The Otto Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming Match
The Colorado State Shooting Association is an association that strives to support all realms of firearms ownership from legislative endeavors to hunting and plinking, defensive encounters and even competition. In this very supportive environment, I still get surprises from time to time that demonstrates just how the CSSA supports ALL firearms owners.
On Saturday, September 17th four Colorado competitors traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to compete in NRA Action Pistol at the Otto Road Gun Club. As the year starts to wind down many of us are focused on other things, like hunting! The match was smaller than usual but still have the characteristics of a “big” match. I can’t help but get a little excited waiting for the first busser after hearing, “Shooter ready….stand by!”
You might ask yourself, “Why is the CSSA supporting a match in Wyoming? CSSA is a Colorado association.” You know what, you’re right! But look at the name, COLORADO State SHOOTING ASSOCIATION. The CSSA is much more than on “one-trick pony.” The CSSA supports ALL COLORADO shooters. And at times, even those from “out of state,” and even in-state non-members get the benefit of the CSSA’s involvement with the shooting sport.
For those of you who don’t know, Wyoming is famous for its weather and most notably the wind. But for this match we were greeted with near perfect conditions. A cool, “lite jacket” morning gave way to short sleeves as 10 competitors slugged it out for bragging rights at one of the most challenging action pistol matches I have been to in a couple years. New and older, more experienced shooters enjoyed targets from 10-yards out to 50 with time limits as short as one and one-half seconds “from the holster.” If speed shooting weren’t enough there was also a lot of strong-hand only and weak-hand only strings that raised the challenge even higher.
The two top shooters for the whole match were Alex Ragulsky and Doug Merel. Doug shoots an “open” rim fire while Alex was shooting an “open” center fire. In this case “open” means that the guns had optic sights, often referred to as “red dots,” extended magazine wells and even “wings” for barricade shooting. Even with all of the “enhancements” you still have to shoot good to win. Alex posted a perfect score on the “Texas Mover” (480 with 31X—the X ring is a 4” black dot in the center of the targets) on his way to a 1616-108X out of 1700. Doug was right behind Alex with a 1414-67X.
Scott Stewart was also shooting an “open” center fire 9mm. Scott posted a 1202-42X while Mike Morabito closed the Colorado crowd with a 1071-36X. This was Mike’s first NRA Action Pistol match and he did remarkably well. I expect that his scores will show a steady increase and soon he’ll be a force to reckon with in action pistol.
Initially open guns with red dots scopes and wings might appear to put action pistol out of your league, but nothing could be further from the truth! We have competitors with a wide range of guns that you normally don’t associate with competition. Springfield XD’s, Glock 19’s, Ruger Mark IV 22’s and even Smith & Wesson Model 15’s (4” barreled .38 Special revolvers) grace the line. All you need is a good gun and holster and some ammo along with your eye and ear protection to join in the fun.
With 17 different courses of fire NRA Action Pistol has something for everyone. From 8-inch steel plates to moving targets to shots as close as 7 yards all the way out to 50. But remember, action pistol is simple, but it’s not easy! When you step up and take the challenge,
you’ll be greeted by other new shooters who, like you, will shake their heads and wonder what in the world they got themselves into. Kind of like your first junior high school dance, right? But you’ll be mentored by the “big kids” who will take you by the hand ands show you the ropes. They’ll cover SAFETY, the rules and even offer a few pointers to help you turn your shots into X’s and 10’s. There is no running, jumping, crawling or anything like that, just fast and accurate shooting.
Here’s the time when I should say that no one will make fun of you. And they won’t. But we’ll get a few laughs, and your new-found friends will quickly make you feel like you’re part of the family. Before you know it, you’ll be joining Scott in making fun of my super-duper shooting mat and laughing at how long it takes me to recover from going prone.
We have a match slated for Saturday, October 22, near Kiowa, Colorado. This is a private range and not a club, so you’ll be treated to a shooting experience like none other. The rustic facility will quickly feel like home as you load magazines, make new friends, maybe watch a deer or antelope, and get ready to shoot your first ever NRA Action Pistol match.
In part due to the support of the CSSA you’ll get your NRA “qualification.” They’ll be a few medals for the top shooters and some small cash prizes. The match will run like a well-oiled machine as targets are set up and scored and courses are called by experienced, but friendly, certified range officers. It will be a day to remember as you’ll shoot almost 200 rounds of ammo at regulation targets. To boot, you’ll get some coaching from experienced competitors, many who are champion caliber shooters!
The cost for our match is $25.00. Now you might ask, “How can they provide this type of experiences and instruction for just $25.00?” Well, there are a lot of reasons. Our certified range officers, certified by the NRA, got their training at a discount thanks to some creativity by the CSSA. The CSSA is also helping us out with some of the logistics. The range owner bent over backwards to help us have a successful event by keeping the range fees low. I could go on and on, but you can see how and where the CSSA is stepping up to support ALL shooters, not just members in Colorado but nationwide. If you are up for the challenge e-mail Alex at Alex.firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-883-5131 for more details and to sign up.
Before I close, I want to share some additional information. As the Competition Coordinator with the Colorado State Shooting Association, I want all match directors to know that I am here as a resource for you and your discipline. If you need help, I’m just a phone call away. I’m currently in the process of trying to get certified as an NRA referee which can further help you and your clubs. But please understand, I’m not here to tell you how to run your match! I’m here to help you with suggestions. I’d like to be able to get your clubs and disciplines to send us, the CSSA, articles and pictures of your match and club, your shooters and staff, your targets and your range.