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Firing away, in Bloomfield (Article)

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Oct 22, 2009.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Firing away, in Bloomfield

    Trap shooting range a hub for sportsmen to hone skills against clay 'pigeons'

    Thursday, October 22, 2009 - Staten Island Advance


    STATEN ISLAND, NY -- ALL SHORES -- When you drive down the desolate strip of Bloomfield Avenue, behind the corporate parks and far from residential neighborhoods, the only thing that breaks the silence is the thump of tires running over cracked roadway and gravel.

    Unless, of course, it happens to be Wednesday.

    That's when the area surrounding 170 Bloomfield Ave., home of the Staten Island Sportsmen's Club, echoes with the snap of projectile "pigeons," the crack of shotgun blasts, and the mid-air explosion of clay disks.

    It's at the Club where you'll find people like Ed Lecarreaux of Annadale, an expert marksman who's been shooting for more than 50 years; Joe Meschino of Concord, a hunter who is a certified instructor, and Dan Grossane, of Huguenot, a retired NYPD lieutenant who joined the program about six years ago.

    You'll also find Frank Fiammetta, 17, of Eltingville, Andrew Kimmins, 17, of West Brighton, and Robert Riccio, 16, of Oakwood.

    Armed with single-gauge shotguns, and wearing protective goggles, vests with pockets full of ammunition, and sound-proof ear muffs, the teens are part of the Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 2701. They practice the sport of trap shooting every Wednesday.

    Under the watchful eyes of NRA-certified instructors like Meschino and Grossane, participants -- boys and girls -- start as young as 14 and can continue through the year of their 21st birthday.

    They must first go through several weeks of safety instruction which includes learning terminology; shooting etiquette; shotgun assembly; loading shells, and the proper way to hold their weapon.

    "The kids are very curious in the beginning. They want to do it," said Meschino, an instructor at the Club for the past five years.

    "But they have to give me 95 out of 100 on inside, during the safety course, before they give it to me on the field. Safety is always first," Meschino added.

    About 25 kids participate in the program, which runs year-round. Practices are weekly and range from two to four hours, depending on how much ammunition is used. Competitions are held on Saturdays.

    "The kids can't wait to be on the field," said Lecarreaux, the program's director, recruited by its founder, Bob Soldivera, more than 25 years ago.

    Frank Fiammetta is definitely one of those "kids" who was ready to hit the firing line.

    "It's not something that is done easily, so just the satisfaction of doing good after working hard at it, is why I like it," said Fiammetta. With more than three 25 out of 25 badges sewn onto his vest, Fiammetta is considered a Class A shooter; he recently won a weekend championship.

    According to his dad, Anthony, the first time Frank went shooting, he hit 17 out of 17. "Instinct," is what prompted his firepower.

    That wasn't exactly the case for Robert, who remembered closing his eyes the second he was pulling the trigger. "Everybody is apprehensive at first," he said.

    For Andrew, who's been trap shooting for two years, keeping up with the sport could mean college funds through scholarships.

    For more information on joining the trap shooting program, call the SI Sportsman's Club at 718-761-6274.
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