Shooting USA - NRA Bianchi Cup
John Scoutten and our favorite analyst, Julie Golob, report the action from the world’s most prestigious shooting match, the Championship of NRA Action Pistol that’s better known as the Bianchi Cup. Then the odd-looking Broom handle Mauser is one of History’s Guns. Plus, the story of a sporting clays charity match in California that remembers fallen warriors while helping the relatives cope with the loss. And Julie has a Pro Tip on improving first shot speed in competition.
World Championship of Action Pistol
The NRA Action Pistol Championship, the Bianchi Cup is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious handgun tournaments in the world. Shooters from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan; travel to Columbia, Missouri in search of the perfect 1920 match score. For the second year in a row, top shooters must shoot the entire match twice. And now, another change - the finalists will start with a clean score card, so the win will depend on the final performance on the four courses of fire.
“It’s a huge test because if they are not on their game at that particular moment, it all can change,” says NRA Match Director Pat Cooper.
The four courses of fire remain the same - The Practical, The Barricades, The Falling Plates, and The Mover. Targets distances are from 10 yards to 50 yards, and the mover runs at 10 feet per second. All shooters aim at the tombstone-shaped target, and specifically at the four-inch black center, known as the X-ring. Hits there are 10 points, plus an X. A clean or perfect score at the Bianchi Cup is 1920, representing all 192 shots for the match. It’s a score well known to Smith & Wesson Pro Shooter, Doug Koenig, as he attempts to win his 18th World Championship Title.
Getting Started in NRA Action Pistol Competition
History’s Guns: The Broomhandle Mauser
At the end of the 1800s, firearms were rapidly evolving, with the invention of smokeless powder and the first designs of semi-auto pistols. One of the first successful designs was an autoloader from from Europe, which could hold ten rounds in a box magazine. The odd-looking Mauser C96, nicknamed the Broomhandle Mauser, represented the latest advancement in firearms technology.
“The Broomhandle Mauser, along with the Lugar, which came in right around 1900, really legitimized the concept of the auto pistol,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “These guns absolutely made the general public and the military realize that this is a viable system that was probably going to be the wave of the future.”
Gold Star Family Fundraiser: Some Gave All, the Joey Graves Foundation
Birds Landing in Northern California is known for its pheasant habitat and sporting clays course, but for one day, it has also become an outlet for Gold Star Parents, families who have lost a son or daughter in combat. Two friends, Rick Fox and Si Baxley, helped organize the Some Gave All Shoot, benefiting the Joey Graves Foundation. The cause appealed to more than a hundred people, who came out to shoot sporting clays, meet Gold Star Parents, and learn about the foundation, which offers emotional and financial support to grieving parents, like Kevin Graves who created the foundation in honor of his son.
“Our motto for our foundation is inspired by one, inspired by my son, to make sure we honor all,” says Kevin Graves. “And so, by bringing these families together in a venue where they can talk to each other and share with each other, that grieving process progresses.”
Kevin’s son, Joey Graves, died in Iraq in 2006. The Some Gave All shoot raised $66,000, which will provide scholarships to the children of fallen soldiers, and service dogs for Joey’s battle buddies.
M&P 2.0 Compact
Smith & Wesson’s newest model to get the 2.0 treatment is the 9mm Compact, with reduced dimensions for concealed carry. The Compact has a four-inch barrel, and a shorter grip, which makes the firearm more concealable. Yet, there’s no loss of firepower, with two 15-round magazines supplied. Loaded, the new Compact weighs 2 pounds 1 ounce. All of the 2.0 enhancements ship with the gun, including a choice of four backstrap inserts, which have the new textured grip surface. Full-length stainless steel rails are molded in to stiffen the frame and enhance accuracy. Plus, the Compact gets the new trigger with a shorter tactile reset.
Suggested Retail is $569.
Comp-Tac Infidel Ultra-Max Holster
Comp-Tac Victory Gear has a holster for the new M&P 2.0 Compact. The Infidel Ultra Max is the new inside-the-waistband model. It’s a Kydex and leather hybrid holster for concealed carry. The Infidel Ultra Max is designed with cant adjustment holes to allow the user to change from a reverse cant, straight drop speed-cant, or FBI forward cant. However you want your Compact for the draw, the Ultra Max can do it, while keeping your carry very concealed. The Infidel Ultra Max is $80.99 shipped direct to you when you order on line.
Pro Tip: Julie Golob - First Shot Speed
In rimfire events that focus on speed, like NSSF Rimfire Challenge and Steel Challenge, the first shot is absolutely critical. That’s because it can set the tone for the entire stage. Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob has her .22 Victory pistol to show us how to pick-up speed on that first shot.
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NRA Membership Offer: Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.