July 13th, 2017

National Pistol Championships and Handgun Marksmanship Tips

NRA Pistol National Championships Camp Perry
Camp Perry photos courtesy NRA Blog.

This has been pistol week at Camp Perry, site of the NRA National Trophy Pistol Championships. The handgun events started with the NRA Revolver matches and Prelim Pistol Agg on Monday, July 10. This was followed with .22 LR individual and team matches on Tuesday, and the CF Championship and Team Match on Wednesday. The pistol competitions conclude today, July 13th, with the NRA individual .45 Championship, .45 Team Match, and Pistol Awards Ceremony.

NRA Pistol National Championships Camp Perry

NRA Pistol National Championships Camp Perry

NRA National Bullesye pistol championship camp perry ohio OH

Precision (Bullseye) Pistol Championship (Camp Perry, OH — July 9-13, 2017)
Webpage: CLICK HERE for National Pistol Championships INFO
Program: 2017 NRA Pistol Championship Program (PDF)

national pistol trophy match 2016 Brian Zins CMP Camp Perry

Pistol Marksmanship with Brian “Gunny” Zins

The nation’s top bullseye pistol shooters were at Camp Perry this week. If you’ve every wondered what it takes to win a pistol match using the classic, one-handed hold, here are some tips from one of the best ever, Brian “Gunny” Zins, 12-Time NRA National Pistol Champion.

Brian has authored an excellent guide to bullseye pistol shooting. Brian’s Clinic on the Fundamentals recently appeared in The Official Journal of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The CMP scanned the story so you can read it online. CLICK HERE to read full article.

national pistol trophy match 2016 Brian Zins CMP Camp Perry

Top Tips from Brian Zins:

Trigger Movement: If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire the shot needs to be aborted and the shot started over.

Relationship between Sight Alignment and Trigger Control: Often when the fundamentals are explained these two are explained as two different acts. Well, truth be told it’s really kind of hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. In order to truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze.

Trigger Finger Placement: Where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Remember this is an article on Bullseye shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol it would be different.

Proper Grip: A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your or move your wrists around to do that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position [with sights aligned] after each and every shot. The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting position… is with a holster. Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body[.] Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun.

It took decades of competition to acquire all those patches — that’s dedication to the sport.
Camp Perry 2017 Pistol Championship NRA

Permalink Competition, Handguns No Comments »
July 18th, 2016

Pistol Perfection — How to Shoot Like a Champion

national pistol trophy match 2016 Brian Zins CMP Camp Perry

Brian Gunny ZinsThe nation’s top bullseye pistol shooters were at Camp Perry last week for the NRA National Trophy Pistol Championships. If you’ve every wondered what it takes to win a pistol match using the classic, one-handed hold, here are some tips from one of the best ever, Brian “Gunny” Zins, 12-Time NRA National Pistol Champion.

Brian has authored an excellent guide to bullseye pistol shooting. Brian’s Clinic on the Fundamentals recently appeared in The Official Journal of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The CMP scanned the story so you can read it online. CLICK HERE to read full article.

national pistol trophy match 2016 Brian Zins CMP Camp Perry

national pistol trophy match 2016 Brian Zins CMP Camp Perry

Top Tips from Brian Zins:

Trigger Movement: If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire the shot needs to be aborted and the shot started over.

Relationship between Sight Alignment and Trigger Control: Often when the fundamentals are explained these two are explained as two different acts. Well, truth be told it’s really kind of hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. In order to truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze.

Trigger Finger Placement: Where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Remember this is an article on Bullseye shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol it would be different.

Proper Grip: A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your or move your wrists around to do that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position [with sights aligned] after each and every shot. The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting position… is with a holster. Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body[.] Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun.

Brian “Gunny” Zins, History of Championships

NRA Nat’l Pistol Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013

NRA .22 LR Nat’l Champion: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010

NRA Centerfire Nat’l Champion: 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

NRA .45 Nat’l Champion: 1996, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009

NRA Regular Service Nat’l Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

NRA Civilian Nat’l Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010

NRA Nat’l Trophy Individual: 1998, 2003

Photos from CMP 2016 National Matches Zenfolio.
Permalink Competition, Handguns No Comments »
February 28th, 2015

Brian “Gunny” Zins Explains Bullseye Pistol Fundamentals

Brian Gunny ZinsBrian “Gunny” Zins, 12-Time NRA National Pistol Champion, has authored an excellent guide to bullseye pistol shooting. Brian’s Clinic on the Fundamentals recently appeared in The Official Journal of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The CMP scanned the story so you can read it online. CLICK HERE to read full article.

Top Tips from Brian Zins:

Trigger Movement: If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire the shot needs to be abored and the shot started over.

Relationship between Sight Alignment and Trigger Control: Often when the fundamentals are explained these two are explained as two different acts. Well, truth be told it’s really kind of hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. In order to truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze.

Trigger Finger Placement: Where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Remember this is an article on Bullseye shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol it would be different.

Proper Grip: A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your or move your wrists around to do that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position [with sights aligned] after each and every shot. The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting postion… is with a holster. Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body[.] Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun.

In recent years, Brian “Gunny” Zins has been shooting 1911s crafted by Cabot Guns.

Brian “Gunny” Zins currently holds 25 National Records.

Brian “Gunny” Zins

NRA Nat’l Pistol Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013

NRA .22 LR Nat’l Champion: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010

NRA Centerfire Nat’l Champion: 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

NRA .45 Nat’l Champion: 1996, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009

NRA Regular Service Nat’l Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

NRA Civilian Nat’l Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010

NRA Nat’l Trophy Individual: 1998, 2003

Permalink Handguns, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
July 14th, 2013

‘Gunny’ Zins Does It Again — Wins His 12th National Pistol Title

Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
Late last night at Camp Perry, Ohio’s Hough Theater, Brian ‘Gunny’ Zins stepped atop the podium and raised the coveted Harrison Trophy above his head to the cheers of the crowd. He had just won his 12th NRA National Pistol Championship, twice as many as any other shooter in National Match history.

Brian Zins Championship Pistol Cabot Guns
Photo by GOnraMedia

At the dawn of the championship’s second day it looked like Zins might have to wait a year to reach the even dozen. During the first day’s matches he had made the mistake of only firing four shots in a five shot string. And, exactly ten points behind the then-leader, he was kicking himself. “Having a saved round in the .22 Caliber Championship was a rookie mistake that will hopefully never happen again — knock on wood,” Zins laughed.

He’s able to laugh about it now because of his brilliant comeback. During the championship’s last two days Zins became a man possessed. Firing an 880 out of 900 and 885 out of 900 in the national championships’ two final events, Centerfire Pistol and .45 Caliber Pistol, he not only stormed back but finished with a 16-point lead. “But being able to pull it together, keep my head in the game and come back to win Centerfire and .45 was just huge for me,” Zins explained. “At age 44 I have twice as many national championships as anybody else and I’m not done yet. I think I have a few more left in me.”

If history is any indication, it’s certainly possible. But it’s no guarantee. Camp Perry attracts the country’s top shooters and Zins’ titles aren’t all consecutive. Since his first championship in 1996, competitors other than Zins received gold in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2009 and 2011.

Brian Zins Championship Pistol Cabot GunsZins Shoots a Cabot Guns .45 ACP Pistol
“Something people might not know is the gun I shot for the Centerfire and .45 championships was a straight, out of the box, Cabot production gun,” Zins said. “There was no fitting in the barrel, no bushing, the only thing we did was a trigger job. Everything Cabot Guns builds is that quality and now they’ve got a bullseye edition of their guns that can win national championships.” With a little practice, of course. [Editor: Cabot 1911s are no ordinary “production guns”. The lowest priced Cabot, the GI/Classic, costs $4750.00]

Cabot Guns Video from 2012 National Pistol Championships (Zins won in 2012 also)

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
July 12th, 2013

Top Shooters Compete at NRA National Pistol Championships

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
NRA Competitive Shooting’s big event of the year, the National Matches, has commenced. The Remington/NRA National Rifle and Pistol Matches are considered the World Series of the shooting sports. Here you will find the nation’s top pistol, smallbore and high power rifle shooters (and many elite shooters from overseas as well). The six NRA championships, Pistol, Smallbore Position, Smallbore Prone, High Power Rifle, High Power Rifle Mid-Range, and High Power Rifle Long Range are broken up into five legs with High Power and Midrange held simultaneously.

NRA Pistol National Championships

This week’s Pistol Championship sees competitors jockeying for the coveted Harrison Trophy, the aggregate of a Preliminary Pistol Championship, .22 Caliber, Centerfire, and .45 Caliber championships. The all-time winningest shooter of the National Pistol Championship, with 11 titles, is Brian “Gunny” Zins, a featured contestant on the History Channel’s Top Shot All-Stars TV show.

NRA Pistol National Championships

NRA Pistol National Championships

Thunderstorm Halts Preliminary Pistol Event
With the Preliminary Pistol Championship (PPC) cancelled due to a tremendous thunderstorm, the national championship’s standings (thus far) are based on the .22 Caliber Championship completed on July 11th. Leading the way at this stage in the Pistol Championships is Chad Ranton with a 879-42X. There’s still plenty of shooting left to do as Friday (July 12) ushers in the Centerfire Championship and Saturday (July 13) brings the .45 Caliber Championship.

NRA Pistol National Championships

Photos courtesy GOnraMedia. See more photos from the NRA National Championships at the GOnraMedia Photo Archive.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 15th, 2012

Zins Wins his 11th NRA National Pistol Championship

Report by Lindsey J. Morgan for the NRA Blog

Brian Zins won his 11th NRA National Pistol Championship this weekend. Zins finished with a 2649-142X Aggregate, three points ahead of the USAMU’s SFC James Henderson (a two-time past champion). John Zurek finished third. At the awards ceremony, ‘Gunny’ Zins received the National Pistol Champion trophy plaque, a gold plated National Championship medallion, a $500 Visa gift card, and a Nighthawk Custom pistol with Centennial Gold 1911 Coins, provided by Universal Coin and Bullion.

Brian Zins Pistol Champion 2012In an interview with the NRA Blog, 2012 Champion Zins stated: “It is truly an honor to win. It is actually awesome.” Zins revealed he believed he was out of the race after the .45 Caliber slow-fire match. However, Zins did not give up and “just knuckled down.”

Zins advised future Camp Perry competitors: “Don’t be surprised if you don’t shoot your personal best here. This is not the place to do it.” Zins explained: “Camp Perry is a different animal … [there is] a mystery about this place that makes it really hard to perform at your best. All you can do is do better then everybody else.” Brian Zins does not expect to stop at his 11th Pistol Championship and is looking for number 12 next year: “Absolutely, I want to make it a dozen. That’ll be a nice number.”

The National Pistol Championships are comprised of three separate matches; .22 Caliber Pistol, Center Fire Pistol and .45 Caliber Pistol. Each of those matches are broken down into four different events; Rapid Fire, Slow Fire, National Match Course and Timed Fire. Last year’s winner, Philip Hemphill, clinched the High Police title with a final tally of 2616-124X. Ohio State’s Joseph Totts was both High Junior and High Collegian. Judy Tant won the High Woman title for the fifth year in a row.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 9th, 2012

NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships Commence Today

Camp Perry 2012

Lt. General William E. Ingram The 2012 NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships at Camp Perry begin today with the traditional First Shot Ceremony. Following a military band concert, the First Shot Ceremony began at 10:00 AM. Hundreds of shooters, volunteers, employees and spectators were gathered at Camp Perry’s Memorial Monument. This year’s First Shot Speaker, Lieutenant General William E. Ingram Jr., Director Army National Guard, has the honor of firing the First Shot to officially open the 2012 National Matches. Highlights included a color guard, a military band and a National Guard combat maneuver. Dignitaries from the National Rifle Association, CMP, National Guard, all branches of the armed forces and local government representatives were recognized during the ceremony.

Complete day-by-day coverage of the NRA National Championships will be provided by the NRA Blog, which will have a team of reporters on site at Camp Perry throughout the next few weeks. Starting July 10, the NRA Blog will deliver competition updates, with match standings, photos, and video clips.

Pistol Shooters Lead the Way
Camp Perry 2012 Brian ZinsPistoleros take the stage for the first phase of the National Championships. After today’s Pistol Small Arms Firing School and SFAS M9 Pistol EIC Match, the NRA National Pistol Championships commence tomorrow, July 10, and run through July 14 (with National Trophy Matches on the 15th). The Pistol Championships should be hotly contested this year. Legendary handgunner (and Top Shot Season 2 Runner-Up) Brian ‘Gunny’ Zins (USMC retired) returns to Perry with the goal of securing his his eleventh pistol title. Standing in his way will be 2011 Pistol Champion Philip Hemphill along with of James Henderson, John Zurek and others.

2012 CMP National Trophy Matches
9 July: First Shot Ceremony
9 July: Pistol Small Arms Firing School
9 July-4 August: NM Air Gun Events
10 July: Warm-up Pistol Match
15 July: National Trophy Pistol Matches
22 July: National Rimfire Sporter Match
27-29 July: Rifle Small Arms Firing School

2012 NRA Rifle and Pistol Championships
10-14 July: NRA National Pistol Championship
18-26 July: NRA Nat’l Smallbore Rifle Championships
5-15 August: NRA Nat’l High Power Rifle Championships

First Shot Camp Perry 2012

This story is based on report in the NRA Blog.
Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 9th, 2011

Chris Reed: History Channel’s Top Shot at the NRA Annual Meeting

This story, by Lars Dalseide, appears courtesy the NRA Blog

chris reed top shotChris Reed of The History Channel’s Top Shot TV Show has been a busy man as of late. The final episode of Season 2, which aired just over a week ago, saw Chris get the best of 10-time NRA pistol Champ Brian Zins during the final round to officially claim the title of Top Shot. Two days later, reporter Lars Dalseide found him on the floor of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the NRA’s 140th Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

“Oh man it’s been crazy at times,” said Reed. “Every day events like grocery shopping or a thing with the kids can turn into a mad house. But I’m enjoying it all while I can.”

A self-described “good ole country boy” from Tennessee, Chris Reed’s sudden rise to fame doesn’t mean his role in the household has changed all that much. He still gets the kids ready for school, performs assigned chores around the house, and prepares a mean dinner. Still, they were nice enough to reserve Tuesday nights to see if Dad could survive one more week on the show. “My friends and family have been very supportive throughout the show,” Reed explained. “We’ve all got together for a Top Shot party every Tuesday night for the last 12 weeks. It’s been a blast.”

Read has received plenty of attention: “It’s almost rock star status — Lot of folks ask for pictures and autographs … it’s been real nice. Get this, people in charge of my high school reunion called. They want to move it up a year and give it a Top Shot theme. That’s something.”

chris reed top shotEven though season two of The History Channel’s Top Shot has officially come to a close, that doesn’t mean the relationship built in the hills of Santa Clarita, California have ended as well.

“I still keep up with George and Joe. I’ve talked to Gunny quite a bit. We all stay fairly close and talk about once a week. If I can work it out, maybe come up to Camp Perry (for the Pistol Championships) and give Gunny the what for. I’m squared away on that.”

Text and photos copyright 2011 NRA Blog.

Permalink News No Comments »
April 17th, 2011

View Latest Top Shot Episode on History Channel Website

If you missed this week’s “Shakedown” episode of Top Shot, you can now watch the full episode on the History Channel website. We think this is one of the best Top Shot shows so far, because there is plenty of shooting, with modern guns, over interesting courses of fire — the kind you’d see at a multi-gun match. And the elimination round was a true skills test. This week’s “expert” is none other than Iain Harrison, the Top Shot Champion from Season One. Iain selected four firearms for this week, and they are good ones: Sig p228 (9mm), Browning High Power (9mm), AR15 (5.56×45), and FN-FAL (7.62×51).

Competitors shoot all four weapons in sequence, off-hand, over a timed course. To add challenge, each shooting station offers an unstable platform — with wood planks that swing, wobble, or bounce. At left you can see the AR15 station — a wood platform suspended by ropes. You’ll be surprised with the performance of some of the favored shooters (including Gunny Zins), and you’ll see why it may be a good thing that the U.S. Military switched from the 7.62 NATO cartridge to the 5.56 round. Most of the shooters had big problems with the heavier-recoiling 7.62×51 “battle rifle” at 100 yards.

CLICK HERE to watch Top Shot “Shakedown” Episode

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »