August 23rd, 2011

You Go Girl — Jessie Harrison Dominates Steel Challenge

jessie harrison

Jessie HarrisonNew Name, Same Game
Jessie Harrison (who formerly competed as Jessie Abbate) stormed through the Steel Challenge last weekend, winning multiple titles (including her fourth women’s Overall Win) in a truly dominant display of speed and accuracy. This was a gutsy performance by Jessie, who has faced tough family issues lately*.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the Steel Challenge, one of the most prestigious action pistol events in the country. The match, held August 18-21, 2011 in Piru, California, attracts the top handgunners in the world, who compete against the clock in multiple stages. All targets are steel plates.

In a dominating “three-peat” performance, Jessie Harrison won the Women’s Division of the Steel Challenge. This is the third year in a row that Jessie won the Women’s Overall Title. Her 2011 win now gives her FOUR Steel Challenge Overall titles. This year, Jessie also won the Rimfire Title, the Women’s Limited Title, and the Steel Master Title. Jessie, who shoots for Team Smith & Wesson, proved convincingly that she is the woman to beat in the speed-shooting game.

B.J. NorrisB.J. Norris Blazes in Men’s Division
Jessie’s Team Smith & Wesson team-mate B.J. Norris rolled over the competition in the men’s Open division, demonstrating both blistering speed and consistency. Like Jessie, Norris won multiple titles: Open Division, Rimfire Open, and Steel Master. B.J. shot an impressive 81.18 score to secure the Open Division win.

Former Team Glock shooter Dave Sevigny won the men’s Limited Class (iron sights) with a cumulative time of 90.51. Dave obviously has not suffered too much from his move away from Team Glock, which has lost many top shooters lately. The men’s Production Class winner was Mike Seeklander with a 99.73 score. Living legend Jerry Miculek once again showed he is the world’s greatest wheelgunner, winning the OSR (revolver) class.

*Jessie’s 45-year-old husband, William L. Abbate, a professional shooter, was recently arrested and charged with improper conduct with a 15-year-old female shooter whom he coached. READ News Story.
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May 28th, 2011

Koenig Captures 2011 Bianchi Cup Overall Championship

While a few specialty events will be held this afternoon prior to tonight’s Awards Ceremony, the 2011 Bianchi Cup category winners have been named. Congratulations to Doug Koenig, the 2011 Bianchi Cup Overall Champion. Jessie Abbate of Team Smith & Wesson won the Women’s Division, while Rob Leatham was the Production Champion. Other divisional Champions are listed below:

  • 2011 Bianchi Cup Champion: Doug Koenig
  • Production Champion: Rob Leatham
  • Womens’ Champion: Jessie Abbate
  • Metallic Champion: Rob Vadasz
  • Junior Champion: Tiffany Piper
  • Senior Champion: Chuck Thomey
  • Service Champion: Kevin Worrell, USMC
  • Lawman Champion: Bruce Piatt
  • Newcomer: Nigel Gordon

In the video below you can watch John Pride, four-time Bianchi Cup champion, shoot the Moving Target Event yesterday. Pride shot a 474-28x in the event and went on to finish with a 1822-133x overall in this year’s Bianchi Cup. (Warning: Loud volume — turn down your speakers in work setting.)

In the next video (below), Heribert Bettermann and teammate Dirk Borchardt of the German National Team compete in the Falling Plate event. Heribert finished with an excellent 480-66x. The Bianchi Cup draws many competitors from outside the United States. Teams from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Germany made the long journey to Columbia, Missouri to compete in this prestigious competition.

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December 27th, 2010

New NRA TV show Premieres January 2 on Outdoor Channel

On Sunday, January 2, the Friends of NRA television show will premiere at 10:30pm EST on the Outdoor Channel. The Show is co-hosted by professional shooter Jessie Abbate and former MLB player Matt Duff (host of the Buck Commander series). Based on the Preview Video below, it appears the show will have high production values and be entertaining. Click Here for Guide to Future Episodes

Click on Screen to Start Video

In the show, Matt and Jessie travel across the United States to explore the world of NRA’s grassroots fund-raising program known as Friends of NRA, which provides grants for firearms education classes, construction and maintenance of shooting ranges and various youth programs.

Hundreds of Friends of NRA banquets are held across the country each year. Matt and Jessie will attend events and meet the people whose generous donations help the world of shooting sports. Here is the the Outdoor Channel’s description of the upcoming show:

Whether they’re spending time at the Whittington Center, showcasing the world’s best at the Bianchi Cup, going behind the scenes on an exclusive Black Bear Hunt in Alaska, or introducing America to our unsung heroes during a Wounded Warrior Elk Hunt — Matt & Jessie will go everywhere and explore everything to uncover the unseen facets of the shooting [world].

Matt Duff (L) and Jessie Abbate (R) Host New Friends of NRA TV Show.

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December 16th, 2010

Jessie and the Gunny Go Full-Auto Glocking

‘Gunny’ R. Lee Ermey, action shooter Jessie Abbate, and a Glock 18 full-auto pistol — hey, what’s not to like? Jessie Abbate is one of the world’s top female pistol and multi-gun competitors, and Gunny Ermey is a hugely popular TV personality (and an active competitive shooter to boot). You’ll enjoy this short video clip from Gunny’s Lock N’ Load show on the History Channel.

Former USMC Drill Instructor Ermey is in rare form, and Jessie — well she is fast and disciplined as usual. Here you have a chance to see her showing off her Glock handgun skills from a couple years ago. In 2010 Jessie switched over to Team Smith & Wesson… so no more g18s for Jessie.

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August 23rd, 2010

K.C. Eusebio and Jessie Abbate Win 2010 Steel Challenge

K.C. EusebioK.C. Wins A Tough Match on Home Turf
K.C. Eusebio, who grew up in Southern California, returned to his home turf to capture the Men’s Championship at the 2010 Steel Challenge this weekend in Piru, CA. This was K.C.’s third overall win at the Steel Challenge. Trailing Team Glock’s Dave Sevigny for much of the match, K.C. pulled ahead in the final three stages to capture the Overall title, his third Steel Challenge Championship, with an 80.27 second total time. Right behind was Sevigny at 82.84. That was an impressive performance considering Dave was running a modified Glock against “full-race” 1911 customs, some of which cost $3500 or more. Even more amazing was the legendary Jerry Miculek, who finished third shooting a Smith & Wesson revolver with iron sights. Jerry’s total time was 83.88.

1911 racegun Steel Challenge

Jessie Abbate Steel ChallengeJessie Abbate Wins 3rd Steel Challenge
In the womens’ Division, new Team Smith & Wesson shooter Jessie Abbate of Georgia won her second consecutive womens’ Steel Challenge Championship, and the third in her career. In addition to winning the overall title, Abbate won the Ladies Steel Master title which represents the best combined score of the Open, Limited, and Rimfire events. Jessie won the Rimfire event on Day 1, having the best time on all but one of the eight stages. After that Jessie was locked in a tough battle with her S&W teammate Julie Golob, who captured the Limited Event on Friday (Day 2). In a video interview with AccurateShooter.com, Abbate confessed to being “off her mental game” on Day 2, but she pulled it all together on Saturday (Day 3), capturing the Ladies Overall and Steel Master titles. Kay Miculek, a seven-time Women’s World Speed Shooting Champion, finished second. Watch the video below for a lengthy interview with Jessie.

Young Guns Rise to the Top
This 2010 Steel Challenge showcased rising young stars. K.C. Eusebio recently left the USAMU to enroll in college. Though he no longer has the time or resources to train and compete as often as he could with the USAMU, K.C.’s skills haven’t declined. A past winner of the Steel Challenge, K.C. was fast on all stages and he even nailed a new world record on the Speed Option stage. K.C. rose to the challenge in this match, outshooting defending Steel Challenge champ Max Michel, who had not lost a match all year. We talked at some length with K.C.’s father, who was happy to have a chance to be with his son again: “K.C. left the Army because he wanted to complete his college education. He’s doing that in Georgia, so we still don’t get to see him that much. But it is great to see K.C. shooting in California again, and winning again.”

NOTE: The video has loud gunshot noise. Turn down your speakers if at work.
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Oregon Teen Wins Rimfire Event
Another up-and-comer in the mens’ ranks is 17-year-old Ryan Leonard from Oregon. Ryan took the rimfire title, beating all the older sponsored pros in the process. Ryan finished tenth overall (among all competitors) to win the Junior World Speed Shooting title. Ryan has speed to burn and exceptional accuracy. Ryan actually prefers centerfire handgunning, but he obviously knows how to get the most out of the low-recoil rimfire pistols (Ryan shoots a modified Ruger MKII). When asked for his secret of success, Ryan smiled and said: “Don’t miss — Shoot the best you can, but don’t miss.” Ryan is a gifted student-athlete, currently taking college courses while completing his high school education. We expect Ryan to be a major player in the speed-shooting game in the years ahead. He is skilled, dedicated, and gifted with exceptionally fast reflexes.

J.J. Racaza Max Michel Steel ChallengeFrom Top Shot to the Steel Challenge
If there was a crowd favorite among all the competitors it might be J.J. Racaza who was one of the strongest competitors on the History Channel’s popular new Top Shot TV show. A blazing fast shooter who exhibited the ability to learn new skills quickly (such as archery and knife-throwing), many viewers favored J.J. to win the whole competition. He was the most consistent performer on the “Blue Team” throughout the show.

J.J. was among the last three competitors on Top Shot, but lost in a shoot-out where the three finalists got to choose their weapons and targets. J.J. told us this involved a great deal of strategy, because each pistol and rifle used on the show had quirks that the competitors had to log into memory: “You needed to know the dope on each gun. One rifle, for example, shot 6″ low at 100 yards, while one of the pistols shot low left. You had to recall those things or you didn’t have a chance.” A true competitor, J.J. was disappointed that he didn’t win the $100K Top Shots prize, but he said that the experience was memorable: “I walked away … empty-handed but I walked with a lot of lessons, and a lot of friends too.”

Jessie Abbate Julie Golob Steel Challenge

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August 20th, 2010

17-Year-Old Whips Pros at Steel Challenge & Jessie Abbate Wins

Steel Challenge 2010The Steel Challenge, one of the world’s premier speed-shooting events, kicked off yesterday in Piru, CA, just down the road from AccurateShooter.com’s home base. Thursday saw shooters compete in the rimfire division. The star of the day was young Ryan Leonard of Oregon City, OR. This 17-year-old pistol prodigy proved that youthful enthusiasm (and quick reflexes) CAN beat age and experience. Ryan outgunned all the big-name pros, including Glock’s Dave Sevigny, Blackhawk’s Todd Jarrett, and Smith &Wesson’s B.J. Norris.

Leonard posted the fastest score on three of the eight stages — 5 To Go, Smoke & Hope and Outer Limits — to finish in a final time of 69.76 seconds. Next fastest man was Dave Sevigny, 1.45 seconds behind. It was a brilliant showing by the 17-year-old Leonard, who claimed the Open Rimfire Championship. Congrats to the Oregon teen — we expect we’ll here more from the young shooter in the years ahead.

Steel Challenge 2010Finishing 5th overall, and winning the women’s open rimfire division was Jessie Abbate, now with Team Smith & Wesson. The popular shooter from Georgia was the fastest lady on seven of the eight stages in the match. Abbate’s final time of 76.90 seconds outpaced her Team S&W team-mate Kay Miculek by 11.60 seconds. In the Ladies’ iron-sight Rimfire event, the winner was Team S&W co-captain Julie Golob.

The Rimfire event is the first leg of the three-event contest that decides the Steel Master winner. The second is the iron sight centerfire pistol event shot in either the Limited or Production division. And the third is the Open pistol contest, the main event of the World Speed Shooting Championships.

Abbate is the defending Ladies’ Steel Master Champion and is a favorite to win the title again in 2010. For more info visit www.SteelChallenge.com.

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July 21st, 2010

Video Shows Bianchi Cup Champs in Action

Doug Koenig, Bianchi CupChip Lohman, Managing Editor of Shooting Sports USA magazine, has crafted a video covering the 2010 Bianchi Cup, the richest (and one of the most prestigious) handgun competitions on the planet. Lohman’s video shows all phases of the event, and you can see great performances by Doug Koenig and Jessie Abbate. Smith & Wesson’s Doug Koenig won his 12th Bianchi Cup title, while newly signed teammate Jessie Abbate topped S&W Captain Julie Golob for the Women’s Overall, giving S&W a dominant performance at this year’s tournament. Koenig won the Open Class without dropping a point, finishing with 1920-179X.

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