Sunday, March 11, 2012

Northwest Herald Gun Club Article

Joe Bustos of the NW Herald interviewed some of the local match directors and put this article together:

Les Kismartoni is the match director for the McHenry chapter of the International Practical Shooting Confederation.

The club hosts competitions on the first and third Thursdays of the month at HP Shooting Center in McHenry.

Usually there are 27 people per event. The club has competitions where people have to move around to take aim at different targets, which vary from 6-inch steel targets to 60-inch cardboard targets. The goal is to be the fastest and the most accurate.

Kismartoni said the stages can be challenging mentally rather than physically. People need a game plan for the course and have to visualize in what order to shoot at targets while minimizing movement.

Kismartoni, a computer programmer, admits this may not be used in a real-world situation, but the stages are meant to be a challenge and force shooters to formulate strategies and plans.

“It’s an interesting hobby for us,” Kismartoni said. “It’s our version of golf.”

Shooting at targets competitively has become more and more popular.

“We haven’t had a match that hasn’t sold out yet [this year],” Kismartoni said.

Kismartoni said that although many people in the club tend to be more conservative, there is no organized political advocacy with the club. People who come to the club’s events are more concerned about the fundamentals of shooting, while providing camaraderie and friendly competition.

The McHenry chapter of the International Defensive Pistol Association has about 200 members.

It also meets at the HP Shooting range. Typical matches have 22 to 27 participants.

There are targets that swing back and forth, and some that come up from the ground.

There are even some targets that pop up that participants are not supposed to shoot.

The stages are meant to simulate real world self-defense scenarios, said Larry Hall, the match director for the McHenry IDPA.

“We want to make it challenging and interesting, or they get bored,” Hall said.

There are even walls set up where a person will have to peek around first before engaging a target, Hall said.

The clubs leave any kind of lobbying up to the National Rifle Association.

“We talk among ourselves when anti-gun bills are proposed,” Hall said. “We talk about it, but nothing organized.”