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Old 14th May 2013, 11:29 AM
neilL neilL is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Member of: NOFTC CRPC
Location: Oxford
Posts: 576

Originally Posted by RobF View Post
Easy Hols. No less than 3ft by 3ft, one foot left and another one foot right of target, perpendicular to the face place, centred on the kill. Not something pretty to look at, and effort, but all the same. Or if that can't be done, remove the target and place in a position where deemed safe, ie not with the face place angled to close towards the line.

Now the difference there is that it's not a perceived part of the sport to be hit by something whilst engaging in it. So in the event of an accident that caused injury, fault could well be found. But sitting on a bit of uneven ground probably wouldn't be, as it's quite clear from any photo of FT that you sit, back arched, in a field. Same could be said of tripping over a twig. You can see a twig and perceive it's danger to you. What you can't see is a target in the peripheral of your vision necessarily.

Another point I'd raise while we're on topic and trying to be productive is that ranges should carry an incident book, and perhaps the BFTA should. That way it could be noted where Gilly was standing, and where the target was in relation, and the angle of the plate to gilly and at least that distance could be noted as being deemed unsafe, so that it wasn't repeated, or a spec drawn up for future avoidance.

I've seen it on another GP, and been also hit at another on a plinking range by a close target. I was standing just to one side of the plinking range, but the line was straight. But on an 8yd target, if hit on the edge or if the plate is angled a few degrees, the splash can come back down the line a few yards. The plinking target was removed immediately, and I believe the other target was barn doored. I'm not going to name places etc because that gets us no where.

I don't think removing 8yd or sub 10yd targets solves the problem, as in this case it was a 30yd target. So I think we'd be paddling up the wrong creek. But I think steps could be taken to mitigate potential problems by just shielding to a specification or perhaps not a specification, but something that states that ricochets should be reasonably prevented.

It's a complex issue because it's not easy to predict. At my indoor club, whilst I was Chairman, wooden batons were placed on the baffle edges to prevent .22, .38, .44 ricochet off the steel edge. Trouble is, they ricocheted .177 6ft-lb shots, but 12 ft-lb shots didn't.

In one of my other clubs it states eye protection should be worn. It doesn't mandate it, but it makes you aware.

I floated the idea of a BFTA checklist for GP courses, to be signed off by the club. I don't think I formally proposed it though as I'm not area rep. I think that way you'd avoid the need for someone else from the BFTA to be there the night before so they could walk check and change the course before people started. And perhaps it gives a vehicle for those who have other concerns to get them raised.

Thanks Rob. Very good suggestions. Could you send me your checklists and ideas and I will raise it at the next meeting since this has the potential to turn in to a serious issue (legal / insurance) and not a minor change to Rules, etc (grumble, grumble, I like kneelers, grumble hahaha).

At my indoor club the back stops are angled steel plates which deflect bullets down in to sand, targets are on plastic sheets placed in front (behind would be a tad awkward hahaha). I can't see how the current knock-down targets could be angled down but maybe some bright engineer types could think of a new target design?

My personal view is that there ought to be a course inspection looking at the firing line with respect to near-by target placements and not just target placement within a lane. Baffle boards sound good but surely there must be some netting which would stop stray pellets enough to take most of the energy out of them? Pellets don't weigh much but Mr Newton tells us it is mass*velocity that is important. I just have visions of too many whistles as the baffle boards fall over :-(

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