News & Updates

Holyoke Revolver Club News February 2015

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Dues Time

Membership Secretary Bill Burgess is accepting 2015 dues payments. Members who have not renewed will find their electronic access cards locked out following the February meeting. Citing higher costs of operation and the need for future maintenance funding, the board of directors has voted to raise the general membership fee to $100 per year, the first increase in more than ten years. Reduced fees for seniors, spouses and juniors will remain in effect.

Friends of NRA Gun-A-Day Tickets

The annual Gun-A-Day raffle of the Pioneer Valley chapter of the Friends of NRA will take place in March. Tickets are $25 and available from Debbie and Pete Galenski and George Apgar. Every day in March a new gun will be awarded to the holder of the ticket that matches the first three digits of the Mass. Evening lottery draw. Proceeds from the Friends of NRA fundraisers benefit local clubs, youth education, range development and conservation programs. The club has received several grants for the junior shooters and range improvements.

Instructor and RSO Training

The club is planning training courses for prospective NRA Basic Pistol Instructors and Range Safety Officers. Club President Norm Desilets is in charge.

Reloading Course

The club will hold an NRA Metallic Reloading course on April 11. It is a hands-on, all-day training session in the reloading of rifle and pistol cartridges. All materials are supplied, the fee is $75 and lunch is provided. Successful participants receive an NRA certificate. Bill Burgess and Ralph Rechenberger are in charge.


Weekly maintenance takes place on Monday mornings. Typical tasks include housekeeping and cleaning as well as maintenance on range equipment. The volunteers could use one more helper, and have asked any member who is available on Mondays to consider lending a hand.

Shrine Circus

As it has done for many years, the club voted at the January meeting to purchase a full-page ad in the program for this year’s Melha Shrine Circus.

New alarm system

The interior alarm system in the clubhouse has been updated and now is activated and deactivated by electronic swipe card. Access is limited to certain officers and instructors.

Practical matches Moving to First Sunday

The club’s practical matches, which had been held on the fourth Saturday of the month, will now take place on the first Sunday. New shooters should arrive at 9 a.m. for safety instruction. Participants should bring a centerfire pistol or revolver and 100 rounds of ammunition, extra magazines and speedloaders, a holster, which is not a shoulder or crossdraw model, a baseball cap and eye and ear protection. Chris Fila is in charge. Volunteers are needed to set up the stages, and should arrive at 8 a.m.

Western Mass. Pistol League

The annual matches of the WMPL are continuing through the winter. Holyoke competes in a series of postal matches against other local clubs, firing .22 pistols in a gallery match format. New members are invited to participate, and loaner pistols are available. Ron Mehlhorn and Pete Galenski are co-captains, and practice sessions are held on Friday evenings.

Electronic Gate Lock

The main gate locking system has been changed from the previous padlock access to now work with the same electronic proximity card that opens the club’s front door. Keys to the yellow gate on the road to the 100-yard range are hanging below the sign-in book near the front door.

Holyoke Police Qualifying

The Holyoke Police Department has begun its annual qualification sessions Tuesday mornings at the indoor range. Under a contract with the club, the PD has exclusive use of the range during training and qualifications.

South Hadley Police Qualifying

The club has also signed a contract with the South Hadley PD to use the indoor range for its qualification sessions. SHPD will be qualifying on Wednesday mornings, but with only 28 officers, will only need the range for a few mornings. HRC members who arrive to find either police department using the range should ask the officer in charge when the range will be free. Outdoor ranges are not affected.

New Members

Joining the club in January were James Belle-Isle and Stephanie Trela, both of West Springfield, Fred Trela and junior member Eleanor Hinchliffe, both of Soputhampton, Tim Paciorek of West Hatfield, Paul Horton and Luke Trueheart of Easthampton, Michael Chmielewski of South Hadley, Fred Doersam and Ron Gaudreau or East Longmeadow and Sarah Lempke of Chicopee.

HRC Hats and Patches

Hats and jacket patches embroidered with the club’s logo are now available for sale from Membership Secretary Bill Burgess. Also available are limited-edition items commemorating the club’s 100th anniversary.


The club encourages its members to join the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners’ Action League, the state rifle and pistol association. Ed Pelland is the club recruiter for both organizations, and handles membership applications and renewals for both. Club members can save $10 per year by paying for their NRA memberships through Ed for $25, rather than the standard $35. Ed receives NRA points for each renewal or new membership, which he applies to NRA memberships for the junior members of the club.

Fun Shoots

Dave Sparko conducts fun shoots on Tuesday evenings at the club. Competitors shoot .22 pistols at steel plates and a “Dueling Tree” of spinning targets, trying to move all of the discs to the opponent’s side of the tree. Match schedules will be posted on the club’s website and calendar.

Pistol Course

Holyoke Revolver Club conducts an NRA Basic Pistol course every month on the third Saturday. Successful participants receive both the NRA certificate and the Massachusetts State Police certificate required for firearms licenses. To register or for more information visit The club has more than a dozen NRA-Certified Pistol Instructors and more than two dozen NRA-Certified Range Safety Officers. Volunteers are needed to monitor the firing line from around 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m

Shooting 101

The firearm familiarization course for new shooters has been reorganized and will be offered on certain evenings at a reduced cost of $25. Rich Asselin is in charge, and is looking for instructors and RSO’s to assist. For more information and to register for Shooting 101 visit

100-Yard Outdoor Range

The range is closed when construction crews are working on the new adjacent ranges. The main backstop is at 100 yards, and a smaller berm is located at 50 yards on the rifle range. These are the only safe impact areas. Lately there have been shots fired at targets on the ground short of the two berms. This is a dangerous practice that may cause ricochets, and is not permitted on either of the outdoor ranges.

50/50 Raffle

John Lanty won $46.00 at the December meeting. Patrick Carpenter and Stephen Gifford’s names were drawn in the members’ drawing, but they were not at the meeting.


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