Piedmont Handgunners Association
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In 1979, Don Heckler, Woodrow Johnson, Dick Jones, Mont Mendenhall, Milford Miller, David Motsinger, Glenn Shelton, and Jim Weaver met and formed Piedmont Handgunner’s Association with the idea of practicing together for the NRA Hunters Pistol matches held at Rowan County Wildlife Assn. Dick Jones was elected president, Glenn Shelton, vice president, David Motsinger was treasurer and Jim Weaver was secretary. The goal was to promote shooting, have a place to shoot and compete as a group. Early practice sessions were held in Dick’s cow pasture. Annual membership dues were $25.
Within a month, Mont volunteered the use of his property near Colonial Country Club as a location for a range where the club could hold its own matches. The club affiliated with NRA and NCRPA and began holding Hunters Pistol, Smallbore Hunters Pistol, and NRA Smallbore Silhouette Rifle matches. Entry fees for members were $3.00 and, for non members, $4.00.
In 1981, the club held the first ever North Carolina State Hunter’s Pistol Championships. The club began holding action pistol and bowling pin matches in 1982, the same year, Bob Clark affiliated the club with the Director of Civilian Marksmanship and formed a junior club. In 1983, we held the NRA Hunters Pistol National Championships, won by Charlie Davis from Georgia. Also that year, David Motsinger came up with the idea to form a corporation to sell stock and accumulate money to buy our own property. PHA Range was formed with 85 shareholders buying the current property for about $40,000. Since that time, those members get their dues paid by the club as rent for the property the club uses.
In 1984, the club sent its first team to Camp Perry for the NationalTrophy Matches and our newly formed club team beat both North Carolina state teams. The club branched out to host bench rest, high power rifle, bowling pin, and action pistol matches. In 2007, PHA put in a five stand shotgun range, making the club a true, full service shooting club.
Recognizing that there might be a need to expand in order to keep the club operable, PHA formed PHA Range II in 2010. PHA Range II has 100 stock holders who hold $100,000 in funds reserved to serve as an emergency fund for the purchase of critical additional land should it come up for sale.
In 2010, the Club added the five tactical bays above the High Power rifle range. Those bays now host the Two Gun Tactical and Defensive Pistol Matches. In 2015, the club added the Dedicated .22 Rimfire range that now hosts the Just for Fun and Precision .22 rimfire matches. That same year, we also purchased an additional 18 acres of land that borders the original 60 acres on the North side. Our current project is a building behind the 100 yard range. At over 1000 members Piedmont Handgunners Association is growing to accommodate the growing interest in recreational, competitive, and defensive firearms ownership.
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