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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Rules Dr Hudson shot under (Read 16043 times)
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Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Apr 12th, 2005 at 10:21am
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Steve Garbe gave a very intresting response to the exchanges on Dr Hudsons record. Will paste part of it here.  I wonder if there was a time or relay limit involved too,  From the information Steve posted the record is very difficult indeed. I had said I thought there were at least a dozen shooters today that could equal the score.  Considering no sighters and limited to 100 shots fired, not just on the paper I wonder if any living shooter could do it.  The way we shoot the game sighters are key to a good score. Perhaps it could be equaled  but it would truly be a feat.

Paste.

Something to consider- Hudson set his record in a match that had some definite differences to the typical offhand matches of today. First, there were no sighters allowed during the match...in fact, in my research it appears as if the first shot fired was for score. Secondly, even though he set his record using iron sights he did it in an "any sight' match. Third, every shot fired counted for score...no shooting till you had 100 shots on paper, it was 100 shots for score; this is what blew Pope out of the running. Fourth, shooting coats/vests/shoes weren't allowed. These are all things that to one degree or another are allowed in today's Schuetzen shooting and can represent a huge difference...especially the use of sighter targets during the match and the 100 shots on paper versus 100 shots fired. 

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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #1 - Apr 12th, 2005 at 12:06pm
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Yes, I found Steve's post most interesting.

Is a old record really broken if it is shot with our new rifles, powders, sights and with unlimited sighter shots?

Maybe the score would be equaled but if not shot in the same manner with similar equipment then I say No Way was it bettered or equaled.

I think it would be more of an accomplishment if done as it was then, or as close to that as possible.
None of the rifles that are manufactured today unless they are very close to the originals.  None of the new cartridges.

It would be exciting to see it done the "Old" way.

  

Keith L 3240
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #2 - Apr 12th, 2005 at 5:00pm
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Considering the practice level of that era, and not knowing if some competitors had practiced earlier that day, or the day before, the question of sighters is sort of open. I'm sure the shooters "warmed up" by at least firing fouling shots into the backstops. I recall muzzleloading shoots were scopes were not permitted. But nothing stopped a person from shooting at a stone with someone spotting the dust. Same for matches were sighters were not permitted. You simply shot a practice target or reentry and went for record on the next relay.  And, back to the Hudson era shooters, if they shot the day before they had a good elevation setting, the variable being wind. After that a very good shot can make that wind adjustment from a carefully called shot. If the winds vary you read the flags and make the adjustment.
Hudson used iron sights of the vernier type. The challenge is immense. But that is what all competitive shooting is about. It's nice to shoot that fine score but it's satisfying to just participate and know you did your best. Whatever you call such an event, it would be much fun and perhaps gain us a few adherants.
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #3 - Apr 12th, 2005 at 5:21pm
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It's true, as Steve Garbe says, that you took 100 shots and that was your score...... hit or miss. Your shots were recorded as you took them by a scorekeeper who recorded them on your score card. This had to be done since many people shot on the same target.

  Pope missed winning a match one time when while loading his gun (muzzle-breech loader) he saw a friend enter the shooting house and went to greet him. On returning he must have thought that he'd put the bullet down, because he fired it with just a charged case and it was recorded as a missed shot.

  A coupla things Garbe didn't mention in his article... if I recall right.... One was that there was no time limit on shooting your 100 shots, other than it had to be in the allotted time of the match. Some were even known on two day shoots to see they weren't shooting well that day and came back the next to finish. Second, as mentioned, there were no sighter shots, but, a Schuetzen match was composed of many matches and your gun could be fouled and sighted in for the days conditions on any of them before starting the 100 shot match, or any other important match.

  One thing I don't recall ever reading tho was if once you started your 100 shot match that you had to fire it straight thru, even if you did it over a two day period. It would be interesting to know that if conditions changed drastically, or you came back to finish the next day with a clean gun, whether you could break it off and shoot another match to correct any problems before continuing.

PETE
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #4 - Apr 12th, 2005 at 9:46pm
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Dick Norton;  You might as well throw-in the Rowland Match for the BR shooters, this 10 shot group target [.727] has never been equaled, at least legally. 
                  It seems to me that the record is 2301 off-hand  with Irons,singleshot with plain base bullets, it is of little importance to consider  all the other variables of the original match.
                 There have been a bunch of great shooters mentioned in this thread that are quite capable of shooting 2302 but I still think the Iron Sights is the big barrier.  leadball
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #5 - Apr 12th, 2005 at 11:00pm
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Pete,
I've read four different accounts of the Election day match of 1903...three were first-hand. The scope controversy over whether scopes would be allowed or not took up a couple of hours in the morning. Some shooters, including L.P. Ittel who was a favorite to win, just flat ran out of daylight and didn't finish the 100 shots.. The rules stated that the 100 shots must be done in one day. Hayes, the wily old veteran, figured out that he wouldn't have time to finish and gracefully retired to "soothe the feelings of fellow riflemen" over the scope controversy. Dorrler, who was animately against scopes being used, had shot a few targets when someone made a wisecrack and he flew off the handle and went home. Sounds familiar to some of today's competitions?

Shooters were allowed to foul their rifles and there was a sight-in area away from the shooting house...but when you stepped to the window it was for all the marbles. Once the warner punched your ticket that was it. Oh...if you or anyone else talked to the warner while he was doing his job...you were off the range. These rules may seem strict but remember, the money that some of these boys were shooting for, or represented backers for, would have bought a comfortable house in those days. This was serious shootin'. 

There's no record that can't be broken if one is willing to put in the time it takes to practice and keep his head in the right place...it's just now-a-days most folks can't justify that sort of dedication given their other responsibilities. It was the same back then...there was far and away the biggest portion of competitors who shot a good score and had a good time. Like Farrow said, " The really proficient offhand shot will most always find himself in a class by himself."

We shoot our Election Day match in Cody under the old rules and have enjoyed increased participation every year. Shooters like to compete under the same restrictions as the old-timers to see if they measure up. I think the future of our sport lies in upholding those rules and records...not "dumbing down" Schuetzen to the point of where it is not a real competition any longer. Just my opinion but I have always enjoyed shooting for money.

The best match is were there are enough prizes for everyone to win something...and good shooters are rewarded for their efforts. Average shooters need to be in matches with top shooters to compare notes. When you put too much luck into a match to make it "fair" you turn away the serious shooters. At the same time average shooters need to be encouraged. This is where the Schuetzen medals are so important.

I'm afraid I've written too much...and speaking of matches, I've got to get ready for the next Schuetzen match in Montana. 

Hold Center,

Steve Garbe
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #6 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 8:48am
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Steve,

Not too much at all. I enjoyed all of it.  I would sure like to make the trip out your way for one of the Cody matches.

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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #7 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 9:29am
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Steve, when you read this let the group know how many shooters can be handled at Cody. Thanks
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #8 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 9:29am
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Steve,

  Thanks for the clarification of some of the points on the '03 Election Day match. I was going on memory of some of the general rules for matches of the day and not this particular one.

  I have to laugh at your comments on shooters of old weren't any different than todays shooters when it comes to what it takes to "set them off".

  On the money end of it..... It has always surprised me the amount of money that the shooters could win, plus the number of prizes awarded. It would be a pretty good chunk of change even today. You could win a prize for first center of the day, the last of the day, the closest to center, and the most centers, just to give an example.

  I totally agree with your viewpoint that Schuetzen shooting today is pretty well "dumbed" down. Actually I don't really call it Schuetzen shooting in my mind since most of it today is shot off the bench. As far as I can tell in an actual Schuetzen match there were no bench matches. But, I also realise that many/most are physically unable to shoot offhand so I don't make a big fuss about it.

  Been meaning to email you with a few questions on your WSU that you covered in your last issue of BPCN. I see you mention that any club is welcome to join in shooting under your rules. I was wondering if you could clarify this a little? Doesn't seem to be any membership involved..... just shoot under your rules if you want. Where would a guy get targets? Was also wondering about individual members joining in with maybe a possibility of a Postal Match for those not affiliated with any club?

PETE
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #9 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 4:19pm
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You had some pithy though quite correct observations regarding the present state of our kind of shooting. "Dumbed down" is pretty harsh but we get the drift. We all have a duty to preserve the level of qualtity sport that we are guardians of. When I drive by a shooting facility and see a bunch of adults with quasi Ninja Swat Team Special Forces Ranger costumes and them banging away with race guns, my thoughts go to turning the fire hoses on their arses! I'm sitting here looking a the back inside cover of John Dutcher's fine book on the Ballard rifle. The inside cover is a group photo entitled "Eighteenth Biennial Rifle Tournament, Davenport, Iowa, 1931. There are 54 men in the photograph, all sitting with their rifles. Nine of these men appear to be at least 70 years old. Many in their late forties and early fifties. I'm sure they enjoyed the fellowship, stood up and did their best. and did it in the manner that made "Schuetzen" a premier shooting sport. We should not do less. Though I misplaced the name guide to the photo I recall that the second shooter seated from the left was famous Chis Westergaard. He and the forth shooter seated from the right have rifles equiped with adjustable buttplates!
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #10 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 7:44pm
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I participated in the Wyoming Schuetzen Match a couple of weeks ago.  With the new WSU rules I was a bit apprehensive.  Having been used to sighter targets when shooting for record, I didn't know how much limitation that would create for shooting well.

First of all, Steve Garbe and his group have designed a new target that has scoring rings down to "1".  The target paper is quite a bit larger that the regular ASSRA target but the scoring ring size is the same.  Also, the red part of the bull is a deep red, which makes it easier to see with iron sights.  Steve said the target mimicks what was shot in 1903.

Everyone had  a ten minute sight-in period before the match.  Then time was called, targets were checked, and we were allowed 20 rounds total on the bench for two targets.  I didn't really think not having a sighter target was much of a deterrent to shooting well.  It is just a different way of shooting a match.

I want to add that it was one of the best run matches I have attended.  Schuetzenmeister Keith Kilby said he didn't shoot the match because he thought there would be too many interruptions from shooters with problems, but it just didn't happen.

The big obstacle in the match was the wind.  It seems the wind always blows at Cody.  This match was no exception.  Light winds prevailed early in the morning, but by 10:00 the winds picked up noticeably.  By afternoon we usually had 15 to 25 mph winds.  One day Steve Garbe  had a velocity indicator on a tripod with a 25lb lead weight leaned against one of the legs.  The wind blew it over.  Now, that is wind!

I've competed in the Hudson match several times over the years and I can say from experience that you must have very good conditions to shoot a top level 100 shot offhand match.  The mental concentration  and physical endurance required will sap most men's energy by itself, let alone having to deal with switching, tricky wind conditions.  Add in the requirement that all 100 shots be fired in one day and you have eliminated most shooters from doing well.

It is possible that an Olympic caliber shooter could surpass Hudson' record, but I think it highly unlikely that they would even try for it.

Let's talk reality here.  The average age of the Schuetzen shooters today is 60+ and that may be conservative.  What Steve Garbe and Dick Norton are trying to do is create more interest in our game.  I applaud that, but let's not set the bar so high that it is out of the reach of the shooters in the sport now. 

Jim Luke 

  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #11 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 9:03pm
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Jim I agree that the 2301 in next to impossible to best. And over the years I've been around Olympic and International class shooters and they are not going to do it either, unless they had perfect conditions, had trained and trained and trained. You have shot more scores over 2300 than any shooter. You know the barriers. Perhaps an approach would be to leave the 10K prize out there but offer somewhat lesser amounts for certain levels. I believe Hays, and this identity is a guess, shot a 2172 on the schuetzen target with a rifle meeting NRA specs, 10lbs, 3 lb trigger. (about 1885) At that time the highest score I read of was a 2211 with schuetzen type rifle. Let's consider that 2200 barrier as one that's approachable but surely tough. Maybe $1,000.00 for the first shooter under traditional rules to best it. Would be interesting. Please keep comments and suggestions coming in. I do think that a PR combination of money, history, and challenge would bring new folks into the sport. How many new faces since the heyday of the Coors shoots?
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #12 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 9:38pm
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Re: money shoots. 
If you look at the overall historical context of those big cash prizes and the even bigger side bets you soon realize that in the heyday of exhibition shooting it was probably THE biggest money sport. If you factor in relative purchsing power and inflation rates their winnings would still be huge.   Top exhibition shooters were the MIchael Jordans, Sammy Sosa's and Muhammed Alis of their era.  Perhaps the singer Jenny Lind might have approached them in national exposure.  Horse (harness) racing might have been its main competition.  Prize fighting was the other big one of th era but the prizes were not as big. With no radio or TV coverage only print media was available and exhibition shooting was well suited to the slower pace reportage.
The big spectator TV- income-bloated sports of the modern era were either fledglings--ie professional baseball, or amateur collegiate sports--football and basketball.
The rifleman still an integral part of the American self image.  He was respected for his skilll and accuracy, not for the quantity of lead he poured down range
  

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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #13 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 9:44pm
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Dick, I'm enjoying this subject of Dr. Hudson!  It gets tiresome reading about bullets, loads, etc.  Offhand shooting is my favorite part of the sport.

I think Ballard, CPA, and the other rifle manufacturers would love it if we had a traditional match for 10 lb rifles with 3 lb trigger pulls.   Think of the rifles they could sell.  Personally, I'm not interested in them.

Let the guys shoot what they have now.  I don't have any real concrete suggestions for money prizes.  Maybe  a $1,000 prize for the person who can shoot a 2250 in a match --iron sights offhand.  That is within reach.  My main point is we need to make the prize attainable.  Dr. Hudson's score was something of a fluke as you mentioned in an email earlier.  He never equaled that score again that I know of.  The longer I think about it, the more I'm in awe of the man and his abilities.  They didn't call him the human benchrest for nothing.

If I had the time, I would like to practice offhand irons everyday for a while just to see how good I could get.  But, I simply don't have the time.

Jim Luke
  
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Re: Rules Dr Hudson shot under
Reply #14 - Apr 13th, 2005 at 10:13pm
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Agreed, the goal has to be attainable. 2250 for irons is still very high. 2225 is really toudh. Very few times at the Coors shoot did anyone average 220 irons offhand. I think Chuck Blender did it.  I just don't have the ref. material to see if any scores like that were shot during the Golden Period, the exception being Hudson's. Leadball's proposal for a prize to best the Rowland group makes  alot of sense. We have many highly skilled bench shooters who could make a run for it. Most folks just shoot 5 shot groups. I want to make one thing clear about my position on offhand shooting. A number of my fellow shooters have serious physical problems. Chronic problems which will never get better. No one thinks less of them because they cannot stand and shoot all day.( I had a major hip problem last summer which affected my performance. The lously drugs just barely controlled the pain and they didn't even make you high, just made you feel punk.) But with a new hip I hope this year will be better. I will try my best. But you fellows who are physically capable of shooting offhand and use phrases such as "shoot my awful hand" are really selling yourselves short. Work on it! If nothing else you will feel better about yourself because you were in the hunt to the best of your ability. Nobody asks more of you. But let's get some money on the line and go after that Rowland record. That Fairfax Virgina range has about the best conditions I've ever seen, at time looking through the spotting scopes they insects are just circling. That's the spot to make records. That's where the late Buddy Street shot those tiny rimfire groups with his Dorn Ballard. And I sure hope the various clubs when they submit scores give a little information about the shoot, maybe a few pictures. I'm sorry to keep refering to the old "Rifle" magazine but the assorted clubs had a membership I think less than ASSRA. I base this on their votes regarding accepting a standard target design. Let's give that editor some "color" along with the scores.
  
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