Rocky Mountain Highs At Colorado State Action Pistol Championships

by
posted on September 24, 2021
2021-colorado-ap-2.jpg
Julie Golob

When Match Director Alex Ragulsky warned me that the Kiowa, Colo., range is rustic, I prepared myself. Don't get me wrong, as long as there's a backstop and targets to shoot, I am game. Joining local shooters and members of the U.S. Border Patrol Shooting Team, we drove miles down a gravel road to a private range not far from the towering Rocky Mountains for the opportunity to test ourselves on this challenging course of fire.

Border Patrol pistol team in Colorado
U.S. Border Patrol Team shooters tackling the Barricades.


Yes, the range is rural and though small, it is mighty. Only one event can be shot at a time, but it's a masterful layout that makes the most of a small space. Range owner, Todd Travis, shared how he chose the specific location on the property, a dry river bed that served as a perfect starting point. A bit of dirt work created the primary backstop for Plates, Practical and Barricades. The Moving Target stretches across the side berm. This generous landowner, with a dedicated match director and staff, made it all possible.

When I asked Alex how it all started, he shared the story of how he and Todd began shooting Action Pistol a decade ago. A desire to have a place to train and teach led Todd to purchase the property. According to Alex, "There was never any intent to hold any matches there, let alone a state match. But my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I started hosting practice sessions and the natural progression was an approved match. We were the first range to host an approved NRA Action Pistol match in Colorado."

The set-up is smart, with yard lines that are clearly marked for each event. The plate rack stands on the right side of the range. A series of three barricades remain fixed at the 35-yard line with lanes for the Practical set between them. Using just one barricade per shooter, the range uses a two-in-one target stand made from PVC that position the targets to the correct specifications. Designed for two-person carry and set along the centerline, moving these stands between strings allows three competitors to shoot on the line at once. The string-run Moving Target brings it all together—providing local competitors a great place to not only train for Bianchi Cup, but also host a State Championship.

On their way to Raton, N.M., for a Police Pistol Championship (PPC), members of the U.S. Border Patrol Shooting Team jumped at the opportunity to add some action pistol to their trip. They teased one another relentlessly to increase pressure, and put on a great showing with top performances in multiple divisions. Tony Simmons took first among his teammates with a High Open Revolver score of 1864-139X, while Adam Kovatch placed first in Production Optics with 1859-110X. Michael Del Zoppo had the top score in Metallic with 1829-104X and in Production with 1748-91X.

I brought my family with me on the trip and shot well enough to earn my first overall title at an action pistol major. After a fun day of shooting, we spent the next couple of days sightseeing with a trip to Colorado Springs and up to Pike’s Peak. It was a wonderful way to combine a competition with family time.

According to Alex, the 2021 Colorado State Action Pistol Championships isn't a one-and-done deal. Excited about the turnout and support, he shared feedback from the match.

"You saw my friends hanging targets, scoring, dragging target stands, picking up and so many other things that happened. The positive emails and the suggestions, the diet root beers, coffee cups, and handshakes ... so much! I want to elevate our standards so that every year is a little better than the last. It will mean more creativity, such as half-day squads, equal division of sponsorship donations, new barricades and the like."

With dedicated local competitors and ideas for improvements, there's a plan in motion. Interested in adding this to your match schedule in 2022? You will put miles on a vehicle and it is a bit of a trek from the nearest hotel. Make a trip of it, see the sights in Colorado and enjoy a great day of shooting, too.

2021 Colorado State Action Pistol Championship Leaderboard
  • Overall, Open and Lady - Julie Golob
  • Metallic and Production - Michael Del Zoppo
  • Production Optics - Adam Kovatch
  • Revolver - Tony Simmons
  • Rimfire, Law Enforcement and Senior - Alex Ragulsky
  • Grand Senior - Jim Flagg

Colorado Resident Champions
  • Champion - Alex Ragulsky
  • Runner-Up - Glenn Ashton
  • First Place Lady - Vickie Deppe
  • First Place Law Enforcement - Steve Knoll
  • First Place Military - Dietrich Whiteside
  • First Place Senior - Jim Flagg
  • Second Place Senior - Tim Wright
  • First Place Metallic - Scott Starks
  • Second Place Metallic - Josh Landy
  • Rimfire Champion - Alex Ragulsky
  • Rimfire Champion Runner-up - Dave Wood
  • First Place Open Rimfire - Scott Stewart
  • Second Place Open Rimfire - Angelo Desimone
  • First Place Open Production - Brian O'Boyle
  • Second Place Open Production - Jim Deppe
  • First Place Unclassified - Josh Landy


Special thanks to Julie Golob and her bulletinX newsletter for the article.


Read more: Adaptive Defensive Shooting Summit Continues To Grow

Latest

2022 Winch Newpackaging 1
2022 Winch Newpackaging 1

Winchester Is Updating Its Ammunition Packaging

Once fully launched, the updated packaging will encompass the entire Winchester Ammunition lineup

Federal Ammunition Shooters Represent U.S. At 2022 International Precision Rifle Federation World Championship

Once again, American shooters prove themselves to be the best on the international marksmanship stage

Savage’s Model 19 N.R.A. Match Rifle

With more than 100 years of history, this rifle is a testament to the NRA’s mission to support competitive shooting

Enough Bang, Less Buck: Guide To Choosing Entry-Level Rifles And Scopes For .22 LR Competition

Here we share a few entry-level rifles and optics for .22 LR tactical and long-range competition that won’t drain your bank account

Review: Canik SFx Rival 9 mm

Regarding the Turkish-made Canik SFx Rival pistol, the author said it’s “the last polymer pistol you’ll want to buy.”

New: Smith & Wesson Model 350 Revolver

Smith & Wesson’s new Model 350 is the company’s first production revolver chambered in the straight-walled 350 Legend caliber

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.