Shooting in days of yore

(“Days of yore?”  “Yeah – days of yore fathers!”)

Seriously, though, this video clip is from the late 1930’s.  It shows the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Exhibition Pistol Team at work and play.  The techniques demonstrated are mostly very dated, and some are downright dangerous – enough to give OSHA a fit!  Still, back then, this was considered normal.  Enjoy!

They must have had great trust in one another to stand downrange, serving as living target frames and mounts like that . . . darned if I’d have done so!



  1. I wouldn't even trust myself to pull the trigger let alone trust someone else to do it like that.

    I was thoroughly amused by that. Some of those methods were still in use in the late 70's and early 80s in my first years of federal service, makes me wonder how we made it through the early days of our careers alive.

  2. I am sure they were capable wheelgun shots. Still, it was common at the time for the shooter in such a film to be armed with a rifle, shooting from a rest.

    If you can't see the shooter and the target in the frame at the same time, it is best to assume a staged shot.

    The holes in the paper background to at least indicate the shooting was done with more than a .22.

  3. Back in the early 60's when I was on the job we were taught the "single action", thumb cock the hammer, one handed, side-stance target shooting method.

    Most trainees including me thought it was crap, but the instructors knew what they wanted.

    Of course, now, with semi-autos the weapon does the work of the thumb, the two-hand half-side stance is a lot more effective as far as ventilating the black.

  4. My brothers and I did such stunts as young teenagers — but with BB guns. Shooting bottlecaps held out between thumb and index finger, etc. Even we weren't stupid enough to try it with something that would really cause damage if we missed. I don't recall us ever missing, though. I think I'd remember that event, anyway, though it was several decades ago…

    Word verification: "contraction omerWhe" — what certain parts of your body are doing as you hold the target waiting for your loving brother to take the shot…

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