Bernskoetter Breaks Through for Pro Series Win at FB3G
Horner, Casanova, Dueck Post Division Wins
Rustin Bernskoetter picked up his first major 3-gun win at FB3G and is now primed for a run in Las Vegas.
By Chad Adams
Rustin Bernskoetter has been close this season. So close. At Ozark in September, Bernskoetter just missed out on claiming his first major match victory, coming up second to West Chandler. At FN a couple of weeks ago it was Daniel Horner that finished one spot ahead of Bernskoetter.
But at the 2012 Fallen Brethren 3-Gun Challenge at Texas' Spartan Tactical training center recently, Bernskoetter (920.05) put it all together for an impressive win over the likes of Tyler Payne (869.55), Chris Andersen (853.83), Robby Johnson (836.60) and Adam Popplewell (815.51).
Rounding out the top 10 were Burton Thompson (809.24) in sixth, followed by Travis Gibson (796.73), Rob Romero (793.58), who was the only non-Pro Series competitor in the top 10, Jason Tielke (787.72) and Ting Sun (781.65).
Bernskoetter, who was seriously in the hunt for his first win at Ozark, was happy, if not humble, at finally getting over the hump.
“Yes, it is my first major 3-gun match win,” Bernskoetter said. “First place. As Ricky Bobby famously said, ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last.’ Well, I’m finally not last.”
Daniel Horner suprised many by shooting Open at FB3G. Not so suprisingly, Horner picked up another win.
Over the past few 3-gun seasons, few competitors have been closing the gap on the top rung in the sport as quickly and as surely as Bernskoetter. In 2011, Bernskoetter racked up a second place finish at Fallen Brethren, made it to the finals of the 3GN Shoot-Off at Ozark, and was a finalist for the 3GN Championship in Las Vegas. Bernskoetter has quietly placed in the top five of pretty much every major 3-gun match in which he’s competed.
“My last three major match finishes have been 2ndat the Ozark 3-Gun Championship, 2ndand FNH 3-Gun Championship, and finally 1stat the Fallen Brethren 3-Gun Challenge,” Bernskoetter said. “It feels very rewarding to finally earn the spot at the top of a list of excellent shooters.”
Several 3GN Pro Series shooters, along with a solid field of competitors in Tactical Optics, made Bernskoetter’s FB3G win a good one. Not that he would call out any likely 3-gun shooters he was looking to match-up against.
“As with every match I shoot in the great state of Texas, my main concern is that Chuck Norris might roll in from Dallas wearing cowboy boots and smash all of us with a chrome-plated Beretta 92,” Bernskoetter said. “It could happen.”
While the famous would-be Texas Ranger might someday show up in a 3-gun match, he isn’t one of 30 competitors qualified for the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Championship this January in Las Vegas during the SHOT Show. But Bernskoetter is, and he’s on a short list of competitors primed to make a deep run in this year’s Shoot-Off.
James Casanova picked up an all-important third win of the season for the 3GN Tactical Iron division race.
“Recently, I have been devoting more time to developing the mental side of my shooting skills,” Bernskoetter said. “It has been helping with my consistency and confidence to a great degree. I also recently switched to using an Infinity pistol in 3-gun competition. It’s the finest man-made object I’ve ever owned. It helps me perform to the best of my abilities. There are quite a few things I have learned over the past year’s worth of match experience. New shooting techniques and new mental strategies. I really look forward to the Rumble in Vegas.”
While Bersnskoetter picked up his first major match win, U.S. AMU’s Daniel Horner created a stir himself. Not by winning, per se, but for where he did it. Shooting in the Open division, Horner (950.54) bested perennial Open powerhouse Jerry Miculek (890.60) for the division win. Horner won seven of 10 stages in a dominating performance.
James Darst (847.97) finished third, followed by 3GN Junior Jake Denno (773.08), Kay Miculek (735.13), Katie Harris (699.80), Craig Caulkins (684.55), JJ Johnson (669.62), Scott Hawkins (667.89) and Dale Averkamp (646.01) rounding out the top 10.
In Tactical Iron, James Casanova won a critical head-to-head match-up against Kelly Neal in the race for the 3GN Tactical Iron division. Casanova (956.37) racked up five stage wins to Neal’s (892.17) two on his way to his third Tactical Iron win of the season. 3GN Heavy Metal leader Kuan Watson (810.73) took third, followed by 3GN Semi-Pros Kyle O’Glee (790.48) and Mike Chambers (737.01).
In Heavy Metal Optics, defending 3GN HMO division champion Barry Dueck (902.16) picked up the win. Michael Cyrwus (873.20) finished second, followed by Joel Turner (862.11), Doug Johnson (861.75) and Michael Atha (845.22).
SureFire's Barry Dueck returned to his winning ways with a division victory in Heavy Metal Optics at FB3G.
Fallen Brethren marked the sixth and final event of the 2012-2013 3GN Pro Series Tour. Pro Series scores are posted and current, and following a period of arbitration for the competitors, the top 30 competitors qualified for the 2013 Rumble on the Range will be announced.
The final 3GN Divisional Series match, where all 3GN Series races will wrap up, takes place this month at the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun at the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Kentucky. Divisional, Semi-Pro, Amateur, Ladies and Junior races will conclude with this final partner match of the 2012 3GN season.