(Continued from page 19) short range with a close choked gun, of course. Some snapshooters get spectacular results and often fascinate the watcher. What the watcher forgets is that only a very few snapshooters are successful. They are persons endowed by Nature with unusual reflexes; and . .. one can snapshoot effectively at long range targets.
The man who points out uses a method sometimes called the "half snap." He tosses his gun to his shoulder, barrel lined close to the dying target; then quickly swings or points his gun ahead of the target, and fires. He is really a swinger who takes a short-cut; and, too often, his movements are jerky. Some of these men are very successful at all ranges, and it is my opinion that they, also, are persons fortunate enough to possess magnificent reflexes and muscular control.
Finally, there is the true swinger. He mounts his gun correctly, often lightning-fast, while his master eye picks up the flight line of the target. Instead of trying to guess at some point ahead of the target—like a hobo trying to snag a fast freight—he merely moves his upper body so that his gun barrel parallels the travel of his open eyes. He sees his target clearly with both eyes, above his gun barrel, all the time; and, at the instant which practice has told him is right, his trigger finger fires the gun. If he hits, he sees the result instantly—and a pretty picture it is, too! If he misses, he is ready for a second shot without delay. The swinger is not a slow, pottering shooter; he is often a very fast one. But he is a logical person who knows that his shot charge must travel a route which will connect with the flying target where it is—not where it was when he decided to shoot.
It is possible to calculate by mathematics exactly how far ahead of a flying target a shotgun must be fired. We know the velocity of the shot charge and the approximate velocity of the target. Sometimes, we know the range pretty closely. If we just knew how long it took for each shooter to fire his shotgun after he thought he fired it, we might—might, I say—tell him how far ahead of the target to "aim" a shotgun with ex-
peclation of hitting his target.
When we can measure that time accurately, it might be possible to make a steady "snap" or "point out" gunner hit some of the targets most of the time. So far, it hasn't been done, although millions of words have been written on the subject. Tables have been prepared by experts, proving everything except the reaction time of the individual gunner. Study of the millions of words and of the carefully prepared tables have kept more shotgunners in the dub class than anything except not leaving their beds. Forget all that bunk for all time if you want to hit flying targets and have fun doing it. Add to the objective of shotgun shooting the pleasure it can give you. Think of it as a joy, like painting a beautiful picture which you, yourself, want to see all the way. Do not spoil your pleasure by mathematics or gun-sights. Swing and shoot while you see the target.
Question: Where do 1 learn how to swing?
Answer: Any where you happen to be with your gun. It is easy. The hard thing is to keep on swinging when you fire the shot. Too often, you suddenly realize that you have just seen your target clearly, and you think: Oh, my goodness! Maybe I'm too far ahead, maybe I'm not far enough, maybe I'm loo high, or too low...! Instinctively, you stop your swing and, in a panic, push with your hands to correct your "aim." yank the trigger, and—miss. Forget your doubts; swing and shoot. If you have mounted your gun corrcclly and done some shooting with your shotgun at stationary targets to learn about where your shot charge lands, you will not miss too many flying targets above or below—most will be missed ahead or behind along its line of travel. That's swing, and all you need is practice.
Question: But where do I learn how to swing with flying targets?
Answer: Probably the best place is on a clay-bird trap court—not skeet. Get permission to take a position at first one and then the other end of the line. Use empty shellin the chamber of your gun to soften the fall of the firing pin. Then, with gun correctly mounted, swing with each target till your arms ache. Each time you swing, snap your gun. simulating firing. Soon you will be seeing the target clearly above your barrel, but you won't be seeing the barrel— although you will know it's there as a sort of shadow. Your common sense will begin to tell you that you would have hit some of the targets you have been seeing. You may even be pretty sure where your muzzle pointed when the shot was "fired." You might even think you had figured out a "lead." Don't fool yourself—just swing and snap. When your gun actually bangs will be time enough to find out whether you were right or wrong. The important thing now is to swing and release the trigger somewhere along the course without stopping the siving.
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Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.