Jim Taylor
Monday, September 12, 2022, 15:45

When I was a young teenager my Dad began teaching me to shoot aerial targets. He handloaded some of his 110 gr. "Slip-In" Bullets for the .38/357 with about 2 gr. of Bullseye. Shooting up into the clear Arizona sky you could see the bullets go and tell if you were high, low or off to one side or the other. The light full-wadcutter bullets did not have a lot of range and we were shooting out in desert country with no population within miles.

He would toss up a 5 gallon paint can lid, spinning it so it stayed flat-face to me. I could see if I was leading too much or not enough .. almost like shooting tracers. When I go to where the 5 gallon lid was easy and I hit it consistently he started using a 1 gallon paint can lid.

After that it was tennis balls and eventually golf balls. I started using more powerful loads also, as well as the .22 Long Rifle in the handgun. By the time I was 16 I could toss up a 12 ga. shotgun shell, pull the Single Six and hit the shotgun shell sending it flying. Golf balls when hit fairly straight would go up out of sight.

By the time I was in my 20's I was fairly decent at shooting aerial targets and I continued shooting them for all the years we lived in open country.

In the photo above I threw a piece of 2 x 6 into the air, pulled the .45 Colt and busted the board. The load was the Keith #454424 260 gr. SWC and 8.5 gr. Unique.

During those years we were living in Oracle, AZ and my friend Dale and I decided to hunt turkeys. We located a flock and saw where they roosted. Early in the morning we sneaked in and busted them off the roost. As it began to lighten up Dale began calling the 'kee kee run' lost bird call. Suddenly this turkey hen shows up in front of me about 20 yards. I was hunting with my Ruger .45 Colt. I had it loaded with the round-nose #454190 bullet. I shot at her and missed! Twice! I was shaking with excitement and couldn't hold the gun still. She took off and flew over my head maybe 10 or 15 feet up. I swung the gun and pulled the trigger and she just sailed right into the hillside dead. The bullet had gone right through her breast.


We had her for Thanksgiving that year.

When we moved to more congested civilization my aerial shooting came to an end. Other than with BB guns. I miss the open country with not a lot of people around but for me, those days are gone. I am thankful for the memories.

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