For A Quarter-Century Now, GLOCK’s Low-Cost, Prize-Rich
Handgun Match Has Welcomed Novice And Expert Alike.
By Massad Ayoob
GLOCK has recently had a couple of milestones. One was the 30th anniversary of their presence in the USA. The other was the 25th anniversary of the handgun game they established: the GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation.
Since the company sponsors it, shooters compete with GLOCK pistols. GSSF was created partly as a “thank you” to their customers, and partly, of course, as an avenue to promote their guns. But the emphasis seems to have been on the “thank you” part. The company reports because they give away so many guns, cash prizes and merchandise awards, they’ve never made a profit on the matches.
Gail Pepin strafes down the steel in GLOCK the Plates—one
of the 3 stages of every GSSF match today.
A Brief History
From the beginning, the prime mover of GSSF has been Chris Edwards, the company’s most effective ambassador for more than a decade in my opinion. The goal was to create a course of fire—and an overall atmosphere—that would be both welcoming and challenging to novice shooters and master handgunners alike. With input from successful competitors like Tom Campbell, Chris developed a course of fire that has been only slightly changed in 25 years.
GSSF has some significant DNA from Bianchi Cup, including the buff-colored, tombstone-shaped D-1 target and the Bianchi Falling Plate Rack, both of which track back to the late, great world champion, Ray Chapman.
The inaugural match was held in 1991 in Cobb County, Georgia, drawing 102 contestants. The year 2015 would see 53 matches and 23,429 entries, including a match in Griffin, Georgia, that drew a record 1,401 contestants on its own.
GSSF range staff (above) reset steel and paste cardboard on GLOCK M, another
stage in every GSSF match. Two 5-target arrays of 5-to-GLOCK stage (below)
are also standard in every GSSF shoot.
Chris Edwards (right) congratulates Mas on winning Major Sub with a .45 GLOCK 30SF.
Chris gets much of the credit for making GSSF what it is today.
Know Before You Go
To expedite waiting time to get registered, you definitely want to sign up online before you shoot. If you want to come and just watch, that’s fine. The only requirements are ear and eye protection and signed waiver. No charge. You can bring all your unloaded GLOCKs for the resident company armorers to go over for you. Replacement of springs and most other parts are no charge, and they’ll give you quite a deal on installing night sights, even if you aren’t competing.
But believe me, you’ll want to compete. There are events for every model GLOCK you own. “Competition” is the category for your longslide G17L, G24, G34 or G35. With optics or recoil compensators or custom-reshaped frames, you’ll have to enter “Unlimited.” The big category is “Amateur,” where the barrel can’t be longer than 4.6 inches and open sights are mandatory.
Carry a “baby” GLOCK? Enter the “Subcompact” division, and know that overall matches have been won with the little G26 9mm. Big-bores more your style? Your G21, G20, G37, or smaller .45 ACP, 10mm or .45 GAP are what the “Heavy Metal” division is for. Subcompacts in those calibers are the guns for “Major Sub.”
If you carry a G42 .380 or G43 single-stack 9mm, the division you want is “Pocket GLOCK.” Major Sub and Pocket GLOCK are fired one shot per paper target, no more than seven rounds allowed in the gun. Everything else is double taps on cardboard, with a max of 10 in the magazine and one more in the chamber. Looking for one gun to shoot nearly everything with, even though it might not be optimal for every category? That would be a G30 in .45 ACP or a G29 in 10mm.
Entry fee is a mere $25 per category, plus membership in GSSF, which entitles you to a police discount on one gun per year from dealers who participate in the program (this alone is worth way more than the price of membership). Win your division and you win a pistol (one per match to spread the wealth), and you’re also eligible for random drawings of guns and other cash prizes. GSSF encourages female participation. The GLOCK Girls Event at every shoot, pioneered by Lisa-Marie Judy, gives out one prize gun per 10 contestants. GSSF separates the master shooters (master in other disciplines, or three-time amateur winners) to keep the sharks from devouring the minnows.
Emphasis overall is on a welcoming environment, patience with newcomers and a fun time with like-minded people. You’ll get the feel of it at the GSSF section at www.glocktalk.com, moderated by veteran shooter Danny Ryan, and be sure to check out the tips from top GSSF-ers that are “stickied” there. All the rules and information can be found at the GSSF website.
Hope to see you at one. Here’s to another 25 years.
GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation
6000 Highlands Pkwy
Smyrna, GA 30082
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