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Two bullets, one hole


njl
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This isn't necessarily a match screw-up, but I wasn't sure where else to post it.  

 

I seriously doubt I'm the only one who, especially on close targets, will occasionally literally put two shots through the same hole.  I've done it numerous times in practice, at least once at a GSSF match (5yd 5-to-Glock target) and most recently in an IDPA match.  

 

At the GSSF match, I had nice tight groups (really tight on the 5yd target), and when the targets were scored, each target should have had 6 holes.  The 5yd one only had 5.  None was clearly a double (mostly, but not perfectly overlapping hits), but the SO gave me the benefit of the doubt based on the group sizes, and assumed (correctly, IMO) that one of those 5 holes was a double.

 

Same sort of thing happened at a recent local IDPA match.  The stage began with 3 targets at about 3yds, each requiring 2 hits.  I double-tapped each and moved on.  When scored, one of those close targets only had 1 hole.  There was no doubt that I'd fully engaged it (firing 2 shots per target), but no clear sign that both shots hit it.  I know I didn't miss, but I was credited for a miss.  At a local match, this is fairly meaningless, though it actually bugs me more now than it did at the time.  At a higher tier match, it could matter.

 

I shoot iron sights, and I think my eyes are getting slower at changing focus.  I generally find that while I'm shooting a stage, I can't see my bullet holes in targets, so slowing down enough to detect the rare occasion of "2 in one hole" is not really practical.  Short of that, are there any tips for avoiding this?  I don't see why it would, but could bullet profile have any impact on the likelihood of a second bullet passing through an existing hole without leaving any additional signs?  At the moment, I'm shooting round nose coated (no lube groove) bullets.

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"Shooting a TOUCH faster" always increases my group sizes and reduces the incidents of "doubles"....   😇

 

Bullet type can definitely affect the appearance (and thereby the SCORING) of bullet holes.  Semi-wadcutters and Wadcutters make a beautiful clean nearly-full-diameter hole which is pretty easy to score.  An FMJ round nose leaves nothing but a smudge mark that we're basing scoring calls on.  Scoring "Plugs" work relatively accurately on those holes, but the clear template kind like USPSA uses are not quite as accurate, IMHO.

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4 hours ago, GrumpyOne said:

If you are good enough to shoot perfect doubles, it should be no problem for you to space them out a little bit.

 

I didn't say I was good enough to shoot perfect doubles, but I am generally accurate enough, especially at very close range (5yds and in), that it does happen from time to time.  Sort of a combination of skill + luck, though in a match, perhaps bad luck.

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NJL,

Im sure you are positive you hit the target with both shots and they just “happened” to go through the exact same hole. But, if the ROs were unable to positively identify that one of your holes actually contained a double, then you should have been given a miss in all cases you mentioned above. In the match where they credited you with a scoring hit, they actually cheated everyone else in the match by giving you points you didn’t earn. There are quite a few missing holes on targets at matches where competitors are “positive” they hit the target. It’s happened to me a few times as well. 
 

As was mentioned already, the only correct scoring of a perfect double is Alpha-Mike. 

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8 hours ago, njl said:

 

I didn't say I was good enough to shoot perfect doubles, but I am generally accurate enough, especially at very close range (5yds and in), that it does happen from time to time.  Sort of a combination of skill + luck, though in a match, perhaps bad luck.


Get yourself a set of scoring overlays and when this happens in practice, study the holes and teach yourself how to identify a double from a single. If you can’t identify that the hole is a double, then you have also missed the target in practice as well. 

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55 minutes ago, Cuz said:

NJL,

Im sure you are positive you hit the target with both shots and they just “happened” to go through the exact same hole. But, if the ROs were unable to positively identify that one of your holes actually contained a double, then you should have been given a miss in all cases you mentioned above. In the match where they credited you with a scoring hit, they actually cheated everyone else in the match by giving you points you didn’t earn. There are quite a few missing holes on targets at matches where competitors are “positive” they hit the target. It’s happened to me a few times as well. 
 

As was mentioned already, the only correct scoring of a perfect double is Alpha-Mike. 

 

I totally understand, that as the shooter, regardless of what I think happened, I can't expect the SO to assume any hole is a double if it doesn't look like one.  i.e. They can only score what they see.  OTOH, we do sometimes have even closer targets with the down-zero cut out, and then the SOs do assume any shots not leaving holes outside the cut out down-zero went through the down-zero.  These are typically un-aimed shots from retention.  Where's the line between that and "I know you didn't miss, even though you're short a hole?"

 

This is why I asked about bullet profiles.  I should have mentioned in the first post, I'm shooting 9mm.  I wonder if going back to a FP style bullet would make perfect/near-perfect doubles any more obviously doubles? 

 

I suppose for really close arrays, I should practice horizontally stringing the shots rather than trying to drill a single hole in each target.

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With the classifier "Can You Count" is where it sometimes becomes difficult to determine exact hits. Putting 5 rounds on a target that close can lead to ragged holes, but 99% of the time it is still possible to tell where all the rounds hit (and, when you have 4 distinct holes in a 3/4" group, it would take a wild swing of imagination to think that your 5th shot completely missed the target.)

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31 minutes ago, GrumpyOne said:

With the classifier "Can You Count" is where it sometimes becomes difficult to determine exact hits. Putting 5 rounds on a target that close can lead to ragged holes, but 99% of the time it is still possible to tell where all the rounds hit (and, when you have 4 distinct holes in a 3/4" group, it would take a wild swing of imagination to think that your 5th shot completely missed the target.)

Unless you pulled out a bit early to start your reload…

Or your first shot was a bit too soon from the draw, before you were fully on target. I’ve seen both happen. 
Not often, but it does happen. 

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7 hours ago, njl said:

I wonder if going back to a FP style bullet would make perfect/near-perfect doubles any more obviously doubles? 

 

Unless it was a full Wadcutter type of Flat Point, it wouldn't help much.  I've found that Truncated Cone Flat Points like the Xtreme 124 will remove a clean circle of cardboard from the target, but the edges of the hole (where the RO is looking) will be just an un-defined as a Round Nose bullet.

Edited by Braxton1
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On 8/11/2021 at 11:09 AM, Cuz said:

Unless you pulled out a bit early to start your reload…

Or your first shot was a bit too soon from the draw, before you were fully on target. I’ve seen both happen. 
Not often, but it does happen. 

 

Neither of those happened (in either case).  Also, looking at the IDPA rule book, I think there would have been a reasonable case for arguing for the double.

 

Quote

4.5.1 When a Safety Officer has a reasonable doubt on a scoring call, the SO will award the better score to the shooter. This also applies to possible doubles. However, this does not automatically mean that every miss is a double.

Quote

4.12 A. ...
Official IDPA cardboard targets with the round down zero area cut out for scoring ease may be used only as a stationary target. The target may be shot starting within 3 yards or less and shot while stationary or moving away from the target.

 

So, a stage starts with an array of 3 targets at 3yds or less, requiring 2 hits each.  T1 & T2 have tight groups in the down-zero.  T3 has 1 hole in the down-zero.  4.12 allows for assuming all shots pass through the cut out down-zero on close targets unless holes are present elsewhere on the target.  Granted, in the case of 4.12, everyone would get that same benefit of the doubt.  But I think the spirit of 4.12 is "nobody's going to totally miss a stationary IDPA size target that close."

 

GSSF rules have a similar phrase about benefit of the doubt going to the shooter...so again, on a CoF like 5-to-Glock, if you put up nice tight all down-zero (not that GSSF uses that term) groups on all the targets, but can only find 5 of the expected 6 holes (in a tiny group) on the 5yd target, it's not unreasonable to assume one of those 5 is a double.


Like I said in the first post, I know I didn't miss.  If the target were out at 20yds or more, I'd be far less certain.  But this close, if I was off target enough when the shot broke to completely miss the target, I'd know.  Being credited with the miss annoyed me, but I chose not to argue because, at the time, I knew of no basis for such an argument, and I figured "it's a local match, who cares what the posted score says?"  BTW...when I say I'm generally pretty accurate, that +5 for the "miss" was more than 1/3 of my total PD for the match.

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Pretty simple solution. I shoot PCC and many times on close targets I get "doubles". RO checks for grease rings, checks the back of the target to see if there are 2 obvious holes, if not we get an overlay and he decides. Double or not and score it.

 

gerritm

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19 hours ago, gerritm said:

Pretty simple solution. I shoot PCC and many times on close targets I get "doubles". RO checks for grease rings, checks the back of the target to see if there are 2 obvious holes, if not we get an overlay and he decides. Double or not and score it.

 

gerritm

To add I have had several times on close targets, where a sharp RO has said he saw me shoot twice and hit the same spot so no need for overlay.

 

gerritm

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5 hours ago, Boomstick303 said:

 

Is that how the rule works?

 

9 hours ago, gerritm said:

To add I have had several times on close targets, where a sharp RO has said he saw me shoot twice and hit the same spot so no need for overlay.

 

gerritm


Some folks might wonder why the RO wasn’t focusing on you and the gun like he’s supposed to be doing. There will be plenty of time to check the targets after the “Range is clear”…

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18 hours ago, Cuz said:

 


Some folks might wonder why the RO wasn’t focusing on you and the gun like he’s supposed to be doing. There will be plenty of time to check the targets after the “Range is clear”…

 

At 3 - 5 yards, depending on angles and where the RO is standing, it is very possible to see/notice the bullet strike the target in peripheral vision while still focused on the shooter and gun.

 

Nolan

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5 hours ago, Nolan said:

 

At 3 - 5 yards, depending on angles and where the RO is standing, it is very possible to see/notice the bullet strike the target in peripheral vision while still focused on the shooter and gun.

 

Nolan

 

Especially on close targets with a lot of tape on them. The targets really should be changed by that time but you see it at monthly matches more.

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On 8/11/2021 at 8:44 AM, njl said:

I suppose for really close arrays, I should practice horizontally stringing the shots rather than trying to drill a single hole in each target.

 

I think you're making this more complicated than what it needs to be.  You don't need to practice stringing shots in any direction.

 

If you're so close that "perfect" doubles are a thing, you're shooting way too slowly.  Speed up.

 

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This is too funny !!  :)

 

At 5 Yards, you can easily shoot misses. You just need to switch your focus/eyes/body a bit to early.

 

At this distance, you can transition from one to the next target, 2 yards to the side in ~0,2 sec., which also means you can easily miss a target at this distance in this time. 

 

   

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3 hours ago, bimmer1980 said:

This is too funny !!  :)

 

At 5 Yards, you can easily shoot misses. You just need to switch your focus/eyes/body a bit to early.

 

At this distance, you can transition from one to the next target, 2 yards to the side in ~0,2 sec., which also means you can easily miss a target at this distance in this time. 

 

   

True.  I've done it.

 

99.999% of the time alpha, mike (or down 5 for IDPA people) is the right call.

Edited by SGT_Schultz
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11 hours ago, bimmer1980 said:

This is too funny !!  :)

 

At 5 Yards, you can easily shoot misses. You just need to switch your focus/eyes/body a bit to early.

 

At this distance, you can transition from one to the next target, 2 yards to the side in ~0,2 sec., which also means you can easily miss a target at this distance in this time. 

 

   

 

These were 3yd targets.  I did a bit of practice today, and and decided to focus on speed for most of the shooting.  I setup 2 targets a bit more than 6 feet apart at 3yds.  The drill was draw and fire 2 rounds into each of them.  I don't consider myself to be terribly fast.  In matches, I generally make up for lack of speed with accuracy.  In the 5x5 classifier, the past couple of times I've done it, I've landed at the faster end of SSP SS (25-25.5s).  I expect I'll eventually make it at least to EX if I can shave some time off my draws, reload, and maybe go a little faster SHO without giving up any points.

Anyway, I was able to do this drill fairly consistently in the 2.5-3s range (more often right about 2.5s), staying down-zero.  Splits on each target were generally 0.2s +- a few hundredths.  My draw was typically 1.5s or more, and transition time 0.7s +- 0.1.  This was probably about the speed at which I shot the above mentioned portion of the stage in the match.  I guess I should have tried...but I don't know that I can manipulate the trigger any faster than this (for splits on a target) without totally ignoring the sights.

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