Run & Gun for Exercise and Training, 1917 Style!

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Run & Gun for Exercise and Training, 1917 Style!
by Kirk Lawson

In an earlier article, we looked at "Run & Gun" as a method of exercise. Well, it seems that we're a full century late to the game as illustrated by this reader's comment sent in the the NRA's "Arms and the Man" magazine in 1917:

Run & Gun for Exercise and Training, 1917 Style! - lklawson - arms-and-the-man-763.png

Arms and the Man, Vol. LXI, No. 15., January 4, 1917

Shooting, Real Exercise.

Several days ago I attended a qualification shoot held by the Farmington Rifle Club.

Bud Williams called me up on the 'phone and said that if I wanted a chance to reduce my increasing weight to come out with the boys and try for a sharpshooter medal.

Now, rifle shooting is good exercise, but I didn't think there could be much work connected with the civilian qualifications, so I agreed to his proposition.

Bright and early the next day about a dozen of us started for the range.

Have you ever seen any of the big National Guard rifle ranges? Well, the range we went to was quite "some" different. In the first place, it is laid out in a section of the country which strongly resembles a part of the Swiss Alps. The Fannington
[sic] Club got the use of the land because even mountain goats won't grow there.

By the time we reached the firing point I was not so fresh as I was before I started, and that skirmish run which you have to go through to become a sharpshooter didn't loom up as a soft snap by any means.

"Get ready, boys," said Bud, "five shots at five hundred yards in thirty seconds from the prone position, then a minute and a half to run down to four hundred yards, then five shots more in thirty seconds and then another gallop down to three hundred yards and so on. Hurry up, we haven't got all day!"

Maybe you think it's a cinch to run one hundred yards in one and a half minutes. Sure it is if you are attired in B.V.D.'s and you have a nice smooth track to run on, but, believe me, it's a whole lot different if you have to lug a nine-pound rifle and the course includes climbing over logs and stone walls, and wading through brooks.

By the time I got down to one hundred yards, I was puffing like a horse with the heaves, and that old rifle had more wiggles than a snake.

The next time Bud Williams tells me he has some shooting that includes real exercise, I guess I'll take it for granted.

Run & Gun for Exercise and Training, 1917 Style! - lklawson - riflemen-764.png

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July 10, 2017  •  05:23 PM
I wonder how the writer scored.

So they were training tacticool before it was cool.
July 10, 2017  •  08:02 PM
That fella sounds like me if I had to qualify now. Ain't it funny how time now is the same as it was yesterday for us older folks. Papa are you listening?
July 11, 2017  •  07:51 AM

It may be just that tacticool is a thing now. Back then, it was just something that some folks did. People who weren't in the community were kinda like, "meh, whatever."

Then, I guess in the 90's the wannabes swiped the term "tactical" and it didn't take too long for the rest of us to mock them.

So it's not so much that our fathers were tactical before there was tactical as much as the wannabes ruined it. ;)
July 11, 2017  •  07:52 AM

Yeah. Age happens to everyone except the dead. "I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was." :D
July 12, 2017  •  03:48 PM
That was a cool article to read!

I have mixed feelings on the whole "tacticool" thing... Personally, if you have all the gear and never train in it, don't know how it's going to function when you need it, and if you do need it and you can't make it to the end of the street without feeling faint or have a heart attack then you are tacticool. If you have the gear, train regularly in it, work it in multiple scenarios, and are fit enough to know that your not going to pass out while operating in it, then you are a prepared soul who has taken his/her responsibility seriously.

Real training for real situations divides the two camps! Just my humble opinion though!
July 13, 2017  •  08:21 AM

Yeah, I agree that there's got to be some sort of balance. The whole "mall ninja" thing exists for a reason. :)
July 14, 2017  •  12:21 PM
I agree with JayClimber. If you've got the stuff, don't know how to use it, and you're out of shape, what's the point in buying it anyway.

One thing too many people I've encountered forget is they go out an buy all kinds of gear and totally forget about the weapons platform (translation: the person carrying it).