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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across a picture in an old Geographic magazine that got me wondering about things- there's a bowler hatted gent shooting a big bore,heavy barrel rolling block from the SUPINE position. The rifle is equipped with a very high tang rear, and a windgauge front sights. The forearm is a quite shallow beavertail. The shooter grips his rifle just ahead of the chamber, with his palm across the top barrel flats. The toe of the buttstock rests ON his shoulder- apparently such shooting required a fairly short neck on the shooter.

Kind of a chicken crossed the road question- which came first- the 1/2 oct. barrel, or the Supine shooting position?

This picture demonstrates a practical use for the 1/2 octagon barrel- just one of those things that you have to see in order for it to make sense....

The pic is on page 63 of the July '96 National Geographic....


Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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The "supine" shooting position was around long before the 1/2 octagon barrels. The 1/2 octagons became popular around the time of breechloading cartridge rifles, and are really only asthetic in purpose.
Prior to this era, the old long range muzzleloader matches used this shooting position, and most sported full octagons, and an occasional full round.
Many long range shooters from the mid to late 1800's used what was later referred to as the "Creedmore" position. This involved laying on your back, with legs stretched in front of you towards the target, the shooter put his off hand behind his head, and supported the buttplate, with the same hand. The barrel was rested on the legs, and a long range sight was mounted at the heel of the stock, just above the buttplate. Buttplates were all hard rubber, or steel, and flat like a shotgun style. When the sight alingment was right, the shooter touched the trigger with his shooting hand. Matches were at extreme ranges, and this combination gave a very long sighting radius, over the tang sight, or rear barrel sight, resulting in extreme accuracy for the top shooters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply MM-93. I suppose this shooting game will be a learning proposition for me till the day they're pattin my face with a spade.

Interesting on the chronology of the shooting positions. I saw a very funny cartoon of the Creedmore position in one of my gun rags- a hill-billy type with his big toe wrapped around the smoking muzzle of some old charcoal burner, and his nose drooping over the comb of the stock... the caption read " The Winning Form At The National Matches "....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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I think I've seen that one, or one like it. I love those old shooting pictures, whether cartoon, or tin types. I have a page from a 1880's newspaper, which has match results, and hand drawn pictures of the championship team at Creedmore. It's amazing how times have changed. In this newspaper, the picture is a full page, and the article is two full pages!
Seems in that era shooting was not only acceptable, but highly regarded! The Americans taking the World Long Range Match was a huge event then. The Irish were very proud of their shooters, and had been at the game for a lot longer than we had even been a country. They took the loss pretty hard, but the next match, the Americans proved it wasn't a fluke, by doing it over again!
Seems we've been a nation of great shooters for a long time!
 
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