I have a “friend” who loves to shoot his .44-40 Henry Rifle, and he is pretty good with it. He has won at least a few medals with it in individual competition.
Last National, late in the repeater event, he was running low on ammo, in fact he was running so low, he only had ten rounds left to complete the last event, which I believe was the pot-tile event.
Up to this point my “friend” had been doing 3 for 22 at the 100 yard tiles, 10 for 26 on the clay board, and 8 for 20 on the 50 yard tiles. This isn’t what I would consider “great shooting” but with the Henry this is fairly normal for my “friend”.
What he did next is the stuff of legend…. okay it wasn’t that amazing, but I was still very impressed.
My “friend” ignored the command to load his magazine, he just stood there. Then, at the command to load and come to the ready, he single loaded his first shot.
Once the match commenced he continued to only single load his ten rounds. He managed to shoot and hit 8 pot-tiles with just 10 shots, clearing half the frame all by himself, and with a much better hit percentage!
Admittedly, those ten shots took much longer than the first ten shots of just about every other Henry shooter. I am also not completely sure this method is kosher by the current rules, although I just looked and couldn’t find a specific rule that said you couldn’t do it.
I’m thinking that the advantage he had to cause him to shoot so much better was: First, he took his time and aimed. He had no choice but to take the gun off his shoulder to load the next round. This gave him an automatic pause between shots.
Second, his Henry never heated up like mine does in the match, so perhaps his lube worked better? Not sure about that theory, but I think there might be something to it.
One of our teammates said “it ain’t Henry shooting if you don’t load the magazine…”, so I don’t know what to think. I wonder if this method spoils the “spirit” of the repeater event, because in this event the Henry was used as a single-shot rifle…
Now my friend wants to know if he should attempt this again at the next match, but I don’t know if he should. What are your views on the matter?