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Some Last Words of Advice from Chairman Jeff
In a previous blog, I mentioned a book by the late Jeff Cooper called “Custom Rifles," which I first read in 1958 when I was 15 years old. At the end there’s a chapter titled “Field Marksmanship” and part of it bears repeating here. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but now I do. A lot.
“One of the most tiresome platitudes heard when guns and hunting are discussed is “I’m no target shot, but I can always deliver on game.” This is so common, so irritating, and so silly that this book will have accomplished its purpose if it can contribute to the elimination of such remarks.
“There’s only one difference between a good target shot and a good field shot. The field shot is a little quicker. Hitting game well is so much harder than hitting a target that I am absolutely amazed that anyone could have the gall to suggest that while he can perform the difficult, he can’t deliver when the task is easy….A game shot but not a target shot? Not even in a joke.
“I had occasion, during WWII, to associate closely with a real field shot. His profession was guide and outfitter in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, but he signed up with the Marines when war broke out and he came to my attention as a sergeant-instructor on a rifle range where I happened to be in charge. The M-1 is not a precision arm, but Sergeant Sandona could make it talk! His scores were not always the best in the detachment, although they were regularly up near the top, but he would always be finished with his string before the rest of the line was half through. He not only shot excellent target groups, but he shot them fast. When a man tells me he is a good “game shot,” this is what I think he means.”