How many people know that there used to be a rifle range inside the Stadium?
How many people know that ND used to have a rifle team?
How many people know that we have been National Championship caliber in this sport?
University Riflers Orientate in Stadium
Having already received recognition as a minor sport from the Board of Athletics, the University rifle team, coached by Captain John Daly, U.S.M.C, held its orientation meeting last Wednesday afternoon at the shooting range located in the rotunda of the stadium.
Early practice sessions will be held four times weekly in an effort to quickly mold a squad which will meet the avalanche of challenges already hurled at the rifle team. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Penn State, and the Coast Guard Academy are among those who have challenged the Irish, while the Dalymen have issued invitations for competition to Northwestern, Michigan, and Harvard.
An intercollegiate rifle team has been suggested by numerous students in the past few years, but it was only this fall that the Naval Reserve unit proposed such a squad to the Board of Athletics. Since the facilities—a range, rifles, and ammunition—are all present, the Director of Athletics quickly approved and set it up as a minor numeral sport. All seniors, juniors, and sophs are legible for competition, and frosh may attend practice sessions if they wish. In fact. anyone willing to learn to use a rifle is invited to attend these sessions. A rifle team consists of ten men. In actual competition there are four positions— prone, sitting, kneeling, and offhand. Each man fires ten rounds from each position and his best five rounds are tallied. From these ten men, the scores of the highest five are accepted as the team total. The distance to the target is fifty feet, and either Winchester or Remington .22s are used. During the past few years Notre Dame has been well represented by a Naval Reserve unit in national competition with other such units. In the spring of 1949 the Irish NROTC delegation copped top honors in the two major rifle meets. They won the Secretary of the Navy match with a total of 1406 points out of a possible 1500. In the William Randolph Hearst match, emblematic of national sharpshooting supremacy, the Irish garnered 934 points out of 1000 to edge out Washington and Brown who had totals of 914 and 913, respectively. In both these matches Donal J. Murphy, now a junior, of Alumni Hall and Hawthorne, N. J., copped national individual honors with scores of 291/300 and 194/200. Other Irish riflers posting high marks included Ed Walsh and 0. F. Beumel. Since much of the competition will be intersectional, many meets will of necessity be postal matches; that is, both schools will shoot at their home ranges and will exchange the targets and results as a means of verifying the score.
However, it is hoped that some shoulder to shoulder matches will be held with local universities. Next spring, if the national intercollegiate tournament is held in the midwest—Northwestern was the host last year—the Irish will send a delegation to compete for honors. By forming an intercollegiate rifle team, the sharpshooters immediately become members of the National Rifle Association, and as such, are subject to its rules and stipulations, according to which all matches are held.—Jack Economou