Host City: Antwerpen, Belgium
Venue(s): Beverlo Camp, Beverlo
Date Started: July 31, 1920
Date Finished: July 31, 1920
Format: 300 metres. Five-man teams, each to shoot 40 shots standing, 40 shots kneeling or sitting, and 40 shots prone. Team possible 6,000. Individual possible 1,200. Team and individual competitions were contested concurrently.
The Americans were not expected to do well in this event as free rifle shooting was not popular in the United States. The SchÃ¼tzen rifle, used by most Europeans in this event, was not manufactured in the United States, and differed from the Springfield service rifle, used by most Americans, in several ways: long barrel, long sighting radius, heavier weight, palm rest, adjustable buttplate, set trigger, and other factors. The Americans tried to adjust their rifles by adding set triggers and [Carl Osburn] and [Willis Lee] made this adjustment, but [Bud Fisher], who won the individual free rifle, simply used his Springfield. Fisher almost did not start the event. He froze up at the beginning and did not fire a shot for 20 minutes. Finally, the American coach, Major W. Dulty Smith, told him just to pull the trigger, even if he missed the target. He did so, and was able to fire the winning individual score.