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I'm sure there are many of you (geezers) out there that like me, touched off their first "real" rifle at a shooting gallery. I never missed the chance and preferred them to any other entertainment at the many local fairs and carnivals. A big thrill to me was being in school one boring day in the mid 60's and discovering a spent 22 short in my pants cuff. It made a big hit with the other boys. Great Uncle "Roots" Trabing ran a gallery back in the 40's and 50's. My father recalled how he unpacked new rifles and beat them out of alignment (can't make money if they shot straight). If that failed there was always the hidden pedal to lock some targets upright! Here's some pics and a link for your pleasure.
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Carnivals, car shows, amusement parks, the circus.... If someone set up a shooting gallery I was all over it.
In my area, they had a lightweight chain on the barrel near the muzzle leading forward into the range space. Kept people from turning the rifle towards the crowd.
Hand the man your coin and he'd drop a tube full of 22's into the magazine for you. I could've stayed all day if I had more money.
They would always shoot 'off'. Once you spotted it you tried not to let it loose as you knew where to hold. The carnies were hip to that though.
 

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I fondly remember those shooting galleries that came to town when the little carnivals set up in the town square every summer. I think it was 25 cents a chance. What I don't remember was what rifles they were using. But I do have a Stevens Gallery in my collection that seems familiar.

The last time I remember shooting at a gallery was at a place called Celebrity Sports Center. It was on South Colorado Boulevard in Denver. That would have been about 1970.
 

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About 30 years ago, I was visiting my home in upstate NY and my mother suggested I check out an antique store nearby as she knew the guy had some old guns. In his backyard he had an early 50's Chevy or GMC truck that had the complete carny type shooting gallery in the back. The truck was in tough shape as was the moving iron target system and he wanted only $300 for it. Unfortunately, I declined as getting the truck to my house would have more than his asking price and then I would have been faced with a huge project. Today, I'm sorry I didn't go for it. I did buy an interesting Colt 1878 Pall Mall revolver from him though. Much easier to get home.
 

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Ahhh...the good ol' days when shooting for sport wasn't evil!

Friend in Chicago used to carry his rifle to school on a public bus and put it in his locker for team practice at the end of the day, then bring it back home on the bus.

So much access to firearms - but no shootings. Wonder what has changed?

We must need more laws...
 

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my grandmother told me about the one's in the 30's,
she loved them,


never saw one around here , (too young, 63 model year)

but did see the similar air rifle type when I was a kid at the state fair,
 

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The last shooting gallery was at a church bazaar in the 70’s. You needed to get all your rounds in a 1” red out lined square. The 22 old pumps shot shorts. You couldn’t put two rounds together. The bores had to be wornout. The game was rigged.

I moved farther north up with the good old boys. They shoot 24/7 here. The city people were closing in at my old town, liberals of course. We’re starting to get them moving in at the new place too.
At my last town there was $750 k new homes. The New Yorkers were selling there town houses in the city making millions. One winter with the nor’easter snow storms in the spring they all moved back to the city. Lol
 

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Yep, remember the gallery on the midway at the local amusement park.
Pump action rifles that had never been cleaned since coming out of the box.
They used the graphite bullet gallery rounds, didn't penetrate the heavy canvas backstop.
Lots of misfired, I used to collect them up off the ground on Sunday morning.
No FP imprint on most, goes to the condition of the guns..........

Fast forward 40 years, I stumble across a REM-UMC Model 12 in 22 short.
Bore was shot but price was right, took it home.
Local Smith relined the bore for me, again, short money, he clued me that it was probably a "gallery" gun.
Shoots best with the old Russian shorts that were imported years back.
After an afternoon on the range with those though, you need a hairdryer to get the wax out of the action, what a mess!
With the express style rear sight on it, you can not hold a consistant sight picture, you would never win the kewpie doll!
 

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The last shooting gallery was at a church bazaar in the 70’s. You needed to get all your rounds in a 1” red out lined square. The 22 old pumps shot shorts. You couldn’t put two rounds together. The bores had to be wornout. The game was rigged.

I moved farther north up with the good old boys. They shoot 24/7 here. The city people were closing in at my old town, liberals of course. We’re starting to get them moving in at the new place too.
At my last town there was $750 k new homes. The New Yorkers were selling there town houses in the city making millions. One winter with the nor’easter snow storms in the spring they all moved back to the city. Lol
Yep, goes on here as well.
Except they don't move back to the city.
They just vote in more and more perks for themselves, driving the locals (and the more fiscally responsible come-here's, like me) out of the place.
After ten years or so, even they can not afford the taxes but, boy, the place sure is a socialists paradise!
 

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The NRA should bring a version of this back to get more people interested. It could also be safer if it was set up like Nexus Shooting in South Florida and made to be mobile. Get people in the cities interested and teach them.
They used to have one in Disneyland at Frontierland. Now this was in the 50s. Nowadays they use some form of laser or directed light. Took all the fun out of it, although there was a ricochet noise when you pulled the trigger...real high class.
 

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I remember a few.
One on The Grand Pier at Weston-On-The Mud, UK. There were 2 or 3 at Coney island in the 80's, but they were air rifles of some kind.
Not the same smell.
 

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They used to have one in Disneyland at Frontierland. Now this was in the 50s. Nowadays they use some form of laser or directed light. Took all the fun out of it, although there was a ricochet noise when you pulled the trigger...real high class.
They had the 'laser' one in Orlando the first year it opened. Space Mountain was just under construction and there was no Epcot at all. I was older so I'm thinking early 70's?
You're right about it being a class act. I still dumped a lot of coins into the push slot nonetheless.
In my rowdy teens I often got "accidentally" separated from the family while on a trip. One of my younger siblings spotted the shooting gallery. "I bet he's over there!"
 

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I am one of a group of shooters who meet at the local indoor range after hours once a week and shoot an array of steel targets as seen in the attached photo. There are three racks of targets of various sizes at 20, 15 and 7 yards. 33 targets 40 rounds of ammo, two ten round magazines with a rifle and two ten round magazines with a pistol. All timed, each target left up adds five seconds. We have from 10 to 20 shooters each week ranging from 40 to 75 in age. It is as close to the old galleries as we could easily replicate. I shoot in a lot of various matches but this one is the most fun! Grey Font Rectangle Art Red
Shelf Rectangle Wood Shelving Font
 
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