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Updated: 08/28/2014 08:00:02AM

Gun history at the range

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By Billy Carl

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Hi, shooters! Every now and then I review my published columns. If I find something that I think was pretty decent, occasionally I’ll run it again with a few changes. I wrote this column about four years ago, but it’s worth another go-round. In my tenure as chief range safety officer at Babcock-Webb shooting range, I had the chance to see and shoot some of the guns that are part of our history and national heritage, along with historical firearms from many other countries. These observations I’m going to talk about really took place, but of course not all at the same time. So bear with me and let’s take a walk back in time.

As I walk by the first firing position, I see a fellow shooting an old British Enfield. His pal next to him is hunkered down on a Springfield 03-A3. There are no scopes on the guns, and both guys are shooting some pretty tight groups out at 100 yards. These two guns evoke visions of World War I and my uncle Henry as a doughboy in France, with his 03 slung across his back astride a primitive motorcycle, carrying messages across the battlefield from trench to trench. It’s been a century, but a lot of rifles from this era are still available and common to see at the range. Truthfully, ammunition for these guns is sometimes easier to find than the stuff we run in our new guns.

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