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Tracking Targets ???

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Tech Writer Jeff, Apr 13, 2012.

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  1. Tech Writer Jeff

    Tech Writer Jeff Active Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    I'm almost certain there is no ATA rule that addresses this directly. However, I have observed the following over the years:

    - Live-ammo "Test shots" were formerly permitted before the start of the round. All shooters had to be in position, and the shooter had to inform the squad that he was going to fire a test shot. And it had to be a shot into empty air above the traphouse . . . you were not allowed to fire at a target. I never saw many shooters do a test shot . . . if it was done at all, it was likely that somebody just had their gun repaired and wanted to make sure it was working. Several years ago (maybe more than that . . . I'm showing my age), the rule was changed. Test shots are no longer permitted at all.

    - Tracking the "let's see one" target (with empty gun). I have seen this, but again very infrequently . . . and I haven't seen it done by anyone in years, so maybe the practice is dying out on its own. I remember a few times when I (as Squad Leader) asked for the "let's see one", and I suddenly heard 4 hammers clicking from my squadmates, all of whom were tracking (and dry-firing at) the target. I think it's a little weird, but as I said, I don't think there's a rule specifically against it. It seemed to be the "hip" thing to do for a brief period, but it's no longer done in my neck of the woods . . . this may vary by geographic location.

    There is one rule that says:
    "The contestant must in no manner interfere with the preceding shooter by raising his/her gun to point or otherwise create an observable distraction."

    You could argue that for the "let's see one" target, it's technically the Squad Leader's turn to shoot (not at the "let's see one" of course, but his turn is imminent), so nobody else should have their gun raised at this time.

    In my opinion, tracking the "let's see one" target is not something I would promote for a youth team.
  2. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2009
    I've run into guys (more than a couple) who fire empty hulls with live primers at the free target. They claim it's to make sure their firing pin is striking properly. (I wish I'd have thought of that!)

    Hey... if ya think that tracking that one target is gonna show ya something previously undiscovered about your gun, suddenly correct some technical deficiency you've had for the past 15 years or intimidate the rest of the squad with your mad skills, I say "Go ahead on and more power to ya"!

  3. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Mesquite, Nevada
    I've never seen such a rule against "tracking" the look-see clay once the squad is on the line.

    Years ago as stated, people would fire a test shot into the ground beyond the trap before starting the event. It certainly wasn't to see if the gun would fire though!! Possibly some were doing it and didn't have any idea why except the top shots were firing into the ground! I think that practice began in the windy west to see how much effect the wind had on the shot charge during windy days. Those in the know shot a chunk of broken clay about where they'd break a called bird! To see the winds effect on their shot charge.

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