We hope that all is well in your world, and that the folks who are reading this are healthy and busily doing several things at once.  That seems to define “happiness” in today’s modern world.

Last weekend, Gunsite hosted the Gunsite Alumni Shoot (MMX).  About 130 shooters and other Gunsite Family Members came together for a weekend of fellowship and a pistol match.

On Friday evening, Deb and Ron Walter along with Renee Brooks knocked themselves out to provide a steak dinner to all hands at the campground.  Nearly 100 people showed up for a great meal, which was punctuated by an unusual autumn rain shower.  Throughout the downpour, Ron continued to cook, telling folks that the rain was cooling him off.  And as always, Ron refused to accept donations for his expenses, asking us to donate instead to the Cooper Legacy Foundation.  Thanks, Deb, Ron and Renee!

On Saturday morning we gathered at 06:30 for breakfast at the pavilion “top-side”.  This year, Gunsite decided to provide three meals to all attendants, and Hoppy’s Barbecue/Catering went all out to feed us.  We offer our thanks to Hoppy’s for their hard work and cheerful service.

It continues to concern us that in order to have a well-received shooting match, one must keep “score”.  Apparently, people are compelled to measure their performance not against themselves, but against others.  At Gunsite we teach individuals the skills necessary to defend themselves.  If you have achieved the status of Gunsite graduate, you already have “won”, and regular practice will serve to keep your skills at a high level.  There is, therefore, little dishonor to “losing” against another Gunsite graduate.  By way of contrast, there would be cause for concern if a Gunsite graduate were to “lose” to a goblin.

So at the GAS match, and indeed in any shooting match, it is far better to IGNORE the buzz of a timer and instead concentrate on giving yourself your personal best, using the Combat Triad, and good tactics.  By doing so, you will rarely “win” a match, but you will indeed win when it counts.  That is the point of the exercise.

The match itself was designed by Ron Benson and his “Barn-rats”.  Ron and his people did a great job in creating stages that were entertaining, challenging and easy to understand.  That allowed the match to progress with a minimum of down-time.  Of course, during down-time, it was easy to access the various side-matches scattered around the ranch.

This year, we had an unusual level of contribution from our sponsors, and we strongly advise each attendant to proactively thank the following people and organizations:

Steyr –


Para USA –

Smith & Wesson –

Vang Comp Systems –

Savage Arms –

Blade-Tech –

Galco International –

Brownells –

Mil-Tac Knives & Tools –

Leupold –

Surefire –

Tee Shirts & More – Shop them locally in Prescott on Miller Valley Road

Allegra Print & Imaging –

Fortunately, the weather held throughout most of the match with the exception of the last hour or so, during which most folks finished their stages and moved on to the side matches.  The rain dampened few spirits, and the weather was lovely once again for our excellent dinner and prize giveaway.

We’d like to thank our match attendants, our staff (including our YCSO volunteers), Mike Davidson, Wendy Elgen, Deann and Ken Walsh, Yvonne and John Blitch, Bob Shimizu, Cindy Ventricelli, Joy Hughes, Candace Hutchison, Hoppy’s Barbecue, the Knucklehead collective and our generous sponsors for making this year’s GAS match a great success.  Thank you all!

For those who are compelled to “rank” themselves against the other participants of the GAS match, results are posted on the web site at

Meanwhile, the Ranch is buzzing with classes.  This week we’re running 350, CQP and a 3-day AK-47 class.  During the week of the 11th of October we’ll host 556 (Advanced Tactical Carbine).  During the week of the 18th of October we’ll host 250 and Long Range Rifle.  It’s one of our busiest seasons here at Gunsite, and we urge you to contact us regarding any last-minute openings in these rewarding classes.  November also ovvers 250 & 350 in the same week, a 223 and a 260 consecutively, and a class dedicated to carrying concealed.

We look forward to seeing you again at Gunsite.  Keep an eye on our new web site for additional events and classes.  Our new 2011 calendars will be out to you in the mail in about two weeks’ time.  If you don’t recall getting our calendar last year, please respond to this e-mail and we’ll make sure to send you one.

Finally, our thanks go out to servicemen and women serving around the world.  We thank you for your service, and your sacrifices.  Good hunting out there!


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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