In Canad^:'Crés^n A^ms (Canada) ltd. ÎTor^ito, [j J ; ? Wor/c/'i fargosfpro^^r^PfUfGUflj^f^a^dpi^oIsi] I \
practice and match shooting can run into money, especially in .38 Special and .45 ammo. Therefore, the majority of match shooters take up hand loading, or have hand-loaders supply them. Some shooters hand-load only their practice ammo, and for match shooting use commercial target loads or buy match loads from a custom hand-loader; but for most shooters who have to furnish their own ammo, handloading becomes almost a necessity. No other shooting sport requires as much practice.
For me, there is a whale of a lot of self satisfaction in handloading clean, perfect, accurate handgun ammunition. I spend many hours in my basement loading room, putting together enough ammo to keep me supplied for practice, hunting, and match shooting. My equipment is fairly modern, although not speedy, but I am able to turn out several hundred rounds in a long evening. Loading techniques are easily mastered; my young sons know how and often help me with this chore. Depriming cases, resizing, powder charging, and seating the bullets is no trick even with simple loading tools, and is quickly and easily done with the modern turret tools. Good accurate ammo can be loaded by 'most anyone. I insist on perfect hand-loads, which must look as well, and shoot better than commercial ammunition. This calls for more than just ordinary loading practices: thorough inspection and treatment of the fired cases, and, above all, perfect bullet casting.
There are more than 300 medals and trophies adorning my home, won since I started match shooting in 1952. [ love match shooting; yet as I said earlier, my participation in matches is complementary to my use of the handgun for hunting, ff I had to give up one or the other, match shooting would have to go. Match shooting is not secondary to hunting in my esteem; it is a continuation of a wonderful sport and pastime. If more sportsmen were exposed to handgun target shooting, it would become the fastest growing sport in the nation.
Match shooting has gotten "under my skin," and I look forward to the next meet with eager anticipation. During the summer months, matches offer an exciting opportunity to pit your skill against other shooters. But it is a year-around sport. During the fall and winter, I hunt small game with the
"Ever since white man start shoot guns, we get this crazy weather."
handgun. My game is mostly cottontail rabbits and squirrels, which I hunt locally throughout the open season. Properly prepared, both are delicious eating, so only head shots are attempted. My handguns also provide me with sport shooting at pests throughout the entire year. Jackrabbits lead the list, and on these I use the biggest of the big bores, loaded to the hilt. My smallest live target is the ground squirrel, which are very numerous in my section of the country. I also take the big snapping turtles, which are mighty fine eating: and I have bagged many grouse while hunting deer in the Minnesota woods. Eventually, I plan on extending my handgun hunting to big game.
My favorite hunting handgun is the old Single Action Colt. I have two; one a ll/-> inch .32-20. and the other a .38-40 with a short barrel. These two revolvers have accounted for the majority of the game 1 have killed in the last few years. My old Smith & Wesson K-22 has also accounted for a lot of table meat.
My two young sons are growing up fast, and I've taught them the groundwork in basic pistol marksmanship and the all-important safe gun handling. By shooting kitty-corner. we can manage a 25 foot range in the basement of my home, and under my watchful eye, my eldest boy has been doing real well on targets. He has learned what sights are for, and has developed good control over the trigger.
This past fall, he accompanied me on many squirrel hunts, and he has taken his share of the game. If his interest and skill improves with age, in ten years I'll have someone in my own family beating Pf^J me with a handgun. L^fl
Was this article helpful?