Top guns head to national championship

First Posted: 9/9/2009

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. In the countrys stiffest competition for marksmanship and gun handling, the Tar Heel State will be represented in the run and gun sport of practical shooting at the Smith & Wesson 2009 U.S. Practical Shooting Associations (USPSA) National Handgun Championships.
The sport of practical shooting incorporates skill, precision and speed shooting and its only fitting that the sport that draws from the quick draw shooting skills of old gunslinger movies will return to its Western roots at the Desert Sportsmans Rifle & Pistol Club outside Las Vegas from Sept. 11-19.
The Smith & Wesson USPSA National Handgun Championships are the culmination of numerous events held throughout the country and the highlight for elite practical shooters. This years competition will bring together more than 620 top shooters from around the nation and overseas. North Carolina residents Dwight Springthorpe and Dwight Springthorpe II of Pinnacle, Steven Collins of Brown Summit and Yousef Sansour of High Point are expected to compete in the championships. In all, 45 states and 11 countries will be represented at the matches.
During the event, shooters will navigate a series of obstacles laid out over 16 stages, or courses of fire, designed to simulate potential real-world scenarios. Shooters move quickly through the various obstacles competing on both speed and accuracy. More than 225,000 rounds will be fired throughout the matches.
The championships will be broken into two major events. The first are the Open and Production divisions followed by the Limited, Limited-10 and Revolver divisions. The divisions separate the different types of guns that will be used by the shooters. For instance, the Production Division features stock or duty guns available from manufacturers with only limited changes to the firearms. On the other end of the spectrum is the Open Division where the handguns are fully customized with parts and features specifically designed for competition including recoil compensators and optical sighting systems. Shooters can only compete in one division within each of the two matches.
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The United States Practical Shooting Association is a non-profit membership association and the governing body for the sport of Practical Shooting in America. USPSA has more than 18,000 members and more than 350 affiliated clubs which host weekly matches throughout the country providing recreational shooters with the opportunity to test and refine their shooting skills in a safe, competitive environment. USPSA is also the US Region of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), which is comprised of approximately 67 nations. For more information, visit

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