For the past two decades, Glock has operated the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF) as friendly competitions allowing Glock pistol owners to get together, shoot standard courses of fire, learn more about their pistol – and other equipment, and get a basic introduction to competition shooting.
Over the past two decades, the friendly competition that’s the GSSF has grown to become a very large subset of competition shooting. Today the GSSF includes nearly 100,000 members and organizes more than 40 outdoor and 210 indoor matches each year.
The GSSF has grown so large, in fact, that the South River Gun Club near Conyers, Georgia (just outside Atlanta) may have the distinction of having hosted the largest action shooting competition -ever.
They moved over the standard GSSF courses of fire with various Glock models and in categories that pitted shooters against each other in comparable-ability civilian classes and law enforcement categories. In these matches “civilians” and “LE” don’t compete head-to-head.
When the largest division, Amateur Civilian, ended, the top shooter from the more than 400 competitors was North Carolina’s Wei Young. Young had won a “Ladies Only” GSSF match near Charleston, South Carolina earlier in the year, but this was the first time a lady shooter had taken the top prize in the GSSF’s major match.
In fact, there’s a good chance that Young’s performance is the first time in a sanctioned national practical match that a female shooter has actually taken the top prize in open competition.
The other major event at the Annual Matches was a “the Gunny Challenge” a celebrity event that also included some serious head-to-head competition.
Once known for using comely young women to attract attention to their booths at trade shows, Glock has learned that with shooters, there’s just no celebrity with more star power than “The Gunny” – R. Lee Ermey. His movie career has seen him in a mixed bag of movies, but his hosting of shooting shows on History Channel has endeared him to shooters across the sport.
The Glock “Gunny Challenge” pits top GSSF competitors – called matchmeisters- against each other in head-to-head shoot-offs. Contestants were issued brand-new Gen4 Clock 35s in .40 caliber with Ameriglo fiber optic sights.
In the “matchmeisters” competition, Butch Barton, a retired policeman from Minnesota took home the $3000 top prize in what was described an exhibition of “cool, precise, speedy shooting.”
In the celebrity match, it was “Gunny” versus country music star Travis Tritt. As Glock enthusiasts expect- Ermey took Tritt in the head-to-head competition.
The GSSF Matches haven’t really attracted a lot of attention due to their being open only to Glock owners/GSSF members. However, they’re also known as “the gateway drug to competition shooting”.
That, in itself, makes them noteworthy.