Monday, January 20, 2014

"the pistol was developed solely as a weapon of defence at very short distance...."


SELDOM do we hear nowadays of the debt of honor that has been canceled by the use of a brace of pistols in the hands of outwardly calm but inwardly excited gentlemen of the purple.

   For 300 years previous to the last half of the 19th century the pistol was developed solely as a weapon of defence at very short distance, and, as already stated, principally for dueling purposes. It Is on record that the first pistols were made about 1540 by an Italian, Caminelleo Vitelli, at Pistoja. Italy.

Pistol Has Changed.

   During the last half-century, however, the pistol has undergone many rapid and wonderful changes. This has been due principally to the fact that pistol shooting has become a legitimate sport, as target shooting requires a weapon of great precision and capable of accuracy at distances, considered quite impossible in the early history of firearms.

   The term "pistol" should not be confused with "revolver," for there is nothing very similar in the mechanism of either.

   A pistol is either single shot or automatic. A single shot pistol must be loaded for each shot. The automatic Is fed from a magazine, and several shots may be fired as fast as the trigger can be worked each time by the trigger finger.

   The revolver Is so named because the cartridges are contained in a cylinder which revolves as each shot is fired. Pressing the trigger each time fires the cartridges and also turns the cylinder.

Used for Target Shooting.

   Both the pistol and revolver are used for target shooting: the pistol, however, is considered the more accurate.

   Shooting is done indoors and outdoors. The standard distance for indoor shooting is 20 yards; for outdoor shooting 50 yards, although various intermediate distances are also used.

   Championship contests are held in the spring and fall under the supervision of the United States Revolver association, the governing body for the sport. These contests bring together many of the country's foremost shots.

   Pistol and revolver clubs are constantly being organized, which is an indication that the sport has taken a firm hold with the pleasure and competition loving American.

[El Paso Herald, El Paso, Texas, Saturday Evening, December 29, 1917. Home Edition, Pg. 9]

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