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Three Thousand Bullseyes


by NRA Staff

In early 1926, Sam Moore, an 18-year-old high school shooter from Connecticut, decided to attempt to break NRA’s Junior Rifle Corps record on shooting consecutive bullseyes using his favorite Winchester Model 52 .22 rifle, an early example with a low, four-digit serial number. And 3,000 rounds downrange later, the world record was his. Actually, Moore only ceased firing his bolt-action because the rifle had become too hot to hold comfortably and daylight was fading fast. The feat attracted national attention, and on April 5, 1926, at the White House, a jubilant Moore proudly received a gold medal from President Calvin Coolidge and the National Rifle Association honoring his achievement.

Moore, however, didn’t just rest on his laurels. Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1931, he helped develop the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife on a tour of duty in China, then served in World War ii as a U.S. Marine Corps aviator and maintained his strong interest in shooting until his death in 1982. Donated by his son, that venerable Winchester Model 52 rifle and his engraved presidential gold medal are now part of the National Firearms Museum collection in Fairfax, Va.

The National Firearms Museum is the repository for historical arms that echo through the ages. Visitors touring the galleries can view thousands of firearms that were used in America’s battles for freedom. Famous guns associated with shooters like Annie Oakley and Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, as well as pieces from Gettysburg and Iwo Jima, are all on display daily with no admission charge (donations appreciated). For more information on the museum’s educational programs, e-mail or call (703) 267-1600. Visit the online galleries at