A TARGET is a mark or object of suitable form and color designed to be fired at. It usually consists of a frame covered with canvas or paper, presenting a white surface with a prominent spot or bull's-eye in the center. Concentric circles or " rings," around the center divide the target into zones which are assigned values, decreasing from the center outward. On a regularly equipped range the targets are movable frames, so arranged that they may be raised to the firing position and then lowered into a pit, where the marker can safely examine the target, mark the shot accurately, and cover the shot-hole with a paster. The sum of the values of a limited series of consecutive shots, as 5, 7, 10, 20, 50, etc., constitutes a score.
An arm of large caliber has a decided advantage over one of small caliber in shortrange shooting, on account of the larger hole made by the bullet, and, for this reason the large calibers are preferred for gallery shooting. For distances less than 25 yards not more than five shots should be fired on a paper or cardboard target. In case a close group is made, the scoring will be much easier and more accurate than when ten shots are fired at a single target.
The best grades of target arms are capable of making " possibles " or perfect scores on the Standard American Target, using regulation ammunition. To make high scores is therefore simply a question of skill on the part of the shooter.
A great many other targets designed principally for rifle-shooting have been recommended at different times by well-known and scientific marksmen. Some of these targdts possess much merit and have become popular in certain localities. It is unquestionably a mistake to introduce new targets in this manner as long as satisfactory targets are in general use, and on which all the important matches and records have been shot. The merit of a score on a new target cannot be judged by those unfamiliar with it, and frequently a highly meritorious score fails to receive the recognition it deserves on account of having been shot on a comparatively unknown target.
In selecting a target for longer ranges than 50 yards it is always preferable to have the bull's-eye sufficiently large so as to be seen with ease and comfort when sighting. Small bull'seyes strain and tire the eyes and have no advantage whatever.
Himmelwright, A.L.A.. Pistol and Revolver Shooting. New York: MacMillan, 1922.
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