NORTH SYDNEY RIFLE CLUB
North Sydney Rifle Club is a progression from another era. Records indicate that we commenced our association with rifle shooting in the century before last, in fact 1860’s. The club was initially known as St. Leonards Volunteer Defence Corps. or VDC. and was an active Corps of volunteers from the St. Leonards area. Shooting at several Rifle Ranges within the Sydney basin. Originally at Paddington, then Randwick (Racecourse) then Roseville Rifle Range. The actual date of the change of name to the existing name of North Sydney Rifle Club is uncertain however it was also in the 19th Century. The move from Roseville to Hornsby Range came in the early 1950’s.
Up until the late 90’s, civilian Rifle Clubs had a direct link with the Defence Forces, however this association has now lapsed, with control of both the Range and equipment now going to the NSW Police. The objectives, then as now is/was to train and improve the skills of “Musketry” within the civilian population. There have been many changes over the years in the equipment used. Old rifles originally in use were ‘Henry”, “Whitworth”, “Turner”, all now long gone. Some are on display at the Headquarters building of the New South Wales Rifle Assoc. building at ANZAC Range at Malabar. Calibres have also changed (for the better).
The original equipment had always had a parallel with the Military, both in Rifles and Ammunition. With the Boer War then the Great war, the .303 inch became the favoured military weapon, this continued until the mid to late 1960’s when the Services changed to the new NATO cartridge 7.62 mm, which saw the introduction of an Australian designed and manufactured single shot purpose built Target Rifle (the Omark). This rifle has also passed into history, however it contributed to the overall development and introduction of many other rifles into Australia and the Target Shooting movement.
The club is now situated at Hornsby Rifle Range, off Rosamond Street Hornsby. Our Clubhouse has a small link with history, having been relocated from the Bathurst Army Camp, dismantled, transported and re-erected on its’ present site in the early 1950’s by a dedicated band of members. Originally used as an indoor small-bore range, now a facility for the current membership. North Sydney is one of several clubs that use the range, these clubs form the North Shore District Rifle Assoc. Inc. As an association we compete in interclub competitions throughout the year. We shoot over 6 different distances (ranges) 300, 400, 500, 600, 700 & 800mtrs. The Range was redeveloped approx. 25 years ago from Imperial distances to metric, requiring additional Targets and redevelopment of the mounds.