Brian Sloan won two world shooting titles while giving a pink gun salute to his deceased mother-in-law at the NWTF World Still Target Championship, Oct. 5-7 at NWTF Headquarters in Edgefield, S.C.
Sloan won titles in the Black Powder and 12 Gauge Hunter divisions to lead a contingent of six Statesville shooters who capped an emotional week by winning four of six divisions.
Mother and son Amanda Fox and Alex Fox, two of the Statesville shooters, won the 20 Gauge Ladies and 20 Gauge JAKES (Youth) championships, respectively. Sloan had a fitting surprise for his team when they arrived Friday in Edgefield during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
He unzipped the bag carrying the team’s Custom Savage 220 Gun Works 20 gauge with a pink stock and a silver barrel with the name Joanne Abee, his mother-in-law who died from breast cancer, inscribed.
“It was a great way to honor my mother-in-law, who I never met,” said Sloan. “I didn’t tell anybody what I was doing. I just painted it pink.”
Each Statesville team member used the pink shotgun during 20 gauge competitions.
On Monday, Amanda Fox’s grandmother had died, leaving her and Alex with the tough decision of whether or not to come to Edgefield.
“It was a very emotional, roller-coaster week,” said Amanda Fox. “We debated, but we decided we had too much time invested to not come to this tournament.”
Competitors from across the nation competed in the six divisions, firing at a 3-inch circular target from 40 yards. All champions won shotguns. Sloan received two Browning BPS 12 gauges. Amanda Fox received a Remington 870 Pink Camo 20 gauge. Alex Fox received a Remington 870 Camo 20 gauge.
Amanda Fox tied a Ladies world record while winning her division, putting 30 pellets into one target in a preliminary round. Her victory put pressure on 15-year-old Alex, whose division finals followed.
“It took a while for me to adjust,” Alex Fox said of the paint job. “But because there was such a good cause behind it, it was hard for me not to like it.”Alex, who admitted he originally wasn’t thrilled to see his gun painted pink, won an all-Statesville, sudden-death victory over Brian Sloan’s son, Eli Sloan, and Jacob McNeely.
Alex got 25 pellets into his final target.
“(Alex) was so excited,” Amanda Fox said. “It was our dream to win at the same time. When I won, he said, `Mom, you really put the pressure on me.'”
With his two victories, Brian Sloan shares the all-time record of 11 world titles with Steve Conover of Jamestown, Ky., who won the other two divisions, 12 Gauge Open and 20 Gauge Open.
Sloan has won all five Black Powder titles since the division’s inception, but he beat Conover by only one pellet this year.
“I really like black powder. That’s probably the reason I’ve done so well in it,” Sloan said.
Sloan used a Custom Traditions firearm, Hevi Shot ammunition and an Indian Creek .655 choke to win Black Powder. He used a Browning BPS with 3″ Hevi-13 1 1/4 oz. No. 6 shot and an Indian Creek .675 choke in 12 Gauge Hunter.
Amanda Fox used a Gun Works Pro Stock Ithaca M37 with 3″ Hevi-13 1 1/4 oz. No. 6 shot and a .562 Indian Creek Black Diamond Strike choke.
Alex Fox used 3″ Hevi-13 1 1/4 oz. No. 6 shot with a .560 Indian Creek Black Diamond Strike choke.