This is a facsimile of the 1936 edition of “Rifles and Rifle Shooting” by Charles Askins.
Originally written in 1912 and last printed in 1936, “Rifles and Rifle Shooting” seeks to teach the aspiring riflemen the proper way to shoot a rifle for a variety of purposes.
Askins covers the varieties of rifles and ammunition available to the shooters of the early to mid-20th Century. More importantly, Askins instructs the reader in how to shoot the rifle from an assortment of positions. Additionally, stock design, sights, recoil, and trajectory are covered. Finally, Askins introduces the reader to trick and fancy shooting as well as Schuetzen matches.
From the Foreword:
The sword, the lance, the longbow, and the long rifle were the weapons of romance. The sword has been a practically useless arm all these three hundred years, yet it is carried by military men and others simply because of its tremendous hold upon the imagination. The knight and his war-horse, his lance and his great two-handed sword are alive today, just as they were a thousand years ago, though his immense blade has dwindled in modern hands to a mere toy to be carried on parade—for four hundred years popular imagination has kept it hung to the soldier’s waist after its work was done.
If we are a nation of riflemen today, it is not because the nation needs us for its defense, not from military ardor, but for the reason that the American boy is trailing in the footsteps of a lean lanky figure, clad in homespun and leather, across his shoulders the long rifle that never missed. This man of the woods, the plains, and the mountains, iron-like, aquiline, aggressive, unafraid, with a weapon as deadly as death, is still trailing the dark woods, and following him are all the youth of America who know American tradition. Hence are we a nation of riflemen who shoot the arm for its own sake and for the beloved tradition connected with it.
English history has its longbow, France, its sword, Normandy, its axe, but American romance has only the rifle. It fed the children of the pioneer, conquered his enemies, made life bearable. Deep in his heart, where dwell vanity and pride, the descendant of the backwoodsman believes that the American is the only real rifleman today, and the only one that ever will be.
Then let the romancers romance! Long live Cooper and Leather-stocking! Even Wild Bill and the James boys will do more good dead than they ever did harm alive if they lead our youth to shoot a rifle and shoot it straight. Let us raise more English sparrows, and jay birds, and neighbor’s cats for the small boy to shoot at, since he needs them in his business of training to become a rifleman.
Development of the American Breech-Loading Rifle
The Single Shot Rifle
The Lever Action Repeater
The Pump-Action Repeater and the Military Bolt-Action
Double Rifle—Rifle and Shot-Gun
Miniature and Gallery—Small Game
Match-Rifle Cartridges and Their Manipulation
High Powers, Small Bore Hunting Cartridges
Big Bore, High Power Cartridges
Trajectory, Accuracy, and Power of Hunting Cartridges
Weight of Rifle and Recoil
Stocks and Triggers
Positions for Rifle Shooting
Outdoor Target Shooting
Quick Firing and Running Shots
Fancy Snap and Wingshooting
Two-Hundred Yard Sharpshooting