Kyle Schmidt’s first memory of shooting was a brick of Wildcat ammo with a .22 rifle his dad bought him for his birthday. He loved shooting that gun and still has it. Not too long after that his dad bought him a BB gun, trap and some silhouette animal targets. As you may imagine, he went through cases of BBs over the course of that day.
Encouraged to compete as a rookie by Craig Stapp, a trainer at the Tempe Police Department, Kyle’s first match was the Phoenix Combat Classic. This annual police match held at the Phoenix Police Academy is a hybrid of multiple shooting sports disciplines—USPSA, IDPA and a little Pro-Am all mixed together for one match. Although Kyle didn’t shoot very well in this match, he was hooked and knew that he wanted more.
After that, he shot a few Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF) matches, then was introduced to “Tuesday Night Steel” at Rio Salado. This was where his addiction started. Eventually he branched into shooting USPSA and local IDPA matches; both with his duty pistol. It was all about trying to practice skills for being a better shooter for his job as a police officer.
A few years later a friend talked him into buying a Springfield Armory Trophy Match 1911. At this point he really started competing, no more duty gun. In 2007, he shot his first NRA Bianchi Cup in the Metallic division, eventually moving to Production in 2010. Finally, he moved on to competing in the Open division. His quest: firing a perfect Bianchi Cup Championship score of 1920.
Not wanting to be a “one trick pony,” Schmidt tried other shooting disciplines including the NRA National Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, PPC Nationals in New Mexico, and numerous USPSA Nationals for Single Stack, Production, Limited 10, Revolver, and Multigun.
Kyle shoots Springfield Armory guns in virtually all of his shooting disciplines. He shoots the XD(M) for USPSA Production, Carry Optics, Multigun, IDPA ESP and SSP, and NRA Action Pistol Production. He uses Springfield Armory 1911s for USPSA Single Stack, NRA Bianchi Metallic and Open, IDPA ESP and CDP, NRA Bullseye and Police Pistol Combat. For Multigun, 3-Gun, and the Safariland Expedition Match—he shoots the Springfield Armory Saint AR-15.
For a range bag Schmidt carries Safariland bags for both his pistols and long guns. Both bags offer a ton of room for all his gear and the versatility he needs to switch from shooting sport to shooting sport. Besides his firearms they also contain a rain jacket, prescription shooting glasses, an extra set of hearing protection, a needle oiler of CLP, a small toolkit, and what Rob Leatham calls the “Kyle Schmidt Group Size Over-analyzer Tool” for measuring group sizes.
For those interested in the shooting sports, Kyle suggests asking other shooters for help. Usually they are more than willing to share their ideas and tips. Quit procrastinating, just get involved. Everyone had to shoot their first match nervous and unsure of what to expect. Eventually, you will overcome that initial hesitation, and participation in the shooting sports will became a source of great enjoyment and entertainment.
Photos by Chris Hess, Action Target