For Industry Camaraderie!
Nearly 400 participants from throughout the industry converged onto Florida’s fabled “Treasure Coast” in search of swashbuckling adventure, camaraderie and tall tales aplenty. Stifling humidity, buzzing mosquitos and the threat of missed targets did little to damper the spirits of those buccaneers who made landfall at the 12th Annual Shooting Industry Masters.
Owned and operated by FMG Publications, the Masters was held July 18-19 at the Indian River County Shooting Range in Sebastian, Fla. At this year’s industry-only event, teams shot multiple stages of competition, featuring handgun, rifle and shotgun. In a Masters twist, a fourth stage debuted this year: Team Tactics. For the first time at the Masters, teams competed as a unit, clearing a course of hidden targets using full-auto airsoft rifles — while “walking the plank” over an alligator- and water moccasin-infested marshland.
A major goal of the Masters is to raise money for NSSF’s First Shots program and USA Shooting. Just as important, the Shooting Industry Masters, which is closed to the public, gives participants from all segments of the industry — manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers — two days on the range to enjoy the sport they devote their lives to preserving and protecting. It’s a family reunion, except with plenty of shooting, networking opportunities and relaxation away from the daily grind.
“The Masters brings even the competition together and unites for First Shots and overall support of the industry. The great thing about the Masters is it brings the best out of everybody, everyone lets their guard down and we have a great time,” said Jason Nash, Federal Premium marketing director.
“It’s such a fantastic opportunity to be out here and participate in what it is that we do. It reminds us why we’re here, why we do our jobs and it’s a great opportunity for us to get together and get behind First Shots and NSSF and help them continue in what their goals are,” said Rachel VandeVoort, Kimber Manufacturing trade relations manager.
“This is a great way for us to come together as an industry and raise money for a really great cause. The First Shots program affects everyone in this industry — both the manufacturers, retailers and our end consumers,” said Nikki Turpeaux, XS Sights team member and NRA News commentator.
Team Galco’s Mike Barham runs through the new Team Tactics stage,
which featured airsoft rifles — a Masters first.
As a first-time team at the Masters, Team CSSI was all
smiles before shooting their first event.
A relaxed team having fun — like Team Beretta — was a common
sight at this year’s industry-only event.
Adriana Blandford from GunBroker.com sends rounds downrange.
Record Amount Raised
Capturing a record $100,000 for the shooting sports, industry support continues to push the total raised at the Masters to unprecedented heights. This year’s event raised $70,000 for NSSF’s First Shots program. With this year’s record-equaling total, the Shooting Industry Masters has raised $281,000 in support of First Shots since 2008.
“Masters participants raise the bar higher every year with their unconditional support and collective efforts to grow and preserve the shooting sports. We tip our caps humbly to their willingness to embrace adventure and camaraderie regardless of climate or company affiliation,” said Randy Molde, Masters chairman and FMG Publications VP of business development.
The money raised to support First Shots is important for all businesses in the industry, according to Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO.
“Getting prospective recreational shooters with diverse backgrounds to take that all-important ‘first shot’ is so important to our entire industry in this time when so many anti-gun forces are trying to demonize firearms, gun owners and our industry. With partners like FMG Publications — and the support of the record number of competitors that came out to the Shooting Industry Masters to have fun and contribute to the ongoing success of First Shots — the future of the shooting sports will remain bright,” Sanetti said.
Another $30,000 was raised in support of USA Shooting. The money was raised through the “Rent-A-Ringer” program — which allows teams to “rent” a USA Shooting athlete for the match — and in several live auctions at the Masters’ Saturday evening dinner.
“We’re unbelievably grateful to FMG Publications for the lengths they go to include our athletes in this event and raise our stature within the industry. A special thanks to GunBroker.com for the special auctions they facilitate on our behalf and to the participating teams who draft our athletes and allow them to participate in the fun,” said Corrie West, USA Shooting director of resource development.
The money raised wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering support from a record 65 sponsors. In addition, industry manufacturers combined to create the largest collection of prizes ever presented at the Masters, with over 60 companies donating product for 80 raffle prize packages and 19 auction items.
“The people who are the shooting industry and support this event are without question, the most generous, adventurous and spirited group of individuals anywhere,” Molde said.
In addition to the raffle, funds were raised from side match fees, and several Masters online auctions, hosted on GunBroker.com, which brought in $17,382 in support of First Shots and USA Shooting.
Kimber’s “Muskets, Pistols and Suppresss’ARRRs” side match had participants
start from a “poop deck”. Mossberg’s Tom Taylor got in on the fun.
Team members from WMD Guns enjoyed shooting shotguns at
one of the many side matches.
Richard Mann (Timney Triggers) and Corrie West (USA Shooting) let
arrows fly at the Freedom Hunters’ “Fling & Fly” side match.
The Masters’ relaxed format offers plenty of
photobomb opportunities — no team is safe!
Events Of “Masters Week”
In what has been dubbed “Masters Week,” there are several events that take place away from the range and in a relaxed environment, further encouraging attendees to network and enjoy time out of the office.
On the Thursday before the match, the Treasure Coast Sports Commission and Indian River County hosted two events. During the day, the inaugural Honors For HAVA Golf Tournament raised more than $4,000 for the organization. Later in the day, Masters attendees were treated to an all-American BBQ at Historic Dodgertown, hosted by the Treasure Coast Sports Commission and Indian River County.
On Friday evening, FMG Publications hosted a beachside bash at Capt. Hiram’s Resort, which featured a costume party complete with a number of captains, wenches and shipmates — even baseball pirates. On the final evening of the match, FMG hosted the Masters Awards Banquet at the Indian River County Fairgrounds.
Throughout this year’s Masters, the industry enjoyed the hospitality of many in Florida, especially those in the area known as the “Treasure Coast.”
“Thank you, Florida, with a special salute to Indian River County for helping to make the 2014 Shooting Industry Masters a tremendous success,” Molde said. “We were overwhelmed with your hospitality, cooperation and hands-on support of our annual event. The support we received from the Indian River County Shooting Range was unprecedented. You are, indeed, the Treasure Coast.”
Florida State Senator Debbie Mayfield visited the range during the event and visited with Masters participates during the BBQ at Historic Dodgertown.
“I was thrilled to welcome the Shooting Industry Masters to Indian River County,” Mayfield said. “I would like to thank FMG Publications, the Indian River County Commission, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and all of the sponsors and participants for working to bring this wonderful event to the Treasure Coast.”
Masters attendees took the spirit of the Masters to new heights on
Florida’s Treasure Coast. The fun evening events included a beachside
BBQ at Capt. Hiram’s Resort, which featured a memorable costume
party of scallywags and seadogs.
Spirit Of The Masters
Teams took the “Spirit of the Masters” to a new level this year, arriving in full force with pirate-themed side matches, uniforms and costumes and, of course, a healthy dose of pirate “Arrrr’s”. This spirit has been taken to a new level on social media, with numerous companies using the Masters hashtag (#SI_Masters) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This year’s coveted Spirit Award went to Team LaserMax who, with an intricately decorated “Rum Runner’s Revenge” side match, extravagant costumes and upbeat enthusiasm, were worthy winners. First awarded in 2012, this award is given to the team that gets into the “spirit” of the match by participating in the themed events and bringing a fun-filled attitude throughout the week.
On Saturday night at Capt. Hiram’s, there was a costume contest, which received an unparalleled level of participation from attendees. Best Dressed Couple went to Jon and Stephanie Pastusek of XS Sights, while Best Individual Costumes went to Ron Dan of Team CSSI and Nikki Turpeaux, who memorably came as a parrot and Davy Jones, respectively.
LaserMax’s “Rum Runner’s Revenge” pirate-themed side match captured a
lot of attention from attendees. LaserMax received the 2014 Masters Spirit Award.
Side Match Fun
Side matches have grown into a favorite of many attendees; each year they grow more creative, reflecting the Masters theme. For only $5 per run-through, attendees can shoot any number of side matches — allowing for additional networking opportunities in a relaxed setting. This year, the 15 side matches generated a record $23,035 for First Shots.
The top-earning side match was Crazy Quail ($5,070), followed by NSSF’s “Round The Clock” ($3,295) and FNH USA’s “Machine Gun Alley” ($2,560).
Several other pirate-themed side matches caught the attention of attendees, such as Kimber’s “Muskets, Pistols and Suppress’ARRRS!” which had participants start from the “poop deck” and shoot a Kimber pistol and rifle, both sporting suppressors. LaserMax and XS Sights also incorporated fun, pirate-themed elements into their side matches.
Industry Class High Lady, Tanya Gorin From XS Sights
Industry Class Top Shooter, Ed Parsons From Daniel Defense #2
Industry Class Team Champion, Team Daniel Defense #2
Open Class High Lady, Dianna Liedorff From Benelli
Open Class Top Shooter, Mark Hanish From FNH USA
Open Class Team Champion, Jim Clark Custom
Keeping with tradition, the Masters isn’t about publishing scores — which, of course, encourages attendees to tell tall tales that would make even real pirates cringe — but the top-scoring teams and individuals from the Industry and Open Divisions are honored at the Masters Awards Banquet.
Team Daniel Defense #2 (Jason Poston, Ed Parsons, Vadim Dale and Kevin Flores) had “time on their side” as they shot their way to first place in the Industry Division — leaving the Treasure Coast with gleaming wall clocks as part of their plunder. Team Lipsey’s (Flint Virgets, Mark Emonet, Jason Cloessner and Brett Fry) took “Next Best” and were aptly given spyglasses since they were in sight of first place. In “Not Last”, Team CSSI (Mike Halleron, Bill Sumner, Ron Dan and Greg Chambers) will be able to use their compasses to chart a course to a higher place next year.
In the Open Division, Jim Clack Custom Guns (Jim Clark, Logan Clark, James Clark and Aaron Hayes) stormed their way to first place. “Next Best” went to Team FNH USA Pro (Ken Pfau, Mark Hanish, Larry Houck and Ernie Beckwith), while Hornady Pro (Adam Popplewell, Dave Neth, Rick Porter and Jeff Cramblit) came in “Not Last”.
Ed Parsons (Team Daniel Defense #2) rose above the ranks to commandeer first place in the Industry Division, while Tanya Gorin (Team XS Sights) had her sea legs ready as she sailed through all four stages of the match to become the Industry Division’s top lady shooter.
In the Open Division, the stars aligned for Mark Hanish (Team FNH USA Pro) and Dianna Liedorff (Team Benelli) as they came out unscathed as the top shooters.
Charting A Course For 2015
Next year, the 13th Annual Shooting Industry Masters will bring more of the same — a mystery course of fire, an abundance of side matches and more themed events. In addition, the event will also help bring the industry “family” together again, uniting in support of First Shots, USA Shooting and HAVA.
For more information on the Shooting Industry Masters and to keep up on the latest information regarding the 2015 industry-only event, visit www.shootingindustry.com/masters. In addition, “Like” the Masters Facebook page and view the extended photo gallery at www.facebook.com/ShootingIndustryMasters.
By Jade Molde
RAFFLE PRIZE SPONSORS
CLAYS CAGE SPONSORS
EQUIPMENT & AMMUNITION SPONSORS
SHOOTER’S BAG SPONSORS
2014 PARTICIPATING TEAMS
Smith & Wesson’s
“Nine-Man Mutiny” and
Ruger’s “Rimfire Renegades”
Hornady’s “Hard To Target”
Brownells’ “Blunderbuss Bay”
TEAM TACTICS EVENT
Umarex’s “Skulls Lair”
Master Side Matches
Benchmade Slarrsh ’Em Down
Benelli 3-Gun Action
Bullseye Camera Systems Rifle Challenge
FMG Publications Crazy Quail
FMG Publications Pigeon Fly
FNH USA Machine Gun Alley
Freedom Hunters Fling & Fly
Glock Glocks Big And Small
Kimber Muskets, Pistols & Suppress’ARRRS!
LaserMax Rum Runner’s Revenge
O.F. Mossberg & Sons Cottonmouth Killers
NSSF Round The Clock
PolyOne Captain’s Wheel
Taurus Hand-Cannon Cove
XS Sight Systems Kill A 6-Pack Just To Watch It Die
SEE MORE MASTERS FUN!
Want to see exclusive video from the 12th Annual Shooting Industry Masters? Visit www.shootingindustry.com/masters to view footage of the event and additional photo galleries.
>> Click Here << To Read The Shooting Industry October 2014 Issue Now!