American take on “Mad Minute” for riflemen


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Getting more than twenty rifle shots away from a bolt gun in under 60 sec is impressive.

Have a look at this YouTube video of Gary Eliseo, a top competitive rifleman in US target shooting, having a go at a modern version of the “Mad Minute”. The concept of the Mad Minute is to shoot off as many rounds as possible at a stationery target in one minute, requiring more than one reload to be competitive.
A British Sergeant Snoxall was documented to record 37 or 38 hits in a minute with his No1 MkIII* SMLE .303 some decades ago, and Eliseo managed 24 hits in that time.
There are some differences in the two attempts that need to be explained.

1 – Position: Eliseo fired from a sandbagged rest position – Snoxall and his ilk would have fired from the prone unsupported position without using a sling.
2 – Chambering: Eliseo used a highly accurate .308 Win chambered tube gun, Snoxall a .303 Enfield with factory Mk VII ammunition.
3 – Reloads: Eliseo reloaded using ten round pre-loaded magazines, Snoxall reloaded using five-round stripper clips (a rim in the wrong place will cause a jam).
4 – Starting position: under current international rules for the shooting of the Mad Minute, the shooter has to start from the standing position with his rifle on the ground, loaded with a round up the spout and safety on. On the whistle blast, he has to assume the prone position and commence firing – this delays the commencement of firing by a few vital seconds.

A further observation: for his sighters, Eliseo used his index finger to squeeze the trigger and when he shot the Mad Minute, he used his middle finger. Without knowing the prevailing environmental conditions, I would make an educated guess that this is the reason his perfectly sighted-in rifle shot a Mad Minute group to 3 o’clock of centre. Consistency suffered here.
Having shot the Mad Minute on several occasions with a SMLE .303 by the “rules of the game”, I’d say Eliseo was operating at a considerable advantage to Sergeant Snoxall.
Good on him though for honouring that “contemptible little Army” with his attempt.

MarcusO’Dean

Editor


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