Simmons blasts into fifth place at IPSC nationals

John Simmons shot up the standings as he shot up the targets over the weekend. The Whitehorse handgun shooter placed fifth overall out of 66 shooters in the open division at the 2014 IPSC Canada Nationals at Pitt Meadows, B.C.

John Simmons shot up the standings as he shot up the targets over the weekend.

The Whitehorse handgun shooter placed fifth overall out of 66 shooters in the open division at the 2014 IPSC Canada Nationals at Pitt Meadows, B.C. in Metro Vancouver.

“I was pretty calm and collected for a change,” said Simmons. “I made one mistake, instead of multiple mistakes, which I’ve done in the past.

“Calming down, focusing more, focusing faster. Instead of shooting really fast, I slowed it down a little bit and made sure I got my good hits.”

In addition to producing his highest finish at the nationals, Simmons was the top master shooter, with four grandmasters ahead of him. His previous best finish was 17th last year.

“From 17th last year to fifth the next year, at a nationals, is pretty good. I’m pretty impressed with that,” said Simmons. “This year (I shot at) 95.39 per cent, so I was beaten by four per cent, which is very little between first and fifth. It was tight at the top.”

Simmons won three of the 16 stages, each with 100 per cent shooting accuracy, and placed third in two others at the International Practical Shooting Confederation competition, in which speed, power and accuracy are measured as competitors move through an obstacle course.

“I had one really bad (stage),” said Simmons. “For some reason I just couldn’t hit one last piece of steel. I emptied my gun at it and that cost me time, and because of that time, it just killed me on that stage. It was bad.”

Simmons’ fifth place finish is a great confidence booster for a pair of major competitions coming up.

Early this year Simmons received an invite to represent Canada at the IPSC World Shoot.

Simmons is one of only 60 Canadians selected for the triennial IPSC world championships to compete against shooters from about 80 countries.

The championship will be the first held in North America, scheduled to take place at the Universal Shooting Academy in Polk Country, Florida, this October.

“The worlds is going to be huge. I’ve never been to a worlds,” said Simmons. “Apparently it’s so big, they had to get more property to make a giant parking lot and will be shuttling shooters to the range from the parking lot.”

Up next he will take aim at another top spot at the IPSC B.C. Provincial Championships over the September long-weekend in Kelowna.

Simmons shot his way to a seventh place finish in the open division at the 2013 IPSC B.C. Provincial Championships last September, up from 13th the year before.

“I know they are going to be hard,” said Simmons. “The head guy for IPFC Kelowna at that club is Nick King, he’s the Canadian national champion. When he thinks up stages, he makes sure they are well thought out and he makes them hard. He’s not into the easy stuff.”

“If I do well at the (B.C.) provincials, I pretty much guarantee myself a spot on the Gold Team for next year’s nationals,” he added, referring to the squad of top Canadian shooters. “I’d like to make the Gold Team again.”

Needless to say, Simmons has been having a good year.

He placed first and second at a double-qualifier for the IPSC B.C. in Terrace, B.C., at the end of April.

He produced two first-place finishes at an IPSC B.C. double-qualifier in October, which, having taken place following the B.C. championship, is considered part of the 2014 season.

The six-time Yukon steel-shooting champion placed 22nd in 2012 and 25th in 2011 at the IPSC nationals.

“I need to practise more,” he added with a laugh. “I learned a couple things. I was slotted with some really top shooters: the open division national champion, the former open division national champion, a national steel shooting champion, then me and another master.

“Three of the guys on the squad beat me – it was a top squad, for sure, to be on. I saw a couple things, learned a couple things, they pointed out a couple things. So I do have things to practise now.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, has an address-to-riding tool

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read