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Minto Armouries opens virtual firing range to public Saturday

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Megan Sawka (front) and her friend Darby Riguidel learn how to shoot an air gun on Saturday, with help from Captain Riguidel and other staff at Minto Armoury during their open house.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Megan Sawka (front) and her friend Darby Riguidel learn how to shoot an air gun on Saturday, with help from Captain Riguidel and other staff at Minto Armoury during their open house. Photo Store

Back in the day, the idea of opening up the army’s shooting range to the public wouldn’t have made it past the first toast in the officers’ mess.

In the 21st. century, it’s a different story.

Shooting ranges don’t have to be real, rifles don’t fire live ammunition or even blanks. These days, the firing range is virtual, without risk, which made the idea a reality.

For its 100th anniversary, the Minto Armouries on St. Matthews Avenue opened up its virtual firing range to the public for the day Saturday.

The armoury serves as the training headquarters for the 38 Canadian Brigade Group.

Every November 11, hundreds of Winnipeggers visit the armoury for Remembrance Day services. Most know it as home base for some storied regiments like the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and the Royal Winnipeg Rifles.

There are 10 other units that also acknowledge the armoury as home as part of the Army Reserve Formation of the 3rd Canadian Division, even though many of those units are distributed throughout Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Apart from Remembrance Day, only soldiers in uniform are allowed entry, let alone access to the military’s firing range deep in the basement of the block sized armoury.

History

Updated on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 7:21 PM CDT: Corrects uinits housed at Minto Armouries.

9:46 PM: Adds photo.

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