2011 NRA Bianchi Cup Logo

It's no secret that each year the prize table at the NRA Bianchi Cup is filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money, firearms, and other equpiment and products. The shooting sports industry has long provided amazing support for the event, making it even more alluring for the top shooters to compete. Each year major names in the industry sponsor each event at Bianchi Cup and this year we're joined by an official target sponsor. Here's a look at our major supporters for 2011: 

MidwayUSA returns as the title sponsor and will be awarding $15,000 in cash prizes for first-time Production Class shooters. First-time Men, Women and Junior competitors achieving the highest aggregate score of all four Championship Events with a production firearm will receive $2,500 for 1st Place, $1,500 for 2nd Place, and $750 for 3rd place. This generous sponsorship brings MidwayUSA’s total cash contribution for the 2011 Bianchi Cup to $65,000, substantially adding to the more than $300,000 in cash and prizes that will be awarded this year.

Universal Coin & Bullion returns to sponsor the Practical Event for the second year in a row, with Smith & Wesson sponsoring the Falling Plate Event and Safariland with the Barricade Event. The Moving Target Event is sponsored once again by SIG SAUER while Colt returns to sponsor both the Speed and Celebrity Pro-Am Speed Event.

New for 2011 is Bushmaster Firearms. As sponsor for the Tactical Carbine Challenge, Bushmaster is providing ammunition and firearms for the paper and reactive steel target side event. Also new in 2011 is Action Target, who will serve as the new official target sponsor of the MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup, providing a substantial contribution in terms of target upgrades and related equipment.

Live coverage of the event will begin tomorrow, where NRAblog will be bringing you all the news, photos, and updates from the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club.

The NRA Bianchi Cup on NRAblog

The staff at the 2011 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup is hard at work out on the range at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club as well as here in the Championship Office. Competitor packets, gift bags, final squadding requests and much more are being handled before registration opens tomorrow. It's hard not to be in awe of all the work that goes into a shooting competition of this caliber (no pun intended) and the behind the scenes work is a critical part of making sure that the event runs smoothly. 

While watching the staff in action, I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the "Holy Grail" of action pistol shooting — the reason why more than 200 competitors have flocked to Columbia, Missouri. That's right, it's the Bianchi Cup, the trophy for which the competition is named. To the right we are sharing with you the very first glimpse. The next time you see it, that cup will be in the hands of the 2011 Champion.

Who will that Champion be? Doug Keonig is sure to put up a fight in order to retain his title. Bruce Piatt has tasted victory on several occasions and would love to recapture the Cup. Or will a new face be crowned Champion? Find out for yourself as live coverage begins Wednesday morning here on NRAblog, the best place to find the latest on the 2011 MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup!

Getting ready for the Bianchi Cup on NRAblog

As you read this, Kyle and I are boarding a plane and heading to Columbia, Missouri for the 2011 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup. It's one of my favorite events to cover for a variety of reasons, but in the end the shooting reigns supreme. You'll be hard pressed to find a style of shooting that's more engaging to watch than action pistol competition. The speed, the accuracy, the distinctive sound of a round hitting a steel plate - simply put, it's exciting.

All the events are fun to watch, but for me, it all comes down to the Colt Speed Event (pictured at right). The top-ranked shooters compete side-by-side in a literal race to victory. Fractions of a second separate the winners from the losers, and it's hard not to hold your breath. Seeing the best shooters in the world compete against each other is thrilling in and of itself, but when you pair raw talent with blistering speed, the range comes alive with the spirit of the competition.

Throughout the competition, we'll providing you news, photos, scores, and more to help bring that spirit to you in case you can't join us in Columbia. From interviews with competitors and sponsors, updates on scores, and the inside scoop on the range, we'll have non-stop live coverage. We'll also be covering after-hours events like the Western BBQ (a Bianchi tradition), the Awards Ceremony, and even a concert from one of our celebrity competitors.   

The excitement kicks off Wednesday morning at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club, so make sure you bookmark NRAblog for quick access to all things Bianchi Cup. Special requests? Leave us a comment to tell us what you'd like to see covered at the 2011 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup!  

 

The 2011 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup, also known as National Action Pistol Championship, is set to begin this coming Wednesday in Columbia, Missouri. Each year, several celebrities join the best action pistol shooters in the world to get a taste of the competition and participate in the quest for “the Cup”.

Country Music Star Mark Wills will be shooting at the MidwayUSA NRA Bianchi Cup on NRAblog

We’ve got several celebrities returning to shoot the Bianchi Cup this year including country music superstar Mark Wills, who’s new single “Looking For America” is burning up the charts. Wills has gotten quite a bit of shooting experience under his belt since first competing at Bianchi Cup back in 2009 by hosting 3-Gun Nation, a television show highlighting major 3-gun competitions across the country.

"I’m really looking forward to competing. It’s my third year at the Bianchi Cup, so I’m much more comfortable with the courses of fire,” Wills told NRAblog. “I’m not sure how well I’m going to do since I’ve been busy with my new album, but I’m not there to win, I’m there to have fun and support the shooting sports.”

Other returning celebrities include Cowboy Mounted Shooting Champion Kenda Lenseigne, who holds World and National titles, as well as several world records. This will be Lenseigne’s second year as a competitor, and she’s looking to capture another win during the Colt Celebrity Pro-Am Event.

Two competitors from the popular marksmanship series Top Shot will return to the Bianchi Cup in 2011. Season 1 contestant Caleb Giddings of Gun Nuts Media, and Season 2 contestant and USPSA Champion Maggie Reese will be back at the range at Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club. Giddings and Reese will be joined by Bianchi newcomers and Season 1 alumni Chris Cerino and original Top Shot winner Iain Harrison. You may remember that Harrison and Cerino faced off in the finale for $100,000, with Harrison ultimately clinching the win. Will Cerino best Harrison at Bianchi Cup?

Jessie Harrison and Matt Duff, hosts of Friends of NRA TV will be competing for the NRA Bianchi Cup on NRAbog

Our final returning celebrity is Jessie Harrison, a well-known name in the action shooting community who was last year’s Women’s Champion. When she’s not competing, Jessie is the host of Friends of NRA TV, and her co-host and former MLB player Matt Duff will be joining her on the range this year.

Adding to the excitement are two new celebrity shooters, American Idol finalist and recording artist Bo Bice and actor Patrick Kilpatrick, who is best known for his appearances in films as a villain. Kilpatrick has starred alongside action stars such as Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sean Connery, and Steven Seagal and has made appearances on numerous popular television shows including CSI, 24, Star Trek, Criminal Minds, X-Files, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

We’ll be reporting live from the competition and catching up with these stars, as well as covering their performance in the Colt Celebrity Pro-Am Event on Saturday, May 28th. Bookmark NRAblog for quick access to all the updates live from the 2011 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup! Spectators are welcome during the competition, but please bring eye and ear protection.

With the 2011 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup less than 2 weeks away, here's a feature on Trevor Baucom, a service disabled veteran who recently joined Team Smith & Wesson at Annual Meeting. He'll be making his competitive debut at the Bianchi Cup, so here's more info on Baucom and his journey to "The Cup":

Smith & Wesson® Welcomes Disabled Veteran To Shooting Team
Blackhawk Pilot Trevor Baucom Joins Team S&W at NRA Convention

Disabled veteran Trevor Baucom SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 28, 2011) – Smith & Wesson Corp., announced today that Texas native Trevor Baucom, a former United States Army Chief Warrant Officer #3 (CW3) and Blackhawk helicopter pilot, has joined the ranks of Team Smith & Wesson as the Company’s first disabled veteran shooter. During a special ceremony in the Smith & Wesson booth at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Baucom will be introduced as the newest member of the team and will discuss his plans for competing in the upcoming NRA Bianchi Cup.

More

The NRA's Inaugural National Defense Match guide on NRAblog NRA's Competitive Shooting Division has been rolling out online information guides for the past few months. There's the Bianchi Guide, the Camp Perry Insider, the Basic Guide to Competitive Shooting and much, much more. Now they've added the National Defense Match Guide to their arsenal.

Here's more on the match from John Parker:

Here is our guide for the inaugural National Defense Match, debuting at the National Championships in Camp Perry this year during the High Power Rifle Competition. This is a standalone championship, and the Course of Fire utilized in the match is one we hope that clubs across the country will utilize once they see how exciting it can be.

What sets apart this match from other NRA Competitive Shooting disciplines is the fact that it is designed to mimic real-life training and tactics. Rifles must be on your person and slung round your shoulder when not in use ... just like our Armed Forces stationed across the world are required to do.

NRA's Competitive Shooting Division offers a wide range of activities in all types of shooting for novices and world-class competitors alike. For more information, visit their website at www.nrahq.org/compete/.

Bianchi Cup Champion Doug Koenig stops by the Pyramyd Air Air Gun Range at the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh on NRAblog

Look at which special guest stopped by the "Pyramyd Air" Air Gun Range this afternoon at the 2011 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits. 

Doug Koenig, the champion of the 2010 MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup, swung by the range to say hello and take a couple shots with the different air guns Pyramyd Air generously provided.

Last on his way down the line was the lane with the electronic target provided by SIUS AG. Like all the other competitors, Doug took careful aim at the target and was handed a printout upon finishing of where his shots hit.

A 10.7? Nice shooting, Doug.

The National Action Pistol Championship returns to Columbia, Missouri this spring and NRABlog will be there to follow Koenig, and hundreds of other shooters, as he defends his title.

If you're interested in throwing your hat in the ring this year, visit the 2011 MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup website for rules and information on how to register.

2011 NRA Bianchi Cup Guide on nrablog Thanks to John Parker with NRA's Competitive Shooting Division for the following news on the 2011 NRA Bianchi Cup:

New for 2011, the Bianchi Cup Information Guide is designed for view by competitors and spectators alike. Covering transportation, accommodations, event outline, 2010 Champions, and fun Bianchi Cup facts, the guide is extremely helpful for the newbie and veteran Bianchi Cup attendee. An outline of the matches that comprise the Bianchi Cup, as well as a full sponsorship list with links directly to the manufacturers web sites round out the guide. The guide is viewable online along with other NRA Competitive Shooting publications.

The new guide also includes the formal introduction of Larry Meade as the 2011 NRA Bianchi Cup Match Director. Camp Perry competitors will probably recognize Larry from his work as Deputy Match Director at the National Pistol Championships and as the winner of the very first National Police Shooting Championships where he can still be heard on the range. He is a welcome addition to the Bianchi Cup Match staff for the 32nd annual Bianchi Cup.

The 2011 NRA Bianchi Cup is a little more than two months away, scheduled for May 25-29 in Columbia, Missouri. This year, the Bianchi Cup will be bigger than ever with the addition of cash prizes for first-time shooters from MidwayUSA! Check back with NRAblog for Bianchi Cup news leading up to the famed competition and for live coverage from the event.

NRA Managers for Pistol, Women on Target and more speak with NRANews

Who out there watches NRANews.com? Do you listen to the show on Sirius/XM satellite radio too? Have you noticed anything different? It's the bumpers.

"Most people think bumpers are the same as commercials, but their not," explains NRANews Executive Producer John Popp. "Bumpers are the segments that air between the programs and the commercials. For us at NRANews, that's when we air a quick update from folks around the NRA."

More on shooting bumpers at NRA Headquarters ...

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