Columbia, Missouri -
At the vast majority of shooting competitions, shooters are grouped into categories known as divisions based on the type of gun they shoot. Here at the 2012 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup, there are three separate divisions: Open, Metallic and Production. Competitors can shoot in two different divisions, but few choose to do so, focusing just one type of pistol.
We'll start by taking a look at the Production, the newest division to be introduced at the Bianchi Cup. Four years ago, the Production division was introduced to bring new shooters into action pistol competition because of the reduced cost and simple requirements. Production guns are just like they sound - they are guns that have had little to modification and are essentially used in the same state in which they were manufactured. They must have a minimum trigger pull of 3.5 lbs.
"Any of the divisions are fun, but I like to shoot a gun similar to something that I'm going to use on duty or in the military," said Kevin Worrell, a Gunnery Sergeant in the US Marine Corps Reserve and a full-time Border Patrol Agent.
Worrel shot Production last year and was named 2011 Service Champion and took home a check for $2,500 after being the top-ranked new shooter. For an additional challenge this year, Worrell is shooting in both the Production and the Open division.
For as simplified as the Production division is, Open is a division where anything goes. Known by many as "race guns", pistols used in the Open division have elaborate modifications, including special optics. These guns often have wings, which are used to brace the gun against the barricades, and other modifications including extended magazine wells, compensators and more. Open guns provide the ultimate in speed and accuracy thanks to the customization, which is why Open shooters win the Bianchi Cup each year.
In the Metallic division, the guns are just as they sound - they have metallic sights.
However, certain modifications are prohibited including wings, optical or electronic sights, thumb rests, or compensators.
We've seen shooters from all three divisions come through registration, which is beginning to wind down. The competition kicks off tomorrow morning, so stay tuned for more as we begin the 2012 Bianchi Cup!