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First Annual Shooting Industry Masters: industry leaders step outside to bust targets, have fun in support of the Step Outside program.

The First Annual Shooting Industry Masters was rated an overwhelming success by shooters representing companies from throughout the industry.

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Created to support the Step Outside program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the competition was hosted by PMC Ammunition and sponsored by Shooting Industry magazine.

Seventeen teams and 72 industry shooters completed in the pistol, rifle and sporting clays event at PMC's Desert Lake Country Club in Boulder City, Nev., Aug. 23. The team from Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services (DPMS) took top honors, followed by the teams from RSR Corp. and Davidson's.

"We are very pleased so many shooters from the industry took the time from their busy schedules to support this important program of the NSSF," said Peter Hofmann, president, CEO of PMC.

"This is an industry event, not a PMC program. We just want to do our part to make the event even better next year. We are inviting all companies to send a team. They'll have fun and help raise money to support our industry."

FMG Publications fielded a team for the competition, the first for the company that publishes Shooting Industry, GUNS and American Handgunner magazines.

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The team included Tom von Rosen, FMG publisher; Randy Molde, Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence director; Roy Huntington, American Handgunner editor; and Russ Thurman, Shooting Industry editor.

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"We're honored PMC asked us to sponsor this event," von Rosen said. "For the first year, the event came off pretty amazing. The PMC facility is an outstanding place for shooters to get together. I had fun and that's what the Step Outside program is all about. We're going to do all we can to make next year's event even better."

Industry executives, including Steve Sanetti, president of Sturm, Ruger; Bob Morrison, executive vice president, COO of Taurus; Dennis Pixton, president, CEO of Michaels of Oregon; and Ken Sedlecky, of Smith & Wesson, competed in the event. They all praised the Shooting Industry Masters and its objectives.

"The Shooting Industry Masters is terrific," said Sanetti. "The event is fun, it's a great way for the industry to get together in fellowship and honest competition, and we are delighted to be involved. The Step Outside program is extremely worthwhile. We believe in it very strongly and we're glad to support it. We hope to see everyone there next year."

"I thought the event was absolutely incredible," said Morrison. "The job PMC and FMG did on this event is out of this world. I want to thank them for their support of the NSSF and the Step Outside program."

"The Shooting Industry Masters is a great concept for an outstanding cause," said Pixton. "My hope is that it remains a fun shoot with friendly competition."

In addition to raising money, the Shooting Industry Masters helps the Step Outside program in another important way, according to Chris Dolnack, managing director of program development for NSSF.

"Obviously, the fundraising aspect of the event is a tremendous help," said Dolnack, who shot in the competition. "Beyond that, it helps focus attention on Step Outside, not only within the industry, but also in the editorial pages of FMG publications. Hopefully, other shooting publications will cover the event. That will help plant the seeds for millions of shooters and gun owners who should ask someone to step outside. Once they do, they'll discover shooting is fun."

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Because of scheduling problems, NSSF wasn't able to field an entire team this year, but that will change next year, Dolnack said.

"We will absolutely have a team there next year," Dolnack said. "PMC and FMG did a fantastic job putting the event together. It was very well run and PMC has a world-class facility. It was gratifying to see so many industry leaders participating, and to see everyone having a good time pulling the trigger."

That's key to the success of Step Outside, according to the program's national coordinator Cynthia Dalena.

"The Shooting Industry Masters really reflects the Step Outside program," Dalena said. "I was amazed how it brought together people from the industry for a fun, relaxed competition. It is a great way to work together in support of cause we all believe in. For those who weren't able to attend this year, you should clear your calendars for next year's event."

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The event also included an industry reception the night before the shooting competition, and an awards banquet at the Green Valley Ranch Hotel & Casino.

During the banquet, the Shooting Industry Masters trophy, a bronze statue of a desert bighorn ram, was presented to the DPMS team of Bruce Piatt, Jim Clark, Al Greco and Randy Luth. The top three shooters of the event were also honored. They are: Bruce Piatt (1st), Jim Clark (2nd) and Larry Fuller (3rd), of RSR Corp.

Also during the banquet, the drawing for raffle prizes saw competitors winning donated handguns, rifles, shotguns, clothing and custom knives.

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Plans are already underway for the Second Annual Shooting Industry Masters, according to Match Director David Shaw, who is president of the Desert Lake Country Club and vice president of marketing for PMC.

"We are committed to a bigger and better event next year," Shaw said.

"We appreciate everyone's comments on how well the event went, but it wouldn't have been much of an event without the support from so many companies. This is just the beginning. We hope companies see it as an important event to take part in to support the industry through the Step Outside program. We want to thank FMG Publications for all their support. A special thank you also goes to all the companies that donated raffle prizes. Next year, we'll have more shooters, more prizes and even more fun."

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Despite busy schedules, it's important to set aside the time to support programs that really work, said Thurman, Shooting Industry's editor.

"It rare for those of us in the industry to take the time to actually shoot." Thurman said. "We're all too busy building businesses, or fighting the anti-gun wars, or both. The Step Outside program is vital to the growth of our industry. It just makes sense. So does the Shooting Industry Masters. We'll be there next year, and we invite all companies to plan on stepping outside in 2004 to support this worthwhile program."
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Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Oct 1, 2003
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Previous Article:Yes we do, yes we can yes we will!
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