Shooting USA – IDPA Pan American Championship
It’s world-class competition in paradise. We’re at the Smith & Wesson Pan American IDPA Championships in Puerto Rico. John covers the action on the range and on the beach. Plus, after 75 years on the beat, the French Lebel Revolver is now one of History’s Guns. And, new IDPA lady shooters train with a champion to get started in the sport.
It’s not often a shooting match doubles as a tropical vacation, but there is such a competition in Puerto Rico. Smith & Wesson hosts the IDPA Pan-American Championships at the RL Shooting Club in Caguas. Surrounded by the lush green hills, beautiful beaches and majestic views, this IDPA competition heats up with unique stages of fire featuring difficult challenges for competitors.
“It’s a well-guarded secret unfortunately, but I think that’s about to change,” says competitor Morgan Allen. “This is the fourth year that we’ve had some kind of match like this down here and it's absolutely amazing. The people are fantastic. It’s a destination with the range not even a half an hour from all of the good tourist places.”
IDPA Puerto Rico
History’s Guns: 1892 Lebel Revolver
Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Lebel had nothing to do with the Model 1892 six-shot revolver, but his name has been tied to the French firearm for more than a century. When the French adopted the revolver, it became the standard issue sidearm of French officers in World War One, and some saw action in World War Two. Though, there seemed to be one drawback.
“The eight millimeter cartridge. Not particularly powerful, maybe a little hotter than a .32 ACP, but not much more,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “I wouldn’t want to be punctured with it, but it’s certainly not up to .45 ACP or 9mm Parabellum standards.”
IDPA Lessons from Julie Golob
As more women continue to get their carry permits, the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is attracting more women to the sport, including some who have never competed before. It’s why Smith & Wesson Pro Julie Golob is hosting an introductory class for a group of lady shooters at the Smith & Wesson Shooting Center.
“When you get that kind of excitement in their eyes, and you know they want to do it again, that is the best part for me because that means they’re hooked and I know that I am going to see them on the range again,” says Golob.
Master of the Longbow, Byron Ferguson is known for his exhibition shooting on Impossible Shots, and now for his new broadheads. The Byron Ferguson Broadheads by Master Bladesmith Franz Schmeisser are made of V1 German knife steel hardened to 49 Rockwell. And, they’re built to last! Byron tested the broadhead against a cement block, and the broadhead defeated the block! Retail Price: 3 for $99
Blackhawk! Quick Mod Magazine Cases
Blackhawk! is out with the QuickMod magazine cases, which offer quick-mount mag carriers for competition or for duty. The key is the quick-detach system that is adjustable to belts, and can also adjust on angle. Options are available for AR magazines, too.
Sig Sauer P320 in Desert Tan
The Sig Sauer P320 is the popular caliber, frame, and slide-changing pistol. And it is now offered in Desert Tan. The compact version in 9mm can hold 15 rounds in the double stack magazine, and will quickly convert to 40 cal or .357 Sig. Suggested retail is $630, depending on options.
Pro Tip: AMU Competition Rifles
The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit is a world-class shooting team with dozens of national and international championships, and many team members compete in multi-gun. Yet, the sport can be complicated because three guns are involved, plus there are different classes. To help with confusion, the USAMU Action Shooting Team shows us their rifle choices by division.
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NRA Membership Offer: Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.