16th title for Koenig at the world's most prestigious pistol tournament

2015 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup champion Doug Koenig

Doug Koenig secured his 16th NRA Action Pistol title this week at the 2015 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup in Columbia, Missouri.

Established in 1979, the Bianchi Cup is a 192-shot tournament that tests a shooter's skills at several positions and distances, from cover, and against moving targets. Koenig's final score was a perfect 1920 with 180 tie-breaking Xs, which were needed against fellow perfect shooter Jeremy Newell, who ultimately took second overall with 166 Xs.

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NRA National Action Pistol Championship under way in Missouri

2015 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup

The 37th Annual MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup began with cloudy skies and rain - a lot of rain. Competitors huddled under shelter as long as they could before it was their turn to step up to the firing line at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club in Columbia, Missouri.

Unfortunately for those shooting the Practical and Falling Plate events, the rain-soaked shooting mats provided little comfort while trying to concentrate on hitting Xs. But many shooters still managed to pull off perfect scores through the first day, including defending champion Kevin Angstadt and 15-time winner Doug Koenig.

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NRA National Action Pistol Championship brings world's top shooters to Missouri

Doug Koenig at the Bianchi Cup Practical Event

The 2015 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup officially kicks off tomorrow morning at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club just outside Columbia, Missouri. Nearly 300 competitors representing almost ten countries have come out to be a part of the hunt for this year's cup.

2014 champion Kevin Angstadt, who prevailed last year after countless close calls, is about to feel the full pressure of defending the Bianchi Cup title; especially with 16-time winner Doug Koenig eager to get back on top.

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MidwayUSA sponsors world famous Bianchi Cup for seventh consecutive year

2015 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup

We're happy to announce that MidwayUSA, a leading retailer for shooting sports goods with just about everything, will be title sponsor of the 2015 National Action Pistol Championship for the seventh consecutive year. Known commonly as the MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup for its world famous silver trophy, this major action pistol match will be held May 20-23, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Sign up to compete at bianchicup.nra.org/bianchiregistration.

“The Bianchi Cup is the richest and most prestigious pistol tournament in the world and the competition for the coveted silver trophy get fiercer each year,” said Executive Director of NRA General Operations, Kyle Weaver. “We would like to thank MidwayUSA, an industry leader, for its pivotal role in helping the event grow these past seven years.”

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One of the world's most decorated female shooters talks injury recovery and her passion for the sport

Professional competitive shooter Vera Koo

For those of you new to the world of shooting sports, Vera Koo is a certifiable legend. Owning eight Women's titles from the prestigious Bianchi Cup and two from the World Action Pistol Championship, there's no question that Vera knows what she's doing. Her most recent win came in the form of a team gold medal at the 2012 NRA World Action Pistol Championship in Germany.

Vera has nothing left to prove to anybody and is so passionate about the sport that she continues to shoot; even after overcoming an injury that would force many to retire. Unfortunately, Vera sustained another such injury this past winter, but is hard at work rehabbing to join the ranks at this May's MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup and continue being a professional competitive shooter.

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New beginnings, old favorites, and smoking guns - 2014's best posts

CMA Top New Artist Brantley Gilbert hooking the crowd at the NRA Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Fairfax, Virginia - A lot happened this past year at the NRA. In 2014 we saw the University of Michigan defend a national championship, we helped share the joy of the shooting sports with underprivileged children, and we took time to say thanks to our injured men and women in uniform.

We covered a lot of great stories, but only a handful can make it into each of our end-of-year recaps. Lars shared his top five posts yesterday, so today I get to send off 2014 with my own favorite stories from another successful year for the NRA.

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Caleb Giddings, VP of GunUp Magazine

Capturing a piece of the MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup Championships in Missouri

Columbia, Missouri - If you follow the world of firearms and competitive shooting, then odds are you know know the name Caleb Giddings. Contestant on Season One of Top Shot on the History Channel, competitive shooter and Vice President of GunUp Magazine.

Giddings is also a frequent guest at the MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup. Pulling double-duty as a journalist and a competitor, his recaps and wrap ups provide unique insight into the world's richest shooting championships. Sometimes through the written word and sometimes through video.

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2014 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup honors champions to close out spectacular year

2014 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup champions

Columbia, Missouri - Kevin Angstadt was last seen at Saturday night's MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup awards ceremony with a grin from ear to ear; and with good reason. He'd just accomplished two longterm goals at the National Action Pistol Championships. The first, to shoot a perfect score of 1920. The second, to win it all.

As hard as this is to believe, a perfect score at the Bianchi Cup is not a guaranteed win. Many of the best shooters in the world travel to Columbia, Missouri, for a chance to win John Bianchi's coveted trophy and competition is tight. If your name isn't Doug Koenig, you're going to find the 15-time champion waiting for you at the top. Competitors who have shot 1920 are part of an elite club. But it's not unheard of for championships to come down to the tiebreaking X's between two perfect shooters.

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Virginia resident breaks Koenig's stranglehold on MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup

Kevin Angstadt self portrait at the NRA Bianchi Cup - borrowed from Angstadt's Facebook Page

Columbia, Missouri - For the first time in 17 years, the name Doug Koenig or Bruce Piatt will not be called to the stage when officials announce the Grand Champion of the MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup. Instead that honor goes to Reading, Pennsylvania's Kevin Angstadt and his 1920-171x.

Angstadt accomplished this feat by virtue of being the only competitor to shoot quadruple 480s in each of the four events (Practical, Barricade, Mover and Plates). 15-time winner Doug Koenig (winner of the last four Bianchi Cups) ended up with a 1918-182x while Nigel Gordon finished with a 1918-152x.

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve shooter Kevin Worrell captured his first Metallic Sight title with a 1907-127x while Jessie Duff snagged another Women's crown after firing a 1893-135x.

Once word of the Kevin's amazing success started to spread, congratulations started streaming in from around the globe.

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