News & Updates

March 2014 News and Updates

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Holyoke news March 2014

Reloading Course – A Metallic Cartridge Reloading course will be held at the club March 8, taught by NRA Instructors Ralph Rechenberger and Bill Burgess.  All materials and equipment are included, and successful participants receive an NRA certificate. Click Here to Register

Shooting 101 – The firearm familiarization course for new shooters has been reorganized and will be offered on certain evenings.  Rich Asselin is in charge, and is looking for instructors and RSO’s to assist.  For more information and to register Click Here.

High Power Rifle Clinic – A day of instruction and competition in NRA High Power rifle shooting will be held in May.  Participants receive instruction in the care and feeding of the M1 and similar rifles in the morning and fire the NRA 3-position match in the afternoon at the 100-yard range.  Ammunition is provided and loaner rifles are available by prior arrangement.  Fee is $75, and Dave and Rick Wallis are in charge.

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.  HRC members who arrive to find the police using the range should ask the officer in charge when the range will be free.  Outdoor ranges are not affected.

Indoor Range Damage – The use of steel-core ammunition continues to damage the backstop plates at the indoor range.  The board of directors recently discussed the options of raising dues to cover the expense of repairs or restricting range time to certain hours when a designated range officer is available, and locking up the indoor range at all other times.  The offending ammunition is imported under various labels, and appears similar to jacketed lead American-made ammo.  The foreign ammunition has a steel core, which can be detected by passing it over the magnets installed at each port.  ALL cartridges being fired on the indoor range must be tested against the magnets, and those with steel components may only be used outdoors.

RSO Training – HRC will host a training session for new NRA Range Safety Officers on April 12 at the club.  Fees are $75 for non-members and $50 for club members.

Junior Rifle – Junior rifle safety training and practice has started for the 2014 season.  Mike Heisler is in charge, and is seeking adult assistants for the Thursday evening sessions.  The course is open to 12-20 year olds with parents’ permission.

Wi-Fi at HRC – Wireless internet access is now available at the club.

100th Anniversary – The 100th anniversary committee has begun holding planning meetings.  Anyone who wishes to be part of the committee should contact club vice president Joe Knapik, chairman of the event. The event will be held Oct. 25 at the Castle of Knights in Fairview. Committee members are now soliciting advertising for the dinner program and selling tickets for the dinner.  Tickets are $40.

Yellow Gate for the 100yd Range – At the request of the MA Division of Fish and Wildlife, the club members have been asked to close and lock the yellow iron gate needs to be closed at all times. Even while you are shooting on the 100-yard rifle range.  All HRC members in good standing should have a key to the padlock.  The DFW owns the gate and adjacent property and wants to keep unauthorized vehicles out of the area.

New Members – The club welcomed 25 new members at the February meeting, a new record.  Joining HRC were Amanda Keough of Feeding Hills, Erik Ward, Reynard Nazario and Derek Cruicshank, all of Holyoke, Alan and Susan LaPlante, Edward Costello Robert Lemay and Pedro Ricardo, all of Chicopee, Kelly Moynihan, Patrice St. John, David Stine and Lisa Goodreau, all of Southampton, Tristan and Valli Jo Flynn of Westfield, Josh Ley, Tim Blais and Paul Boroski, all of Easthampton, Michael Paciorek and James Motyka of Hatfield, Matt Leonard of Amherst and junior shooters Hannah Wauczinski of Easthampton, Kaylin Arble of Holyoke and Randall and Gino Viamari of sSouth Hadley. Jr. of South Hadley.

HRC Hats and Patches – Hats and jacket patches embroidered with the club’s logo are now available for sale from Membership Secretary Bill Burgess.

Joining the NRA 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 every other Tuesday evening at the club 6:30pm setup and the fun starts at 7:00pm.  Competitors shoot .22 pistols at falling 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 the Calendar.

Practical Matches – The club holds practical matches on the fourth Saturday of the month.  New shooters should arrive at 9 a.m. for safety instruction.  Participants should bring a centerfire pistol or revolver and 100-150 rounds of ammunition, extra magazines and speedloaders, an outside the waistband holster (OWB), 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.

Basic Pistol Safety 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 is now listed on the NRA website and will appear on a zip code search for NRA instruction. The club has more than a dozen NRA-Certified Pistol Instructors and more than 2 dozen NRA-Certified Range Safety Officers. Volunteers are needed to monitor the firing line from around 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

50/50 Drawing – John Bieg won $38.50 in the 50/50 drawing at the February meeting.  Ralph Rechenberger, a 54-year member, won the first of the club’s big membership raffles.  Carla Lieb’s and Bob Robinson’s names were also drawn, but they were not at the meeting

100-Yard Outdoors:  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. Remember – the YELLOW GATE must be closed while shooting on the 100yd range.

New Practical Range – The club is planning to build a new range for outdoor practical matches.  Several sites on the club property are under consideration, and discussions are under way with the city regarding permits and environmental regulations.


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