HEN A QUARTER-MILLION AMERICAN soldiers stand guard in Europe, nerves grow tense. Relaxation and recreation are as important as guns and bullets in keeping U.S. Forces personnel in fighting trim. The U.S. Forces Rod & Gun Clubs are key units in the overseas recreational programs. Among the many activities of these clubs is one learned from their fellow-shooters in the German hunting clubs, the hunting-type shoot at stationary and moving game targets. This kind of competition provides excellent training for the hunter and is at the same time a most interesting sport. Typical of the many
Wily "fuchs" in natural size is game target in popular contest.
By NILS KVALE
Fast work with 03A3 Springfield is needed to snap shots into full-size boar target which dashes across in front of Maj. Christian at Rhein-Main R & G Club. Baffles prevent tossing shots high in populated locale.
contests held at clubs all over Germany is the one shot on a pleasant Sunday last fall at the Rhein-Main Rod & Gun Club range, one of the biggest and most active American shooting organizations in Germany.
Only a few minutes' drive from the buzzing city of Frankfort. Western Germany, is the home of the Rhein-Main Rod & Gun Club, peacefully settled in a wooded area. Sparkling European cars of Mercedes, Alfa Romeo and other leading brands are parked outside the large, two-story brick building. Rifle and pistol shots crack on the roomy range on the other side of the clubhouse.
Inside is the meeting-room, big enough to take a hundred members at club meetings, and the sporting goods store— big enough and wfell-equipped enough to be situated on a New York City main street. There's also a bar, where you can have a bottle of good beer at a very reasonable price— or cool off with a Coke after a hot contest on the range just outside.
Whenever you arrive at the club, which is open until late in the evening, you will always find a bunch of gun-bugs at the sporting goods counter. One may be looking over a new rifle which just came in, another picks up a few boxes of cartridge cases or bullets for his reloading bench, a third man is there on his daily impatient trip to ask what became of the revolver he ordered. Maybe his letter had only just reached the factory in the States, but gunbugs are always impatient to feel a new gun, aim it, and smell powder.
Sure enough, it's a Rod & Gun club—and the merry spinning of fishing reels usually mix with the sound of rifle bolts opening and closing—but today is Sunday—the fishermen are off along the streams—and the gunbugs have brought rifles, shotguns, wives and babies to the range. It's the finishing day of the Jagdliches Schiessen, the hunting type shoot which has been going on for the whole Saturday, and even Friday when members from all over the Frankfort area gathered to fire training shots on the tough targets. No, there is no such thing here as a shiny white target with a sharply defined black sighting bull, unless somebody put one up at a hundred meters to do final sighting-in on his new scope. No such thing as a hundred yards either—don't talk yards, feet and inches to these guys. They're metric, unless they speak of bullet velocities, where the discussion still goes in grains and feet per second. Otherwise—they shoot in meters, drive in kilometers per hour, even weigh their guns in kilos. These American gunbugs have no difficulty in feeling at home in a foreign country, as long as they have their "right to own and bear firearms." Neither has he trouble in getting acquainted with the targets, even (Continued on page 43)
Hunting targets are scored according to best shot, not just kill. Poacher target is seldom shot at by S.l.s though Germans use it.
Art Jackson, Olympic rifle champ, congratulates his wife who outshot him on sitting fox target with perfect 50X50.
At Rhein-Main club winners line up. Mrs. Jackson got plaque; Art plaque plus ammo; Capts. Vann and Porasky shell-case trophy and embossed plaque; Sgt. Wilson medal, binocs; Art Niebuhr more ammo.
Typical view of Rhein-Main Rod & Gun Club parking area shows officers', E. M.'s Mercedes, Alfas, Olds.
On duty, Jordan wears Sam Browne rig identical to that of most U.S. officers. M70 Winchester is used by Jordan when rifle is needed.
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