SRCC Range Expansion Update

by Herb Betschart

Significant range updates /expansion has been approved by our members at the last AGM. Alot of work and effort has been going into this project behind the scenes like planning and obtaining contractor quotes, getting components built, applying for permits etc. etc. Thanks to the relentless efforts of Todd Dillabough, our membership co-ordinator, we have now received final building & development permit approval from KID (Kananaskis Improvement District).

 

So where are we at with all this?

Pistol targets have been built, sandblasted and painted and rubber matting installed. These are improved targets that provide the ultimate in safety for our members.

Outdoor Shooting Area. Five outdoor benchrest tables have been installed which include adjustable integrated seats, a concrete pad has already been poured and in the next few weeks a roof will be erected.

Additional Swiss shooting targets have not been ordered yet.  There is a shortage of volunteers taking on the task associated with the targets like building the enclosure, making the metal structure work etc.  Plus although we are approaching 100 members, very few people actually show up for Swiss style shooting.  

Shooters Hangout.  The concrete slab was recently poured and the building will be erected in the next few weeks. This will provide our members with a comfortable, and quieter area to wait while you are at the range.

Gongs. Two new gongs have been installed with improved enclosures to prevent ricochets.

Sea-Can will be delivered in the next 2 weeks. This is one of those metal sea containers and will provide us with a secure area to store range supplies, lawn mower and other tools.

300m targets are now available (positions #7 to 10) for use with any rifle up to .338 Lapua. During a ceasefire, you can drive down to the 300m butts area and staple on your own targets on the frames provided.

New 300m road. A new road has been made directly up the centre of the range. This will allow us to use the range earlier in the year.

100m & 200m backstop berms have been re-graded and top soil is being applied. We will then seed the entire area. This will improve the sight picture when shooting at these distances, prevent erosion of the berms when it rains, reduce mirage on hot days and make it easier for us to maintain.

Bear proof garbage bins have been ordered through the APRA and will installed later this summer.

First aid kits will be supplied by the APRA to replace our existing kits. 

Landscaping will be done as soon as the concrete work has been completed.

Port-O-Potty will be relocated to the front onto a new concrete pad for easier servicing.

Lighting and radiant heating is planned at the end of all this and pending on our finances will probably be done in 2018

This is all weather pending and because this job is a long ways from Calgary it could be delayed be a few weeks.  The goal is to have the structures up and running before the snow falls.

The following members are volunteering a huge amount of time to make this all happen and deserve a big thank you.  We will require more help and I urge you to put your name forward and let me know how you can help and what equipment you have available.  The email that went out to all members asking for volunteer help yielded pittyfull results.  Four (4) Individuals responded offering their help.  We can do better than that.  We are all a team of volunteers.  Please call Herb at 403-540-5400 or email swissrccalgary@gmail.com and offer your help.

 

Herb Betschart: Overall planning and project management     

Todd Dillabough: Preparing and making presentations to the APRA for funding, preparing all necessary permit applications for KID and stickhandling the application through the AB Government departments.

Tom Berry: Obtaining sub-trade quotations

Dieter Megert: Video Surveillance systems, cell phone booster, LED lighting.

Daniel Gretener: Transporting the pistol targets and shooting tables from and to the various places.

Thank you to those that are not mentioned above.

Membership Update

Our club has grown by over 40% this year. As of this newsletter we are currently at 91 memberships, a combination of single and family memberships. At a recent meeting of the board it was decided to cap the membership total to 100, so we still have 9 spots available. Although we have not experienced any significant congestion at the range, we have decided to cap the membership to limit the added administration involved in handling the extra members.

We are currently adding any new requests to a waiting list for 2018. If you have any friends that are interested in joining next year, make sure they get their name on the list early. In early December, existing members will be given priority and allowed to renew their membership prior to opening it up to the public. At that point we will offer memberships to those on the waiting list in the order we received them, and then if there are still openings, we will accept additional members until the cap is reached.

We will notify existing members by email when they can renew for 2018 .. so don't worry.

APRA Range Insurance at a Glance

Included in your membership to the Swiss Club is insurance purchased through the Alberta Provincial Rifle Association (APRA). As well, when you purchase a guest pass, those guests are protected under this policy. In order to ensure that the policy is in force, you and your guests are required to sign the shooter register every time you are at the range. Failure to do this may leave you exposed to uneccesary lawsuits and medical costs.

The key features of our policy include:

- a $500 deductable

- liability insurance up to $5,000,000 per person

- bodily injury coverage of up to $5,000,000

- $1,000 reimbursement of initial medical expenses

- worldwide coverage if you are shooting in other countries (like a competition)

You can download a more comprehensive list of insurance features here

Memberships & Guests Passes are Now Available Online!

Where to Find the Online Memberships

Recently we completed an update to the website update that included applying and paying for memberships entirely online, including renewing your membership, and purchasing guest passes as well using either a credit card or PayPal. To access new memberships and renewals, simply go to the "join" tab and fill out the form.

 When a club member wants to bring a guest to the range that will be shooting, a guest pass must be purchased. When regular shooting days are being run on weekends, you can purchase these at the range. However, if you decide to go to the range when there is no RSO present, then you need to purchase a pass online. 

To purchase guest passes, go to the "resources" tab and look in the "links" section. Once you complete your payment, your pass will be emailed to you. Make sure you either print it off and bring it with you, or bring your mobile phone with the emailed receipt.

Guest Passes

Purchasing a guest pass is extremely important. The funds we receive from the guest pass are remitted to our insurance company. This insurance covers you, your guest and any other person involved in an accident at the range from liability and damage. The SRCC requires that all visitors to the range have a quest pass. You can purchase a guest pass on the same day you decide to go to the range if you want, so no worries about buying a pass and getting rained out.

 

Prone Position Techniques & Tips - You gotta see this

It's getting closer to the end of the shooting season, and most of us wait until the end of the summer to complete the Swiss shoots. So in this issue of the newsletter, we had just a few things to make life easier for new and old members: the Swiss Competition Guidelines, the Calgary Championship Shoot, and a few shooting tips to round things out.

Swiss Rifle Competition Guidelines

Before we begin, I just thought I would clarify the rules when competing in a Swiss medal shoot:

  • All club safety rules apply;
  • You must use either the K31 with the original open sight or an approved diopter sight (the original Wysse diopter or by Swiss Products in the USA) or the PE90 semi automatic rifle, with the original diopter sight;
  • Range is 300 meters;
  • You must use factory ammunition (GP11 or GP90); no reloaded ammo;
  • You are permitted to wear any shooting clothes you want (jackets, hats, gloves, your favourite PJs etc)
  • You cannot use a rear bag;
  • In the Obligatorisch and Feldschiessen shoots, everyone can use a front bag to support the rifle directly, or your front arm, as in this photo:
  • In all other Swiss shoots, if you are you are younger than 60 years of age, you cannot use a front bag to support either the rifle or front arm
  • If you are 60 years or older, you are permitted to use a front bag to support the rifle or front arm.

Swiss Club Calgary Championship Guidelines

In case you were not aware, our club has it's own competition. It consists of the Obligatorisch, Feldschiessen, Einzel and Calgary shoots. In order to qualify, you must compete in each event. There are awards for each individual shoot, and the combined aggregate of all shoots. All you have to do is show up on any scheduled shooting day to do any or all of these shoots. Don't wait, there is still time to get this done!

Prone Shooting Techniques

So here are a few tips for people looking for some different things to try out while shooting in the prone position. Really there is no 'correct' way to shoot; do what works for you and that gives you the best results. However, when starting out it's good to have some sort of framework you can begin with, then make changes from there. In my case I may have started out developing some habits that worked against me and didn't realize it. Recently when doing the Obligatorisch, Theo tapped me on the shoulder and told me to stop turning my head right away to check out my score on the monitor; it was throwing my shots off. Tried it and my scores went up right away. When making changes to anything, do one thing at a time and test it out. If there was any 'rule' in precision shooting it's to make everything exactly repeatable from shot to shot.

Basically there are two ways to shoot prone; unsupported (that is with no front rest supporting the rifle) and supported (with a rest).

Prone Unsupported Position

The prone unsupported position is the one you would be using when shooting the K31; no front rest and no bipod. While the production quality of this video may not be good enough for Hollywood, the content is first rate, and it's fun to watch! Here is Ken Roxburgh, retired NCO who was in charge of the precision shooting teams in the US Marine Corps. I use some of the methods myself.

Prone Supported Position

In the prone supported position, you would be shooting a rifle with a front rest or bipod. Things are different when using a rest. Remember that in a Swiss competition shoot there are no rear rests, and in some of the video footage you might see that happening, but these are meant for general shooting, so learn what you can and apply it. This is an excellent video to demonstrate consistency on a bipod, and how to achieve it. Aaron Davidson (Gunwerks) demonstrating shooting from a bipod:

Range Upgrades

100 & 200 meter target positions

If any of you have been to the range in the last few weeks you may have noticed that there have been a number of improvements to the range. We are in the process of adding 100 and 200 meter target points. You will also see the berm near the shooting house has been levelled, and the plan is to add a concrete pad with four benchrest positions, and then eventually a roof. Once these positions are active, you would be able to shoot your other rifles as well as your Swiss rifles.

This is important. We are awaiting approval from the Chief Firearms Officer to certify the range upgrades, and hope to have this in the next month. In the meantime there can be no shooting at the 100 and 200 meter points. Once we have the approval, we will notify everyone that these are active.

Indoor Swiss Electronic Positions

In addition to the outside work, the Club executive is acquiring additional equipment and targets for the indoor shooting positions. In most cases this would eliminate any wait time that we currently have when shooting Swiss matches.  We hope to have this done this year, so stay tune.

Book Review: The Wind Book for Shooters

Once you start to shooting further out, you are going to be dealing with the wind. Assuming you have mastered all the fundamentals of shooting, this is the one thing that is the most difficult to deal with. "The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters" by Miller and Cunningham (available at Amazon.ca) is a great book packed with all sorts of practical information on how to read mirage, wind flags and natural features and the effects of wind angle on your shot. Some of the best information is contained in the tables at the back on caliber specific wind deflection charts. While this book is most useful for F Class shooters, anyone interested in improving their wind reading skills will benefit by reading this book. I highly recommend this book.

Father's Day Ideas: Tactical Soap Anyone?

So Father's Day is coming up, I thought I would put together a wish list of things for all the Dad's out there:

  • Tactical Soap by Duke Cannon. This is a variety pack of their best tactical soaps: 'Smells Like Victory, Smells Like Accomplishment .. it's all there. And everyone needs the Semper Fi Gift Set. Available at Duke Cannon
  • Swiss Product Diopters for K31 & WYSS W1 in stock at the Calgary Shooting Centre. The Calgary Shooting Centre has front and rear diopter sights for the K31, for the Classic Green they have the rear diopters screw in inserts and complete diopter set for Swiss Arms Classic Green and Black Specials with picatinny rail top receivers.
  • Sip Dark Whiskey Bullets. I actually got these for a Christmas present last year; they work great in Scotch - every Dad should have a set.

Vancouver Swiss Rifle Range

My first visit to the Swiss Canadian Mountain Range Assoc. (the Vancouver Swiss Rifle Club) last Sunday May 22, 2016, was one of uhh and ahh.  Their incredible, beautiful and functional facility is every rifle club's dream and is sporting some of the following features:

  •  A Swiss style chalet clubhouse with a restaurant that is manned by volunteers cooking tasty lunch and dinner meals for a very reasonable price;
  • Fully equipped ranges for 300m rifle;
  • 25 & 50m pistol and small caliber range;
  • Crossbow facility;
  • Shotgun range;
  • Camping facility;
  • Utilities like power, gas, water, and sewer;
  • Paved road ways;
  • They can shoot all year round; and
  • Their membership is around 125 members at $125.00 per year!

All shooting ranges are equipped with the latest electronic target systems from SIUS.

One of the things that I was really impressed with is that the entire facility was built with volunteers. Plus they havework parties where all members participate with cleaning up and maintaining the facility. If you just come out to shoot and do not participate in the work parties, your membership might not be renewed the following year. Maybe we should encourage our own members to be more active in volunteer activities in the future.

If you have never been to the SMRA in Vancouver, take the time and participate in one of their shoots. You are treated like royalty by a great bunch of fellow shooters. One notable difference to our club is also that many members' spouses are present filling volunteer positions like, selling ammo, record keeping, restaurant duties etc.

Thank you to the executive of the SCMRA and particularly the President Rene Zollinger who took the time to show me around and lent the SRCC some A target patches.

Herb Betschart

Drive up to the Swiss Club

300 meter rifle range

300 meter rifle range

2016-05-22 15.33.23.jpg
25m and 50m pistol & small caliber range

25m and 50m pistol & small caliber range

Crossbow Range

Crossbow Range

The 'Road to Precision Series'

Over the years I have tried to be a better shooter, and trust me I am still working on it. Last year I started reloading my own ammunition for a 6mm Dasher and found I needed a bit more than what I was getting from random video posts or reading some books on the subject. About six months ago I found this excellent video series done by someone locally on the whole process of becoming a better shooter; 24 short videos in all. Join Ryan Pahl on his Road to Precision ..

Mike

(ps: click the menu symbol in the upper left to see more)