Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/748

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Men Who Ought to Make Good Rifle Shots

��Not the Kentucky "Moonshiner," not the "Bad Man" of the West, but the city dentist and the surveyor make the best shots

By Edward C. Crossman

NOW that learning to shoot the rifle will be the job of some million — mayhap five million — Americans, it is interesting to note the effect previous training in civil pursuits has on the ability to shoot the rifle straight and fast.

It does not make a romantic feature story, I know, but the cold fact remains that the peaceful gentlemen about the country, chiefly in the large cities where feuds are unknown, who have acquired the mastery of the .22- caliber rifle indoors, are far better shots than the legendary "bad men" of the West, who shoot on sight in the moving pictures.

Successful shooting depends primarily on the accurate laying of the sights shot after shot to keep the dis- persion of the fire as small as possible; secondly on the abil- ity to make muscles respond instantly and

�����Successful shooting depends first of all on the accurate laying of the sights, shot after shot

smoothly to the commands of the nerves.

Riflemen describe this more or less loosely by the term "coor- dination." Particu- larly is this true in rapid-fire and snap shooting, where great accuracy and high speed are called for. A charge on your own trench calls for about fifteen rounds "rapid," according to my British friends; which means fifteen shots fired in about one minute. By this time the Teutons are either in the trench with you, preceded by a shower of hand grenades and more immediately by sharp bayonet, or else the gray ranks are broken, and the Teu- tons are on their way back — some of them.

What " Coordination" Means in Shooting

Now fifteen rounds rapid cannot even be fired out of the rifle by a man not skilled in its use, while fifteen rounds rapid fire in a minute with accuracy calls for perfect co- ordination — perfect command of the trig- ger-finger to the end that the shot may go

��Sometimes the man who is stubborn enough to persevere gets the training of muscle and eye from ordinary target practice

��The surveyor who can run out a series of accurate levels for twenty miles is not likely to get care- less with rifle sights

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