NRA Annual Matches Move To Sea Girt In 1892

by
posted on September 6, 2018
seagirt1.jpg
In 1890, with match enrollments down and state appropriations withdrawn, the financially crippled Creedmoor Range in New York was turned over to the state by the National Rifle Association. An agreement was reached whereby the NRA could continue to hold its annual matches there. Two years later, however, new policies enacted by Capt. B.M. Whitlock, New York's Inspector General of Rifle Practice, sealed the NRA's fate at Creedmoor. The NRA's popular marksmanship badge program was terminated and increased military access to Creedmoor made it practically impossible for the NRA to schedule any range activity. In 1892, the NRA Board of Directors moved the annual matches to the Sea Girt Range where they were conducted under New Jersey sponsorship.

Sea Girt circa 1900
This photo of artillery practice on the beach at Sea Girt is dated around 1900

The Sea Girt facility was relatively new when it absorbed the NRA matches. The New Jersey State Rifle Association did have a shooting facility in its Brinton Range on Newark Bay, but the location rendered it popular only to flooding at high tide and mosquitoes. With Brinton essentially useless and nearby Creedmoor no longer an option given the circumstances that led to the range transfer from the NRA to New York, the Sea Girt Range was built in 1889 on 148 acres at the New Jersey State Camp near Sea Girt, accessible by rail and less than 60 miles from New York City. The Atlantic Ocean provided a scenic backdrop for the range's 22 targets, which were the new Army canvas type with oval rings. There were two 1000-yard firing points that cut diagonally across the firing lines of the 10 short and 10 mid range firing points, but this did not detract from the sterling reputation Sea Girt quickly acquired.

Events like revolver and Schuetzen matches were held at the state-of-the-art Sea Girt Range to appeal to a wider variety of shooters.

In September 1903, the historic first National Matches opened on schedule and the range received editorial praise for its ability to "meet the work of the elements." More than 1,000 competitors turned out for the various matches and it was quickly realized that even the capabilities of a range so revered as Sea Girt would be tested. The search for a new site to hold the National Matches began.


Looking for more articles on the history of the National Matches? We’ve got you covered.

Latest

Stevens 555 Sporting 1
Stevens 555 Sporting 1

New: Stevens Shotguns 555 Sporting Model

The new 555 Sporting from Stevens Shotguns has an MSRP under $1,000.

NRA School Shield Grant Program Now Accepting Applications For School Security Projects

The 2022 application period for the NRA School Shield Grant Program is open until Aug. 31

Leonard Thomson Wins NRA National Smallbore Prone Championship

A native of Scotland, Leonard Thomson tops leaderboard at 2022 NRA Smallbore Prone Nationals at Camp Atterbury, Indiana

New: Safariland MultiCam Tropic Pattern Gear

These limited-edition products from Safariland sport the MultiCam Tropic camouflage pattern

Results: 2022 USPSA Roadrunner Shootout

The fourth annual Roadrunner Shootout was a challenging USPSA Level 2 competition

Richard Clark Wins 2022 Lones Wigger Iron Man Trophy

The 2022 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships closed with the awarding of the Lones Wigger Iron Man Trophy to collegiate rifle superstar Richard Clark

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.