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Special to USA Shooting News


By Paul Nordquist As printed in Shooting Sports USA February 2015


U.S. International Shooting in the 1920s: The Roaring Twenties


This was the fi rst Ameri- can decade in Interna- tional rifl e shooting. The 1920s were the decade of Prohibition, but it was also the decade that the United States became a major player in international 300 meter competition. Our teams were always in contention for honors in the annual World Championship matches, which today are held every four years. The


300 meter competition is a “3 x 40” match: 40 shots each, prone, kneeling and standing on the 300 meter target where the 10-ring is 3.93 inches and the 1-ring is 39.37 inches in diameter. In the “‘20s” teams had fi ve fi ring members. For most of those years


we managed to dominate 300 meter competition using rifl es based on the Model 1903 Springfi eld


chambered for the .30-’06. We had two decades of experience with the Spring- fi eld in domestic across- the-course and long range high power competition. We knew it well. The great American marksman, Morris Fisher, had used an un- modifi ed (though selected) Springfi eld to win the 3 x 40 match in the 1920 Olympic Games, although the Euro- pean shooters favored rifl es


based on the Martini single shot action (for its fast lock time) stocked in a manner reminiscent of the American Schüetzen rifl e. There were a few Martinis in the USA but they were uncommon. The Springfi eld had some


shortcomings: The trigger did not permit pull weights in the desired ounce range and it had a lengthy lock time. Team members and offi cials worked on these


The 1920 U.S. Olympic Rifl e Team in Antwerp, Belgium. The total number of competitors was 288 competitors: 274 men and 14 women. May 2015 | USA Shooting News 55


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