American Rifleman - November 2021 - 34

NRA HISTORY
First Gold For
American Riflemen
T
he modern Olympics, as we know them today, started
in 1896, and there were shooting events at the games
as early as Athens in 1906. After all, the man who put
the games together, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was himself
a French pistol champion. Neither the United States nor
Great Britain sent rifl e teams to Athens, but that changed
for the 1908 Olympic Games in London.
The British Olympic Committee invited the Americans to
come and shoot against not only the British team, but the
world. Then-NRA President Gen. James A. Drain initially
declined, as he was afraid that NRA could not raise the
money in time because of the short notice given.
That's when C.W. Dimick, president of the United
States Cartridge Co., offered, " under proper conditions, "
to pay the team's expenses out of his own pocket.
Executives at three other ammunition makers-the Peters
Cartridge Co., the Union Metallic Cartridge Co. and the
Winchester Repeating Arms Co.-also agreed to kick in for
the team. There was a public subscription, and the difference
was to be covered by the ammo makers.
This led to a problem, though. Which ammunition
was to be used? In front of witnesses from each
company, a test was conducted by NRA using machine
rests at the National Guard range at Congress Heights
in Washington, D.C. In the end, a 180-grain load (in
.30-'06 Sprg., of course) made by the United States
Cartridge Co. proved to be the most accurate.
With the ammunition determined, Capt. K.K.V. Casey
was sent to Springfi eld Armory to select the most accurate
Model 1903 Springfi eld rifl es with excellent barrels.
Remember, there weren't any National Match M1903s until
1921, although there were guns selected for extra attention
by skilled craftsmen at the government armory. These
were service rifl es with iron sights.
But who would shoot for the U.S. team? Trials were held
by NRA at Camp Perry-the then-new home of the National
Matches-and the team was made up of Sgt. William B.
Leushner, Maj. W.B. Martin, Capt. K.K.V. Casey, Maj. C.B.
Winder, Capt. C.S. Benedict and Cpl. I.L. Eastman. General
34
NOVEMBER 2021
Drain was team captain, and Capt. Frank Evans served as
his adjutant. To much fanfare, the shooters set sail on the
U.S.S. St. Louis on June 20, 1908.
The American rifl emen, fi ring from 200 to 1,000 yards,
outshot the rest of the world at every distance except for
600 yards-and there they trailed by only a single point.
They were shooting on the British team's home range,
Bisley Camp, and, in the end, the American team won its
fi rst gold medal. Truly a team win, the fi nal score was
2,531 for the Americans and 2,496 for the British, with
the Canadians earning the bronze. The American team
outshot those from Canada, Denmark, France, Greece,
Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, winning by a
35-point margin. As was reported by Maj. Winder, " We won
the match with $16 rifl es while the British marksmen used
special arms that cost from $75 to $100 each. "
When the team arrived back in New York aboard the
U.S.S. New York, the revenue cutter U.S.S. Mohawk fi red a
35-gun salute-one gun for each point of the American win.
As Gen. George Wingate-one of NRA's founders-said, " the
match was a test of rifl es and ammunition as well as of men,
and it had demonstrated beyond all doubt, beyond all possibility
of doubt, that American rifl emen, American rifl es and
American ammunition were the peers of the world. "
It wasn't just the rifl emen that came home with medals.
Although Casey narrowly lost to British shooting great
Col. Joshua Millner, who shot a 98 at 1,000 yards while fi ring
a long-barreled Mannlicher match rifl e with a telescopic
sight, Casey's 93 earned him a silver medal-won with
an '03 Springfi eld and iron sights. Harry Simon notched a
silver in 300-meter three-position, too. Legendary shooter
Walter Winans won gold in double-shot running deer, the
pistol team won gold and James Gorman notched an individual
pistol bronze. That's a total of six medals.
Coincidentally, Team USA shooters also earned six
medals in Tokyo this year-three gold, two silver and one
bronze (see p. 58)-a feat American shooters had accomplished
in 1964 and in 1984, as well as in 1908.
-MARK A. KEEFE, IV, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN
American Rifl eman archives

American Rifleman - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - November 2021

Contents
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Cover1
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Cover2
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 1
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Contents
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 3
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 4
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 5
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 6
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 7
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 8
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 9
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 10
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 11
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American Rifleman - November 2021 - 14
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 15
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American Rifleman - November 2021 - 18
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 19
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 20
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 21
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American Rifleman - November 2021 - 23
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 24
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 25
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 26
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 27
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 28
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 29
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 30
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 31
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 32
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 33
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 34
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 35
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 36
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 37
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 38
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 39
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 40
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 41
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 42
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 43
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American Rifleman - November 2021 - 45
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 46
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 47
American Rifleman - November 2021 - 48
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American Rifleman - November 2021 - Cover3
American Rifleman - November 2021 - Cover4
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