In fullbore shooting over longer distances, as the shooter cannot see the shot holes in the target even with a scope, the targets are marked by a butts party. A large orange disk is placed in the shot hole to make it more visible, and another (often larger) disk or panel will be placed in a pre-determined place to indicate the score (between 1 and 5.1).
Naturally, such a system requires a method to communicate with the butts party, and while this is normally done by radio, ranges can be up to and around 100 lanes wide, so communication must be brief. Therefore, there are a series of messages that are given down the radio along with the target lane that they apply to, ie, message 8, lane 27. Message 8, lane 27 will be the sole extent of the communication.
Message 1: Shooting about to commence. On receipt of a message one, targets will be raised.
Message 2: No spotting disk is visible. The butt marker may have forgotten to put it in, or in windy conditions it may have blown off.
Message 3: Spotting disk UNMISTAKABLY disagrees with signaled value. This is used when it is obvious that the wrong value has been signaled by the butt party. The butts officer will confirm the correct value and it will be communicated by radio to the firing points.
Message 4: A shot has been fired but the target has not been lowered or marked. The butts party will then lower the target to look for a shot hole. If the shot completely missed the target, this will be communicated over the radio.
Message 5: Challenge for a higher value. In this case, the spotting disk is close to the line, and the shooter wants to confirm the right score has been indicated. It is different from a message 3 in that message 3 is used when the score indication is OBVIOUSLY incorrect. The target will be checked by the butts officer and score confirmed by radio.
Message 6: Radio the number of hits as scoreboard figures are unclear. Message 6 is only applicable to service rifle shooting
Message 7: Challenge for a hit when a miss has been signaled. In the case of a message 7, the butt marker has indicated a miss and the shooter wishes to challenge it. The target will be closely re-examined to see if a shot hole is present. This will be confirmed by radio.
Message 8: Shooter challenges his score with regards to the number of hits. Again, this message is only relevant in service rifle shooting.
Message 9: Butt marking or shooting is unduly slow. As shoots are often timed, if the butts party are taking too long to mark and raise the target after each shot, it may result in the shooter running out of time.
Message 10: Shooting finished. Half mast target.
Message 11: It is suspected the wrong shot hole has been patched out. This message can only be given after a message 4 or a message 7, and is confirmed by the butts officer conferring with the butt marker.
Message 12: patch out the target and raise it, but stand easy. A message 12 is similar to a message 10 with the exception that the target is raised fully as opposed to left at half mast.
Message 13: Blow-off shots are to be fired. Ensure all targets are lowered. Message 13 is only applicable to match rifle.
Message 14: It is suspected there is a second shot on target. The target is lowered and inspected for a second shot hole, which might be the case is a shooter has been cross lane firing (shooting someone else's target by mistake.)