By Kerrin Brinkman | December 10 2010 19:37

When competing alongside some of the best shooters in the world, it can be difficult to standout at a match like the Ft. Benning 3-Gun Challenge. But for some shooters like Clint Upchurch, hard work and a lot of talent make it hard not to notice. As a breakout star in 2010, Upchurch has had some incredible finishes on the 3-gun circuit this year including wins in the Open Division at both the Adams Arms Ozark 3-Gun and at Ft. Benning. Coupled with his appearances in several 3-Gun Nation shoot-offs, Upchurch's victories in 2010 make him one to watch in 2011. NRAblog was able to catch up with Upchurch after his most recent win to get his take on the Ft. Benning 3-Gun Challenge.

Clint Upchurch
Photo courtesy of 3-Gun Nation

NRAblog: You had some stiff competition in the Open Division, like the master himself, Jerry Miculek. How does it feel to take a first place finish at Ft. Benning?

Clint Upchurch: The field at Ft. Benning was stacked with talent and I felt that there were a handful of guys that would be in the running (in the Open Division) as we entered Sunday and only had a couple stages left to complete. I believe that there were less than 20 points separating the top three guys coming into Sunday. To pull off a win against guys like (James) Darst, Miculek, and (Chris) Tilley is a huge accomplishment. Just being able to shoot alongside the best in the sport is an honor.

This is known for being a pretty tough match. What were some of the challenges you faced during the competition?

The stages at Ft. Benning have a reputation for being challenging not only because of the accuracy required but they are more physically challenging than most stages you encounter throughout the year. This year you were climbing over, under and around obstacles, running through trenches and shooting in some really tough positions. The long range stage was a struggle because of the wind and shooting the shotgun in the Cooper tunnel was really awkward. There were also a number of off-hand rifle shots that proved to be a challenging.

Clint Upchurch wins open division at Ft. Benning's Three-Gun Challenge
Photo courtesy of 3-Gun Nation

Any favorite stages or moments from the match? What sets the Ft. Benning 3-Gun Challenge apart from other matches?

The ride in the Stryker, being able to fire an M203, or getting behind a belt fed machine gun are things that you can only experience at Ft. Benning, combined with the world class facility and the hard work put forth by the Army Marksmanship Unit to deliver a quality match are what makes this match so special.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get started in 3-gun competition?

Get out and shoot!! You can't buy experience, so shoot as much and as often as you can. Spending time with other shooters and being exposed to the many different things you may face while competing in 3-gun is a good way to get a grasp on what's going on.

Thanks for catching up with us, Clint, and congratulations on another win this year. We'll see you on the range in 2011!


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