SHOOTING WITH A GOAL
Rocky Mountain Gun Club a site for regional target qualifying
Time to lock, load and make ready. And start shooting with cash and fame in the cross hairs.
The Rocky Mountain Gun Club is where to load and shoot with the ultimate target being a spot in the finals of the Outdoor Channel’s American Marksman competition.
Josh O’Neal, general manager at the Grand Junction shooting range and gun club, said they were contacted to be a qualifying facility.
“It was kind of surprising at first, but it makes sense to have a smaller facility be a local qualifier,” he said.
Shooters already have stopped by the facility to try to qualify for the regional round. Winners at regional sites will advance to the national competition.
Shooters can stop by Rocky Mountain Gun Club through May to try to qualify for the regional round. There will be nine regional championships beginning in early June and continuing through August. The championship finals will be filmed in their entirety to start airing on Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks in December.
“American Marksman is excited to have Rocky Mountain Gun Club on board with us as an official local qualifying location,” Brian Tatum, American Marksman tour director, said in a news release.
Local shooters will need to register online at AMMarksman.com to get a confirmation code and pay a $20 fee.
“For only $20 at the local level, you get the chance to try and qualify with other amateurs in a relaxed, safe environment, and the best of the best will meet in a ridiculously cool national championship with TV cameras rolling,” Tatum said.
Cool plus some cold cash up for grabs.
“The person who earns the title of ‘American Marksman’ walks away with $50,000,” he added.
Once a shooter gets the confirmation code, the targets are provided and a $5 range fee is required at Rocky Mountain Gun Club.
The local competition will have rifle and pistol divisions with all competitors shooting .22-caliber rim fire weapons. As competitors advance, different caliber weapons and targets will be used.
Shooters will be accompanied by a range safety officer, who will monitor and score the round.
Shooters will have 50 shots in two rounds. Each target will have five bull’s-eyes with the shooter firing 10 rounds, five rounds and another 10 rounds per target.
Scores are based on a combination of accuracy and the timing of the round. Time is added to the score with each shot that misses the target or hits outside the bull’s-eye.
Target distance is 20 feet for handgun and 30 feet for rifle.
Both targets will be used in the final score.
O’Neal said people can return and try to improve their score.
“We record all scores online, and people can keep track of who’s in the lead and come back and shoot again if they want,” he said.
O’Neal said the gun club has .22-caliber rim fire guns for rent and ammunition for sale at the facility.
There are divisions for adults and juniors, but participants under age 18 must be registered by their parent or legal guardian.
At the national championship event, the top remaining competitors in each category will compete against each other for the title of American Marksman.
Eight shooting facilities in Colorado are participating in the local qualifying. Rocky Mountain Gun Club is the only one on the Western Slope.
Rocky Mountain Gun Club is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.