The target used for Long Range BPCR contests is 6 feet square from edge to edge. It consists of an NRA-approved bullseye containing a black "X" ring which is 10" in diameter, a black "10" ring which is 20" in diameter, a black "9" ring which is 30" in diameter, and a black "8" ring which is 44" in diameter. The "7" ring is white and is 60" in diameter. The remaining open area on the target board is white and a hit anywhere on the paper, but not on or within the bullseye rings, is scored with a value of "6". Shots that do not hit the target are scored as a miss with a value of “0”.

The number values located around the edge of the target are not printed on the target. They are simply the officially designated positions on the target that are used to indicate the score of the last shot taken.

I always mark my target using a Magic-Marker with the number values shown above so that I don’t get confused. Each value pictured has a hole above or next to it (not visible in this picture) from which the scorer hangs a 5” “Spotter” (a round bright orange disc) typically made from cardboard and hung from the hole with a hooked metal wire. The position along the edge of the target board where this Spotter disc is hung tells the shooter and the spotter the value of the shot that has just taken place.

Another scoring indicator — the “Shot Hole” spotter — consists of a 4” round cardboard circle with a pointed dowel rod pushed through it. This indicator is white on one side (used for holes that have been made in the black portion of the target) and black on the other (used for holes that have been made in the white portion of the target).

Used in conjunction with the orange Spotter, these scoring aids show the shooter and spotter not only the value of the last shot taken, but also where on the target the shot impacted.

The “M” at the top center of the target indicates a miss. The orange Spotter is hung from the hole above or next to the “M”, while the white / black indicator is placed in one of the holes around the edge of the target. This tells the shooter where the miss occurred (high, low, left, or right). The targets displayed below show what the target would look like if the shooter had just fired a “9” at 8-o’clock, a “Miss” high left, and an “X” at 4 o-clock.

Marking the target properly is the responsibility of the person in the pits. It’s important to pull the target, get it scored, and run it back up into position as quickly as possible so that your shooter can make the necessary sight adjustments needed for his or her next shot. If you dawdle around and take a long time scoring the target, the shooter may lose an opportunity to take advantage of a favorable wind change or lighting condition.

Stay alert and pay attention. Any unnecessary delay in scoring your shooter’s target can be detrimental to his or her performance.

When a shot hits the target, the target is pulled down and the white/black Shot Hole disc is inserted into the bullet hole (with the appropriate contrasting color showing) and the bright orange Spotter is hung next to or below the appropriate value indicated along the edge of the target. Then the target is run back up into position so that the shooter and spotter can see the target.

Once you are in the pits and have had a chance to watch the other people next to you, things generally go very smoothly. If the range at which you are shooting has a berm located directly behind the targets, you should be able to see the bullet impact the berm after each shot. By watching the berm for the impact of the bullet, you’ll quickly develop a sense of approximately where that shot hit or missed the target.

Many ranges, like Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio, do not have berms behind the target. This type of range makes your job a bit harder. But even without a berm to watch, there are oftentimes other indicators that will give you a good idea when your shooter has fired and when it’s time for you to “pull” the target into the pits to score it.

Talk with the other people who are in the pits with you and ask them to explain whatever you feel you do not understand. Remember, you are responsible for doing the best job possible scoring the targets. Your shooter’s overall performance and final placement depends upon you doing a good job.

As always, if the shot you are scoring breaks the line of the circle with the next higher value, you always give the shooter the higher value. The picture below shows two examples to illustrate this point.

The hole indicated by the red dot is clearly not touching the “X” ring scoring circle. However, the hole indicated by the yellow dot is breaking the circle, and should therefore be scored as an “X”.

By Darryl Hedges

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