By Dick Miller

MISSED by a hair!" is a common expression among rifle shooters who hunt small game with a .22 caliber rifle or who engage in the sport of "plinking" with the same firearms. These misses, some of which are really "by a hair," are, according to Henry P. Davis, public relations manager of Remington Arms Company, generally blamed on faulty aim, bad holding, improper trigger squeeze and numerous relative factors, and sometimes on the rifle or ammunition.

"There is another very important factor, however, which causes many of those 'hair misses,' " says Al Riehl, Remington's manager of shooting promotion, "and which the average fellow who hunts with a .22 seldom considers. That is the effect the wind has on the bullet over various distances. Accurate or inaccurate judging of the force of the wind has caused many a championship to be won or lost, many a deer to be wounded or missed entirely and many squirrels to escape.

"A good many hunters are in too big a hurry to make allowances for the wind, but the most successful ones are those who carefully judge and make allowances for the wind's force before the target looms up.

"There is nothing new about the fact that the wind will blow a bullet from its straight course from muzzle to target," continued Riehl. "Perhaps the first time close studies of wind conditions and allowances were ever made in rifle shooting competition was back in the seventies when the American rifle team, composed of such stalwarts as Bodine, Dakin, Fulton, and Hepburn, won the world's championship from the Irish."

Wind force is measured in miles per hour of its travel. The higher the wind force or velocity, the greater the effect on the course of the bullet. It is extremely difficult for the shooter to determine the exact velocity of wind, but a few simple facts will help.

A three miles-per-hour wind can hardly be felt. Only smoke drift will show it. A five miles-per-hour wind can be felt on the face, and leaves begin to rustle. It can be called a gentle breeze. A ten miles-per-hour wind can be called "fresh." Leaves and small twigs are in constant motion, and small flags are extended. At 15 miles-per-hour, the wind begins to raise dust and loose paper. Small branches are moved, and wind at this speed would be called strong. Small trees in leaf begin to sway when the wind is blowing at 20 miles-per-hour, and you have to settle your hat tighter on your head. This wind is called "very strong." Accurate distance shooting with a .22 in such a wind is difficult.

Assuming you are standing in the position of the number six on your watch, a 20 miles-per-hour wind at 1, 5, 7, or 11 o'clock will deflect a .22 caliber Long Rifle bullet as much as .92 inches at 50 yards. At 100 yards in the same sort of wind, the bullet would be deflected as much as 3.42 inches; and at 200 yards as much as 12.92 inches.

Winds at 2, 4, 8, and 10 o'clock have a greater effect on the bullet, and 3 and 9 o'clock winds affect it still more. In a 3 or 9 o'clock 20 miles-per-hour wind, the .22 bullet would be deflected as follows: 50 yards, 1.85 inches; 100 yards, 6.83 inches; 200 yards, 25.85 inches.

These figures show the importance of careful consideration of wind conditions and the necessity for making proper sight pi^ or aiming adjustments. Ul

JUNE AND JULY are two months for trapshooters to "get hot" in state championship shoots. Twenty-nine state championship events will be decided in June and July. Two zone shoots will be held in July: the Eastern zone at Fayette Gun Club, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, July 30-31, August

1-2; and the Southern zone event on the same dates at Jefferson Gun Club, Louisville, Kentucky.

The Kansas, New Jersey, Ontario, and Saskatchewan titles will be determined during the first week of June. The Kansas event runs from June 4-7, at Wichita Gun Club. New Jersey and Ontario share the dates of June 5-6-7. the scenes for the two events being Asbury Park for New Jersey, and the St. Thomas Gun Club for Ontario.

Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas kick off their state trap tournaments on June 11. The Nebraska event, at Central Nebraska Gun Club, Doniphan, runs from June 11 through June 14, as do the Ohio and Texas tournaments. Ohioans gather at the Middle-town Sportsmen's Club; and Texans will converge on the Amarillo Gun Club.

Tennessee will run off it's state program in three days, the 11th, 12th, and 13th, at the Knoxville Gun Club. Illinois will require the five days from June 17 through June 21 to return all the winners, from Pines Gun Club, at Streator. Pennsylvania has scheduled a four-day session, June 18-21, and the site, South End Gun Club, Reading. Colorado's championships, at Denver's Municipal Trap Club, occupy the dates of June 19-20-21. North Carolina likes the same dates, at Durham Wildlife Gun Club.

Alaska, Maryland, South Dakota, and Wyoming will wait until June 26-27-28 to learn who are the state trap toga winners. The 49th state's winner will be returned from firing at Anchorage. Maryland's best will come from the test at Oriole Gun Club, Baltimore. The brightest shooters from Sunshine Chapter Izaak Walton Gun Club's grounds at Pierre will shine for South Dakota. Wyoming's best will be decided at the Cheyenne Trap Club.

Kentucky and Virginia will blend their state trap championship shots with firecrackers. The bluegrass state event holds forth at Latonia Gun Club, Covington, July

2-5. Virginia gunners straddle the Fourth, shooting at Winchester Gun Club on July 3, 4, and 5.

Minnesota, Montana, and Oklahoma all liked the dates of July 9 through 12. Scene of the Minnesota test in Twin City-Hopkins Guns Club, Minneapolis. Montana will return it's sharpest shooters from a shooting match at the Billings Trap Club. Michigan's mightiest will be tested at Berrien County Sportsmen's Club, for the three days of

July 10-11-12. The Berrien County lay-out is at Arden, near the twin cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor.

Hoosiers will hurry to Indiana Gun Club, on the east edge of Indianapolis, July 16 through 19. A District of Columbia congress of trapgunners convenes at National Capitol Trap and Skeet club, Rockville, Maryland for both days of July 18 and 19. New York's best will be decided at Buffalo during a four-day stint, July 23-26.

West Virginia and Wisconsin winners will he returned on the dates of July 24-25-26, West Virginia's from the Greenbrier Gun Club at White Sulphur Springs, and Wisconsin's from the Waukesha Gun Club. Iowa's tallest from the tall corn country will be measured at Cedar Falls on July 30-31, and August 1-2. Other top-flight trapshooting events, in addition to state and zone shoots will help warm the atmosphere in June and July. Billings Trap Club, Billings Montana, hosts it's fourth annual 500 target marathon June 6 and 7.

The Northwest Iowa Zone shoot at Ft. Dodge Gun Club is an attraction for June 13 and 14.

The Sioux Indian (shooting Indians, not real war-paint Indians) shoot brings braves and squaws to Graceville Minnesota Gun Club for a three-day pow-wow June 19-20-21. Route 40 Gun Club, Pataskala, Ohio has scheduled special events for both June and July, honoring Al Chalfont on June 27-28, and H. E. White on July 25 and 26. The Hawkeye Handicap will test trapshooting eyes at the Fort Dodge, Iowa Gun Club, July 11 and 12.

Canuck gunners have a special treat in July, at the Edmonton Gun Club, for the Canadian National Championships, July 2, 3, 4, and 5. Trapshooting is growing by leaps and bounds in Canada, and the Canadian gunners are a real threat in the Grand American, to be held at Vandalia, Ohio, for the 60th year, in 1959, August 24 through August 29.

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