I was enjoying a cup of coffee this morning and reading through Jeff Cooper's latest commentary. He has a few thoughts in there on what criteria make a person a "good shot", and that got me thinking about the best shot I've ever personally seen. I decided to type up the story and toss it up here, first and foremost because I think it's a good story, and secondly because I think it might provoke an interesting discussion.
For as long as I can remember, my Uncle Jerry has used an old Marlin lever-action .30-30 for deer hunting. While the rest of us spend money on new guns, expensive scopes, and high-energy ammo, Jerry has stuck with the same gun and the same gear. He doesn't even have a scope on it. He just uses those old iron sights. Every year the week before hunting season we get together to zero in our equipment. While we're all tweaking and tuning and measuring groups, Jerry shows up, sets a 2-liter bottle on a stump at about fifty yards, knocks a few holes in it, then puts his gun away and watches us until we're done.
A few years back we were deer hunting up in West Virginia. We'd hunted hard all morning, and around lunchtime we met up in a clearing in the middle of a thicket to sit for awhile, discuss things and get a bite to eat. We probably hadn't been there for 5 minutes (we hadn't even sat down yet) when a big 4-point buck (big deer, small rack) walked out of the thicket no more than 30 yards away.
We froze. The buck froze. Hell, I think the birds in the trees froze. Things got pretty tense for everybody involved. The buck's problem was that there were 6 people with loaded guns not 30 yards away from him. Our problem was that we'd been standing in a circle, so half of us were frozen-in-place with our back to the buck, and the other half had a relative standing between us and our target. The only guy with a clear shot was my 14-year old cousin, who put his gun to his shoulder, took careful aim, and promptly got the worst case of buck fever I've ever seen. Seriously. It was bad. I mean, buck fever alone is bad enough, but can you imagine being 14 years old, with 5 grown-up relatives looking at you, and it's all on your shoulders? Geez. Poor kid locked up tighter than the Gold Depository at Knox.
So there we were. No one could move, and the one guy who could shoot wouldn't. Something had to give, and naturally, it was the buck. Hyperdrive, Mach 2, whatever you want to call it, the male North American whitetailed deer can go from not moving at all to moving very very fast in the blink of an eye. He'd turned slightly to his right to blast back into the safety of that impenetrable laurel thicket, and appeared to be doppler-shifting steadily into the red as he went.
Now, remember my Uncle Jerry? He's the point of this whole story, because he's about to make one hell of a shot. Two of them, actually. Jerry had been one of those guys with his back to the buck. In fact, he'd leaned that old .30-30 against a tree, and was in the process of lighting a cigarette when the buck made his dramatic entrance from stage left. When the buck started moving, I hollered "There he goes!" and before I got all three words out, Jerry had dropped his Bic, grabbed his gun, spun 180°, put his gun to his shoulder, took aim, and standing there off-balance and practically on one foot, drilled a running deer, quartering away in mid-jump, through the left lung, up through the heart and out through the right lung. Then, almost as if to add insult to injury, he racked the lever on that .30-30 and did it again. All of this, mind you, in less time than it took for that buck to cover about 10 yards, which was all that stood between him and that wall of laurel. The buck died and nose-dived into the ground right there like a big furry lawn dart, but slid at least 15 feet into the thicket before he came to a halt.
Now, I'd like to think I've seen some good shooting. A decade and a half ago, the Army considered me an expert marksman, and I went to a three-week sniper school in 1987. I've seen guys put bullets into tiny little bullseyes from the kinds of distances that are usually described as "way the hell over there", but I don't believe I've ever seen a shot like my Uncle Jerry made that day in the woods, with iron sights on a .30-30 at about 25 yards.
How about you?
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May 28, 2006, 12:30 PM
I've seen good shots before and a few were worth commenting on but I just wanted to say I like your story.
May 28, 2006, 12:32 PM
Shooting Rock Chucks with a buddy. He was proud of his new laser rangefinder, and his Ruger No. 1 in .220 Swift. He was lasering everything in sight.
Wind really kicked up in the afternoon, and the shooting got tough. We saw one 'Chuck just poking his head out of a "V" in the rocks. Lasered distance, 297 yards. Wind was straight crosswind at probably 15mph. I'd like to say he made the first shot. But I called it for him at 4" low and a foot left.
He hit it with the next shot. Best I've seen personally.
10 Ring Tao
May 28, 2006, 12:37 PM
A shot like that deserved a special mount.
And I'd like to add that your post should be required reading for new forum members, as an example of how to make a long post readable via paragraphs and quality grammar. :D
May 28, 2006, 12:39 PM
I grew up with my brother-in-law Tony & his family. His dad was a Texaco gas distributor, supplying all the little stations way out in the middle of Nevada. I would ride with them on occasion to make those deliveries out to Austin, when it was (then) a very narrow road (haven't been there in decades-don't know if the road is better now).
Back then, literally herds of cottontail rabbits would run across the road; I'm talking 20-30 or more, all at once. It seemed like they would stop not too far off of the road, and we'd jump out. Frank, Tony's dad, would just stand there with an iron-sighted .22 and wait. Before too long, one of the rabbits would break and he would shoot it in the head, on the run, every time. Not just once, but every time. I remember once, since I was about 4 years younger than Tony and it was customary for me to stand back near the truck, a rabbit broke from where they didn't see it. I hollered "Frank, Frank !!" He turned around to scold me to be quiet when I pointed & hollered "There goes one!" He spins around & from probably 60 yards, running away, pops it right in the head. My reward for alerting him was I actually got to go out into the sagebrush & bring the rabbit back!!
May 28, 2006, 12:44 PM
friend of mine was being annoyed by a wasp,who then went and landed on the road several yards from us. friend drew single six and shot abdomen off of wasp. could'nt convince him to take another shot to finish him off though.
Harry Paget Flashman
May 28, 2006, 02:36 PM
Back in 1974 some friends and I were exploring old silver mines in Western Nevada. As we were approaching the entrance to a mine shaft a small mouse ran out. My friend, Mike, watched it run past him and when it was about 10' away and still running he cross-drew his Ruger Old Army from his holster and hit it on the first shot.
I bought the gun from him and still have it. It's a tried and proven mouse gun.
May 28, 2006, 03:19 PM
10 Ring Tao wrote: And I'd like to add that your post should be required reading for new forum members, as an example of how to make a long post readable via paragraphs and quality grammar.
May 28, 2006, 03:29 PM
Neat story, OP and wonderfully told.
May 28, 2006, 03:31 PM
This thread really made me go back.
When I was a kid I had this friend named John. John wore these huge lens glasses. You know the type. Lens as thick as the bottle of a coke bottle.
When he looked at you his eyes appeared as large as a bug! LOL
Anyway Old John couldn't see very well.
One day we were driving around the pasture in a pick-up. I was driving and John was in the back holding a .22 SingleShot iron sighted rifle. We drove by a stock pond. Just then a dove flew over us and flew to the far side of the pond and landed on the ground. John yelled STOP! I stopped and he said he was going to take a shot at that dove. I laughed and said "Oh yeah, right. Bet ya $20 you miss it." He grunted yes and took aim. I'm thinking the entire time there is NO WAY he can make this shot. I couldn't even see the bird(although I had seen it land). AND he was firing off-hand.
POP! goes the .22 and I see the dove start flopping! He had hit it!. OMG! Went down and sure enough there it was, dead as a hammer.
Paced it off TWICE. 190 yards! I would NEVER had beleived it if I hadn't witnessed it. Especially from blind Old John.:what: $20 was a LOT of money to us then.:mad:
Another great shot, although it was with a bow and arrow, I witnessed was several years back. This guy who I hunted with was a really good bowman.
We were sitting in camp and goofing around one day. We got to plinking at cans. I shooting a .22pistol and he was shooting his bow.
I had taken a 16penny nail, walked over to a fence post about 30yds away, and tapped the nail into the top of the fence post. I walked back to Mr.Bowman and told him that $100 was his if he hit that nail with an arrow.
He smiled, drew, let fly, and PING! There went the nail! :what:
I paid him as he laughed at me.:cuss:
I never learn.:banghead:
May 28, 2006, 03:32 PM
I don't know if this counts but I made a 150yd one shot kill of a turkey. Kneeling position, open sites, .50cal flint longrifle w/PRB.
Livin in Texas
May 28, 2006, 03:39 PM
I had 20 acres once. 440x220 yards. Mostly swamp that grew these thumb sized things about waist high I'll call trees. There was a little pond dredged with the dredge fill placed around the pond.
I was positioned on the north side of the pond on the fill, sitting, with a good rest. My friend Larry started a slow walk through the trees. He was looking intently in front of himself for deer. After about 200 yards of walking, a doe slowly got up about 20 feet behind Larry. The deer had just let him walk by and waited about a minure to get up.
I called out to Larry to turn around but he could not hear me. I waited and yelled more. I did not want to shoot a deer that someone else had done the grunt work to get to move. Finally, the doe got some real oaks between herself and Larry so she was lost to him. 280 yards from me now.
All I could see by then was her head and part of her neck as the short trees hid her pretty good. When she stopped I fired. We never found a bullet hole from my new Bicentennial Ruger .25-06. All I can think of was I put one into her ear. I had the hide tanned with the hair on as that was, and still is, my only head shot deer.
I shot a lot then and the Sierra 117gr PBT bullets were 1/2 MOA accurate. I would not try that again. Back then I thought, "head shot or clean miss, sporting enough".
May 28, 2006, 03:50 PM
My grandfather (b. 1896) was good with any gun but out of sight with a pistol. When I was a youngster I would throw charcoal briquets up in the air and he would shoot them with a 9mm Luger. I'd get tired of throwing before he would miss -- which means I never saw him miss one.
May 28, 2006, 04:01 PM
Lemesee -- onct upon a time, when I was about 13, I jumped a herd of deer when I was taking feed to the cattle. I fired one shot with a .22, leading them about 20 feet, and the last one went down with a bleat and bawl.
That shot I stepped off to 167 yards -- it hit high in the back, grazed the underside of the spine, and paralyzed the deer's hind quarters.
And then there was the two deer I killed with one shot with my Dad's .30-30 (I still have the bullet) and the duck I knocked out of the air with a rock.:D
May 28, 2006, 04:16 PM
of the two best shots ive seen one of them was mine. out on my buddies ranch shooting squirrels. we were hiking around looking for the squirrels and we were comming up a creek and i saw one a little over 100 yards away. i got everyone in the group stopped and i got on my knee and wrapped the sling around my arm and shot. i was using a old remington 721 in 30-06. i got the squirrel in the neck. my friend thought i meant to hit it there but i was aiming for his body. it was a cool shot anyway.
the other best shot ive seen was my buddy who nailed a sparrow flying by from the hip with a bolt action .22lr. ive never seen anyone hit moving targets like he does.
May 28, 2006, 04:44 PM
In 1978 I'd just returned home from Army Basic Training. I was 21 and bought my first pistol, a Ruger Mk I bull-barrel.
I took it to a local range and sighted it in at 25 yards. I took some more shots at 50 yards.
I walked out to the 50 yard target frame to clean off my paper. I found a Colt Police Silhouette target flopping in the weeds. It had a few .38 holes in it.
It was getting late in the day and the light would fade soon. Nobody else was on the range. I had my stapler in hand, so I walked out to the 200 yard frame and stapled up the Silhouette.
I walked back to the firing line and sat with my back against a tree. Elbows on the inside of my knees, I slowly squeezed off three rounds of CCI Stinger. I knew I'd jerked the second shot slightly to the right.
I walked back to the target, hoping to find one or two .22 holes somewhere on the paper. I found two .22 holes about two inches vertically apart, just to the left of the X-ring. I found a third .22 hole about four inches to the right of the first two and level with them. They were a bit farther from the X-ring on the opposite side.
I've never fired another group as good as that one.
May 28, 2006, 04:49 PM
I was A-gunner when we shot a bird out of the air with an M-60.
Couldn't have done it on purpose. :D
May 28, 2006, 05:00 PM
Some people are just naturally very good shots. They got that "good eye". In more sophisticated parlance, they have excellent depth perception and tactile skills. You can get better with practice, but what you are born inherently capable of matters a lot too.
My late grandfather was such a man. He favored .38 caliber revolvers which would fit in the front pockets of his trousers. He would stuff one in there and off he would go. I got to shoot with him as a child and I, my father, my cousins, and my uncles were constantly amazed at his feats of marksmanship.
We would set up a soda can and pace off 50 yards with a tape measure and he'd pull out a Colt or Smith and Wesson with a 2" barrel and put all five or six shots into it, assuming the can didn't fall off the post. That was his warmup.
He used to pick off rabbits, snakes, and other small animals at distances so far out there I couldn't even see the animal.
He hated scopes, claiming they just slowed him down. The last time I ever got to go shooting with grandpa, he took his beloved Marlin model 60. Feeling sick and weak and tired with shaky hands, he put 1100 rounds of .22 LR into a 2" circle at about 25 yards in about an hour and 15 minutes. I think that's the last time he ever fired a gun. He passed away just about 2 years ago, and hadn't fired a gun in years; he'd been too sick.
Of course in WW II he used to pick off Japanese planes in the air as a gunner in the Navy.
He never bragged, and he never understood why everyone else was so impressed. Some people just have it in them.
May 28, 2006, 05:16 PM
Excellent story! Well put, and thanks for a good read.
Yeah...Beware of the man with one gun. He probably knows how to use it.:cool:
May 28, 2006, 05:26 PM
I went to see my cousin, my aunt said he was down at the barn. As I walked the 200 yds I heard him shoot several times. He was in the barn lot, shooting carpenter bees as they hovered at the peak of his large hay loft barn. I shot a box of .22s missing every time. He shot maybe 15 times, missed maybe four or five. I nevered figured out how he did that.
Dave in VA
May 28, 2006, 05:34 PM
In 2003, Dam Neck, VA. I shot in the Atlantic Fleet / All Navy Rifle-Pistol Matches.
Rifle is standard NRA Highpower Rifle.
I was on the 500 yard line shooting my 20 rounds in 20 minutes (slow fire).
I was having a great run, 1st shot was a 9 at 9 o'clock, came 2 clicks right on my Springfield M1A Super Match, and proceeded to hammer the X and 10 ring for my next 15 rounds.
For those who may not be familiar with NRA Highpower, the target are on sliding frames, and after each shot in the slow fire portions of the match, the target is pulled down into the pits, and they stick a 4" cardboard shot spotter into the bullet hole from your shot.
On my 16th shot the target was a little slow being pulled down, and stayed down in the pits for a long time, 45+ seconds (it usually takes 10 to 15 seconds for the guys pulling targets to pull the spotter from your last shot, plug it in to the new hole, put a paper paster on the old hole, and raise the target).
When I called to a line boss to ask where my target was, he got on his radio and said they were doing "target repair".
My target finally reappeared and I finished my last 4 rounds.
Turns out that 16th round hit EXACTLY on my 15th shot, shattering the little plastic spindle in the middle of the shot spotter, tore up the the target.:D.
The guys who had been pulling my target handed me the spotter later as a souvenier and I was told that that VERY RARELY happens on the 500 yard line.
Best and LUCKIEST I ever made.:D :D :D
1 old 0311
May 28, 2006, 06:20 PM
Moral? Beware of the man with one gun. He WILL know how to use it.
May 28, 2006, 06:32 PM
Talk about old men and 30-30's...
I have no less than 5 other witnesses to this...
we were in deer camp at noon, gathering for lunch, when a deer wandered out into the field in front of camp...
a couple of us with scoped 30-06's saw it was a buck, and guessed the range at roughly 400+ yards... nobody wastaking the shot...
My dad, always a darned good rifleman, said "screw it, they don't die unless the lead flies", grabs up his gun, a Sears/Winchester 30/30, and begibs hammering away,
I am serious when I say it looked like one of those "gallery games"... Dad shoots, the deer jumps, and changes direction 180 degrees... dad shoots again, deer jumps and changes direction again... repeat process 2 MORE times...
all in all, 5 shots, 4 hits, all heart and lungs, in roughly 3 seconds...
we paced it off... 455 yards... and as I said, there are 6 witnesses, (me included)...
that old man and his 30/30... flippin' deadly!
May 28, 2006, 06:33 PM
Beware the man with one gun! After buying his first one, he realized it was pointless because he had no talent at all for using it. So he never bought his second.
May 28, 2006, 06:36 PM
At my local club, there is a guy by the name of Charlie.
Charlie is former Navy, and he absolutely loves the old bolt guns of the military.
He shoots regularly in our High Power Match(es) and tears up the X, 10 and 9 rings.
I've seen him shoot cast bullets in his '03 that just seem to be lumbering along at 800 - 900 fps (true bullet speed unknown) and drop them into the black EVERY time!
He's one heck of a marksman!!!!!!
May 28, 2006, 07:21 PM
I saw a guy, on a bet, put 2 9mm through the same hole at 25 feet. I was very impressed.
May 28, 2006, 07:31 PM
Riding shotgun in an old pickup on a bumpy mountain road at night, spotlighting a critter out the rear window, with my 243. 1 shot, critter was running also, 400 yrds. Never happen again, never be that dumb again either.
Luckiest shot, not being shot myself.
Night preditor eradication. (OKed by the land owner actually)
Climbing up a hill, by moon light and flashlight, my oldest son, then 11, thinks he sees a snake about to bite his dad. At least that is his story:rolleyes: Unloads a 30 round clip of my AR-15 into the "snake," about 3 feet from my feet:eek: Now he is 37, and yes we are both still alive. He still holds to the original story. You can imagine what my hunting buddy, not 7 years out of Nam, was thinking at the bottom of the hill hearing a full 30 round clip of 223 going off at night. :what: Injury or not, he was up that hill in seconds locked and loaded.
May 28, 2006, 08:00 PM
Made a pretty good one myself, and have to brag a bit.
I had just bought a new Marlin lever action in .35 Remington. My brother-in-law was driving me across his farm fields to go sight it in. He saw a big ground hog a good distance away and said, "Throw one at him." I loaded one round and leaned across his truck hood. Used a little Kentucky windage and elevation. Nailed him.
My brother-in-law counted fence posts and figured he was right at 300 yards.
Not bad for iron sights and the first round through the rifle.
Lucky shot? Naw.
May 28, 2006, 08:15 PM
Mine was through a 4 power scope and just pure dumb luck. Sure did impress the kids though. Parents have to use all the tools in the arsnal.
May 28, 2006, 08:36 PM
I shot a Canadian goose flying, 75-100 yards away, with a .44 mag revolver. One shot, straight through center mass. Found the bird after about 20 minutes and ate it up that night. Damn good eats too.
Yes, I was poaching, yes I got cought, yes I got fined, but it was worth every penny (and turned out to be cheaper than hunting legally in PA as a non-res).
Only animal I've ever poached and will never do it again.
May 28, 2006, 09:09 PM
Nice, very well-written story.
May 28, 2006, 09:16 PM
Out on the range one day with the wife. One hotshot kid with a buddy and his girlfriend and another experienced shooter are my witnesses. Wife saw a red wasp on the target frame (made of 2x4's) 15 yards downrange and wanted me to shoot it. The hotshot had been trying to impress his girlfriend and buddy what a killer-elite-trained-sniper-ninja he was with a bunch of cheap handguns and rifles. I waited 'til the wasp was on the edge of the frame, took careful aim with my P-89 (9mm) and splattered it. Hotshot packed up his guns and left, experienced shooter looked at me and smiled. I do *NOT* claim to be able to repeat that feat. :D
May 28, 2006, 09:28 PM
I once shot a mouse in my basement with a blowgun. You see, I was at home with the kids while my wife was at night classes. Trying to be a good husband, I went to retrieve the vacum. While grabbing the handle, a mouse runs out from said vacuum into a small space between a cabinet and the wall.
Not wanting to frighten the children (or damage the cabinet or house) I reached for my blowgun. Stuck it right to the carpet, no squeak, no mess. I contemplated taking a picture, but didn't have the heart.
May 28, 2006, 09:31 PM
I good friend of mine, (David Ray Monroe), from a very small town, Tarheel, North Carolina, on highway 87, yes it is a real town. We were out on a very warm late spring day, on the Cape Fear River fishing. There was a very large Copperhead snake sunning on the river bank. David picked up his Ruger, (either a .44 or .45) ball and cap black powder pistol. The snake was at least 40 feet away, with the first shot he hit the snake. The ball passed through both eyes, didn't even break the lower jaw bone. Made one of the nicest belts I ever saw. True story, I saw it when it happened. :what:
May 28, 2006, 09:48 PM
I'm not going to "out-do" anyone here; besides, that's not the point.
But one in particular did feel good.
I usually shoot alone, in the woods, at cans.
I invited an ex-Marine out, him with his Eclipse, and me with a CCW745.
I shot from the hip, and he was using his sights.
I had a perfect target: a miniature steel bucket, about 4" across at the top.
We took turns hitting it, and after it was getting out there, I still "kicked" it; it might have been 60 feet or so, but I was shooting, as stated, from the hip. True, not stellar, but fun as all-get-out.
Back then, I was shooting 300-800 rounds a week in this manner. Wasting ammo, as many learned people said. But phooey on them. It was fun to me.
Do anything long enough, and you are bound to get good at it.
The other memorial time was hitting foot+ long pine cones at 400+ feet with a Buckmark. The air was so clear, you'd be hard-pressed to miss. And the isolation factor helped. There was no one to impress. Just you and the target. The way it should be.
May 28, 2006, 10:12 PM
I went to the U of MN, which contrary to most believe has THREE campuses in the twin cities. There is the well known East Bank and West Bank (seperated by the mississippi), for the most part East Bank is your mainstream university stuff, while the West Bank was Law, prelaw, history, and a few others.
Well, there is also St Paul campus, which is primarily agriculture, (vetrinary, animal science, agronomy, horticulture, etc) forestry, food science, and because it was once the home of 'home economics' type stuff, the fabric fassion, internal design, etc type stuff is there (think stereotypical gay stuff...made for an interesting student mix, although as the buidligns for each type were pretty much together, not a lot of mixing). Because of the plant/animal part thanks to ag, lots of the bio-sciences labs and offices as well as some classes ended up over there too.
ANNYYWAYY...There is a huge squirrel infestation, Most average college kid thinks they are cute, feed them, etc. (once saw a student try and feed a squirrel a bit of twinky, the squirrel chased the kid for the other half) But on St. Paul campus, us farm kids saw the squirrels at best as pests known for chewing through the roof of the grainery, and were appauled by the 'tame' status (although the squirrels on our campus were much less tame)
So this vet student and I made a blowgun out of a long glass pipe from a lab, a little packing cotton, and the needle from a hypodermic. As a vet student, he was able to get some stuff to knock animals out, and would simply dip the needle in it. We would take the bus over to East Bank in the evening and hunt squirrels. Took about a month before the damned buggers learned to fear us. He was much better at it than me, frequently dropping squirrels 30 feet away in a tree.
So whatever he had woujdl knock them out, but we weren't sure how much was left in their system, so I would toss them in a laundry sack, then after our excursion we would wait for the drug to wear off, whack em in the back of the head, skin em with a scalpul, the cook em in the stove that was on the dorm common area.
Let me tell you we got a lot of hate from the city kids once they found out what we were doing. Mostly we told them it was collecting for class and they would be released later.
May 28, 2006, 10:51 PM
I have been fortunate to be around some great shooters in various disciplines; I have seen some great shooting.
One comes to mind...
Skeet Club with a 5 stand set up as well
Kids day and every kid gets a prize, and all sorts of other goodies. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, and the fixin's to go with it.
Kids day, so we have all sorts of activities for the kids, and some depend on the kid's size.
One activity the kids were on Low 7 and shot a clay. Now we assisted the kids, and we wanted to make sure they got a hit. Safely - behind low house, we had shooters to shoot upon report of kid shooting. We wanted the kids to get a hit, build self esteem...etc. Still with a .410 this puts a bit of pressure on the hidden shooter..
This Grandpa had presented his granddaughter a kid's sized .410. You get misty eyes seeing this. Grandpa helping that grandkid take the first shots, balloons. Later over at the pattern board...beaming when folks ask to see it, shoulder it...She was almost eight years old.
"I want to shoot that game Grandpa with my new gun, will you help me?"
I was the shooter behind the low house hidden. I could not see this...I could hear them - rest of the story had to be shared with me...
Grandpa asked to see the targets thrown a few times and let her dry fire thru these. He was helping by holding onto forearm, telling when to fire...
"Pull-it" she called
Clay is in flight and I am on it...waiting for report...waiting....c'mon kid, shoot..."bang" she fires and I almost shot, I did not have to, target broke!
Applause , folks yelling "she did it!", I am trying to be cool and not hurry around, and come to find out grandpa did not help, she did this all by herself.:D
"Oh...Oh I did it!" She had to have help getting the gun open , she was excited to say the least, grandpa's chest about to bust buttons. Gun empty, that shell went into her pocket.
"I need to get my clay please, make it safe!"
So the field is Safe and the kid is telling grandpa to hurry, seems amongst all them broken clays she know which one is hers...:p
Yeah, we got a kid putting clay pcs in her hat...
"Supposed to shoot my hat, but mine if full...". Okay so the kid only shot once, she has not missed, straight in our book, another free kid's hat is produced and we shoot the hat, grandpa shoots the little ladies .410, I am asked to shoot with the .410 [reminded to not miss as this gun does not have any misses she says...].
Little girl has a Mason Jar with that hull, pcs of clay, and hat in her room at Grandparents. Jar is dated, and we all signed that jar with a Sharpie.
One of the Best Shots I never took.
May 28, 2006, 11:11 PM
One of the Best Shots I never took.
Steve, thank you.
Great story as always.
May 29, 2006, 12:23 PM
When I was a kid in the St. Louis area in the 60's there was a guy who did an outdoors show who used to go around giving shooting demonstrations. He used a BB gun with no sights and had someone stand about 30' away flipping aspirins up the air and he's shoot them in flight. All you saw were little puffs of white dust. I'll always remember watching him do that.
May 29, 2006, 08:05 PM
How many of you guys have heard of Chief AJ? He was on the cover of one of those gun rags twenty years ago after shooting something like 65,000 little wooden blocks out of the air with Ruger 10-22's... consecutively, without a miss! I didn't witness that, but I know several who were there.
I've had the privilege of living just twenty miles away from this guy. The guy is phenomenal (however you spell it). Took his rifle shooting class about a month ago. "Moving target marksmanship". He taught two of us how to consistently shoot trap... with ruger 10-22s. He himself simply doesn't miss those birds. Like ever. He was also shooting aspirin tablets and paint balls out of the air without fail. Try that sometime.
This guy tells stories that sound like tall tales, but they are 100% true.
Hit two wolves at a dead run at better than 400 yards in Alaska a few years ago. It was a balmy 30 below that day. He's got the hides to prove it. And the guide as a witness.
His shooting ability is amazing. And it goes for archery as well. Appropriate as Chief AJ isn't a Air Force Chief or Navy Chief. He's an Indian chief. Shot a buck at a dead run in the head with an arrow at better than 40 yards a few years ago. With a friggin' recurve bow!
And then there is Bill Oglesby.
Ever heard a man shoot a single action wheelgun five times that sounded like a single shot. He does this exhibition style on a regular basis. He plays golf with his revolver, too, calling his shots (including hook, slice, to the left, to the right or dead ahead) after throwing the golf ball into the air (or having an assistant drawn at random from the crowd do it).
These guys can shoot!
If you haven't witnessed it yourself, you would probably question the veracity of the above. I know I did, being a little jaded about shooting and people claiming to have "amazing" talents with guns.
It's one of those things where your mouth hangs open after you see the first one or two of these shots. Then you think, "Oh, that was just a fluke." Then they make you a believer.
May 29, 2006, 08:33 PM
So, I'm helping on one of the lines at a friend's Boy Scouts / NRA Shooting Camp of sorts.
That evening, we have an exhibition - including show and tell.
We had discovered Tannerite about a month before this, so we thought we'd shoot some for some ooh's and ahh's.
So here we are with 100ish scouts, probably almost half that many adults and "VIP" exhibition guys and gals.
My friend, who shall remain nameless, is a leftie and had a left-handed sporting rifle with decent optics. He fired twice. And missed. And he's getting embarassed.
Now, a container of tannerite is about the size of a can of deodorant. And it looks mighty small at 100 yards - what we determined would be a doubly-safe distance as we didn't want anything coming back to injure the kids. (I'm not bashful if it's just me. I'll shoot it at 50 feet and grin while the dirt is raining down on me.) There were two of them and two smaller zip lock bags of the stuff for a total of four targets.
I'm a smart-alec and gave him some grief about missing. I ask if he wants me to take a shot. He jumped at the offer after that good-natured ribbing about missing those "big" orange Tannerite targets.
"Okay, big guy! Let's see you do it."
Uh-oh. What did I just do? I'm a long way from a great shot.
So I sit down, get situated shooting an uncomfortable rifle, left-handed, with a stock trigger. (I'm a rightie and my "precision" rifles have 2ish# Timney triggers.) I line up and I can feel those 150+ pairs of eyes watching my every move. It's one thing to sit down with a rifle alone on the range and be able to make a good shot. It's quite another to have 150 people looking over your shoulder. ... While shooting weak-handed with a south-paw rifle!
Finally, after about three or four breath cycles of gradually increasing pressure on the trigger then running out of oxygen and restarting the breathing cycle, the trigger finally breaks and "KABOOM". The target disappears in a cloud of grey smoke.
I find the second target, slightly obscured. After taking what seemed like forever (only 30 l-o-n-g seconds on the video), I fired again. KABOOM!
My friend asks if I want to try the other two and I said, "NOPE! I'm quittin' while I'm ahead!" The crowd laughed and applauded.
For many folks with center-fire rifles, hitting a cylindrical target like that is not a big deal at all at 100 yards. Given the "pressure", I felt like that target might as well as have been the size of a postage stamp!
May 30, 2006, 08:40 AM
My Grandfather, James Clark, born 1886, was a railroad engineer for UP for many years. He used to carry a .45 Peacemaker and a 94 Winchester in the cab of the locomotive with him. He taught my mother to shoot from a moving train when she was small (10-12). Fast forward to the 1960's we are out at the local quarry with a group of about 8 people, including the local SAC for the FBI. Grandpa (now in his mid 80's) has that old Peacemaker on his hip. The Fibbie asks Grandpa if it still shoots, Grandpa kinda looks at the Fibbie, allows as how yep, it's a pretty good old piece. There are 5 cans set up on rocks about 25 yards away, Grandpa turns around, draws and knocks all five cans off shooting from the hip in probably 3-4 seconds:what: He turns back around with his sly little smile and asks, "Is that good enough for you?" The Fibbie picked his jaw up got in his car and left, never to be seen at the quarry again:evil:
May 30, 2006, 09:22 AM
Good stories; thanks!
I've seen several pretty amazing shots, but the one that comes to mind is one made by my father-in-law. He's the man who turned me on to hunting, which led to my more general interest in firearms and shooting.
Now I've gotten pretty good with rifles and handguns, and have taken deer with rifle, shotgun, handgun, and bow. But I've never gotten a natural feel for shotgunning. I keep trying to aim the thing. Dad doesn't have that problem.
Before my last move, Dad and I used to hunt small game, especially rabbits, every year. Neither of us has a dog, so we'd bust brush with and for each other. I probably hit every third one I shoot at, but with Dad it's a different story.
We were out at his nephew's farm one day, working our way through the fields kicking the brush. A rabbit took off from just in front of me, running toward my father-in-law ... so I had no shot. I hollered "Rabbit!" and Dad saw it coming. The critter angled away from Dad and he drew down on it as it passed at say, 20 yards. BLAM! "Got one!" he yells. "Check that; got TWO!" Apparently, the rabbit was heading for its hole, and ran up on a cousin that was standing by the entrance. Shotgun and running rabbit converged on the unsuspecting critter and Dad rolled both bunnies with his single shot!
I often go home one for three. Hard to beat a guy who takes 'em two for one!
May 30, 2006, 10:16 AM
Well, Elmer Keith once killed SIX rabbits with one shot. I know it's true because I read it in one of his books.....:)
May 30, 2006, 10:55 AM
A friend of mine tells a story about how he spent a lot of time trying to persuade another friend of his to go out after pheasants with him. The other guy had done very little hunting, but his house was stuffed to the rafters with trophies for trap shooting.
Anyhow, my friend eventually got the trap guy to tag along one day.
They went for what amounted to a nice walk around the fields carrying the guns, while the dog would put up a pheasant every now and then.
The trap guy was fast. The dog would put up a pheasant, and my friend would barely have the gun half way to his shoulder when the other fella would drop the bird.
This happened a few times, so he said: "Hey, give me chance at something here." The other guy said: "Okay, the next one is yours."
In due course, another pheasant took off. My friend says that this time, he actually got the gun to his shoulder before the other guy shot the bird.
"Hey!" he said, "I thought you were going to leave that one for me?"
"I did," said the other guy, "so I waited, and waited, and waited. But, I couldn't wait any longer."
May 30, 2006, 11:08 AM
Major Frank Green, USAF MTU, 200-?X, (I forgot his X count), 50 yard slow fire, It was either Center Fire or 45ACP, I don't remember.... Dallas Pistol and Revolver Club, early seventies. I was a block officer and one of many who signed that target center.
May 30, 2006, 11:09 AM
Major Frank Green, USAF MTU, 200-?X, (I forgot his X count), 50 yard slow fire, It was either Center Fire or 45ACP, I don't remember.... Dallas Pistol and Revolver Club, early seventies. I was a block officer and one of many who signed the target centers.
I don't remember if it was a Regional, Registered, or Approved Match.
If you aren't familar with NRA sanctioned events, 'Approved' events do not require the presence of a Referee. And, as a result. do not qualify for Nat'l records or 'Leg Points' toward the DCM Distinguished Master Classification.
At that time teams from the various Military MTUs were fiercely competitive. The teams were pretty much on extended Temporary Duty during the shooting season ending up at the National Championship Matches at Camp Perry.
Major Green was one of the best.
That was pretty impressive stuff for a 25 year old rookie like me.
the naked prophet
May 30, 2006, 11:45 AM
The best shot I've personally made was with a blow gun in the dorms my sophomore year.
For valentines day, the cafeteria had those frilly tipped toothpicks in pink and red. Why, I don't know. We would shoot them through straws, and they'd go a few feet. I duct taped two straws together, and they went much farther... Eventually, at four straws, I decided I needed something better.
I bought a 3 foot length of brass tube at a hobby supply store. I added a pill bottle as an anti-inhaling-the-dart mouthpiece, and made crude sights. Soon, I could shoot those toothpicks so hard they would stick into the wallpaper, cieling tiles, or those funny unfolding paper frilly decorations they hang from the cieling.
I decided that I needed better darts. So I bought a small pack of needles, cut up an old t-shirt, and super-glued some material onto the back of the needles. I made some with pushpins from which I had removed the plastic handle, and even a few from gigantic corsage pins and small nails. A large assortment of ammo. The nails would actually stick into the cinderblock walls...
Anyway, Albert and I were studying Calc II in the study lounge, and eating Burger King. A wasp flies in. We decide that I should shoot it with the blow gun. The study lounge is about 30 feet long, with the wasp at one end (the end with sliding glass doors) and the door to the hall at the other end. I don't want to make the wasp angry with a near miss, and then be in the same room with it, so I stood in the hall outside the study lounge while Albert stood nearby to close the door in case of an angered wasp.
The wasp is about 40 feet away now. I load up a needle dart (they shoot the flattest, being the lightest weight) and hit the wasp on the second shot. Then I grabbed my camera, held up the dart by the fuzzy green end with a pair of tweezers, and took a picture. Here is that picture.
May 30, 2006, 12:18 PM
Outdoor Editor of the station I was with, Farm and Ranch Editor and myself. spent a weekend at a 30,000 acre ranch in the Valley. We were after coyotes.
I got off a fair shot the first night. We were in the bed of a pickup running down the grass landing strip at a pretty good clip. Rabbits every where. I got one with a Sheridan (sp?) air rifle with open sights. Ate it for breakfast! Very tasty.
The best shot I've ever seen happened the next day. We were walking along a fence line when the Farm and Ranch guy spotted a mangy coyote that I couldn't even see at first. After looking through the glasses I saw him abot 600 yrds off.
Outdoor Editor raised his 30.06 just as the old bugger started haulin', and got him on the fly! That was the greatest shot I've ever seen. Seems like it took forever driving over to see what was left! 4 wheel drive never came in handier!
Night hunting was fun..wearing the headlight gear and seeing only the eyes, then dropping the 12 gauge and nailin' 'em! Doesn't seem like 30 years ago.
May 30, 2006, 02:52 PM
I use to shoot with this guy named Roger Olson, out in the country near Minot AFB, ND.
He, to this day, is the best dang shot I have ever seen. He had this old .22, I don't remember the model, that was the most accurate thing when it was in his hands. He killed many a rabbit with that .22. But that is not what impressed me about his shooting. Now, all you clay shooters out there I want you to try this because it kind of falls somewhere near your sports. Roger would take a paintball, with the rifle in the other hand, toss that paintball into the air and shoulder the old .22 and splatter the paintball. All with iron sights. Out of the hundred or so times that I witnessed him trying this, I can only recall him missing once or twice.
May 30, 2006, 02:54 PM
I shot a bee that landed on my target while I was bench testing 100 yard loads for my 14" .223 T/C. The target had 3 shots in a nice ragged hole and one flyer with a wing and a smear next to it.
The best I ever saw was one of the old men at the range quick drew his 1st generation SAA and broke 5 clay birds at varing distances from 25 to 50 yards as fast as he could work the action.
May 30, 2006, 03:37 PM
When I was just learning to shoot a bow, I bought all the right equipment and did well from the start, better in fact than I had with any of my firearms, to my chagrin. One day while at the range with my brother, he commented on my groups. I told him "This one's going dead center." It did and he hooted something like, "Betcha can't do that again!" I told him "Here goes another!" The arrow made a strange sound and we couldn't see where it went. Another look from an angle told the story. It was sticking out the ass-end of the first. The guy that ran the range wanted to mount it on his wall as he had everyone else's that did it, but I had other ideas. The 2 arrows, now one, grace the wall above my computer, the symbol of the finest shot I've ever made. Haven't shot a bow in years, now, as firearms are now as ever, my first love. I've fired several shots from my .45s that simply widened existing holes a bit, but paper targets make lousy trophies.
May 31, 2006, 11:52 AM
Best shot I ever made was a Prairie Dog at 546 yards. The second best was a crow with a 22 pistol when it was flying. I'll never repeat those 2 shots. Steve 48
May 31, 2006, 01:08 PM
I was at Williamsport in PA a couple of years ago to try a 1000 yd Bench rest match for the first time. The match got called off due to rain and 30+MPH winds. After the rain stopped, my friend Bruce and I went to the line to take some shots just for fun, since neither of us had ever shot at 1000 yds before. There were a couple of guys already shooting for fun, and I asked them if they wanted us to drive down to the pits and hang some targets for them. They said, "No thanks, we are shooting at the clay birds on the berm." WHAT!!?? Sure enough, watching through my spotting scope I saw them regularly busting standard sized clay birds.
We I couldn't pass up on this fun, so we had to give it a try. Bruce went first. He took about 20 shots and came close, but couldn't hit one. Then it was my turn. I pulled out my Rem 700 VS .308 and a box of my hand loaded 175 SMK rounds. The winds were still 30+MPH and not letting up. My scope ran out of elevation at about 900 yds, so I had to guess at how much to hold over and how much windage to use in order to lob the rounds in at 1,000 yds. There was a stand of trees on top of the berm, so I picked a knot about 10 ft up in a tree to aim at. I said, "Don't worry Bruce, I'll get that bird for you", and pulled the trigger. About 2 seconds later, we saw the bird explode. The actual distance was 1,034 yds. Definitely a lucky shot, but it was fun anyway. If I was smart, I would have put the rifle away after that shot and pretended that it was no big deal, instead of jumping up and down like a little kid.
May 31, 2006, 02:25 PM
"If I was smart, I would have put the rifle away after that shot and pretended that it was no big deal, instead of jumping up and down like a little kid."
LOL, now that got the co-workers wondering what I was reading.
June 1, 2006, 04:42 AM
Brother's brother in law, nice guy, can not hit a thing with a shotgun. He misses ducks with the wings set. Put 6 pellets into my last dog instead of the pheasant a good twenty feet over the dogs head, dog was fine, just annoyed. Took three shots to pot a grouse that was sitting in a tree branch, using a 20 gauge. Doug is not a dufus, he is good softball player on good team, excellent down hill skier, plays club level hockey.
We went up near on the Iron Range to visit a guy from college, he has a old pit mine near his house and we went out to shoot clays seeing it was summer and everything was out of season. I had my old Winchester 190 .22 in the car too. Doug, brother's brother in law, decides to start shooting cattails on the edge of a little slough at the bottom of the pit. This is the guy who can not hit water from a dingy with a shotgun, missed the side of the barn, while in the hayloft. He looks at a cattail. SNAP cattail puffs. Does it again. SNAP puff. HMMMM I ask did you get new glasses? He laughs at me. Keeps doing it. We get the clay launcher hooked up on the trailer hitch of buddies truck, buddy sits on the little seat and I yell pull and off a pidgeon sails, BOOM it keeps sailing SNAP it puffs. WTH I look over at Doug, "Did you shoot? He shrugs. "Pull," just before I smoke that bird it PUFFs. Now I am looking around for candid camera. NO WAY this guy can hit two in a row shooting anything. These are like shooting trap, basically longer shots at targets going more or less straight away. Five more times, no misses, he pops clays with that .22. He moved way off to the side, shooting as if he is pass shooting teals, SNAP puff SNAP puff. Finally he missed. He reloaded the tube and did not miss a shot.
I hand him the shotgun. ELEVEN misses in a row. Buddy is laughing hysterically by now, can hardly pull back the launcher. Doug puts shottie away and picks up .22 SNAP puff.
Buddy now is in danger of wetting himself. He goes in bed of pickup and pulls out his 870 with a rifle sight slug barrel on it. Loads a couple of 8's in the slugger and hands it to doug. Doug hits two clays. Reloads same results. Apparently having a real sights lets him hit his spots.
First day of grouse hunting, guess who was walking thru the woods carrying a slug gun. guess who hit four of four. not me.
Another topic. A former Twin City gunsmith, had a Sako action with a truck axle sized barrel in .17 rem. He used to say that he had threaded the barrel to fit the action and just decided to try it as it was. It shot one holers all day long after that he decided that tapering the barrel was not so important anymore. I watched him at the old Moon Valley shooting range put grape jelly on a target, wait for a fly to land on the target and walk to the jelly, then cut the Fly in half. Someone said no way, that was pure luck, just then a yellow jacket landed to see what was going on. He cut that one in half too. Then he packed up the rifle and went home. I have to believe it was pure luck but twice in a minute or two. It was impressive.
I have seen video of a A-10 driver hitting a SAM after it came off the launcher. It was on the military channel one night. You see a plume and a split second later about 40 to 50 feet off the launch rail a big explosion. It was gun camera footage and it only last a few seconds but it is clear that he was going to 'gun" the launcher and he jerks back on the stick as the plume erupts and the missle explodes. I have no idea of the launch speed of something like that, but it has to be tremendous.
Same night, footage of a F15 E driver hitting a helo with a 2000 pounder Laser guided, while the helo was airborne. Not a chance shot, but a called one. You can clearly hear the Weapons Officer state that he was painting the helo with the laser.
June 1, 2006, 09:47 AM
I didnt see this with my own eyes but somewhere on the Internet are detailed pictures and info about someone shooting between 2 expensive wristwatches at about 100 yards in some underground mine converted to storage/parking. I think the link to it was on this Forum but not sure, lost the bookmark. The contest was if he shot a bullet into a quarter sized target between the fancy watches he got to keep them both. He did. I think the Mine was granite or limestone, could have been in North Carolina or something. It wasnt a pit type mine either, looked well set up with lights, painted lines on pavement and everything. Anyone know of this?
I was demonstrating a fifty to the crown Prince of Jordon and after the demo which was at 300 yards I had let all the officers shoot and when the general had finished he asked me if I could hit that tank over there. I said I don't see any tank and he pointed it out. I asked him how far it was and he said it was 2000 meters. I told him I didn't think so but I would try. I cranked the scope to the top and what I was going to do was to fire one and get back on the target and dope off the dust and try to luck the second shot in. They tank was a shot out Israeli tank that still had the star of David on the turret . The mirage was running heavy so I held a tank length to the side and touched it off. The API flashed right in the center of the star of David and I set a record getting the rifle disassembled and in the case before he could ask me to repeat it.
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