By Lars Dalseide | July 11 2014 17:28

Competitors facing chance of seizing National NRA crown from the 13-time champ

Brian Zins shoots during the NRA Centerfire Pistol Championship

Port Clinton, Ohio - Certain things in life are certain

Water is wet, frogs should never trust scorpions, and the sun will come out tomorrow. Another certainty, at least in the world of competitive shooting, is that Brian Zins will win the NRA National Pistol Championship. Well get ready for a day without sun.

Heading into the final match of the competition, Zins finds himself 8 points behind co-leaders Keith Sanderson and Nick Mowrer with a 1759-87x. 8 points behind. Not that either man's score of 1767 (we'll leave out the X count for now) is an insurmountable climb. Heck, Patrick Franks sits only 1 point behind while Lange and Henderson are each a mere 2 points away from tasting the Iron Throne.

In the game of rifle, as opposed to pistol, 8 points is an insurmountable lead. But pistol always brings along a window of hope. Especially for a Top Shot like Brian Zins.

".45 is his gun," said one unnamed NRA official. "Bigger caliber, bigger recoil, more wear and tear on the shooter. Add that to the pressure today's leaders are bound to feel and I wouldn't be surprised to see him retain the crown."

History might disagree.

In 2013, Zins bested his .45 competition by a mere 2 points. In 2012, fell to second place by 3. Neither suggest an 8 point run to be possible. But as they say in the NFL, that's why we play the game.

For now the leaders go home with hope. A belief that a new name will be called to the stage for the top stop at tomorrow's awards ceremony. Tomorrow might disagree, but for tonight ... these are the men with a chance to make history.

US Army Marksmanship Unit holding steady at NRA National Pistol Championships

NRA National Pistol Championships
Overall Standings on Day 3

Place Name Score
1 Keith Sanderson 1767-86x
2 Nick Mowrer 1767-86x
3 Patrick Franks 1766-95x
4 David Lange 1765-91x
5 James Henderson 1765-83x

For more on NRA's Competitive Shooting Programs, visit their website at


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