Results: 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship

After an impressive performance, Brian Shanholtz made his mark at the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship in April.

by
posted on May 8, 2024
2024 NRA WSC 1
Starting from left: NRA First Vice President Bob Barr, 2024 NRA World Shooting Champion Brian Shanholtz and NRA Board Member Charlie Hiltunen III.
Photo by Serena Juchnowski

If you weren’t at the NRA World Shooting Championship at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, in April, you’d be forgiven for not knowing the name Brian Shanholtz, who catapulted himself into the pantheon of competitive shooting greats after winning this year’s tournament. An electrician by trade hailing from Keymar, Maryland, Shanholtz topped the match leaderboard for the first time this year with less than a one-point margin. Even more impressive is the fact that his son Cole—a first-time shooter at this match—won the High Junior title.

NRA World Shooting Championship finalists
Starting from left: NRA First Vice President Bob Barr, third place Greg Jordan, High Lady Lanny Barnes, second place Nils Jonasson, High Junior Cole Shanholtz, winner Brian Shanholtz and NRA Board Member Charlie Hiltunen III. (Photo by John Parker)

 

The Shanholtz father-son duo were among the 213 shooters that traveled to Indiana this year to compete at the NRA World Shooting Championship, presented by Walther Arms, which was held for the first time at Camp Atterbury, the home of the NRA National Matches.

NRA World Shooting Championship stages
Four of the 12 stages featured at this year’s NRA World Shooting Championship. Clockwise, starting from top left: Stage 5: FITASC, Stage 10: Precision Rifle Series, Stage 12: USPSA and Stage 6: Three-Gun. (Photos by John Parker)

 

A 12-stage match that includes pistol, rifle, shotgun and multigun disciplines, the NRA World Shooting Championship has a unique twist—all firearms, ammunition, optics and equipment are supplied to competitors by the National Rifle Association and match sponsors.

The 12 main stages are a mix of Sporting Clays, Air Rifle, NRA Precision Pistol, NRA Mid-Range, Precision Rifle Series, Three-Gun, Cowboy Action, Scholastic Action Shooting, USPSA and more. Additionally, there were seven side matches with their own seperate prizes.

Dianna Muller with shotgun
Pro shooter Dianna Muller on the move with a Mossberg JM Pro shotgun at Stage 6: Three-Gun. (Photo by John Parker)

 

At the NRA World Shooting Championship, competitors are separated into two divisions, Professional and Amateur. A Professional is defined as an “individual who receives financial support over $2,000 per year in products, cash or services in support of competitive shooting participation. A Professional is also any competitor who has placed in the ‘top five’ of the Amateur Category in any previous NRA World Shooting Championship.” As for the Amateur definition, that is “anyone who does not meet the definition of the ‘Professional.’”

This year at the NRA World Shooting Championship, there were 149 shooters in the Amateur division and 64 in the Professional division.

Stage 11: Scholastic Action Shooting
At Stage 11: Scholastic Action Shooting, competitors had SAR USA SAR9 Sport handguns and Holosun optics. (Photo by John Parker)

 

More than $250,000 in cash and prizes were distributed at the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship. In addition to the $25,000 grand prize for the overall champion, the runner-up and High Lady received $2,000 checks, while third place and High Junior were presented with $1,000 checks. Plus, each of the seven side match winners received $1,000 checks. Perhaps best of all, there was an enormous number of guns, optics, ammunition and more awarded to competitors this year—enough that the NRA needed a separate tent during the awards ceremony to house them all.

There have been five NRA World Shooting Champions and with Brian Shanholtz’s victory this year, he joins a group of past winners boasting some impressive names, including Daniel Horner (2014), Bruce Piatt (2015), Doug Koenig (2016), Greg Jordan (2017 and 2019) and Tim Yackley (2018).

BRIAN SHANHOLTZ: 2024 NRA WORLD SHOOTING CHAMPION

Brian and Cole Shanholtz with checks
Left (from left): NRA First Vice President Bob Barr, High Junior Cole Shanholtz, 2024 NRA World Shooting Champion Brian Shanholtz and NRA Board Member Charlie Hiltunen III. Right: Brian Shanholtz topped the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship leaderboard to win the $25,000 grand prize over a talented field of shooters, including former champions Greg Jordan, Bruce Piatt and Tim Yackley. (Photos by Serena Juchnowski)

 

Although this year marked his first overall victory at the NRA World Shooting Championship, Shanholtz is no stranger to the tournament. He has competed at every NRA World Shooting Championship since its inception in 2014, even winning the Amateur division in 2015 which, by virtue of the match rules, placed him permanently in the Professional division. He credits that initial victory to “many years spent competing in the NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge.”

In preparation for this year’s tournament, Shanholtz trained with his son, Cole. The elder Shanholtz previously competed in the Precision Rifle Series and is also a shotgun sports enthusiast, serving as a coach for his son’s junior trapshooting team. As the match results show, this approach certainly worked for both of them.

“I’m here as a dad first and a competitor second,” Shanholtz told me before he was crowned the winner this year. “My main focus is making sure that Cole is okay, since this is his first time competing at the match.”

NRA World Shooting Championship awards ceremony
Clockwise, starting from top left: runner-up Nils Jonasson, third place Greg Jordan, High Lady Lanny Barnes and High Junior Cole Shanholtz with his dad, Brian, the winner of this year’s tournament and the 2024 undisputed World Shooting Champion. (Photos by Serena Juchnowski)

 

Nils Jonasson finished in second place this year, and two-time NRA World Shooting Champion Greg Jordan was third. As for the High Lady title, it was earned by Lanny Barnes, who also landed in 28th place on the overall match leaderboard.

SEVERE WEATHER

Large puddle on the range
Clearly visible at Stage 7: NRA Mid-Range AR Tactical are the remnants of the preceding inclement weather. Shooters on this stage were equipped with Ruger AR-5.56 rifles with Vortex Razor 1-6X HD Gen II E optics and Federal .223 Rem. ammo. This stage also featured Solo electronic targets; the same ones used during the NRA High Power Rifle Championships at the NRA National Matches. (Photo by John Parker)

 

This year’s NRA World Shooting Championship was marred by inclement weather early in the week that pounded the state of Indiana, including high winds of more than 60 m.p.h., heavy rain and several tornado warnings. The rain left what is best described as small ponds on several of the ranges, along with barricades, fencing and more than a few portable toilets toppled by the heavy wind. Due to this, the staff match that was scheduled to begin prior to the official competition had to be canceled. However, NRA staff managed to quickly get the courses of fire fully functional before the start of the official match.

Stage 9: Cowboy Action
For the second shooting portion of Stage 9: Cowboy Action, competitors were equipped with the Henry Repeating Arms H006GM Big Boy lever-action rifle. (Photo by John Parker)

 

Although the more dangerous weather had subsided by Thursday, April 4, the first day of competition, conditions were still cold and rainy. Despite the challenging weather, competitors and NRA match staff were not deterred.

“To witness such talent, determination and marksmanship from each participant at each stage of the competition was impressive, especially given the elements everyone had to deal with,” Jens Krogh, vice president of marketing and product development for Walther Arms, said. “We know from experience that Walther firearms can withstand whatever Mother Nature wants to throw their way, as can everyone who was shooting, working and helping make the competition a success.”

Gabby Franco
Sunny skies greeted competitors at Camp Atterbury on the final day of the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship. Pictured here at Stage 12: USPSA is Gabby Franco shooting a Walther PDP Match Polymer pistol. (Photo by John Parker)

 

The final day of the match brought warmer weather and sunny skies, a welcome sight for shooters and match staff alike.

2024 NRA WORLD SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIP STAGES

Stage movement
Several of the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship stages were dynamic and involved competitor movement from station to station, such as Stage 9: Cowboy Action pictured here. (Photo by John Parker)

 

The 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship was stacked, from Stage 1, which featured Sporting Clays competition with TriStar Arms Raptor synthetic semi-automatic 12-gauge shotguns and Rio shotshells, to the 12th and final stage, USPSA, which had shooters equipped with Walther PDP Match Polymer pistols and PMC 9 mm 115-grain ammunition.

Walther LG400 Blutec
Stage 2: Precision Air Rifle had Walther LG400 Blutec air rifles, which became fan favorites. (Photo by John Parker)

 

Between the first and last stages, there were plenty of other stages that shooters could be excited about. For example, Stage 3: NRA America’s Rifle Challenge had the ACME Machine AM15 rifle with ACME Machine 1X6 first-focal-plane optic and Fiocchi 5.56 mm NATO ammo. As for Stage 5: FITASC, shooters were equipped with Weatherby Orion over/under 12-gauge shotguns and Rio shotshells. Stage 6: Three-Gun included Mossberg JM Pro 12-gauge shotguns, Canik Rival pistols with MeCanik red-dot optics and Ruger AR-5.56 rifles with Vortex Razor 1-6X HD Gen II E optics. Stage 7: NRA Mid-Range AR Tactical saw competitors shooting the same Ruger AR-5.56 rifles and optics as the Three-Gun stage with Federal .223 Rem. ammo. Stage 9: Cowboy Action had shooters beginning in a seated position with their backs to the firing line, running to either the left or right while shouting “Wet my whistle” (or their choice of words), firing a Henry Big Boy revolver, then sprinting to the other side to shoot three Henry H006GM Big Boy lever-action rifles. And Stage 10: Precision Rifle Series featured Ruger Precision Rifles topped with Vortex Razor 3X15 HDLHT optics, along with Federal GM .308 Win. 168-grain ammo.

Precision pistol
Stage 4: NRA Precision Pistol featured Kimber RAPIDE Dusk pistols and Fiocchi ammo. (Photo by John Parker)

 

At a match of this scale, mistakes are bound to happen. Thus, Amateur competitors are given a Mulligan card that allows a reshoot for one stage. Shooters in the Professional division have the option to buy a Mulligan card as well.

Besides the substantial prize purse, a key draw for competitors to this three-day tournament is the unique mix of disciplines, along with all guns, ammo and equipment provided to shooters.

Todd Jarrett
Pro shooter Todd Jarrett at Stage 6: Three-Gun with Ruger AR-5.56 rifle and Vortex Razor 1-6X optic. (Photo by John Parker)

 

“What I love about the NRA World Shooting Championship is you get to shoot firearms and different disciplines that you wouldn’t otherwise ever shoot,” High Lady Lanny Barnes said. “This is the only time I’ve shot Cowboy Action is at this match. It is a blast and all the guns and ammo are provided, so you just show up and shoot. If you want to see how well-rounded a shooter you are, come out and give this match a shot.”

THE FUTURE

Stage 1: Sporting Clays
Stage 1: Sporting Clays featured the TriStar Raptor semi-automatic shotgun and Rio 12-gauge shotshells. (Photo by John Parker)

 

The National Rifle Association is doing its part to make sure that people know the World Shooting Championship is here to stay as a marquee competition. What’s more is the fact this tournament also sets a standard for the spirit of teamwork.

“This event is so important and it is such a contrast to what we see in the political arena,” NRA First Vice President Bob Barr said. “You see people here that cooperate with each other and recognize that even though everyone has the goal to win, we also recognize that it is a team effort. To be here and see the military working with civilians, young working with old, match staff working with volunteers and the industry working with NRA. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see that kind of civility, discipline and team effort in Washington? This tournament really is a model not just for marksmanship, the industry and the NRA, but for the whole country.”

Stage 3: NRA America’s Rifle Challenge
For Stage 3: NRA America’s Rifle Challenge, competitors used ACME Machine AM15 rifles. (Photo by John Parker)

 

In many ways, this match highlights the genesis of the National Rifle Association and its original goal to improve marksmanship in the United States. The NRA plans to maintain its focus on the shooting sports with competitive shooting as one of the pillars.

“NRA was founded to teach marksmanship.” NRA Second Vice President David Coy said. “Competition is in our roots and that’s where we came from. We cannot forsake that. What we do here is wholesome, pure and in the spirit of competition. And, it contributes very positively to life here in the U.S.”

2024 NRA WORLD SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERBOARD

2024 NRA WORLD SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERBOARD

 

You can see the full results of the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship at the Practiscore website.

Next year’s NRA World Shooting Championship will return to Camp Atterbury, scheduled for September 30 to October 3, 2025. Learn more at wsc.nra.org.

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