By Kyle Jillson | June 29 2013 10:04

SFC Jason Parker of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit shares what he brings to the range

United States Army Marksmanship Unit shooter SFC Jason Parker

Fairfax, Virginia - In next month's Shooting Sports USA, Barb Baird of Women's Outdoor News gets ahold of accomplished shooter SFC Jason Parker of the US Army Marksmanship Unit to ask him the all-important question: What's in your range bag?

He’s “been there and back.” Sgt. First Class Jason A. Parker competes and instructs with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit based out of Fort Benning, GA. If his gold medals could be melted down for cash, he probably could retire early.

Shooting competitively since the age of 13, after his parents purchased a competition air rifle for him as a Christmas gift, the Ohioan enlisted in the Army in 1997 and medaled consistently from the start. Jason said, “After the 2004 Olympics, I decided that I wanted to transition to more smallbore shooting. Currently, I shoot mostly Olympic Style 3-Position and Prone and a few 300 Meter competitions every once in a while.” Most recently, the Rochester, N.Y. native won every event he competed in at this year’s National Championships for Rifle & Pistol.

He competes with an Anschütz 2013 in a Precision stock with Eley Ammunition. “I carry a large OGIO duffle bag for all of my equipment. I like a more rugged bag that can handle airline baggage carousels, so it will last longer.”

And, what’s in that bag, Jason Parker?

  • Knobloch prescription shooting glasses that can be adjusted so thatthey are directly in line with my sight picture.
  • Cheap foam earplugs. They are always clean and I don’t mind if I lose one.
  • Shooting jacket and pants, needed to provide the support necessary to hold the rifle steady Sling, used in the prone and kneeling positions.
  • Glove, used on non-firing hand for extra padding and comfortin all positions.
  • Shooting boots that help in the standing position by providing a flat platform on which to build your position.
  • Scope and scope stand to watch for mirage and to verify all shots on electronic targets.
  • Tools for making adjustments to my rifle for each of the three positions.

Jason doesn’t carry any item for good luck. He said, “However, I do put my left shoe and sock on first for luck. Please don’t ask me why.”

But you might want to ask him, if you see him at one of these competitions. He’ll be shooting at the World Cup in Granada, Spain, from July 3 through 11; at the NRA National Championships, Camp Perry, OH, from July 16 through 26; and the 300 Meter USA Shooting National Championships and World Championship tryouts at Ft. Benning from August 12 through 18.

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