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Hints on the Use and Handling of Firearms Generally, and the Revolver in Particular   By:

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'Nunquam non paratus.'

LONDON: DULAU & CO., 37 SOHO SQUARE. All Rights Reserved.


LONDON: PRINTED BY STRANGEWAYS AND SONS, Tower Street, Upper St. Martin's Lane.


'He, that rides at high speed, and with His pistol kills a sparrow flying.' SHAKESPEARE: Henry IV.

THE National Rifle Association may fairly claim the honour of introducing, at their meeting in July 1885, the subject of Military Revolver practice in this country. For years past the want of such a movement has been felt, but the many obstacles to be overcome have been so vast that no one seems to have cared to venture upon the matter, and so it has slept.

The great drawback has been, and is now, to find suitable ranges anywhere near London. Such ranges, the use of which is enjoyed by our Citizen Army, are insufficient, and the expense of keeping them up is considerable, falling heavily upon the corps to whom they belong.

The National Rifle Association, although they offered some 40 l. in prizes, and provided not only revolvers but ammunition, for a small consideration, or entrance fee, met with but poor support; but it should be borne in mind that this was the first year of such a competition, and it was in consequence not generally known of. Very little was known of the movement till it actually took place, and then only when noticed by the press the day after its introduction.

Again, it should be remembered that the entries were restricted to officers, warrant officers, and petty officers, of her Majesty's land and sea forces, and doubtless this restriction accounted for the spare attendance. Every Englishman belonging to the auxiliary forces should hail with pleasure the opportunity offered of making himself master of this useful weapon; one that in skilled hands is most deadly at long or short ranges, and a thorough knowledge of the use of which might at any moment be the means of saving another's life from an opposing force when no other weapon was at hand.

The difficulty in using even an ordinary pistol with accuracy is, and always has been, an acknowledged fact, as it requires great practice to enable a man to make his mark as a crack shot. Some men would perhaps miss a haystack at twenty yards, while others, with little practice, soon become excellent shots at very small objects. It is marvellous the accuracy with which the professional burglar has of late years used his revolver against the police and others; but it may be accounted for by the fact that these men use a small, light weapon, easily carried and much easier wielded than the military regulation revolver, which weighs 2 lbs. 8 oz.; that they invariably take what may be termed flying shots and it should be remembered that a full sized man at comparatively close quarters presents a very large target. I venture to affirm that if these burglarious minions of the moon, who make night hideous, were compelled to stand before a Martini Smith target (a foot square) at twenty yards, with a military regulation revolver, they would make but sorry marksmen.

The use of the military revolver is acknowledged to be a question of great importance, as one not only affecting those who embrace the profession of arms, but those who travel; and as no one knows when he may be called upon, or where he may be, it is imperative that he should gain a thorough knowledge of every minor detail, most useful in the hour of need, and which will enable him not only to protect himself with confidence, but to come to the assistance of the weak should occasion require.

It is to be deplored that what once formed part of the education of a gentleman i.e. the use of the small sword and broadsword should have been so thoroughly neglected of late years in this country... Continue reading book >>

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