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Canton-McKinley Rifle and Pistol Club, Inc.

Club House (330) 877-9764

Postal Address: P.O. Box 1330
Hartville, OH 44632-1330

Club Address: 5527 Tyro St NE
Canton, OH 44721

A Brief History of the Canton McKinley Rifle and Pistol Club Inc.
Club Inception (1926) thru 1965

Adapted from the history section of an application submitted in 1966, for an N.R.A. Club Achievement Award. This application was submitted based upon activities for 1965.

The Canton McKinley Rifle Club was formed in 1926, by a few rifle shooters. For some time they shot among themselves and were first chartered by the N.R.A. in 1928. Later, in 1937, the club was incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio and another charter was granted.

As it grew, the Club changed the locations of its indoor shooting activities several times. Initially the shooting was done in a garage, then in a basement, and later in an empty storeroom. Finally, in 1946, a location for a complete, twelve point indoor range was acquired. This was situated in the center of the business section of the city of Canton.

Similar history is applicable with respect to outdoor facilities. Existing National Guard Ranges were used initially, then leased property was put to use, and finally in 1946, the Club purchased approximately twenty acres of farm and woodland for a permanent outdoor range.

Activity was immediately started on the property with the installation of a small bore range of sixty (60) firing points and the construction of a fifty (50) point pistol range. Progressive alteration and improvement was carried out as more and more successful pistol and rifle tournaments were held on both the indoor and the outdoor ranges. Such tournaments included the State indoor pistol tournaments held from 1947 to 1962.

In 1952, the Club opened its membership and undertook a drive to particularly attract additional pistol shooters. Also, at that time, the scope of Club events was widened to further accommodate the needs of pistol shooting members.

A program was established in 1955, such that seedling trees would be planted on the outdoor range each year. Thru 1965, in excess of eight hundred (800) trees had been planted on Club property.

With the coming of 1965, the name of the Club was changed to The Canton McKinley Rifle and Pistol Club, Incorporated, with the design and acquisition of a new brassard marking the change. Also came changes in policies as somewhat younger officers and Board members were installed in office. This new group was aggressive in addressing improvements such as range lighting, and the installation of new pistol and police range facilities. In addition, it fostered the institution of a one day, 2700 Pistol match as well as successfully applying for and operating the first Police Combat Match in the state of Ohio.

During the years of formation and growth, Club members were highly competitive shooters, but always with the rules of firearms training and safety as a basis. For instance, during WWII a Basic Rifle Pre-instruction course was presented, and certification was made in November of 1943.

The club instructor in 1965 was an N.R.A. Training Counselor who held N.R.A. Instructorship Cards in all categories including Police Firearms Instructor. The Assistant Instructor also held similar ratings with the exception of Training Counselor. N.R.A. awards had been given to both the Instructor and Assistant for their activities which included training in the categories of Basic Rifle and Pistol, Shotgun, Police Firearms, Hunter's Safety, Home Safety, and Rifle and Pistol Instructor. Awards of merit were presented to the Club by the N.R.A. in 1960, 1963, and 1964 for having trained in excess of one hundred (100) students in each of those years. Again, in 1965, the Club had qualified for this award.

Such training and members' firearms skills manifested themselves during the many years that the McKinley Rifle Team competed in the N.R.A. Registered, Summit County Three Position League. Long records of wins were established. The 1959/60 season saw twenty two (22) consecutive match wins, and this performance continued throughout the 1960/61/62 seasons with thirty four (34) consecutive wins and the 1963 to 1965 seasons with thirty five (35) consecutive wins. In 1965, the Canton McKinley team was the only team in the United States which had won the W.R. Hearst Trophy twice, once in 1942 and again in 1943. The team and its individual members had also won many indoor and outdoor titles as well as State and National Champions.