From a wide range of competitors in both pro and amateur categories to sponsors and staff, the inaugural Trijicon World Shooting Championship appears to have been a success if it is to be judged by the enthusiastically affirmative responses that arose from the informal survey question, “Would you shoot it again next year or recommend it to a friend?”
Perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising considering that total prize money for the event exceeded $100,000 with first place alone accounting for half. The multi-day event officially wraps up with an awards ceremony later on, but today’s overall mood was evidence enough that the real reward for most shooters came from participating in the wide range of shooting disciplines it offered at Peacemaker National Training Center outside tiny Glengary, W.Va.
A light drizzle that threatened to dampen spirits and the courses of fire held off through the morning, but eventually made its presence known—although those engrossed in the competition seemed to notice it little and care even less. That’s what happens when an event’s singularly unique identity begins to emerge from such an unorthodox slate of seemingly unrelated stages. People began to get that the entire point was, at least this first time around, to not put on yet another competition in which competitor were simply trying to shave a few seconds off already-mastered techniques. Here, techniques were being invented on the fly, and Kudos are due the facility’s owner and the man who gave birth to the event, Cole McCullough, for such foresight. Mid-day he informally but earnestly sought a critique of the event from these quarters, but was likely not too surprised to hear that there had been no significant complaints. The former Marine likely could use a few good nights’ sleep at this point as such events have a way of taking their toll on the promoters.
McCullough can rest easy knowing that all the dirt he has pushed around at Peacemaker since its start three years ago, has resulted in more than a series of re-shapen West Virginia hills. After such an unqualified success as the Trijicon World Championship, he must be pleased to see that Peacemaker has succeeded in its mission to bring excellence in a variety of shooting experiences to the masses by not only drawing local users on casual Saturday outings with the family, but by hosting elite service units and the world’s best 3-gun and F-class shooters in their collective quest to become better marksmen.
Some of the reasons for such success include the Kongsberg 1,000-yd. electronic targeting system that provides accurate and instantaneous feedback, along with the numerous known- and unknown-distance ranges and their audibly satisfying metallic targets. Then there are the Bianchi-style pistol bays, covered shooting positions, shotgun sports facilities, varied and attractive topography, and, perhaps most importantly, a warm and inviting staff. With all that available at the reasonable annual membership rate of $200, what serious shooter wouldn’t want to make Peacemaker a second home?
Everyone from Trijicon executives, to NRA competitions managers to first-time shooters to the pros who found themselves outside their usual comfort zones seemed to agree that this is one competition that is well worth repeating. In place of the predictable mechanical performances carried out with tricked-out guns that have become all too common on most competitive circuits nowadays were broad grins, good-natured exasperations and high-fives between shooters who shared the common victory of finding whatever success they could muster on often unfamiliar ground. This time there was simply no way that the overall victor was going to be accurately predicted from past performances. In the end that’s what made the first Trijicon World Shooting Championship so valuable—it was, like the venue in which it was held, both incomparable and unpredictable.