stin Wylie and Robin Taylor were teaching the RO course in Alaska recently, a question came up about “what happens when someone accidentally shoots a prop?”
The answer comes down to context. If the shooter fires a shot while not aiming at a target, that’s an accidental discharge — and the hole in the prop is evidence of the fact that they weren’t aiming at a target. However, it is possible to lean around a barricade, and simply misjudge whether one’s barrel has totally cleared the edge.
The shooter shown below is a participant at the USPSA PCC National Championship. (Remote camera.) He has a clear line of sight to the target with his sights, but unbeknownst to him, his barrel is still aimed at wood.
You can see wood being blasted off the barricade as he valiantly tries to make that difficult off-balance shot.
If you’re concerned about people blasting the edge of your barricade (like this) we suggest extending the edge of the barricade slightly with a bit of easily-replaceable trim. Cardboard works well too!
Because of this phenomenon, ASI barricades are meant to create a vision barrier only — declaring the barricade to be “hard cover” makes scoring much more difficult. (The RO’s that had to sort out the below situation for USPSA had their hands full!)
The ASI rules are full of not-so-obvious policies like this one, which flow from the Founders’ many years of match experience. They’re designed to make the match easier to run, and easier to understand for everyone — without a lot of unnecessary rule-making.