field.

Just protest the call and re-shoot the station. The chief ref can work out the details at the end of the day.

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