CLUBS AND RANGES
In large cities it is often necessary to provide a suitable range for target shooting indoors and by artificial light. Such a range is designated a " gallery." The standard range is 20 yards for the revolver and pistol, and 25 yards for the rifle. The arrangement at the firing point is practically the same as in the case of the 50yard ranges, the booths being at least 3 feet wide. On account of the small size of the target and the short distance, it is feasible to move the target back and forth, from the firing point to the butt by " trolleys " operated by a hand wheel, the latter being located generally at the left hand side in the booth at the firing point. The " trolley" carnage consists of a heavy steel spring clamp holding a cardboard target (about 9 inches square) at the top edge of the target, the carriage being supported by a No. 8 or 10-gauge wire stretched from the firing point to the butt, at a level of about 2 feet above the line of fire. The supporting wires are attached to the wood-work at the firing point by means of eye-bolts, which also regulate the tension of the wires. The trolleys are operated back and forth by an endless braided cord passing around angles over pulleys screwed to the wood-work of the booth, and around the hand wheel. A steel plate with the lower part inclined away from the firing point 20 or 30 degrees is placed about 12 inches back of the targets to stop the bullets and prevent them from gouging out the wall or wood-work behind. By deflecting the plates as described, the spatter of lead is directed downward, and thus prevents damage to the wood-work around the targets. A suitable background behind the targets may be provided by white or light gray paint, or by a suitable fabric. If the splatter of the bullets mars the targets, a shield of 1-inch boards can be erected and maintained between the target and the steel plate.
The lighting may be accomplished by a line of gas jets or electric lights about 2 feet in front of the targets and at the same distance either above or below them. At least two jets should be used to light each target, otherwise the flicker of the gas jets makes the light unsatisfactory. The reflectors should be of tin or other metal, polished or painted white. Glass is too fragile for this purpose. Heavy timbers or steel plates must be provided to protect the lights and piping from wild shots. A telescope is mounted in each booth to enable the marksman to see the location of shots in the bull'seye.
When floor space is limited the rifle ranges can sometimes be located over the revolver ranges, or the latter, if the range is in a cellar, may be depressed by constructing a pit of a suitable depth at the firing point. The boothsi for rifle shooting and the operation of the targets are practically the same as already described.
It is best to complete all the work at the target end of the range first. After the location of the targets is definitely fixed the position of the firing line can be determined by making the distance from the target to the firing point two inches in excess of 20 yards or 50 yards as the case may be. The slight excess distance does not affect the shooting appreciably, but it is important in order to avoid any possibility of having scores disqualified in case the range should be questioned and later be checked or verified and found " short." It is desirable whenever possible to have the ranges of the standard lengths especially if matches with other clubs are contemplated.
The table for cleaning arms, and for tools, should never be placed near the booths, but on the opposite side of the room, to avoid congestion at the firing line.
The floor on which the contestants stand at the firing line must be firm and solid, so as not to vibrate or move when others walk about in close proximity. A concrete floor covered with a carpet or rug of firm texture is excellent.
In indoor shooting smokeless powder and reduced charges are always to be preferred. When artificial ventilation is provided, some shooting may be done with black powder ammunition, but the range soon fills with smoke, rendering the targets indistinct and the atmosphere unpleasant. Gallery practice is very valuable, as it enables one to preserve good fornr in the winter months, in localities where it is too cold to shoot with comfort and pleasure out-of-doors.
Himmelwright, A.L.A.. Pistol and Revolver Shooting. New York: MacMillan, 1922.
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