Shooting a Rifle Like a Shotgun for Rapid Hits
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Shooting a Rifle Like a Shotgun for Rapid Hits

Shooting a Rifle Like a Shotgun for Rapid Hits


Shooting a Rifle Like a Shotgun for Rapid Hits

Shooting a Rifle Like a Shotgun for Rapid Hits

The rifle for rapid firing should have shotgun weight, shotgun balance, shotgun trigger pull, shotgun fit, and the sights must be such as can be caught instantly without effort in alignment. The hands grasp the piece firmly, not with the rifleman's loose grip, but the left arm pushes forward while the right draws back, and the trigger is pulled by transferring the drawing back force to the trigger finger, and not by any conscious crooking of that finger. The moment the bead covers the mark the bullet must be under way, be the aim good or bad.

The skill in this kind of work comes, not from being able to hold the weapon as though in a vise, but to swing true to the mark, and to let off in the hundredth part of a second, no conscious thought whatever being given to the pulling. We need not hurry our movements, indeed we can make them with mechanical regularity if we like, but just as sure as the bead rises to a certain point or swings to a certain point, the bullet must go.

If we hesitate, dwell, or try for a surer aim the practice is useless, and the opportunity is gone if it is running game or a disappearing target.

The training for deliberate firing is to shoot with a rifle hanging "dead," taking the utmost care not to disturb it by the pressure of the trigger. Neither does it matter how we get on the mark or how much time it takes. On the contrary rapid firing means the making of perfect movements. The measure of skill at a still target lies in the ability to move the sights upon it with mechanical exactness and to time the pull to the motions of the gun.

Much of the training for rapid firing can be accomplished with an empty gun; simply sight and pull trigger, keeping it up until muscles and nerves become thoroughly obedient to the will. Of course the marksman will desire to prove his progress pretty frequently by using bullets in his gun. Naturally results will depend greatly upon clever trigger pulling; sometimes the novice will let-off too soon and more often too late.

In the beginning the same accuracy must not be expected as could be secured by deliberate firing. Ten shots in a two-inch ring at twenty-five yards are pretty good. Progress, however, will generally be so rapid as to elate the rifleman highly, and in the end he may decide that he can do finer work in this style than any other.

As to the rapidity of fire, ten shots in twenty seconds is fast enough in the beginning. All this kind of work presupposes a repeating rifle, and it follows that the model of this will ultimately govern the speed with which it can be shot. With a lightly charged automatic ten shots are possible in ten seconds, all well aimed after the manner detailed; with a bolt-action gun ten shots in twenty seconds would be good, and the pump and lever would come somewhere between. Heavy hunting charges will make the marksman slower, since he must recover balance before firing again. However, this is to be said for the rapid fire system of aiming,órecoil is never felt to anything like the same extent as when the rifle is held for a deliberate aim. So true is this that most people will get their best results from light rifles, with heavy charges, when shot with the rapid fire aim.

With a hunting rifle, shot rapid-fire, it ought to be possible for the average man to place his ten shots in an eight-inch circle at one hundred yards; many can do better than this. I have seen the ten shots go into a six-inch, using a .30-30 rifle, the majority going into a four; time fifteen seconds. The man who can do this is a real game shot and a real rifleman in the modern meaning of the term.

Askins, Charles. Rifles and Rifle Shooting. New York: Outing, 1912. Print.

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