A competitor at the 2020 ADSS shoots during one of the vehicle-scenario stages.
The Second Amendment is for everybody, but not everyone has the same physical ability to access the shooting sports. Enter adaptive shooting, a wide variety of programs designed to make shooting more accessible.
Perhaps one of the most fun adaptive shooting events is soon to be held at the SIG Sauer Academy in Epping, N.H. The Adaptive Defensive Shooting Summit, to be held Sept. 10 and 11, 2021, will treat participants to thorough instruction from the SIG Academy instructors, including first aid, hand-to-hand self-defense techniques, and, of course, gun safety and handling. A demo bay will be set up to allow participants to try out a wide variety of firearms and related gear from sponsors SIG Sauer, Ruger, SCCY and others; check out hunts and other adaptive events from Camp Freedom; and view specialized chairs, prosthetics and other adaptive tools.
Then the real fun begins. Competitors will shoot a world-class, 10-stage defensive pistol match designed for both accessibility and realism. The match will be both indoor and outdoor, including low-light and vehicle scenarios, and will be wheelchair-friendly. The scenarios are designed by match director Chad Barber, former firearms program director for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and chief safety officer for the Smith & Wesson International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) Indoor Nationals.
“The level of detail [Barber] brings into the stages he designs would blow peoples’ minds,” said Trevor Baucom, event founder. The experience will be capped with an IDPA 5x5 classifier, and new participants are eligible to receive an IDPA membership to encourage them to continue competitive shooting.
“It was great to have an event like this geared toward adaptive shooters,” said last year’s winner, Nick Fairall. “Shooting was always one of my passions, and finding ways to compete after my injury was very encouraging and uplifting and made me excited about the possibilities.”
Fairall, who broke his L1 vertebrae competing in U.S. Olympic ski jumping in 2015 and lost movement in his legs, emphasized that competitive shooting is possible for a wide variety of disabilities: “It was super fun seeing everyone from high-level adaptive shooters to people who hadn’t really shot since their injury or even thought it was possible for them to shoot.”
Fairall also emphasized the lasting camaraderie and joy of the event: “The smiles and camaraderie of the participants, instructors and sponsors—everyone had an amazing time. The shooting community is very welcoming. People are willing to take the time to teach you.”
For more information on the Adaptive Defensive Shooting Summit at SIG Sauer Academy, go to adaptiveshoot.com. You can also visit adaptiveshooting.nra.org for more information on other adaptive shooting programs.