You probably already know this, but Larry Potterffield has ponied up $100K as contingency prize money for Bianchi Production division. Obviously, this will provide a major jumpstart for the NRA Action Pistol program, as well as drive some of the big players into Production. What I hear is that the details of how the money is going to be allocated/awarded is not yet finalized...there are a lot of ideas on the table at this point.
The top 5 Production shooters this year were:
1) Kyle Schmidt, 1856-121x
2) Enoch Smith, 1835-123x
3) Dave Sevigny, 1833-119x
4) Phil Strader, 1819-102x
5) Vance Schmid, 1812-100xAny of these guys could break 1900, especially with the allowed modification of match barrels. I talked to Dave Sevigny at the Cup this year, and he was ambivalent about leaving his box-stock Glock — the gun he built his sterling reputation on — behind for one with a match barrel and different sights. Still, he's too much of a great competitor not to realize that a fitted match barrel will be de rigueur for the top competitors starting next year.
Here are the original specs for Bianchi Production:
• 3.2.1 Production Firearm — The intent of this rule is to encourage the use of production firearms as manufactured and promote NRA Action Pistol Shooting at the “Grass Roots” level. Accordingly, in order to keep this class from becoming an “Equipment Match” , Single Action only pistol are prohibited.
A Production Firearm is a semi-automatic handgun or revolver which is or has been a catalog item readily available to the general public equipped with factory notch & post sights. All standard safety features of firearms must operate properly. The firearm shall have no visible internal of external modifications except as follows:
(a) Grips may be replaced or modified to fit the competitor’s hand or to facilitate loading. Checkering, stippling, grip tape and grip sleeves are permitted.
(b) Barrel length may not exceed 5.35 inches for semi-automatic pistols and may not exceed 6 inches for revolvers.
(c) Wide “target” style hammers and triggers, if included on the firearm as originally manufactured, are permitted.
(d) Only open sights may be used. The front sight must be a non-adjustable post sight. The rear sight may be adjustable if the firearm was originally manufactured with an adjustable sight. Sights may be replaced but they must use the original dovetail cuts and must retain the original configuration of the firearm. Fiber optic sights are permitted.
(e) Barrels may be replaced with original factory barrels with the same configuration of the original barrel.
(f) All production firearms must fire the first shot of every stage double action.
(g) Trigger weight may not be less than 3.5 lbs. In any mode.
(h) External finishes, either protective of decorative, or other non-functional embellishments. (i.e. Such as engraving, inlays or inscriptions) are permitted.
(I) Holsters must be designed for carry and suitable for everyday use. Competition, race type and open front holsters are prohibited.
The following firearm modifications are prohibited:
(a) Single action only firearms
(b) Custom-shop firearms.
(c) Changes in the original factory sight configuration of the firearm are prohibited. Front adjustable sights are prohibited.
(d) Peep, ghost, optical, electronic, Bo-Mar and Aristocrat type sights.
(e) Thumb rests, orthopedic grips, grip or magazine extensions. No part of the grip may encircle the hand.
(f) Compensators, ported or weighted barrels.
(g) Race type holsters.So that gives you a pretty good idea of what the top Production shooters will be using next year as this goes forward. Of course Dave (and Women's Production champion Randi Rogers) are in the Glock camp; SG regular Phil Strader and B.J. Norris, one of the greatest shots ever, Doug Koenig, and new S&W team member Jessie Abbate will be running the S&W M&P platform. With that kind of money on the line I'd be surprised not to see Jerry Miculek running a Production revolver. If you remember, there were a few years revolvers dominated Bianchi, and a great master like Miculek is always a threat.
I'd be surprised if Max Michel, probably the hottest pro shooter this year, didn't sign on with one of Sig's trick 226s. Should be interesting to see how it shakes out!