Saturday, July 19, 2014

Shooting Stick

Several years ago my son, Carl, gave me a vintage shooting stick.  I have treasured the item, and I have used it, though to date the occasions were limited.  In the position shown in the second picture, it is a wonderful seat for those events where seating is limited or inaccessible, and where one does not wish to lug a chair.  As a seat, it is quite comfortable, even after several innings.

Now I find, though, that it serves another practical use quite well-- one I had never hoped to put it to, yet I find that as a cane it is excellent.   The knurled knob twists a bolt out such that one can reset the height.  In fact, if one were shooting from a kneeling or sitting position, it could be used as stabilization of one's aim.  I have never used it in this manner.

The shooting stick was invented and initially manufactured by one William Mills, a British arms manufacturer during the First World War.  Mills was a very successful manufacturer and inventor.  He established the first aluminum foundry in the United Kingdom.  There he began the manufacture of some of the world's earliest metal golf clubs.  His fame, which eventually led to knighthood, was established by his invention and manufacture of a truly useful grenade, or hand bomb.  It is recorded that he produced over 75 million of them during the hostilities.

Among Mills's other inventions was the telescopic walking stick seat, or shooting stick.

The example I own has telescoping steel post, aluminum fittings, leather-covered aluminum handles, and a very nice leather seat which snaps closed with a leather strap, all still intact and completely functional.

I treasure this item, both the gift and the giver.

Sir William Mills 1856 - 1932  RIP

Notes:  The stick is in my possession and gets frequent use these days.  The information about Mills was gathered largely from Wikipedia.


Vee said...

I did not know such an item existed. Very clever.

Grace said...

I love those. Really. And as I get older and more unstable on my feet I have scrolled through catalogues looking at the new ones - They are not as elegant as yours and probably not as sturdy.

At the moment tho I am just comparing collapsible canes - something I can stash in my bag until I need it...

I bought a cane in an antiques flea market a few years ago - it was an emergency sort of purchase and only recently discovered that the ornate head of the cane comes off and there is a flask inside!

Secondary Roads said...

I've heard of these before, but this is the best view. Interesting bit of history to round out the story.

I'd never thought of the "shooting stick" angle. I can see where that would be useful. For my part, I try to use a tree or a deck rail for shooting support.

vanilla said...

Vee, the key to invention is to find an unfulfilled need and satisfy it.

Grace, what a lovely thing that you should discover a hidden secret in a purchase of the past! Hope you find exactly the walking support you are looking for. Items similar to mine are still made in Britain and are available from this merchant, prices from 23 to 105 pounds.

Chuck, I don't shoot often enough anymore to think a great deal about sophisticated aids. As you suggest, use what is available.

Sharkbytes said...

Pretty fancy for a "stick."

vanilla said...

Sharkey, I do have a few authentic "sticks" that came from the woods.

KC Bob said...

Love it! I need one those. :)

vanilla said...

KC Bob, it truly is a handy gadget!