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By Maurice H. Decker.

Here are two things for the shooter to do immediately upon receiving a new weapon. These are, first, to wipe the heavy grease from the action and barrel, replacing it with a light coating of 3 in 1 oil, and second to target the gun to make sure it shoots accurately and where it is held. Aside from the possibilities of the rifle not having been properly sighted at the factory, or that it may have become disarranged in transportation, or through handling over the dealer's counters, every firearm should be carefully tested before being put to use in field or timber, for the reason that a gun sighted correctly for one person may not be so for another, due not only to the eye and one's eyesight, but to the manner of taking sight, whether fine or coarse. Also the same ammunition may not be used by the hunter as was employed in testing the rifle at the factory range, which may make slight or remarkable differences, as the case may be. For an example of this, let us take the Winchester brand of .32-40 High Velocity shells, which possess a velocity of 1752 foot seconds as compared with the U. M. C. high-power cartridges, with a velocity of 2065 F. S. This difference will make a diversity of three inches in trajectory when shooting at 200 yard ranges.

In order to test a rifle for accuracy, take it out to some safe place and measure off the distance at which you expect to do the bulk of your shooting and set up a good big target. Be sure there is something back of the target to stop all bullets effectively, a steep hill or high bank is excellent. Your target must be large enough to register even the most wild or stray shots, for you must know exactly where each hits in order to be able to correct any error in the sights, or your method of holding. A rifle should never be placed in a vise when tested for accuracy. On account of unequal compression of the metal of the barrel and the stiffening of the few inches in the jaws which interferes with the natural "whip" or "flip" in high power rifles, unsatisfactory results will be obtained. The shooter should sit down, if possible, with a rest for his back, elbows and one for the barrel some six inches from the muzzle. A tree will furnish the back rest, two stakes with a sandbag on their tops are good supports for the elbows, and an old barrel full of dirt or sand makes an excellent immovable rest for the gun. When firing, use the same ammunition you expect to shoot regularly and hold to the shoulder, sight, and press off the trigger uniformly for each shot. Do not roll the weapon from side to side, but hold it straight up and plumb.

The first thing to do is to fire a string of eight or ten shots, aiming at the center of the target. A wide sheet of newspaper with a daub of ink or tar in the middle makes a first class mark. This first string will enable you to discover just what sort of groups the rifle is capable of making. If the shots are all grouped reasonably close together, the rifle is dependable in accuracy. The closeness of the grouping will depend upon the caliber of the weapon, the distance fired at and the skill of the shooter. The .22 long rifle cartridge is capable of giving ten shot groups of four inches at 100 yards, and the .32-40, .30-30 and .25-36 will give four to five inch groups at 200. If the group is to one side or above or below the bullseye, the rifle needs re-sighting and the sights should be carefully shifted until continued trials bring the shots close to or surrounding the center.

If the rifle shoots too high, this can be adjusted by lowering the rear sight: if too low by raising it. The regular open sporting rear sights have a movable slide which can be drifted or lowered at will to secure the proper range. A higher front sight will cause a rifle to shoot lower, while a lower one will cause it to shoot higher. Summing up the adjustment for vertical shooting, the raising of the rear sight, the lowering of the front sight, or the substitution of a lower front sight brings the groups higher. The lowering of the rear sight, the raising of the front sight or the substitution of a higher front sight will bring the shots lower upon the target.

If you find your rifle shoots to the right, move the rear sight to the left, or the front sight to the right. If it shoots to the left, move the front sight to the left, or the rear sight to the right. If the adjustment required seems to be considerable, do not attempt to correct the error by moving one sight alone. Adjust with both the front and rear sights. In this way a considerable distance can be taken up without bringing either sight from the center or line of bore. Moving the sights should be done by the use of a little piece of brass rod for by striking this and not directly upon the sight you will not be so apt to batter them or injure the barrel. Always, in substituting sights, drive them out from the left side to the right. In putting them back drive in from the right to the left.

A Few Luxuries Will Improve Its Efficiency

It is possible you have in the selection of your outfit overlooked a few so-called luxuries that will greatly improve the efficiency of your weapon and your skill in handling it. A peep sight, a sling strap and an auxiliary chamber may prove of great value to you in your future shooting. Short heavy guns like the Winchester .351 and .401 automatics are vastly easier to handle upon the trail if equipped with a sling strap. You never know just how much your shooting can be improved until you try 2nd learn to like the peep sight. Of course there are some who cannot use this type to advantage, but I have heard words of praise for them from so many men who previously had nothing but words of ridicule for "the little hole that looks so large upon closer scrutiny" that I want to urge each and every owner of a rifle to give the peep sight a fair trial. A Marble Simple* sight for .22 rifles cost very little and one upon. your small bore repeater will enable you to get accustomed to these sights with ease and celerity. I will not say much regarding the value of the auxiliary chamber, for its merits were treated fully in a previous number, but will say here you are missing fully 20 per cent, of the shooting your rifle is capable of doing if one to fit your high power weapon is not in you: possession.

Shoot More And Save Much By Reloading Some Of Your Ammunition

Every shooter should send three two cent stamps at once to the Marlin Firearms Company, at New Haven, Connecticut, and ask for 2 copy of their Ideal Handbook. This gives some very interesting figures upon the cost of factory and hand reloaded shells that will surprise many I believe most every gun owner will find the loading operation an easy one to master, especially if the bullets are purchased from the Marlin Company ready cast and lubricated. At present I myself am reloading shells for the .« Government Model 1006, for Winchester Model '95 rifle, .38 S. & W. Special, .45 Colts and 45 Automatic Pistol and find I can turn out first class loads at a very low price. The first cost of a rifle and especially one of high power is but a small item in the actual shooting expense and if by putting in a few spare hours in reloading empty shells one can increase two-fold the number of rounds a certain sum will cover, then the tools are certainly justifiable and of economic value. Shells are the most expensive of all the parts that go to make up a loaded cartridge and the shooter is throwing about 50 per cent. of the price paid for the ammunition, when the fired cases are discarded. It is true that the high power cartridges are more difficult to load than those of lesser power, but by purchasing factory primed shells, power and Ideal gas check bullets, one eliminates all trouble with expanded shells and bullet casting and still makes very good wages for his trouble in the saving effected. An important point to remember is that all high power cartridges, both the factory and hand loaded sorts, should be carefully chambered and worked through the rifle to make sure none are swollen 01 expanded. Occasionally brand new shells will be found that fit badly and are capable of causing trouble when shooting hurriedly.

Buy A Good Cleaning Rod And Use It.

One-half of the irk someness of caring for a weapon will vanish if the proper tools are at hand. A metal rod should be of proper size and if jointed, with perfectly rigid joints and be supplied with the necessary accessories—jagged and slotted tips and brass wire scratch brush. When cleaning black powder rifles run through a cloth soaked with oil first of all, if the barrel has set for some time after firing. This will loosen up the fouling so it may be wiped out by a couple of additional patches. Smokeless powder barrels should receive a second cleaning a day or so after the first—and you will be surprised at the amount of fouling this second wiping will remove. To examine the interior of repeating rifles of the common lever or pump action, throw down the bolt and place a small piece of bright paper on its end. This will reflect the light so the inside may be clearly seen from the muzzle.

Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.

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