Meet Pistol National Coach and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner, a 10-time National Champion, three-time Pan American games gold medalist, and most recently he was named the USA Shooting National Pistol coach. Turner has served as National Assistant Coach of the program since he stepped back from international competition in 2015, after the removal of his signature event—Men’s 50-meter Free Pistol from the Olympic program.
What are your first memories of handling a firearm?
I started shooting when I was about 12 years old, at the Rochester Rifle Club in New York. My dad wanted me to become familiar with firearms and this club (where he also shot) had a junior program. Every Sunday night I would go there and shoot.
How did you start out in competitive shooting?
My dad and I shot all of the NRA junior matches as part of the program I belonged to. While shooting those, I learned how competitive I was and the drive I had to win.
What firearms and other gear do you use for competition?
Back when I was competing, I used a Toz free pistol with Eley ammunition. Free pistol is a .22 caliber single-shot pistol fired at 50 meters (about 167 feet). For air pistol it was a Morini with JSB pellets. The air pistol is also a single-shot firearm—but at 10 meters (about 33 feet).
Tells us about your range bag and what you carry in it besides your firearms?
I never really carried a range bag. I used my SKB gun case to carry everything I needed. It’s extremely durable and has held up for many years. I carried everything I needed for competitions in it, my shooting shoes, glasses, extra gun parts, a hat and ammunition.
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy getting out and hiking on some of the great trails we have here in Colorado when I’m not spending some time golfing. I’m also a big sports fan and follow both baseball and football.
What would you tell someone interested in finding out more about your sport?
For those who want to learn more about my sport, I suggest heading over to the USA Shooting website. The website has a section where you can search for clubs in your area and go check them out in person. You can always visit the Coming Events section of SSUSA for a listing of matches near you.