Competitive shooting events are about far more than merely competing.
There’s always a great sense of community and camaraderie at these events – which is exactly why events that don’t embody that same spirit are so disappointing.
And while the competitiveness is an integral factor, it’s the relationship between that competitiveness and community spirit that makes these shooting events special.
#1- NRA Bianchi Cup
Typically held in the month of May, the National Rifle Association (NRA) hosted Bianchi Cup is considered a gold standard for competitive shooting since 1979.
Held at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club (Hallsville, Missouri), the Bianchi Cup isn’t only a competitive shooting event that can’t be missed, but also a historical one.
The venue caters to that history by showcasing memorabilia and information on the 40 years of the Bianchi Cup.
It’s worth mentioning some of the world’s most prominent competitive shooters participate in the event, but all registrants are required to have a portal login for the Bianchi Cup (as with any other NRA Championship Match) as of 2019.
#2- NRA World Shooting Championship
No list of must-see competitive shooting events would be complete without including the NRA’s World Shooting Championship.
Held in September (the 2019 event was hosted September 18-21), the World Shooting Championship is one of the most prestigious entries on our list.
World-class competitive shooters from all across the globe participate in various major firearms sports.
If you’re looking to see who the World Shooting Champion is in terms of overall performance (pistol, shotgun, rifle, and combined firearm sports), then this is most definitely a bucket list competitive shooting event.
Bear in mind: a Competitive Shooting Web Portal login is required prior to registration.
#3- NRA Collegiate Program
This is a bit of a cheat entry, as the NRA Collegiate Program isn’t a single event. Instead, it’s a series of events hosted as part of the nationwide network of nearly 300 US colleges and universities that offer shooting programs.
The Collegiate Shooting Directory will help you find participating universities if you hope to enroll or follow up on hosted shooting events.
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And if you or a family member are attending a college that isn’t already part of the Collegiate Program, the NRA invites you to read their ebook ‘Developing A Scholastic Shooting Program.’
#4- International Defensive Pistol Association Matches
Closing off this article is another “cheat” entry: the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) Matches.
These are held at participating ranges on almost every weekend in the year, though some will also host a match during the week too.
Interested parties are encouraged to use the local classifier to find local matches, whether you’re looking to get a taste for competitive shooting events or merely spectate.
Of course, you’re required to be an IDPA member to participate in any of the matches. The good news is there are participating shooting ranges in more than 70 countries, including the US, so you can visit local venues while traveling abroad too.
If you’re hoping to participate in any of these events, make sure you read up on all their requirements (we tried to include all the most important of these).
But of course, it isn’t going to be worth participating if you aren’t able to shoot on a competitive level.
We recommend starting by finding a legitimate instructor – preferably one with competitive shooting experience if you can. Even if you can’t find one, you’ll want to work on honing your shooting skills on as many levels as possible.
Luckily for you, the American Gun Association has a whole host of training and tactics guides to help you!