Rule III-E-5 & f Second Shot / Rule III-8 Proof Doubles

Billy Bob Pumpher has always done more hunting than skeet shooting and still sticks by his old faithful pump gun when shooting skeet.  Says he doesn’t want to “spiaahl mah huntin’ reflexes”.

He does a very credible job too, carrying a class A average with his 12 gauge and has run a 100 straight once.  Never shoots the smaller gauges so I don’t think he really knows how much fun he’s missing.

Billy Bob tends to concentrate his skeet the two months before fall hunting season and showed up faithfully at his clubs End-of-Summer Open as part of his pre-hunting season tune-up.

When he went to registration, Dorothy Trapman said, “Bill-Bob, we’ve got both 12 gauge and doubles scheduled today.  Don’t you ever get chances for doubles in the field?  Why not shoot the doubles event and really give that old pump gun a workout?”  After a bit of banter, Billy Bob allowed as how he would give the doubles a try.

He was shooting pretty well that mid-September day and posted a credible 97 in class A in the 12 gauge and then had a burger and fries to ballast him for the doubles.  He started with a quite satisfactory 23 [of 24] on the first round the doubles competition, missing only the second bird at station 4 on the way back, and felt pretty good going into the second round.

He began the second round well, clean on stations 1,2 and 3.  When he got to station 4 however, he moved out too fast on the first bird and as he missed ahead of it, his shot broke the incoming low house bird.  Whitey Quickpul, his ref, said “High house lost, proof double for the second bird.”

Billy Bob, not as used to all doubles as he could be, said, “Isn’t the second bird dead?”  “Nope”, replied Whitey, “you’ve got to take a proof double for the second bird”.  So Billy Bob cranked in another shell, screwed his head down tight and called for his station 4 proof.  Station 4 doubles pressure was still with him, however, and he fired even further ahead and again broke the low house bird with his first shot, and even earlier than the first time.

Shaking his head, he stared after the high house sailing past the distance stake, as Whitely said, “Lost and lost”.  Billy Bob stopped, emptied his gun and then turned to Whitey and asked, “Why’s that?  That’s exactly what happened with the first double and you called it lost and proof double.  So how come they’re both lost this time?”


It seems to me that some problem during shooting doubles is the source of half [or more!] of all the questions that arise about the rules of skeet, and Whitey is dead right.  This one is really very straightforward, however you just have to have been there before.  In the first place, with his first double at 4 it is Rule III-E-5 & f:  If the shooter is deprived of a normal second shot for any of the following reasons, the result of the first shot shall be scored, and the second target only shall be declared no bird and a proof double shall be fired to determine the result of the second shot.  f: The wrong target is broken with the first shot.  …   So it’s very obvious that the first bird is lost and a proof double is required.

However, when he repeated the same error on his proof double, the call now shifts to Rule III-8: In shooting a proof double after the first target (of a double) is lost, if the shooter fires at, or breaks the wrong target first, said proof double shall be scored as both targets lost.  If, in such a proof double after the first target (of a double) is dead, the shooter fires at, or breaks, the wrong target first, it shall be scored as first target dead and second target lost.

So now he’s down two, mid-second round.  Billy Bob has plenty of character however and put up a 93 on his first round ever of all doubles.  Allows as how he may try it again.  [No telling what he could do with a “real” gun!]

[note:  this covers the same rule as Query #14, but with a quite different episode.        I think both are reasonably interesting and usable if separated by six months or more.  KGH]