NRA Bianchi Cup


Shooting USANRA Bianchi Cup

This is the year the world’s most prestigious handgun championship becomes twice as difficult. To take the Cup the top competitors have to shoot the four stages of fire twice, combining their qualifying score with their second round of shooting the plates, the barricades, the practical, and the mover. Julie Golob joins John Scoutten to present the action from Columbia, Missouri. Plus, the High Standard from World War Two. And the movie guns Clint Eastwood ordered for his film, American Sniper.

NRA Bianchi Cup

35-11-1The NRA Action Pistol Championship, the Bianchi Cup, is widely regarded as the most prestigious handgun tournament in the world. Shooters come from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan in search of the perfect 1920 match score, but this year top shooters will have to shoot the entire match twice. It’s a major change in the 37 year history of the match in Columbia, Missouri.


35-11-2“If you’re not keeping pace and changing and moving things forward you are moving backward,” says Match Director Dennis Willing. “To leave things stagnant, and never change it means eventually it will decay. It will rot and it will die.”

The four courses of fire remain the same, which include the Practical, Barricades, Falling Plates and the Mover. Targets range from 10 yards to 50 yards, and the mover runs 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.

35-11-5“That is the requisite score to claim the title here. The X-count then breaks any ties,” says Smith & Wesson Pro and Shooting USA Color Analyst Julie Golob. “Only twice since 1990 has the championship winning score not been a 1920. In both cases it was a 1918.”

John Scoutten and Julie Golob break down the coverage of the Bianchi Cup, as Smith & Wesson Pro Shooter Doug Koenig tries to win his 17th World Championship Title.

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History’s Guns - The High Standard 

35-11-8In 1942, the U.S. Army adopted a rimfire pistol, but it never went to war. Instead, the military used the High Standard as a training device, since many Americans who signed up to fight during World War Two had no firearms experience, and starting their training with a 1911 proved to be too difficult.



35-11-9“To start somebody out with a .45 Government Model that had never fired a handgun before could be a little intimidating,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “Plus, the U.S. Government was being ever thrifty. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper to do training with .22 Long Rifle ammo than with .45 ACP ammo.”



Guns of American Sniper

35-11-11Independent Studio Services is one of the largest movie prop house armories in Hollywood. It’s where armorers accurately re-create firearms depicted in movies, including those guns used in Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster film, American Sniper. The film is an adaptation of Chris Kyle’s book, which accounts the Navy SEAL’s life. The book also became the starting point for armorers at Independent Studio Services to prepare Kyle’s detailed firearms equipment for the movie.

 “The first thing I did was read the book. In the book he was great. He laid it out like a map what he had, so we knew a lot of the equipment already,” says Independent Studio Services General Manager Karl Weschta. “The total investment for all of these rifles plus all of the rail systems and everything we had to buy for the M-16s, you know, we’ve got over a $100,000 invested for this film.

Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield

35-11-15Smith & Wesson just announced the new member of the Shield family at the NRA Annual Meeting in Kentucky. The big-bore Shield, chambered in .45 ACP, ships with two magazines, and is one-millimeter wider than the Shield in 9mm, but shoots just as comfortably.

“Everything I heard about it ahead of time is true,” says John Scoutten. “Flat shooting, very mild and some of that is due to the fact that it’s slightly larger than the 9mm and the .40 Shield. Either way with .45 as a proven threat-stopper, you’ve got power on demand in the newest carry gun.”

Suggested Retail $479

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Safariland Holsters

35-11-14Safariland has already responded to Smith & Wesson’s new M&P45 Shield. There’s a new GLS Pro Fit retention holster in a shorter version. It comes with both a belt mount and a paddle for quick-on, quick-off carry for easy mobility. Safariland’s Bianchi leather line also has a variety of configurations that will set you up for belt carry, belt carry with retention, or inside-the-waistband carry. All of these are ready to go and sized for the new Shield.  Each has a suggested retail of about $50


Caldwell Targets

35-11-13There’s a new and inexpensive target stand kit out from Caldwell. The Ultra Portable Target Stand Kit comes with 16 silhouettes and sighting targets, which are attached by clips to the wire-stand backer. The stand is placed in the ground by stepping on the stand, and it is ready to shoot!  Suggested Retail $14.99



Todd Jarrett – Rifle Positions

35-11-16Shooting a rifle fast and accurately for military, law enforcement, or in competition, is a valuable, and maybe a life-saving skill. It also depends on how quick you develop a solid shooting position. BLACKHAWK! Pro Shooter Todd Jarrett is one of the best with a rifle and he’s got some techniques to help you make the shot when it counts.



joinherejpegNRA Membership Offer:  Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.




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