The first sign of Fall in the High Desert is upon us . . . . The Gunsite Alumni Shoot!
Saturday October 1 was a record day for Gunsite and the Gunsite Family. Not only was it the celebration of our 40th Anniversary, but also a record crowd of Gunsite Family Members celebrating our inalienable rights.
Over 230 shooters and other friends and family descended on the Gunsite Ranch beginning Friday afternoon for Registration and then the Knucklehead Steak fry. Early Saturday morning shooters arrived and we began with the welcome at 0730 (“Welcome back to Gunsite you deplorables!”) and we STOOD for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rounds began down range about 0800 and, 75,000 or so rounds later, the ranges went cold. We had ten (10) stages and six (6) side-matches. We had concerns that we would run late with so many shooters and so many events. However, the planning by the great Gunsite Staff and the operations by the outstanding Gunsite Instructors and the support by the best volunteers had one of the smoothest GAS Matches on record.
The weather was beautiful. A large tent in the main parking lot provided cover for all participants. The lunch and dinner kept all well fed and happy. The Pro Shop was nearly standing room only all day.
We had a silent auction in the classroom with Gunsite memorabilia and guns from FN, Glock and S&W. We also had a room full of books from the late Pat Rogers library. All funds went to the Jeff Cooper legacy Foundation (JCLF).
A new event was a live auction prior to dinner. Our partners at Colt offered a Colt 1911 “Folds of Honor” pistol, with proceeds to the veteran’s organization Folds of Honor. (This is the second time around for this pistol at Gunsite as a fund raiser as the winner of it at a Colt event at Gunsite last Fall donated it back!) Kimber offered a one-of-a kind Gunsite 40th Anniversary 1911 for the auction supporting the JCLF, raising several thousand dollars. Thanks to Colt and to Kimber.
Old Gunsite memorabilia was also in the auction. (See photos on our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.) The first selection was the “Raven” from the old “Firebox.” Other signs included ranges and road signs. We also had an “API” and Raven engraved vintage Kel-Light. It also brought several hundred dollars. There were more items including a Raven clock from the early Gunsite days, Bruce Nelson leather (Thanks to Ron Fielder), and other items.
The beautiful custom made 1911 made by Dave Lauck (with Eric Little (Rafter-L) leather)raffle was drawn and the winner was Tom Schiltz. Thanks to Dave and Eric for the generous donation for the raffle.
One of the highlights was the one-of-a-kind, hand made by Milt Sparks, leather office waste can with the Gunsite Raven, DVC and 1976 on it. The trash can brought $1700! More importantly, the Gunsite Family Member that bought it wrote me Sunday and advised that he will be the caretaker of the trash can until GAS 2017 and return it for sale again, starting a new tradition. OUTSTANDING SIR!
If you could only see the smile on Mrs. Cooper and Lindy’s faces as we raised many thousand dollars for the JCLF. (We will report totals once we finish all accounting.)
Shari and I had friends from the east coast staying with us and volunteering. This was their first contact with the Gunsite Family. Their comments echo what we know: The Gunsite Family are polite professionals who care about their family and friends and our Republic. Our friends have already asked to come visit again next year and volunteer at GAS.
Remember if you attended 2016 GAS, we have a special of $100 off 2016 tuition for 2017. You must register this week! Don’t wait to enroll in courses preceding GAS, GAS and post-GAS. These course always fill first!
October classes are upon us with our first 250 Pistol at Thunderbird Academy in Wichita Oct. 10-14. (There is still time to enroll!) we also have a Crimson Trace 250 Pistol Oct. 17-21. Our friends at C2 Tactical are hosting us again for a 2 day pistol Oct. 20-21. The popular Battle Rifle, Close Quarters Pistol and Edged Weapons classes are coming up Oct. 24.
Remember that our Supreme Court is a risk if the Presidential Election goes the wrong way. The appointees of the next President will have impact on the next several generations. If your chosen candidate was not successful in the Primary, you still need to choose wisely and vote. Don’t let our way of life and the Republic down by avoiding voting.
Finally, I cannot say enough about the hard work and endeavors of the great Gunsite staff the last year planning the 40th Anniversary Gunsite Alumni Shoot. Many have offered compliments and kudos to me. The thanks goes to these hard working folks. So, once again, my humble thanks. (And note we have already had our first planning meeting for October 7, 2017!)