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two problems throughout the 1920s. The trigger problem was addressed by a succession of replace- ment set triggers: Initially a German model and later by American units made by Frank Rimkunas and G. A. Woody.


The lock time is the time


interval between trigger actuation and striker impact on the primer. Stuart Ot- teson, in The Bolt Action, notes that “It is primarily a function of the length of fi ring pin travel, the power of the mainspring and the weight the mainspring must accelerate.” In the time it takes the fi ring pin of the long lock time rifl e to reach the primer, the bullet fi red with the short lock time will be out of the barrel and on its way to the target. Otteson reports that the Springfi eld of the 1920s had a lock time of 6.5 milli- seconds (ms). Most modern bolt action rifl es have lock times in the 2-4 ms range. An earlier article (SSUSA,


May 2013: http://bit. ly/1DgybTW ] told how our 1921 300 meter team not only won the world team championship but, by introducing aperture sights and the rifl e sling (in prone and kneeling ) changed international rifl e shooting


forever. The team’s rifl es were heavy-barreled Spring- fi elds with the heads of the cocking pieces ground off and bolts with “a selected fi ring pin and spring.” No lock time fi gures are cited in the article but the improve- ment, if not dramatic, was probably helpful. The U.S. team did not rest on its 1921 laurels for the 1922 World Champion- ship. Springfi eld Armory and the Marine Corps Depot in Philadelphia developed the rifl es for the 1922 team. Quality barrels were carefully bedded in stocks having extra wood for indi- vidual fi tting. An adjustable, removable hook butt plate and an adjustable cork ball palm rest completed the package. And, “An American refi nement never before placed on a match rifl e” was added: a fore end sling swivel adjustable over three inches in quarter inch increments. Lyman 48 rear sights were combined with aperture front sights with a selection of inserts. To reduce lock time, the cocking piece knob was removed and the fi ring pin lightened by milling grooves in it lengthwise; a stronger fi ring pin spring also helped. In Milan, Italy, they took on the world, repeating


56 USA Shooting News | May 2015


their team victory of the previous year---though this time by only a 12 point margin 5132 to 5120 over the Swiss. Walter Stokes repeated his 1921 win in the 3 x 40 aggregate with a 1067 and took home the kneeling championship as well with a 356. From the available pic- tures, Walter Stokes used a Springfi eld of his own design featuring a bronze hook butt plate. The 1923 world cham- pionship was scheduled for Camp Perry but only the U.S. team showed up. The offi cial excuse was that the currency exchange rate was so unfavorable that the Europeans couldn’t afford the trip. Prohibition was also a problem: The American Rifl eman (10/1/1923) an- nounced “When Continental Europe, on the plea that the dollar was too big and the country too dry, refused to send teams to participate in the International Matches of 1923, the United States determined to defend its claims to the Individual and Team Championships of the world, won at Lyon and Milan, whether or not any other contenders appeared.” Morris Fisher trained hard and raised the 3 x 40 record twelve points


Walter Stokes’ 1922 300 meter Free Rifl e. Typical of the U.S. state-of-the-art for the day: Springfi eld action, .30-’06, and whatever add-ons were preferred by the shooter.


to 1090 and our fi ve shoot- ers raised the team record a whopping 129 points to 5301. Our team, in addition to Fisher, included Walter Stokes, Lawrence Nusslein, J. K. Boles and Carl Osburn, all international veterans. Most of the 1923 team used Springfi elds as they had earlier but Carl Osburn used two rifl es: for prone, a Springfi eld stocked by Marine E. J. Blade (who won that year’s Wimbledon Cup) and a Martini for kneeling and standing. The 1924 U.S. team was


determined to show the world that our “win” in 1923 refl ected our true shooting ability. After try-outs at the Quantico, Virginia, Marine Corps Base, the team ar- rived in Rheims, France in early June. There were 12 other nations compet- ing with a full day devoted to each position. After the standing day, the U.S. led the Swiss by fi ve points and in kneeling we picked up two more. Prone made the big difference: We defeated the Swiss by 93 points, giv-


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