The Beginning

He soon bought a better .22, a single-shot pistol, shooting it close to the target until he could hit consistently at 15'. Once this was accomplished he gradually moved backward extending the distance to 15 yards. By then he decided he needed a better pistol and bought two heavier .22s with 10" barrels. From that time forward he always purchased his pistols in pairs so he could shoot with both right and left hands simultaneously.

As John Henry grew older, he learned to be more proficient on bull’s-eye targets and added quick draw and rapid fire work to his regular target practice. By now he had gone beyond .22s and reloaded for 15 different cartridges. Being somewhat mechanically inclined he started taking both pistols and revolvers apart to see how they worked and before long he was correcting trigger pulls and smoothing interior parts. He was well on his way to become the man who would soon be known throughout the shooting world as Fitz. From 1918 until 1944 Fitz was the face of Colt, their goodwill ambassador, and expert at tuning Colt revolvers and semiauto pistols.

There are many classic books from the 1930s, however Fitz came first. His monumental work Shooting, was published in 1930. Fitz’s book is certainly dated, being over 80 years old, as are the others too. However, guns and cartridges may change, but basics remain the same. When reading through Fitz’s book, especially the sections concerning quick draw, self-defense, and police techniques I thought I saw a lot of Clint Smith and Mas Ayoob in those old pages. Perhaps I have it backwards and instead see a lot of Fitz in their writings.