to the
Utah Gun Collectors Association
May 2001 Picnic and
Historic Arms Shooting Session
Celebrating our 41st year of service 1960-2001
 Click here for date and location of our next picnic and historic arms shooting session

Here are some samples of the fun enjoyed by UGCA members and their guests.
While it is an interesting academic exercise to debate the relative merits (or flaws) of famous old or new firearms, the best information comes from actually firing them.  UGCA members bring a wide variety of guns to these sessions and everyone usually gets a chance to share in the experiences.
(This is also a chance for people with no shooting experience to learn how to safely handle a gun under close supervision.)

If you collect guns, we invite you to join UGCA.
Membership benefits include for free admission to all UGCA shows, reduced table rates, and a great newsletter.
 Click here for membership information and application

Copyright 2001 by Utah Gun Collectors Association.  All rights reserved.  Box 711161, Salt Lake City, UT  84171

Let's go to the UGCA Picnic and Historic Arms Shooting Session, May, 2001

Before we shoot, we need to have lots of targets.  George did a lot of the preliminary work, and club members all pitched in to post and change targets throughout the afternoon.  The younger participants thought this was great fun!  Besides children and grandchildren of club members we also had a Japanese exchange student as a guest.

Some of the historic handguns

Can art shoot?  This  beautiful pistol features a deep relief scroll and oak leaf pattern, similar to that found on Browning's famous "Renaissance" grade pistols.  This gun is a .45 automatic, designed by a Utah native, John M. Browning, made during World War Two for us by U.S military forces.  From a tool to defend our freedom, it has become the media for artistic expression.  The hand that holds the pistol is the hand that did the engraving and made the mother of pearl grips.  Gene was justifiably proud of his work and enjoyed shooting it, too.

Preston's Grandad helps him with basic pistol marksmanship skills.

The University of Utah consistently has some of the best collegiate level competitive shooters in the country.  Maybe Preston will achieve that level of success.
Many other young people enrolled in junior marksmanship training in Utah have won national awards.  One of the most notable is Julia Watson of Springville, who joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and became one of their top shooters, winning the National Service Rifle Championship.  Competitive shooting is an equal opportunity sport where women compete on the same terms as men, and Julia beat all the men in the Marine Corps!  UGCA salutes Staff Sergeant Julia Watson, USMC!.  (P.S.-  Julia is taking time off from the team to attend to her responsibilities as a new mother.  Bet she will not be showing up at a Misinformed "Moms" march pleading for more gun control laws.)

A brand new toy for the serious target shooter- a British made pistol suitable for use in Olympic competition.  (Ironically, the new British gun laws force their pistol team to travel outside the country to practice.  But more street criminals in Britain are now carrying guns.  British criminals don't obey gun control laws an better than American criminals.)

 And this is what a serious pistol shooter does with his $1,000 new toy.

Another UGCA member trying out an older Smith & Wesson .22 target pistol with a fancy sight.  The low recoil and ease of use of the sight improve scores in rapid fire competition.  These old S&W pistols are still popular, but very few people will even think of buying a new S&W gun since they made their treacherous deal with the Cllinton anti-gun zealots.

Along with the newest pistol designs, members and guests got a chance to try out the finest weapons available to U.S. Army Cavalrymen and Dragoons prior to the Civil War. The upper pistol is a Model 1836 flintlock.  The lower Model 1842 is nearly identical except it uses percussion caps instead of flint to ignite the powder charge.  Both shoot a .54 caliber round ball weighing about half an ounce.  These were issued in pairs, carried in holsters attached to the saddle, and known as "horse pistols."

Some of the historic rifles

Historical research in progress.  "Doc" is a Harvard trained M.D. fascinated by history.  He is conducting a test of the pentrating power of a .69 caliber musket in a walnut door panel and a human skull. This information is being used to check the accuracy of reports on an incident about 150 years ago when rogue government agents killed members of a religous group.  The skull is not from a volunteer, but is a special item made of sythetic material nearly identical to bone, and is used for doctors to practice cutting into the skull for brain surgery and then reattaching the pieces with nifty little fasteners.

Members brough a wide variety of old rifles, including high dollar collector pieces and some ordinary guns that are fun to shoot.  A U.S. Model 1941 Johnson rifle that the Marine Corps adopted in small numbers attracted a lot of attention, and everyone who shot it was pretty favorably impressed with it.  These are extremely desirable collector items.  Other guns enjoyed by members included a Springfield deer rifle, a Browning .22 semi-auto and a SKS rifle.

Tom is an engineer who designs rockets for space and defense programs.  His neighbor invited him to come along to our shoot, and he really enjoyed seeing (and trying) the technology which has evolved to push heavy objects with high velocity and accuracy over the last several hundred years.  Above, he is holding an Indian War period "trapdoor" .45-70 carbine similar to those used by the losers at the Custer Massacre, and shooting a Model 1873 Winchester in .44-40 caliber. Both these guns are so popular that reproductions are being made today, identical to those made 125 years ago.

Steele, a high school student practicing with his very rare Winchester 1892 "Trapper" carbine.  He is a fortunate young lad to start his collection with a scarce gun like this, presented to him by a generous older collector who know of his serious interest in gun collecting and history.  At the right, Chuck, a veteran rifle competitor (with the T-shirt to prove it!) tries out the "Trapper" carbine.

Another 1892 Winchester with a short (16 inch) barrel.  This one has the very scarce takedown feature and double set triggers.  (John M. Browning designed this one too!)

Steele's Dad likes guns of the old west, and is active in the Cowboy Action shooting sports.  Here he demonstrates his skill with a Model 1873 Winchester.  Note the large amount of smoke from the black powder ammunition he uses.  Newer powder is called "smokeless" for a very good reason.

Some of the historic full automatic weapons

(Note all machine guns shown here are properly registered with BATF and owners have passed the FBI background checks and have permission from local law enforcement authorities to own these.  Since 1934 there has only been a single incident where a legally owned machine gun was used in a crime- and the individual who did that was a police officer who decided to break numerous laws.)

Lance brought out a beautiful WW2 Japanese Type 99 machine gun.  One WW2 vet noted that it was better than any of the ones they encountered when they were fighting the Japanese in the Pacific!  This weapon was made by the Tokyo Gas & Elelctric Company (as you probably already noted from the Kanji markings above).  More recently you have been buying items from this company under the brand name Hitachi.

Lance busy with some field maintenance to adjust the gas system for his carefully handloaded ammunition, and then it operates nicely.  A member with a sophisticated timing device measured the cyclic rate of fire at 754 rounds per minute.

A U.S. M2 carbine firing short bursts.  Note the use of the muzzle brake to help keep the muzzle from climbing.  Yes, it really does work pretty well.  The owner is a new member of the UGCA and had a great time.

A club member trying out the H&K MP5.  This was a popular and easily controlled gun, which has earned a lot of respect from military and law enforcement users.  A local law enforcement officer owns this one.

Following the shooting session, we enjoyed a great picnic meal catered by Meiers Prime Catering.  Remember, if you join UGCA you can participate in our next session!

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