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I had a scenario come up recently at a match that runs under the 3 Gun Nation rule set.

Shooting a course of fire with some shotgun clays mixed in. One of the shots hits the stand for the clay and it drops off onto the ground. After the course of fire is complete, the RO goes up and picks the clay up off of the ground, inspects the clay, and declares that it was not hit (it did not have any holes in it) and assessed the penalty for it.

I am ok with the ruling for this match as it was apparently consistently ruled that way throughout the match. I would however like to know everyone's thoughts on the ruling as I am of the mind that any target that is knocked off of its stand has been neutralized, and that shooting the target on the ground (as was suggested by the RO and MD) is not a good shooting practice.

Thanks!

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I've seen this happen at almost every match I've been to. The RO's that take their job seriously will always give a penalty for an unbroken clay. The RO's that are less serious at smaller local matches (and also tend not to be shooting in the match) will give a penalty to the shooters that are in it to win it, while not even looking at the clay and not giving a penalty for the older shooters who just completed the 30 second stage in just under 3 minutes. Not saying that's right, but it seems quite common.

ETA: all the rules I can remember reading support the penalty for an unbroken clay.

Edited by TonytheTiger

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I'd shoot it on the ground if I was otherwise going to receive a penalty.

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I think there was an extended FB thread on this exact topic. IIRC, the main point of contention was whether or not the clay falling without being hit by a pellet (and not breaking) constituted a range equipment failure or not.

If you interepret it as a range equipment failure, shooter gets a re-shoot. (I think?)

If it's not an equipment failure, then it should be a penalty, by my reading of the rules.

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3GN Rules: 9.1.8 HITS CLAYS: Also, if a clay target falls from the stand while being engaged but does not break, the competitor will get score/credit for the target in question with no penalty assessed. (eg.. stand is struck)

11.2 Range Equipment Failure: If a target falls or fails without being engaged, (e.g. wind action) after the start signal, the range officer shall stop the competitor as soon as possible. The competitor will then be required to re-shoot the course of fire once it has been reset.

Looks pretty clear to me, if the stand is struck and clay falls, no REF or penalty, if the wind blows down clay its a REF and mandatory reshoot.

I've seen this happen at almost every match I've been to. The RO's that take their job seriously will always give a penalty for an unbroken clay. The RO's that are less serious at smaller local matches (and also tend not to be shooting in the match) will give a penalty to the shooters that are in it to win it, while not even looking at the clay and not giving a penalty for the older shooters who just completed the 30 second stage in just under 3 minutes. Not saying that's right, but it seems quite common.

ETA: all the rules I can remember reading support the penalty for an unbroken clay.

I take ROing seriously but my job is to enforce the rules in effect at the match I'm working. Many matches are not penalizing for clays that fall if the stand is struck including USPSA Multigun Matches. If you see ROs calling hits inconsistently as you stated above have a chat with the MD so he can correct the situation.

USPSA MG Rules:

9.4.26 Frangible targets must break with a visible piece missing or separated from the original target to be counted for score. A fixed frangible target that falls from a hit on its holder will be considered a hit.

Doug

Edited by Doug H.

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I shoot one match that has a rule of not engaging clays that have fallen and not broke. I believe it is a range rule and not the rule set of the match because they use FNH rules.

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Some may fault me for this, but this is why I always hold at the bottom of clays on this type of stand. If you shoot a little high, it is a clean miss and you have to go back for the target. If you miss a little low, the target is likely going to fall off the stand and give you the points as if you hit it. So I cheat to the low side on my hold, and very rarely have to go back for a clay.

I like that Doug has a strong enough moral perspective of black and white to score the 80yo who took 3 minutes on the stage the same as the high roller going for the end of the prize table with guns on it. Speaks very strongly of his integrity, and I always enjoy ROing under him at matches :)

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I've never heard of a match requiring someone to shoot a clay on the ground after it fell. Closest I've seen is burning a round to avoid an FTE on an aerial clay you didn't get a shot off on, usually due to a malfunction, either equipment or mental. I would never recommend a shooter start shooting into the ground at a target that isn't in it's original position. I do my best to bulletproof stages, but I can't always bulletproof every location a target may randomly end up. For all I know there's a slab of rock under there that will cause shot to go all over the dang place. No thanks. If you have any specific examples of a match that does require that, let me know so I can avoid them.

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I got dinged for this recently........the clay fell and I couldn't tell if it broke or not so I went on. I didn't know the rules as it was my 3rd match but it makes more sense to call it a hit if it falls....otherwise there will always be room for error.

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Our local rules are if it falls off by a shot, it is a hit, if it falls by the wind,etc. burn a round over it or it will be considered a miss. With the Texas wind there would be too many range malfunctions and reshoots if you got one every time a clay fell off during the stage.

gerritm

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Our local rules are if it falls off by a shot, it is a hit, if it falls by the wind,etc. burn a round over it or it will be considered a miss. With the Texas wind there would be too many range malfunctions and reshoots if you got one every time a clay fell off during the stage.

gerritm

Those always seemed to happen for other people, never for me... :roflol:

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I wrote multigun rules for my home club and the result for frangibles is pretty much the same as the USPSA MG rule Doug quoted above. I'd rather my ROs watch the shooter's gun handling than try to see if a fired shot hit the stand, the target, or nothing at all...and we don't have enough time at our matches to do REF reshoots (limited shooting hours, alas).

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