Meet Jack Fanning

Very early DuPont cardboard advertisement showing the great
trapshooters of the early 20th century using DuPont smokeless powder.
(left to right) Jack Fanning, Tom Marshall, Fred Gilbert, Rolla Heikes
and J.A.R. Elliott. All except Fanning are Hall of Famers.

The following Eleven Rules of Trapshooting Etiquette were developed by Jack Fanning of New Jersey in the very early 1900s or late 1890s. Fanning, the man history forgot, was one of the early great trapshooting stars of the old Interstate Association. In fact, he was one of only two shooters who were handicapped at the than maximum yardage (23) at the very first Grand American in June of 1900 in New York City. The other was J.A.R. Elliott. People recognized Fanning than as a great shooter but somehow his legacy has not yet surfaced for all to see and marvel.

These rules were published in Baseball magazine 1916. The rules of 100+ years ago are as relevant today as they were then. Photograph below is Jack Fanning at a trapshoot on top of old Madison Square Garden at the turn of the century. He was a top shot in his day, probably worthy of HOF consideration. 

Jack Fanning's Trapshooting Rules of Etiquette
Circa 1900

For the safety of those taking part in trapshooting as well as the
onlookers the following precautions should be observed and
rigidly enforced. A fine should be imposed on those violating same.
                                                                            Jack Fanning, circa 1900

No. 1. Do not place a cartridge in your gun except when standing at the firing line in your proper place in the squad and with the muzzle of the gun pointed in the direction of the trap house.

No. 2. Place only one cartridge in your gun when shooting single targets and but two cartridges when shooting double targets.

No. 3. When changing from position Five to position One at the firing line be sure to have your gun open and unloaded.

No. 4. When pointing a gun in the club house or on the shooting grounds always open the gun and inspect same before pointing.

No. 5. Do not question the referee’s decision. The person shooting is the least competent to judge the result of a shot as the recoil of the gun for an instant impairs the vision.

No. 6. Avoid being late getting to your place on the firing line.

No. 7. Remain at your position at the firing line with gun empty until the last man has finished shooting.

No. 8. Do not converse with your neighbor while at the firing line nor use any expression that might disconcert others in the squad. Loud talking or other noises should not be indulged in by other contestants or spectators while a squad is shooting so that they can hear same.

No. 9. Do not refuse a fair target. In competition a refused target is scored or counted “Lost.” The referee will decide what is a fair or unfair target.

No.10. Do not shoot at an imperfect target in competition. Only whole targets are to be shot at. An imperfect target is a "No bird."

No.11. Always carry from two to four extra shells with you to the firing line so that you do not delay the shooting in case you have to shoot at other targets on account of shooting at imperfect targets, etc., etc.

By observing the above precautions there will be no unfortunate accidents or incidents to mar the pleasure of contestants and spectators.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 May 2010 14:24