THE SCHUETZEN BUTT-PLATE
The butt-plates that come on factory rifles have a variety of shapes, but those manufactured by private individuals differ still more. The Schuetzen rifle is not held like an ordinary weapon but is balanced. Without the Schuetzen butt there would be a tendency for it to lift away from the shoulder, a tendency that would have to be counteracted by a grip and rearward pressure—something to be avoided. Exacting riflemen have usually had butt-plates made to order, many having the lower arm long and up curved back of the shoulder.
In off-hand rifle shooting with extended arm the right elbow is held rather high and would be under considerable strain if the aim were continued for any length of time. In deliberate Schuetzen work the arm is dropped until it rests against the butt, this both to hold the rifle in balance and to relieve the arm muscles of all unnecessary labor.
The most nearly perfect arm and shoulder support made is cast from solid brass, the back plate an inch and a half in width, broadening under the arm to two inches. This sort of butt-plate will so lock a man to his gun that a fifteen pound rifle will balance as though it had grown to him.
With a rifle of the sort described here, holding is simplified to training the leg muscles to support the body, second after second, without an iota of movement; to regulating the breathing, and to so distending the chest that the heart beating will not communicate its action to the rifle. Probably the leg training is the most difficult, and the majority would be able to hold steadier if permitted to place the left leg against a solid support.
Askins, Charles. Rifles and Rifle Shooting. New York: Outing, 1912. Print.
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