What are your first memories of handling a firearm?
I first got into firearms as a young boy. My grandfather had a tobacco farming operation and we would spend much of the summer helping him. I was too young to add much value with the crop, but was responsible enough to walk the farm shooting gophers and groundhogs with a .410 bolt-action shotgun. A typical summer day meant an allowance of a couple shells and a few hours of free time to use as I saw fit. What a cool opportunity this was for me as a young, responsible kid.
Tell us about how you began in competitive shooting.
I started in 2014. I have always enjoyed firearms and I am wired to compete. I have always been an athlete and competitor, whether it was football, wrestling, MMA, professional sales and now competition shooting. I just enjoy competition and the big bonus with competitive shooting is I absolutely love firearms. It’s the best of both worlds.
Please share with us some of your major shooting accomplishments.
So far my biggest wins in the shooting sports have been landing the 2018 IPSC World Shotgun Championship, as well as the 2017 and 2018 3GN National Championships. It’s been an awesome ride. In just four years, I’ve come out on top both nationally and internationally.
What firearms and other gear do you use for competition?
- Rifle: JP Enterprises PSC-11 dual-charging .223 Rem. 18” barreled AR-15 rifle with a Vortex Razor GenII HD Scope and offset 6 MOA Razor dot. I run Federal Gold Medal Berger 73-grain ammo for long-range. I use American Eagle 55-grain for everything up close.
- PCC: JP Enterprises GMR-15 dual-charging 9mm 14.5” pinned barrel AR9 rifle with a 6 MOA Vortex Razor primary and offset dots. I shoot Federal Syntech 124-grain 9mm in my PCC guns.
- Shotgun: Dissident Arms KL12 shotgun with SGM Tactical mags and dual 6 MOA Vortex Razor dots. Federal Gold Medal Grand birdshot and Truball slugs are my go-to shotshells.
- Pistol: STI Omni compensated pistol with a 6 MOA Vortex Viper dot. I use Federal Syntech Action Pistol 150-grain 9mm ammo.
Tell us about your range bag and what you carry in it besides your firearms?
I use a Voodoo Tactical gun bag and a Propper backpack on the range. The Voodoo bag has room for all three of my guns, which is critical for me as a 3-gunner. The Propper backpack is comfortable even when loaded up with heavy amounts of gear. Sometimes I have to hike quite far at matches, so having gear that is comfortable to wear is a really big deal to me.
As for the items in my range bags, I actually have a checklist: batteries for my optics, mini-tool kit, Lucas oil and grease, chamber flags, snacks, Advil, energy drinks, bottles of water, gloves, foam ear plugs, business cards and a phone charger.
What would you tell someone interested in finding out more about your sport?
The action shooting sports are welcoming. Find a match, show up, bring your gun and plan to shoot. You can also follow me on Facebook or Instagram for tips, content on the different games and how to join the shooting community.
Any tips for new shooters?
As a new shooter, be sure to arrive at matches ready to learn and pitch in. Most of the shooting sports are run on a volunteer basis, so we all help make the matches go smoothly—especially at local matches.
Learn what precision long-range competitive shooter Phillip Velayo keeps in his range bag.