Pike Adams Sportsmen's
THE PIKE-ADAMS SPORTSMEN'S ALLIANCE
A Brief History
During 1980 a group of friends with a common interest in firearms began spending Sunday afternoons target-shooting on the Metcalf family farm near Barry, Illinois. The guns were mainly .22 pistols and revolvers, and the targets were usually aluminum cans full of water set out at about 25 yards or so. Throw a dollar in the pot, shoot till you miss, last man standing takes the money. A lot of .22 ammo got burnt up that way.
As the group grew to about two dozen regular participants, it devised more challenging games. The first semi-formal course of fire to be laid out was a metallic silhouette match using tiny .22 rimfire rifle targets at 10, 20, 30 and 40 meters--to be shot with open-sighted .22 pistols. Throw a dollar in the pot, etc. Before long an informal classification system developed, and people were coming from as far as 50-75 miles away to shoot a regular bimonthly match schedule.
After a couple more years, and even more people getting involved, several of the original group decided to organize. Seven founding Life Members met at the range on May 22, 1983, and created the Pike-Adams Shooting Association--"PASA"--named for the two Illinois counties where most of the regular shooters lived. Each founder contributed the equivalent of one thousand dollars in materials and $300 cash as Life Member dues to start the organization. These founders were Dick Metcalf, Denise Minor, George Metcalf, Wayne Hazelrigg, Bob Pillars, Stan Kuck, and Richard Window. Their goal was to create an outdoor shooting facility with a park-like atmosphere, where all the members of any family could feel at home, and where all types of shooting sports enthusiasts could come together--be they handgunners, riflemen, shotgunners, black-powder shooters, whatever. The hope was to get whole families involved in shooting--not just the men.
On June 17-18, 1983, at a gun show held at the Ramada Inn (now the Civic Center Inn) in Quincy, Illinois, PASA signed up its first regular annual members, and within a month there were nearly 50 shooters on the rolls.
PASA's first scheduled form of regular competition was handgun metallic silhouette shooting, sanctioned by the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA). This involved 200-meter long-range centerfire pistols and 100-yard .22 rimfire pistols. PASA's first IHMSA range was set up temporarily in the Metcalf farm's abandoned hog lot, but it soon became clear that more needed to be done. During 1984, bulldozers went to work and created what is now PASA's multi-purpose 200-meter range and fishing ponds.
In early 1985, the world's largest handgun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, decided to inaugurate a world-class championship handgun tournament, jointly sponsored by other major corporations within the shooting industry, with prizes amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. They began looking for a site. Because of PASA President Dick Metcalf's contacts throughout the shooting sports industry due to his position as Handgun Editor for Shooting Times magazine, he was able to persuade S&W's management to look at the PASA range and surrounding communities in Pike and Adams counties as a possible location for the proposed event.
S&W representatives toured the area during March, 1985. Impressed by the potential of the PASA Park range site, and by what PASA's members had already accomplished--as well as by the enthusiastic volunteer spirit and pro-shooting attitudes of the local population, S&W took the gamble and planted their flag. Press conferences announcing the selection of PASA to host the new match were held in Quincy on December 16, 1985, and at the SHOT Show in Houston the following month. The rest is history.
To prepare for the coming event, the PASA membership began working long volunteer hours in range development, adding the Action Event Range and Precision Event Range, and improving the 200-meter range for the Masters Long-Range Event. The grounds were landscaped, fences installed, parking lots graveled, and the Bikathlon course laid out. Many of PASA's long-term members well remember going to the range on weekends and evenings during the Spring and Summer of 1986 with their shooting bag in one hand and a hammer or paintbrush or shovel in the other.
In recognition of its increasing growth and diversification of programs, the name of the organization was changed that year to the "Pike-Adams Sportsmen's Alliance," and PASA was incorporated in Illinois s a not-for-profit community service and education organization.
On August 6-9, 1986, the first annual Masters International Shooting Championship was held at PASA Park. Its success exceeded all expectations, with the highlight of the week a day-long visit from Illinois Governor Jim Thompson--who helicoptered onto the range to shoot a .22 Precision Event match against S&W President Lee Deters.
As its founders had hoped, The Masters went on to become a permanent event, with its 16th annual match in 2001. The Masters itself has been chartered as an Illinois not-for-profit foundation with representatives of PASA and the Illinois cities of Barry and Quincy as voting members of its Board of Governors. And in spite of well-publicized difficulties in 1995 due to fundraising failures and defaulting sponsors, The Masters continues to be one of the most prestigious cash-prize-purse handgun competitions in the world, since 2000 limited to only 100 elite Pro/Am competitors.
Shooting and outdoor magazines worldwide have praised PASA, its range, and the community volunteer staff for their accomplishments, and this acclaim has brought more to PASA and the surrounding area communities than anyone ever dreamed. After the first Masters, the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) approached PASA to become host for their annual National Championship. In 1987 seven new shooting sites were constructed in "Practical Valley" at a cost to PASA of more than $40,000, and the Nationals have returned annually ever since. In 1991, a ten-year contract between PASA and the USPSA was signed, insuring that the USPSA Nationals would have a home at PASA Park into the 21st Century, and that contract has been extended in five-year increments ever since..
Today, in addition to The Masters and the USPSA Nationals, PASA is or has been home to a long list of national and international-rank shooting sports events, including the annual Masters Dress Rehearsal, the USPSA National 3-Gun Championship (1990), and the S&W LadySmith Invitational Practical Shooting Tournament (each September). In October, 1997, PASA took an ongoing roll as host for the annual U.S. Single-Action Shooting Society (SASS) Midwest Regional Championship/Last Frontier Charity Match (seven-state). In January, 1998, PASA began an ongoing agreement to host the annual U.S. Single-Stack Society National Championships beginning May, 1998. In 1997, PASA won approval to host the July, 1998 International Practical Shooting Confederation North American Championship, a multi-nation I.P.S.C. Level IV competition. Other recent major tournaments include the I.P.S.C. Level III S&W Millennium Match 2000 in July 2000; the combined I.P.S.C. Level IV 2000 Pan-American Championships/U.S.P.S.A. Open Nationals in September 2000; the back-to-back 2001 USPSA Open and Limited National Championships, and the S&W International Heritage of Freedom Tournament scheduled for August, 2003.
The PASA Sportsmen's Park is now internationally recognized as one of the finest shooting facilities in the world. But in spite of the "glamour" surrounding the major national and international events held here, PASA's officers and Directors still emphasize that PASA's primary purpose is to promote the benefit and welfare of its local membership, and to serve the shooters and sportsmen of our own regional communities. PASA is still, at heart, "just a little country sportsmen's club." PASA's ongoing schedule of club activities for local members includes a variety of regular shotgun, rifle, and handgun matches, firearms training and education courses, hunter sighting-in days, picnics, barbecues, and all types of shooter and hunter services. We have been particularly proud of our Safety & Education and Youth Programs Divisions.
PASA is affiliated with the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), Ducks Unlimited (DU), the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA), the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), the U.S. Department of Defense Department of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM), the .50-Caliber Shooters Association, the United Shooting Sports (USS), the Single-Action Shooting Society (SASS), and many other national outdoor organizations. Several law-enforcement agencies, as well as National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve units, use PASA for a training site.
PASA continues to grow. In 1990, Smith & Wesson, Taurus International, and other shooting sports industry corporations joined with community volunteer groups in Barry, Illinois, to fund and construct a $250,000 multi-use building at PASA Park. Completed in 1992, and dedicated at The Masters that year in a ceremony attended by Illinois Governor, Jim Edgar, the "Smith & Wesson Hall" Conference Center contains a 250-person meeting-hall, kitchen and concession-service area, air-conditioned shooters' lounge and rest-room/shower/changing-room facilities, club office, press-room/staff meeting-rooms, equipment check-room, and storage areas.
In PASA’s “Upper Valley,” construction began in 1991 for an 600-yard rifle range project, which for regular match use and member practice in 1995. In other rifle venues, a 100-meter .22 Smallbore Rifle Range with covered firing line, a 100-yard centerfire Practical Rifle Range, and a .22 rimfire “Plinking Range” were also opened in 1995, and PASA Rifle Division volunteers have completed their own headquarters structure and picnic pavilion adjacent to those ranges. Additionally, $100,000 in Practical Valley development during 1992-96 brought electricity to the venues there, added five more USPSA-type shooting ranges, created new roadways and parking areas, and put a comprehensive erosion-control and water drainage/containment system into place. In 2002, the PASA Action-Shooting Division completed work on its own multi-use headquarters structure, range office, and chronograph center located in Practical Valley.
PASA has had an immensely positive economic effect on the entire surrounding region. According to an official analysis by the Quincy Convention & Visitors Bureau, PASA-related events currently bring more than six million dollars annually into the regional economy, for a total of more than $85,000,000 since 1986. The purchase of shooting equipment by members and visiting competitors has resulted in many, many dollars of sales for local sporting goods outlets, and attracted such firearms-related businesses such as Heinie Specialty Products and the Pro-Tech Gun Shop to nearby communities. Major shooting-sports industry firms such as Smith & Wesson, RSR Wholesale Guns, Taurus International Manufacturing, Winchester Ammunition, and the Primedia Outdoor Group now frequently choose PASA Park and its adjacent host communities for corporate conferences and product development work.
In recognition of PASA's economic impact, the Illinois State Regional Tourism Council in 1989 presented PASA with its "Outstanding Organization Achievement Award," given each year to the organization in Illinois that has done the most to promote tourism to the entire state. According to the NRA, it is the only time in the history of the United States that a shooting sports organization has received a state award for promoting tourism.
PASA's 500-plus members are a cross-section of the entire regional community, and shooting sports enthusiasts from across the nation. They include farmers, doctors, mechanics, lawyers, laborers, legislators, police officers, electricians, corporate executives, engineers, politicians, men, women, and youngsters of all types. Many PASA members do not even own a firearm but belong because they want to share in the PASA family spirit. All are equal in their commitment to community service and to the preservation and expansion of the shooting sports.
We hope you will feel at home among them.
(Revised 1 January 2003)