Firearms for 200 Yard Target Shooting
Firearms for 200 Yard Target Shooting
The arms used differed widely, too, at one time. The German clung to his great Schuetzen rifle with its hair trigger, set so light that an Irishman could start it with a cuss word, though it didn't mind a Dutch oath. Besides he would tolerate no rule that barred his palm-rest, and long, heavy barrel; neither could fee see more merit in the standard target than in his own Ring—in which at least he was right. On the contrary the American usually shot under the rules of the Massachusetts Rifle Association which forbade palm rests, rifles of over ten pounds weight, or triggers with a minimum pull of less than three pounds. The idea of one rifleman was ultimately to use his skill in hunting and war, the other shot purely for sport and the making of record scores.
Gradually, through a process of evolution and elimination, the two classes have come together in the present generation. The German still uses his "lucky" targets, but no longer values very highly the records made upon them, while the American has discarded his ten pound, three pound pull gun for the Schuetzen rifle, recognizing the utility of the German appliances, palm rests, set triggers, Schuetzen butt plates, cheek pieces, and has gone him one better by inventing muzzle loading barrels and insisting upon telescopic sights.
The old Schuetzenman, born across the water, loved his brass band, his marching and countermarching, his ribbons and decorations, his beer, and his much shoot and little hit. Not so his son who will be found in the quietest corner of the shooting stand, saying nothing and sawing wood, the finest off-hand sharpshooter in all the world. On the other hand the American youth has deserted his own ranges and gone to the German mostly because he appreciates the need of a social side to the game; the jollity and wholesome fun of the Schuetzenfest appeal to him. The result is a new generation of riflemen who shoot together in all amity and whose work is far superior to anything seen in the past.
Whatever the practical value to the hunter or the soldier of practicing sharpshooting under modern conditions, and I do not credit it with having much, the sport itself is worthy of all praise. Moreover as a training in self-control, controlled muscles, and nerve education it is superior to any sport in the world.
The man who would participate in off-hand match shooting must first of all look to his rifle. The ordinary military, the sporting, or hunter's weapon is quite useless. He must select a Schuetzen rifle and prepare to manipulate it Schuetzen fashion.
The most advanced type of the Schuetzen rifle is shown in cut published herewith. It has much to recommend it, yet a visit to the range will show that nearly every expert has modified and changed it to suit his own notions. Since, however, it would be impossible to describe at length all the variations that personal requirements demand I shall content myself by pointing out the features of the rifle illustrated which might be termed peculiarly Schuetzen.
The barrel is the Pope-Stevens with bullet seated from the muzzle as described under heading of Match Ammunition, Chapter VIII. The most desirable caliber is there mentioned also.
The sight should be the best telescopic match glass procurable, power from four to eight, micrometer adjusted for windage and elevation so as to give an inch to the line at two hundred yards. Whatever might have been true in the past, it is to-day impossible to compete successfully with peep and globe sights. Ignore spirit levels; the contrivance is useless in off-hand shooting.
Askins, Charles. Rifles and Rifle Shooting. New York: Outing, 1912. Print.
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