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Thread: Scoring Homologation

  1. #1
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    Scoring Homologation

    Hello Members:

    I have a question for the experts in scoring BR targets: What is the correct power magnification (loupe/magnifier) for scoring?

    If we were talking about diamonds, jewelers and the jewelry industry have set a 10X magnifier as the standard, if no flaws are seen at 10X then the diamond is considered "Flawless", nevertheless you will see flaws when more than 10X is used.

    For scoring our BR targets we have an illuminated perfectly leveled box so the plug is always perpendicular to the target, we use a handheld 8X magnifier and a 5X Carson mini-brite illuminated magnifier with the brass plug that USARB kindly provided us, but then we also have a digital microscope with a large screen that goes from 60X to 1000X.

    The issue here is that with 5X it is possible to see some of "The Black" that is not seen with the naked eye and this is OK so far, this is not an "X"...Moving to another "X" NO black is seen with the 5X illuminated magnifier nor with the 8X, but using the digital microscope at any power level from 60-1000X we can see 2-3 black pixels to the sides of the USARB scoring plug...In theory, the "X" is not fully obliterated and this is not an "X, but it is an "X" if we use either of the other 2 magnifiers...

    To complicate matters more, the high magnification of the microscope clearly shows that the printing on the cards is obviously not perfect nor homogeneous, some rings have more pixels or are slightly wider/narrower than others...

    This situation tells me the need to have the scoring magnifiers homologated (in power) but I don't see anything talking about this issue in the current 2021 regulations...

    Having said this, l kindly ask Joe Friederick, Ron Silveira, Steve Ware, Tom Price, Dick Strever, Mike Aber, Chas and all of those top shooters and people verifying the USARB records to please step in and provide your inputs...Maybe this issue needs world (Federation) attention ??

    Regards for all members,

    AZ
    Last edited by AZUARO; 09-15-2018 at 12:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    I suppose I might be somewhat of an expert considering I've measured and plotted tens of thousands of projectiles in my ballistic tunnel. Just about the only thing I've never used is an optical comparator because I've learned it won't gain you anything in the real world.

    IMHO you're worrying about statistical uncertainties in your measurements with plugs, illumination, magnification, etc that are far less than the precision of the plug itself fitting the hole precisely in the paper. Fact is, even the errors with the plug get compounded when you factor in paper quality, the backing material, and humidity.

    Plugs work relatively well for the scoring games in CF because they cut a very clean hole in the paper, but RF and Air are a different story. They pretty much push a hole thru the paper that ends up being less than projectile diameter and have tears around the hole that don't really allow plugs to work the way they're supposed to. I think it's simply a problem we have to live with and I'm of the opinion that reducing these uncertainties won't gain anyone anything, but they will cause fellow competitors to question scoring without having any knowledge of metrology. After all, this is a metrological and statistical process that everyone needs to be aware of.

    Not to mention what you've already observed, that being at high magnification you can't really even see a scoring line and only ink bleeding into the open areas adjacent to a scoring line.

    To take this to a humorous preposterous level, you might also have to appoint a committee to measure the scoring ring diameters for each and every target that's scored to be perfect in an imperfect world because my measurements of scoring ring diameters over the years in different RF and other BR organizations have often shown discrepancies due to different printing runs, source errors by the printer/organization, and the scorer's technique in using a plug.

    In a nutshell, even if you become perfect (not possible), the majority of scorers will not be!

    Landy

  3. #3
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    Landy:

    Thank you for your reply and insights...

    You say: "IMHO you're worrying about statistical uncertainties in your measurements with plugs, illumination, magnification, etc that are far less than the precision of the plug itself fitting the hole precisely in the paper. Fact is, even the errors with the plug get compounded when you factor in paper quality, the backing material, and humidity"
    I totally agree with this assessment but
    my main concern are not the intrinsic variables but specifically the magnification to be used for scoring...

    We have 30-40 clubs in the USA where all shooters are competing for points and records at a national level as is the case of our USARB, my concern is that all clubs are most likely using different power magnifiers for scoring and this fact makes a huge difference...

    Let me show an example: The pics below show a recent shot registered HV USARB target (still not posted) from a shooter at our club in Montana, I scored this card as a 248 with 6X's...
    The competitor is a Pro for RAW and Airforce and on top of being an outstanding shooter, he NEVER protests cards if the score is against him and I have seen him asking for rectifying and LOWERING his scores several times, an attitude that you don't find very often in any sport...By the same token, this shooter scores other people's cards very strictly and he will die before giving you a point you don't deserve...These are the kind of people I or anyone loves to shoot with.

    Now, let's review my scoring to make my concern more understandable...Let's focus on just 1 bull (number 20), the scoring plug is the official USARB plug and it remained static while looking at the target with the naked eye, using the 2 magnifiers and the microscope:

    Pic 1 Is our illuminated scoring box...Perfectly leveled, illuminated, scoring plug is perpendicular to the target (Note the 10 ring size on the screen of the Digital magnifier)
    Pic 2 Is bull number 20 as seen with the naked eye...It is an "X"
    Pic 3 Is a 5X handheld magnifier that shows bull 20 also as an "X"
    Pic 4 Is the 5X illuminated magnifier supplied by USARB that also shows target 20 as an "X"
    Pic 5 Is a variable power (60 -1000X) Digital Microscope set at around 3-400 X that shows BLACK from the 10 ring (see red arrows), under this parameter target 20 is not an "X"
    Pic 6 Is a close up of pic 5 corroborating some black from the 10 ring

    I based my scoring for the entire card on the digital microscope and scored target 20 as a 10 and not as an "X" but now I am not so sure about this target and others that we have scored using the same procedure and parameters...I believe my concern is proven legitimate and this is why I believe that scoring magnifiers should be homologated ...

    What do you all benchrest shooters think?

    Best regards,

    AZ



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    Last edited by AZUARO; 09-16-2018 at 12:58 AM.

  4. #4
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    AZ
    your images are fine for telling your story but they are NOT focused enuff and too low of resolution for us to see accurately what you see,
    your picts resolution are only 72 pixel, and pict 2 & 4 are too unfocused but pict 3 is just a tiny bit more so and when i blow it up to 400 times it seems there is a darker line at the lower edge, not brass color like the rest of the edge. but i need better resolution to see anything.
    if you still have the target and it has not been manhandled too much can you take a higher resolution image ?
    i use the 8 power and when there is a possibility of my sight being off i ask for others opinions and go with majority.
    that is an awesome digital display you are using what brand is it, i want to get one

  5. #5
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    I'll tell a story and maybe you, others and the USARB can use it for the better.

    IR50/50 rules once (and maybe still do) stated that clubs would use a plug supplied by IR50/50. The purpose of that rule was to prevent scorers from using a different magnification, a different size plug, a clearer plug, etc... Turns out, the clubs weren't having any part of that rule and began using all kinds of plugs...using the reasoning that they got a closer score. It was never about a closer score but was simply about being as consistent as possible given that IR50/50 is a national organization.

    In short - It really doesn't matter what you use to score as long as everybody uses the same stuff. Further, keep it as inexpensive as possible.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur View Post
    In short - It really doesn't matter what you use to score as long as everybody uses the same stuff. Further, keep it as inexpensive as possible.
    Wilber,

    Exactly my comment. The USARB has provided scoring plugs and magnifiers to all clubs that have requested them. I have no idea how much a digital microscope costs. Did a quick Google search & $700 was the cheapest. Clubs are not going to buy them. I believe the most important thing is a level playing field. If everyone uses the same equipment what errors occur with be approximately equal IMHO.

    Steve W.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 19Turkeys View Post
    Wilber,

    Exactly my comment. The USARB has provided scoring plugs and magnifiers to all clubs that have requested them. I have no idea how much a digital microscope costs. Did a quick Google search & $700 was the cheapest. Clubs are not going to buy them. I believe the most important thing is a level playing field. If everyone uses the same equipment what errors occur with be approximately equal IMHO.

    Steve W.
    Steve and Wilbur:

    Absolutely...I would only add that since the rules don't say anything about scoring tool type and magnification to be used, this issue needs to be defined by the ruling body of the sport so we all use the same tools, including the sanctioning body checking records.

    We acquired a digital device after having many very close calls (X's) and difficulties, specially this year...Some of the guns that shoot at the club are performing the best I've ever seen and we do our best to make things right. As discussed, I believe that the magnification issue is a matter for the Board (USARB) to define so clubs and sanctioning body use the same tools and parameters.

    Our club requested a USARB illuminated magnifier that was kindly supplied, it is a 5X CARSON...Previously we were using a 5X - 8X handheld Carson loupe, but with no illumination...The illumination in the supplied magnifier makes a big difference in my old eyes and if you ask me I would suggest mandatory illumination with the power level that the board considers appropriate...

    Magnification nowadays is not an issue in cost nor technology, there are some very good and clear jewelry magnifiers that go from 3-5X to 10-20-40-60-80 and 100X offered with and without illumination which are not costly by any means. The issue I find with excessive magnification (like our digital device) is that too much power leads to other inherent problems like pixelation, printing bleeding and other inconsistencies in the targets as Landy mentioned in a previous post.

    Regards,

    AZ
    Last edited by AZUARO; 09-17-2018 at 12:01 AM.

  8. #8
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    Hi AZ,

    You have some great replies to a good post. The Board does not want to chaperone "per say" the sanctioned clubs. We trust that they will do the best job possible, and when problems come up the board is here to do our best to help.

    I noticed your pictures are all on a angle which will change the outcome, plus i know it is hard to take a picture looking straight down the plug. Just hope folks are not scoring on any slight angle off the plug. The Board does supply a standard plug and magnifier to sanctioned clubs who request them. It is a good start to keep a balanced playing field plus in upcoming months we hope to have available scoring trays for the targets.

    When targets are certified a light table is used with variable brightness, a clear acrylic scoring tray, the USARB standard scoring plug, and a illuminated stand loupe 10x zoom. The 10x stand loupe is as far as I will personally go. I can zoom in and see the fibers and pixel's around the rings. The Board is aware not all clubs have power available and just simply may not want to add a light table to what they are using now. My personal opinion is the USARB standard plug and 5x magnifier is adequate to get the job done. If your club is willing to improve this is always good like you folks have done AZ, but you do not have to go overkill.

    Regards,
    Joe

  9. #9
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    Joe:

    Thank you for your insights...

    The pictures I am presenting are not for the viewers TO SCORE, those are there to show how different magnifications produce different outputs, in this case that "X" is an "X" with the naked eye, with 5X and with slightly more magnification, but is not when 80- 100 X is used...The angle in the pics is INTENTIONAL for the only purpose of showing the part of the plug that covers the "X". Nobody I know scores at an angle...Looking at the pic from above reduces the field of view substantially and those extra pixels are not seen looking straight down.

    Leaving the magnifier power "Up to the clubs" is in my opinion too vague for a precision sport, in my perspective all scores should be measured with the same tools and parameters and this includes members from the sanctioning USARB body verifying the cards; we as a club and I suppose many people like us want to be able to use EXACTLY the same equipment so we all speak the same language and to minimize any differences.

    As it currently is, it is NOT FAIR to have clubs using 5X if the sanctioning body verifying the scores is using 10X plus specific scoring boards and other gadgets that lead to a much tighter scoring...If USARB is providing 5X illuminated to the clubs and 5X is the correct magnification, then my argument is that all clubs and the sanctioning body should ONLY use 5X for scoring verification...All of this said is "Homologation", the topic of this thread.

    Some extra info to consider:
    Dimming in your scoring box/board is there most likely because that box was made for X Ray or similar use, and if that box is old technology it will most likely have incandescent or halogen lamps...if it is newer it may have fluorescent bulbs...Variable dimming is present only for making the object being illuminated more clear when the temperature of the light in not the full spectrum natural light (400-800 nanometers - around 5000-6500 K). The latest technology is LED illumination which has the advantage of emulating that full spectrum Natural Light pretty well, and unless too bright for your pupils, there is no advantage nor need to dim Natural light (LED illumination).
    Note: Discrimination parameters in lab equipment are set with full spectrum natural light, other illumination is acceptable when "tweaking" the light source is possible (dimming, temperature adjustments, etc.)

    The clear acrylic boards with 1.5 - 1.625" + diameter holes are OK, a board needs to be leveled so the plug sits perfectly perpendicular to the target...Sometimes a clear translucent board may work against your scoring by allowing reflected light over the critical surfaces...The ideal is ENOUGH natural light just passing though the holes of the boards and paper (board being not translucent) , but if a clear board works for somebody it is OK and better to use it than not.

    We use the USARB 5X illuminated magnifier and another 8X handheld loupe for close calls...We added a Digital magnifier that goes from 60 to 1000X with a large HD screen, 10 MP photography and HD video for those close calls that seem too difficult or impossible to score...The magnification in this gadget is way too excessive and not needed for ALL shots, but we find this tool necessary for making sure that when there is a doubt, an "X" is100% that without a doubt. We also implemented digitizing individual bulls from targets that might be a record, this practice is convenient if done when the target is scored and plugged for the first time and before humidity affects the paper and further plugging...Please note that I am not implying nor suggesting that digitizing nor acquiring this equipment is necessary for any club or anyone, because it is not.

    Best regards,

    AZ
    Last edited by AZUARO; 09-19-2018 at 03:07 PM.

  10. #10
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    DANG! What does a guy have to do to get an X around here?

  11. #11
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    I can introduce you

    to my X (ex-).

  12. #12
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    It's not about scoring to the jillionth of an inch. It's about everybody scoring the same.

    Joe posted earlier - "My personal opinion is the USARB standard plug and 5x magnifier is adequate to get the job done." In my opinion, which I know is not asked for, that should be the rule...no more, no less.

  13. #13
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    Absolutely agree with you Joe...5X is the magnification for everyone and the same magnification should be used when VERIFYING records at the USARB...
    Joe mentioned that he uses a 10X Zoom, this is disadvantageous to shooters and may cause unnecessary issues and tensions between the sanctioning body and the shooters...

    In other words:
    Clubs and shooters want everyone to use 5X and also require that their records be VERIFIED (USARB Sanctioning body) with the same magnification so there are no thousands of an inch surprises that may go either way (up or down)...If a particular club wants to use more magnification (works against them) it is up to them but whatever is seen with 5X mandates independently of what is seen at more than 5X magnification....

    This is why I initially mentioned the diamond example: A Diamond is certified "Clear" if at 10X there are no visible flaws...Nevertheless, defects will appear above 10X and it is not legitimate to say that the diamond is not clear because it has flaws when using 15X and more power.

    Regards,

    AZ
    Last edited by AZUARO; 09-27-2018 at 03:46 AM.

  14. #14
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    Things I have seen:

    1. every time a plug goes in and out, things change slightly. Protested scores change because of it.

    2. Each org should write specific instructions and, perhaps even require scorers to qualify to use scoring devices.

    3. Protests only for one's own individual targets with the exception of math errors. Some seem to use the protest thing as a poke and hope. I have always found the practice to be unsportsmanlike. Change the rule.

    I am a believer in the plug but a specific process should be required for it's use. I like the current IR 50/50 plug and magnifier but it only works fairly if everyone uses it the same way.

    Pete

  15. #15
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    I've scored bullseye targets for 30 years. Our procedure was that if the scorer plugged a "squeeker", he would ask assistance of another scorer to see if they can come to an agreement. If not, then the match director made the ultimate decision. That usually satisfied everyone. Were there any disagreements? Yup, but we are human and not perfect. Our eyesight isn't always perfect either. Since we don't make any money doing this, I guess me winning or losing by 1 point is chalked up to experience. Too many of us get wrapped around the axle on perfection. The last AG BR match I scored really pissed off one competitor even though I showed him every close shot which he agreed to at the time. He lost the match by one point. Since then, I don't score matches anymore.

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