History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

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Kenny Wasserburger
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History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by Kenny Wasserburger » Fri Sep 24, 2021 4:36 pm

This was some years ago: unfortunately this never came to amount to anything as our NRA failed to do anything.

Friends
I was tasked by the NRA'S board of directors member Walt Walters to write this up for the first NRA commemorative medallion for BPTR. I feel it was a great honor to be asked to do this.

A single event gave birth to the NRA of the United States and long range international competition Shooting.

July of 1873 saw the Team from Ireland's fledgling rifle association, win the coveted Elcho Shield, making them the grand champions of all of Great Britain. The Irish, casting about for another foe to conquer, looked across the Atlantic Ocean to their American cousins. Major Arthur Leech of the Irish team posted an open letter in the New York times November 22, 1873.
CHALLENGE to the Riflemen of America from the Riflemen of Ireland, represented by Members of the Irish Rifle Association.
Mr. A. Blennerhasst Leech, founder in 1867 of the Irish Rifle Association, will select from its members a team which he will match against an equal number of Americans, to shoot in the United states in the Autumn of 1874, with rules following Great Britain's at 800-900-1000 yards.
It's possible that the Irish team didn't realize that the USA'S newly fromed organization, had no such team or organization for such in place, or that they did, and were looking for an easy opponent. The Amateur Rifle Club of New York, took up the challenge, as they had just began to shoot long range matches at the Creeds Farm range, called Creedmoor. The task before the Amateur Rifle Club and the New NRA, was a herculean one, to find suitable team members, train them, and set up the range. The match had to take place no earlier then September 15th and no later than October 15th of 1874. America's riflemen rose to the occasion and the National Rifle Association was given a purpose. America went on to Win the Event in October of 1874, due in part to an Irish crossfire and the cool shooting of John Bodine. Thus establishing American dominance in long Range shooting for the next 6 years, and giving the National Rifle Association a purpose.
The front if this medallion has the Leech Cup it's the oldest contested match Trophy in America, presented to the Riflemen of the USA, as a gift from Sir Arthur Leech at the 1874 Creedmoor Match. On the the reverse is the Elcho Shield trophy that the Irish won in 1873, prompting the Irish teams challenge.

It’s a damn shame, this never came to pass, this medallion could of been a huge benefit to BPTR, and all of NRA competitions.
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Chickm1
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by Chickm1 » Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:16 pm

Nice post.

John Boy
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by John Boy » Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:05 pm

Kenny, excellent historical post
It is a shame the historical international BPTR matches that were annual events did not carry forward into the 20h century
BTW, I saw a current picture of the Creedmoor Range in NY …. What is left of it is just a short end of a street
Regards
John

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desert deuce
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by desert deuce » Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:20 pm

There is a reason that the Phoenix March Match at Ben Avery is named:

Desert International Long Range Black Powder Target Rifle Championship


It was conceived, produced and accomplished to reinstitute in the 21st century that which passed into history in the 19th century that Kenny wrote about above.

It is amusing to me to read the chatter about starting this or starting that and making matches here and there when right before their very eyes they fail to see the reality of the matches of which they speak. Literally the rebirth of the Creedmoor Matches of the 1870's is now.

The Ironman Match/Creedmoor Match at Ben Avery 2022 is seven days of Black Powder Target Rifle Competition to determine who on earth is the best Creedmoor Rifleman. The very same idea and type of competition for which the Castle Trophy was dedicated to for Creedmoor over 100 years ago.

As in 1874 it is open to Cartridge Rifles and Muzzle Loaders, all comers, all nations. Just show up and shoot or forever remain silent.

Entries, as outlined in the original post above, open November 1, 2021.

If you cannot attend and wish to support this match your contribution will dutifully be incorporated into the production of the match.
Sometimes you get the chicken, and sometimes you get the feathers!

Kenny Wasserburger
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by Kenny Wasserburger » Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:17 am

Zack,
Let us not forget the BPTRA, it is currently holding its national Championship this weekend in Byers, Creedmoor at its finest also. This fledgling organization needs our full support.

As does your desert International, it too deserves our full support, and worthy of attending.

My traditional Creedmoor match isn’t under the auspices of anyone in particular, but is fired on traditional Steel targets with a score-able bullseye. It’s the only such match of its type in the entire country, just like the original matches.

Also worthy of mention are the matches at Lodi, and the Creedmoor matches hosted by Rick Weber at Oak Ridge with their unique Paper Creedmoor targets

With regards,
KW
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ian45662
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by ian45662 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:52 am

We also have our long range shoots at Camp Atterburry Indiana. Our 1200 yard match is coming up 3rd weekend in October. It’s starting to look like I will be taking over those matches here in the next couple of years. Once that happens I am going to try to align them with the BPTRA. There are also rumors about trying to fire up a 1 mile match out there. Trying to find a target will be the biggest hurdle in that endeavor.

jackrabbit
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by jackrabbit » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:19 am

Does the Elcho Shield still exist?

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desert deuce
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by desert deuce » Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:14 am

To All:

Boiled down to the lowest common denominator, like it or not, as of today we are faced with the ongoing survival of shooting sports in general and specifically in our case Creedmoor Style shooting of Black Powder Rifles on targets.

The individual considerations of where to shoot and when are pieces of the puzzle for each shooter to examine and choose.

We are at a pivotal point in time at the confluence of real obstacles to participation. Regardless of any particular preferences in venues the salient point is numbers matter and for any match to survive, now more than ever before, the shooters must show up and shoot.
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Kenny Wasserburger
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by Kenny Wasserburger » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:39 am

Cody,

Yes the Elcho Shield exists to this Day Britain currently hold possession of it.

Check with Wikipedia.

Kenny
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Kenny Wasserburger
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by Kenny Wasserburger » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:49 am

Zack I do agree with you on the fact is we have too attend the matches, in order to keep them going strong.

Match directors have a lot to say about that, in how they run the matches, and the general atmosphere during and while the match is ongoing.

My Traditional Creedmoor and mile match will expand to 3 days next year and move ahead one full week before Labor Day Weekend. A 22 mini Creedmoor on Friday a traditional Creedmoor on Saturday the our mile match on Sunday. Plus the range will be open for practice the Tuesday of the match.

The range is capable of hosting a traditional Creedmoor Mid-range match also, a 300-600 yard match with scoreable steel targets the same dimensions as the originals were. This is entirely up to the shooters. As the targets are a permanent feature of the Wasserburger Ranch.

Kenny W.
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desert deuce
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by desert deuce » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:54 pm

Does this raise the question of, "How Badly does the United States want it back?"
Sometimes you get the chicken, and sometimes you get the feathers!

Kenny Wasserburger
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by Kenny Wasserburger » Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:23 pm

Zack it was never ours to have.

It’s to be contested among the British commonwealth countries, Ireland, Scotland and England and Canada, Australia.

Kenny
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Old-Win
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by Old-Win » Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:40 pm

Kenny, Not trying to pick apart your write-up, but you say that "A single event gave birth to the NRA of the United States and long range international competition Shooting". The NRA was established in November, 1871 and where responsible for getting the Creedmoor range built but they actually turned the "Irish Challenge" down and that's why the ARC took it up. Gutsy move on their part.

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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by Gamerancher » Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:14 pm

Kenny is correct, the Elcho shield resides in England, in the museum at Bisley rifle range. I've even had my hands on it, it's just sitting in a corner.
Saw it when we were at the MLAIC World Long Range Muzzle-loading Titles in 2019. They also have the rifle and target her Majesty Queen Victoria shot to open the National Rifle Association, U.K, July 2nd, 1860.
Elcho Shield.jpg
Queen's target.jpg
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desert deuce
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Re: History and the NRA’s failure to Remember it.

Post by desert deuce » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:41 pm

Simple solution then Kenny...........if we can absorb Australia and New Zealand into the United States, then if Canada can loose themselves from whichever Trudeau is attempting to destroy the country it would be a simple matter to make them the 53rd State, we would have a majority of the designated countries and bully the rest to go along. Kinda like the idea. We can work on their English pronunciation and spelling later.

Stranger things have happened....eh, :roll:
Sometimes you get the chicken, and sometimes you get the feathers!

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