By Way of Getting Aquainted

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

To you of my readers who are new to our sport of revolver-target-shooting, a few words:—

Have not all of us, already as a child, heard or read of wonderful feats of marksmanship? Of duels among the gentlemen of the South? Of the deadly accuracy of our Western gunmen, peace-officer and outlaw? Have we not with bated breath followed the exploits of our heros and how often and fervently have we not wished to command the same daring and unfailing marksmanship with a six-shooter? Even now, as grownups, the romance of those glamorous adventures touches a receptive chord in our minds. We may have become a little more practical, a little less easily moved, a little skeptical, but we still cherish deep in our heart a desire to be a deadly marksman with a six-gun and to be known as such.

But we dismiss the thought as just a little foolish. What would be the use? And, anyhow, it would be too difficult.

Dear readers, young and old, why should such a desire be foolish? True, we would not want to re-instate the rather wild and lawless times of the gold rushes, of the border towns, of Indian warfare. But, why should we not indulge in revolver shooting as a sport? Do you know that many, many thousands of us have been shooting with a six-shooter for years? That there existed all along a fully organized sport of target-shooting? Well, it is the truth. Every year, as the sport becomes more popular, many thousands more become interested and are converted into Target-Addicts.

And one of the objects of this Manual is to make our sport more popular.

Still, you believe, that it would be too difficult to take up. Let me tell you, and I really know what I am talking about, practically anybody can become an expert at our game. You too.

It is admitted that so far, the systems of teaching have been rather desultory. It was more or less a matter of one shooter giving the other little hints here and there. Although there has been altogether too much mystery around good marksmanship, the sport has grown by leaps and bounds.

But, there need be no mystery any more. This Manual has been written to initiate you along easy and logical lines. Read it and get interested.

Our sport, by the way, is not expensive at all, but what you get out of it, will be priceless. Your whole bearing will exude confidence. Your nervous system will improve. Your attitude toward the world in general will become more tolerant, with the knowledge that the richest man in the world cannot buy, with all his money and power, your ability to shoot well with a six-gun.

Study the Manual carefully and practice as outlined and I promise you that, within a very short time, you will be able to astonish your friends with your good marksmanship and thus realize a long cherished dream. (And you get something for nothing, namely mastery of the rifle. A good revolver shot will always shoot a rifle equally well.)

Revolver-shooting is, in my opinion, unquestionably the finest of all sports. This may impress you as a rather broad statement and I feel that it requires substantiation of a sort (even if I should run the danger of possible expostulations on the part of my readers—you know: general objectionability to personal approach, etc., etc.)

I was a good fencer and a good oarsman; in fact, I was an active and ardent follower of many sports. But none have ever appealed to me as much as revolver-shooting. My interest has never been so constant, so intense. I have never experienced the thrilling moments of complete satisfaction in any sport that I have experienced when making an exceptionally good target. Why is this? Because I am a fairly successful revolver shot? No, I think not. There is a deeper reason, although I admit that one’s liking for a sport or pastime is much dependent upon the extent of his success. Let me explain.

Consider first those who comprise the membership of revolver clubs—our associates. At first glance, one is apt to think that they could not possibly form a harmonious group because of the many variations in daily interest demanded by their professions or business. Nevertheless, among them we find a generous and helpful spirit of cooperation, of mutual respect, and of decent tolerance. This is not surprising, for the revolver and target draw only the best—those of high intelligence and unquestioned integrity. Indeed, the four-flusher, the chiseler, and kindred types are conspicuous by their absence from our ranks. As a class they can see nothing in it. They are helpless against the candid honesty of the firing line. In short, revolver-shooting is a gentleman’s sport.

But there are other intriguing aspects. Give a thought to the target revolver and to him who shoots it. It is hardly conceivable that any one would take up our sport without an inherent liking for firearms. True, he may know little at first, but as he continues he cannot help but learn much. He may change from one type of gun to another, but eventually he will find “his gun,” and thenceforth, a partnership is in the making. He may, on the other hand, with stubborn insistency set out to conquer one model and strike a lifelong friendship that way. He learns about its proper care, he learns to respect its honesty, to put his faith in it. And in return, his partner scores for him exactly what he deserves—no more, no less. With the passing of time he develops a regard for his favorite weapon that is nothing short of affection. Such is the partnership between a man and his gun.

Practically all sports require the use of vibrant muscular action. Some require more, some less. But, with revolver-shooting the opposite obtains. Our successes, if we are to have them, demand controlled inaction—a condition closely approaching utter and complete muscular relaxation. And we remain relaxed throughout the ordeal of firing. There is no physical outlet for pent-up emotions—no golf ball to drive a couple hundred yards, no tennis ball to serve with every ounce of our strength. Although our nerves may be jumping and our hearts pounding from the excitement of competition, we must strive to get control and so remain. Easy? It looks as though it might be. But, can we do it? Are we our own masters? What a personal challenge!

There you are. All this is what makes our sport well worthy of the highest type man or woman. Whether you work with your brain or hands, whether you are a great industrial leader or a private in the ranks, a cordial welcome awaits you.

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By Way of Getting Aquainted - The Elusive Ten - William Reichenbach

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