Topic: MilitiaRC - Rifle Clubs
At the beginning of the new century, the well known and top Australian rifle shooter, P. Fargher of the Melbourne Rifle Club wrote the book called Hints on Rifle Shooting, published by Sands and Mcdougal in Melbourne. The text deals with all the problems people found with the commonly available service rifles employed in the first decade and beyond within the Australian military forces. As part of the Rifle Club Movement, shooting at rifle clubs was strictly carried out with the designated service weapon. This little book is a gem in detailing all aspects of the rifles from the shooter's point of view. To assist readers to fully understand the weapons used by the Mounted Rifles and Light Horse, the book will be serialised on this blog.
Fargher - Hints on Rifle Shooting, Part 1
Fargher - Hints on Rifle Shooting, Part 2
Fargher - Hints on Rifle Shooting, Part 3
This is Part 4.
If even the 6 lb. could be easily got, it would not be so bad, but it is a. notorious fact that almost every rifle issued from the armoury has a pull of from about 9 to 12 or 14 lbs., and generally a rough dragging pull at that. Accurate shooting appears to be the last thing armourers, and those who pass their work, think of, or they would not habitually supply volunteers with a rifle whose trigger requires a team of bullocks to pull it. It is marvellous how some of the militia shooting men ever hit the target when you come to examine the pull of their triggers.
When you get your new rifle, rub some bees-wax into the join between the barrel and the woodwork to keep out the water, and give the woodwork a liberal application of boiled linseed oil, well rubbed in with the hand, for the same purpose. Get good protectors for both fore and back sights; also a suitable cover, and take the utmost care of your rifle when travelling by rail, etc., to prevent its being knocked about. Never lay the rifle down in damp grass or even on the ground when it is hot, as a warped fore end will ruin the shooting qualities, of the best rifle ever made. Use the jointed rifle rest, which is sold for the purpose.
As the marking on the sights is very rarely correct, being sometimes as much as 100 yards out, the beginner should if possible get some experienced shot to try his rifle over the ranges on a fine day and mark the correct elevation for each range on the ladder with a deep scratch, and this must be looked on as the mean elevation for that rifle and ammunition. The old stager with the aid of his vernier, will, of course, soon find the "mean" of his rifle and carefully record it.
Before taking your place at the firing point, it is necessary to give some careful attention to the sights.
The foresight should be attended to at home, and carefully guarded from dust with a protector which covers it all round. There is much diversity of opinion among riflemen as to the best kind of foresight to use, and many devices are used to make it easy to define. Among many others are the "Bisley spot" and the "Miller's line." To put on the "spot" you blacken the whole sight, and then put a very small dot of white paint about half way up, and in the centre, of the barleycorn; the idea is to see the portion of the tip down to and including the "spot," over the bar when aiming. The "Miller's line" consists of a black sight with a white block and a thin white line running up the centre of the barleycorn nearly to the top. Another idea is to put a little blob of white on the tip, which is seen just over the bar in aiming, and a variation of this sight is to have a white spot at the base of the barleycorn and see the whole lot over the bar. This is known among shooting men as the "white tip," and is used by some very prominent shots in this colony.
Citation: Fargher - Hints on Rifle Shooting, Part 4