The following shooting stories comes from Section 63 of Shooting by J. Henry FitzGerald. Shooting is also available to purchase in print.
In the course of my shooting experience I have heard many amusing stories relating to experiences with the revolver and pistol. Usually some relative of the storyteller is the performer, or, if he is endowed with more than normal courage, he tells of his own wonderful doings.
While visiting the Delaware State Police I found it necessary to purchase some lumber for target frames and visited a local lumber yard. After stating my needs, the foreman asked: “Say, you’re the guy that’s doing tricks with a revolver over to the State Police Range, ain’t you? Well! I sure don’t believe you can do what I used to do with a revolver. Why, man, before my eyes went bad I used to take my revolver and drive tacks four out of five at forty yards and my Dad could beat me any day. I’ve seen him stick his old stem-winding watch in the crotch of a tree and wind it up by hitting the edge of the stem with six bullets. And, say, you sure ought to have seen him shooting game. I saw him once get four deer at one hundred yards with three shots. You see the deer was going pretty fast and Dad shot the first three deer dead in their tracks. The last one in line went down with the rest and when we looked them over we found that the old man had pulled one wild shot. The bullet fired at that third deer went high and hit the horn, but ’twasn’t such a bad shot after all, as the bullet split and half of it went down into the top of the deer’s head and the other half hit that last deer in the eye killing both deer. The old man’s eyesight ain’t so good, or he never would a-pulled that high shot. Say, Mr., how good can you shoot?”
I don’t think he ever heard my answer for I was several yards away when he asked the question.
One morning while in the Colt’s Testing Range an old man, who claimed he was seventy-six years old, came to visit me. I performed a few tricks for him, such as cutting a card, hitting empty shells, etc., and the old man said: “That’s nothing, any one who can hold a revolver steady can do that.” I agreed with him. He showed me a target with one-inch bull’s-eye and five bullet holes, either in or touching the black, and said: “What do you think of that?” I asked at what distance it had been made, and he said: “Can’t you read?” I looked again and saw at the top of the target the following: “Shot at three hundred yards with Colt Officer’s Model, seven and one-half inch barrel.” I handed over my revolver and said: “I can’t shoot for you, Mr.; you shoot for me.” I finally induced him to fire a few shots and placed a twelve and one-half yard target at fifty yards, apologizing for the fact that I had no three hundred yard range available. He fired six shots and, of course, did not hit any part of the target. When the target was shown him, he said: “Well, I forgot I had an extra cup of coffee this morning, and I always make my best scores before breakfast.”
While on a hunting trip several years ago I met a young man and his father and, while conversing with them, I noticed that the old man was looking very intently into the top of a near-by tree. His son asked him what he was looking at and he said: “Squirrel.” The young man and I circled the tree, but could see no trace of the squirrel. The old man insisted it was there and finally the son discovered the reason. “Why Dad, that’s no squirrel, that’s a louse on your eyebrow.”
Several years ago a young man came into a sporting goods store and said he wished to dispose of his rifle, and this is the conversation which took place: Clerk: “Is that an accurate rifle?” Rifle Owner: “Say, Mr., that is the best rifle in this state. Tell you what my Dad did with it yesterday. I set three clay pipes up at three hundred and fifty yards and the old man stood up and hit the first two pipes with his first two shots. The third pipe he refused to shoot at because he couldn’t see the stem. The old man’s eyes ain’t what they used to be and we thought he must be mistaken. However, we went out to the pipe and found a small green snake looking into the bowl, his body covering the stem so my Dad couldn’t see it; but, Mr., that wasn’t the gun’s fault and my Dad would sure have taken that snake’s head off if he had fired that third shot.” The salesman bought the rifle and managed to ask: “Does your father wear glasses?” The man answered: “No, but I guess he will have to before long. He sure was a great shot in his day.”