Riflemen are hard to discourage

Friday, March 8th, 2019

Roy F. Dunlap was a competitive shooter before he went to war, and, as he explains in Ordnance Went Up Front, he came back still enamored of guns and shooting:

Fort Sheridan, Illinois, was our “home” range. Forty (now fifty) firing points, all the way back to a thousand yards, and the army manned the telephones and the pits for us, costing us anywhere from thirty cents to a dollar an hour per target, depending on the number of targets rented. After the day’s match or matches we’d rent a few on our own hook and have our fun and practice. Our gang used to go down to the short ranges and practice rapid fire (small wagers here and there, etc.!).


And not one of all the men I know is tired of guns. Rather, the opposite — we’re more anxious to shoot than ever. One ex-platoon sergeant of the Rangers, for fifteen months a prisoner in Germany, spent his furlough Sundays before discharge on the firing line at Fort Sheridan, back in the matches! Another, who fought the Japs under very messy conditions for a couple of years, worried in every letter that he hadn’t greased his match rifles well enough in 1941. A third, who finished the war a Major, after seeing Burma as one of the leading lights of Merrill’s Marauders promptly traded one of the boys back from Germany out of two Mausers. A man I knew in New Guinea, who eventually collected a couple of Nip bullets in the chest, is irritated mainly because he can’t shoot any gun with heavy recoil until he heals up a little more. I have rheumatism or something in my right elbow and shoulder (and the rest of my joints, too, for that matter) so that I may have to do my future pistol shooting lefthanded, but don’t believe it will affect my rifle holding. Riflemen are hard to discourage.

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