to the
Utah Gun Collectors Association
May 2004 Picnic and
Historic Arms Shooting Session
Celebrating our 44th year of service 1960-2004
 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, 2004
But first a word of thanks. The weather was superb, in the mid 70s with a nice breeze, lots of sunshine and you could not ask for a nicer day, so a big thanks to He who is responsible for weather.
George, our official Range Officer did a lot of the preliminary work, and Carroll the Secretary arranged for the great chow from the caterers. About 45 people stayed for the meal, and another dozen or so were only able to be present for the shooting festivities.
Many people were guests. Some of the young ladies attending brought their boyfriends, and one doctor brought some of his office staff and associates, and we even had a foreign exchange student. Many wives and kids attend these fun family events. Most people bring lots of ammo and are happy to let everyone try shooting their guns. Hearing protection and eye protection are important things to bring with you, but we usually have some spares if you need some for yourself or guests. Some wives apparently forgot theirs, and went off shopping, missing the shooting fun....

We encourage all UGCA members to plan now to attend the next picnic and shoot on Saturday, August 21, 2004 at the Hendrickson Range in Parley's Canyon, just off of I-80 at the Mountain Dell/East Canyon exit.


Some of the historic guns

Here are a number of muzzle loaders, modern made reproductions, brought by one of our doctor members. These included flintlock and percussion rifles and pistols showing a variety of military and civilian types of guns. The replicas are a lot of fun to shoot and do not risk damage to an old original. Some members do shoot original antique guns, including a 1836 flintlock pistol (160+ years old now!).


On flintlocks, there is a small "pan" that has to be primed with a bit of powder. When fired, the flint in the jaws of the hammer strikes the frizzen, pushing it open to uncover the powder in the pan while it is making sparks as the flint rubs against the steel frizzen If the hole connecting the pan to the main powder charge in the barrel is dirty, you may get a "flash in the pan" where nothing happens beyond the very first step. Also in this photo, you can see the lock (which has the hammer, frizzen and pan along with springs and some other parts inside); the wooden stock, and the barrel. With "lock, stock and barrel" you have everything you need.


Anyone who knows anything about guns will recognize this as a M1911 ".45 automatic" invented by John M. Browning in Ogden, Utah. This classic pistol is still being made in nearly the identical design as first introduced (along with many variations) some 93 years after being introduced, and the basic principles of the design are now over 100 years old. Other than a cast iron frying pan and lead pencil, how many other products have been in production for nearly 100 years and are still used on a daily basis?
Several members brought M1911 pistols to shoot- one was a rare gun that had been sent to England during WW2 and has a lot of collector value. Another was a standard military version that went back and was converted into a National Match pistol for competitive use. A third was a gun assembled from salvaged parts, but all were gun and reliable shooters. Many experts still prefer the M1911 as the best self defense gun available.

Our events are also a chance for families to teach children about safe gun handling, and marksmanship. Here a father is helping his son learn proper techniques with a Ruger .357 revolver. Not long ago most high schools had rifle teams and many colleges had both rifle and pistol teams. Many of these were eliminated in the leftist campaigns against anything with military connections during the 1970s protests against the Vietnam war. How many American kids and troops have died since then because they did NOT know basic gun safety and marksmanship?

One member brought a .45-70 "Trapdoor" saddle ring carbine. Yes, that is the same type that General Custer had at the Little Big Horn. While not the best or most modern combination of gun and ammunition was carried by his command, many historians think that the massacre of Custer's command had more to do with several bad decisions on his part. (He left the Gatling guns at the fort, split his command, carried little ammunition, and attacked on the outskirts of a huge encampment of Indians....) Besides the trapdoor carbine, this member (and several others) brought a Model 1903 Springfield rifle and M1911 .45 automatic.

"Life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun!"
One of our members is a talented firearms engraver, and like to decorate his shooting guns. This Brazilian made copy of the classic old Winchester .22 pump action rifle (another Browning design) has this scene of the Golden Spike joining the transcontinental railroad in 1869 on this side, and the other has a great stagecoach scene.

But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this member thinks that the "black assault rifles" are beautiful, so he brought some of his collection out to shoot. While some scoff at them as being ugly, most people admit that they are ingenious mechanical devices that perform reliably.

Historic full automatic weapons

(Note all machine guns shown here are properly registered with BATFE and owners have passed the FBI background checks and have permission from local law enforcement authorities to own these. 

Federal and state laws (at least in Utah) allow private citizens to own machine guns after passing a FBI background check, paying a hefty tax, getting approval from the local chief of police and assorted other paperwork. Some people like fancy cars that will go faster than the speed limit, like Corvettes, Ferarris, and dragsters or custom motorcycles. When used safely, none of these cause any harm to other people, and misused any can cause death and mayhem. There are hundreds of thousands of registered machine guns owned by law abiding citizens, and use in a crime is virtually nonexistent. However, criminals with illegal machine guns do commit a lot of crimes.

The classic "Tommy Gun" belonging to one of our members.

Although less well known, two other machine guns that are very popular are the Israeli designed Uzi, and the WW2 era "Reising" designed by Harrington & RIchardsn's Eugene Reising, widely used by the Marine Corps.
The member with the Uzi is a federal law enforcement officer, who just got back from serving over a year in Iraq with his Army Reserve Unit. We want to thank him, and all of the other American and Coalition forces for their service to our country. His Uzi is using a .22 caliber adapter kit and was a lot of fun to shoot.

One member brought along this great "shooter's kit" box, made by Badger Shooting Supply in the 1930s. This allowed competitive shooters to carry everything they needed in a neat box. Note the target pasters, ear plugs, sight blackening supplies, target scoring plugs, and tools for sight adjustment or repairs.

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!

Return to UGCA Main page