Shooting USA – Bianchi Cup: 35th Anniversary
It’s the championship of NRA Action Pistol, better known by the name of the trophy, the Bianchi Cup. It’s the richest and most prestigious match in the handgun shooting sports. In the 35th year of competition, we’ve got a surprise finish with highlights you won’t see anywhere else, Plus the history o f the Mark III Enfield, and Julie Golob has advice for first time gun buyers.
Bianchi Cup: 35th Anniversary
It began in 1979 as a competition to test the shooting skills of law enforcement officers. Now, after 35 years, the Bianchi Cup is the richest purse in the handgun sports.
“The pressure’s pretty intense,” said Smith & Wesson Pro Julie Golob. “It’s not just for the fact that you want to win, or beat somebody else. The pressure of this event, unlike any other action shooting sports we compete in, is that there is a perfect score.”
For the 35th Bianchi Cup, the largest group of competitors and spectators flocked to the Green Valley Gun Club in Columbia, Missouri. Four division titles are on the line: Production, Metallic, Open, and the Women’s Championship. All divisions shoot the same four stages over a three-day period, and everyone aims for that perfect score: 1,920.
Following the Cup, the Colt Speed Shooting Event is an all out drag race to see which shooter can knock down five steel targets the quickest.
History’s Guns - Mark III Enfield
The Mark III Enfield, better known as the SMLE for Short Magazine Lee Enfield, was the British infantry weapon of choice during World War One, following its introduction in 1907. Its versatility and reliability have made this bolt-action rifle one of History’s Guns.
“I’ve never read a disparaging word by a World War One British soldier against his Enfield,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “And he was very, very, very well armed. One of the few things His government did for him was to give him a really good firearm.”
Sighting In - Gear for 3-Gun
If you’re new to 3-gun, chances are you don’t have the equipment to carry and protect all of your gear. Uncle Mike’s has the answer. The 3-Gun Competition Bag is a lot more than just a soft-sided case, it can be configured for shoulder carry or as a back pack. Plus, it’s waterproof, has a dump pocket, and is built to fit a hard case.
Smith & Wesson and Viking Tactics have co-branded a new rifle that may welcome new 3-gunners, the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 V-TAC. It features the Viking Tactics skeletonized fore-end, which is sleek and lightweight. Impossible Shots host Mike Irvine topped his with a Bushnell AR Optics 1-4x24 that mounts with a one-piece base with rings.
Pro Tip - Julie Golob on Choosing a Carry Gun
With so many options to consider, choosing the first carry gun can be overwhelming. Smith & Wesson Pro Julie Golob takes a closer look at the choices and gives an explanation of semi-automatic handguns and revolvers.
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NRA Membership Offer: Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.