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Grease ring or no score?


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1 hour ago, BiknSwans said:

There should be no confusion.  It's a hit.  IVC's post explains it very well.

 

See the September/October 2019 article in Front Sight.  Here is part of that article:

 

Barrel hits
 
USPSA September/October 2019
 
9.5.5: The Misunderstood Rule
 
The second issue is how do I score barrel strikes.  At my last class I was informed any hit that was either elongated or had no grease ring or crown at their local club was scored as a mike.  I was also informed barrels were not repaired between shooters or matches and were shot up pretty good.  One class member was told if a bullet skipped off a barrel it was a miss even if it was not enlarged.  Hmmm.
 
So, here are two issues to resolve.  First, if you are using barrels as a hard cover props - and I strongly encourage their use only as hard cover - the need to be maintained.  Personally, I paint any hits between shooters and use duct tape between squads.  Otherwise, you as the RO are just guessing whether it was a full-bullet diameter shot into and then out of the barrel, it is scored as if the barrel was not there.  See 9.1.6.3.
 
Finally, the goal of this discussion is to make it clear that 9.5.5 is not an all-purpose rule.  It was written specifically to prevent splatter and ricochets from being improperly scored as hits.  It was not written to deal with elongated hits.  My general rule is if I would not have liked being struck by what went through the target, it should be scored appropriately.

 

My statement that Rule 9.5.5 is clear and stands alone is not contradicted by the article you have referenced. 9.5.5 simply and clearly states a hole that exceeds the competitor’s bullet diameter should not be scored as a hit unless there is some evidence (examples given) that the bullet made the hole. Logic like "that bullet only partially hit that surface, so the hole behind MUST be from the bullet" are not supported by the rules as currently written. 9.5.5 also implies by its wording that a ricochet is not to be scored, which is a position confirmed in the article (text highlighted in red).

 

The word "ricochet" is not defined in the USPSA rules glossary, but Merriam-Websters dictionary defines it thus:
 

Ricochet
- a glancing rebound (as of a projectile off a flat surface)
the ricochet of the bullet off the wall
- an object that ricochets
He was hit by a ricochet.

 

If something ricochets off a hard range surface (ground, wall, barrel, whatever) it is, by this definition, a "ricochet" and - per rule 9.5.5 and the above article - should not be scored unless the RO has evidence that allows him to use an overlay to score the hit.

 

IMHO, the application of the "partial diameter vs. full diameter" criterion should be limited to readily penetrable hard cover - designated hard cover areas on a target or the scoring area of an intervening cardboard target. Applying it to surfaces that are not easily penetrated and thus likely to deflect the bullet (steel edged hard cover, wood borders, barrels etc.) leaves too much to the ROs interpretation, and is why 9.5.5 should be invoked.

 

To be clear, my argument applies to the specific example raised by @Balakay regarding larger-than-caliber holes. The OP references a hole that does NOT exceed caliber, and so 9.5.5 does not apply. Others have made this point already.

 

ETA: The statement by that article's author that "...My general rule is if I would not have liked being struck by what went through the target, it should be scored appropriately" is dumb. There are lots of things that fly around the range I don't want to be hit by, and what does "appropriately" even mean? If the NROI brain trust are going to write "clarification" articles, they should avoid cutesy comments like this that do nothing but muddy the waters further.

 

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11 minutes ago, StealthyBlagga said:

 

My statement that Rule 9.5.5 is clear and stands alone is not contradicted by the article you have referenced. 9.5.5 simply and clearly states a hole that exceeds the competitor’s bullet diameter should not be scored as a hit unless there is some evidence (examples given) that the bullet made the hole. Logic like "that bullet only partially hit that surface, so the hole behind MUST be from the bullet" are not supported by the rules as currently written. It also implies by its wording that a ricochet is not to be scored, which is a position confirmed in the article (text highlighted in red).

 

The word "ricochet" is not defined in the USPSA rules glossary, but Merriam-Websters dictionary defines it thus:
 

Ricochet
- a glancing rebound (as of a projectile off a flat surface)
the ricochet of the bullet off the wall
- an object that ricochets
He was hit by a ricochet.

 

If something ricochets off a hard range surface (ground, wall, barrel, whatever) it is, by this definition, a "ricochet" and - per rule 9.5.5 and the above article - should not be scored unless the RO has evidence that allows him to use an overlay to score the hit.

 

IMHO, the application of the "partial diameter vs. full diameter" criterion should be limited to readily penetrable hard cover - designated hard cover areas on a target or the scoring area of an intervening cardboard target. Applying it to surfaces that are not easily penetrated and thus likely to deflect the bullet (steel edged hard cover, wood borders, barrels etc.) leaves too much to the ROs interpretation, and is why 9.5.5 should be invoked.

 

To be clear, my argument applies to the specific example raised by @Balakay regarding larger-than-caliber holes. The OP references a hole that does NOT exceed caliber, and so 9.5.5 does not apply. Others have made this point already.

 

ETA: The statement by the article's author that "...My general rule is if I would not have liked being struck by what went through the target, it should be scored appropriately" is dumb. There are lots of things that fly around the range I don't want to be hit by, and what does "appropriately" even mean? If the NROI brain trust are going to write "clarification" articles, they should avoid cutesy comments like this that do nothing but muddy the waters further.

 

 

 

Here is the problem with your interpretation.  Imagine a target that is fairly close to the shooter, as in a yard or so, and is a headshot only and set so that a ricochet is impossible.  Now imagine that the target has been shot all to hell by the end of the day and a shooter puts 2 rounds in the head.  One is a clear bullet hole, the other tore off a blob of tape so that there is no grease ring, or profile, but NOTHING other than the bullet could have made the enlarged hole.   Clearly 2 bullets made the holes, but with you interpretation the shooter would get one hit and one miss.  This is why grease ring and profile are examples and not limited to ways of determining if a bullet caused the hole, general reasoning is also a way to determine what made the hole.  

 

And I know the target should have been changed, blah, blah, blah.  But what should be and what is, is many times 2 different things

 

 

Unless i am misunderstanding what you are saying

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7 minutes ago, RJH said:

 

 

Here is the problem with your interpretation.  Imagine a target that is fairly close to the shooter, as in a yard or so, and is a headshot only and set so that a ricochet is impossible.  Now imagine that the target has been shot all to hell by the end of the day and a shooter puts 2 rounds in the head.  One is a clear bullet hole, the other tore off a blob of tape so that there is no grease ring, or profile, but NOTHING other than the bullet could have made the enlarged hole.   Clearly 2 bullets made the holes, but with you interpretation the shooter would get one hit and one miss.  This is why grease ring and profile are examples and not limited to ways of determining if a bullet caused the hole, general reasoning is also a way to determine what made the hole.  

 

And I know the target should have been changed, blah, blah, blah.  But what should be and what is, is many times 2 different things

 

 

Unless i am misunderstanding what you are saying

 

Yeah, you are misunderstanding what I am saying. In that example, the RO should declare REF, replace the target and reshoot the competitor. In the absence of a crown/grease ring or similar partial radius, the hit cannot be accurately scored.

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4 hours ago, StealthyBlagga said:

If something ricochets off a hard range surface (ground, wall, barrel, whatever) it is, by this definition, a "ricochet" and - per rule 9.5.5 and the above article - should not be scored unless the RO has evidence that allows him to use an overlay to score the hit.

Since there is no definition of "ricochet" in the rules, we have to go off of what would normally be understood to be a non-scoring ricochet - a bullet on a different target, going through it, hitting a rock behind and deflecting into completely unrelated target; or, bullet hitting a metal target, disintegrating and fragments hitting another target. 

 

A bullet that is deflected by a barrel is not a ricochet any more than a bullet deflected by a no-shoot paper target is a ricochet. In both cases the path of the bullet is affected, even if very slightly, and in both cases the bullet can tumble when hitting the final target. In fact, there is nothing that prevents any tumbling bullet from scoring. A bullet that is deflected by a barrel and hits the target is just that - a bullet that hit the target. As such, it counts for score or penalty based on what it hit (both on the target and on the hard cover). (Side issue: 10.4.2.2 talks about deflection in terms of DQ; hitting a prop and continuing downrange is considered a deflection, not ricochet.)

 

Are you saying that the hole in the OP was made by another bullet from another target? 

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7 minutes ago, IVC said:

Since there is no definition of "ricochet" in the rules, we have to go off of what would normally be understood to be a non-scoring ricochet - a bullet on a different target, going through it, hitting a rock behind and deflecting into completely unrelated target; or, bullet hitting a metal target, disintegrating and fragments hitting another target. 

 

A bullet that is deflected by a barrel is not a ricochet any more than a bullet deflected by a no-shoot paper target is a ricochet. In both cases the path of the bullet is affected, even if very slightly, and in both cases the bullet can tumble when hitting the final target. In fact, there is nothing that prevents any tumbling bullet from scoring. A bullet that is deflected by a barrel and hits the target is just that - a bullet that hit the target. As such, it counts for score or penalty based on what it hit (both on the target and on the hard cover). (Side issue: 10.4.2.2 talks about deflection in terms of DQ; hitting a prop and continuing downrange is considered a deflection, not ricochet.)

 

Are you saying that the hole in the OP was made by another bullet from another target? 

 

Neither "ricochet" nor "deflection"are defined in the USPSA rules glossary. Instead I defer to Meriam-Websters:

 

Deflection: turning aside or off course

Ricochet: a glancing rebound (as of a projectile off a flat surface), an object that ricochets

 

Of the two words, only "ricochet" is used in the context of scoring policy (9.5.5. ricochets don't count for score). Nonetheless, if we follow your logic that the distinction is meaningful, I'd contend the following:

  • A deflection implies a less extreme change of direction. The projectile changes direction slightly but remains intact and so we expect it to leave a crown/grease ring/arc on the target and thus be scoreable using an overlay.
  • A ricochet implies a more extreme change of direction. The projectile changes direction significantly and in doing so becomes so deformed or fragmented that it does not leave a crown/grease ring/arc that can be scored using an overlay.

In practice the distinction is made by the RO based on the nature of the hole in the target; a deflection (your choice of words, not mine) has a crown/grease ring/arc and thus can be scored, whereas a ricochet presents as a larger-than-caliber hole without any crown/grease ring/arc visible.

 

Regarding your last question, as I made clear above, 9.5.5 only comes into play when the hole is larger-than-caliber, so would NOT apply in the scenario described in the OP.

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24 minutes ago, Alleycatdad said:

Minor clarification:  The hit in question in the original post was a perfect, full-diameter hit, sans grease ring.

 

SA

 

Understood. As discussed above, I was addressing the tangential question about a larger-than-caliber hole.

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21 minutes ago, StealthyBlagga said:

In practice the distinction is made by the RO based on the nature of the hole in the target; a deflection (your choice of words, not mine) has a crown/grease ring/arc and thus can be scored, whereas a ricochet presents as a larger-than-caliber hole without any crown/grease ring/arc visible.

This is not true - read rules 9.1.5.3, 9.1.5.4, 9.1.6.1, 9.1.6.2, 9.1.6.3, 9.1.6.4, etc. 

 

Rule 9.1.6.3 is very clear about what happens when a bullet hits hard cover: "If a bullet strikes partially within hard cover and continues on to strike the scoring area of a cardboard target, the hit on that cardboard target will count for score or penalty, as the case may be." It is very clear that a bullet can "continue on to strike..." and it's not a ricochet, even if it gets deflected, alters its path or tumbles. As long as it's the same bullet it counts.

 

It has nothing to do with rule 9.5.5 which deals with determining whether a hole was made by the bullet fired at the target, or something that came from somewhere else. If it's the bullet that was fired at the target, the scoring is controlled by the above rules in section 9.1. If it's something else, such as ricochet or splatter (from another target), then it doesn't count. 

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regarding larger holes from bullets that apparently hit something else, what I'm looking for is a) evidence that it was not a full diameter hit in whatever hardcover the bullet hit, and b ) something to make me believe it was a bullet (or parts of a bullet), rather than fragments of a 2x4 or barrel that caused the hole. Most times, that is not all that difficult to figure out, but sometimes jacketed bullets come apart. If i see an obvious deflection/scrape on an otherwise intact barrel, and big weird hole in the target, it seems pretty certain that the jacket came apart and not that a piece of plastic came off the barrel, so it's likely going to be scored a hit. If you get a partial hit metal that's in front of paper (popper in front of no-shoot, or metal no-shoot in front of paper target), you can get all sorts of mayhem on the paper target behind, but if the hit on the steel target is not full-diameter, it's almost certainly going to be a valid hit on the paper target too, whether no-shoot or scoring target.

 

In general, almost all issues of this sort can be handled by being consistent in painting/taping your range props so you know what kind of hardcover hole you are dealing with. In a dozen national and area matches, I've looked at countless of these situations with some of the most experienced RM's in the business, and 99.5% of them were fairly easily resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Where it gets dodgy is when the props aren't being maintained, or when people start making s#!t up. I recommend avoiding either of those two pitfalls.

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7 hours ago, StealthyBlagga said:

 

My statement that Rule 9.5.5 is clear and stands alone is not contradicted by the article you have referenced. 9.5.5 simply and clearly states a hole that exceeds the competitor’s bullet diameter should not be scored as a hit unless there is some evidence (examples given) that the bullet made the hole. Logic like "that bullet only partially hit that surface, so the hole behind MUST be from the bullet" are not supported by the rules as currently written.

 

I understand your argument but both physics and actual practice seem to lead to a different conclusion at the matches I've worked.

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31 minutes ago, motosapiens said:

If you get a partial hit metal that's in front of paper (popper in front of no-shoot, or metal no-shoot in front of paper target), you can get all sorts of mayhem on the paper target behind,...

We had at least once or twice a situation where the steel was angled such that there was a "spray zone" - if you stood in one place to watch the stage, you'd get all sorts of flying jackets  and splatter. It was even labeled as "splatter zone, don't stand here." The sign worked well for those who could read... the rest of us got pelted first, then realized there was a sign trying to tell us something. 

 

The point is that both metal targets and some rocky backstops can generate a lot of flying debris. We have all pulled out small pieces of jackets out of our skin...

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3 hours ago, StealthyBlagga said:

 

Understood. As discussed above, I was addressing the tangential question about a larger-than-caliber hole.

When the target is shoot from an angle, the resultant hole can be elongated. Would this count as a larger than caliber?  

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I shoot both idpa and uspsa with regularity and often chat with people who've never shot the other one. When they invariably ask me to compare and contrast them I say some version of this almost every time, "In IDPA most arguments and irritation are about something during the shooting of a stage, in USPSA the arguing is usually about scoring targets."

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1 hour ago, rowdyb said:

I shoot both idpa and uspsa with regularity

 

I would be 100% USPSA, but IDPA is what the two closest clubs shoot so I do both also.

 

I wish IDPA would do something about reloading rules, wasting perfectly good bullets into a berm so you can reload the fast way makes me crazy. 

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12 hours ago, pjb45 said:

When the target is shoot from an angle, the resultant hole can be elongated. Would this count as a larger than caliber?  

 

4 hours ago, IHAVEGAS said:

 

No.

 

Agreed. The larger-than-caliber distinction is clearly only intended to address holes that do not contain a scoreable arc, which calls into question whether the hole was caused by an intact bullet vs. secondary debris. An elongated bullet hole is easy to score (assuming it penetrates the target of course).

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12 hours ago, motosapiens said:

I understand your argument but both physics and actual practice seem to lead to a different conclusion at the matches I've worked.

 

I hear you, but I have two concerns:

 

1) Knowing with certainty that a larger-than-caliber hole was caused by a relatively intact bullet,  which presumably we can all agree should score, as opposed to a spray of fragments or a secondary missile (like a piece of wood), which presumably we can all agree should not count.

2) Being able to accurately score a larger-than-caliber hole that spans a scoring line.

 

The "crown/grease ring" test is an objective way for the RO to resolve both questions, and has served me well over the years. If folks want to advocate for a different standard, it is beholden on them to explain how their approach addresses the two concerns above with reasonable certainty.

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10 minutes ago, StealthyBlagga said:

 

I hear you, but I have two concerns:

 

1) Knowing with certainty that a larger-than-caliber hole was caused by a relatively intact bullet,  which presumably we can all agree should score, as opposed to a spray of fragments or a secondary missile (like a piece of wood), which presumably we can all agree should not count.

2) Being able to accurately score a larger-than-caliber hole that spans a scoring line.

 

The "crown/grease ring" test is an objective way for the RO to resolve both questions, and has served me well over the years. If folks want to advocate for a different standard, it is beholden on them to explain how their approach addresses the two concerns above with reasonable certainty.

I have posted before about a shooter at a local afew years ago who had tumbling bullets so so bad that the targets looked like a rock was thrown through them. No grease, no round hole nothing. I stood behind him and watched the rounds go from gun direct to target. An RO tried to call them mikes based on the grease ring rule. I pointed out, when asked, that there was noting but air between the gun and target and it was impossible to be a mike.

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1 minute ago, Sarge said:

I have posted before about a shooter at a local afew years ago who had tumbling bullets so so bad that the targets looked like a rock was thrown through them. No grease, no round hole nothing. I stood behind him and watched the rounds go from gun direct to target. An RO tried to call them mikes based on the grease ring rule. I pointed out, when asked, that there was noting but air between the gun and target and it was impossible to be a mike.

 

One can always speculate about way-out-in-left-field situations, but the RO should not ignore the rules as written to accommodate them. I would resolve your scenario by invoking one or both of the following rules:

 

5.5.5 Any ammunition deemed unsafe by a Range Officer must be immediately withdrawn from the match.

5.5.6 Ammunition must not discharge more than one bullet or other scoring projectile from a single round. :roflol:

 

 

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9 minutes ago, StealthyBlagga said:

 

One can always speculate about way-out-in-left-field situations, but the RO should not ignore the rules as written to accommodate them. I would resolve your scenario by invoking one or both of the following rules:

 

5.5.5 Any ammunition deemed unsafe by a Range Officer must be immediately withdrawn from the match.

5.5.6 Ammunition must not discharge more than one bullet or other scoring projectile from a single round. :roflol:

 

 

maybe. but it was one ragged hole. and it didn't give the gun or shooter any problems. Just the RO's. Found out later he was roll crimping 9mm with a 38 spl die. LOL

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50 minutes ago, StealthyBlagga said:

The "crown/grease ring" test is an objective way for the RO to resolve both questions, and has served me well over the years.

Your intent is good, but if we are going into minutiae, it is not an objective test. 

 

If it was an objective test, the rules would specify it as the method for determining score. The rule book doesn't. It's only mentioned as an example. Using it as the definitive factor is neither objective nor consistent with the rules. As an RO you have to determine whether it was the bullet fired at the target that caused the hole, even if the bullet hit a barrel or some other stage prop and continued to strike the target. 

 

There is still the unanswered question of whether you believe that a bullet deflected off of a partial hit on a barrel should count. This is regardless of how you (or I) determine whether it was the bullet that perforated the target or something else. So, does a partial hit on a barrel with significant deflection, in your opinion, count for score on the target(s) down-range? 

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47 minutes ago, IVC said:

So, does a partial hit on a barrel with significant deflection, in your opinion, count for score on the target(s) down-range? 

 

A different way to consider the question.

 

If a target is pulled due to a scoring question, does the person making the final call on the target need to look at anything besides the target? 

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Yes they should look at other things such as, did the bullet hit anything on the way to the target? If yes what was it and more importantly was it a full diameter hit on the object it hit on the way to the target. If it is a partial the hole scores. A deflection off a barrel causes a hole. That hole scores period. Enlarged, oblong, round, and even without a crown or grease. Nothing else caused the hole but the bullet. A barrel doesnt cause it to break apart into fragments. Shooter got lucky. Next time maybe not so much.

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5 hours ago, StealthyBlagga said:

 

One can always speculate about way-out-in-left-field situations, but the RO should not ignore the rules as written to accommodate them. I would resolve your scenario by invoking one or both of the following rules:

 

5.5.5 Any ammunition deemed unsafe by a Range Officer must be immediately withdrawn from the match.

5.5.6 Ammunition must not discharge more than one bullet or other scoring projectile from a single round. :roflol:

 

 

 

How is the ammunition unsafe and be able to defend that to RM or arb committee?
Could you prove there was more than one projectile per cartridge?
 

You seem set on defending what several here find to be an incorrect premise.

 

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