This is from part of a story I found about one of my ancestors James Musick during the 1800s in Kentucky, born 1806 in North Carolina. Something like a Great Great Great Grandfather I think. Thought y'all might find this interesting. I also have the rest of the story about how he lost his rifle and nearly his life to a bear that I may post elsewhere.
James Musick was said to something of a gunsmith and was supposed to have kept the best gun in the community.
In order to raise a little money, one practice of the time was that a man would sell a set number of chances on a beef and then "rifle off" the beef with a shooting match. All chances were sold prior to the day the match was to be held. Each chance or shot sold for perhaps twenty-five cents and was for one quarter of the animal.
The first round of the shooting was for the choice of the quarters of the beef the second round for the second choice and so on until the entire animal was accounted for. If a man had paid for several chances, and after the first round of shooting he saw that he had been beaten, he could then use another of his shots to try again to win or he could wait and try for the next quarter coming up. Jim Musick's gun was always on loan to some of the neighbors unless he or some of his sons were involved in the shooting match.