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Discussion Starter #1
The first Grand Smokeless Championship Handicap Live-bird Tournament given by the E. I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co. took place October 22 - 25, at Baltimore, Md. All the events were at live pigeons, and three sets of traps were used. It was intended to have a handicap match at 15 birds, $15 on the first day, and a 20-bird, $20 handicap match on the second day in which high guns would win, but owing to the fact that many who intended to enter the big handicap match on the third day had not done so, it was decided by the Handicap Committee that it would be best to change the programme, and make the fourth event on the first day, which was called the "Maryland Handicap," and the fourth event on the second day, which was called the “Monumental City Handicap" a sweepstake event and class shooting, instead of "high guns win," and all stand alike on the 30-yard mark.

Fred Gilbert (L.C. Smith) and Charles “Hayward” Macalester (Purdey) tied at 25; Gilbert won the shoot-off 5/5 to 4/5. Charles Wagner (Parker), E.B. Coe (Smith), John Brewer (Greener), and A.H. King (Scott Monte Carlo) tied at 24; Wagner won the shoot-off taking 3rd place.

Fred Gilbert, of Spirit Lake, Iowa won the handsome trophy. He is a young man who has always devoted more or less time to field shooting, and also has made a good record at inanimate targets, but has never shot at a very great number of live birds at the trap. He is a good, cool shot, and one man remarked on the first day, "That fellow acts like an expert." This is said to be his first experience at live birds with such a crowd of cracks.

He used a Smith gun, 8 pounds, and his load consisted of a scant 3 1/4 drams Du Pont, by measure, which weighed 42 grains. It was wadded with a Winchester field wad, a 3/8-inch pink felt and an ordinary pink edge, all 12-gauge and 1 1/8 ounces of No. 7 chilled shot. The shells were loaded by Ed. Bingham for the firm, of Montgomery Ward & Co., of Chicago.

This is the way Eddie Bingham, of Montgomery Ward & Co., was explaining to a serious faced stranger how Gilbert won the trophy:
"You see, it was just like this," said Eddie. Gilbert is only a farmer boy in Iowa, who with the help of an extra hired man got his harvesting done earlier than usual, and so thought that he would come down to Baltimore and see what he could do. He had never shot at a live pigeon from a trap before in his life, and all the practice that he got in wing-shooting was banging away at jack rabbits when they jumped. He was in good form on jack rabbits, and that was how he came to win. Of course he had a good gun, one of the L. C. Smith's, and his shells were loaded by Ed. Bingham, of Montgomery Ward & Co., Chicago, and it is the best load in the world. Another thing which made Gilbert a sure winner he carried tied to a string in his left-hand pocket the left hind foot of a jack rabbit, which he shot on a dark night in a graveyard at Spirit Lake."

GUNS USED:
Smith – 13, Parker – 8, Greener – 11, Lefever – 6, Francotte – 4, Scott & Remington – 3 each, Colt, Grant, Boss & Purdey – 1 each

Capt. John L. Brewer was using a Greener gun of high grade. His shells were the U. M. C. Trap, 3 1/4 inches long, 4 drams of DuPont powder by measure, weighing 36 1/2 grains; one trap wad, two pink felts, 1/4 inch 11-gauge wad and one ordinary 12-gauge pink edge wad over the powder and 1 1/4 ounces of No. 7 chilled shot; the shell had a very hard square crimp.

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I really enjoy reading these threads Drew. So much more simple it was back then. much less risk with much more reward.

Thank you,

Brady Gies
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You are most welcome gentlemen. I am of the opinion that Gilbert was the best of that era; followed closely by Heikes, Crosby & Elliott.

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Thanks so very much for this thread!! I find the loads very interesting. I have never seen a 3 1/4 inch load mentioned anywhere before. These guys could handle recoil!

Again, Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
J.A.R. Elliott used a Greener in the 1895 GAH, then shot for Winchester with an 1893 Repeater using "Leader" shells loaded with "EC" powder, then Hazard "Blue Ribbon" when he defeated Fred Gilbert to take back the Kansas City "Star" Cup April, 1898. He then retained the cup first beating R. O. Heikes by the score of 94 to 93/100, then C. W. Budd, J.E. Riley, and Fred Gilbert in Kansas City. In March 1899, he had the High Average at the Sportsmen's Association Championship Tournament held on the roof of the Madison Square Garden breaking 1223 out of 1300 targets.

He held the following trophies in 1899: DuPont Trophy, St. Louis Republic Cup, & Cast Iron Medal (all at Live Birds) and the "E.C." Target Championship Cup & "Republic" Inanimate Target Cup. He finished 1900 holding the Cast Iron Medal, Sportsmen's Review Cup, and the St. Louis Republic Cup then in January 1901 won back the DuPont Trophy.

He later used a Model 97 Pigeon Grade

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Discussion Starter #10
More pre-1900 shells

Cast Iron Medal, emblematic of championship of America, and a purse of $200, was shot on Watson’s Shooting Grounds. R.O. Heikes (using a Winchester 1897 pump) won the match by killing 91 out of 100 birds, taking the Cast Iron Medal and the $200.


Grimm killed 87 out of the 100 birds, using an L. C. Smith gun, 3 1/4 drams Du Pont powder in a 3-inch U. M. C. Smokeless shell, for first barrel, and 3 1/2 drams Du Pont powder in a 3 1/4-inch U. M. C. Trap shell in second barrel, 1 1/4 ounces No. 7 chilled shot in both barrels.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Some serious boomers in a 7 3/4# 'delicate' Smith :)

Jan. 2 1897: Charles Grimm defeats Doc Carver in Chicago for the “Cast Iron Metal”
Grimm used a 12-bore L. C. Smith gun, 7 3/4 pounds, 3 3/4 drams Schultze, 1 1/4 ounce No. 7 shot, in U. M. C. Trap shell.
Carver used a 12-bore Cashmore gun, 8 pounds weight, 4 drams of Carver powder, 1 1/4 No. 7 shot, in U. M. C. Trap shell.

3" and 3 1/4" New Primed Empties were sold by most of the makers in that era. The standard loads were 1 1/4 oz. 3 1/2 dram eq. smokeless powder, and the extra length was for additional wadding, not lead.

A Cashmore pigeon gun

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm sorry. The Google aliens who run my DamascusKnowledge website are up to something in the mother ship. The home page works, but none of the documents will open :(

I'll have more infro about the money c. 1900 pigeon shooters won when/if the website is back up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well it turns out the aliens decided that none of my docs can be opened without GOOGLE CHROME :( Working on it.


Infro. regarding payouts to Live Bird shooters, and this does not include side-bets.


Capt. Jack Brewer "Champion Wing Shot of the World" and "The Best Shot on Live Birds the World Has Ever Known" was beaten by E.D. Fulford when they shot three, 100 bird matches at Al Heritage's grounds, Marion, New Jersey in November, 1891 for $3000 a side.
When Fulford won the re-match 2 months later at Woodland Park, Long Island for $1,000 a side, Brewer declared "I will shoot against any man in the world for the World's Championship Cup which I now hold with $5000 or $10,000 a side, Hurlingham or London Club rules to govern." There is no record that match took place.


December 1894, Doc Carver and Tom Marshall shot a 100 Live Bird race at the Oskaloosa Gun Club (Iowa) for $500 a side.


Grand American Handicap at Live Bird payouts were considerable

1893 won by R.A. Welch - $477.50, 2nd Noel Money $166.50

1894 won by T.W. Morfey - $667.50, 2nd A.W. Money $400.50

1896 won by O.R. Dickey - $500

1899 Thomas A. Marshall repeated his 1897 win - $405.05 PLUS $500 in cash from the U. M. C. Company for winning the Grand American Handicap with Union Metallic Cartridge Company factory loaded ammunition.


Oct 24, 1896 Sporting Life
Harvey McMurchy, of the L. C. Smith gun, can feel satisfied when he reads that the Smith gun in the hands of Mr. Thomas S. Dando won the first money, $325 and a silver cup at the Riverton (Pa.) tournament. Mr. Dando killed 47 out of 50 and won first alone.


March 6, 1897 Sporting Life
George S. McAlpin, of New York, considered the cleverest pigeon shot in amateur circles in that city, won an interesting match at double live birds 80 to 73 from Thomas S. Dando, the crack Philadelphia pigeon shot, on the grounds of the Riverton Gun Club, at Riverton, N. J., on Feb. 25. The conditions of the match were: 50 pair of live birds from five traps, pulled unknown, two birds being placed in each trap; 25yds. rise for a stake of $1000.


There are at least 7 $ conversion formula, but by any measure we're talking serious money.
 

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Drew, thanks for all of the historical information you've posted!! Very interesting reading about all those tough old time shooters!

I'd say that Fred Gilbert was a dandy shot for a game shooter playing the old pros games during that time!! They were competing most of the year while he was planting and harvesting crops!!

HAP
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The big money was apparently in the European Pigeon rings. After the American team's victory in the 1901 Anglo-American match, J.A.R. Elliott went on to Belgium and joined R.A. Welch competing in a series of pigeon matches, winning 1000 francs (about $4000) in one match. The purse in Namur was $40,000!!

Monte Carlo

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Drew, I just read an article on a 1910 ford. They went on to say that the average wage was 22 cents per hour then. 400 per year.

So, as you said that was one heck of a lot of money.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Ric. In 1900, the average hourly wage in the U.S. for all industrial workers was $.21; but 52% of the total workforce earned less than $.16 hourly, and farm wages were among the lowest in the nation. In 1899, farm wages (including board) were $14.60 per month, or about $1 per day. Daily wages for non-farm labor were $1.41; a skilled carpenter made $2.30 per day.
 

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Thanks Dr. Drew. This info helps with a dilemma I have. I have an old family heirloom double Ithaca with 3" chambers. It is a Minier, made in 1906 and the long chambers surprised me. It seems to be just a field gun, but perhaps some old duck hunter thought he needed the extra power. I didn't realize longer shells existed that long ago.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The aliens are letting me back on my website :(

The ‘machine loaded’ shells and components available in the 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. catalog


The 'Trap Shooters Delight' could be ordered with 'E.C.', Schultze, American Wood, Black Powder, Dupont Smokeless or Laflin & Rand Smokeless powder. 12g Winchester “Leader” and “Blue Rival” NPEs are offered in 3-inch length. UMC 12g Green “Trap” NPEs are offered in 2 7/8 and 3-inch lengths.
 
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