Garcia Wins $5,000 In Inaugural 3-Gun Nation Shoot-Off
MESA, Ariz. –-(Ammoland.com)- Practical Shooting Academy’s (PSA) Keith Garcia upset perennial favorite Michael Voigt, of SureFire, to win the inaugural shoot-off in the FNH USA 3-Gun Nation, Presented by SureFire, and take home $5,000 following the DPMS Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun here March 28.
Garcia, a full-time law enforcement officer and trainer for PSA, ran a virtual gauntlet of heavy hitters, eliminating Adam Popplewell, Patrick Kelley and Voigt, a 10-time winner of the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals. During the final match-up, Garcia outlasted Voigt after laying down a blistering run during the shotgun portion of the shoot-off, beating SureFire’s legendary Open division shooter through the pistol rack to the stop plate before a raucous crowd of spectators.
“I got to the shotgun and laid down what I thought was a pretty good run and then I got to the handgun just a little bit before him, and luckily the handgun came together for me,” Garcia said.
The eight-person shoot-off is a format like no other, where competitors take on steel rifle, shotgun and pistol racks in a race to the stop plate. To level the playing field, contestants fire an FNH USA SCAR 16 equipped with a SureFire muzzle brake and suppressor, chambered in .223 Rem., a new competition variant of the 12-gauge SLP semi-automatic shotgun, and the new FNX-9 semi-automatic pistol in 9 mm. Each gun runs ammunition provided by Federal Premium, and the rifles are topped with Weaver optics. Add in eight of the world’s fiercest 3-gunners, and the competition heats up.
“It’s a good feeling,” said Garcia. “I just have to thank FN, SureFire and all the other sponsors. It was a well run event and the shoot-off format is awesome, and Team FN was very gracious. (3-gun) is going to explode as a result of this. The publicity, the notoriety, these great shoot-offs; people are going to get excited. I’m going to have to go train more now because we’re going to get a lot of new shooters to 3-gun and I’m going to get beat.”
Garcia was one of five finalists, along with Popplewell, Taran Butler, Glenn Shelby and Chris Sechiatano, who qualified from the Tactical Optics division. Kelley, a constant in the Heavyweight divisions, emerged from Heavyweight Irons, while veteran Benny Hill took the honors from Heavyweight Optics, with Voigt claiming a spot from the Open division. Although Garcia only finished seventh overall in his division at Superstition, he managed to do just enough on the four 3-Gun Nation points stages, earning the eighth and final spot in the shoot-off before catching fire in front of the 3-Gun Nation cameras. Arguably his finest finish to date in a major 3-gun competition, the impact was not lost on Garcia.
“The money, the publicity and this new tournament style are going to be a big plus for everybody involved in shooting,” Garcia said. “In this case, it was a big plus for me. Not only because of the prize money, but also because I’m able to represent my sponsors in front of a bigger audience.”
The most impressive run during the shoot-off belonged to Kelley with a first round upset of Taran Butler, widely regarded one of the best Tactical Optics competitors in the world. But despite switching to optics and lighter recoil after a weekend banging away in Heavy Iron, Kelley, who chooses to remain non-sponsored, ripped through the shoot-off stage. Kelley’s opening run electrified the crowd and set the tone for the entire event, proving that on a level playing field anyone can emerge from the 3-Gun Nation shoot-off.
The next stop on the FNH USA 3-Gun Nation Tour, Presented by SureFire, is during the Sabre Defense Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championship, April 23-25 at the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, Kent.
Multi-gun, or 3-gun, is a unique sport within the discipline known as practical shooting. Considered the fastest growing segment within the shooting sports, 3-gun challenges competitors with rifle, pistol and shotgun, maneuvering through unique stages of fire as fast as their skill will allow.
The National 3-Gun Association, through media properties “3-Gun Nation Television” and 3GunNation.com, was formed with one mission: to promote practical shooting by shining a light on amateur and professional shooters alike, as well as the guns, gear and lifestyle that define the high-octane sport of 3-gun competition. Bringing never-before-seen cash payouts to the table, 3-Gun Nation is quite simply changing the game. 3 Guns. One Champion.
For more information, visit www.3GunNation.com.