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Sets National Pistol Mark


Pistol Champion Awaits U.S. Meet


"The Russians are way ahead in rifle competition but they can still be taken in pistol events," reports Marine Lt. William W. McMillan, who bettered the national pistol record on the local police range last week.

Lt. McMillan was quick to add, however, that it is not that the Russians are better shooters but that they are allotted longer practice periods.

"The Russians work at their regular jobs half day and practice the rest of the day," relates Lt. McMillan, who fired against them in Olympic and international competition.

Lt. McMillan, a 28-year-old Camp Matthews instructor and captain of the All-Marine pistol team, was credited with a pistol shooting score of 2,652 of a possible 2,700 to better his own national record. His previous mark was 2,648 set last May 4.

The remarkable score, as described by several fellow marksmen, was made at a South Pacific States regional elimination. This qualified him for the nationals at Camp Perry, Ohio, Aug. 9-17.

There are three targets for pistol competition. Slow fire from 50 yards and time and rapid fire from 25 yards.

Time fire means that a competitor must fire five shots in 20 seconds. In rapid he must get off five shots in 10 seconds.

An aggregate score is taken after a competitor fires at the three targets with a Ruger .22 or High Standard, Colt .38 and a G.I. 45.

The young officer, who graduated to commissioned status as a staff sergeant in 1953, will be entering his fifth national event. He was a member on the U.S. Olympic team in 1952 and placed seventh in rapid fire.

Lt. McMillan said he started in rifle competition in 1949, but found pistols more of a challenge and has been doing that mostly since 1955. Actually, he won an All-Marine rifle championship in '55 at Parris Island, S.C.

"Pistol shooting is mostly mental and takes more coordination," Lt. McMillan explains. "I practice every day and shoot about 100 rounds."

He said he hopes to qualify later for the internationals in November which will be held in Moscow.

He regards pistol shooting as an excellent hobby but suggests that people first getting interested should us a .22 caliber.

"In Scandinavian countries it's not uncommon for an entire family to take up shooting as a sport," he commented, "But, over here it might be a bit discouraging because of the cost of ammunition and reloading costs."

Although he points out that interest is mounting in pistol shoots, he commented that adult westerns on TV and movies have increased the interest in quick draw.

"Seems everyone wants to see if he can outdraw Wyatt Earp these days," he concluded.

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