It was another beautiful, and exciting trip to Lake Charles, Louisiana, for the 2017 Midsouth Shooters Crawfish Cup. After driving through the larger portion of three states, and a delicious stop at our favorite LA Po’ Boy Shop (shout out to Poor Boy Lloyd’s, in Baton Rouge, LA!!!), we found ourselves back in the warm hospitality of the Southwest Louisiana Rifle and Pistol Club.
We were thrilled to see some of our old friends, meet some interesting new folks, and see just how much the competition had grown over the last 12 months. George Mowbray, and Gary Yantis, plus a big group of some of the best volunteers money could never buy, had made even more range improvements, including making The Crawfish Cup 100% wheelchair accessible! From the new rail mover, to the concrete walkways, the range looked perfect.
Our field of competitors had grown, but the elite competitors were unphased. Caspian Shooter Bruce Piatt, Midsouth Shooter Kevin Angstadt, and Black Nitride Shooter Tony Holmes all brought their A-game. A new face in the top competitors bracket was Mark Itzstein. Mark’s funny, energetic, and has the skills to back up the slight ribbing he’d dish out to his fellow shooters on the line.
Some other folks we were excited to see again we’re Jeremy Newell, who amazed us with his skill level last year, and his extensive resume of shooting disciplines in which he competes. The Yackley’s are one of the coolest families you’ll find on the range. They compete with everything they have, which is a ton of talent, and a family bond which lifts each member of it’s circle to do better, try harder, and to always be gracious. Becky set a new ladies record on the mover this year! Tim took the high honors in his category, and Sean tore up the competition as well!
Also, the Army Marksmanship Unit took home top honors in several events, to include Metallic, as well as Production. Newcomer SPC Heinauer took third in the Metallic Sight overall, and First in Falling Plates Metallic. Their group is always one to follow. Their energy is matched only by their skill!
If you don’t know who Vera Koo is, you’re missing out. Graceful, grounded, and generous, Vera had nothing but kind words, and praise for The Crawfish Cup. She also has a ton of skill and dedication! Vera took home Grand High Lady at the cup, and donated several hundred dollars of her own money to be given as door prizes.
The heat and humidity were also in attendance, as well as delicious food, and strong competition. With enough shooters to fill two days, we found ourselves extremely busy with shooting of our own. We’ll have a video of the shoot coming out soon, as well as more write-ups on sponsors, who make the entire shoot possible.
In the end, it all came down to X-rings, and the mover. Pulling off his third win in a row, Bruce Piatt took home the esteemed Crawfish Cup, with Kevin Angstadt coming in second, and Mark Itzstein coming in third. A great group of winners, in a field of exemplary shooters. Everyone tried, had a ton of fun, and made the 2017 Midsouth Shooters Supply Crawfish Cup a huge success. We’re ready for 2018 already. Are you?
We’re excited to be heading back to Lake Charles, Louisiana for the 2017 Midsouth Shooters Crawfish Cup! Familiarize yourselves with this illustrious Action Pistol Championship with our previous articles by Clicking here, and here.
Last year, we saw Bruce Piatt take the cup in a dramatic finish to what was one of the most exciting Crawfish Cup competitions yet. Team Black Nitride took all three top spots with Tony Holmes, and Doug Koenig taking second and third, respectively. Midsouth Shooter, Kevin Angstadt took home the fourth place prize.
We also saw greats like Vera Koo, and Team Yackley compete hard, and take home honors of their own. Tim Yackley won the Junior Division, and Vera achieved Grand High Lady!
Every year, The Crawfish Cup becomes more than an NRA Action Pistol event. It’s a place where greats come to hone their skills before the Flagler and Bianchi Cup Championships, and it’s a place where amateurs and professionals can compete side-by-side. The undercurrent of the shoot is always one of friendly competition, and conversation. It’s a warm environment for every shooter involved, and it’s not just the oppressing humidity of a Louisiana late spring.
Many of our readers are reloaders. It takes a different mentality to submerse one’s self into creating something to be used or consumed. Farmers get it. Butchers understand. Carpenters, masons, builders, creators, doers all understand. When one works for something, and sees the fruits of their labor, they gain a level of respect beyond the intended use of their creation. Although we weren’t competing, we were allowed to get a glimpse of the work that goes into becoming a competitor in action pistol, and the be a participant in The Crawfish Cup.
Friday, the practice ramped up, especially on the new mover. Shots rang out across the range from Tracie and Eli Rushing as they took on each station. First Timer at The Crawfish Cup, Tony Holmes greeted us with a smile, and many kind words, and set to work preparing himself for the match to come. It was amazing to see these titans of the sport, Doug Koenig, Bruce Piatt, Kevin Angstadt, and Tony Holmes gather together across a few tailgates, and not only discuss the course of fire, but rib each other like old friends.
Soon after, the laughter died away, and the calm of experience took over as each shooter set off for his or her area of desired challenge. It was at this point we saw where the training ethics play a major roll in action pistol. To even be able to hit these targets, whether they’re turning, zipping from side to side, or just falling down after they’re shot, is a feat. Being able to maintain the amount of X’s (shots in the bullseye location) each competitor racked up was astounding. We tried! We were invited to try the falling plates at 10 yards. No big deal, right?
It’s harder than it looks, and it should be. It takes work, training, and dedication. Furthermore, it takes discipline! To develop a level of control where one removes their own body as a variable, is what separates a professional from the rest of the lot.
The feeling of community pervaded the entire day, especially at dinner. We gathered at Big Daddy’s, a local fixture in Lake Charles. Shooters of all levels, old hands and new faces alike, gathered like family to demolish mud bugs, and discuss the competition ahead. The food, much like the company, was fantastic. Saturday loomed close, and in order for a nice crop of X’s to be harvested, the fun had to slip behind the barricade, and the work had to begin.
The work would never have been possible without the generous sponsors providing prizes, donations, and support to the range, and the competitors. Check out the sponsor profile from the last newsletter here. A Special thank you goes out to the event sponsors! With their donations and support, the match will continue to flourish beyond the amazing progress already made to benefit the competitors experience.
Stay tuned for part 3 of the Crawfish Cup, where we take you into the heart of the big match! Was there a competitor you were rooting for? What do you think is the most common caliber on the range? Discuss in the comments below!
2016 marks our first venture into action pistol, and it was an amazing experience, filled with great people. Action pistol is a sport, in every sense of the word. It takes a ridiculous amount of dedication, discipline, and attention in order to be a competitor.
Our group arrived in Lake Charles, LA to a torrential downpour. Thankfully, the clouds parted shortly after our arrival. In 2015, the competition, as well as the competitors, weren’t so lucky…
This year was blessedly cooperative weather-wise. The wide field of 87 competitors, ranging in all ages, and pistol varieties, were eager to get their feet wet on the course of fire, so to speak. Greeted by the range master, as well as the lead range officer, George Mowbray, and Gary Yantis, the heart and soul of the match. Their experience and expertise are only matched by their hospitality, and their willingness to impart any knowledge one wishes to gain about anything Crawfish Cup.
Gary and George, both pro pistol shooters with decades of experience between them, have built an amazing match thus far. In 2015, the match saw 70 competitors, with Bruce Piatt taking home the cup. 2014 had a similar field of competitors, with the Midsouth sponsored shooter, Kevin Angstadt raising the cup. 2013 had world class shooter Doug Koenig adding the Crawfish Cup to his trophy case. Every year saw outstanding competitors, and George and Gary making sure every competitor had a safe, fair, and fun competition. Having them to work with in preparation for 2017 only fuels our desire to exceed the progress we made this year in providing the best experience for every competitor on the road to the prestigious Bianchi Cup.
Something that makes the Crawfish Cup special is the field of competition. We had the immense pleasure of meeting great people at every turn. Please head over to the competitor profile section to meet a few shooters from all over the U.S. Each one brought something special to the match. Also attending this year were the three members of the Yackley 5ive, Tim and Sean Yackley, and their mom, competitor Becky Yackley. These bright young men are the future of action pistol. We got the chance to bounce a few questions off them prior to the match:
Tim and Sean Yackley are not only involved in every aspect of action pistol, they take their dedication beyond Crawfish and Bianchi Cup, and into long range shooting, 3-gun, all the way down to working the reloading bench. When asked about their level of commitment to the shooting sports, they said, “One of the things that really makes us love shooting is seeing what we’ve been able to do with all the little things we’ve done: we don’t have anyone training us, it’s a lot of our own work, over years. As kids, it’s neat to see the tiny bits of work we do with each other turn into a great performance – stuff like working on particular skills and seeing that help each other in a match, or taking a small piece of advice someone gave us on say, shooting barricades, and seeing it play a role in something we figure out and can grow from – those things really make the little parts of everything we’ve done, with help from lots of people come into play.”
These Lucas Oil Outdoor sponsored shooters are already making a name for themselves. Tim Yackley took home first place in the Master Category, at age 13! Proof positive of a stellar career in shooting sports, and a definite presence at The Crawfish Cup.
Team Cerino stands out, and it’s not just because of Michelle’s tiara. Chris and Michelle are fierce competitors, and have a great rapport with every other shooter they encounter, adding a level of fun to each section of the match that we had no idea could exist in such a regimented structure.
Vera Koo is not only a shooter of legend, she’s a true ambassador to the sport. Earning High Lady, and Grand High Lady this year at the cup was a great achievement. Beyond that, she donated $300 of her own money to be divided up, and given as door prizes to other shooters.
See, it’s the elements that lie underneath the surface of the competition. These acts of comeradery, generosity, and respect are what propel The Crawfish Cup to the next level.
Check out part 2 for more on the individual matches, competitor interactions, and information on the 2016 Crawfish Cup and their sponsors!
Have you participated in Action Pistol, or any other shooting competition? Tell us about it in the comments below!
It’s finally here! The Midsouth Shooters 2016 Crawfish Cup website is now fully operational. Visit www.thecrawfishcup.com now to take the tour.
You’ll be able to get live updates from the shoot, check out tons of pictures and videos of your favorite shooters as they compete for the cup, and more! Want to compete in The Crawfish Cup? Head over to the site and fill out the entry form.
The Crawfish Cup is a rare venue in that it’s a place where amateurs and professionals alike compete along side each other in the chase for the cup. It’s a great competition for those who’re looking to one day compete in the Bianchi Cup, as well.
Would you, or your company like to be a sponsor of the shoot? Join Midsouth Shooters as a sponsor for the 2016 Crawfish Cup by clicking HERE! We’re proud to be the title sponsor, but competitions like this one always use more help toward bettering the event. We all appreciate it!
So swing by www.thecrawfishcup.com and see for yourself just what the Midsouth Shooters 2016 Crawfish Cup NRA Action Pistol Shoot is all about.
Top-level shooters from across the U.S. are gearing up to shoot in the Midsouth Shooters Supply 2016 Crawfish Cup NRA Action Pistol Regional Championship, which will be held on April 22-23, 2016 at the Southwest Louisiana Rifle and Pistol Club located outside Lake Charles, Louisiana. What makes this shooting competition so inviting to the best Action Pistol shooters in the game?
“Here’s a bit of trivia; most of the Bianchi Cup winners since 2011 have won the Crawfish Cup the same year. We are excited to have so many World Class shooters shoot our match,” said George Mowbray, match director for the Crawfish Cup.
The Southwest Louisiana Rifle and Pistol Club has been hosting NRA Action Pistol Tournaments since 1987. Starting out with portable, static targets that had to be set up and removed for each match, volunteers who run the Crawfish Cup have slowly and continuously built the range into one of the best Action Pistol ranges in the country.
“We strive to duplicate the range experience of the Bianchi Cup with very similar equipment and procedures,” Mowbray said. “We want to build the identity of the Crawfish Cup as a competition where pros can hone their skills, and amateurs can match their skills against some of the best in the country.”
Under several different names, the match has been run near Lake Charles since the late 1980s. In 2011, Mowbray said the organizers adopted the name Crawfish Cup to draw attention to the Cajun delicacy that is in its prime season during April and May.
“He went on to say, “We also shifted the date of the Crawfish Cup to late April, typically about four weeks prior to the Bianchi Cup, in hopes of attracting more attendance from top competitors who start focusing on Action Pistol in the spring and from International competitors coming to the U.S. to compete in the National Action Pistol Championship. We have regularly had competitors from New Zealand and The Netherlands, as well as Australia. For many years, attendance at our regionals ran from 40 to 45 competitors. When we renamed the match the Crawfish Cup, and moved it closer to the Bianchi Cup, we instantly saw an increase of about 15 more competitors.”
In 2013, Doug Koenig and Carl Bernosky attended the match and have apparently spread the word that not only is the range constantly improving, but is also a well run match.
The organizers also made a critical decision to reschedule the match so that competitors who wanted to attend the NRA’s Annual Meeting and shoot the match that fell on that same weekend, could be squadded to shoot the match on a Friday, and then leave to attend the NRA’s Annual Meeting.
“In 2014, Doug Koenig flew in, shot the match, and flew out to attend the NRA Annual Meeting,” Mowbray said. “We think that says something about the quality of the Crawfish Cup Regional, and Doug’s commitment to the sport.”
Also, Mowbray pointed out that last year, past Bianchi Cup Champion Bruce Piatt was among the 75 competitors who participated in 2015. At the 2015 Crawfish Cup, Piatt beat Koenig by three Xs, but Koenig came back to win at the 2015 Bianchi Cup. Other former Bianchi Cup Champions have included Kevin Angstadt, who in 2014 won the Crawfish Cup and followed it with a win at the Bianchi Cup.
Also, Mowbray notes that several people have set national records at the Crawfish Cup. In 2014, Martin Johnson set new records as a Senior competitor using a metallic sight firearm in the Practical Event, the Barricade Event, and the Falling Plate Event. Also that year, Vance Schmid set a new national record for a Senior competitor using a Production Firearm in the Moving Target Event (Modified).
“With all the improvements that we’ve been able to make to the range with the help of Midsouth Shooters Supply, we’re able to increase our range capacity,” Mowbray said. “With the addition of another moving-target range, we’re able to accommodate about 120 competitors at the one-day match.”
Mowbray noted that in 2015, the Crawfish Cup surpassed $11,000 in donated merchandise, which was awarded via random drawing, giving all competitors an equal chance to leave the match with some very nice prizes. Mowbray said, “The more we get the word out there, and the more folks we’re able to bring on as sponsors, the more we can grow the competition.”
In addition to top-level competition, part of the match’s draw is its Cajun flavor. Competitors are all invited to dinner at a locally-owned and operated restaurant Friday night before the match, featuring boiled crawfish and other Cajun cuisine. Also, the owner of the restaurant brings his big grill on a trailer to the range and grills chicken, burgers, and sausage for the competitors on Saturday as his contribution to the match.”
“The Crawfish Cup is more than just a competition. It’s quickly becoming a time for friends to gather, take in some local culture, and compete in a sport that’s unlike any other,” Mowbray said. For example, in 2014, the match staff organized an airboat tour of the Atchafalaya Basin, enabling competitors to get up close and personal with alligators and other wildlife in their natural swamp habitat.
Mowbray said, “We are recommending this tour this year as well, although we’re not officially organizing it. It’s located about 80 miles from Lake Charles, and can be arranged individually at www.basinlanding.com.”
“We’re looking forward to the shoot this year,” Mowbray said, “and we’re up to the challenges that a growing competition brings, and the anticipation that starts to build as we get closer to The Crawfish Cup!”
Click the date below for Crawfish Cup Results from: