On Saturday April 30, 2016, the Shongum Sportsmen's Association (SSA) in conjunction with the
New Jersy Arms Collectors Club (NJACC), sponsored the Tenth Firearms of the Wars of the
British Empire Marksmanship Contest held in memory of British rights lost and as a tribute to our Second Amendment that allowed the
new owners of these weapons to compete for honors using the firearms of those long ago wars of the
This premier marksmanship tournament attracted top shooters from all over the tri-state area who
came for a chance to win trophies and the evanescent accolades of their fellow competitors.
Contest rules for the smokeless powder events required shooters fire 10 rounds in 2 minutes at a
target placed at the 100 yard line. Since most vintage military rifles lack fine target like
adjustments and have battle sights that are set at ranges anywhere from 350 to over 500 yards,
it becomes very challenging to hit the X ring on the bull at that range. For the black powder
events the targets are also placed at 100 yards but only five shots were required in the allotted
two minute time frame. Muzzle loading contests were shot at typical 18th century "don't shoot
until you see the whites of their eyes" combat range (25 yards). The match this year consisted of
thirteen (13) rifle and four (4) handgun events. A new contest called the "Commando" for .45
Thompson semi-automatic "Tommy Guns" was featured this year along with an old favorite in the same fun
class as Pumpkin Chunkin (only much smaller) where participants try to propel a tennis ball from an
SMLE Grenade Cup farthest down range using a blank cartridge.
Participants brought some ultra-fine examples of historic British firearms including Brown Bess and
Enfield Muskets, Snider Enfields, Martini Henries (the real star of the 1964 movie Zulu),
a Long Lee Enfield, an extremely nice P-17 Enfield like those used by the home guard in WWII,
SMLEs, Ishapore 2A/2A1s, and of course Webleys.
This year to mark the 114th Anniversary of the End of the Boer War, particpants were allowed to use
1892,1893, or 1895 Mausers like the ones employeed by the Boers so successfully against the British.
The benchs were a virtual gun show like display of the most iconic British rifles all in
outstanding or near outstanding condition. Notable among the notables was a rare and seldom seen
Long Lee Enfield, several pristine No.4 SMLEs, a near mint Australian MKIII,
a custom made Enfield Pattern 1851 .70 caliber musket, several Snider Enfield rifles,
four Martini Henry 577/450s, a Martini Enfield .303, and an authentic 1893 OVS Mauser
in mintish condition.
Competition began under cloudy skies at just shortly after 10:00A under the hawklike supervision of shoot
chairman Stan G. and Range Safety Officer Dave J. Despite the large number of events Steve. S.,
ran the line so effectively and efficiently that the match progressed smoothly despite the late
start and was completed in time for a leisurely military style gourmet lunch.
Just before lunch, the Black Powder Flintlock matches were held. Jeff A. provided us with some nice photots.
Lunch was prepared by the NJACC's own President and Chef d'Partie Chuck C. and to
say the least, was the gastronomic high point of the morning. The menu this year included
Imported Haggis (for the uninitiated, haggis is made from chopped sheep's heart, liver,
and lungs mixed with onions, oatmeal, and other stuff) unfortunately minus the neeps and tatties,
but club anglophiles were disappointed again by the absence of such traditional English favorites as
Bubbles and Squeak, Mushy Peas, Toad in the Hole, and the ever popular Spotted Dick.
Luckily Chef Chuck provided a hearty substitute of boiled 100% all beef Coney Island Hot Dogs on a
bun slathered with warm chili or smothered in mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, and sauerkraut with a
generous serving of semi carmelized baked beans in the blue can straight from England.
A meal truly fit for a king (well, an English king anyway). America's favorite delicious nuitricious
deserts, Yodels and Cherry Fruit Pies were also available in sugary abundance to top off this
exquisite dining experience.
After the usual lunch time backchat and bandinage, awards for the rifle matches were announced with
some memorable and outstanding acheivements. High score of the day went to Russ P. with a 98-4X in
the Boer War Event using an authentic OVS 1893 Mauser. Russ was also the biggest winner of the day
in the rifle events taking home four trophies and the plaudits of his fellow shooters. Russ was
followed closely by Glenn K. with three trophies, two of which were for the challenging timed muzzle
loading events including the Crimea Contest where he used a magnificent looking custom made
Enfield Pattern 1851 .70 caliber rifled musket. John R. took honors with two wins in the black
powder class Ashanti and Zulu war contests shutting out the competition using a fine Snider
Enfield Sergeant's Rifle and a classic trade model Martini Henry MKIII by D.J. Fraser.
Lastly, Andy G. finished first in the Sniper Match with a score second to none and took
home the coveted Francis Pegahmagabow Trophy. Audry T. walked away with the
Queen Victoria Trophy for the higest female shooter using an 1917 Enfield in the Home Guard Contest.
Audry also won the Special Event by propelling a tennis ball the farthest
down range from a SMLE w/Grenade launching cup using a blank cartridge.
Pistol matches began with military like precision sometime after 1:30p and were dominated by
Glenn K. who did a virtual clean sweep by winning the Empire Revolver and United Kingdom 38/200
Revolver events and tying Dave T. in the Commonwealth Auto contest. There were no entries in the
A round of thanks go again to Tom P. who performed the necessary but under appreciated
task of scoring targets and tallying match results. Congratulations to all contest winners
and thanks to everyone who showed up and participated in this match. All in all, Queen Victoria
herself would have been proud.
Details for upcoming matches are posted on the NJACC website at www. njacc.info