Newsletter Archives for the V.G.C.A.

V.G.C.A. NEWS May, 2003

This Month's Topics:

Picnic June Meeting April Meeting
Business Meeting Secretary's Subtleties President's Corner
Directions to Picnic    

The fist item this month is to mention the picnic. As always it will be a joint effort with our good friends from NORVA. It will be held at the NORVA site west of Route 81, and the directions are included in this mailing. Attendees are asked to bring a dish of their choosing (except a meat dish), and there should be enough to feed your group plus four. The meat, beef and pork, will once again be prepared using Ed Johnson’s famous Secret recipe. That, plus the range firing and camaraderie, should be more than enough to whet your appetites.

As always at our annual picnic, you are encouraged to bring a firearm and whatever amount of ammunition you need. There is the regular firing line and a shotgun range. The ranges will open sometime between 10 and 11 am. They will be tightly controlled, and don’t forget to bring the copy of the Range Rules (signed please) that went out with the last Newsletter. You have to sign it to be able to shoot. There will be copies out there for those who might forget.

Everyone is reminded to watch out for snakes and to check for ticks when you get home. It has been reported that all ticks are capable of carrying Lyme Disease.

This year there will be a Mini .50 at the range, and we expect to have Elmo Phillips’ boat cannon brought out. If it is there, his family will fire a round in his honor. Moe put a smile on a lot of little kids faces over the years by letting them fire and crew the cannon. It will be a fitting tribute to him.

June Meeting
Please don’t forget that we will have a meeting in June this year because the picnic is in May. There will be more about the scheduled program in the next Newsletter.

April Meeting
The Show and Tell program was back by popular demand. We have had outstanding programs over the years, but I, as do many, most enjoy the giant Show and Tell programs where the members bring in their favorite gun or one that they consider just plain interesting. Well, we had some that were favorites, but everything was more than just plain interesting.

Gary Holderman started it off with three Winchester 94s in three different calibers. Jim Burgess followed with a Model 1911 .38 Super Match that was made in the 1920s and has British proofs. He also brought an M1 Rifle that had a .243 Douglas barrel. Then came Jim Cubbage with a .22 rifle with an aluminum action that locks into a steel sleeve. It also had a 36-power scope mounted. Charlie Rausch followed with a Springfield 1922 that is still in its original configuration.

Tom Drinkwater talked about his Ruger Hawkeye. Tom has one for each 1000 increment in the serial number range. He also brought a parkerized Ruger Mark I. Marc Gorelick then followed with a Smith & Wesson Victory Model revolver. His research showed that it was shipped to North Africa in 1942 and was used by New Zealand troops. Mike Cogswell, a guest, showed his Springfield 1864 Rifle-Musket made in 1865 and is a 2nd Allen conversion. Roger Sherman had a book on the Swiss Model 1900 and also a Model 1900 that was made in 1906. It was assembled in Switzerland, has a “Y” trigger, and was the first Lugar.

Then came a first-time show and teller. John Vagnetti brought his newly acquired Spencer rifle with serial number 2116. The rifle was issued to the Michigan Cavalry and possibly saw action at Gettysburg. Ernie Lyles followed with a Winchester Model 99 with a thumb trigger. The model was made as a Boy’s Gun from 1904 to 1923. He also showed a Winchester Model 55 that went to safe after each shot. Not to be outdone, Larry Hare also showed a rifle with a thumb trigger. Most of us had never seen one before, and we were fortunate enough to see two in one day. Larry had a Pylon Model 1858 .50 caliber rifle that was manufactured in New Orleans. Bill Brauchp followed with an 1886 Winchester that has been in his family since 1887. It started life as a .40-82 and was rebarreled to .45-70 in 1957.

The final four were led by Kelly Cook who talked about his Sheridan .22 single shot Knockabout model. Next came Charlie Rathell with a muzzle loading needle-fire shotgun in 13 gauge (or 18 millimeter). It is a Dreyse and Kornbush patent based on an 1832 design. Ammunition was made for it into the 1880s. Gary Krause then showed his .58 caliber smoothbore Civil War carbine. Bill Chronister closed the program with an Izmash toggle-bolt .22 caliber rifle. His rifle was so interesting that at least three people put in orders for one with Ernie Lyles right after the meeting.

Business Meeting
A short business meeting was conducted after the program. Addison gave the Treasurer’s report in the absence of Ed Costello, and Phil Hill talked about the last show.

Seven new members were introduced: Charles Britton, James Epling, John Lemke, Rodney Perkins, Alicia Reaney, Thomas Robinson and Hampton Williams.

One of the members suggested the idea of using people from outside the VGCA to judge the displays at our shows. It will be a subject for discussion at the next meeting of the Executive Committee.

Secretary’s Subtleties
Now that the newly elected Board members are in place, you might want to start giving some thought to who will replace me. Yes folks, it is going to happen. I thank all of you who have requested that I remain in the job or that I plan to be other than the Secretary sometime in the distant future. As I have stated many times, I have never wanted to do anything other than support Addison in his transition from Secretary to President. It was important that the VGCA continue to run smoothly, let the majority rule, and stay on the path carved by Ed Johnson and the original members when Ed decided to step down as President after serving in that capacity from the inception of the organization until three and a half years ago.

President’s Corner
I am pleased with the all-around improvement in our gun shows. We are striving to become a truly class act, but it seems that some of the table renters continue to think that the rules are for everybody else and not for them. An example is early departures. Letters will be sent out, and continued scoffing at the rules will result in suspension. Normally, Mike would make a few subtle comments about it, but I feel it is now important enough for the President to comment.

The knowledge our members have in every facet of gun collecting never ceases to amaze me. It just keeps getting better and better, as evidenced at every Show and Tell.

Those of you who have not had the pleasure of attending a VGCA picnic should consider coming out this year. All you have to do is follow the directions that came with this Newsletter, and you will get to the NORVA facility. It is always fun. I only ask that you be extra careful on the firing ranges. Let’s stay accident free again this year.

And once again, if you have suggestions about how to make the organization better, please send it to me in writing and I will ensure your ideas are discussed at the meetings of the Executive Committee.

Come to the picnic and enjoy. Addison

Directions to the Picnic
Take Route 66 West to Interstate 81. Go South and get off at Exit 296.
Turn Right (West) on State Road 55 and continue for about 11 miles.
Turn Left on 604 after crossing Cedar Creek.
Continue for about 3 miles and turn Right into the property on Pug Mill Road.
The phone number at NORVA is 540-465-5079.
Signs will be posted from 81 all the way to the NORVA property.
The signs will be VGCA signs with arrows pointing the way.