Muscatine Rifle Club
|At this time, the Muscatine Rifle Club is looking
for new facilities. If you have a plot of land
or an indoor facility that you would like to
donate or lease, please contact the ISRPA
and we will pass your information along.
The Muscatine Rifle Club was incorporated May 17th, 1934 as the Muscatine Rifle Club Inc. It was originally formed in 1931 to promote rifle, pistol, and
revolver practice and procedure among the community enthusiasts with a view towards a better knowledge of safe handling of firearms as well as
improved marksmanship. They were also affiliated with NRA.
When incorporated the original officers were: Harry Timm president; Velma Umlandt vice-president; Dr. Johnston Secretary-treasurer; and Louis C.
Kautz executive officer. The executive committee included the officers and Sheriff Fred B. Nesper and Police Officer Mark Taylor. The life of the
corporation was to be 50 years. The club had an outdoor range on the end of a huge sand mound on the Muscatine Island, which was a large sandy
area south of Muscatine. The club also had an indoor range in the basement of the Muscatine Hotel and at another time in the basement of a building on
Mulberry Avenue. At the time they were on Mulberry, about 1938, they started teaching juniors to shoot.
From 1942 to 1946 the club did not meet because of WW II. In March of 1946 they had a meeting and it was decided to sell the outdoor range and also
reorganize to become an NRA Class A club; which meant that the membership would all have to become NRA members. This was unanimously agreed
upon. Also, the indoor range was moved to the basement of the bowling alley on Third St., and the outdoor range moved to the Harold Furnas farm.
The range was on the Furnas farm for about two years. They had a two hundred yard high power range, but no pits, and had to drive to the targets to
score and change them. Then they moved to the G. Huttig farm and had a two hundred yard range with pits. Also, we had a pistol range with turning
targets plus a 50 and 100 yard smallbore range. The National Guard also was given the use of the range twice a year.
About 1948, the bowling alley decided to open the bowling lanes in the basement where the rifle club was shooting and we moved to the basement of
the Second Street Grocery. Two years later the Second Street Grocery had to move to another location and did not have a basement that could be used
for an indoor range so we moved to the loft over the Cottrel and Orr Garage. This was a good place for an indoor range except, the floor was not very
solid and when a person walked across it, the crosshairs on your scope indicated there was an earthquake taking place, so there was not much
walking around while shooting was taking place. We stayed at this location for about two years.
In 1952 the construction of the new National Guard Armory was completed and we were allowed the use of the range two nights a week. We were
fortunate that Sergeant Gunzenhauser who was in charge of the Armory was also secretary-treasurer of the Muscatine Rifle Club Inc. and also an
active shooter. We had a backstop for ten firing positions inside the large open area and at times we would be shooting rifle till almost midnight
sometimes so everyone had a chance to shoot. Eventually the Guard built a range room on to the side of the building. The Muscatine Rifle Club put in
the backstop and the lighting for the new range. This range had six firing positions. The club enjoyed a good relationship with the Guard from 1952 to
1982 at which time the Guard decided to move exercise equipment into the range room leaving little room for the rifle range. The new sergeant in charge
of the Armory decided to close off the rear entrance and made us enter the range ahead of the firing line making for a dangerous situation and we
stopped using the range. Since that time the Muscatine Rifle Club has not had an indoor range.
The few of us that are left go over to the West Liberty Gun Club to shoot.
Back to the outdoor range; in 1955 the club leased a piece of ground from Art Toyne in which we were able to set up an outdoor range with six firing
positions at 200 and 300 yards. This was probably the most active time of the Muscatine Rifle Club. The Club put on many high power matches with
many service teams participating from all around the Midwest. But, good things were not to last, after about ten years housing started to build around
the club, and we had to close down the range. It is unfortunate that we didn’t own the property, the story might have been different. As it is we are still
looking for an indoor range location, and going over to West to shoot.
Raymond L. Dietrich