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Thursday Bulletin – May 16, 2024

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Thursday Bulletin – May 16, 2024

May 17, 2024

Executive Director’s Message
Richard Pearson

Colonel Whelen’s Search for Accuracy in Rifles

In March and April of 1957, Colonel Townsend Whelen wrote an article which was published in the American Rifleman Magazine, in which he famously said, “Only accurate rifles are interesting”. Colonel Whelen went on to describe his personal history of trying to attain accurate shooting rifles. This included hand loading his own ammunition and experimenting with different types of rounds, loads, bullet weights, bullet designs, powders, and calibers. In the early 1900’s, he was pleased to attain a 3-inch group at 100 yards by meticulously loading his own ammunition.

In my own experience years ago, I remember striving to get a rifle that would shoot a 1-inch group at 100 yards. It was actually rare in those days to have a rifle and a load that could do that. Since then, there has been great progress made with the production of accurate rifles. Improved ballistics and sights have also made the whole endeavor of an accurate rifle attainable. Now we are seeing rifles that will shoot a quarter inch group at 100 yards.

I have to say, it’s a lot of fun to shoot a very accurate rifle, and not much fun to shoot an inaccurate rifle. It is to the point that if you have one of these modern rifles and you’re using the proper ammunition, if you shoot a bad shot, it’s probably you and not the rifle.

One of my rifles is a Ruger Scout in .308 caliber. When I first got the rifle, the only ammunition I had on hand was South Korean .308 ball ammo. I, of course, was dying to try out the rifle. I zeroed it in at 100 yards, and the group was terrible. I figured it was probably the ammunition, because if it wasn’t, I’d really be disappointed! I then purchased several boxes of Hornaday .308 Match ammunition. My group size shrunk about 7 inches to about 1 inch. Remember, this is out of a Scout Rifle. I moved my target out to 300 yards, and I was able to produce a 10-shot group inside of 4 inches, shooting off a bench rest, if you take out the shot in the seven ring that the dummy shooting the rifle put there. This rifle is equipped with a 2×7 power Long Eye Relief Scope. Not an ideal target set-up, but this is not a target rifle.

These days, there are a lot of very accurate rifles out there, that make target shooting fun. Right here in Illinois, Rock River Arms offers their RBG-1S series rifles that is capable of shooting a half-inch group, or less.

I know some of these rifles have shot under a quarter inch group when set up properly, and have a Marksman much better than myself. We will be offering a Rock River RBG-1S 6.5 Creedmoor rifle in our 121st Anniversary Raffle coming up very soon.

If Colonel Whelen were alive today, he would be overwhelmed by the number of accurate rifles now available. One of the greatest competitions designed for these rifles is known as F-Class. There is an F-Class League at the ISRA Range in Bonfield, near Kankakee, which is great for beginning shooters to expert shooters. There are also other F-Class Leagues around the state.

In September, the ISRA in conjunction with the Aurora Sportsman’s Club,  will hold the F-Class Mid-Range Championship. The distance for the Mid-Range Championship is 600 yards.

If you can find an F-­Class League near you, it’s a great opportunity to improve your Marksmanship skills. I’m sure Colonel Whelen will be looking down on you with a big smile on his face.

Firearm Industry Surpasses $17 Billion for Conservation

Firearm and ammunition manufacturers topped $17 billion in excise tax contributions to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, since its inception in 1937. When adjusted for inflation, the total is more than $27.38 billion. In the 4th quarter calendar year of 2023, the firearm and ammunition manufacturers contributed more than $222 million.

The firearm and ammunition industry truly demonstrates their commitment to wildlife conservation for all Americans. This industry knows that the conservation of wildlife and the habitats in which they thrive are invaluable, and crucial to future generations of hunters and recreational shooting sports enthusiasts. This manufacturing industry, which produces firearms and ammunition for law-abiding citizens, also produces most of the funding of which our conservation programs depend. Therefore, it is essential for future generations to be able to enjoy.



Click here, or on the flier above to download a printable order form, or call (815) 635-3198, and we can take your order over the phone.

May 18, 1860 – Former New Salem Postmaster, Springfield IL Attorney Nominated Presidential Candidate. Abraham Lincoln is nominated as a Republican presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention, in Chicago Illinois.

May 18, 1980 – Mount St. Helens Erupts

The blast threw 1700 feet off the top of Mount St. Helens. Some debris was injected into the atmosphere at speeds faster than the speed of sound. It is estimated that 520,000,000 tons of ash was ejected into the atmosphere. The blast killed at least 50 people, and killed thousands of wild animals, millions of fish, and destroyed millions of trees. The forest service replanted 10 million trees to replace the ones the Mount St. Helens interruption destroyed. Experts are saying that the volcano continues to be active. Another blast or eruption in that area could happen at any time.

May 19, 1935 – Lawrence of Arabia Dies

T.E. Lawrence, or more commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia, is killed in a motorcycle accident, near Dorset England. Lawrence had swerved to miss two boys on bicycles and later died from his injuries.

May 20, 1927 – The Spirit of St. Louis

Young pilot Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island to attempt the world’s first nonstop flight across the Atlantic, from New York to Paris. The flight took 33-1/2 hours. Lindbergh’s greatest challenge was fighting sleep along the way, forcing his eyelids open with his fingers to keep him from falling asleep. Lindbergh was flying a small monoplane configured to his own design. He called the plane, “The Spirit of St. Louis” to honor his primary sponsor, the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce.

May 21, 2000 – A President’s Bones

Former President James Garfield’s spine is put on display. Garfield had been shot in the back by a disgruntled and probably mentally unstable office seeker. Garfield’s spine along with body parts of other presidents, including Dwight D. Eisenhower’s gall stones have been items of interest at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Vice president Chester A. Arthur took over the presidency upon Garfield’s death.

May 22, 1843 – The Great Western Emigration

The first American wagon train leaves from Elm Grove, Missouri, heading northwest toward the Oregon Trail. The wagon train consisted of 1000 men, women, and children. More than 100 wagons, 5000 oxen, cattle and horses trailed behind. The wagon train ended at its ­­­destination in western Oregon. The popularity of wagon trains diminished in 1884 when the Union Pacific Railroad completed railway construction along the Oregon Trail.

The Illinois State Rifle Association
is the home of marksmanship in Illinois. 

Special Offer on ISRA Range Memberships!

TODAY AND UNTIL JUNE 30, 2024, WE ARE OFFERING $50 OFF THE RANGE MEMBERSHIP FEE.  Just mention code 50OFF, when you are signing up.  Flyer/Order form may be downloaded here


At the Range

Click here to view the entire calendar. All classes and events are open to the public & all range members, unless otherwise noted.  here

Empowering First Shots – Free Women’s
Shooting Event on Saturday June 15th!

Saturday, June 15th. This event is designed to provide a safe and supportive environment for women to learn about shooting and self-defense and welcomes women of all skill levels. For more information and to register for this event, click here, or go to:

The ISRA Range is located at 1589 N 7000w Rd, Bonfield, IL 60913.

The ISRA Range offers great classes and leagues
for shooting enthusiasts!
Interested in joining a league?
Just show up 15 – 30 minutes early.
Range memberships are available.
A day at the ISRA Range is always a  great day!

Thank you for being a member!


If you are not an ISRA member,  join today
Upcoming Meetings:
Upcoming Range Events:

Upcoming Gun Shows & Events

While the gun show information shown in this email is believed to be correct – sometimes changes occur. This is provided for informational purposes only.

If your club or organization is holding a gun show, event or class, let us know the details, and we’d be happy to post it in our Thursday Bulletin.

May 17 – Kids & Clays Charity Fundraiser, Decatur Gun Club

May 18 –   ISRA Range Open House Tours

May 18 – 19   Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee Co. Fairgrounds, Kankakee

May 18 – 19   Introductory Wingshooting Clinic, Des Plaines State Fish & Wildlife Area, Wilmington

May 19 – Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles

June 1 – Youth Wingshooting Clinic, Gardner Camp, Hull

June 1– 2   Hunter Clinic, Des Plaines State Fish & Wildlife Area, Wilmington

June 7 – Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) Workshop, Northern Illinois University/Lorado Taft Field Campus, Oregon

June 8 – 9   Introductory Wingshooting Clinic, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area, Chandlerville

June 15 – 16   Hunter Clinic, Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club, Amboy

Download a Shareable Copy of the Bulletin

“Ninety-eight percent of the people in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”

Lily Tomlin

“The people who work against your gun rights are basically saying to you, “The right of the criminal to rip you off, rape and kill you shall not be infringed.” And they wonder why we’re a bit testy”

Editor of KABA LIBERTY ADVOCATE, Friday, July 30, 2001

“I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”


“You may find me one day dead in a ditch somewhere. But by God, you’ll find me in a pile of brass.”

Tpr. M. Padgett

“Using inner city kids as your proof that guns and kids don’t mix, is like using an alcoholic to prove all people will abuse alcohol.”

Lori Broadhead

“How dare politicians continue to pass insane laws forcing good, law-abiding people to be defenseless and helpless.”

Ted Nugent

The said Constitution [shall] never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe or to prevent the people of the United States from keeping their own arms.”

Samuel Adams, Massachusetts' U.S. Constitution Ratification Convention, 1788

“One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.”

Thomas B. Reed (1886)

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution (1776)

“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution are courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the constitution THEY don’t like.”

Alan Dershowitz

“Every 13 seconds in America someone uses a gun to stop a crime.”

Sen. Larry Craig

“The AK-47 is not a device of aggression … I devised this machine-gun for the security of my country,”

Mikhail Kalashnikov, April 1997