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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.
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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)

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May 1st, 2013

Top Shot ALL STARS Premieres May 29 on History Channel

top shot all starsThe hit History Channel TV series Top Shot returns for an ALL STAR season Wednesday, May 29 at 10:00 pm Eastern, 9:00 pm Central. This season will feature a All-Star crew of competitors. The show’s producers say: “This season, it’s all about skill. No teams. No nomination range. Politics and alliances are a thing of the past.”

Past Top Shot champions Iain Harrison, Chris Reed, Dustin Ellermann, and Chris Cheng will also take part in the All-Star season. Colby Donaldson returns as host. And yes our buddy Kelly Bachand is back behind the trigger. Kelly tells us: “I can’t reveal what happens, but rest assured, this will be an exciting new series — there’s some serious talent in this line-up”. Donaldson agrees: “We brought back the best of the best — All Stars, All Skills.”

top shot all stars

Check out the Top Shot All-Stars sneak peek below:

What You’ll See in Season Five of Top Shot
Season Five comes fully loaded with formidable, history-inspired challenges and a vast array of weapons. The first episode calls for mastery of a Soviet semi-automatic rifle, which was used in the 1941 Nazi invasion; a Tactical OBR with 20-round magazines; the Milkor M32A1 grenade launcher; and an FN-FAL self-loading selective-fire battle rifle, popular among NATO troops. In addition, competitors must conquer a mortar-rigged barbed wire fence, an unstable platform and a bull’s eye target, where elimination is just a fraction of an inch away.

top shot all stars

Top Shot fans are excited about the new All-Star format. But, not all fan-favorites from the past will be returning this season. One Facebook commenter noted: “I’m definitely excited, but they should have brought back JJ Racaza (probably best shooter not to win) and Tara (only female to not get eliminated).”

top shot all stars

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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.

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