Our History

The original club was formed on the 8th August 1933 and was known as the SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REVOLVER & PISTOL CLUB.

  Sheldon Booth (aka "General"), Percy John Baillie and Robert R Foreman founded the Club.

These three gentlemen were generally connected with and were noted for their use of all types of firearms.

Sheldon Booth was selected to attend a school for armourers at Tidworth, England, under the direction of the Imperial Army Ordnance Corps in 1916; He being a member of the First AIF.

Percy Baillie, a Police Constable, was stationed at Unley at that time and we are all indebted to him for his efforts in the early stages and he was still interested in the club until his passing.

Bob Foreman, a member of the staff of the Corporation of City of Unley, had for years coached interested young shooters of the Unley district in Small Bore Rifle shooting and successfully coached the winning team in the British Imperial Challenge Shield in 1919 of which H.Q. Rogers was the youngest in the team.

The first Captain of the Club was Percy Baillie; the Vice Captain was Sheldon Booth who was also allotted the position of Coach and Bob Foreman was the Organising Secretary. Bob Foreman also instructed Bank officials in the use of handguns at the then Police Rifle range at Mitcham. In fact records showed that the Club was responsible for the training of staff from the National Bank, Commonwealth Bank ,The General Post Office and John Martin & Co (a local department store). Newspaper cuttings showed that the club was training up to 250 people a week.

Following the organization of the Club Hugh Q Rogers became Honorary Secretary and Ken W Foreman (a son of Bob Foreman) was appointed Honorary Treasurer. Ken was a keen shooter, enjoying from an early age the Small Bore Rifle range adjacent to the Unley Town Hall.

The first Honorary Auditor was Mr. Taylor of the Unley branch of the National Bank, who was an enthusiast and helpful in many ways.

The first Patron of the Club was Brigadier General Leane the then Commissioner of Police with Police Superintendent J.J. (Puppa) McGrath as Vice Patron. Annual subscriptions were fixed at five shillings and range fees at threepence. In July 1934 the Club decided to buy a pistol and authority was granted for the purchase of a Walther pistol from Mr Ekin (Adelaide gunsmith of the day) for six pounds and fifteen shillings together with 1000 rounds of ammunition for one pound and nine shillings. The ammunition was to be retailed to members at fourpence for ten rounds. The 1937 balance sheet showed that ammunition sales had risen to the stage of 4050 rounds being sold to members at a profit of eleven pounds and ten shillings.

The Clubs first shoot took place at Burfords administration block in Sturt Street, Adelaide, thanks to the courtesy of Mr. Duncan Fraser, the Club’s first President. Objections were raised by some nearby residents on the account of noise, subsequently; in 1934 the Club’s activities were transferred to the Exhibition Building, Frome Road, Adelaide.

In 1935 a Christmas shoot was arranged with prizes for first and second off gun and handicap being ducks. These ducks showed up in the accounts as costing 6/- each. The tradition of giving ducks as prizes at Christmas shoots continued till the 1980’s.

Around this time the “Commissioner of Police Trophy Cup” was set up as a match of ten shots at five targets, five shots with the right hand from twenty yards and five shots with the left hand from ten yards with a time limit of one minute (so can the Club lay claim to inventing so called combat style shooting?)

In 1935 the range was transferred to the Metropolitan Ring Target range at Magill In August 1939 the Club colours were set at Blue, Red and Gold. It was decided that members joining the A.I.F. were to retain their membership for the duration of the war. The Club remained active at Magill until July 1941, when due to the increasing difficulties in obtaining ammunition a motion to have the Club go into recess was passed, and a later Special General Meeting confirmed this action.

At the Magill range, Sheldon Booth was Captain, Percy Baillie having been transferred to the country. Bert Zietz became Vice Captain and John Orchard assumed the role of Honorary Treasurer.

Regrettably vital records were lost during the War years, but thanks to George Moore, Leo Papps and others for reforming the Club after World War 2. The regular shooters at Magill were:

Perce Baillie, John Keen, Fred Bott, Colin Loan, Frank Burchell, George Moore, "General" Sheldon Booth, Morris Murphy, Ron Clark, ? Nation, Sid Churches, John Orchard, Walter Dorling, George Paynter, Joe Grundy, Leo Papps, Wally Grundy, Ern Reynolds, Fred Hall, Hugh Rogers, Ivor Hannan, Max Sparnon, Len Hunkin (writer of constitution), Lennie Woods, Pat Hyland, Fred Witte, Sell Jones & Herb Zeitz.

Shooting was fortnightly and membership was approximately 40.

In 1947 shooting resumed at Barry’s Brickyard at Hindmarsh where the first State Championships were held in 1951.

The club gave it’s name to a newly formed State Association in 1951 and transferred the U.I.T. affiliation from the Club to the National Association that was formed so that pistol shooting could be included in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

At this time the Club was renamed the Adelaide Pistol Club.

The Club moved to the quarry at Glen Osmond in 1956. In May 1969 the Club purchased approximately 50 acres of land at Lower Hermitage, 16 miles from the Adelaide G.P.O. The Club had spent many years looking for land on which to establish a permanent range. Two early sites that were investigated were on the West Beach Trust land and land owned by the E & WS Department at Hope Valley. Both of these sites were deemed unsuitable, as they would have been leased land, which restricted the avenues of finance available.

The Lower Hermitage property seemed ideal and was purchased and the design work progressed to the stage where architectural working drawings were about to be prepared. As septic tanks would have been used and the site was on a tributary of the Little Para River together with changed Government restrictions in the area made it necessary for the project to be abandoned. The land was sold at a profit and the money returned to the Club’s building fund, which had been started in the mid 1950’s.

Sites available to the club were extremely scarce, as provision does not seem to have been made in the Planning Regulations for sports such as ours.

The Club purchased a sixty-four acre property at Virginia in 1976 and was zoned Rural B, which was the most applicable zoning for our requirements. Architectural design commenced immediately and drew upon the overseas shooting experience of many Club members.

Prior to putting the Virginia project into development, the Club attempted to work with other Clubs to form a joint status sports facility at Monarto, but this was found to be impractical due to the imbalance of funds and aspirations of the various Clubs and Associations involved.

The Club, in the development at Virginia, decided to produce a top class facility of International standard comparable to those in most major countries in the World but which was still not available in Australia. When the decision was taken to move to Virginia, the new location was off centre to the membership base and the club lost around one hundred members to other Clubs in the southern suburbs.

The Official opening of the International Sports Shooting Park, Park Road, Virginia was at 2.00 pm on Saturday 12th June 1982 by the Hon. Ian Wilson M.P. on behalf of the Federal Minister of Sport. The total cost of the project was in excess of $800,000 and provided a fully equipped clubhouse with a licensed bar and dining room, sealed access road and car park, a 50 metre range with 64 positions and 16 turning target banks in groups of two with separate scoring and storage rooms adjacent to the shooting area.

The Club’s financial position was extremely difficult for the next three years as membership growth was slow to recover lost ground, but costs continued to escalate.

At the General Meeting of members on 15th March 1985 the decision was taken to sell the property to the South Australian Government for the outstanding balance of the Bank loan and the unsecured creditors being paid out in a scheme of Arrangement over the next five years. The property was then administered by the S.A. International Sports Shooting Park Inc., a body set up by the S.A. Government to further develop the facility. The Adelaide Pistol Club provided two delegates, South Australian Revolver & Pistol Association, Combined Shooters & Firearms Council of S.A. and the International Practical Shooting Confederation (S.A.) each provided one delegate with the Department of Recreation and Sport providing one of there officers as Chairman.

In May of 1988 the Department of Recreation & Sport took direct control of the management of the Park and appointed a Manager and Caretaker. The Club was paid all outstanding monies owed to it by the S.A. Government. The Government decided to no longer deal with Clubs but only with State Associations.

It was time for the Club to move on. In 1989 The Board of Management of the Adelaide Pistol & Shooting Club Inc recommended to the membership that land be purchased at Adelaide Road Korunye in the District Council of Mallala, this was approved and the land was purchased. The Board commissioned a planning consultant to submit a Planning Application to the Mallala Council for consideration at a meeting to be held on the 18th December 1989.

In June 1991 approval was won after a successful Supreme Court Appeal and construction began soon afterward.

The new range is now fully completed and caters all handgun disciplines and also rimfire rifle and shotgun.

Becoming a Member?

We would love for you to join us!

If you share our passion for sport and recreational shooting, we are waiting for you.
You can download our Membership Application Form from here

Don't have a H Class firearm license? You will need to fill out the PD303 form and submit it at your local Police Station. More details are available from SAPOL website.

 

By-Laws

1.    The member’s attendance book is to be signed immediately on arrival at the club and prior to shooting.
If not shooting a programmed match, members should enquire at the office to find out which range you may use.  

2.    ID Cards must be worn at all times.

3.    Club members may bring up to two visitors. All visitors must sign the visitor’s book and declaration form immediately on entering the club, and obtain visitor ID from the office.
There will be no non-members who are not licenced shooters allowed on the ranges unless permission is granted by the Club Captain, Section Captain or Board Member. If permission is granted then the visitor must be supervised at all times.

4.    Licenced shooters from other Pistol Clubs must seek permission to shoot, a range fee of $5.00 will be charged, the visitor’s book must be signed and only three visits are allowed unless otherwise granted by the Board.

5.    No holsters allowed for casual shooters. Only holster-accredited shooters may use holsters. See the Secretary or Club Captain regarding Club accreditation

6.    A maximum of six rounds may be fired in one string on all covered ranges

7.    No full metal jacketed projectiles to be used on any covered range.  
A maximum power factor of 140 on all covered ranges.
Lead Projectile or Exposed Lead tip (Semi Jacket) ammunition may be used. If in doubt ask a member of the Board.

8.    All firearms, when not in use, must be locked securely in vehicles and not visible. If that is not possible the firearm must be under the secure possession of the owner. Guns are allowed in the clubhouse, but they must be unloaded and kept in a case or bag within sight of the owner/guardian.

9.    No thongs, tank tops, loose tops or open-toed shoes to be worn on the ranges or in the clubrooms.

10. Mobile phones are to be switched off on the ranges.

11. No consumption of alcohol prior to shooting

12. Wearing camouflage clothing on the ranges or in the clubrooms is not permitted except for serving military personnel wearing uniforms.