Guns and Ries. 241
a twig, it is liable to be lifted, when, on being released, it will snap down upon the cap. When a gun is at half-cock, the first of these accidents obviously cannot occur; and, as to the second, if the cock be pulled back and let drop, it falls, not down upon the cap, but to half-cock again, except only in the case where the trigger is also pressed back. The objections to carrying a gun at half-cock are, that careless people occasionally leave it on full-cock without perceiving the difference, and that there is a probability of weakening the main-spring, if day after day it be kept on the strain.
Carrying Guns when Stalking Game.-In creeping after game, the gun is always troublesome; there is no better plan than pushing it as far as the arm can reach, then creeping up to it, and again pushing it forwards.
Carrying Guns on Horseback.-Allow me very strongly to recommend a trial of the following plan, even for a'shootingpony in Scotland. It is the invention of the Namaquas. I and all my party in South Africa used it for a year and a half, and many persons ha-ce adopted the plan in England since I first published a description of it. Sew a bag of canvas, leather, or hide, of such a size as to admit the butt of. the gun pretty freely. The straps that support the bag, buckle through a ring in the pommel ; the thongs by which the slope of the bag is adjusted, are fastened round the girth, below. The exact adjustments may not be hit upon, by an unpractised person, to:' some little time ; but, when they are once ascertained, the thongs need never be shifted. The gun is perfectly safe : it never comes below the armpit, even in taking a drop leap : it is pulled out in an instant by bringing the elbow forwards in front of the gun and then backwards, pressing it against the side; by this manoeuvre, the gun is thrown to the outside of the arm : then, lowering the hand, catch the gun as near the trigger-guard as you can, and lift it out of the bag; (it is a bungling way to take out the gun whilst its barrel lies between the arm and the body). Any sized gun can be carried in this fashion, and it offers no obstacle to mounting or dismounting.
I hear that some sportsmen, who were probably unacquainted with this method, have used a bag or pocket of stiff