Bruce has been a competitive shooter for over 30 years. His interest began at 14 years old when his dad got him involved with the NRA Junior Smallbore Program. Their local range where the program was held, also hosted an adult bullseye league. After watching a competition or two, Bruce was hooked. In his teen years, Bruce shot recreationally, but jumped back into competing in his 20s. He saw the course of fire for that year’s Bianchi Cup posted in a shooting magazine. “It didn’t look all too difficult,” Bruce thought, “so I went to my local range to shoot it for myself.”
Once he arrived at the range, he saw events posted for the upcoming United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) matches and decided to sign up. From then, he began competing at local competitions from New York down to Virginia. Right off the bat he was categorized as an A Class shooter and shortly became Master. And then when a small sponsor picked him up, his competitive shooting career took off.
In 1986, Bruce became a police officer and competitive shooting became his second job. He continued to travel all over the country shooting USPSA, Bullseye, Bianchi Cup, you name it!
Then last September, he tried his luck at the NRA World Shooting Championship...
At the NRA World Shooting Championship, shooters compete in 12 equally weighted stages that combine virtually every type of major firearms shooting sport including pistol, rifle, shotgun and combined firearm sports.
“Other semi-pro shooters have talked about an event like this in the past,” explained Bruce. “Events that have tried this format, have usually only been able to host 3 disciplines. Once you start adding more stages, scoring gets really hard but NRA did a great job.”
In the 2015 NRA World Shooting Championship, firearms and ammo were provided to all competitors. For Bruce, this was much less stressful than other competitions. “I didn’t have to prep as much and pack a ton of gear. I just threw my eyes and ears in bag and was ready to go.”
Bruce arrived at the competition confident and excited. “This type of format caters to my career. A lot of top shooters stay focused on one or two disciplines; but since I’m not a full time competitor, I like to shoot everything and go to matches just to have fun.” And fun is certainly what he had as he was named the 2015 NRA World Shooting Champion!
Will he continue to hold the title of NRA World Shooting Champion this year? The 2016 NRA World Shooting Championship will take place September 15-17 at Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, West Virginia. This year there will be 3 divisions available for shooters to register in: Open Pro, Stock Pro and Amateur. The Open Professional Division is for sponsored shooters who wish to bring their own firearms and ammunition for competition while Stock Professional is for sponsored shooters who wish to compete with provided equipment. Meanwhile, the Amateur Division is for shooters who are not sponsored and will compete with all equipment provided. Each competitor has the opportunity to be crowned the NRA World Shooting Champion and win a cash prize.
Bruce will be competing in the Stock Professional division. “It makes for the most level playing field in the shooting sports. It’s not who can afford the best equipment and no one has an advantage over anyone else. If you want to know who the best overall shooter is, it’s the person who can step out of their car that day and do the best they can in their environment.”
As the event approaches, he is particularly looking forward to the sporting clays stage. “I don’t get a lot of chances to shoot sporting clays, so I enjoy every opportunity to shoot some 5 stand.” However, because he doesn’t shoot clays often, it’s also his most difficult stage. “I don’t like anything handed to me… I like a challenge.”
What’s especially unique about the NRA World Shooting Championship is that it’s not just for the pros. This competition is open to everyone! Bruce has some advice for those thinking of participating, “Do not be intimidated by coming. This competition is the most fun you’ll ever have. This is your chance to shoot many different disciplines with top quality guns that the average shooter will never get a chance to shoot. So submit your entry and grab your eyes and ears, because you’ll never see another competition like this one.”
Registration is still open for the 2016 NRA World Shooting Championship. Register now!