Coming Full Circle at the 2012 Vintage Cup

For 2012, the Vintagers Order of Edwardian Gunners — fondly called the Vintagers — revisited their original venue for the 16th Annual Vintage Cup sporting clays and stalking rifle competitions, with a bevy of merchants populating the expansive white tents.

Addieville Farm East in Mapleville, Rhode Island, saw the shooting action this year at an event noted for Vintagers members appointed with fashions and long guns that harken back to the United Kingdom’s Edwardian era, which began with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901and lasted through the end of World War I in 1918. In the spirit of the group, Vintagers Founder Ray Poudrier is legendary for closing club correspondence with “Hammers Back” — a reference to traditional shotguns and rifles that employed external hammers to strike the firing pins.

purdeybarinwood1A Purdey hammer gun (source: M.W. Reynolds).

Turning back the clock, the Vintagers’ inaugural event was held at Addieville Farm East in 1997, and again in 1998. For the next eight years, the Vintage Cup shifted to Orvis’ Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook, New York. After Sandanona, the Vintage Cup took place at Pintail Point in Queenstown, Maryland before returning in 2012 to Addieville Farm East, its home for the next four years over a September weekend in keeping with tradition.

The Vintage Cup is the group’s national, annual gathering. At 18 years old, the Vintagers was chartered as a non-profit corporation to promote the enjoyment of fine game guns, period attire, discriminating dining and good fellowship.


Vintagers membership, at approximately 400, has remained stable since the mid-2000s. “It’s a select bunch of people who want to do this,” explained Mr. Poudrier in the Vintagers tent at Addieville Farm East. “Most of our members are in their sixties and they have the time and money to participate.”

With its preponderance of gray beards, ongoing viability of the group would appear endangered. But Mr. Poudrier said that the Vintagers is attracting younger enthusiasts in their forties and fifties. He elaborated that the economy, more than natural attrition, has impacted participation.

Vintage attire is not required for competing in the Vintage Cup, and in fact some gun buffs just browse the exhibitors’ booths of antique firearms and book dealers as well as like-minded organizations.

To capture the spirit of the Vintage Order of Edwardian Gunners, see our photo album that follows.
As Mr. Poudrier would say, “Hammers Back.”

Irwin Greenstein is the Publisher of Shotgun Life. You can reach him at

Useful resources:
The Vintagers Order of Edwardian Gunners web site

IMG 0850Ray and Melanie Poudrier

IMG 0854Chris Gilgun, Karin Gendron and David Brown

IMG 0880Morris Baker
IMG 0859Kirk Brunson

IMG 0861Steven Cobb

IMG 0866Larry Dever

IMG 0872Frank Finch

IMG 0883Jim Rood and Kieth Broadley


IMG 0908Sharon and Karl Leiber

IMG 0910Jack LaPenta



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