Having our rifle, it only remains to practice—continual, never-ending, patient, persistent, studied practice. It is true that some men of strong nerves, good physique, and keen eyesight can develop rifle shooting skill more quickly than others, but it is no less true that the man who has made the greatest reputation as a sharpshooter is he who has worked the hardest for it. There is absolutely no exception to this and no royal road leads anywhere near success.
Probably the best scheme for the rifleman living in the city is to have two barrels for the rifle, one a .22 for the gallery and the other of larger bore for the range. Except- in the matter of judging wind and light, gallery practice is almost as valuable as shooting the full distance. A certain 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.
Take care to handle the rifle with machine-like, mechanical regularity. Place the feet exactly so every time, wear the same amount of clothing, fit the butt to its precise place on the shoulder, stand long enough to quiet the nerves and heart action, take a long breath or two, like a diver preparing to go under, and then settle the rifle to its aim. Find your steadiest method of swinging onto the bull and use that exclusively. Generally the rifle shots will be aligned above the bull, then the weight of the piece will settle it firmly into place, to swing gently back and forth across the target.
Askins, Charles. Rifles and Rifle Shooting. New York: Outing, 1912. Print.
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