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The Ideal Trap Gun 1916

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Drew Hause, Jan 6, 2011.

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  1. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    Outing Magazine
    “That Ideal Trap Gun”
    By Lewis McKune Davis

    Gold and Silver Were Never Known To Break the Illusive Bluerock


    The "Ideal Trap Gun" has been the subject of many a preachment by many a writer, and these articles have been published in every outdoor magazine in the country. They have been immensely entertaining—filled with truth and fiction—setting forth what in the estimation of the writers were the only possible dimensions of a gun with which anything like a perfect score could be made at the traps. The majority of writers on the interesting subject of the gun are gun cranks, and most gun cranks are owners of guns of the elite, lace and lavender kind.

    Men with a penchant for trap shooting have stood out on the sidelines and watched with interest the blowing of the bluerocks back to dust, secretly hoping, without expectation, that they could get into the game. Then they have gone home and settled themselves down for an evening of comfort with their favorite outdoor magazine to read the ravings of the crank about the ideal trap gun. These guns, as a rule, are engraved from stem to stem—from soup to nuts—with two or three choice chunks of gold inlay, and the man with a penchant for trapshooting has seen his hopes entwined in the disappearing smoke from his favorite briar.

    Or, perhaps, he has read of the "fit" of the ideal trap gun. He reads wondrous criticisms of the drop, the pitch, the choke, the length of stock, and the length of barrel of the ideal, and then he pulls his old scatter gun out of the closet and looks it over with a feeling of remorse. He tells the old gun it won't do. It was all right for upland shooting, but it will never do to join the company of the Beau Brummels of the upper crust at the traps.

    An examination shows that the stock is too short; the pitch is too great, and the drop out of all proportions. It's as badly out of style, he has been led to believe, as a last year's milliner's creation, and back it goes into the closet to await the opening of another quail season, and the trapshooting fraternity has lost what would have been another member.

    The ravings of the gun crank has no influence over the men who have been initiated into the pleasures of trapshooting, because these men learned years ago that the old gun which could be counted on to get its share of game would give a good account of itself at the traps. It is all very fine to prattle about the beauties of the engraving, the superb natural markings of the stock—this is all right—but let it be known to the uninitiated that these beauty spots are not necessary to the breaking of a bluerock; also let it be known that there are guns minus all the Beau Brummel attachments that shoot just as well, and can be had for one-fifth the price.

    The statement that a trap gun that is a trap gun will set the trapshooter back anywhere from $100 to $1000 and the further statement that the trapshooting fraternity of America is composed of a cosmopolitan membership are not in tune. The fact that there are more than 4,000 trapshooting clubs in the United States is offered as exhibit A in proof of the statement that a cosmopolitan membership really does exist.

    The personnel of these 4,000 or more trapshooting clubs is made up of men in all walks of life—and there are thousands of them who never owned a gun, and never expect to, that cost over twenty-five dollars. As a matter of fact, I have a scatter gun in my possession that cost only fifteen dollars which will make a pattern equal to many of the guns that cost ten times as much.

    My advice to the beginner in trapshooting is to buy an inexpensive gun, unless of course, he has plenty of the pelf with which to pay for the gewgaws. After he has been in the game a while and can estimate its value, then, if he chooses, he can buy the engraving and the little chunk of bright and yellow.
    In the purchase of a gun, let the beginner buy the arm that "feels" right. Some men have set themselves up as criterions and have told us that only a gun following closely the dimensions prescribed by their architecture will do. They tell us that the stock must be 14 inches long; that the drop at the comb must be 1 3/8 inches and 2 1/4 inches at the heel; that the pitch must be so much, and a lot of other balderdash.

    I admit that I fell for some of this. It may be all right for a man to follow some of these suggestions if he has never done any shooting, but there is no difference between trapshooting and live bird shooting for the average man.
    I have hunted all my life. Naturally I knew something about the "feel" of a gun. When I bought this trap gun, true to plans and specifications, I realized that it didn't "feel" like my old hunting gun, but I had read much about the special trap guns brought out by various manufacturers, and followed directions.

    A gun that "feels" right to the man who has been a hunter all his life "fits." The stock may be 13 inches or it may be 14 inches—it makes no difference. But if he has been used to shooting a 13 inch stock all his shooting life he is going to have a monkey and parrot time getting used to shooting a gun with a stock 14 inches long.

    There can be no prescribed measurement for a gun to fit all men. Standardization is impossible. Ask ten of the best trapshooters in the country for dimensions of their guns, and you will get ten distinct gun measurements. This of itself should be sufficient proof of the fallacy of trying to tell the beginner at the trap what his gun measurements should be. The way is open for him to fit himself, both as to gun dimensions and price.

    He should buy a gun that "feels" good to him when he throws it to his shoulder. He should pay enough for it to warrant its standing up under the strain of the trap loads. The man buying the gun is the man to do the shooting, and therefore the gun should fit him and not somebody who assumes the role of dictator.

    The man buying the gun is the man who has it to pay for, and in this, too, he should be fitted. When the men, and women too, now out of the game, come fully to understand these truths, the trapshooting game will grow as it has never grown before.
     
  2. BILL GRILL

    BILL GRILL Well-Known Member

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    Drew, Ok who wrote it. 1916 to now still makes sense. Bill
     
  3. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    Bill:
    i think he told us who wrote it:

    Outing Magazine “That Ideal Trap Gun” By Lewis McKune Davis


    Gene Batchelar
    Wheaton, IL
     
  4. powderburn

    powderburn Member

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    Hi!
    I like this article. You never see all kinds of gimicks and alterations on those old guys' guns back then. Yes, they might by a nice 4E or something like that, but never a comb cut out, a barrel weight, chokes to monkey with, etc. Those guys, in my mind, were REAL shooters.
    Thanks for posting this!
    -powderburn
     
  5. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    The only 'add-ons' back then were 'boots' and hand guards

    1894 Chas. Godfrey, N.Y. catalog

    391070420.jpg

    Gilbert c. 1904 using a hand guard

    383200165.jpg

    Rolla Hiekes' product

    389691387.jpg

    Pigeon rules in 1898 limited a gun to no more then 8 pounds, weighed nekid' :)

    "We have received inquiries from most all directions recently from a number of shooters who are probably desirous of entering the Grand American Handicap next month, concerning the weight of guns, and whether the handhold and recoil pad will be counted as a part of the gun when weighed. The subject has been placed before the Tournament Committee of the association, which committee has decided that the guns will be weighed naked."

    The Baker Gun Quarterly, Volume 5, No. 3, May 1900 had an article on the weight of Trap/Pigeon guns used by Capt. A.W. Money (8 pounds), C.W. Budd (7 pounds 14 ounce Parker), H.D. Bates (7 pounds 13 ounces), R.O. Heikes (7 pounds 15 ounce Winchester 1897), J.S. Fanning (7 pounds 15 ounce Smith), W.R. Crosby (7 pounds 12 ounce Baker), and Col. A.G. Courtney (7 pounds 14 ounce Remington CEO). Capt. Money shot a Smith, Greener, and Parker.

    I've also seen ads for strap on 'comb risers'
     
  6. BILL GRILL

    BILL GRILL Well-Known Member

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    Gene, I'm a little slow now and then. Sorry. But remember God hates a quitter.
    Bill
     
  7. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    The Heikes Hand Protector “A Necessity for Blue Rock Shooting”
     
  8. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    July 6, 1901 Sporting Life
    The Chamberlin Cartridge & Target Co. introduces the tie-on Rowley Pad “…for straightening a gun 1/8, 1/4, or 3/8 inches.”
    “Prevents flinching, and will greatly improve your scores…”
     
  9. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jim!
    "Teaching Women to Shoot" is digitized
     
  10. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    More opinions above
     
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