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:
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.