Top Shot star Brian Zins adds to winningest resume at NRA National Pistol Championships
Port Clinton, Ohio - "The wind got to everybody except Brian," professional shooter, and Cabot Guns teammate Andy Moody said of Brian Zins, who claimed his 12th NRA National Pistol Championship this afternoon at the Remington/NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships.
After three long days of shooting 270 shots for record, attaining a 2634 out of a possible 2700, Zins could relax. It hadn't been easy, but it never is. Thanks to the unpredictable and unrelenting weather on the shores of Lake Erie, where Camp Perry has hosted the National Matches for 106 years, shooters are subjected to high winds, heavy rains and intense heat - often all in the same day.
Saturday brought the NRA Pistol Championships' .45 Caliber Championship, one of three that determine the year's national champion. Zins approached the the firing line with a lead of seven points in the race for the national title thanks to some spectacular shooting in the .22 Caliber and Centerfire championships; the Pistol Championship's other two matches. A seven-point lead was far from secure with top shooter John Zurek in second place and Zins needed to bring his A-game if he hoped to bring his number of national titles to an even dozen.
A less experienced shooter may have faltered in this situation, their concentration waning with championship thoughts or heart-sinking collapses, but Zins had been in this position many times before. With calm nerves and a clear mission - get it in the black - he shot away.
Posting some mind-boggling groups on his way to a 885 out of 900 score, Zins captured the title and increased his overall lead over silver medalist John Zurek by 16 points.
With no more shooting left, Zins was free to chat with friends and family who were lining up to congratulate him. He wouldn't need to follow any more commands until the champions were asked to take their places on the podium later in the evening - an order he would not mind in the least.
Congratulations, Brian. You've earned it. Good luck going for a baker's dozen next year.