In not so ancient times gentleman used to settle disputes by dueling. Procedure was to stand back to back with a matched weapon, walk a certain number of paces and on command turn and begin firing. Shooting the MGM Targets Grand Nationals feels somehow similar. You are in a category of shooters that are shooting similar weapons and are of a comparable skill level. On command you both draw and fire at your targets. A cross plate falling crowns the winner without dispute. Fortunately for everyone shooting the Grand Nationals, “satisfaction” didn’t require “first blood” or “mortal wounding” and we got to shoot a lot more ammo than you would have in a traditional duel. In fact you can have all the excitement and adrenaline rush of a one-on-one duel without any physical harm.
Above: MGM Targets Cross Over Stop Popper is a decisive judge of the winner!
The MGM Targets Grand Nationals featured 15 unique stages of all steel targets. Random brackets decided who you shot against for each stage. Each stage was a fresh start and had no bearing on your next or previous stages. The easiest way to get the concept is to consider each stage a separate match. Everyone shot best 2 out of 3 and if you only won 1 go, you still got 1 point. If you won your bracket you advanced until you were in the final shoot off for the stage. The goal was to accumulate points. It is possible to win the entire match and never win an entire stage.
Groups of shooters were broken down into classes of shooters. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough revolver shooters to break them down into USPSA classifications so they all got to shoot on the same squad as Jerry Miculek. A shooters classification determined their handicap against Jerry.
Let me just say it was loads of fun. If you got too excited and shot too fast, you missed. If you went too slow, you would probably get beat. Winning required a good blend of accuracy and speed.
The first 3 days of the match featured side matches and an opportunity to shoot the FNH Challenge. The FNH Challenge allowed shooters to shoot the entire 15 stages for time. It was great practice for the main match and the challenge paid out cash to each class of shooter.
The side matches included a carnival of shooting events; everything from .22s to a long range bolt action event. You could literally bring every gun you owned and find a side match to shoot it in. The side matches also all paid out cash.
The last day of the Grand Nationals was the final shoot off where the top shooters from each bracket shot off for an overall winner. The steel was a blend of the most unique targets from the 15 stages. The overall winner was world champion revolver shooter and Grand Master Jerry Miculek using his revolver. He beat Grand Master Ted Bonnet who is a past Grand Nationals Champion. It was an exciting event.
The prize table was amazing, the best I’ve ever heard of or seen. The top 1/3 of shooters in each class won guns and those who didn’t still won $500-$600 worth of prizes. The sponsors really stepped up for this match. I’d like to encourage everyone who shoots to support the sponsors who help with events like this.
Cameron’s Custom Guns out of Colorado loaned me one of their custom 2011 guns to shoot the match. I will have a really hard time shooting anything else from now on. Read a full review of the Cameron’s Custom Gun I used in the Grand Nationals. Center of Mass Holsters provided me with a great holster and mag pouches. Read my review on those here.
If you’re planning on shooting the Grand Nationals next year, be sure and bring lots of ammo and guns. Camping facilities are available and many of the shooters spent the entire week at the range.
Oh, did I mention that there were young adults who worked for tips? For a few dollars, I never had to reset targets. You cannot beat shooting like a celebrity in a modern duel for fun.