Shannon Smith has been shooting competition since 1998, which was still during his time in the U.S. Army. He served from 1994 to 2000 in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. Originally from West Virginia, Smitty found himself in Florida after his military service, where he was remodeling and flipping homes while shooting matches.
Along the way, he has found himself at the top of scoreboard over his shooting career. Not many can list a USPSA National Championship, U.S. Steel National Championship, ICORE Championship and Pro-Am Championship on their resume as Shannon Smith can. He is a USPSA Grand Master competing in 10 to 15 major matches per year around the country. One of the top shooters in the world, he is a 15-time Florida State Champion—plus Smitty has garnered multiple Area and regional titles. In addition, he recently qualified to represent the U.S. at the World Championship for a third time.
Smitty is also considered one of the best Match Directors in USPSA as well. During his time at Universal Shooting Academy, he was the Match Director for five years of USPSA Nationals, including IPSC Nationals, PCC Nationals, Multigun Nationals and all the handgun Nationals. He was the go-to guy to pull off the crazy “9 Days of Nationals” and followed that up with the HICAP Nationals the next year in Utah. This doesn’t include all the local monthly matches that he ran or the Area 6 Multigun, Florida Open, Florida State, Monster matches and several others each year. He did all that, maintained being a top competitor and was also taught classes.
His tactical background includes six years in special operations with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion certainly aided him. Serving as team leader and squad leader, he attended numerous schools relating to special operations, small unit tactics, leadership, firearms and ground fighting. Smitty would have many Special Forces groups cycle through Universal over the years for training as well as competition classes. He started his eponymous company, Shannon Smith Shooting, at the end of 2017. Now that he has moved on from Universal Shooting Academy, Smitty is teaching classes at several ranges around Florida as well as traveling. In addition, he is part of the SIG Sauer Training Academy, with his first event in May 2021 at the Aiming for Zero Charity Match.
Smitty will be back helping direct the upcoming 2-Gun Nationals at the CMP Marksmanship Park in Talladega, Ala., this June. Interested in finding out where Smitty is teaching next? Check out his website at shannonsmithshooting.com and be sure to listen to his podcast as well.
Article from the May/June 2021 issue of USPSA’s magazine. Photos by Jake Martens.
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