Target Shooting  - Competitions
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Target Shooting  - Competitions

Target Shooting  - Competitions




      

Target Shooting - Competitions


Pistol Matches and Competitions

After a number of good shots have been developed in any club, there is generally a desire to measure skill with the members of another club. This leads to friendly matches, which are usually very enjoyable and instructive. Shooting in a match places a man under a certain strain which affects individuals quite differently; some become nervous and shoot poorly when the best work is expected of them, while others are braced up by the occasion and shoot more brilliantly than under ordinary conditions.

Before competing in any match be sure to thoroughly familiarize yourself with all the conditions. This will prevent mistakes that frequently disqualify competitors and lead to disagreeable controversies. Avoid getting into any arguments or disputes with range officers, or officials in charge of the matches, and particularly while the matches are in progress. The range officers are invariably extremely busy and it is unjust to the other competitors to usurp more of their time than is your proper portion. They are generally intelligent men who have been selected because of their fitness for the positions they hold, and their decisions and rulings should be accepted as final. If for good cause you should wish to protest against any decision or rulmg of an officer in charge, do it in a quiet and gentlemanly way, and whether the rules require it or not, such protest should be made in writing.

Beginners, as well as those who keep up their practice shooting, should enter the annual championships of the U. S. Revolver Association each year. These events are conducted by the Association in different parts of the country simultaneously, under as nearly identical conditions as possible. By this arrangement, long and expensive journeys to one place of meeting are avoided, and all those interested in the sport can participate without serious inconvenience.

Competing in these events is extremely advantageous and beneficial. It enables the beginner not only to note his improvement from year to year, but affords training and experience in shooting under real match conditions, and will correct any misinterpretation of the rules. The more experienced shot, by entering these contests is enabled to compare his skill with that of the leading marksmen of the country, and accurately determine his position among them from year to year.

Persons wishing to compete in the annual championships should practice regularly throughout the year under the conditions of the matches; firing the full number of shots and within the specified time limits in all cases. The National Pistol Match and the National Rifle Association matches are generally held at some selected state or government range, and at a certain specified time. All the contestants are, therefore, shooting on the same ground and approximately under the same conditions. All these matches are shot in the open; i. e. without shelter or protection from the wind. When shooting under these conditions in the glaring sunlight, it is a decided advantage to wear suitable, colored large-lensed spectacles to temper the light and rest the eyes. The sights and top surfaces of the barrel should be smoked or blackened to prevent the reflection of light. This may be accomplished by burning a small piece of gum camphor, which makes an excellent smoke for this purpose, or by painting with " sight black." A wide brimmed hat will also add to the shooter's comfort in the bright sunlight. Nailed or rubber soles for the boots or shoes are to be prefered because they do not wear slippery.

In squadded competitions the weather conditions must be accepted as they are at the time of the shooting. In re-entry and individual matches the time of the shooting is sometimes optional with the competitor. When this is the case it is a decided advantage to select atime when the conditions of light, wind, etc., are most favorable. On normal clear days, the early forenoon, or just before sunset, are generally the most favorable for suitable light. The wind generally slacks up to a certain degree also just before sundown. Immediately after a shower the conditions are sometimes excellent.

The position of the target with reference to the sun must also be taken into consideration. It is generally best to shoot directly toward or directly away from the sun. Rapid-fire shooting in a gusty wind is perhaps more difficult than under any other conditions. When the wind is steady one can brace up against it and do fair shooting, but when it is unsteady there will invariably be some wild shots. In deliberate untimed shooting one can wait for a lull and get the shots in during such brief intervals.

In practising rapid-fire shooting, great care is necessary in order to prevent accidents, especially in the case of the automatic pistols, which remain cocked and ready to pull the trigger after each shot. In shooting within a time limit, practise to use the entire period and endeavor to do the best possible work, getting in the last shot just before the end of the period.

In team matches always follow the instructions and suggestions of your team captain implicitly. Cooperate with him to the limit of your ability in developing the best and most consistent work of each member of the team. Always remember that the high average shooting of a team wins more matches than the brilliant shooting of an individual. In training for matches be abstemious and maintain good physical condition. If your liver is torpid it must be stimulated. Do not tire yourself with too much practice shooting. One or two hours practice daily is generally ample.

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

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