Shooting USA – USPSA Handgun Nationals 2014
The top pistol shooters run and gun in unpredictable Utah weather at the USPSA Handgun Nationals. Plus, the Civil War sniper rifle, the Confederate Whitworth, is one of History’s Guns. And then it’s action at the Whittington Center in the Rocky Mountain 3-Gun Challenge.
USPSA Handgun Nationals
The United States Practical Shooting Association originated in the 1970s as combat training. Since, it has evolved into a sport that awards points for the combination of speed and accuracy, while highlighting the most exotic race-guns, to production guns, in different divisions. This year, the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park hosts the USPSA Handgun Nationals in St. George, Utah.
“We filled up almost instantly and we brought 608 people into the match,” says Match Director Ken Nielson.
Competitors take on 28 courses of fire at the USPSA Handgun Nationals, but they will have to fight through dramatic weather changes. Mike and John cover the Limited, Production, and Open Divisions through this challenging championship match.
History’s Guns - Whitworth Rifle
Infantry muzzleloaders are known to be highly inaccurate at long range, but that cannot be said about a British percussion firearm. The Whitworth Rifle, with its hexagonal bore and mechanically fitting bullet, was accurate at long distance, and is now one of History’s Guns.
“In Britain, this gun became extremely popular as a long-range target rifle,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “Theoretically, some guys were able to hit targets out to 2,000 yards with the thing.”
Colt Government Model 1991
Colt maintains its representation of tradition with the Government Model 1991. It’s finished in dark blue, wearing rosewood grips, and with period features. The Colt Government Model 1991 is $974.
Colt Government Model 1991
Safariland GLX Holster
Bianchi and Safariland used to be rivals, fighting for market share, but the two are now consolidated under Safariland. Bianchi handles all of the leather goods, and Safariland makes concealed carry holsters in kydex, that can also be retention holsters.
Shooting USA Producer Mike Irvine tested the Safariland GLS locking holster with his Smith & Wesson Shield, and successfully released the lock with the middle finger, while still making a quick presentation from the holster. Safariland holsters range from $34 to $56.
Safariland GLS Holster
High-Altitude Challenge: Rocky Mountain 3-Gun
The JP Enterprises Rocky Mountain 3-Gun is an action-packed match in the high desert of Raton, New Mexico. It’s physical, it’s quick, and it all takes place at a world-class range, the NRA Whittington Center. With so much natural terrain, the opportunities to create multi-gun stages are endless.
“33,000 acres, you can set them up almost anywhere,” says Match Director Denise Johnson. “We get to set up all of our stages with a backdrop of mountains. Instead of putting up walls you just run around a rock or in a ravine.”
That’s also why John Paul of JP Enterprises sponsors the competition. With 40 years of match experience, John utilizes the knowledge and skill he’s gained to create innovative rifles. His success is measured by his products, those who use them, like World Champion Daniel Horner, and a growing number of people in the sport.
“Long range, what I would call practical precision shooting, is really where 3-gun was about 10 years ago,” says John Paul. “It's really on the verge of exploding. So we’ve got rifles that are biased towards that, with a little bit longer, little bit heavier barrels so you get the maximum ballistic capability out of the cartridges.”
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