Shooting USA – International Revolver Championship 2014
We’re covering the annual championships for wheel guns and their fans, with the top revolver shooters at the Hogue Range in California. Plus, a profile of the only man to win two gold medals in his Olympic sport. Vincent Hancock is now teaching and training for another gold in International Skeet.
Thousands of wheel gunners from across the world compete at the International Revolver Championship at the Hogue Action Pistol Ranges in San Luis Obispo, California. It’s the most popular revolver-only match in the country, and this year, there’s an extra challenge: mechanical turning targets.
“We are going to have more mechanical stuff on our stages,” says ICORE Treasurer, Art Leach. “It's what the new people want. We’ve got to give it to them. We’ve got to make this grow. It’s a new ICORE.”
International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts, or ICORE competition uses a time-plus scoring format, meaning the competitor’s score is his or her time. Each stage has its own challenges, where competitors may shoot with their strong and weak hand, or even while crossing a moving bridge. John and Mike break down the action in the Open and Limited Divisions, and take a closer look at the guns that won the match.
History’s Guns - Astra Model 300
There’s another German semi-auto pistol, less-known than the Luger and Walther. Many German pilots carried the Astra Model 300 semi-auto pistol in their cockpits during World War Two. The pistol was actually a Spanish design, chambered in .380 ACP. More than 150,000 Astras were produced through the end of the war, many of which went to the Germans.
“You know, people have a tendency to denigrate some of the Spanish firearms, but at their best, they made really, really, really fine, serviceable guns. And this gun’s a real good example,” says Firearms Historian Garry James.
Shooting USA Profile: Vincent Hancock
Vincent Hancock won the World Championship at age 16, then back-to-back Gold Medals in Olympic Skeet. He’s the only man in his sport to repeat as an Olympic champion. All that while a member of the Army Marksmanship Team. Now, he’s entering a new chapter in his life and career, in Fort Worth, Texas, while training to claim another Olympic Gold in 2016.
“We don’t really know why we moved out here. We did a lot of praying, a lot of searching for houses, land, opportunities, possible jobs, because we didn’t know what was going to happen once I got out of the Army,” Vincent says. “We flew out here to take a look around Fort Worth and stopped by the gun club, fell in love with the place, and everything has felt right since.”
After seven years as a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Vincent is now a new member of the Fort Worth Trap and Skeet Club. And he’s juggling even more than just skeet. Vincent has a wife and two youngsters cheering him on, all the way to Rio.
Sighting In: Smith & Wesson Model 351C
There’s a new J-frame on the market with two extra personal defense rounds, and that’s the result of the teamwork from Smith & Wesson and Hornady. The carry gun has an XS white dot front sight, is hammerless to minimize snagging when drawing from concealment, and is simple to operate. John tested it out at the range.
“First impressions with the 351 C, it's a lot of noise and very little recoil,” John said. “It’s a long and heavy trigger pull; the scale shows a little over 15 pounds. That will take some getting used to, but in the event of an emergency, you’ll likely not notice it.”
It is an effective Personal Defense gun when loaded with seven rounds of Hornady .22 Magnum with their patented Critical Defense bullets.
Pro Tip - Julie Golob on How to Grip Your Carry Gun
In recent years concealed carry guns have gotten smaller. The small size does make them easier to conceal, but that can make shooting difficult. Smith & Wesson pro shooter Julie Golob has some helpful hints for gripping your carry gun.
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