This letter is an overdue update to the membership on recent changes to our club and to see if I can generate interest in our leagues and general shooting opportunities. First I’d like to introduce myself as your new president. My name is Tom Edmonston and I have been shooting at the club for about 6 years after moving full time to the lake in 2017. I am a lifelong competitive shooter and will endeavor to keep the club moving along the positive path that our outgoing president, Tracy Scheffling, has maintained over the past 4 years. On behalf of the SMLPSA membership I would like to thank Tracy for his service and dedication to the club.
There have been some recent range improvements that I want to tell you about. One of Tracy’s last acts, as our president, was to replace our older fluorescent bulbs, that light the target area, with LED bulbs. Besides reducing energy consumption, the target area is now considerably brighter. We have also repaired the shorter-range LED flood lights to improve target lighting at distances less than 15 feet. If you haven’t been to the range in a while you really need to come by and take a look.
You may not have been checking ammunition prices but I’m happy to report they continue to move lower and ammo now seems to be in abundant supply. There are some good on-line deals that occasionally include free shipping. With the range improvements and reduced cost of ammo it is a great time to pull your guns out of the safe and do some shooting. Members can further reduce the cost of range time by purchasing 10-hour range cards worth $100 of range time for $90. If you are interested, just ask the RSO on duty next time you are at the range. Shooting opportunities exist with general open shooting on Fridays and Saturdays with several organized events open to members and guests that you may want to consider.
On the first and third Mondays evening of each month we have a pistol league. This is a league versus a competition and is a great opportunity to improve your shooting skills in a less formal low stress setting. There are a core group of experienced shooters that will give advice on improving your skills, all for the asking. The difficulty of the events vary week-to week with the primary objective being skills improvement versus competition. Paul Giammattei started this league 10-years ago as our match director and is passing the torch to Jim Orbison and Rusty Moomey. Thanks Paul for all your efforts and your continued support as a Director on the board. Thanks to Jim and Rusty for taking the reins and to their service on the board as well.
On the second Monday evening of each month Ed Groeber holds a Cops & Cowboy match. This is a cowboy action match that Ed has opened up to those that don’t have the single action cowboy pistols or lever action rifles. I participated as a cop with my Ruger Mark 2 pistol and Ruger 10-22 rifle and had a great time. I particularly enjoy watching the cowboy shooters match or beat the time and accuracy of modern semi-automatics. Even for those that don’t have a pistol caliber rifle, you can participate using two pistols. Come by and give it a try. I also want to Thank Ed for running this match, his work on the board of directors and for his help in fixing the flood lights and trouble-shooting the electronic target system on lane 8.
On the 2nd or 3rd Sunday morning of each month (please consult the calendar of events) we hold a Defensive Pistol Match. This is a more formal event following the IDPA shooting format. There are several firing stages set up down range close to the impact berm. Simon LeRay and Tracy Scheffling are the match directors for this event. If you are interested and have shot events like this in the past, I encourage you to join us for this monthly match. If you are interested and don’t have a lot of experience at this kind of event, I suggest you join us for the Monday night pistol league to gain necessary skills or just come out and watch to get some exposure to the event. Thanks Simon and Tracy for making this a successful event each month and your support on the board.
On the 4th and occasional 5th Monday of each month we will prioritize the evening towards new shooters or members that want some coaching on the fundamentals. We will have accomplished shooters along with NRA certified instructors to help as much or as little as you desire to get a new shooter acquainted with their firearm or provide some exposure to the types of shooting we do for the various leagues. If you have interest in league shooting but have reservations about the unknown, then this is the place to start. It is also a great opportunity to introduce a friend or spouse to shooting with experienced members ready to assist. Look for an email message from Jim Oribison with more details.
There are quite a few folks at SMLPSA that contribute their time to keep our range running smoothly and to offer events to the shooting community. Groups like the board of directors, the match directors, and most importantly the range safety officers (RSOs). Thanks to all their efforts we have a great facility for our shooting activities. With that being said there is something each member can do to help the club. You can come out and shoot on a regular basis. The purchase of range time is imperative for the club to offset our costs to the 4-H. There are times when we staff the facility on a Friday or Saturday and the number of shooters doesn’t even cover the operating costs. One bad solution would be to reduce the operating hours but I’m suggesting a better alternative and that is to increase the use of the range and keep our relationship healthy with the 4-H.
If you are reading this on the website and didn’t receive it via your email it means we don’t have your current email address. Please send me updated contact information and I will get it corrected in the club address book.
I hope to see you at the range and if you have suggestions or comments please share them with me in person or via email SMLPSACLUB@gmail.com. Remember the monthly calendar can be found on our website at smlpsa.com.
President - SMLPSA