Contributions From Lionel Swift

Lionel's Levities

The Vintagers by some are thought queer
But they certainly use the right gear.
Caplocks and backlocks and even blackpowder
Are all delightful but some are much louder.
So finish your shooting and sample the beer.
To the Vintagers Club I belong
Where under/overs are terribly wrong.
Sidelocks and boxlocks are perfectly fine
So long as their barrels are in horizontal line
If yours are like this then welcome along.
The under/over is a firearm obscene
And the side by side comparatively clean,
To the Vintagers Club come along,
Where “nice” shotguns only belong.
And under/overs will never be seen.


Ten Hints on Shooting

Ten verses by Donald MacIntosh

Multi Live Bird World Championship Winner of the early 20th Century, and owner of a famous Melbourne gunshop, mentor to Horrie (‘Duxbac’) James, who inherited his gunshop and operated it until the late 1950’s – early 1960’s, when it was moved from Latrobe St, near Swanston St, to Elizabeth St and there conducted by a lady manager or owner. Among many claims to fame in the firearms trade, they were agents for the Williams brand English double guns.

To be a marksman tried and true
We need Dame Nature’s spark.
No royal road for me or you
To learn to hit the mark

Your gun must suit you like a glove
To be a perfect fit.
Not hang below or mount above
The mark you are to hit.

Some hold her like a billiard cue
But think this over twice.
And hold her firm – I always do –
With both hands like a vice.

Firm on both feet, I will repeat,
And here I’m in the know!
The other man – the also ran,
May pivot on one toe.

I shoot with both eyes open
No other way inclined.
Skyline and landscape all a guide
To help the shooting mind.

But if your left’s your master eye
Then do as crack shots do.
And keep one shut
One’s better then than two.

To get a fast bird on the wing
It’s ever dear to me
You must not shoot where that bird is,
But where that bird will be.

Yet focus on every bird for lead,
For distance and for pace.
And like the rifle my own head
Unfocussed finds its place.

Not half a second for your aim
Yet in that time be wise,
For distance, speed and kind of game,
Wind, angle, light and size.

You’ve got to calculate the lot
Together and in turn.
And when you’ve fired your final shot
There’s something still to learn.