HALLSVILLE — An estimated 48,000 pistol rounds will be fired at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club this week with the 2012 MidwayUSA and NRA Bianchi Cup in town until Saturday.
This is the 33rd annual competition, which attracts top shooters from countries worldwide, including Japan, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Germany. The participants have a chance to win prizes totaling $500,000 in cash and equipment.
All of the competition's events revolve around action pistol shooting, which involves quick-drawing weapons, shooting from different distances with different hands, and aiming from upright and prone positions.
The action pistol events are great for spectators, said NRA press chief Kerrin Brinkman.
"It's a very sensory sport," Brinkman said. "It's exciting, even if you're not shooting."
Brinkman recommended that people new to the sport attend the Colt Speed event at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
"It's really action packed, we're talking two, three seconds to shoot an entire plate rack," Brinkman said. "Only the fastest shooters are selected to compete in that event."
Unlike other sporting events, many of the competitors feel they are competing with themselves rather than other shooters.
"We don't compete against each other," said Japanese shooter Tomo Hasegawa. "We all have the goal of shooting a perfect score."
Hasegawa said many shooters look forward to the annual tournament to socialize with others who share their interest.
Those who plan to attend the events are strongly encouraged to bring ear and eye protection. Competition will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The event is free for spectators.
Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.