The Saskatchewan Provincial Rifle Association (SPRA) was created in 1885 at Prince Albert and as the Territorial Rifle Association in 1891 in Edmonton. The Province of Saskatchewan not yet having been created until September 1, 1905 and at that time the association became the SPRA.
The Prairie Provincial Rifle Association (PPRA) was originally formed in 1942 or 1943 and consisted of MPRA, SPRA, and APRA. About 1960’s the original trophies were located and the PPRA was back in full swing. The PPRA is the final match of the year and at one time, you were not considered a provincial champ unless you also won at the PPRA match.
Most PRA’s have a co-joint membership with the DCRA. There is an agreement with the DCRA and the DND for use of DND ranges and the SPRA over the years have used many different DND ranges. Regina at the RCMP 1000 yds range, then located west of Wascana creek prior to the 1930’s was but one. Even back in these days, it was a very big thing to win the LT. Gov’s Medal at the Annual Championships and it made front-page news. There was also a range southwest of Saskatoon that was used for a time. Camp Dundurn’s 1000 yd range from 1935 to the fall of 1997 was also used. The SPRA also shoot at Burdick at the same time, located east of Moose Jaw and was an active Canadian Forces range, controlled by the militia HQ in Regina at the Elphinstone Armouries. Burdick range that is no longer operating was east on Hwy 1 from Moose Jaw and a little North on Hwy 301. If you go to the first grid North of the access to Burdick (which is 50 24 22 deg N, 105 21 50W), there is/was a second shooting place on private land. The militia own a couple of sections of land that makes up the danger area. As the road drops into the valley bottom, there is a fork to the South. In the apex of the triangle is a depressed gravel pit (50 25 32N, 105 19 38.9W). Burdick range is an oddity. It was owned by the Air Force and run by the Militia. It got fixed when both sides got together. Sometimes it was good, other times not. I suspect that when 15 Wing Moose Jaw rolled up its own tail ramp and concentrated on training baby pilots to the exclusion of virtually every other military function, that maintenance fell to the Militia staff in Regina or to CE in Dundurn.
The SPRA currently operates at the North Star Range, located 6 miles east of Nokomis, NE 34-31-22 West of the 2nd. In spring of 1998, Terry Warner signed the cheque to buy the land for this now beautiful range. Four quarters with three in a North South line and one over to the right of the butts. There is a hill conveniently at the one-mile point from the grid. The soil is coarse gritty gravel that is poor for commercial purposes, and not much good for grain farming either. The club bought more land after so they own more of the danger area, and rent it for grain and grazing. There were firing points at 300,500,600,800,900,1000,1100 and 1200 yds and maybe one at a mile. The club has built firing points and a pretty good set of butts. The frames are cantilever style, not the chain and carrier style found on military ranges. They have built a furnished clubhouse with a full kitchen, power, water, heat and A/C, built a large cleaning/reloading shed, planted trees and more.
The SPRA each year puts on two Practice/Training sessions followed by an Open House were shooters are invited to come out and see what it is all about. The association also has cadet rifles and ammunition, extra sling, matts and jackets so anyone can go prone and try the game without the large financial outlay for the required equipment. These spare rifles and ammunition are fully capable of winning any of the matches.