The following information on telegraph matches for banks and police comes from Section 60 of Shooting by J. Henry FitzGerald. Shooting is also available to purchase in print.
Telegraph matches are becoming popular with the police departments and many banks are beginning to take up this fascinating sport. It means just this, that each team can shoot on its own range under conditions that it is accustomed to. The same feeling of shooting in competition is present even if the rival team cannot be seen. They are there and sometimes loom up larger than if they were present. We cannot but wonder just what the other fellows are doing.
The Colt Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company has taken a great interest in this work and in the winter of 1927-28 and 29 ran a series of matches between the different police departments throughout the country. So satisfactory was the result that it will be followed for many years and will grow until not only police departments but banks and trust companies will take it up.
The matches are shot on a twelve-yard range, which nearly any bank or police department can locate in their cellar. The Camp Perry police course is used in this shooting: ten shots slow fire, one minute per shot; ten shots each five in twenty seconds; ten shots each five in ten seconds on a target one-half the size used at Camp Perry. For the teams who have had no rapid-fire experience I would advise matches with neighboring departments before entering the National Matches. First slow fire matches may be arranged and then matches with slow and twenty second courses, gradually working toward the ten second course.
If competing departments all use the light model revolvers, of course there is no advantage, but if one department should use a light model and the other the six-inch barrel revolver the lighter revolver would be badly handicapped and could only win by superior team members. Even small departments can easily use five or six of the larger revolvers for motorcycle men and extra arms and with these arms only practice is necessary to develop a good team.
The winter practice in the matches mentioned will put the men in shape for the outdoor matches and should create enough interest in each town or city to warrant the police or bank officials sending a team to the near-by contests, if not to the National Matches at Camp Perry.
The cost of equipment for an indoor range is practically nothing and the outdoor range can easily be located that will cost very little. The only outlay is for five or six revolvers suitable for this shooting.
In many cases the men who become good shots prefer to purchase their own revolvers and many load their own ammunition, which reduces the cost to less than one cent each and is just as satisfactory if properly done. These are the loading outfits which will do perfect work if properly handled,—Ideal Manufacturing Company and Schmidt’s. Hand-loaded ammunition is very accurate and satisfactory. It enables the .38 and larger shooters to do nearly three times the amount of shooting for the same price invested in factory ammunition.
In other chapters I have mentioned that target shooting is not necessary for adequate protection, neither is it, but target shooting stimulates interest in the department, as each of the members outside the team will have dreams of the day when he will win a place on the team and enjoy the trips to other ranges. Each officer will put his best efforts into the work if he has something to look forward to, and every team is looking for the best material obtainable.