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Old Winchester Franchise GC Program

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Target13, Sep 23, 2009.

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  1. Target13

    Target13 Active Member

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    For some of you it will be before your time, but how many of you remember the old Winchester Franchise Gun Club Program from the early 1970's ?? This was the program where Winchester would partner with Parks and Recreation Departments and Private Investors to build Gun Clubs - today, although this Program has been defunct for decades, gun clubs like Prince Georges in Maryland and others were started under this and developed many new shooters that are still shooting today. The concept was about three decades too soon, but under this program Winchester would provide the expertise and product plus tools for these facilities to conduct "Learn To Shoot" and League Programs. Utilizing their in-house PRO SHOP at the range, a shooter could get everything he/she needed for shooting at that one location.

    My reason in bringing all this up is that I'm trying to do some research on this Program and am looking for any printed documents or info that any of you out there may have in your collections that I could "borrow" or take off your hands. Back in those days, Winchester had a vast number of printed materials for shooters and shooting development that were available. Additionally, they had specific audio/visual programs and tools for "Learn To Shoot" and League Programs. If there are any of you out there that have these materials or know where I might find them, I'd sincerely appreciate your getting back to me ASAP.

    All in all, the Franchise Gun Club Program was a great one, but it was just a little before it's time. The concepts utilized then are very applicable in these times and my purpose in seeking all this info, is so we might be able to pick out "pieces" here and there to potentially structure these items to help current gun clubs in Promotion; Marketing; Shooter Development and Community Relations.

    I thank you for taking the time to read this and hope that you can help me compile this information and items.

    Phil Murray White Flyer Targets
     
  2. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    Phil, contact Mark biggins at Prince George's Trap and Skeet Club in Maryland. He is possibly a friend of ours but none_the_less you tell him Martin and Devi said he had to talk with you. Hopefully he can give you some insight. The phone number there is 301-577-7178.
     
  3. Ljutic111

    Ljutic111 TS Member

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    The Fox Ridge Club was a Franchised club also . Located in Sussex County NJ . Sold a few years ago by the original owner to a private club . Sorry but thats all I can help you with since I don`t go up that way anymore . Maybe they have something of interest laying around or they could contact Ed ?, the last owner .
     
  4. cle

    cle Member

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    Winchester North Shore Gun Club, Franksville, WI - southside of Milwaukee along I-94 north of Racine was a Winchester franchise operation. Bought a 10X winter coat from them about 1974. Still throwing trap & skeet.

    CLE RECTOR
     
  5. Joe G. NJ

    Joe G. NJ TS Member

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    There used to be an old Winchester Gun Club in Englishtown NJ which closed up a few years ago. It had trap, skeet and rifle and pistol range.
     
  6. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    Phil - didn't you used to run the Win Club in PG?...you and Jasona or something like that?

    I will ask Bill Murphy....he's probably at the Vintagers but he is a collector of all things shotgun related and perhaps he has some of this stuff.
     
  7. Target13

    Target13 Active Member

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    Baron 23 - Yep, ran the Prince Georges Range when Beretta USA had it - it too was an old Winchester Franchise Club. I kept some info from there, but can't find it in my files. Appreciate your seeing if Bill has anything in his collection - give Bill my regards ... our paths have not crossed in a long time - good guy.

    Appreciate the messages many of you have sent in regards to where I might find this info. I know the stuff is out there and if you folks are like me it is in some box or file folder someplace !!!

    After some of the responses I've received, the mission has become two-fold - not only do I want to gather that info plus the aids they used, but secondly, I'd like to see these materials preserved in one of the Halls of Fame. The development of the Winchester Franchise Gun Clubs was a unique undertaking in the late 1960's for the Shooting Sports and their legacy lives on as viable, top notch shooting facilities still going strong today.

    Thanks for your continued help on this ...


    Phil Murray
     
  8. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    I started trap shooting at the old winchester gun club in fort wayne Indiana years ago. It was a sad day when it closed. If my memory is correct it opened in the late 60's and after two visits I bought a new Browning Broadway trap that I still have today. I think I paid $450
     
  9. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    Phil

    I was there when the PG County range started up as a Winchester franchise. In fact, a couple of friends of mine from the Ft Meade Trap Range were involved in the start up. I was stationed at FT Meade at the time, ran the skeet range at Ft Meade after duty hours ,and I helped out at the Winchester range start up by volunteer instructing in the evenings for the "Learn to Shoot" program being run at that time-would have been around 73 or 74 I think. Don't remember all the details of the range start up, but did enjoy helping new shooters get a start on shotgunning.

    Jim R
     
  10. mike-israel

    mike-israel TS Member

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    I'VE GOT A MEMORY FOR YOU ALL-RELATED TO THIS THREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Winchester around this time frame---I shot the program in 1968. Had a compition as follows. Any club could qualify to shoot .....needed people in five classes. Shooters qualified/classed by shooting 100 trap targets and 100 skeet targets to be classed throughout the summer months.

    One weekend in September everone at the club shot in their class, 100skeet and 100skeet combined score highest winning class and a second placed. First place class winner won a matched serial numbered shotgun set ,a modle 1200 pump and a 1400 automatic. Second place winner won a case of winchester shells. I won the forth class at the Moncton Gun Club --New Brunswick CANADA>

    Following weekend the five class winners shot a postal shoot amongst the clubs in their zone to find a zone winner--not too sure if I remember this right.. but think this is correct.All zone winners were flown to Bahams? Bermuda? for a shootoff for Winchester North American Championship .

    PLEASE CORRECT ME IF WRONG IN ANY PARTICULAR.

    I was with the Kreske chain in their mangement program in Bathurst New Brunswick. Sundays I would take the CN train at 10am to Moncton getting in at 1:30 pm -picked up by a member and shoot at theclub.
    Get back to Moncton ard 6pm have dinner get the train at 10pm getting back to Bathurst at 1am--NUTS AH?

    WHAT DO U THINK OF THAT AS A NUTTY SHOOTER__CAN ANYONE MATCH THAT STORY>>>>


    MIKE
     
  11. Ed Y

    Ed Y TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Mike,
    I too shot in the same 1968 shooting tournament. As I recall we had to shoot both trap and skeet and were classified according to our trap average. I was fortunate enough to win a pair of presentation Winchester shotguns, a 1200 and a 1400 with lots of gold plating on them. I didn't own a skeet gun at the time so I had to borrow a "Club gun" to shoot the match. Great memories of the "Grouse Ridge Winchester Public Shooting Center" in Clinton NJ. I remember the operators were Ted Bigalow and Don Bedagies, two really neat guys. The club eventually closed down and the property became the "Hunterdon Hills Playhouse" dinner theatre. They tore down the skeet houses, for their building. but the unused traphouses are still there and overgrown.

    Ed Yanchok
     
  12. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    Hey cuban, was that the club on Yohne Rd., where Fox Island county park is now? I got a friend that bought a 101 from there.

    Phil, I'll see what I can dig up on the old Winchester Gun Club in Fort Wayne.

    Wayne
     
  13. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

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    Story in Field and Stream a couple years ago mentioned these franchised clubs..also mentioned that Winchester stocked them with 1400 models and the franchisees hated them...wouldn't take replacements. Named one of the five worst guns of the 20th century. See "Field and Stream" top guns of the century.
     
  14. mike-israel

    mike-israel TS Member

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    Hi Ed:

    Thought I had rememberd the Winchester shoot right.

    The idea was to get trap and skeet shooters in a competition as normaly then maybe now a trap shooter shot trap only/mostly and a skeet shooter skeet.....so combining a score gave a fair average and a class....worked for us at the Moncton club as I shot/shoot trap and little skeet.

    Another memory---I was at Kreske in Bathurst NB.. Berreta came out with their single barrel trap gun based on a single barrel cheapy folder with a breakopen lever in front of the trigger gaurd..a la Lutic....montecarlo/ ribbed --retail $299 --I recall--called the Kreske sports buyer in Montreal and he sent me one at cost --#135-- very full choke ---but if you didn't close the gun hard when fired the trigger would give a light hit to primer and wouldnt set of the shell.

    Memories

    Drop me a line....MIKE
     
  15. mallardbend

    mallardbend TS Member

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    Hey all,

    I believe the winchester tournament most of you have been discussing was called the "winchester claybird league" From my investigations into this it appears to have only run a few years 1967-1969. At least that seems to be the only years that I have been able to find memorabilia from. I will be more than happy to share pictures for those interested.
     
  16. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    I started out at a Winchester Western Club in NY back sometime around 1959 to 1960. They did a little remodeling and got new guns in the mid sixties. I bought one of their old rental Model 12s. I remember the competitions we had there and somewhere around 1965 or so, it was a combined Skeet/Trap event. Dave was the name of the manager and he helped start me out. I don't remember his last name, but he was a great shot, if you could ever get him on a field. The club closed in the early 70's, since they built some new homes nearby and they complained about the noise. It was closed down when the lease expired. The one satisfaction I have about it's closing was that they built a brand new sewage disposal facility in it's place. What would you rather have, a shooting club, or a sewage plant next door? I may still have some of the materials from that time, stuffed somewhere with all of my useless stuff I keep moving with me. You'd be welcome to anything I can find. The only thing I'll keep are all of my "straight" patches and trophies, if I can find them.
     
  17. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Murray, Contact Gary Goodpasture. He ran the club in Bridgeton, Mo. You should be able to find his address in a T&F average issue. I'm sorry, I don't know his phone #.
     
  18. mike-israel

    mike-israel TS Member

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    Mallardbend

    U answered my next question as how long the
    (number of years)the competition ran.THOUGHT it wasn't many--seems to me avery expensive program--with the number of gun sets given away.

    Ishot an 870 TC which the 1200 wasn't and someone else commented abt the 1400 which sure as hell wasn't a 1100Rem.

    Best Mike
     
  19. mkstephen

    mkstephen Active Member

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    Phil & Herb Roach,


    John Voliva (jvoliva) gets on here quite frequently. John is the ex-offico of the Indiana Trapshooting Association and is the son of Ed Voliva. Perhaps John can get Phil in touch with Ed.


    Michael Stephenson
     
  20. motordoctor

    motordoctor Shoji Tabuchi in Branson

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    Back in 1969 I was a first year high school teacher. The school offered a program where for one week they canceled regular classes and you could teach ANYTHING that your heart desired. They printed a program and everything like that. I contacted the Winchester club in Hambden Ohio--east of Cleveland. IN SCHOOL--I showed the movies and had 30 students take my class for three days. Two days in classroom and one day at the club. They gave me --yes free--three shots for each person in skeet and three in trap, guns and free targets. I TOOK MY GUNS TO SCHOOL--think about that today. Guns in school. Yes I dressed in my shooting jacket and vest with real guns but used dummy shells. Yes I made sure to teach safety as one of the classes. I even took a shell and loaded a primer in the hull. Shot that in class. Boy does that get the people's attention in a hurry. Makes them think what is happening because everyone had a chance to handle the gun and the dummy shells.I shot the primmed shell but it does make a great demo. ANYWAY. Took all the kids to the range which was 1 hour drive from the school and they all had a chance to shoot. I arranged with the parents that each student could purchase a box of shells or more and shoot more if they liked. Many did that. After the class,and with a bunch of student interest we ended with 20 students that decided to start a shooting club. I got the parents involved because of the money and needing drivers and supervisors. The students drove every Saturday morning for 10 weeks to the club and shot 1 round of trap and 1 skeet. I taught them to shoot, score and load the traps. They all had a ball. They even came to my home each week on Wednesday evening and we reloaded 1000 rounds and boxed them so we could shoot the following Saturday. Last week of the deal everyone had to shoot from the 27 yard line and low gun skeet. I made sure to give EVERY PERSON a nice trophy. I collected dues each week to pay for sandwiches at the end along with the trophy's. The kids surprised me with a trophy of appreciation and it actually made me cry. Still have that. Not sure if the kids continued but we did have a great time. The Winchester club made the thing happen as most clubs today would not have the safety movies, guns, tracer shells. free targets and facility to make it work. Thanks to the kids and all the friends that I have made shooting Joe Rossman
     
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