The 2015 Midway USA & NRA Bianchi Cup will award the World Famous Silver Bianchi Cup as well as Division & Category Champion Trophy Cups to the Metallic, Production, Ladies, Juniors & Seniors.
This event draws shooters from all over the world. In 2014, competitors hailed from Australia, Austria, Barbados, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States.
The NRA Bianchi 2015 was attended by Team RECOIL with teammates from American Armory & Tactical LLC in Norman, Oklahoma and Recoil Rifle Slings in Noble, Oklahoma. It was a Veteran and Law Enforcement team put together by Bill and Will Hawkins. Team RECOIL, who were partially sponsored by Heckler & Koch, competed with the newly available HK VP 9. The HK VP 9 is a compact, striker fired semi-automatic pistol. It was chambered in the 9×19 (9mm) and comes standard with two – fifteen round magazines and interchangeable grip panels for the back strap and the side panels. Team RECOIL brought talented, but raw skilled shooters. For many on the team this was their very first competition…… EVER. Only team leader Will Hawkins had been to Bianchi the previous year and competed while the rest of the crew was new to the challenge.
Teams and individuals arrived Tuesday afternoon and registered for the week’s events. First timers and professionals together would make up the over 300 competitors from around the world. The first night would conclude with a meeting with first time shooters sitting in a room with a few selected veterans to give them a run-down of the events to unfold. They explained to us how each match would work and how we should act for each event. They introduced us to the match staff and workers. The first morning of the shoot was absolute fun even though the weather was not in our favor. The first day was filled of non-stop rain and unseasonably cold temperatures for the late May fun. Many shooters stood in flooded shooting stalls and became soaked to the core.
The NRA Bianchi Cup consist of four main matches – The Falling Plates, Practical, Barricaded, and Moving Target.
Each match has its own challenges and upswings. But each match has someone who is a specialist and dominates the field. It was a great show the Army Marksmanship Team put on in the Falling Plates. I stood next to a very seasoned expert. Again the Barricade event was as unusual as expected. Seasoned veterans and rookies alike making mistakes, some causing 20 minutes delays while they fixed a broken target from a wild round. Most targets are stationary and have time limits, while the moving target provides a challenge to some and a proving grounds for others. That is the only event where the target moves side to side in only a few second and the only stage of the event where you shoot alone. For a first timer it was a challenge because now you are in the spotlight all alone while past competitors and former champions watch you.
Over all we may not have finished high in the standings, but we all agreed it was the best week in the shooting sports we had to date. The event staff was great, the competitors were all friendly, you could tell it was a time for fellowship in the firearms sport. If you have never experienced the fun and excitement of the NRA Bianchi Cup, I suggest you take a trip to Columbia, Missouri next May and even give thought to being a competitor as well.
Team RECOIL would like to extend a great deal of gratitude to be part of the HK family for the NRA Bianchi Cup.