Shooting USA - USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals
It takes three guns and lots of ammo to claim a Championship in the USPSA’s Multi-Gun Nationals. Plus, they called it Hitler’s Garand. The Gewehr 43, is one of History’s Guns. Then, Cleveland recalls 75 years of history at the I-X Center, from the days it built Tanks for the wars. And Ken Hackathorn is training us to shoot like John Wick.
USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals
The practical shooting discipline of multi-gun has come a long way since the start of competition nearly 30 years ago. Still, whatever the choice of pistol, rifle and shotgun, the challenge is the same: How fast can you shoot multiple targets, with the score determined by speed and accuracy? For the best in the sport, the answer is very fast indeed, but Match Director Pete Rinsing has a few tricks up his sleeve to challenge competitors on never-before-seen courses of fire at the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals.
Most people compete in the Tactical Division, including eight-time champion, Sergeant First Class Daniel Horner of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Competitors in that division are not allowed a rifle bi-pod, so many competitors utilize structures on the stage to stabilize their long gun. Regardless of division, the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals is a true test of manipulating three different weapons, under pressure, on run-and-gun courses of fire. And the pressure is definitely on when a National Championship Title is on the line.
History’s Guns: Gewehr 43
During World War Two the pressure was on for Nazi Germany to develop a semi-automatic battle rifle that could stand up to the repeating firepower of the U.S. standard issue M1 Garand. The result was the Walther G43, known by American GIs as “Hitler’s Garand.” The G43 used a reliable ported gas system to operate the bolt, and was rapidly made from stamped steel parts. And the G43 was chambered in a potent round, the 7.9x57 or 8mm Mauser.
“The gun could be loaded with a five-round clip, the same five-round clip as the K98k Mauser. Plus, it could be topped up, unlike the Garand,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “The disadvantages of it were that the bolt system was a little fussier than that of the Garand, but on the whole, the G43 worked pretty darn well.”
Tank Factory Reunion
The I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio is one of the world’s largest convention centers, but 75 years ago it wasn’t an exposition center. It was part of the arsenal of democracy, first building bombers for World War Two, and then tanks for the Korean War as the Cleveland Tank Plant. The I-X Center remembers the historic past with a homecoming for those who once worked at the Plant, like Bill Meixner, a mechanic in the 1940s.
“There’s so much history here. You talk to some of these people and so many of them worked here, so many of them were in the service,” says Meixner, who worked on the M41 Walker Bulldog. “It brings back so many memories.”
The Homecoming show features a wide range of historic military vehicles, including many owned by collectors, who brought Jeeps, trucks, half-tracks, and even missile launchers. The show is also held simultaneously with the Military Vehicles Preservation Association’s Annual Convention, which welcomed 20,000 people, including many kids eager to see a piece of American history.
I-X Center Link
Evil Roy Steel Target System
Gene Pearcey, better known as “Evil Roy,” has created a new steel target system that will withstand pistol, shotgun and rifle firepower. The target’s versatility is credited to the design, with both the target head and stem made of AR 500 armor plate. The Cowboy-Action World Champion and SASS Hall of Famer touts the target’s safety and reliability, plus its user-friendliness. The Evil Roy Steel Target System is about $300 from MGM Targets.
Pro Tip: Ken Hackathorn - John Wick Drill
Firearms enthusiasts have praised the John Wick movies for the depiction of accurate gun handling, and if you want to shoot like Keanu Reeves, now maybe you can. Colt Combat Unit Instructor, Ken Hackathorn has created the John Wick Drill just for you.
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