For those of us into the shooting sports, especially for those who compete, spring in Illinois is the time when you kick off the snow and mud from your boots, put on your comfortable shoes, and look forward to that first warm weather range visit or competition. It's a bit like going back to school in the early fall after a summer of fun off from school. The kids show up to see the new outfits, the new backpacks, if anyone has a new piercing or tat, and then you get down to the business of enjoying the new year.


With school we got down to learning the three RRR’s. Some think this refers to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, others think it just refers to the education children will be exposed to, but probably most fitting is the three RRR’s refers to the basic precepts of any subject matter. I like the latter. So for those of us into the shooting sports we could say the three RRR’s really should be the three AAA’s, Aiming, Accuracy, and Ammo!

When you visit the range this spring will you be sporting any new guns, equipment, targets, or anything cool? I still don’t have a piercing or tat but I have been thinking about this spring and so has Matthew. We’re going to share a couple of our new toys with you and if we happen to see you at the range you’re welcome to give either a try.

Where to start? We should start with last fall when Matthew decided he wanted a new PCC (pistol caliber carbine). PCC is perhaps the fastest growing division of USPSA and I can attest it’s a hoot! More than a few times this fall/winter we’ve made it out to CI Shooting Sports in Bloomington for a couple stages of real fun. PCC’s are a hoot! Fast, accurate, and fast. Did I mention fast?

And btw, the most local venue for shooting sports competitions is the Danville Rifle and Pistol Club ( with all competitions open to everyone, club members, non-club members, and the DRPC competitions are the ideal place to attend your very first competition and receive whatever help and support you need to continue.

Visit the website ( for more information. Or, remember: 2nd Saturday of each month Three gun, 3rd Saturday USPSA, and the 4th Saturday IDPA. Competitions start at 0830-0900. If your first time, show up at 0830. Remember, ANYONE can show up and participate or spectate. If you don’t have your own weapons many of us bring out extras to share. Just show up and we’ll go from there.

What is Three Gun? You can learn more here, but in the most basic terms it’s a competition where you use a Pistol, Carbine, and Shotgun, where you move along a stage with one of the three firearms hitting targets and your time and accuracy determine your placing. What is USPSA? You can learn more here, but again in the most basic terms you move along a stage with a pistol hitting targets where accuracy and your time determine the score. And IDPA? You can learn more here, but in the most basic terms you use a law enforcement type handgun and move along a stage with the handgun hitting targets where accuracy and your time determine your score. All three are more fun than a barrel of monkeys! Show up and let’s get you started.

These competitions do require some gear and on that first warm weather range visit or competition, much of the new gear you’ll see blinging about will be the latest gear in every sport. Don’t get me wrong, the beauty of these competitions is the required equipment is really very basic and modest, but those really getting into it often take great pleasure in saving all year for that new firearm.

Matthew and I are no exceptions. Matthew is building a new 3-gun centric carbine and it promises to be a beauty. He’s been competing for several years now using a basic carbine like you could find in any gun store, but this year he wanted to step up his game a bit and build dedicated 3-gun carbine. We’ll be sharing it here on these pages once the rest of the parts arrive and we get it built.

Me, I’m going off the wall and building a rifle for nothing more than personal pleasure. I’m not going to leak it yet, but it’s a brand new caliber that hasn’t yet earned it’s SAAMI certification so I’m still waiting for the barrel. Once the barrel and a few other parts arrive I’m going to repurpose another rifle with this new caliber and see where it takes me.

So this spring both Matthew and I will have new self-built rifles and some smaller stuff. It should be a lot of fun. I know, we had a high I think of 25f today and will probably have a few more sub-zero cold snaps before winter is over and spring lends its welcome relief, but I’ve found most bigger projects or purchases take a bit of planning.

One last subject. How do you become a member of a shooting club? Shooting clubs are one of the best things about leaving in the mid-west, they seem to be everywhere. I’ve belonged to several and I’ve noticed most seem to put a lot of their effort and support into one type of shooting, but not so much into anything but that type. Until I found the Danville Rifle and Pistol Club. They support most every shooting type you can think of. They have a 50 yard pistol and carbine line where you can shoot from 3-50 meters. A 300 yard long gun range with backstops for your targets starting at 50 yards and every 50 yards until you reach 300 yards. You shoot from a slightly elevated covered platform with nice shooting benches. We also have six 3-sided (approx. 40 meters each side) shooting bays where most of the competitions are held. And to support the range we have a temperature controlled club house where it’s always a comfortable place to escape from the weather, a large equipment garage, and a golf cart which makes it easy to go change your targets and the such.

To become a member you submit an application you can find here. They collect applications all year, and then new members are selected first come first served, and finally you’ll be invited to a new member day where you’ll pay your first dues, get a safety briefing, be given the combination to the front gate, and that’s about it.. you’ll be a new member.

Look for some pictures of our new builds in the near future. Until then, enjoy winter and we hope to see you at the range.