Rob Leatham, JoJo Vidanes, Mike Voight, and Barry Dueck brought home a Team Gold Medal in the Modified Division - Photo courtesy Julie Golob
This past weekend wrapped up the competition at the IPSC World Shoot in Rhodes, Greece, and shooters from America dominated the leaderboards. Competitors from the United States took home 23 individual medals, with eight of them being gold. They also picked up nine team medals, for a grand total of 32 medals, more than any other country represented. Both male and female U.S. competitors helped rack up the medal count across the different divisions, but for right now, let's here it for the boys. Here's a look at the guys who picked up medals in their respective division and/or age group:
Yesterday we told you about the New Mexico Challenge, a competition here at the 2011 National Police Shooting Championship specifically for New Mexico police and military who are new to Police Pistol Combat shooting. Here's a look at the action on the range with photos taken by none other than Glen Hoyer, Direction of NRA's Law Enforcement Division.
The Tactical Police Competition is winding down and it's almost time for final results and awards. Stay tuned, because we'll have it all for you right here on NRAblog.
To paraphrase from the original announcement, NRA Life of Duty is made for those who make it their business to protect the rest of us by strapping on a gun. Police, military, anyone who has a hand in looking after the public ... that's who the NRA had in mind when creating Life of Duty.
Constantly updating the site with both the interesting and exciting, Life of Duty just posted another video chapter on the activities on the Special Forces team of Green Berets known as ODA 574. Based on Eric Blehm's The Only Thing Worth Dying For, ODA 574 headed into mountains of Southern Afghanistan in November of 2001.
When you have a moment, give Life of Duty and ODA 574 a look ... you'll be hooked in no time.
Stage 1 of the JP Enterprises' Rocky Mountain 3-Gun is making competitors work hard before they even get to shoot. To get to the stage, shooters have to climb up a steep hill that would challenge the most sure-footed mountain goat, all the while lugging their gear and ammo. Luckily for the competitors, they only need one firearm on Stage 1 - their rifle.
Comprised of 12 steel and 12 paper targets, the course of fire for Stage 1 is a winding trail set on top of a ridge. As competitors move through the stage, they must fire at a targets ranging anywhere from 10 out to 400 yards.
We were able to catch up with Squad 10, comprised of industry shooters and competitors from the Army Marksmanship Unit's Action Shooting Team. In the photo slideshow above, we've featured Remington's Robby Johnson, DPMS' Tate Moots, and AMU shooters John Halsey, Daniel Horner, and Tyler Payne. We've still got seven more stages and two days of competition to cover, so keep checking back for more from Rocky Mountain 3-Gun here at the NRA Whittington Center.
Now that the 2011 NRA National Pistol Championships have come to a close, it's time to take a look at the predictions I made prior to the competition and see how well I picked my ponies. When I heard that 10-time National Champion Brian Zins wasn't competiting due to a case of tennis elbow, I naturally leaned toward 10-time NPSC Champion Philip Hemphill and two-time National Champion SFC Jim Henderson as my top picks. Both are strong, consistent shooters who are practically guaranteed a spot in the top five, if not the top three. But as the competition began, I was beginning to doubt my picks...
The Harry Reeves Memorial and Distinguished Revolver Matches open the competiton during the Pistol Championships, and as I watched these matches, I realized I probably should have added some more names to my list of picks. David Lange, a civilian shooter from New Jersey, won Distinguished Revolver Match and placed second in the Harry Reeves Memorial Match. SSG Jean-Noel Howell of the Army Marksmanship Unit was on Lange's heels in each match, taking third in the Harry Reeves and second in the Distinguished Match. I'll always give credit where credit is due - using a revolver in the world of bullseye competition is harder than it may look, and Lange and Howell had me impressed. SSG Patrick Franks, another one of my top picks, also shot well, giving me a bit of hope as far as my predictions were going.
Going into the Preliminary Pistol Championship the next day, I was fully expecting SFC Henderson to come out of the gate strong. Having won the event for the past two years, I knew he was a prime candidate to take another win, albeit in this "practice match". While it may not count towards the aggregate score of the overall championship, the results of this match can set the pace for the week and leave some intimidated. In the end, SFC Henderson did not let me down, taking the win yet again.
Moving into the .22 Caliber Matches, I was blown away to see a new name top the leader board when Greg Derr won the .22 Caliber Championship. Mere X's seperated the next four competitors, including Henderson, Hemphill, and CPO Wes Fleming of the Coast Guard. With two more days of competition left, I still felt confident in having picked Henderson and Hemphill, but I made a mental note to expand my list of picks from three to six in 2012. Could a new name really rise to the top this year?
The absence of 10-time National Champion Brian Zins on the range and on the score board has been noticeable for those at Camp Perry this week, but he returned to Camp Perry as a vendor in 2011 rather than a competitor. D'arcy Egan with Cleveland's Plain Dealer caught up with Zins to talk to him about competing and his new business venture:
"Gunny" Zins back at Camp Perry, but won't shoot for record 11th title
OAK HARBOR, OHIO -After Brian "Gunny" Zins graduated from Canfield High School in 1987, he ran off and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. They put a rifle in his hands, telling Zins to punch holes in targets.
The shooting experience changed his life.
Zins found he had a knack for accuracy, a quality the Marines were eager to polish with the best instruction and as much ammunition as Zins cared to shoot.
"I was only in the Marine Corps for nine months when I took a bronze medal in a division rifle match, then a silver in the Marine Corps Championships." Zins said. "I was asked if I could shoot as well with a pistol. I told them I was better at shooting a pistol."
Zins became a star of the Marines' service team and sparkled on the firing line at Camp Perry, where the prestigious National Rifle and Pistol Matches began this week. Zins won his first National Pistol Championship in 1996, and proved it wasn't a fluke by winning the crown again in 1998.
Zins put together a record-setting run, winning the pistol crown in 2001-2005 - more than any pistol shooter in history - and again in 2007. As a civilian shooter, he was the champ in 2008 and 2010.
Zins, 41, returned to Camp Perry this week for the month-long matches. The former military policeman won't fire a shot, but did bring lots of ammunition. His goal these days is building a better bullet, resulting in the recent creation Gunny Zins Ammo, which is making its debut on Commercial Row at the National Matches. Zins says his pistol ammunition is both accurate and affordable.
Finish reading the article here.
Yesterday's storms couldn't put a damper on last night's First Shot Ceremony, with the event kicking off on Rodriguez Range as scheduled. The ceremony began with attendees gathering while the 122nd Army Band played. Master of Ceremonies and DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson led a procession of special guests into the ceremony and then announced the VIPs as they entered the range.
VIPs for the event included Guest Speaker The Honorable Joseph Westphal, Under Secretary of the Army, who also fired the First Shot. Also in attendance were NRA President David Keene, Wounded Warrior SFC Sene Polu, who fired the second shot, our Chaplain, 2nd Lt. Tom Whiteman, Major General Deborah Ashenhurst, Adjutant General of Ohio, and Judy Legerski, the Civilian Aide Emeritus to the Secretary of the Army and Vice Chairman of the CMP Board of Directors.
Although the colors are typically delivered by soldiers parachuting from a helicopter, this year's inclement weather led to the Ohio National Guard's 19th Special Forces performing a mock patrol to present the colors to Anderson, who then gave the flag to the Lorain High School JROTC. The 122nd Army Band played the National Anthem as the colors were raised. After an introduction by Legerski, Under Secretary Westphal addressed the crowd and fired the first shot, followed by SFC Polu.
This is my third year covering the National Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, and now that I've been around for a few years, I figure it's time to pick my ponies for who could be named Champion in 2011. With 10-time National Champion and favored pick Brian "Gunny" Zins out of the running, the door has opened for many of our shooters to step to the top of the podium.
The Crossover: Philip Hemphill
If the saying “Always a bridesmaid never a bride” related to the National Pistol Championships, then it would certainly apply to Hemphill. A strong and consistent shooter, Hemphill holds 10 titles as the Champion of the NRA National Police Shooting Championship, but the title of NRA National Pistol Champion has always eluded him with many a top-five finish. With his law enforcement background providing him with a steady hand and a cool head, 2011 could be the year that Philip Hemphill finally gets the win he’s been trying for and help him complete the crossover from law enforcement champion to a national title at Camp Perry.
The Newcomer: SSG Patrick Franks, United States Army
With the same names seeming to top the leader board each year at Camp Perry, I’ve decided to include a shooter who I think could see the spotlight in 2011. Franks joined the Army Marksmanship Unit in 2009 and made his first appearance with his new teammates at Camp Perry in 2010, shooting a strong score of 2583-103X. In the past year, Franks has been putting up consistently impressive scores at matches around the country and his innate talent coupled with a hunger to win could push him to the podium in 2011. Even if he doesn’t clinch the championship this year, Franks is definitely one to watch and is a name that we’ll get used to seeing.
The Previous Champion: SFC James Henderson, United States Army
Henderson has consistency working in his favor as competitor that has shot consistently high scores. One of the more experienced competitors on the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Pistol Team, Henderson was named Champion in 2009 and back in 2006 when he ended Zins’ five-year winning streak. The good news is that Henderson has proven he can take top honors two times here at Perry, showing that his wins were no fluke. He’s also riding high following a win at the Interservice Pistol Championships held last month at Ft. Benning. The bad news is that he’s established a pattern of winning every three years, meaning that he wouldn’t have his year again until 2012. I say that patterns, much like rules, were meant to be broken.
I'll be keeping you posted with scores and updates throughout the National Pistol Championships, so keep checking back with NRAblog for the latest information here at Camp Perry. The competitors are taking to the range this morning for practice, and this afternoon we'll see the Harry Reeves and Distinguished Revolver Matches.
The First Shot Ceremony is scheduled to begin in just a few minutes to signify the start of the 2011 National Matches at Camp Perry. Held on Rodriguez Range, the ceremony is attended by competitiors, vistiors, and special guests including NRA President David Keene and Mike Krei, Director of NRA's Competitive Shooting Division. Also in attendance are representatives from the Ohio National Guard, the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and notable local figures.
Each year, a special guest is selected to speak and also fire the first shot. This year's shooter is The Honorable Joseph Westphal, Under Secretary of the Army. Another tradition for the First Shot Ceremony is having helicopters fly over where soldiers jump from the aircraft and parachute to the range below, delivering the colors. However, things are a little different this year, and a team from the 19th Special Forces performed a mock patrol to deliver the colors to Gary Anderson, the DCM Emertius of CMP who served as the Master of Ceremonies.
We'll be bringing you a photo slideshow of the First Shot Ceremony tomorrow, so check back to see all the action from the event that kicks off the National Matches.
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