Pistol championship draws contestants from around the world

Friday, May 23, 2008 | 9:11 p.m. CDT; updated 12:00 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

HALLSVILLE — Pistol shooting enthusiasts and professionals from around the globe will holster their guns for the final time in the Bianchi International Speed Event competition on Saturday.

The speed event is the final competition of the 30th Annual National Rifle Association Bianchi Cup National Action Pistol Championship.

If you go... Bianchi International Speed Event

What: The Bianchi International Speed Event When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 24 Where: 4350 Academy Road, Hallsville, MO 65255 Directions: From Interstate 70 take exit 128 onto U.S. 63 North. Exit U.S. 63 onto Route B northbound, about one mile. Go north on Route B for about 7.5 miles and watch for signs on left side of the road. Turn left from Route B onto Academy Road and go about one mile.

Top contenders in the four competition categories will face off at 9:30 a.m. at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club in Hallsville.

The speed event requires contestants to shoot out five knock-down plates in less than 20 seconds. Contestants must start with gun in holster and hands at shoulder height. A shooter can only start firing once the whistle or horn sounds, signaling the start of the timed round. The speed event is single elimination and concludes when there's only one man, woman or child left standing.

Professional shooter Doug Koenig said the speed event is typically "a lot less nerve-racking" than competition rounds.

Koenig of Alburtis, Penn., won the open champion this year and will go head-to-head against top-scorers in the women's, junior and senior classes.

In 2007, Koenig took home the top speed event prize, but did not win the overall Bianchi Cup.

This year the competition drew international competitors from as far away as Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

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