Last summer, just weeks before the world championships, John Simmons’ gun broke.
The slide in his gun, an STI Trubor, cracked in half and he hastily shipped it to Vancouver for repairs.
Since the worlds, the gun has undergone more operations and is now firing better than ever.
“They nickel plated it for me. So it’s totally a rebuilt gun with new internals in it and that nickel finish is really slippery, so it’s just super smooth to shoot,” said Simmons. “It just cycles and runs so well.”
The proof was in the pudding this past weekend.
The Whitehorse handgun shooter pegged off two first-place finishes at International Practical Shooting Confederation B.C. qualifier events in Terrace.
“They have good stages, it was well run,” said Simmons. “I always enjoy going to Terrace, that’s where I qualified for my first time shooting. It has sentimental value.”
Simmons didn’t just win at his first two competitions of the season, he dominated.
On Saturday the master level shooter scored 10 per cent higher than the second place finisher and almost 30 per cent higher than the third placer.
On Sunday he scored more than 13 per cent higher than the second place finisher, another master level shooter.
“One of the guys from Prince George was like, ‘Those gaps (in the scoring) are big,’” said Simmons. “Those are big gaps to be beating people by.
“I’m pretty happy with it.”
Simmons placed 162nd out of 367 shooters in the open division at his first IPSC World Shoot in October.
He placed sixth out 25 of Canadians in the open division, the second largest division at the event that saw about 1,300 shooters from about 80 countries compete.
The World Shoot following some fantastic results at major Canadian competitions last season.
He took fourth at IPSC B.C. Provincial Championships in September.
Simmons then placed fifth overall out of 66 shooters – up from 17th in 2013 – at the 2014 IPSC Canada Nationals in August.
He plans to compete at the nationals and B.C. championships again this season, as well as the Alaska State Shooting Championships.
Instead of being a steel-shooting competition, this year’s Alaska championship will be an IPSC style competition in which speed and accuracy are measured as competitors move through an obstacle course shooting at targets.
“I’d love to win the Alaska state championship again, but it’s going to be an absolute horse race this year,” said Simmons. “I think there are four or five master level shooters coming up from the Lower 48 to it.
“The coordinator from Alaska emailed me and told me it’s going to be tough.”
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