Nowadays at Bisley we are used to the leisurely pace of a 20-minute detail for 20 match shots and unlimited sighters which can be shot before, during and even after the match shots. Life was not like that in 1922.

Firstly there was Rule 23.  “Sighting” and “blow off” shots will not be allowed. Any breach of this rule entails a penalty of disqualification for the whole Meeting and forfeiture of all prizes and entrance fees.  A touch draconian, you might think!

A detail in 1922 was a single card of 10 shots, all to count, to be fired in five minutes. Therefore a competitor had to know his sight settings intimately. This was made a lot easier by perhaps the most advanced piece of equipment attached to the rifle, an aperture rearsight with vernier gauges on both elevation and windage adjustment screws.

Accurate adjustment of the rearsight from the previous distance shot could save a lot of worry when firing the first shot. However there was a way round the rule – on the detail before your first match card you shot a practice card of 10 shots in five minutes. But to increase the fun you added to the card an item that has now disappeared from almost every open meeting – a sweepstake ticket for the daily cash prizes.

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Parker Hale rearsight

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