In 1956, a group of rifle shooters got together to form what is now South River Gun Club. At that time, the club was known as Gate City Gun Club. The shooters were primarily bench rest rifle shooters. The Charter Members were T.C. Kennon, Gene Kline, Roland Roberts, Bill Woodward, Lee Sorrells, Sr., Dr. Jack Delk, Marion Key, Charlie Johnson, and G.J. Dye.
In looking for a place to shoot, they found a spot about 1/2 mile outside the Atlanta City Limits in an old abandoned rock quarry (behind what is now Moreland Avenue Shopping Center). The Club leased the property from the owner and stayed at this location for eight years. When this property was condemned, the members again started looking for a new site. This time, the favored spot was Panola Road, which is presently Fairington Condos at I-20. After contacting the owner, Mr. Raspass, they found him to be a very civic minded man and interested in their project to relocate the club. He sent machinery out to make a road to the shooting site. The Club was allowed to stay free of charge until the property was sold. While there, the members built a 100 & 200 yard rifle range, one skeet and trap field, and a 50 yard pistol range with fixed targets. The skeet machines were hand cocked manual throwers, with the use of a 6 volt battery attached to a member's car for release. In 1967, the Club received notice the land was being sold and they would have one year to relocate.
Jim McNichlous and his nephew, Bill Taff, found 67 acres in Newton County (the original owner was Mr. Chester King). A corporation was formed by approximately 20 members and each member was asked to purchase stock in the corporation. Mr. T.E. Robinson from Jackson, Georgia financed the loan, which was paid off in September, 1975.
In 1968, the Club built the first shooting range, a 25 firing point bulls eye range with turning targets. Two skeet fields were also built this year. In 1969, two more skeet fields were added, and in October, 1969, the first registered skeet match was held. In 1971, a 300 rifle range and the fifth skeet field was added.
The Clubhouse was built in 1971. This project was a joint venture of Club Members. Some members furnished materials and others furnished the elbow grease necessary to build it.
In 1972, the first trap field was added. In 1975, the combat pistol range (now a parking lot!) was added and eight more trap fields were built. The addition of the trap fields made it possible for the Club to host the Southern Zone ATA Trap shoot. At the time, Gate City was the only existing club in Georgia with nine fields.
In 1977, the Club felt the need to hire a resident manager, purchased a house trailer and hired a full time manager.
In 1986, Mr. L.L. Evans, Jr., owner of Evans Tool & Die, Inc. of Conyers, Georgia (the present owners) bought the club from the stockholders of Gate City and renamed it to South River Gun Club.
At the present time, South River Gun Club has broken all previous membership records with a membership list of over 757 members.
(Webmaster's Note: This material was reprinted from a document titled "The History of Gate City Gun Club, June 1984, Author Unknown; webmaster's comments and additions appear throughout the article.)
Our Founder, Leonard L. Evans, Jr., was a champion trapshooter and many time All American trap team member who won many State, Zone, and Grand American trophies and the owner of South River Gun Club and Evans Companies, a metal stamping and production company. He was inducted into the Georgia State Trapshooting Hall of Fame in 1995. His tenacity in the shooting sports was evident from the start, as he was a tough, fair, and honest competitor. But aside from his legacy as a champion trapshooter, he was also involved in the resurrection of Gate City Gun Club in 1986. At that time, Gate City was floundering and Mr. Evans decided to purchase the club with the intention of preserving and improving the gun club. After several years of huge losses, the gun club finally turned around in 1999 and at present has over 730 members. Mr. Evans could have given up at anytime during these bad years, but that was not his way. He was not a quitter. If not for him, South River Gun Club would not be in existence today and providing a quality place to shoot for so many. The hallmarks of Mr. Evans were honesty, fairness, and his word was his bond. These traits live on in both South River Gun Club and Evans Companies now, as both continue his great legacy. He was also a devout Christian who backed up his beliefs with deeds through his life, words and benevolence.
South River Gun Club has been at the present location for 52 years. We are both a membership club for rifle & pistol and a public shooting facility for trap and skeet. Membership at SRGC provides you with access to all of our ranges and reduced rates on trap/skeet. We have over 750 members at this time and are growing!
We offer 11 trap and 5 skeet fields, 22 action shooting pits, 25/50 yard bullseye range, and a rifle range with shooting points at 50, 100, 200, & 300 yards for your shooting pleasure. For large events, we have 54 camping spaces with 110v/25a/50a service and water hookup.
Members have 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 9 AM to Dark access to all the rifle/pistol ranges. We are open 3 days a week for the clay target sports: Wednesday, 2P-8P; Saturday, 10A-6P; Sunday, 12-6P. The general public is welcome to shoot trap or skeet with us on these days. The rates for non-members for a round of trap/skeet is $8.00 per round.
We have a full slate of tournaments for those interested in competitive shooting. We have held the Georgia State Trapshoot for 21 years running and major matches in 3 Gun and the Area VI USPSA Championships
We have a full service Pro Shop in our ultra modern clubhouse selling reloading supplies for all disciplines, shotgun shells, and cleaning supplies. If we don't have what you need...ASK! We can order it for you!
As Dove Hunting Season nears, please don't forget to come by the club when we're open to the public and get in a few rounds of trap or skeet so that you don't miss those easy ones! Trust me, in the clay target sports or hunting, practice makes perfect, so come practice some with us and then go out on Opening Day and get your limit!
Try our "Event Calendar" that lists all of the activities going on at SRGC on a given day. Simply click on the link at left and scroll for any given day or month!
If you would like a copy of our membership application and liability waiver, just click on "About Us" at top, then "Membership" and print out a copy of both.
We take Visa/MasterCard/Amex/Discover/Debit cards for all purchases, including memberships!!!
South River Gun Club
5205 Highway 212 N
Covington, GA 30016