Outdoor Shooting Ranges
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Outdoor Shooting Ranges

Outdoor Shooting Ranges


Outdoor Shooting Ranges


Outdoor Ranges

WHENEVER three or more persons in any locality are interested in rifle or revolver shooting, a club can generally be organized and additional members secured. If the business affairs are properly and conservatively managed, much pleasure will result for the members at a nominal cost. Approximate ideas of the cost of constructing and maintaining ranges and indoor " galleries " can generally be obtained by communicating with the officers of existing clubs. In preparing the Constitution and By-Laws, that of the United States Revolver Association will be an excellent guide. The secretary-treasurer of that association will be able to give valuable assistance to new clubs. The first requisite of a shooting club is a suitable range.

A 5O-yard range adapted to pistol and revolver practice can be constructed at a comparatively small expense. At the firing point a room or house should be provided with booths at least three feet wide with openings facing the targets. A substantial butt must be supplied behind the targets to stop the bullets, including the wildest shots. This should be an earthen embankment, or may be a natural uninhabited hill with a steep slope toward the range. The range should be measured and laid out by an engineer, or other competent person using a steel tape. A pit at least 8 feet deep should be dug for the safe accommodation of the markers, and provided with a safely shielded side entrance. The uprights and other target framing should set against the back side of this pit. The width of the pit from the framing toward the firing point should be 5 feet, and the length should be made about 3 feet for each set of alternating targets. The alternating target frames to which the targets are to be attached may be of wood with heavy canvas stretched over them. The frames should be at least 30 inches square and should be so arranged that they can easily be moved up and down between the vertical posts in grooves or slides, like " double-hung" window sash, and so as to balance each other by means of cords running over pulleys located in the posts at about the height of the bottom of the target when in its highest position, the cords being attached to the lower corners of the frames. They should be so adjusted that when one target is at the top and in position to be fired at, the other is at the bottom of the pit. Over each set of alternating targets and attached to a cross piece at the top of the uprights should be placed large numbers from 3 to 10 inclusive, for marking each target. A roof or shelter should be erected so as to shade the target and keep out the rain. Suitable timbers or steel plates should be provided to protect the slides or grooves between the targets from damage by wild shots. Steel plates are sometimes placed a short distance behind the targets, slanting forward at the top, to positively stop the majority of the bullets, but these must be far enough behind the targets or inclined sufficiently so that the spatter of lead will not injure the men in the pit. If possible, have the targets so located that they are due north of the firing point.

Such a range is operated as follows: A marker is sent into the pit for each target to be operated; paper targets having been pasted to the canvas on the frames a sufficient length of time previously so as to be dry. The marker pulls down one of the targets which raises the other into the firing position. As soon as the shot is fired, the marker, using a lo-foot rod with an iron disc 2 inches in diameter fastened on the end as a pointer " spots " the shot by placing the disc over the bullet hole, and then pointing to one of the numbers over the target corresponding to the value of the shot. The disc on the pointer should have one side painted white so that it can be easily distinguished when covering shots in the bull's-eye.

The scorer at the firing point then scores the shot as indicated by the marker. The marker then raises the target at the bottom of the pit in position for the next shot, which brings the first target down into the pit where the marker covers the bullet hole with a paster. This operation is repeated for each shot.

Where a score of ten consecutive shots is to be be made on each paper target without covering the bullet holes with pasters, as in the United States Revolver Association Matches, the target is fastened to the frame with double pointed carpet tacks and left in the firing position until the ten shot score is completed, eachshot being " spotted," marked, and scored as fired. When the score is completed, another paper target having been placed on the alternating frame in the pit, the latter is raised promptly ready for the next score.

Himmelwright, A.L.A.. Pistol and Revolver Shooting. New York: MacMillan, 1922.

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