A target is something you shoot at.  It can be a sheet of paper or a physical object like a gong.  It is always a single item and scoring can be based on the number of holes, the location of the holes or just the fact that it was hit. At Florida Frontiersmen Inc. (FFI), all paper targets have a Target ID. Scores for physical objects are consolidated onto a single score sheet and this score sheet is typically given a Target ID because only the total score for the match (the group of physical targets) is recorded. In order to be scored and appropriately recorded, every target must have its corresponding Target ID written on it. A properly documented target will be turned in with the following information

  1. The Competitor’s ID
  2. The Competitor’s First and Last Name printed legibly
  3. The Target ID
  4. The Caliber of the gun (e.g., 54 cal)
  5. The Competitor’s class if the target is for Men’s Off Hand

Bullseye Targets – To be a bull target, scoring areas are comprised of rings (only complete concentric circles).  It does not matter if under the rings, you see picture of an animal.  If the scoring is determined by a hole’s proximity to one or more rings, measurements will be made based on a bullet’s center location with respect to the target’s rings. Multiple shots are typically taken at bull targets. Scoring of bull targets will be covered later. Bull targets can have one or more sets of rings (e.g., 2 bull; 3 bull, 5 bull, etc.)

Silhouette (freeform) Target – A silhouette target is one typically profiling animals or objects like bottles.  The scoring areas will have at least one irregular shape.  While some shapes may be circles, the fact that one or more scoring areas are comprised of a silhouette or freeform shape, all measurements are made based on the edge of the bullet (not the bullet’s center). Multiple shots are typically taken at silhouette targets. Scoring of silhouette targets will be covered later.

Objects – These can be metal objects such as gongs, playing cards, eggs, string, odd metal shapes, etc.  Scoring is done based on a hit or a miss. One shot is typically taken at each object target. The hit or miss is recorded onto a single score sheet and the score sheet is totaled.  The total score and the score sheet are given a Target ID for scoring purposes. A hammer fall is considered a shot.

Target Distances

Fixed – Many targets are shot at fixed distances.  These typically are 25 yards, 50 yards and 100 yards.  FFI also has a 200-yard range

Random – Objects are typically placed at random distances.  Therefore, the only fact that matters is whether the object was hit or not.  Distance does not impact the scoring.


A match is typically an aggregate of targets where multiple shots and targets are totaled for a single score.  At FFI, there are match winners and in many cased, individual winners for specific targets within a match.  As an example, a match would be called “Men’s Offhand.” Men’s Offhand will consist of five targets, two shot a 25 yards, two shot at 50 yards and one shot at 100 yards. Five shots are taken at each target in Men’s Offhand.  Matches can also have just one target and a single shot.

Match Types

Sample Objects Target

Aggregate – An aggregate match will always have more than one target that is typically shot at multiple times.  Examples are Men’s and Ladies Offhand, Pistol, Trade Gun, and Junior Offhand. A match score is comprised of the sum of the individual totals on the aggregate of targets

  • Objects – This group holds all other shooting matches such as Woods Walk, Primitive, Fur and Feather, Boone Keaton and the Alafia River Rendezvous Shoot Off. A single scoring sheet is given a target ID to hold the history of shots made. (See Figure 5 Sample Objects Target). Objects may carry differing point values based on difficulty.

Matches can be restricted to a type of shooter such as a Men’s, Ladies or Junior’s or can be Open, meaning any shooter can compete.

Sub juniors are a special group that shoots at one target with a BB Gun.  They always get 10 shots at the target and the target is typically a 50 yard Bull Pistol Target.


Ties occur when more than one shooter in a match or on a specific target gets the same score.  Here is how ties are broken for all aggregate matches

  1. If the score is tied, then the highest number of X’s wins
    1. An X is a special area on a target so indicated by an X as to identify a perfect shot
  2. If the score and X’s are both tied then the highest score of the target shot at the longest distance wins
  3. If the score, X’s and the score of the target shot at the longest distance are all tied, then a measurement is made on the target shot at the longest distance called the “Tie Breaker.”  See how this is done in the next section.

In the event awards are being given for individual targets within a match, the ties are broken for targets as follows:

  1. If the score is tied, then the highest number of X’s wins
  2. If the score and X’s are tied then a measurement is made on the target and is called the “Tie Breaker.” Each target can have a tiebreaker measurement. See how this is done in the next section.

Here is how ties are broken on object matches:

  1. The target or score sheet of the object match will have an X on it.  A measurement is made from the center of the X to the center of a single shot made at the score sheet.  The measurement is in millimeters.


Scoring will vary with the match.  A score can be one point such as hitting an object.  Objects may have varied values so the value of individual targets can be more than one.  In some special matches they can be a negative number where you subtract points from a total score.

For most paper targets (bull and silhouette), the score is determined by the number of shots and the placement of the shots, provided that the total number of shots for that target is not exceeded. 

In some special events such as the State Shoot, all matches are made to be equal to each other. This is done by multiplying the actual score by a number so that every match is equivalent in total score.  In this case the modified score is called a “normalized score.”  When each match is given the same weighting (importance), scores can be totaled to pick a grand winner of an event.

X’s are always indicated as such on a target. They represent a near perfect bulls eye. These are counted and used for tie breaking but do not influence the score. 

Shooter Classifications (Class) are a special grouping applied ONLY TO MEN’S OFFHAND.  There are four classifications, A, B, C and U.  The process of determining a classification is as follows:

  • All new or inactive shooters are classified a U standing for “unclassified.”  They will shoot and compete with A shooters until they receive their classification.
  • After 15 Men’s offhand targets have been shot (they must be shot within 6 months), a shooter is eligible for their classification. 
  • Classifications are made on a quarterly basis.  The sum total of the last 15 men’s offhand targets is sorted against all eligible shooters.  The top third are A, the middle third are B and the bottom third is C shooters.
  • If a shooter with a classification does not have 15 men’s offhand targets shot within a six-month period, they resort back to U and must re-qualify.

Shooter Types are either MEN, LADIES or JUNIOR

Competitor ID is assigned the first time a shooter participates at FFI.  The number will be the same for every monthly meeting.  For special events such as the Alafia River Rendezvous or the State Shoot, competitor numbers are assigned only for that one event.  Shooting at special events does not affect the rankings and scores for monthly FFI shooters.

Measuring a Target

All measurements should be done with a gauge. First, note the caliber listed on the target.  The gauge is centered over the bullet hole using the closest matching caliber. The gauge is used to find the center of the bullet hole (bull targets) and the edge of the bullet (silhouette targets).

There is an ample supply of gauges in the Range House. REMEMBER, IT IS NOT THE HOLE IN THE PAPER BUT THE BULLET WE MEASURE.  The hole is always slightly smaller than the bullet and that is why we use a gauge.

Using the gauge for scoring

  1. For a bull target, this would score a 7; for a silhouette target, this would score a 8
  2. For a bull target, this is touching the line and would score a 7. For a silhouette target, this would score an 8.
  3. For a bull target, this is past center and would score 8; for a silhouette target, this would also score 8.
  4. For a bull target, this is on center and would score an 8; for a silhouette target, this is past the line and would also score 8.
  5. For a bull target, the center is not over the line and would score 7; for a silhouette target, this is not touching the line and would also score a 7.
  6. For a bull target, the center is across the line and would score 8; for a silhouette target, this would also score 8.

Tie Breaker

A “Tie Breaker” is a measurement made on a target.  It is more complex than it may seem so please read this section carefully:

All tiebreaker measurements are from the center of a bull’s eye to the center of the farthest shot on the target and measured in millimeters.  The complexity comes from the type of targets that come into play.  Many targets have more than one bull’s eye.  For example the bear has two, the “bull” targets may have 2, 3 even 5 bulls eyes on the target.  Bottle targets may not have any actual bulls eye.  The important point to remember is that the purpose of the tiebreaker measurement is to determine who has the “tightest grouping” of shots.  As an example, if two bull targets with a single bulls eye both have 5 shots, both are scored at 42 but target A is (10, 9, 8, 8 and 7) and target B is 10, 9, 9, 8 and 6), target A will win the tie breaker.

Here is how first to determine which bulls eye to measure from:

  • For a target with one bull’s eye, the answer is to measure from the center of the bull’s eye to the center of the farthest ball.  To do this, you need to know the caliber of the gun used and you will need to use a National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association gauge. The gauges are available in the range shooting supplies. 
  • It is the responsibility of the shooter to write the caliber on each target.  If the caliber is missing, the official scorer is instructed to select a caliber on the gauge that just exceeds the hole in the paper. (Remember the bullet is always bigger than the hole in the paper so you need a gauge – we measure the bullet not the hole.)
  • In the example shown in (Figure 6 Measuring a Tie Breaker) this target has two bulls eyes so there are a few lessons to learn from it.  First, scorer needs to determine which bull, left or right, each of the holes belong to. Our club standard is three in the left and two in the right.  In this example, the scorer would assign the hole in the bottom of the target to the left and it would represent the farthest shot from the appropriate bulls eye. Using a 50-caliber gauge, the measurement is 147 millimeters or the “tie breaker” value.  The target also did not score as a 5 on the right target.  The center of the hole was not across the line into the bull on the right.  This target scored zero.
Measuring a Tie Breaker

Measuring Tie Breakers

You will need two items: a scoring gauge and a metric ruler.  Remember that you are trying to find the distance from the center of the bull’s eye to the center of the farthest shot.  If a target has a missed shot, it is always considered inferior to a target with all of its shots (e.g., a target with a score of 30 and 5 shots in the paper will win over a target with 30 and 4 shots in the paper). 

A target with one bulls eye

A single measurement in millimeters (one millimeter is equal to .0394 inches) measured from the target’s center to the center of the shot the farthest away from that center.

A target with one object such as a bear but with two bulls eyes

Find the bull’s eye closest to the center of mass (chest) of the object and that is your reference bull’s eye.  Take a single measurement in millimeters measured from the target’s reference bull’s eye to the center of the shot the farthest away from that center.

Targets with multiple objects on them

Never use the practice object on a target for tie breaking.  Then find the set of rings that has the shot farthest away from its bull’s eye. Take a single measurement in millimeters measured from the target’s bull’s eye you have identified as the center of the shot the farthest away from that center.


Targets with objects that may not have a bulls eye with an exact center (e.g., bottle target, or object targets)

Have the Chief Range Safety Officer determine a reference point on each object.  For example on a bottle target, one might select the midpoint of the line that separates the neck of the bottle from its body or the center of the candle flame for the candle.  Each object has its own reference point.  So in order to determine the tightest grouping, the scorer is looking for the worst shot. The same reference point for each object must be used for the entire shooting event to maintain consistency.  Find the object that has the shot farthest away from the selected reference point. Then take a single measurement in millimeters (one millimeter is equal to .0394 inches) measured from the target’s reference bull’s eye to the center of the shot the farthest away from that center.

Recording a complete missed target on a tie breaker

In the event that the shot farthest from the bull’s eye is off the paper, record the tiebreaker as 9999 millimeters.

Specialty targets may score differently

Some targets such as silhouette targets can have special scoring rules printed on them. One of these used by FFI is the Bottles Target.  Note there are rules on the upper right hand corner.

Shooting Questions

When shooting at paper targets, here are some common questions or situations that come up with respect to scoring. 

Shot Misses the Target Completely

Shooters may retake the shot without penalty.

You Shoot Someone Else’s Target

If the target is the same as yours, when the range is called COLD, ask a Range Safety Officer to initial and mark the other target.  You will receive as a score what you shot on the other target, minus one (-1) so have the same Range Safety Officer make a note on your target and initial it. If the target is not the same as yours, you get no score, the scorn of your fellow shooter and a discount on your next pair of glasses. Also, you will lose your highest shot on your target.

Someone Else Shot at Your Target

Have the Range Safety Officer initial the shot.  There is no penalty for you.

Two or More Shots Go Through the Same Hole

Our official scorers do not have the responsibility to determine if multiple shots have gone through a single hole.  While the target is still on the cardboard, when the range is called COLD, have a Range Safety Officer view the target.  It is the full discretion of the Range Safety Officer to make a final decision.  The decision and Range Safety Officer’s initials must be written on the target prior to being turned in for scoring.

Adding Up Your Own Score on the Target

Each shooter has the prerogative to write their own score on their targets. The score you determine for each shot should be listed with an appropriate total.  Do not summarize individual shots. It is helpful for scorers to see and confirm how each shot was interpreted. If a scorer changes the total, it should be marked as to what changed. Those new to scoring should ask for a second opinion prior to changing any shooter’s score. Once scored in the range house, the target should bear the initials of the person checking and finalizing the score.

Single Targets with Multiple Silhouettes but One Silhouette has Two Shots in It

Targets that have multiple silhouettes or a practice target offer the opportunity to place a shot intended for one object onto the wrong object.  Scoring in this case will take the lower of the two scores in one object.

An Extra Shot on a Target

If any target has more than the appropriate number of shots, the highest shot value is removed for each extra shot.

Missing Target from an Aggregate Match

If any targets are missing from a set of targets that formed an aggregate match, the targets will be scored as a zero (0).  Missing targets are factored into calculations for rankings and classifications.

Caliber is Missing from the Target

It is the scorer’s judgment to select a caliber from the gauge.  This selection should choose a caliber that just exceeds the bullet’s hole.  This choice provides for an accurate center location on the gauge for a bull target.  For Silhouette targets the advantage would remain with the shooter who provided their caliber. So, WRITE YOUR CALIBER ON YOUR TARGET.  Bullets are always bigger than the hole.

Bull Targets with Two bulls eyes

When shooting at a bull target with two bull’s eyes, the protocol is three shots on the left and two on the right.  There is no penalty if that is reversed unless more than three shots are in any one of the two bull targets.  See “ON THE WRONG BULL” below for further information.

When a Miss of a Silhouette Image Still Counts as a Hit

The target shown to the right is a one-bull buffalo target.  You will notice that there is a section of the rings that is under the belly and over the back of the buffalo.  Remember that the animal or shape on a bull target has no bearing on the scoring.  Bullet centers must be on or over the circle to count and a shot on any circular area of this target counts, including those under and over the buffalo.

On the Wrong Bull

When more than the required number of shots are fired at one bull, and fewer than the required number of shots are fired at another bull on the same target but not more than the required total number of shots are exceeded, the bull having more than the required number of shots will have the shot of the highest value penalized one point and the value moved to the bull missing a shot.  A 10X becomes a 9.  When measuring tiebreakers, use the center of the bull containing multiple shots for measurements of those shots. In the example below (B-50-5-N), the 8 is decreased to a 7 and the 5 counts for a score on the empty bull target.

This penalty ONLY PERTAINS TO TARGETS where each of the bull targets are identical.  The targets impacted are the 2 Bull, the 3 Bull the 5 Bull and the 5 Bull with a practice Bull.