Bruce Piatt Recalls His Favorite Pistol Performance

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posted on August 11, 2018
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Competitive shooter Bruce Piatt was asked: What’s your most memorable competition moment?

“With over 30 years in competitive shooting, seven World Championship and 20 plus National Championship titles to my record, it’s a little difficult to single out one most memorable moment. I will share a story of a single shot I made that I often recall, especially when I’m teaching ‘trigger pull.’ I can’t remember the year, but it was in the 1990s at a SOF Tactical 3-Gun World Championship in Las Vegas. It was a handgun stage where you started at the 5-yard line, drew and fired one shot on a knock-down steel target in a set time of 2.5 seconds. If you hit, you stepped back 5 yards and repeated. If not, the draw was eliminated and you started at the ‘low ready,’ but you still had a miss penalty. The steel targets were obscured by Penalty No-Shoot targets, so naturally, the further back you went, the harder it got. I remember I shot this stage on the final day of the match and none of the 250 plus shooters had completed the entire course, ending up at the 50-yard line, without missing. My iron sighted Caspian 1911 in .38 Super was a tac driver, but this was a test of trigger pulling at its best. I worked my way through the steel, knocking down one after the other. I recall that after 250 shooters, there was pistol brass all over the range. I stayed focused on a smooth draw, good sight pictures and smooth trigger work. I’m hitting targets and stepping back another 5 yards each time, but now there is no more brass on the ground … 40, 45, now I find myself standing on the 50-yard line. I suddenly realized there was no chatter coming from the spectators and a bit of a crowd had gathered. ‘Focus,’ I told myself. ‘Don’t change anything.’ To this day, I can see the serrations on the front sight, see the slide come up to block my view of the target during recoil, but I swear I didn’t see that plate fall because of the follow-through I maintained on that shot. All I saw was the top of my slide, but I knew I hit it because I could hear everyone cheering. That was a shot I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Bruce Piatt’s shooting disciplines included Action Pistol, Tactical 3-Gun, USPSA/IPSC, Steel Challenge and Sportsman’s Team Challenge. A highlight of Bruce’s competition career was getting married in 1993 and spending his honeymoon competing at and winning his first Bianchi Cup in Columbia, Mo. Bruce is the founder of Bruce Piatt Training Concepts, LLC and provides R&D consulting to firearm industry manufacturers, shooting instruction and is a valued industry spokesperson.

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