Larry's Short Stories

One Hundred Straight

The ammunition companies have long offered  patches like this,  so shooters can display their  accomplishments.  The medal was for first place in 12 gauge ‘C’ class.
The ammunition companies have long offered patches like this, so shooters can display their accomplishments. The medal was for first place in 12 gauge ‘C’ class.

The term ‘one hundred straight’ only has meaning to a clay pigeon shooter. It may have been coined in the late 19th or early 20th century when clay pigeons and trap shooting were just getting started. Or possibly it was created by skeet shooters after the introduction of the game of skeet in the mid-1920s. In any case, one hundred straight has a nice ring to it and is something that all clay pigeon shooters aspire to achieve.

Aircraft gunners in World War II were taught how to shoot down enemy planes by practicing with shotguns shooting clay pigeons. On the skeet range, some clay pigeons require more lead than others, based on the angle of the flight of the pigeon in relation to the shooter. Skeet shooting had been around for fifteen years before World War II broke out and someone decided that learning to shoot skeet would help gunners shoot down enemy planes; what an innovative idea.

After the war, active duty military personnel continued to shoot on the skeet ranges for recreation; and returning GIs built skeet ranges in their hometowns. Unquestionably the adoption of skeet shooting as training for aerial gunners was instrumental in helping grow participation in this sport in the 1950s and 1960s.

Remington introduced the 11-48 in 1949 and produced it in 12, 16, 20, 28 and 410, before discontinuing it in 1968.  They made over 450,000.
Remington introduced the 11-48 in 1949 and produced it in 12, 16, 20, 28 and 410, before discontinuing it in 1968. They made over 450,000.

The Armed Forces Skeet Championship was created about 1960, and in the spring of 1975 I made my first and only appearance. Stationed at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, there was a group of us who shot skeet regularly at the local Elks club. One of our group came up with the idea of making the 500 mile trip from Rapid City to Colorado Springs and shooting as a team in the Championships.

My skeet gun was a Remington Model 11-48 in 12 gauge, with a factory ventilated rib and skeet choke. To save the empties, I had a shell catcher clipped to the ejection port on the right side. This gun functioned well, had good weight-forward balance and was one of the premier skeet guns before the introduction of the Remington 1100 in 1963. The shoot was a 200 bird event, 100 each day, and I strung four perfect 25-bird rounds together on day one – 100 straight. The second day started out the same, with two straight rounds; but then I dropped one bird in the third round and one in the fourth – to finish with 198/200 -- the best skeet shooting I had ever done.

Station 7 at the Blytheville Police Department Skeet Range, in 1972.  Brenda is shooting a Remington 870 20 gauge and my gun is an Ithaca Model 51.
Station 7 at the Blytheville Police Department Skeet Range, in 1972. Brenda is shooting a Remington 870 20 gauge and my gun is an Ithaca Model 51.
Larry's Short Stories