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The Gopher Flats Sportsmen’s Club

The Gopher Flats Sportsmen’s Club (GFSC) is a great place for Shotgun, Practical Shooting, and High-Power Rifle matches in a safe and enjoyable environment. The fourth Saturday of each month is a day of organized matches, informal target shoots, and a club barbeque.

Practical Shooting: Twice each month, GFSC and the Southwest Pistol League (SWPL) present practical shooting matches: On the fourth Saturday, an SCSA-sanctioned Steel Challenge match; On the fourth Sunday, a USPSA-sanctioned Handgun & Pistol Caliber Carbine Match. The matches are open to members of all the clubs at our range, and to the public. For centerfire fans (semi-auto, revolver, and pistol-caliber carbine) and rimfire enthusiasts (handgun and rifle) with a taste for running and gunning, this is the chance to experience the thrill of practical shooting on your home range.

High-Power Rifle: On the fourth Saturday of each month, GFSC hosts a morning rifle match in the NRA National Match format…without the long journey to Camp Perry! Bring out the old battle rifles, iron sights, and leather slings. This is precision shooting the NRA way. Immediately following each match, the rifle range opens for solo practice, scope sighting for upcoming hunts, and the simple joy of long-range shooting.

Shotgun: Each Thursday morning, retirees, the idle rich, and anyone lucky enough to have a day off from work, enjoy an informal Trap match. Later in the day, daytime worker-bees and those who enjoy sleeping-in, partake of evening Trap and Skeet matches. And, on the fourth Saturday of each month, there’s all the Trap you can stand. Bring lots of shells and an appetite for lunch!

Monthly Meeting – Thursday April 26, 2018…At The Greenhouse!

Beginning in April 2018, (this month), the club meetings have moved to the Upper Ranges! At 7:00pm, on the fourth THURSDAY of each month.

Join your fellow club members to chat about the club, to socialize, and to show off your latest gun purchases! Depending on the weather, the meetings will be held either in the picnic area outside the Greenhouse, or the meeting room inside.

SCSA Steel Challenge Match – Saturday April 28, 2018

On the fourth Saturday of each month, GFSC and the Southwest Pistol League (SWPL) present the monthly Steel Challenge match, held at the Lower Ranges. This is the same day as the monthly club range day. Wander down to the Lower Ranges for a look-see! The Steel Challenge matches are an all-steel variant of the USPSA Handgun Matches, shot with either: a centerfire handgun; a rimfire handgun; or, a rimfire rifle. It’s fast, furious, and tons of fun. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have a range filled only with steel targets…that’s the Steel Challenge. To learn more about the matches, visit the Steel Challenge page or contact the Steel Challenge Match Director.

USPSA Handgun & Pistol Caliber Carbine Match – April 29, 2018

On the fourth Sunday of each month, the match is presented by GFSC and the Southwest Pistol League (SWPL) and offers a plethora of moving steel and a tempting array of cardboard targets. Scoring has transitioned from paper to the Practiscore App , which runs on Apple iOS and Android devices. In addition to a smartphone or tablet, you’ll about 200 rounds to complete the match, and, as always, your most comfortable run-and-gun shoes. Visit the Practical Shooting page for details on the monthly matches.

If you’re consumed by a burning desire to become the world’s quickest and most agile handgun (or pistol caliber carbine) shooter, visit USPSA Match Director Dave Marcinkus and other GFSC members in the sign-in area at the Lower Ranges between 8:00am and 1:00pm. There’s never a charge to tour the stages and ogle the action. Remember to bring eye- and hearing-protection. If the action starts your blood pumping and you decide to shoot the match, Gopher Flats members receive a $5.00 discount on the $30.00 match fee.

Extra hands, feet, and brains (for concocting deviously clever stage designs) are always welcome at the monthly matches. If you can design stages, build stages, or break-down stages, please join the SWPL match crew. Club members get work credit for helping with the matches, discounted match fees, and lots of free advice on gear and match strategy. If you can help, please chat with Dave the week before the match.

Monthly Range Day: Saturday April 28, 2018

The Upper- and Lower-Ranges survived the Creek Fire and subsequent storms. Despite damage to the Trap, Skeet, and Rifle ranges, the Upper-Ranges are again accessible. Please avoid the Cowboy Town and the adjacent restrooms while they are rebuilt.

Plan on a cold morning followed by a cool afternoon, but come prepared for any eventuality by dressing in layers and bringing your favorite warm weather beverage. Haul out your gear, pack the range bag, then encourage your family and friends to join you for a day of Trap or Skeet, Shotgun Steel, Rimfire Steel, Centerfire handgun, and Rifle fun.

The Steel Challenge match starts at 8:00am on the Lower Ranges. Wander down to check it out, or to shoot it. You can finish all six stages of steel in less than two hours.

The monthly Trap and Skeet shoots will be in full-swing at 9:00am. (Depending on the availability of rangemasters.) These are completely informal club matches, with no barrel length or action-type limitations. You don’t even need to wear a fancy trap-shooting outfit. Bring any sort of scattergun you own and give those pesky clay birds something to worry about.

The High Power rifle shooters host a 200-yard match from 8:00am-12Noon. So, bring a centerfire rifle and join the fun. Iron sights (and nerves of steel) are all you’ll need for this kind of shooting. Or, meander over after the match for casual plinking.

At noon, the monthly BBQ lunch takes place at the clubhouse. Join your fellow club members for a sociable and tasty time under the shade of the old oak trees.

Nick Panebianco – Gun Guy

A Note From The Website Editor — About eight years ago, as a new member, one of the first people I met was Nick Panebianco. He was lucky enough to have retired with a comfortable pension and to have the time to visit the range any day he wanted. Meeting Nick at the range became part of my weekly routine. Until then, I’d been only a casual shooter, rarely venturing beyond the range benches. From Nick, I learned about something called Practical Shooting. This involved drawing a handgun from a holster (which is very cool), then charging downrange after cardboard and steel targets (which is, well…wheeeee!). I’d never worn or drawn a gun from a holster, or shot targets while moving, or done any of this with a timer running. It was a revelation. Nick enjoyed recounting his adventures of years past with the colorful characters that populated the shooting community. At his urging, I began helping with the club’s handgun matches, eventually even competing. It was a life-changing experience. I’d been around guns for decades, but hadn’t handled them as much, or become as comfortable with them as I am now. I read, listen, and watch anything I can find about guns, gun gear, gun gadgets, gun clothing, gun shops, gun travel, gun everything. I spend entirely too much time and money on it, and have transformed from gun owner to full-blown gun nut. I blame Nick for this.

Nick was also a shotgun and precision rifle fiend. But, he wasn’t only a gun guy. His cheerful tales ranged from his early years in Brooklyn, in New York City in the 1950’s, to growing-up in Hawthorne, California during the 1960’s. He fondly remembered his time at Hawthorne High School, as a “hodad“, so different from the “hip” surfer boys or wildly popular surf music idols like his classmates Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. His adventures spanned his colorful (and sometimes nearly fatal) career as a union pipefitter, his foray into competitive martial arts, his succession of flashy cars, and his gleeful descent into the wilds of Wall Street investing.

I’ll miss hearing about Nick’s home gunsmithing disasters, misadventures with his old shooting cronies, or his latest stock market triumphs. When Nick died suddenly, a few weeks ago, he left a big hole in my life. Still, I’m so much better off, even knowing him for such a brief time.

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