The headquarters of the Melbourne Gun Club in the later nineteenth century were located at the "Brighton Hurlingham" at the corner of Union Street, Hawthorne Road and Nepean Highway, Brighton.
Shoots were regularly organised, inlcuding two pigeon shoots of note. The first was on 15 February 1890, when Lewis Clarke defeated Capt. J.L. Brewer of America (World Champion) for a two hundred pound prize. The second occurred in 1908, when A.W. Eales won the Commonwealth Championships.
The Melbourne Gun Club introduced rifle shooting in 1885 at 'Elster Park', according to a Bayside City Council report on the park. Additional research is required to determine if the Melbourne Gun Club was at both Hurlingham Park and Elsternwick Park, or if early terminologies have confused the parks.
The Melbourne Gun Club issued a medal with an image of a rifleman and inscribed 'M / S.C' (NU 20126). The medal is undated, but appears to date from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.
In late 1950 members of the Melbourne Gun Club started skeet shooting in Australia. The sport has become popular in all states. The Melbourne Gun Club hosted the World Trap and Skeet Championships in 1974.
In 2004 the Melbourne Gun Club described itself as 'one of the biggest and best equipped in Australasia. It has facilities to conduct competitions in International Sport Shooting Federation (ISSF) and Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA) disciplines. The Club is primarily active in clay target competition shooting, however, regular practice and training takes place on a Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon. Instructors are on hand on a Saturday morning for both Trap and Skeet to train beginners to prepare them for their entry into competition.'
Photographs of Melbourne Gun Club members in the late nineteenth century are held in the collection of the State Library of Victoria.
Melbourne Gun Club website: http://www.melbournegunclub.com.au
Bayside City Council report: http://www.bayside.vic.gov.au/Documents/elsternwick_park_no_date.pdf