3GN Divisional Shooting Championships Update
By Chad Adams
USA –-(Ammoland.com)- The $25,000 3-Gun Nation Divisional Championships, presented by Hornady, are quickly becoming a hot topic among top shooters this season, and with good reason.
After each 3GN points match, the conversation changes as competitors make a run at each division’s $5,000 prize.
The biggest recent shake-up to the 3GN Divisional point races comes from Daniel Horner’s win at MGM Ironman. The win gave Horner his third win in Tactical Optics, a maximum score of 300 points. Although Horner can’t be passed in points, he can be tied, with the tie-breaking event being the FNH USA Championships in November.
Horner’s greatest challenger comes in the form of Taran Butler, who has two division wins to his credit already this season, with one coming head-to-head against Horner at Superstition Mountain, where we last saw Butler. Butler’s best chances for another win: most likely the Pro-Am or USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals. If Butler can’t get that final division win, then Horner will take the division and $5K from Hornady.
In Heavy Metal Optics, Barry Dueck continued his dominance with a recent win at Ironman. With 292.03 Heavy Metal Optics points, Dueck has a big lead over Noveske’s Jansen Jones (207.79) and Hornady’s Neal Emery (190.77). However, Adam Popplewell has one HMO win this season, setting up what could be a tremendous battle between the two down the stretch.
In Open, Clint Upchurch has dominated the entire 2011 season, dating back to last year’s Ozark match. However, SureFire’s Mike Voigt slipped in to get a win at Ironman, which could be really big heading into Rocky Mountain. With five events to go, we’ll be watching to see if Voigt or Jerry Miculek can manage to scratch three division wins to set up a tie-breaker at the FN Championships. To do so, they’ll have to beat Upchurch heads-up, as 3-gun’s newest heavyweight is shooting every match on the 2011 3GN Tour.
Heavy Metal remains unchanged, with Bryan Ray (288.60) holding serve over JJ Johnson (260.29) and Trapr Swonson (260.05). Ray is in the driver’s seat with two division wins, especially considering the winning Blue Ridge points went to Dueck, who is unlikely to leave the chase for HMO. Looking at this race, you’ve got to wonder if Patrick Kelley is kicking himself for jumping to Tactical Optics this season; with five matches remaining, could Kelley make a late change back to his old stomping grounds and steal the inaugural 3GN Heavy Metal Championship?
Arguably the most intriguing race is shaping up in the Tactical Irons division. Kurt Miller enjoys a comfortable lead for now, but the head-to-head match-ups with Kelly Neal will most likely decide this division. Miller picked up division wins at Ozark and Ft. Benning, while Neal got a win at Superstition and Blue Ridge.
Miller and Neal provide a contrast in style as well. Miller prefers tried-and-true iron sights, while Neal employs a Leupold Prismatic, one of several 1X optics recently allowed by most major matches in the limited divisions.
The next opportunity for 3GN Divisional points is Aug. 4-6 at the JP Enterprises Rocky Mountain 3-Gun at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M. Also on the line is $7,400 from Safariland in the 3-Gun Nation Shoot-Off.
3-Gun Nation Divisional Championships, presented by Hornady
(After 5 of 10 events)
Heavy Metal Optics
- Barry Dueck: 292.03
- Jansen Jones: 207.79
- Neal Emery: 190.77
- Bryan Ray: 288.60
- JJ Johnson: 260.89
- Trapr Swonson: 260.05
- Clint Upchurch: 300.00
- James Darst: 273.16
- Tommy Thacker: 251.03
- Kurt Miller: 296.03
- James Cassannova: 259.40
- Brian Vaught: 194.80
- Daniel Horner: 300.00
- Taran Butler: 280.62
- Robby Johnson: 264.08
- Rob Romero: 262.88
- Rustin Bernskoetter: 250.61
Eds. Note: This ranking represents the top three scores within said division. Scores will not necessarily reflect one’s ranking in the overall 3GN Standings. To view overall scores, go to www.3gunnation.com/news/overall_scores.