I shot my first USSA Pro Am last month and am just now getting the time to write about it. One of my teammates Kay Miculek shot and won High Lady at this event last year and had so many great things to say about it that I had to give it a try. Under the very capable leadership of Phil Strader as match director, the Pro Am lived up to all the hype. This match is actually a revival of what I call a “back in the day” match. Back in the day, there were a handful of premiere matches throughout the country like Second Chance, Florida Invitational Tournament (FIPT) and the Miller/ S&W Invitational along with the national tournaments Bianchi, American Handgunner and USPSA Nationals. Thanks to Phil and the fantastic range officers at USSA, the Pro Am has made a great come back.
So you ask, what’s the deal? Well, for starters like Steel Challenge, every stage is all steel. Like Bianchi Cup there are par (set) times for each course. Like USPSA it’s run-n-gun and the steel has to fall to score. Scoring is about as simple as it gets. The number of steel down on the stage = the score. The Pro’s are those who have finished in the Top 10 of any USPSA Open/Limited/Production Nationals in the last three years. Everyone else is classified as an Amateur and is ranked based on classifications in the various action shooting sports. There are two divisions – Open & Limited. Regardless of firearm capacity, everyone is limited to 10 rounds in their magazines. Talk about an amazing made-for-TV event! It’s no wonder why Shooting USA was there once again to catch all the action.
The Top Guns also came out to play. Manny Bragg, Gordon Carrell, Angus Hobdell, Daniel Horner, Rob Leatham, Max Michel, BJ Norris, Dave Olhasso, Mike Seeklander, Dave Sevigny, Shannon Smith and Robert Vogel all shot the match. Robert (Bob) Vogel dominated shooting both Open and Limited with a stock gun. He won by just one plate in both divisions over Shannon Smith in Limited and Dave Sevigny in Open.
Like Bob, I opted to stick with one gun for both divisions. I shot my M&P Pro Series 9mm with Warren Tactical Sights, Blade-Tech/CR Speed Rig, Atlanta Arms & Ammo 147gr. Production Load and Rudy Project Noyz. Up until this point my season has consisted of matches with heavy emphasis on precision like Bianchi and the IRC. I haven’t competed with the M&P since before taking time off when the Pro wasn’t even available. I do have to say I am impressed with the gun. It tracked very well for me and I was pleased with my results in the divisions, placing second behind Jessie Abbate in both. Jessie had an amazing match and I had the pleasure to watch her shoot some stages along with up and coming junior talent Tori Nonaka. Great shooting ladies!
If you love steel and fast courses, seriously consider adding Pro Am to your travels next year. Thanks again to Phil and the Match Staff for all their hard work! Here’s a video montage from the match…