Spring Shot




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By Dan Beard

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Spring Shot-Gun.

A certain old gentleman was at one time very much annoyed by fine bird-shot which at all times of the day came rattling against the window-panes of his study. Being somewhat of a philosopher, the old man at last became deeply interested in investigating the cause of his annoyance. From the window he could see a house separated from his study by a deep back yard, a vacant lot, and another yard. While peering out between his blinds of his window he saw a boy appear at one of the windows of the distant house; the boy held something in his left hand which he pulled with his right; almost instantly there was a rattling of bird-shot against the old gentleman's window glass, and the boy disappeared.

But so great was the distance that separated the two houses that it was impossible for the old man to distinguish what sort of an instrument the mischievous lad used to propel the fine shot so far and with such force. The youngster was at last waylaid, and the mystery solved. The machine used proved to be a spring shotgun.

No powder or explosive is used with one of these guns, neither does it possess stock, trigger, or sights, but simply consists of a stick of whalebone or any other elastic material, one end of which is armed with a large quill, corked at its lower end.

When the quill is filled with fine bird-shot and the end of the stick grasped by the left hand, the contents of the quill can be thrown an amazing distance by bending the quill end back and allowing it to suddenly fly forward, upon the principle of the whip bow. If instead of, small piece of whalebone a large and very elastic rod be used, with a tin tube in the place of the quill, an effective weapon will be produced useful for hunting and collecting purposes; although the shot cast from the tube will have sufficient force to stun a small bird, it will not injure the specimen by making ugly holes in the skin and staining the feathers with blood. 

All of the weapons described in this and other chapters should be used with care, for many of them are capable of inflicting severe wounds. Never aim a bended bow with arrow set at a companion or friend, for a little slip may cause irreparable harm. Even a blunt arrow propelled from a barrel hoop bow has sufficient force to destroy an eye or make a severe bruise. A true sportsman has the greatest respect for his weapons and handles them with scrupulous care.

 American Boys' Handy Book






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.