Amateur shooters across the nation now have an opportunity to be recognized for their skills in the new American Marksman competition sponsored by the Outdoor Sportsman Group.
Out of thousands of competitors, only one shooter will earn the title of American Marksman and win a prize package that includes $50,000 and sponsor gear.
The American Marksman competition is a nationwide contest of target shooting skill, pitting amateur competitors against each other and the clock in a multi-level championship.
There are four categories in the competition: Junior, Women's Open, Men's Open and Military/Law Enforcement. All competitors must be amateur shooters. This is designed as a way for the average shooter to get involved in competition and not have to compete against professionals.
The competition does allow for shooters who shoot in regular firearm matches. If you've competed in IDPA, GSSF or USPSA shoots, you may still be eligible. There are competition guidelines on www.AmMarksman.com in both the FAQ and rules sections.
What's clear, though, is that any sponsored competitors, master-rank shooters or military and law enforcement members in a unit that requires exceptional marksmanship are ineligible. No pros, just Joes.
The competition starts at the local level. There are more than 200 ranges across 49 states that are recognized as qualifying locations for American Marksman. For a small fee of $20, shooters will receive a qualification code to take to the nearest local qualifying range. Once there, range fees may apply.
The range will provide targets, timers and scoresheets. Competitors need only bring a rifle or handgun (or both) chambered in .22 LR along with 50 rounds of ammo. If shooters don't have their own .22 or ammo, they can purchase or rent from the range, if available.
In three minutes, shooters will fire 25 rounds at one paper target sheet. The sheet will have five separate targets. The 25 rounds will be divided into three strings.
Shooters will fire two rounds per target in the first string, one round per target in the second string and two rounds per target in the third string.
This process will be repeated so that two targets consisting of 50 fired rounds are completed. The targets will be scored according to the criteria on the www.AmMarksman.com. Shooters will be able to view their standings online. Local qualifying is available now and goes through May.
Those who qualify for the regional championship will attend one of eight regional competitions, where they will compete with a 9mm handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun and a bolt-action .223 rifle, as well as .22 rimfire.
The winners of the regional championship will have the opportunity to attend the national American Marksman competition in Talladega, Alabama., in January 2017. There, they will become the subjects of the American Marksman television show as they compete for a chance at $50,000.
If you think you have what it takes to earn the title of American Marksman, sign up at www.AmMarksman.com now. The show will premiere on Outdoor Channel on April 16 at 8 p.m.