OK… so we know that this isn’t a USPSA sanctioned event, but several top shooters in USPSA participate in the most accuracy intense of the action shooting sports.  The NRA Bianchi Cup is one of the most enduring matches on the circuit and this year marked the 30th Anniversary.  The Bianchi Cup is just 192 rounds, but every one of them counts.  Like “Virginia Count” scoring, there are no make up shots at “The Cup.” Competitors draw from the holster and shoot at tombstone-shaped targets with a 4” X-Ring.  There are four events; the Practical, Barricade, Plates and Moving Target.

Julie Golob - Photo Courtesy of Yamil SuedVera Koo has reigned as Ladies National Champion an amazing eight times starting in 1999.  Other USPSA Ladies Champions have also joined the ranks of Bianchi winnersJudy Woolley, Sharon Zaffiro (Edington) and Julie Golob. Taking a year and a half off from shooting to start a family, Julie Golob returned to the 2009 Bianchi Cup after her first Cup win in 2007.  At this year’s Bianchi Cup, Julie shot the third highest womens score ever,  a 1907 with 138x. Her performance also earned her the highest classification in the sport, NRA Action Pistol High Master and the coveted High Woman Award.  We should all be inspired by Julie’s accomplishments.  Julie G. has won more National titles (combining IDPA, USPSA, Bianchi, IRC, & Steel Challenge) than any other female competitor past and present.  Welcome back, Julie!

Rounding out the top 5 women were:

  1. Julie Golob – 1907, 138x (19th Overall Open Division, 3rd Place Master)
  2. Helen Jeavons – 1893, 133x (Reigning World Champion)
  3. Vera Koo – 1866, 150x (8-Time Bianchi Cup Champion)
  4. Jessie Abbate – 1865, 111x (Winner of the Women’s Speed Shoot Off Event)
  5. Tiffany Piper – 1850, 124x (Junior Talent from New Zealand)

New this year to the NRA Bianchi Cup – Production Division! Two USPSA Womens Champions Randi Rogers and Annette Aysen squared off for top woman honors.  Randi earned her first Bianchi Cup win in this division with a score of 1740, 93x, enough to place 5th Overall! Both Randi and Annette’s performances will hopefully inspire more women to shoot Production next year.

We also think it’s pretty awesome that two cousins competed in the Junior Category this year.  They also teamed up and took third place Junior Team.  Congratulations to Theresa and Sydney Surgi!  Keep up the GREAT shooting!

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One of our own Women of USPSA, Kippi Leatham, wrote up a fantastic article on the 2009 Springfield Armory Single Stack Classic/USPSA Single Stack Nationals for Action Shooting Podcast.  We weren’t surprised at all to discover that Kippi works a pen just as well as she pulls the trigger. Read it here.

The nationals were once again held at PASA Park in Barry, IL April 29 through May 2nd, 2009.  After 20 challenging courses of fire with “old school” single stack 1911’s, it was a close race between Lisa Munson and Kippi Leatham. Both of these ladies have won the Single Stack National title before (and between the two of them have accumulated USPSA national titles in the double digits – WOW). In a nail biter finish, Lisa edged out Kippi by just .56% and finished 46th overall.  This marks Lisa’s 2nd consecutive Single Stack Ladies National Title.

Rounding out the talented Top 8 were:

  1. Lisa Munson – Winner of Stages 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15 & 20
  2. Kippi Leatham – Winner of Stages 6, 17 & 18
  3. Kay Miculek – Winner of Stages 9 & 11
  4. Julie Golob – Winner of Stages 14 & 19
  5. T.D. Roe – Winner of Stages 5 & 16
  6. Nancy Huspek –Winner of Stage 3
  7. Maggie Reese
  8. Tracy Deegan

Congratulations ladies and thanks again to Kippi for her match coverage!

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As we countdown the days to the USPSA Handgun Nationals, we’d like to recap some of this year’s major championships starting with the first event of the season, the Smith & Wesson US Steel Shoot National Championships. Did you know that the Steel Challenge is now part of USPSA? Known as the fastest of the action shooting sports, there are eight challenging courses of fire at the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships.  In addition to the opportunity to win a world title, you can also shoot the S&W Steel Shoot Regional Series and US Steel Nationals.

There are just five steel plates in each Steel Challenge course of fire.  Competitors shoot each of the stages five times.  The best four  out of five scores are kept with the exception of the stage Outer Limits.  This stage is the only one with movement and competitors shoot Outer Limits four times with their top three runs kept for score.

In March, some of the best steel shooters in the country traveled to sunny Titusville, Florida for their chance to claim a national title.  The event started out with the Rimfire match.  Arguably the two best female steel shooters in the world, Jessie Abbate and Kay Miculek faced off with their .22 caliber pistols in the first of the three events.  Jessie posted impressive scores with a total time of 81.67 seconds earning her a 7th place finish overall in Rimfire Optic.  Kay was not far behind, placing 11th overall with a total time of 86.31.  Though she was the only woman to compete in Rimfire Iron, Randi Rogers shot impressive scores to earn her a top ten finish. With a total time of 104.04 seconds, Randi placed 8th overall in Rimfire Iron.

Day two, the women hit the range in the iron sight divisions.  Once again Jessie and Kay battled to earn the Limited Ladies National Title.  Jessie continued to put up top scores and posted a decisive lead over Kay by 21.45 seconds.  Jessie’s final time was 117.72 earning her 12th place in Limited.  Kay finished 24th and second lady with 139.17.  Randi continued to represent the women proudly in the Production division where she once again placed 8th overall with a total time of 131.50.

Jessie Abbate  - Open Division, S&W US Steel Shoot Nationals

The final day, the women competed in Open. Known primarily as a stock gun shooter, Randi holstered up a race gun and finished 3rd Lady with a score of 134.06. Kay shot a 113.07, enough to earn her second place.  The winning streak in full momentum, Jessie finished at the top once again with a score of 103.03 and 12th overall.  Jessie’s domination in all three events earned her the 2009 Ladies Steel Master National Title.

Junior ladies also made a great showing in match.  Lena Miculek, daughter of shooting legends Jerry and Kay Miculek, earned top honors in Junior Female in both Rimfire Optic and Open. Ashley Bolda placed second behind her in both divisions.  Ashley also wrote about her match experience for Junior Shooter Magazine.  Alysa Janowicz was the High Junior Female in Rimfire Iron.

Check out the live streaming coverage from this year’s US Steel Shoot Nationals by our very own Sharyn Cohen. Congratulations to the winners and all the ladies competing in the event!  For more information about the Steel Challenge please visit steelchallenge.com.  For dates and details for the 2010 US Steel Shoot National Championships and Regional Series, visit ussteelshoot.com.

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