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Girl Shooters: 1922

November 10, 1922. "Girls' rifle team." View full size. National Photo Co.

November 10, 1922. "Girls' rifle team." View full size. National Photo Co.


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They're .22's

Most schools used .22 rifles for this type of thing. I doubt very highly that they'd be firing 30-06's or the like, especially at what appears to be an enclosed range.

Also, in the top blow-up, the woman clearly doesn't have the butt seated firmly in her shoulder, which you could get away with if only shooting a .22.

Shooting in High School

Love this photo. I also coach rifle as a volunteer at St. John's College High School in Washington, DC. I believe this is the old Central High School range. Love to see women shoot because it makes the boys nervous about being beaten.

Summer Biathlon

My wife, a former police oficer, participates in Summer Biathlon. Involves running a 5K (3.1 mile) x-country footrace with 2 shooting breaks: 5 shots prone at end of 1st mile, 5 shots off-hand after 2nd mile. .22 bolt action rifle, 25 meter range, 2.5" knock-down targets. And the women are really good in the shooting part. Try being accurate off-hand after running 2 miles!


Thanks for the enlargements. Yes, they are "Winder" muskets, a popular target rifle of this time period. They appear to be the later low wall types.

Does this appear to be under a sports stadium or high school grandstand? When I was in high school we had such a range for the shooting club. Can you imagine that today?

Leaner on the left

I used to be on a college rifle team and they use 22 caliber iron sight rifles, though the silhouette of these rifle is decidedly different. Any larger caliber would blow the target circles away.

Young lady on the left appears to be leaning against the wall, which would be cheating. Also, the two women in the kneeling position, my nemesis, are sighting through some sort of cutout which might allow the rifle to rest on the bottom sill. Also cheating by today's standards.

I've never come across shooting stalls like these in open competition. The only extraneous piece of equipment we were allowed to use was a stool to rest the butt of the rifle on while in the off-hand, or, standing position.
But outside of all that this is an accurate photo of the standard 50' small bore rifle range with 8 shooting lanes, and yes, usually located in a concrete reinforced basement or armory. Neat!

What rifle?

I think if we could see a blow up of the second rifle from the left we could tell for sure but from the rear sight and the forearm shape I would say they are shooting Winchester single shot "Winder" muskets.

Girl Shooters

"Keep the Breech of Your Rifle Open When Not Firing"

I'd bet these ladies could shoot the hairs off of a gnat's behind. These girls were getting excellent instruction it looks like.

It has been my experience when teaching women to shoot that they generally do better than men because they are more willing to listen to instruction, wihtout any of that macho know-it-all stuff.

I can't ID the rifles because the pic is too fuzzy when I blow it up. Its silhouette looks like a M1903 Springfield or possibly a M1917 Enfield, but I can't imagine shooting full-on .30-'06 in such a short indoor range. I suspect that these are full sized rifles chambered for .22 cal rimfire.

Times sure have changed, I'd bet this rifle range was in the basement of a school. Nobody went postal and shot anything up either.

LOVE this!

I wish I were good enough to be on a ladies' rifle team...

This photo reminds me of when I turned 12, and my dad signed me up for a hunter's safety class so I could get my hunting license. I was the only girl in my group! In the riflery portion of the day, we had to shoot from various positions (standing/one knee/sitting/prone), and since I beat my partner (a boy who wasn't happy to be paired with a girl), I got to keep the target!

(BTW, I was the *worst* in the class in the archery portion of the day, but Sweet Revenge came later...when I beat every boy AND every dad in the shotgun skeet class!)

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