Monday, September 12, 2005

Anne Oakley and I

Anne Oakley: As a youngster, Oakley learned to shoot in the woods of Darke County. During hard times, she helped support her family with the game she caught.

I: As a youngster, I learned to shoot in the woods of Fort Jackson. The best way for me to support someone with my rifle is to lend it as a crutch.

Anne Oakley: She captivated the royalty of Europe. Queen Victoria was quite impressed with her. And on one famous occasion the crown prince of Germany encouraged her to shoot a cigarette from his mouth.

I: I captivated National Guard range safety personnel my poor shooting skills. I was repeatedly encouraged to keep my rifle pointed "up and down the range" and to remember "breathing and trigger squeeze".

Anne Oakley: At 30 paces, she could slice a playing card held edgewise. She could shoot holes through coins at a smiliar distance. It was even said she could "scramble eggs in midair."

I: I shoot 4 out of 4 at 300 meter and 250 meter targets. And I shoot 2 out of 4 at 100 meter targets.

Anne Oakley: At the height of her career, she was one of the most famous cultural icons in the United States.

I: Six years after enlisting (I guess, it can be considered as the height of my career), I shot 37 out of 40 on M-16 rifle range (paper targets) and 26 out of 30 on M-9 pistol range (pop-up targets).

By the way, the whole entire Army structure is rigged towards the officers. If I had any doubts left after 6 years in, they were dispelled at the Camp Blanding, FL firing range last weekend. Most officers have to qualify with M-9 pistol only. It's very light and easy to shoot (and easy to clean, by the way). The targets are much closer, with the furthest being just 31 meters away. You shoot from the standing position only and hold M-9 with both hands for greater stability. And to top it all off, you are given extra bullets!!! Yes, I am not kidding - officers are given 40 rounds, but only 30 targets to shoot at! What a life! Oh, and to shoot expert you only need to hit 26 out of 30 - that's 86%. In comparison, on a rifle range, you must shoot 38 out of 40, or 95%, to qualify as an expert.