About Conestoga Rod & Gun Club: Preserving Marksmanship Legacy

Explore the rich history of Conestoga Rod & Gun Club, where passion for marksmanship meets a historic legacy. Established in 1950 by avid rifle shooters building an airplane during WWII, our club boasts a heritage intertwined with wartime valor. Three young men, Jack Agnew, Win Goldman, and Bob Raysbrook, fought overseas and became club officers, shaping our legacy.

About Conestoga Rod & Gun Club: Preserving Marksmanship Legacy

Areas of Expertise

  • Premier Indoor Range with 11 Shooting Lanes
  • Diverse Matches: Gallery, Action, Military, and More
  • Welcoming Community for Enthusiasts of All Levels
  • Historic Legacy and 70 Years of Excellence

Join Conestoga today, experience precision shooting, camaraderie, and our enduring marksmanship legacy.

History of Conestoga

History of Conestoga

Back in 1942 during World War II, at the Budd Red Lion Plant, a group of fellows were building an airplane called the Conestoga RB1 Cargo Aircraft. They were avid rifle shooters and wanted to start a gun club so they called it the Conestoga Rod and Gun Rifle Club after the airplane they were building.

At the same time there were also three young men fighting a war in Europe and the South Pacific.  The three young men went on to become club officers of Conestoga:

  • Jack Agnew, who parachuted into France a day before the D-Day Invasion.
  • Win Goldman, who was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Bob Raysbrook, who was awarded the Navy Cross for action at Guadalcanal 1st Marine Division, South Pacific.

The men who worked at the Red Lion Plant shot their .22 rifles at various places for about six years until George Stockburger (of Stockburger Chevrolet) offered them some ground on our present location.  Willing workers constructed our building next to George Stockburger’ s house in 1951 back in the rural town of Southampton on two lane Street Road.  To help pay expenses they had square dances on Saturday nights.  Everything was going fine until the Highway Department widened Street Road to four lanes in 1968 and raised the highway to go over the railroad tracks that crossed Street Road.  Stockburger’ s house was torn down and the club was doomed to the same fate until Win Goldman put up $10,000 to buy the ground (we owned the building but not the grounds).  The club repaid Win Goldman $99.00 a month for ten years.

For about a year, until the highway was finished we had no access to the club.  The only way into the club was from Petro Oil Company parking lot and a little bridge over the creek.

At the time we only had about 65 members and took up collections at the meetings to pay the electric bills.  As time went on we built up the membership and made improvements to the club and grounds as finances permitted.  We had work parties with many club member volunteers.  Bob Raysbrook patched the leaks in our roof for many years.  We insulated the walls and ceiling of the range room.  In 1980, when the price of fuel oil went up from .49 cents a gallon to $1.00 a gallon we ran a raffle and made $1000.00 to buy and install a new heater.  Furniture and a dart board were donated.  We insulated and paneled the lounge, installed a drop ceiling and new lighting in the lounge. We added a ventilation system in the range, ceiling fans, two attic fans, and installed a Masonite peg board in the range room ceiling.  Past president Harold Carpenter painted the entire ceiling and the outside of the building.  We put chimney caps on to prevent squirrels and raccoons from entering.  This was all done by club members.

Treasurer Walt Oehrle and his sons added armored plate to positions one and two, so we could shoot jacketed ammo and installed an air conditioner in the lounge.  The parking lot was paved, trees were cut down on the hill and wall to wall rugs were installed in the lounge. The backstop was rebuilt and lowered by Chuck MacMillian, to accommodate prone rifle shooting.  Many club members helped on these projects.

Conestoga entered teams in the Delaware Valley Pistol League and were the top team in the league.  We also had a rifle team in the Philadelphia Marksman League.  Many plaques and trophies on display at the club attest to the expert shooting of these teams.  But shooting was changed over the years, now we have more action shooting, defensive gun, and silhouette matches rather than team matches.  We even have moving target matches developed by Erich Lauff and Chuck MacMillian

Beginning in 2017, exhibiting his vision and leadership, Hays Raab, President begins discussions with Executive Committee regarding needed building improvements as well as upgrades necessary to grow participation and membership. The major improvements included: replaced/raised roof, commercial grade electrical system, new range ventilation system, HVAC in lounge, ADA Bath, LED lighting, and reinforce backstop to support most jacketed centerfire in all eleven lanes.  Although, certain improvements were installed by contractors some of whom were members, much of all additional work was accomplished via member work parties.  Financing was procured through Quaint Oak Bank as well as through donations made by the membership.  In addition, multi-year memberships to existing members were offered for up to four years at discount rates. The Club was closed for construction from December 2018 thru February 2020.     

Embrace marksmanship legacy. Join Conestoga Rod & Gun Club for camaraderie, matches, and unforgettable experiences!


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