The Possible Score in Target Shooting

The following information comes from The Elusive Ten by William Reichenbach. The Elusive Ten is also available to purchase in print.

It is timely that I should say now that within the scope of a Manual it is not possible to completely cover a subject in all its aspects. This would really require a volume. It is not even feasible. My aim was to show just the skeleton; to strip the difficult matter, as much as possible, of all finesse—unadorned with (for a beginner) unessential detail (sight adjustments, choice of ammunition and a host of other things). I trust that this task has been covered in this handbook.

There may come a time when the advanced shooter, if he be ambitious, believes that he has reached his limitation. His hope is still that, one day, he will accomplish the “Possible”—but a sort of resignation seems to settle upon him. He may still take pleasure in knowing that he is considered a dangerous opponent, yet he recognizes that he is at a standstill.

However, a state of mind of that order is not at all in conformity with the hopeful enthusiasm which I have tried to instill into my reader—not at all.

Now, my friend, the battle has really only started.

If, so far, you have only followed suggestions, now is the time to start analyzing the cause of your apparent limitation.

Let us look the facts in the face. There is no reason in the world why you should not reach the “Possible” (10 shots in the Ten-Ring). I go even further and say that there is no real reason why you should not be able to shoot the “Possible” more than once.

The fathers of the Standard American Target were wily rascals. They settled upon the smallest possible Ten-Ring. Still “Possibles” have been shot. Luck does play a part in it, since even a machine-rest will not always shoot “Possibles”—with today’s ammunition.

But, if you are seriously and conscientiously after the “Possible,” you will come to shoot in the “nineties” pretty consistently. And why should you not have a little luck once in a while?

However—and here is the really important part—even if luck should turn her shoulder, you are still shooting in the high “nineties.” Get the drift? With high nineties, you are a top-notcher. That can be and should be your goal. To get there, the word “limitation” should disappear from your vocabulary.

Use your head.

There must be some things which you are doing wrong, there must be. It is not the target, elusive as it may appear; it is not the gun. The ammunition, it is true, could be a whole lot more uniform.

But don’t look outside of yourself.

You are the only one responsible.

It does not do for you simply to accept my statement; you should, inherently, discover it yourself.

What then is the purpose of this chapter? It is to make you realize that you are doing something which is wrong—what is it?

Find out! Study your problem. Experiment.

Why not re-read this Manual carefully. Some little thing may not have been absorbed. If, while experimenting, you are to discover for yourself an apparently more or less unimportant, yet very helpful expedient, and in glancing through this Manual you should find the subject already treated, would you not think yourself rather foolish?

Maybe, it is your grip, or the non-discovery of the infinitesimally short period where coordination brings about the disappearance of all tremor, just when six o’clock is easing on your front-sight.

Maybe, it is a number of things, and possibly only one single error.

Go ahead. You are on your own.

A complete coverage of all intricacies cannot possibly belong in the realm of a Manual. Consideration for the many who have not reached your status would forbid that. They must not be confused by chapters which really should go into a “Manual for Distinguished Experts”—maybe, sometime—later on.

Get your chin up—
And study—
And work—
To success.

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The Possible Score in Target Shooting

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