Smith & Wesson shooting team member Doug Koenig achieved a rare honor this past weekend, capturing his 16th NRA Action Pistol title at the 2015 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup in Columbia, Mo. His win at the event, in which he posted a perfect score of 1920 with 180 tie-breaking Xs, gives him more wins than any competitor in the history of the match.
"I think my success at Bianchi comes down to several things," said Koenig. "First, my training both mentally and physically mixes well with the course of fire. I also really enjoy the unique challenge it brings. At Bianchi, you are given a specific problem or an obstacle to overcome along with a pre-set time to accomplish it. I feel I'm at my best in those types of scenarios, because when the pressure builds I can go back to my training and stay focused on the task at hand."
The NRA Bianchi Cup, which showcases top competitors from around the world, comprises of four different matches with fixed times on every string of fire. The separate matches include: a Practical Event in which shots are fired from 10 yards to 50 yards, a Barricade Event during which shots are taken from behind simulated cover, a Falling Plate Event that consists of banks of six, 8-inch falling plates and a Moving Target Event where shots are fired at a moving target exposed for just 6 seconds.
In addition to the challenges of the courses of fire, Koenig also had to overcome extreme weather changes during the course of the competition. In spite of cold, rainy conditions and high winds, Koenig — as well as his gear — was able to perform at a high level.
"In order to perform well in any competition, you need to have the upmost confidence in your equipment," said Koenig. "Things like the weather, your physical health, and other exterior circumstances are always going to be difficult to predict, but your equipment is an important piece of the puzzle that you can control. I'm fortunate to have a great group of sponsors and each piece of gear I use, like my Performance Center 1911 pistol, was utterly reliable throughout the match."
This most recent win expands on Koenig's successful history of competing in the Bianchi Cup. In 1990, Koenig became the first competitor to win the Bianchi Cup with a perfect score, and since then, Koenig has registered a perfect score in all but one Bianchi Cup match. Koenig has won 12 of the last 15 matches, and his 16 championships represent almost half of all the Bianchi Cups ever held.