In 1979, Mont Mendenhall, David Motsinger, Jim Weaver, Woodrow Johnson, Glenn Shelton, Gary Wilson and Dick Jones met and formed Piedmont Handgunner’s Association with the idea of practicing together for the NRA Hunters Pistol matches held at Rowan County Wildlife Assn. Dick Jones was elected president, Glenn Shelton, vice president, David Motsinger was treasurer and Jim Weaver was secretary. The goal was to promote shooting, have a place to shoot and compete as a group. Early practice sessions were held in Dick’s cow pasture. Annual membership dues were $25. Within a month, Mont volunteered the use of his property near Colonial Country Club as a location for a range where the club could hold its own matches. The club affiliated with NRA and NCRPA and began holding Hunters Pistol, Smallbore Hunters Pistol, and NRA Smallbore Silhouette Rifle matches. Entry fees for members were $3.00 and, for non members, $4.00.
In 1981, the club held the first ever North Carolina State Hunter’s Pistol Championships. The club began holding action pistol and bowling pin matches in 1982, the same year, Bob Clark affiliated the club with the Director of Civilian Marksmanship and formed a junior club. In 1983, we held the NRA Hunters Pistol National Championships, won by Charlie Davis from Georgia. Also that year, David Motsinger came up with the idea to form a corporation to sell stock and accumulate money to buy our own property. PHA Range was formed with 85 shareholders buying the current property for about $40,000. Since that time, those members get their dues paid by the club as rent for the property the club uses.
In 1984, the club sent its first team to Camp Perry for the National Trophy Matches and our newly formed club team beat both North Carolina state teams. The club branched out to host bench rest, high power rifle, bowling pin, and action pistol matches. In 2007, PHA put in a five stand shotgun range, making the club a true, full service shooting club.
Currently, PHA has about 700 members and holds cowboy action, action pistol, pistol plate, fun .22 rifle, tactical rifle, high power rifle, USPSA rifle and pistol matches, and five stand shotgun matches. Our original idea was to serve the community, provide a place to shoot for a reasonable cost, and promote shooting and marksmanship, goals that remain the mission of Piedmont Handgunner’s Association.