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Research Press
Firearms, Long Range Target Shooting & Associated History
Firearms, Long Range Target Shooting & Associated History
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Some 19thC bullets, from left: the first two are .45 Whitworth bullets as sold by Whitworth, Eley and maybe others. The central bullet is .46 and for a Gibbs-Metford. These all come from the same riflemans range box from the muzzle-loading era. The two bullets on the right are also Metford and from a later (breech-loading) period.
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Nice things come in small packages! Pictured is a rifleman's register for 'Metford's Match Rifle'. It's published I estimate late 1870s. The first few pages include elevation and windage information. There's a few pages for making general notes, and a series of index pages to summarise location, rifle, sight settings and wind. There follows 77 pages for plotting shots and recording shooting information. The delight is that over 60 of these pages have been used to record shooting.

This copy includes entries from 1880-1884 for a match rifleman shooting primarily at long range (800-1000 yards). There are records for Farquharson Metford Match Rifle (by Gibbs of Bristol) and Sharps rifle. The latter had some popularity in GB following the successes of American riflemen with breech loading rifles in the international long range matches of the mid-late 1870s. Entries include both competition and practice. It's a fascinating document and a wonder that it has survived over 130 years.

#metfordrifle #sharpsrifle #marksmanship
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03/02/2017
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Nice things come in small packages! Pictured is a rifleman's register for 'Metford's Match Rifle'. It's published I estimate late 1870s. The first few pages include elevation and windage information. There's a few pages for making general notes, and a series of index pages to summarise location, rifle, sight settings and wind. There follows 77 pages for plotting shots and recording shooting information. The delight is that over 60 of these pages have been used to record shooting.

This copy includes entries from 1880-1884 for a match rifleman shooting primarily at long range (800-1000 yards). There are records for Farquharson Metford Match Rifle (by Gibbs of Bristol) and Sharps rifle. The latter had some popularity in GB following the successes of American riflemen with breech loading rifles in the international long range matches of the mid-late 1870s. Entries include both competition and practice. It's a fascinating document and a wonder that it has survived over 130 years.

#metfordrifle #sharpsrifle #marksmanship
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03/02/2017
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Hints To Shootists: On a warm day more elevation is required.
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#marksmanship #targetshooting #rifleshooting #shooting
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For the long range rifleman shooting black powder in muzzle loading rifles, one of the critical factors for accuracy is consistent weight of powder charges. The enthusiastic riflemen in the Victorian era may have invested in a special range box to get his carefully weighed powder charges and bullets safely to the firing point.

These original boxes are very rare items to find today – their function becoming redundant by the early 1880s when muzzle loading match rifles were largely replaced by breech loaders, survival rate does not appear to be high. Does anyone know of examples of other surviving boxes?

#longrange #muzzleloading #targetrifle #shooting #matchrifle #rifle #whitworth #whitworthbullet #metford #gibbsmetford

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THE SHOOTER at the heavy bench rest squinted as he aligned his .45-70 Allin-Springfield Model 1873 Army rifle on the distant target. The rifle fore-stock and barrel was cradled in a rest; the butt was supported by his shoulder. The rear sight was flipped up to its full height, so with no stock support for his head, the rifle tester from Springfield Armory worked carefully to align high rear and low muzzle sight on the speck that was the target - a surveyed 2,500 yards distant.

Holding his breath, he squeezed the 7-pound trigger. The rifle fired, and some 15 seconds later, signals from the target indicated that his shot had struck well inside the 6-foot diameter bullseye on a target well over a mile away!

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New event for 2017: International Creedmoor Long Range black powder muzzle loading rifle and & black powder cartridge rifle match, Ben Avery shooting facility, Phoenix, Arizona. Shooting at 800, 900 and 1000 yards
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Good day Saturday shooting on Bisley's Century Range at 600 yards. Muzzle loading rifle and black powder cartridge rifle. Pictured is a Deeley-Edge-Metford.
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Gibbs-Farquharson-Metford

John Farquharson had two patents for his breech action in the 1870s. The action was manufactured by Bristol gunmaker George Gibbs and fitted with a barrel rifled to William Metford's design. The link gives some notes on Farquharson's breech action and a brief biographic note on the man. 

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Joseph Whitworth's hexagonally bored rifle gained fame in the hands of riflemen competing in long range target shooting competition at Wimbledon in the 1860s. It was also a feared weapon in the hands of Civil War sharpshooters. If anyone is interested in the background to the development of this rifle than I have added Joseph Whitworth's 'Miscellaneous Papers on Mechanical Subjects | Guns and Steel' (1873) to my blog. (It's in 8 linked parts)
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