Getting It Back

A Distinguished 2650 Club competitor’s path to regaining champion-level skill and the guns (and gunsmithing) he used to do it.

by Robert Kolesar

In 2013 I started shooting competitive Bullseye (National Rifle Association Precision Pistol) again after a decade of inactivity. Deployments and kids had taken up the time I needed for practice and shooting matches. Reluctantly, I had to leave the U.S. Army Reserve Competitive Marksmanship Program, which had picked up the tab for my guns, ammo, and shooting tours. I’d always intended to return to Bullseye, but my absence was longer than anticipated. Due to not using my shooting skills for several years, I had to re-learn what I thought I “knew” and re-develop muscle memory and fundamentals.

First priority was to figure out what my new goals upon my return would be. I already had pretty much accomplished what I wanted to, so I had to focus on different possibilities. I was also older than during my peak years of competing. I realized that I might never be the pistolero I once was; this was supposed to be a pleasant return to a sport I loved, not an exercise in frustration. So I dialed back on what was attainable and went for what I knew I could accomplish. I ended up concentrating on Civilian Marksmanship Program Service Pistol, plus getting NRA Revolver and CMP .22 Pistol Distinguished. A practice regimen was developed, and my second competitive shooting career was launched.

The USARCMP graciously allowed me to return and shoot with the Service Pistol team, as long as my scores were at the level expected. It took some work, but I was able to generate scores the team needed my first year back. I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be, but I was on my way and shot with the Team my last two years in the Reserve.

Something I had to deal with almost immediately was equipment. Most of my gear had been…

Read more in the August 2020 issue.

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