|My perspective on knockdowns:
Shotgun KDs are excellent. They
eliminate the “Golden BB” and provide for “shooter feedback and spectator
Rifle KDs (rare) also provide the
occasional entertainment factor but because of the distance involved can
be a problem in a larger match.
Shotgun and rifle targets currently
have no standard and I consider that a good thing.
Pistol KDs are another situation
altogether. Many shooters of all talents have gone to the lighter is better
concept and for that reason SASS adopted a standard for pistol KDs. This
standard is clearly stated:
“Although the .32 caliber revolvers
and .36 caliber cap and ball pistols are legal, they may not be powerful
enough to handle all reactive targets. To the extent possible, reactive
targets are set to fall when squarely hit with a standard .38 special 158
gr. Factory load”.
In chronographing the available,
off the shelf, .38 special 158-grain loads we’ve found that, under the
ambient conditions during tests, the average velocity was around 830 fps.
My friends, that is a very specific
Well, maybe. Is this standard a
maximum or a minimum? The handbook clearly left that information out and
therefore left us subservient to assumption.
I’ve never been to a match that
adhered to the upper limits of that standard.
In all matches I’ve attended the
pistol KDs are set very light using the standard as a maximum. This has
resulted in many of the problems of reliability and consistency.
I wonder what would happen if a
Match Director regarded the standard as the minimum and in fact set his
targets to go down with a solid hit from a 200 grain at 900 fps?
This could clearly meet the SASS
standard if so interpreted.
What we have is a standard that
has been disregarded and as such serves no purpose, especially in its currently
In my opinion the standard should
be completely removed from the SASS handbook.
Whether or not a match uses knockdowns
and how they are set should be at the discretion of the match director
since that is pretty much how it has been handled in the past.
But Wait, you say, the shooters
need to know whether or not they will have trouble with the KDs at the
up coming match. May I submit that this is only a consideration for those
shooters with questionably light loads and the Match Director that would
set the KDs so that they were extremely difficult would be asking for a
very low attendance the following year.
Yes, of course there are many who
want some kind of standard but in my opinion, although knockdowns appear
to have some validity, the current crop is not the answer.