All About The SHOOT SIG Program And Competitions

The brainchild of SIG Sauer pro shooter Daniel Horner, SHOOT SIG is a solid program for new and experienced competitive shooters alike.

by
posted on April 6, 2024
SHOOT SIG USPSA 1
Warren Ledford was the winner of 2023 SHOOT SIG Aspirational Raffle.
Photo by Jordan Binion

Whether you are new to competitive shooting or a seasoned veteran of the practical shooting sports, chances are you have probably heard about SHOOT SIG at some point over the last several months. SHOOT SIG was officially announced at SHOT Show in January 2023, and the inaugural event was held at the Volusia County Gun Club in New Smyrna, Florida, in March of that year. One year later, after 13 events across nine states, SIG Sauer, Inc., is pleased to announce that the SHOOT SIG program is here to stay, with much more planned for the 2024 season.

Sherry Meyer stage brief
Sherry Meyer conducting a stage brief on SHOOT SIG’s Stage 1.

 

SHOOT SIG is more than just another shooting competition. It is a movement, an event and a membership program all tied together under one simple rubric. Initially conceived by SIG Pro Team shooter Daniel Horner as an idea to get more people from the house to the range and involved in the competitive shooting sports in a safe, approachable and rewarding format, the program has taken on a life of its own. Accordingly, SIG Sauer, Inc., is committed to bringing more to the program for the membership base, expanding the reach of the program across the country, using SHOOT SIG to lead the industry in the practical shooting sports arena.

It is not an easy thing to launch a new program in any environment, particularly one with already longstanding precedents and thousands of supporters across the country. I am speaking, of course, of the heavily saturated organized competitive shooting sports marketplace. There are a variety of disciplines, governing bodies and rules that can be difficult to navigate, even for the best of us. Not everything is as straightforward as it might seem. The nuances between USPSA, IPSC and Steel Challenge are confusing enough, let alone venturing into multi-gun, IDPA and other practical shooting sports. Thus, getting into the competitive shooting world as a new competitor or as someone who simply wants to learn and improve their skills can be an intimidating and confusing prospect. This is without even considering the required equipment and associated gear one might need to participate in any of the aforementioned disciplines. Enter SHOOT SIG.

Daniel Horner
Team SIG’s Daniel Horner at a SHOOT SIG competition.

 

While SHOOT SIG is inherently a focused effort to highlight and promote the SIG Sauer product line, it is more than just a marketing strategy. SHOOT SIG is also meant to be a soft introduction to competitive shooting for those who are new to the sport, or those who are interested in getting into the sport. The SHOOT SIG match format is designed to expose people to a sampling of different styles of shooting through three simple stages, requiring a minimal amount gear and ammunition, without an overly complex set of rules to understand beforehand. In fact, you don’t even have to own a SIG to participate. If you would like to try one of the demo firearms available in any of the respective SHOOT SIG divisions, you can do so for an additional fee to offset the cost of the provided SIG ammunition which must be used with the demo firearms. While you must be a SHOOT SIG member and use a SIG firearm to be eligible for prizes, anyone can come out and participate in a SHOOT SIG event and test their skills against the stages with any manufacturer’s handgun or pistol-caliber carbine. You don’t need to be a pro shooter to win at these matches. Yes, there are performance prizes up for grabs, but SIG Sauer is committed to providing a random draw prize pool as well for each event to give all eligible participants an equal chance at winning a prize. Basically, you can’t lose, so it’s a win all the way around.

SHOOT SIG Stage 2
Deirdre Mullaly and Range Officer Greg Kerce on SHOOT SIG’s Stage 2.

 

As far as what to expect out of a SHOOT SIG match and the stages, Stage 1 “X Series” is three separately timed strings on a standard plate rack with six eight-inch plates, with the slowest time being tossed out. Stage 2 “V-Crown” is a paper target stage using the SHOOT SIG signature target, with two arrays of five paper targets each, and each array shot as a separately timed string scoring the best two hits per paper target and the slowest of the two strings is thrown out. Stage 3 “DH3” is representative of a Steel Challenge-like stage which, similar to Stage 1, also has three separately timed strings. Stage 3 has six 12-inch steel hexagon plates spread out at varying distances. Five of the plates are painted white and one plate in the middle of the stage is painted blue. The white steel plates can be engaged in any order, but must be engaged first with one shot each, prior to engaging the final blue (stop) plate. Once the blue plate is hit, the string is complete, regardless if all the white plates were engaged or not. Like the other two stages, the slowest of the strings is eliminated and does not count against a competitor’s total score. Once all three stages are complete, a competitor’s total score is determined by adding the combined raw times of all the applicable scoring strings together, plus any incurred penalties or, in the case of Stage 2, any dropped points (increments of time) on the paper targets. The total raw time of all combined stages, including any applicable penalties, yields a competitor’s final score (time). That is all there is to it.

How does the scoring work for awards and recognition? I’m glad you asked. In 2023, SHOOT SIG started out using the Lewis scoring system, similar to how USPSA does to determine rankings across different classes of competitors, match to match. However, after a year’s worth of data under this format and performing a comprehensive program review, SIG Sauer decided to introduce a new format this year for simplicity. It’s called the SHOOT SIG Rank System, and the specifics can be found in chapter 10 of the revised and recently published SHOOT SIG rulebook, located under the Resources section of the SHOOT SIG website. Essentially, it breaks nine different time brackets into three tiers (Gold, Silver, Bronze), each with three levels (1, 2, 3). A competitor’s final score in a respective division will correlate to one of the nine different time brackets and yield a ranking (e.g., Gold-level 1, or first place in Gold Tier). The intent behind this system is to establish an achievement-based recognition system and promote individual progression over time.

The SHOOT SIG Rank System is not a class system in the traditional sense of how USPSA distills down the relative skill levels between competitors, as there is no mechanism to classify competitors beforehand to determine their skill level and allow them to compete against others in that same class. Rather, the SHOOT SIG Rank System is simply a method to recognize a competitor’s achievement following completion of a SHOOT SIG match through an easy-to-understand measurement (i.e., total time), and benchmark that measurement so they have a point of reference to improve upon in order to achieve the next level of recognition. In terms of awards and recognition, competitors will receive a token or challenge coin for each rank achieved, but performance prizes will only be awarded for top first, second and third place finishers across the respective divisions, and first place within the individual categories, provided division and/or category status has been achieved per the rulebook.

SHOOT SIG experience
Left: Joe Ryan manning the SHOOT SIG demo bay. Right: Jason Schaefer discussing stage procedures.

 

Is SHOOT SIG is right for you? While the SHOOT SIG stages previously discussed might sound overly simplistic for one who regularly competes at a higher, more dynamic level, the challenge comes in testing your own speed and accuracy against the three stages and measuring your performance against your peers, as well as trying to beat and improve your own scores over time. Moreover, it is still a competition at the end of the day, and it pays to be a winner. So if you consider yourself a skilled practical shooter, come on out and give it your best shot (pun intended) and go for a performance prize.

So what makes the SHOOT SIG program special or stand out against other similar practical shooting sports formats? Two things immediately come to mind. First is the SHOOT SIG membership program, and second is the match format itself.

The SHOOT SIG membership is $50 per year, and comes with a number of perks and incentives, as well as serving as a mechanism to connect members to a broader community of like-minded SIG enthusiasts. As a SHOOT SIG member, you gain access to an exclusive member-only product purchase program, where you can order a variety of different SIG firearms at a discounted price, which is worth the $50 annual membership fee alone. Additionally, you are automatically entered into quarterly raffles and an annual aspirational raffle. The quarterly raffles are for SHOOT SIG product packs which vary quarter-to-quarter, and the annual aspirational raffle is for a signature product offering. Another perk is the ability to purchase the SHOOT SIG Gun of the Year, which is currently a customized version of the DH3 variant of the P320 pistol. Because it was released late in the 2023 season, this customized DH3 will remain the SHOOT SIG gun of the year for 2024 as well and is only available for purchase through the SHOOT SIG program; it will not be offered to the general public or retailers. SHOOT SIG members will also have priority access to preregister for SHOOT SIG matches across the county via Practiscore up until a week prior to the match, at which point the match will open up to everyone. Members also have access to select industry partners affiliated with SHOOT SIG for exclusive online discounts.

Steven Sager shooting pistol
Steven Sager competing on SHOOT SIG’s Stage 1.

 

With respect to the format of a SHOOT SIG match, and without going into further details related to the stages which I have already covered, I will simply relay what a recent participant, Mike Roarke, had to say after the 2024 SHOOT SIG season kickoff event held at the Volusia County Gun Club on February 10-11.

“I recently participated in the SHOOT SIG event at Volusia County Gun Club, and the first thing I noticed was how well organized the match is, from check in to completing the match. The schedule is broken into 15-minute start times for a squad of four to five people, you are assigned a range officer “tour guide” that stays with you through the entire match, they help get you from stage to stage and are there to answer any questions about stages that you might have. As a new match shooter, having this tour guide is a major advantage, rather than just showing up, getting squadded and then hoping you can find where you are supposed to be. Nobody should be hesitant in showing up, all the help you could need is right there. Don’t have a gun to shoot or you are considering buying one but you sure would like to try one out first? No problem, for a small fee you can shoot one of the SIG-provided demo guns. With that small fee you get to use a quality gun and enough ammo to shoot the whole match, which is a great deal for anyone just getting started. With other shooting sports you can spend several hundred to several thousand dollars just to get started; with this match you do not have to worry about that. It will take approximately one hour to shoot the match, and in return you will have a great time shooting and be guaranteed to get hooked on the shooting sports. As a bonus, you just might get to see one of those great SIG Pro Team shooters, all of which are extremely friendly and approachable.”

SHOOT SIG with PCC
This year’s SHOOT SIG competition season will have 25 matches held around the country. (Photo courtesy SIG SAUER)

 

Roarke’s remarks couldn’t have encapsulated it better. To double-tap (see what I did there) a point he made regarding how long it takes to shoot the match, this is something that sets SHOOT SIG apart from other similar matches. Participants don’t have to stand around waiting to shoot all day long and give up a significant portion of their weekend. Simply select a time you’d like to shoot, show up roughly 15 minutes beforehand to check in and get your gear ready, and you can complete the match in about an hour or less. Want to go again? No problem, come back around to registration and jump on the next available squad opening. Have other plans for the weekend but still want to shoot the match? No problem, pick a time that is right for your schedule, shoot that time slot and then go on with your weekend plans. You don’t have to be present to win any of the performance or random prizes.

The SHOOT SIG match format is meant to be more than just another regular weekend shooting match that you’re used to. It is meant to be a whole experience, the “SIG Experience.” While a SHOOT SIG event does center around the match, there is much more to it than that if you have the time to stick around before or after. There is a demo “try before you buy” bay hosted by SIG Sauer’s world-class corporate trainers with a variety of the most popular firearms from the SIG product line that you can shoot as much as you like at no additional cost. These corporate trainers are the best in the business and are happy to answer any product-related questions you have or assist you with learning the differences between the variants of the different pistol offerings, and gently assist you with points of performance related to your preferred option.

Lena Miculek
Team SIG’s Lena Miculek at a SHOOT SIG competition. (Photo courtesy SIG Sauer)

 

Additionally, and new for 2024, SHOOT SIG events will now have a certified SIG armorer on site to assist you with any questions you have, or potential problems with your SIG firearm. If it can’t be fixed on site, no problem—the on-site SIG customer service representatives can get you taken care of on the spot with warranty-related return authorizations and get the process started for you. The SIG armorer will also be able to properly mount and zero a SIG red-dot optic to your pistol or pistol-caliber carbine if you have your own and would like it done by a professional, or you can now purchase a SIG red-dot optic at the events at event special pricing.

Finally, the SHOOT SIG Preferred Partner Initiative is underway as yet another way to add value to the program for members. Select industry partners have partnered with SHOOT SIG to offer member-exclusive discounts for online orders on products that enhance or otherwise complement the SIG product line, or have utility in the practical shooting sports arena. Hunters HD Gold, Dara Holsters, Icarus Precision, Grizzly Ears, Crossbreed Holsters and Arc-Division have all come on board to name a few, and many more great brands and companies you know and trust are currently in the works.

These are just a few examples of the end-to-end customer service and part of the experience you can expect at any SHOOT SIG event this year. Notwithstanding, many more perks for members are still in the works as the program continues to grow and expand and will be rolled out over the coming months, according to Samantha Piatt, who oversees the SHOOT SIG program administration for SIG Sauer, Inc.

Now that the 2024 SHOOT SIG season has officially begun, there are 24 additional events planned (17 have been announced) around the country in 21 states throughout the remainder of the year. Chances are there will be an event near you in the not-too- distant future, and for the USPSA member base—SHOOT SIG will again be at USPSA Carry Optics Nationals in June as a side match. A current schedule of the events that have been officially announced. (Go to the SHOOT SIG or Practiscore websites to view the schedule.) This list will be updated as additional events are announced.

Max Michel
Team SIG pro shooter Max Michel at a SHOOT SIG competition. (Photo courtesy SIG Sauer)

 

If you’d like SHOOT SIG to come to a location near you in 2025, you can use the match request form found on the SHOOT SIG website on the top banner by selecting “Host A Match.” All match requests will be saved for consideration and reviewed periodically as planning efforts begin.

I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank the awesome range officers who assisted with the 2024 SHOOT SIG season kickoff event at the Volusia County Gun Club and helped make it one of the best SHOOT SIG events yet. Sherry Meyers, David O’Neal, Ken Richardson, Jason and Trish Schaefer, Ray Lambert, Greg Kerce and Mike Roarke all did a fantastic job to ensure that every competitor received the same professional experience across the board. They raised the bar and set the tone for SHOOT SIG going into 2024. We look forward to welcoming you at an event this year and encourage you to bring your friends and family and introduce them to a safe, fun and rewarding way to spend a few hours enjoying the practical shooting sports. See you on the range—and remember to SHOOT SIG.

Visit the SHOOT SIG website at shootsig.com.

Article from the March/April 2024 issue of USPSA’s magazine. All photos by Jordan Binion unless otherwise noted.

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