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Larry--I don't know the source of the information that you came up with that indicates the Lower target in Seller's book is 500 yards, but I think you have been fed some low grade B.S. The caption on the photograph very explicitly states that it is the Denver Rifle Club range, 50 consecutive shots at 200 yards, offhand on January 2, 1882. Besides that, if you take a good magnifying glass, you can read the sign ABOVE THE TARGET IN THE PHOTOGRAPH. The sign ALSO says 50 consecutive shots offhand at 200 yards by J.P.Lower on January 2, 1882.

I really don't think Lower would pose for a photo that said the target was shot at 200 yards when he had really shot it at 500 yards, do you? I'm sticking with Lower and Sellers on this one. Shoot straight, rdnck.
 

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Offhand/standing matches

Larry

<<<While no one seems to know for sure what the range was the speculation is it was at 500 yards. That was the common range for offhand matches back then, especially the money matches.>>>

Ain't but two things "static" in this world; DEATH AND TAXES but I'm quite certain that the common distance for offhand matches dating back to the mid 1800's was at 200 yards! Today....NRA offhand/standing events are fired from 200 yards and also Schutzen matches are also fired from this same distance. Schutzen events as well as modern HP matches are based upon empirical/historical data and these distances were not settled upon by someone just "outa the blue" so to speak! A precedent was established long ago and it's still adhered to at this time!
 

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Re: Offhand/standing matches

Sharpsman

There's several referances to these "money" matches and the mentioned range of 500 yards in several old publications. Phil Sharpes "The American Rifle" for one. It was these "money" matches that I referred to, not the "common range" for offhand matches. Many of these "matches" were for large sums of money back then and they drew large crowds. It is probable they used whatever range was practical at the location of the matches. Those were the matches that the speculation of the severlal BPCR shooters I discussed it with was based on, not "sanctioned" matches. I don't believe I said they were NRA type or any kind of sanctioned matches. Even the Schutzen matches were not standardized back then as there were several different types of targets used. Though 200 yards is now the standard off hand distance for sanctioned matches (I believe Schutzen was almost always this distance) in HP it is not uncommon to still have 500 or 600 yard "sidebar" off hand matches on those ranges where possible. I have even been in a ten shot 1000 yard off hand match.

"Schutzen events as well as modern HP matches are based upon empirical/historical data and these distances were not settled upon by someone just "outa the blue" so to speak! A precedent was established long ago and it's still adhered to at this time"

I concur for the most part with your statement quoted above. However, the "precedent" as such was an evolutionary process as in the word "empirical" which you use (reliying upon or gained from experiment). The ranges and targets that we use today evolved from those that were experimented and used yesteryear and are not necessarily the same as used in the beginning. Most matches as we know them today only resemble what the first original "prededent" setting matches were. HP has evolved through various ranges, targets, allowed rifles and firing procedures. As Mentioned Schutzen targets are different than some were. BPCR silhouette does not exactly "adhere" the "precedent" set in Mexico where the game originated. You don't shoot it all off hand, The rifles are not "hunting" rifles as used in Mexico, you don't use live animals etc, etc, etc. Actually the rules of each shooting regimine change as time and conditions change. Hence the current rules controversy in BPCR silhouette over allowed "exceptions" to pre-1896 rifles, sights and ammunition. I'm only using BPCR silhouette as an example as most shooting disciplines (as all sports) have their controversies. Heck, most "buffalo matches" today really have little resemblence to how the buffalo hunters really shot buffalo. My point is all shooting sports have evolved from the original "precedent". But simply because we don't shoot something today doesn't mean it wasn't done back then or somewhere else.

Just 'cause you boys, where ever it is you shoot, don't shoot those matches doesn't mean it isn't or wasn't ever done done. Conversely just because we've never heard of something before doesn't mean it wasn't done either. Just 'cause some load their ammo a certain way that work's fine doesn't necessarily mean that's the only way that will work either. Just 'cause someone doesn't shoot BPCR silhouette doesn't mean they don't know how to load good BPCR loads or that they can't shoot. Just because one type of load works well in one type of rifle doesn't necassarily mean it's the best for another type of rifle.

I'm of the opinion that those boys back in the 1870s through the early 1900s were ever bit the shooting enthusiest's we are today. Seems many of the scores shot back then, particularly the Schutzen scores, are awfully hard to beat. It is my opinion that they shot just about as well as we do today. Rdnck disagrees and that is just fine as it makes for lively discussion. Since they didn't shoot BPCR silhouette back then it's really hard to say but we all have our opinions. Speaking of opinions, it has been opinioned on more than one occasion by the "real" silhouette shooters that you BPCR silhouette shooters "cheat". Seems as how you use sitting or prone on the pigs, turkeys and rams. And, oh my god! You even allow a rest, cross sticks!!! I don't pay no mind though, as it's just opinions. To me they are two different types of shooting matches. Some opinions are fact, some are speculation, some are BS and some are "witchcraft". And that again, is just my opinion whether anyone thinks it is fact, speculation, BS or witchcraft.

A fine example of the difference of these opinions is your reference to "death and taxes" remaining "static". Don't know about where you live but where I live "static" would mean, in this case, to remain motionless with no movement. Perhaps that may be the case with death as we'll all die. However, out here taxes are certainly not "static" as they are most always on the increase. I've always taken exception to the quip; "two things are certain, death and taxes." Again while death is, taxes are not. There are many people in this country who do not pay taxes. Doesn't mean I'm right and you're wrong or visa versa, just a difference of opinion is all. What a wonderful country the U.S.! But that is another discussion....

Nice chattin' with you.

Larry Gibson
 

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500 yard offhand matches!

Larry

<<<Nice chattin' with you. >>>

Same here! Well....in all my years of shootin and readin everything bout history....I "ain't never" run across any info related to 500 yard offhand events! But....reckon there's a FIRST for everything though!

Yeah...been in a few 600 yard standing events myself....and an occasional 1000 yard event.....FOR BEER when I was at Ft. Benning, USAAMU...just for beer only!

Matter of fact....one of our guys bet another that he could hold a 12# International Rifle to his shoulder and in position for 4 hours without putting it down! Was on a Saturday I remember. They commenced the bet at 0800 hours....the pot grew bigger after the original four hours and the guy finally put it down at 1500 hours! THEN.....dropped down and did 100 pushups and 100 situps!! Gotta be a record for holding anyway!!

Wish I could be 24 again!!
 

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Re: 500 yard offhand matches!

Sharpsman

I wouldn't mind being 24 again, but only if I knew what I know now. I was prone to do some pretty stupid stuff back then. Seemed like fun and the thing to do at the time though.

Larry
 

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rdnck; RE J.P. Lowere 50 shot group

:D :D Greetings geltlemen. I just got a chance to pull out the ' THE MUZZLE-LOADING CAP LOCK RIFLE" by Ned H. Roberts. In it they are talking about shooting in the rest position at 40 rods,or 220 yards. Some of these groups for ten shots are under two inches. Thats good in anybodies book,with some under 1 1/2. interesting. King
 

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rdnck; RE J.P. Lowere 50 shot group

:D :D Greetings geltlemen. I just got a chance to pull out the ' THE MUZZLE-LOADING CAP LOCK RIFLE" by Ned H. Roberts. In it they are talking about shooting in the rest position at 40 rods,or 220 yards. Some of these groups for ten shots are under two inches. Thats good in anybodies book,with some under 1 1/2. interesting. King
 

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rdnck; RE J.P. Lowere 50 shot group

KING

In 1859....they shot "string matches" at 40 rods....220 yards. A gentlemen by the name of Spencer shot 50 rounds. Entire string length was a total of 54"! Figure that one out!

Meant all of his shots fell an average of 1.08" from the center of the bull!!

Them ole boys....knew something about BP...and ML.....that we ain't figured out yet...and probably never will! :roll: :lol:
 

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rdnck; RE J.P. Lowere 50 shot group

:-D :D Sharpsman!!!!. What these guys shot fer target is way above anything I could ever shoot. Its interesting that these were all mzl. Im still working on that string measurment system,Im not the quickest guy around onna that stuff.
 
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