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Feats With A Rifle

Several individuals who conceived themselves expert in the management of the gun here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, were often seen to meet for the purpose of displaying their skill and betting a trifling sum, put up a target, in the center of which a common sized nail is hammered for about two thirds of its length.  The marksmen made a choice of what they considered a proper distance, which could be forty paces.  Each man cleaned the interior of his tube, which was called wiping it, placed a ball in the palm of his hand, poured as much powder from his horn upon it as would cover it.  This quantity was supposed to be sufficient for any distance within a hundred yards.  A shot which came very close to the nail was considered as that of an indifferent marksman; the bending of the nail was, of course, somewhat better; but nothing less than hitting it right on the head was satisfactory.  One out of three shots generally hit the nail and should the number of shooters amounted to half a dozen, two nails were frequently needed before each could have a shot.  Those who drove the nails had a further trail amongst themselves and the two best shots out of these generally settled the affair, when all the sportsmen adjourned to some house, and spend an hour or two in friendly intercourse, appointing before they part, a day for another trial.  This was technically terming driving the nail.Feats With A Rifle

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