By Tim Price
Every few years, a book comes along that makes an important contribution to the history of American sport, even though–or, maybe, because–its storyline delves into the obscure. The event that launches the narrative in Shooting for the Record is the 1959 news report that strapping and handsome Tom Frye had broken sharpshootings endurance world record after he shot at 100,000 hand-thrown wooden cubes and missed only six. But even as the Guinness Book of World Records immortalized Frye, previous record-holder Adolph Toepperwein, having just reached his 90th birthday, was sitting down to write a letter accusing Frye of cheating. Frye and Toepperwein were the two top-performing riflemen in the history of shooting sports, with the span of one generation separating them. Both had performed hundreds of sharpshooting exhibitions on behalf of major firearms manufacturers Winchester and Remington. Shooting for the Record reminds readers of Americas longtime fascination with the shooting sports. Its a story that explores far beyond the nearly-superhuman feats of these two individuals. The author reaches back to the grand productions of 1880s Wild West shows and tracks the growth of shooting sports through today.