2024 NRA World Shooting Championship

posted on July 9, 2024
NRA First Vice President Bob Barr and NRA Board Member Charlie Hiltunen III
NRA First Vice President Bob Barr (l.) and NRA Board Member Charlie Hiltunen III (r.) are congratulating top shooters Greg Jordan, Lanny Barnes, Nils Jonasson, Cole Shanholtz and Brian Shanholtz at the awards ceremony.
Photo: John Parker

If you weren’t at the NRA World Shooting Championship at Camp Atterbury, Ind., in April, you can be forgiven for not knowing the name Brian Shanholtz, who catapulted himself into the pantheon of competitive shooting greats after winning this year’s tournament. An electrician hailing from Keymar, Md., Shanholtz topped the match leaderboard for the first time this year with less than a one-point margin, winning the $25,000 grand prize. Even more impressive is the fact that his son, Cole—a first-time shooter at this match—won the High Junior title.

The Shanholtz father-son duo were among the 213 shooters that traveled to Indiana this year to compete at the NRA World Shooting Championship, presented by Walther Arms, which was held for the first time at Camp Atterbury, the home of the NRA National Matches. A 12-stage match that includes pistol, rifle, shotgun and multigun disciplines, the NRA World Shooting Championship has a unique twist—all firearms, ammunition, optics and equipment are supplied to competitors by the National Rifle Association and match sponsors. The 12 main stages are a mix of Sporting Clays, Air Rifle, NRA Precision Pistol, NRA Mid-Range, Precision Rifle Series, Three-Gun, Cowboy Action, Scholastic Action Shooting, USPSA and more. Additionally, there are seven side matches with their own prizes.

Gabby Franco at the range
Gabby Franco is racing the clock at Stage 12: USPSA with Walther’s new PDP Match Polymer pistol chambered in 9 mm Luger.

Although this year marked his first overall victory at the NRA World Shooting Championship, Shanholtz is no stranger to the tournament. He has competed at every NRA World Shooting Championship since its inception in 2014, even winning the Amateur division in 2015 which, by virtue of the match rules, placed him permanently in the Professional division. He credits that initial victory to “many years spent competing in the NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge.”

In preparation for this year’s tournament, Shanholtz trained with his son. The elder Shanholtz previously competed in the Precision Rifle Series and is also a shotgun-sports enthusiast, serving as a coach for his son’s junior trapshooting team. As the match results show, this approach worked for them both. “I’m here as a dad first and a competitor second,” Shanholtz told Shooting Sports USA prior to being crowned the winner this year. “My main focus is making sure that Cole is okay, since this is his first time competing at the match.”

The Shanholtzs
The Shanholtzs are the first father-son combo to land podium titles in match history

Finishing in second place this year was Nils Jonasson, while two-time NRA World Shooting Champion Greg Jordan was in third place. As for the High Lady title, it was earned by Lanny Barnes, who also landed in 28th place on the overall leaderboard.

More than $250,000 in cash and prizes was distributed at this year’s NRA World Shooting Championship. In addition to the $25,000 grand prize, the runner-up and High Lady received $2,000 checks, while third place and High Junior were presented with $1,000 checks. Plus, each of the 12 stages’ winners received $1,000 checks. Perhaps best of all, an enormous number of guns, optics, ammunition and more was awarded this year.

Walther’s LG400 Blutec at the range
At Stage 2: Precision Air Rifle, shooters fired timed 10-shot strings at 10 meters with Walther’s LG400 Blutec.

Besides the substantial prize purse, a key draw for competitors to this three-day tournament is the unique mix of disciplines, along with all guns, ammo and equipment provided to shooters.

“What I love about the NRA World Shooting Championship is you get to shoot firearms and different disciplines that you wouldn’t otherwise ever shoot,” High Lady Lanny Barnes said. “This is the only time I’ve shot Cowboy Action. It is a blast and all the guns and ammo are provided, so you just show up and shoot. If you want to see how well-rounded a shooter you are, come out and give this match a shot.”

“This event is so important and it is such a contrast to what we see in the political arena,” NRA First Vice President Bob Barr said. “You see people here that cooperate with each other and recognize that even though everyone has the goal to win, we also recognize that it is a team effort. To be here and see the military working with civilians, young working with old, match staff working with volunteers and the industry working with NRA. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see that kind of civility, discipline and team effort in Washington? This tournament really is a model not just for marksmanship, the industry and the NRA, but for the whole country.”

Next year’s NRA World Shooting Championship will return to Camp Atterbury and is scheduled for Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 2025. Learn more at wsc.nra.org.


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