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Tri County Gun Club

Carroll, Lee, Ogle and Whiteside Counties

Black Powder

4/9/2023 & 10/8/2023

Black powder shooting at Tri-County Gun Club is comprised of two annual rifle matches, using “traditional” muzzleloading rifles, and our two-day Open House Demonstration where the public can experience shooting both “traditional” muzzleloading pistols and rifles, but also black powder cartridge single-shot rifles.

Modern “In-Line” muzzleloaders can also be seen being “tuned up” at Tri-County ranges, especially before the muzzleloading hunting season begins. Our muzzleloading shooters are an interesting mix of people. Some are marksmen challenged by the timing issues of the early flint and percussion locks. Others are builders who cast their own lead balls and frequently have built their entire rifles by hand. Others are re-enactors whose historical interests include soldiers, frontiersmen, and cowboys from the American past. Whether you are new to muzzleloading and seeking advice or an experienced shooter we invite you to attend and participate in our events. They are open to both Tri-County members and to the general public.

April 18, 2021 Match Report

April 18, 2021.  Once again, the air was filled with white smoke and that all-to-familiar smell of black gunpowder that moved through every shooter’s nose as 13 men and 2 observers took to the 100-yard range to compete for bragging rights for the top 3 scored shooters.  The turnout was great as men kept coming to shoot, some who were new and some that haven’t shot for a long time.  The competition consisted of 4 targets placed at 25 yards. Each target has divided areas with high and low numbers that are totaled up as each ball penetrates the target.  Some of the targets are pictures of an animal, such as a squirrel, deer, or buffalo, as well as round bulls-eye targets.  For each target, the shooter can only fire 5 rounds.  The last target is a timed shot and can be fired upon as many as time allows but can only show 5 holes in the target.

We all had a great time shooting.  There were issues with many of the firearms, as usual, but we try to help one another when needed.  After the competition is over, all helped to remove the target stands and clean up the area.  A treat was provided as we all headed to the clubhouse for a well-deserved lunch of homemade chili and crackers, made by one of the shooters.  This was always a tradition in times past, so once again we gathered, bragged, talked about guns and everything else, having a relaxing time together.  1st place goes to Kerry Deboer, 2nd to Nick McGee, and 3rd was tied with Tom Penwarden and Brian Boome.  Many thanks to all who came.  The next shoot will be in September. Hope to see all of you again.

Black powder shooting is open to all people, whether a club member or not.  We use traditional muzzle-loading rifles, either flint or percussion.  We only shoot round ball and patch and not modern style bullets.  We are always looking for new men who want to shoot and if you have never done black powder and want to learn, we will be glad to teach and instruct you.  Attached are a few pictures of the event.

Mike Scarantino

Chairman of Black Powder

November 3, 2013 Match Report

It was a smoky morning on November 3rd as 10 men gathered together for fellowship and fun at the Muzzle Loading Black Powder Shooting Match.  All men honed their skills of loading and shooting 4 individual targets, 5 shots a piece, which were scored for accuracy with the last target timed in order to have bragging rights of who was the best shot.  25 yards doesn’t seem like a far away target, but it is when you are shooting with no rest for the gun and especially when one of the targets is a 3 inch bullseye.

There was much fun and talk among us all when after the match we all gathered together at the club house for some well deserved chili, hot coffee, deer sausage, brownies, and crispy treats.  During the hour and a half at the club house, all were talking about shooting, black powder, events and guns, making the match and the morning a great success.

Bragging rights go to Bill Kessinger with a score of 159 and a second to Kerry DeBoer with 148.  Congratulations to you men for the fine shooting.

For those of you who would like to get involved with black powder muzzle loading shooting and would like to participate in our matches, There will be another match in the spring, usually in March.  Watch the schedule on line to find out the date and time.

Mike Scarantino

Black Powder Chairman