History of the VPSA
The history of the VPSA dates back to just after the end of World War II when the Pacific Coast Rifle Association (PCRA) was formed in 1948 for the benefit of the military personnel in the Victoria area.
Membership was available to serving Canadian Forces, Cadets, RCMP and ex-members of Canadian and Commonwealth Armed Forces. Associate Members, i.e. Civilians, were also admitted and had the same rights as Military Members. The PCRA was organized into three sections, Small-Bore Rifle, Centre-Fire Rifle and Hand Gun.
In 1969 the Dockyard Rifle Association (DRA) was incorporated into the PCRA. The DRA had been formed at about the same time as the PCRA but specifically for the civilian dockyard workers at Esquimalt.
The objectives of the PCRA were:
- To encourage proficiency in marksmanship among C.F.B. Esquimalt and Maritime Command personnel.
- To create a public sentiment for the encouragement of small-arms shooting.
- To encourage competition in championship prize meetings, for both individuals and teams.
- To provide practices and competition for the art of skill at arms.
Although it was part of a Military Rifle Association, the PCRA – Hand Gun Section developed a strong interest in civilian forms of target shooting, including competitions of the American NRA type and competitions as practiced at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Over the years many shoots were held featuring both military and civilian events.
With successive reductions in the strength of Canada’s armed forces, the number of military members in the PCRA declined while, as a result of population growth, the number of civilian members increased and came to predominate. A point was reached when the military authorities decided that the existence of the PCRA as a military organization was no longer justified and it was disbanded on November 30th, 1992. The PCRA Rifle Sections chose to amalgamate with the British Columbia Rifle Association, while the PCRA Hand Gun Section decided to form an independent organization that they named the Victoria Precision Shooting Association.
The VPSA was incorporated under the Society Act of British Columbia on February 5th, 1993 and recognized as an “approved shooting organization on February 26th, 1993.
The purposes of the organization are:
- To provide opportunities for members to improve their target shooting skills, particularly those disciplines promoted by International Shooting Sports Federation.
- To encourage new shooters to join the sport and reach their maximum potential in competitive target shooting.
- To provide instruction in the safe handling and care of firearms for target shooting, and
- To promote a favourable public sentiment towards target shooting.
The VPSA continues to specialise in the international style of hand gun shooting and is the only organization in the Victoria area to do so.
Shooting practices were held at the Victoria City Police Revolver Range, near Thetis Lake Park, up until January 1998 when the range ceased to be availably. An arrangement was then made to use the range of the North Saanich Rod & Gun Club. To enhance the range for international style competitive shooting VPSA members installed Spieth Turning Target Machines at a firing distance of 25 metres and, at a later date, built an indoor 10 metre air gun range. VPSA members work alongside NSRG members on projects to maintain and improve the range and its facilities.
North Saanich Rod & Gun Club - P.O. Box 2043 - Sidney, B.C. - V8L 3S3