Arms & The Man, August 6, 1914
Mrs. Ada Schilling, Hardware World, April 1916
Los Angeles Herald, July 16, 1915
“Trap Shooting Is Great Exercise for Women”
One of the stars of the annual trapshooting tournament of the Los Angeles Gun Club that closed at Venice yesterday was Mrs. Ada Schilling of the Blue Rock Gun Club of San Jose. In the three days’ shoot Mrs. Schilling broke more than ninety birds in each possible hundred, a remarkable average. In the following article, written expressly for The Evening Herald, Mrs. Schilling tells how women may become successful shooters.
If I should be asked why I took to marksmanship and trapshooting, I could give but one answer, and that would be because it appealed to me. I have not always used a shotgun. I learned with a rifle. It was a small little .22-caliber that I first used and for a time inanimate targets satisfied my ambition. From my little .22-caliber rifle I advanced to a larger bore and then discarded the rifle entirely and took to the shotgun. Of course there is no comparison between the rifle and the shotgun, but I would advise all beginners to start with the rifle and inanimate targets. Maybe 1 give this advice because 1 started that way, but believe that accuracy can at first be better obtained when the gun shoots out but a single ball than by commencing with a shotgun that scatters many of the little leaden pellets over more surface. I think that one learns to concentrate better on an object when learning In this way, even though the target be an inanimate one.
In time the rifle did not seem to fill the niche I was struggling to till and after seeing one clay pigeon shoot I decided to try with inanimate targets and use the shotgun and ever since I have advanced until now I can say without boasting that I am in a class with the most successful of women who enter shotgun tournaments. Since entering registered target tournaments I have averaged 90 per cent of my birds as killed and that is considered very good. This average I have maintained in the present tournament in San Diego and on the grounds of the Los Angeles Gun club at Venice. In these two tournaments, I have shot at 1050 flying targets and came out with just a trifle better than the 90 per cent. It is just a little over two years ago that I entered my first tournament and then I was just budding out of my teens. Since then I have shot in all of the Interstate association events and with success. I use precisely the same gun as would a man with the exception that the stock is shortened, for we women have not the same reach as have the men.
I am now shooting with a twelve gauge and a thirty-inch barrel. I cannot conceive of any better outdoor exercise for women. There is none that will give a woman more confidence in herself, nor is there one that will give every nerve the same amount of play. It quickens the action of the eye, brings into play the muscles and Is a positive remedy for nervousness. There are some women who have told me that they consider the sport too strenuous. I cannot see how they figure it as such. I weigh only ninety pounds and can face the targets and crack at 200 of them and not experience any particular fatigue.
My shooting has not been confined entirely to targets, for I have shot in the fields, mountains and water and I think that I have bagged about all there is to bag with the exception of a deer, and I am in hopes of getting one, at least, before long. Of course this will be with my rifle, for I cannot see deer shooting with a shotgun. I like duck shooting, for it is the real sport and ducks do not give you much time to think or set yourself for a shot. They simply go and you must be ready to stop them. With my Remington pump gun I have brought down thirty eight quail without a miss and that was when I was not as well acquainted with a shotgun as I am now.
My advice to beginners with the rifle is to sight below their target or bull's-eye. Frequently those who are unacquainted with the rifle become discouraged because they shoot wide and over. They fail to make allowance for the recoil of their gun and do not know that when the gun is shot it has a tendency to spring upward. This will divert the course of the ball and it is more likely to happen to beginners than to those more experienced, because they have not learned how to hold the gun. The recoil of a small rifle is hardly anything, and that Is another reason why it is best to learn first with one of them. If a novice were to pick up the gun that I use and go banging with it he would become sick of it in a very few rounds and would find that a doctor’s service would be required to take the pain out of a very sore shoulder, for there is a beautiful kick in every cartridge. All outdoor sports carry with them a certain desire on the part of the players to win, but there is none of them that con cause the thrill of trap shooting. The feeling as you stand before the traps, your gun poised and you say “Pull!” and the little clay disc hurries to get away from you, but fails, is a feeling that no other sport can give you. It is exhilarating and your blood fairly tingles in every vein in your desire to hear the tally sheet keeper say “Dead” almost before the report of your gun has died away.
I think that our eastern women are more given to trap shooting than are the women of this state, although we have some very excellent women shotgun advocates here. I believe that I am the youngest in the game and my record is far better than that of the average man. I am never at practice and have learned that I can do better by walking out with my squad and shooting without practice than if I give weeks to it in preparing for a tournament. I got my idea first along those lines by noticing that most of the shotsmen did their best work in the early part of their events. They became rusty as they neared the last few birds.
On my return to San Jose I expect to spend about a month in the mountains and I am looking forward with great anticipation to bringing down some pretty good game. I shall take both my rifle and shotguns, and I do not think that they can come too big or too fast for me.
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