It was "The War To End All Wars," a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century
in human history. By 1915 World War I had effectively settled into a bloody stalemate along the western
front in France. As a result, the Allies attempted to score what was thought to be an easy
victory against the Ottoman Empire with a naval campaign to capture Constantinople and knock the
Turks out of the war. After a failed attempt by British and French warships to force their way
through the Dardanelles (the strait linking the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean Sea), the Allies,
led by Britain, launched a large-scale land invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915.
The invasion of the heavily defended peninsula proved a dismal failure, and by November,
England and France were planning a full retreat from Gallipoli after suffering over 250,000
casualties (50,000 killed) and a humiliating defeat. Ottoman casualties were about the same showing
how narrow the margin of victory was. The war still had 3 long years to play out.
On Saturday November 14, 2015 the New Jersey Arms Collectors Club (NJACC) sponsored it's 17th Annual
Armistice Day Match in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the fighting at Gallipoli and
in honor of all of the men and women who served so valiantly in the Great War.
A stalwart band of the some of the hardiest WW I military arms collectors and re-enactors from all
parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York gathered at the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs'
(ANJRPC) Cherry Ridge Range at Highland Lakes, New Jersey for a day of friendly competition
sponsored by the NJACC.
Match participants brought various highly collectible and prized examples of the rifles and pistols
used by the Allied and Central Power nations in that long ago war to compete for trophies and the
ephemeral glory by being mentioned in this report. Contest rules required shooters fire 10 rounds
in 2 minutes at a standard SR21-C target placed at the 50 yard line. Military rifles of the WWI era
with the exception of the Lee Enfield (SMLE) MK III have battle sight settings that are fixed at
anywhere from 350 to over 500 yards making it extremely challenging to hit the small 6" SR21 bull at
This year there were thirteen (13) rifle contests in the course of fire with six (6) new matches added
to allow participants to bring some of their more rare and seldom fired pieces. In addition
there were four (4) handgun events requiring the use of century old pistols with archaic period
sights that tested the sharp eyes and steady handed marksmanship of the competitors.
A quick tour of the benches disclosed that competitors had brought a variety of U.S., British, French,
German, Russian, Turkish (and Turkish clones), Italian, and Japanese rifles. There was a rare and
seldom seen Winchester Model 1895 rifle in super condition that had been made for Czarist Russia
during the great war, and a pristine Remington made Mosin Nagant model 1891 identical to those used by
American troops involved in the Siberian intervention in 1918 after the Bolshevik revolution.
There was also a plethora of 1903 Springfields and 1917 US Enfields all in excellent condition,
two Enfield P-14s,and a very nice French made Berthier Model 07/15 and a Lebel Model 1886/93.
Although not listed for a specific contest one shooter brought an early and rare Russian Mosin Nagant
Model 91/30 with a hex receiver. There was also one very nice SMLE MK III in it's original WWI
configuration with magazine cutoff and volley sights and a near mint Italian model 1870/87 Vetterli
rifle in the original 10.4 MM Italian caliber.
The rifle match events commenced precisely at 10:00A under the joint supervision of an ANJRPC
Range Safety Officer and Shoot Meister Stan G. assisted by Deputy Shoot Meister Dave J.
and Chris K.
Deputy Shoot Meister Dave J. and Chris K. also provided a unheralded but extremely valuable service by
collecting and scoring targets thereby greatly expediting the match completion and results process.
The rifle events were followed at 1:00P by a hearty lunch prepared for the participants by the NJACC's own
Marquis d'Sauce, Tom P. who verified target scores and tallied match results. Luckily there was
enough military style 100% pure beef tube steak, liberty cabbage, crusted chili, pork and beans, and
soda with nuitritious Drakes apple pie desert to satisfy the appetites of these connoisseurs of fine
food and drink. Happily no trench emptying or bunker clearing gas attacks or similar post lunch
events were reported to have resulted from this year's menu d'Jour.
Following a leisurely lunch, the winners of the rifle events were announced with some highly notable
acheivements. High score of the day (100-5X) went to Russ P. using a
1917 US Enfield in the Doughboy event. Close on his heels was John M. and Jay R.
who both scored impressive 99-3Xs and Rich H. with with a not too shabby at all
99-2X. Also worthy of note, John M. went home as the top shooter of the day with
three (3) trophies, while Russ P. and Jay R. won two contests each.
A father and son team, Dionigi and Giancarlo M. did some very fine shooting with a
Carcano 1891 rifle and walked away with top honors in the Vittorio Veneto and Young Warrior
The handgun events commenced on the pistol range after lunch under the direction of
Shoot Meisters Dave J. and Chris K. Top honors went to Andy M. using a German P-08 Luger
and US model 1911, and Jim R. using a Webley MK VI revolver.
This year's Young Warrior winner Giancarlo M. much to his enjoyment was able to take the
opportunity to fire both a Mauser C-96 Broomhandle pistol and a Webley revolver during the
The next NJACC sponsored event known as the "Historical Winter shoot" will be held early next year at the
Cherry Ridge range. Click on link for Downloadable Winter Shoot Flyer with details.