St. John's Rod and Gun Club 2017: (87 Photos)


It's been a crazy busy year at the SJRGC with regular shooting events taking place on a weekly basis, construction of a brand new Pistol Range, and hosting of a number of specialty tournaments throughout the year as well!


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   December 24, 2017


1.   Although activities at the SJRGC slow down over the winter, activities still continue throughout the winter months. The Old Fellows Clays League meet Wednesdays for a weekly 5 stand shoot, the pistol groups are still active, and members use the Rifle Range through out the cold snowy months as well.




2.   On the first Sunday of each month we continue to hold our new & lapsed member orientation sessions, most of which I attend to help out.




3.   The Trap group doesn't shoot in the winter, the expensive machines are removed from the trap houses in the fall for safe storage, and as found in the past its too much work to clear the Firing Line, & traphouse doors and move clay targets with snow on the ground.








5.   We had quite a bit of snow at the club this winter, mostly from the back to back blizzards in February.












8.   Although we were about a month late this year due to lingering snow and soft ground we finally set about re-installing the automatic trap machines on April 29th.




9.   All the machines were cleaned, greased, and rubber o-rings replaced as necessary before re-installation.












12.   Even Mark French was on hand to assist in the installation.




13.   With cool temps this year snow is still lingering well into May. It will be the end of May before the Archery ATV trail is clear enough to use!



14.   In May Andrea, Peter and I took on the task of repairing the Clubhouse Fireplace to return it to safe and clean operating condition.






16.   The old Fire Bricks had seriously degraded & falling out so they were removed a couple years ago and fireplace put out of service.









19.   Peter hard at work installing a new firebrick liner.



20.   While Peter worked inside the Fireplace, Andrea and I parged and re-grouted the gaps & cracks between the stones outside the fireplace for a nice clean appearance.









23.   With the inside work complete we will move onto the outside work later this summer parging the stones and making a new chimney cap to keep rain & squirrels out of the clubhouse.



24.   Local welder/fabricator and club member Mark Squires made a beautiful new grate for the fireplace which makes cleanup easy and keep the fireplace safe by preventing flaming logs from rolling out of the hearth.



25.   On June 3rd we held our annual clean up day where all ranges are shut down so all committees can complete work on club facilities safely and effectively. Prior to the event I fabricated this new strain relief connector for our generator power cable .



26.   Previously the cable hung in place but the weight of the wire coupled with vibrations on the generator wore the hole & eventually wore through the electrical connector. Due to proper maintenance and inspection the problem was spotted before anything came close to shorting out.



27.   On the generator we installed a new thicker plate to properly cover the egg shaped original hole, this coupled with red locktite and the new strain relief should prevent the problem from re-occurring.



28.   Next on the list was a full spring generator service which included new engine oil & filter, two new fuel filters, new fan belt, and thorough inspection.



29.   As we do every year we treat our volunteers (which topped about 50 members this year) right and provide a great lunch, drinks, etc.






31.   Each year we get a dumpster or two delivered to the club for clean up day. This lets us get clear of all the old broken junk that has accumulated for years at the club, and get clear of items that our regular garbage collectors cannot take.



32.   On June 11 we held our annual Newfoundland Sportsman shoot which consisted of Trap shooting in the morning, followed by sporting clays in the afternoon.



33.   We had a great turnout on this beautiful, warm, sunny Sunday with 46 members and guests participating.



34.   I had trouble with my Browning 725, Troy and I took it apart eventually finding the problem was a very small (less than 1mm thick) piece of steel shaved off an out of shape Shell lodged behind the shell ejector. This caused my crack barrel over/under firearm to not lock up when closed. We had the problem fixed in short order and I was able to finish the shoot problem free.









37.   The afternoon Sporting Clays course was set up very well by our dedicated sporting clays committee utilizing a wide variety of manual spring operated throwers all the way to our fanciest battery operated remote control throwers such as our new Tower mounted machine.









40.   One of my favourite clays stations is the fleeing pair.



41.   Peter Tucker and Joe Rosa tied the day's event with a score of 87 with Joe winning an awesome shootoff to claim the 2017 Ed Brocklehurst Top Gun award.






43. On June 12 we began construction on our brand new Pistol Range. This new range will be 30m x 30m and will provide approx 12 shooting stations from a fixed firing line with target stands set at 20 & 25 meters.



44.   All of the overburden from the new range site and gravel pit was dropped and spread in front of Trap House D which was a close convenient place to get clear of the unustable material.



45.   Range floor complete, ready to start berms.






47.   Berms complete. With major construction over, it was time for our dedicated volunteers to take over and finish the range and ready it for use by members.



48.   My first project was putting together a 21' flag pole which will fly a red safety flag when in use like all other ranges at SJRGC.









51.   The flagpole was carried to the club and a steel collar planted in the ground about 3.5". The collar is larger than the flag pole which will allow future volunteer to take down the pole for repairs.



52.   My next delivery was 12 x 6' concrete parking lot curbs to prevent vehicles from accidentally rolling onto the firing line of the new range. This 2800lb load was near the capacity of my 2500HD but the trusty Silverado got the job done with ease.






54.   Next Andrew and I built four shooting benches which will be placed on the new range. This will give 4 seated positions and 8 standing positions in total.



55.   Rough layout of the shooting positions laid out according to templates provided by the firearms office. The large 6x6 posts will mark the firing line as well as provide a mount for small tables for the standing shooting positions.



56.   While Andrew worked with our backhoe operator planting the firing line posts, I continued work on the large signboard which will hold all necessary range rules, operating procedures and announcements.



57.   6x6 posts were planted 3' into the ground in concrete and 2x4 cross boards will provide a sign area 10' wide and 8' high.






59.   Shooting benches, shooting tables and most of the target stands complete.






61.   Finally on July 17, 2017 I received our Range Operating Certificate from the Firearms office so I Headed immediately to the club to install chloroplast on the 12 target stands and officially open New Range A.






63.   The next large project completed at the club this year was a complete rehabilitation of existing ranges B & C. Range B is our 50, 100 & 200m rifle range while Range C is our pistol pit set up for 25m handgun and 50m rifle & shotgun shooting.



64.   Every 5 years we have a full inspection and re-certification by the firearms office, and this is the year. Over time our loose sandy soil washes down making the berms thinner than spec, and if left unattended lower than spec as well. We inspect all ranges monthly to ensure we do not operate an unsafe range and this year we had our contractor reshape all berms and bullet catchers back to spec at the right height and a 1m crest.



65.   With New Range A complete we removed the 20m bullet catcher from the rifle range. Our contractor did a fantastic job of reshaping all berms beautifully and removing all loose rock from the range floor.



66.   In preparation for the Provincial Trapshooting Championships I headed to the club mid week (mainly to complete some Range A work) and cut the grass on the Trap Range and all around the clubhouse.






68.   I even took time to patch up one of the scoring tables.



69.   Big shoots like the provincials take a lot of work to run, from registering shooters, scoring, providing lunch and loading trap machines!



70.   Shooters from across the province participated in this 400 target event on July 15th & 16th under beautiful sunny skies and very light winds.



71.   Troy Coldwell, Bob Mercer, and Andrea Bassan competed for the champion of champions event with Bassan and Coldwell agreeing to be co champions each receiving a score of 49/50 after two rounds.


72.   On July 29th we held our annual Youth Day Event. Each year the SJRGC partners with NL Wildlife Division to host a shoot open to the first 50 youth that pre-register. Its a fun day of Shotgun, Rifle, Archery and Outdoor Survival.


73. With some youth returning from previous years we set up stations with varying difficulty so everyone has a great time and learns something new regardless of skill level.








77.  This was also the first big event for our very recently opened Range A which provided an excellent facility for the Rifle portion of the Youth Shoot.






79.  Ongoing maintenance is a fact of life at any facility and the SJRGC is no exception. These voice release systems get broken up by the wind, and connectors corrode from the rain. With 20 units in service there's always one ready for repair.










84. In October our new clubhouse windows finally arrived. The old windows were well used when they were installed in 1963 and were completely worn out. These new vinyl windows will keep the building weather tight for decades!




86.   In late October Bassan, Johnny and the boys finally finished repairs to the clubhouse fireplace by replacing the chimney top with a poured in place piece, new flue, and stainless steel cap to keep the squirrels out.



Cheers, MIKE

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith