Good Pulls, Bad Pulls
Recently at a local shoot, there were a couple of fields that had “wireless pickles.” I shot on one of the fields and perceived no difference in the quality of the pulls, but another shooter on a later squad felt that he was getting “slow pulls.” His first round was straight, but he still didn’t like the wireless model. The referee changed to the wired pickle for the second and subsequent rounds, and the squad finished without problems.
After my hint regarding referees, I had a couple of readers send me emails commenting on the article. One of them was from a gentleman in Zone 7 who had comments regarding referees at the World Championships occasionally not wanting to use the ‘Wand.’ He felt that the wand gives better and more consistent pulls.
When I have shot in the World or the Mini World, about half of the squads I’ve shot on didn’t care if they had the Wand or not; the other half didn’t want it.
I believe the difference with shooters favoring one method over the other is in the ability of the referee to use the wand in such a way that the shooter doesn’t see it during his set-up and shot. I’ve personally never had a problem with the wand.
The rule book gives a referee a second to pull the target after the call. A second sounds fast, but a lot of shooters leave their hold points on their call rather than waiting to see the target. In the past, I have seen referees that were a little slow on the pull but not close to being a full second late.
Referees will normally use the wand if the squad wants them to, but give the referees the chance to use the method that they believe will give you the best target.
Shoot often, shoot well and stay safe,
Barry Hartmann is an NSSA Master Level and NRA Certified shotgun instructor who can help you improve your skills at American Skeet and wingshooting. To contact Barry, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at (918)803-2393.