History of the Bianchi Cup

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posted on May 21, 2016
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The Bianchi Cup has been the gold standard in action shooting competition since 1979, the first year the match was held at the Chapman Training Academy. The brainchild of Ray Chapman and famous holster maker, Major General of the California National Guard, law enforcement officer and Hollywood cowboy John Bianchi. While discussing the current state of pistol competitions that were being held across the country at the time, Bianchi and Chapman realized that there wasn’t a competition that had a mix of IPSC, Police Pistol Combat and NRA Conventional Bullseye (Conventional is now known as Precision pistol) pistol shooting styles. This discussion was the birth of the first ever Bianchi Cup.

Over 35 years of Bianchi Cup history can be found in the back woods of Hallsville, MO, a small suburb of Columbia, MO. The Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club, formerly the Chapman Training Academy, was named after Ray Chapman. Chapman was a WWII Marine veteran, law enforcement officer and IPSC champion of the 1970s. Ray worked with John Bianchi on the Cup from the beginning. To great sadness, Ray passed away in 2008, leaving behind a legacy of top-level instruction to law enforcement, the military and competitive shooters alike. He had a passion for competitive shooting and loved to share it with others. His presence at the Bianchi Cup is missed by many.

After much discussion, the first four courses of fire were developed in what would eventually be known as the sport of “NRA Action Pistol.” Comprised of four events, the Bianchi Cup was a revolutionary competition that changed the scope of competition shooting as it had been known. The four events have the distinction of extreme longevity, unchanged for decades.

The first of the four events is the Practical Event. Competitors fire at two targets, six feet from the top edge of the target to the ground and three feet apart edge to edge using what was then called a “Tombstone” target or “Bianchi” target. This eventually changed to the NRA D-1 target and ultimately the NRA AP-1 target. Competitors fire from 10, 15, 25 and 50 yard distances firing multiple shots at each target as well as one string of “weak” hand only (non-dominant hand) firing. All of this is done while drawing from a holster in “Action” style.

The second event is the Barricade Event. Competitors again fire at two targets set at the same height and distance apart as the Practical Event, except you are now firing from behind a barricade or “cover”, and distances are 10, 15, 20 and 35 yards. Times are five, six, seven and eight seconds, respectively.

The third event is the Falling Plate Event. Competitors fire at a plate rack which holds six 8-inch circular steel targets (plates) four feet off of the ground and one foot apart edge to edge. The competitor fires from distances of 10, 15, 20 and 25 yards. Times are six, seven, eight and nine seconds, respectively.

The final and most dynamic event—and the only one of its kind in all of the pistol shooting sports is—the Moving Target Event. Competitors fire at a “Tombstone” target, which moves 60 feet from right to left and left to right at a whopping 10 FPS. Competitors fire six shots at this moving target or “Running Man” target from 10, 15, 20 and 25 yards.

There are no makeup shots in NRA Action Pistol and/or the Bianchi Cup. Police, military, and top-level competitive shooters all have to make every shot count. This is why the scoring in NRA Action Pistol is so demanding. If you want to be a part of history in 2016 as well as watch some of the best shooters in the world, come join us at the 2016 Bianchi Cup, where the world’s foremost competitors will vie for the one of the most lucrative awards schedule in all of the shooting sports.

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