One of the things we learned at the Drill Sergeant Academy was that everyone wants the respect of his peers. (Why the hell we were taught that, or why I remember it 40-odd years later is beyond me. But I digress.) Anyway, the subject for this post is how you, a rifle shooter of no more than average ability, can not only get that respect, but become a living legend.

No matter how average you are, you will eventually make a hell of a shot. And you are going to do it before witnesses. But the trick is, SHUT UP! Resist the urge to yell, “Holy *****! Did you see that ****** shot I just made?” Your yammering will only underline your mediocrity, reminding your friends that you’ve never done anything like this before and will never do it again.

If you are indifferent to your feat, your friends will act as your press agents. “Holy ****,” they will mutter, “did you see that ******* shot that Waldo made?” All your missing will be forgotten and that one shot remembered.

John Wooters, a gun writer whose name is much missed in the public prints, was hunting whitetails in the South Texas brush country with a ranch hand who was along to show him the whereabouts of a huge buck. John dropped the deer with a sensational shot, and the cowboy screeched “YOU GOT HIM!!”

“Yes,” John drawled, “I shot at him.”

You can’t do better than that.