Phillips Files Revisited: Bullet Artist

Published 09/01 2014 10:50PM

Updated 09/01 2014 10:59PM

NEOSHO, MO---62-year-old Dave Hammer of Neosho first became acquainted with a rifle when he was 13 years old. In the ensuing years, he developed his skill to the point where today he's considered one of the outstanding riflemen in the country. He's one of the few shooters good enough to produce bullet art. He draws pictures with his rifle on a metal sheet by firing 22 short bullets into a thin metal sheet from a distance of 15 feet. It's an exacting skill, where no mistakes are allowed. Last year, he was given first prize in a nationwide trick shooting contest sponsored by the Remington Arms Company. That's only one of several honors he's received.

"Well it, it takes a lot of practice. It's like anything else, you know. You have to, work at it to accomplish with uh, good eyesight for a starter you know. And practice, and good steady nerves. Course I don't know about the future in it. Ammunition companies and arms companies don't employ them for that kind of work anymore, but, uh, they might come back, who knows," Hammer says.

He also enjoys exhibition shooting. In this case, he throws charcoal briquettes 30 feet in the air and shatters them with a single shot. One of his daughters jokingly told me when she was growing up, several young suitors were hesitant to visit her at home after learning about her father's prowess with a rifle. Dave says his shooting eye may have dimmed a bit, but anyone watching him shoot must marvel at his nerveless concentration on his rock-steady grip.

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