Favorite Shooting Story
MY FAVORITE SHOOTING STORY
This article was requested by American Handgunner*
During July 1963, I attended the 9th Annual Port Authority of New York Police Pistol Match, representing one of the four man team of the Suffolk County Police Department.
The Individual match was a 30 round course of fire (10 slow, 10 timed, 10 rapid) for a 300 possible, on the old police 'L' bullseye target, fired single handed from 25 yard distances.
I was equipped with, and still own, a rare Colt Officers Model Match, short action, single action revolver. (Colt only produced 500).
I entered the rapid fire stage of this course after having fired a 100 in each of the slow and timed fire stages. The first five shots of the 11 second rapid fire went clean. During the last five shots, the first three went smoothly, but then I thumbed the hammer. (missed fully cocking the hammer and not completing the full rotation of the cylinder) I reached again for the hammer to recock it and in the process, unknown to me, it bypassed the cylinder of my fourth round, leaving me the 5th round which I fired for another 10. Expecting to now fire a 5th round, I cocked and squeezed the trigger for the 5th round, only to have the hammer land on the empty 6th cylinder. In other words, only 9 shots had been fired in rapid fire, but, so tight was the group, it was mistakenly scored a 100 rapid fire.
The score results were unknown to me at that time because all the scoring was done in a pit type target area behind a mound, as we know to be at most rifle ranges. The scorers had no idea whose target; they were scoring. I assumed that I was credited with a 290 with a miss but I first became aware of the actual scored result's when I saw a 300-25X on the score board.
Having won the Long Island Individual Police Pistol Championships twice in the previous four years, this score was one that everyone considered me well capable of performing repeatedly.
After a brief contemplation about the moment of truth on the firing line, I went to the statistical office and asked for the Chief Scorer. Upon him congratulating me on another perfect score, I presented him with the round that was never fired.
In his eyes, my action was so exemplary, that he reported the entire incident to the Superintendent of the Port Authority Police who sent my Police Commissioner a letter of commendation, to be presented to me for my honesty.
The original 300 score given to me, became a 290 and the previously advertised,first place award for the Individual Championship; a BRAND NEW, FACTORY REFINED ACTION, 6" BARREL, COLT PYTHON REVOLVER, was awarded to the true and deserving winner.