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Posted: 8/14/2007 11:24:53 AM EDT
Gunning for speed
Garrett Briggs, 18, of Huntington Beach will compete in the World Speed Shooting Championships this week with his father Gary.
By DAVE STREGE
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

CORONA Garrett Briggs stepped into a square in the dirt, bent his knees, leaned forward ever so slightly and brought his open hands to the side of his head.

A 9 mm pistol rested in his holster hugging his hip.

This was hardly a showdown at high noon, but like the gunfighters of the wild west, a quick draw, speed and accuracy are vital.

The World Speed Shooting Championships are this week near Lake Piru and Briggs was at Raahauge’s Shooting Enterprises in Corona on Friday practicing.

"Shooter ready," said range officer Ron Jung, standing a foot behind Briggs. "Stand by."

When the handheld timer buzzed, Briggs grabbed the pistol and with two hands started shooting, five shots hitting five steel plates at various lengths — ding, ding, ding, ding, ding — in 2.92 seconds.

Not bad. The world-class shooters take 2.5 seconds for this stage called the "5 to Go."

Briggs, 18, of Huntington Beach is not yet world class, but he’s only been competing for 1 1/2 years after starting to shoot three years ago with his father.

Briggs will be among 250 shooters from around the world competing in Steel Challenge 2007 at the Wes Thompson’s Juniper Tree Ranges on Friday and Saturday near Lake Piru. He competed last year and finished 100th overall with a time of 130 seconds, but he was among the top juniors.

No longer a junior, Briggs is hoping for a time between 115 and 120 seconds. By comparison, the winner last year scored 82.61 seconds.

Each shooter goes through eight stages that feature five targets of various distances and formations. They shoot each stage five times and the top four scores (measured by time) are counted to their overall score. Miss a target and time is added.

"The Steel Challenge is a great gauge how good you are because the course is the same every year where in practical shooting you rarely encounter the same stage twice," Briggs said.

Joining Garrett this year will be his father, Gary, competing in the Steel Challenge for the first time.

"I was his support last year," Gary said. "But when I went, I realized, `You know what, I’m better than a lot of these guys here.’ I was intimidated at first, but now I’m not."

His goal is a bit less ambitious than his son’s, saying he hopes "not to embarrass myself."

After trying traditional sports, Garrett discovered a joy for shooting and found it a great hobby to share with his father.

Gary couldn’t be happier.

"Just the fact we reload (ammunition) together, that’s father-son time that’s worth more than all the money in the world," Gary said.

What does Garrett like about speed shooting?

"I kind of get a nice adrenaline boost from it," he said. "It’s a lot of fun…It’s something I really enjoy and I’m actually all right at it."

In April, Garrett won the GLOCKMeister Challenge in junior male and was second overall among 73 competitors, so yes, he is pretty good.

In speed shooting, participants use specialized guns, ammunition and holsters.

"Yet to shoot the sport, you could have grampa’s gun," said Jung, founder of the Shooting Sports Alliance at Raahauge’s.

For those who want to give it a try, the SSA offers loaner equipment and instructions for beginners.


Article
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 4:08:06 PM EDT
[#1]
Sounds like Practical Pistol for the less than fully mobile folks out there.

I've shot in a couple USPSA events and they are a hoot.  But it requires that you actually practice, and shoot  A LOT! And, you can compete just fine with a full size duty gun, no race gun necessary.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 9:14:18 PM EDT
[#2]

Quoted:
Sounds like Practical Pistol for the less than fully mobile folks out there.

I've shot in a couple USPSA events and they are a hoot.  But it requires that you actually practice, and shoot  A LOT! And, you can compete just fine with a full size duty gun, no race gun necessary.


While the Steel Challenge stages all seem to be done from a static position, Garrett and his dad can usually be found at Steel Madness which requires a LOT of movement. IIRC, Garrett will be going away to college soon so I don't think he'll be shooting as much locally once he's in school.

Steel Madness is a lot of fun, BTW.
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