The Hernando Sportsman’s Club is located about nine miles north of the Weeki Wachee State Park off of US-19. On a normal weekend, they offer various activities including target practice and archery. This past weekend in addition to their normal happenings, they held a Gun and Knife Show.
Certain vendors sold modern weapons while others offered collectible historical weapons. There were weapons from both World Wars and even earlier. Most likely the oldest gun we saw was a Japanese matchlock rifle. The matchlock rifles have been around for 500 years.
A matchlock uses a lit (match) fuse that is used to ignite the powder and fire the bullet. It differs from the earlier hand cannons in that the match is mechanically delivered to light the powder so the user can concentrate on aiming the gun while the mechanism takes care of firing the bullet.
There were also a number of long rifles which go from four and a half feet to six feet in length. Seeing these guns in person illustrated why soldiers used to charge enemy lines since at close quarters these guns would not be very useful. The weight of some of these guns was also impressive, it is hard to imagine carrying a rifle of that weight through a forest chasing game.
Ticket sale proceeds from the Gun and Knife Show fund the clubhouse construction project. Currently, they are moving into phase 2, which includes a kitchen, dining area, offices, a small store as well as a small conference room area.
Hernando Sportsman’s Club was founded in 1980 with eleven members, and now they have over 1100 family memberships. When they started in 1980, one of the first tasks was to find a place to shoot. They got permission to use the McDonald mine property east of Brooksville and in a few years moved to a bigger mine northeast of Brooksville on Weatherly Road. In 1988, they had grown to 140 members and they were able to purchase their current 80+ acre property off of US-19.
Continued fundraisers and growth resulted in the opening of their Trap Range in 1992. Until then, the club didn’t have a range to call their own. Soon after construction began on the 200-meter range. They have also built a 100-yard open range, a skeet/five stand range and a 50-yard range.
The next Gun & Knife Show will be held August 14 & 15, 2021. The Gun & Knife Show is held again in October when the weather should be a bit cooler, October 23 & 24.
More About the Club:
The club offers shotgun, rifle, pistol and archery daily. Various events held at the range include Hi Power Rifle, Junior 22 Rifle, Big Bore Pistol Silhouette, Cowboy Action Matches & Cowboy Fast Draw, Bowling Pin Matches, Precision Pistol, IDPA, USPSA, Action Rifle Matches, 3 Gun Matches, 2 Gun Action Matches, Steel Matches, Machine Gun Shoots and Cannon Shoots. The Club also sponsors a 4-H Shooting Program, Hunters Education, Appleseed Rifle and NRA firearms classes. The Club is an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, Unified Sportsman of Florida, National Skeet Shooting Assoc. Florida Sport Shooting Assoc., CMP, USPSA, IDPA, SASS. Membership is open and available for a one-time $300.00 initiation fee plus $100.00 annual dues. It is a family membership that includes spouse and any children living at home up
Address: 16121 Commercial Way, Brooksville, FL 34614. The entrance road to the Club is off of U.S Hwy 19 (Commercial Way), just 9 ½ miles north of SR 50, in Hernando County.