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Article 6 – 2018 (July)

person aiming shotgun at target range

Russell Mark

Australian Shooter Magazine, Question and Answers

Article 6 – 2018 (July)


Question: What is the protocol on fired hulls? I have a pet hate towards people that just spit their used shotgun shells out on the ground expecting someone else will pick them up. Most ranges that I have been to provide bins or buckets to simply eject their empties into. Is there some type of rule than can be applied to this selfish practice?

Peter Knox, Brisbane QLD


Answer: The protocol is pretty simple Peter. Put your used hulls in the bin provided, but the as to the “rules”, sadly to my knowledge, there are no official rules on this matter in Australia. Certainly I have competed at clubs in Italy where the local rules say that you get a warning on your first misdemeanour of missing the bin with your empty hulls and on the second offence a “lost target” will be scored and then subsequent offences will result in disqualification and even suspension. The Italians are known for their accuracy not their stupidity so I have never seen any serious action taken as it is simply seen as “bad manners” not to place your spent shot shell cases in the receptacles provided. I know in Italy it is considered as a safety issue as slipping on a empty hull rolling around on the concrete can be dangerous whilst having a live round even in a “broken open” shotgun. I feel your pain my friend, but from my experience a kind word to the offender will often solve the issue. If this doesn’t work you always have the option of “naming and shaming” the culprit in a strategic social media campaign highlighting the rogues behaviour to a target audience. Go with my first option before trying this strategy.


Question: I was impressed with the coverage of the Commonwealth Games recently in Brisbane and was very happy to hear you commentating and then actually watching some of the coverage on “free to air” television. I was very curious how one of the English competitors in the Men’s Trap Final was pulled up for having too much shot in his cartridges. Why wasn’t he disqualified, as this must be a huge advantage?

Liam Ngyuen, St Albans VIC


Answer: For just on 15 minutes we were watching the incident unfold from the commentary position in the grandstand which was quite frustrating as there was little communication between the officials and the media broadcasting the event. At one stage we were told one of the two English competitors was actually disqualified and as it turns out it was the other competitor that was under investigation. It was total confusion.

The rule is that each of the finalists must provide all their ammunition that they are taking out to the finals range prior to the final starting. Everyone will get a sample of his or her ammunition tested at this time. One of the Englishmen had a shot shell that went over the 24.5 gram maximum load limit for the weight of their lead payload in the shot shell. The rule for International events is 24 grams maximum, but a tolerance of .5 gram is allowed. Obviously his load was at least 24.51 grams so subsequent rounds were then tested. I was told that the next four rounds were all less than 24.5 gram so he was allowed to proceed into the final. Common sense prevailed. In saying that all competitors must take responsibility for their ammunition, but of course the competitor had nothing to do with the loading of this ammunition as it was a very common brand from Italy.

More lead will certainly be an advantage. In trap shells .5 of a gram will mean an extra 6 pellets which is approximately how many pieces of shot is needed to break a clay target flying through the air for 76 metres at an initial velocity of over 105 kilometres an hour. It all helps, but in this case the right decision was made even though it took a long time to arrive at it.

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