It’s podcast time again, and this month Gun Mag Warehouse’s Jeremy Stone sits down with 2-time National Three-Gun Champion Jack Copeland. The podcasts are always fun and informative, and this one is no different. Jeremy and Jack talk about much more than Three-Gun in their hour together. Here’s a brief rundown of their conversation to prime you for the podcast itself. But make certain you give it a listen. These are just the high points.

Jack Copeland is a 2-time Three-Gun National Champion. (jack_3gun Instagram)

Olympic Gold Medals and National Championships

Jack shot his first competitive match at age 14, which, not-so-coincidentally, was the same age he started training with 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist shooter John McNally. Jack has always loved guns and shooting. He had just bought a Glock 17 at a gun show and stopped by McNally’s booth to look at the latter’s upgraded Glock trigger. It came out that McNally offered training and Jack’s Dad made it happen. So, they shot 1,000 rounds every weekend for a year.  Awesome parenting, right there, Mr. Copeland.

Jack has competed in many categories, and even joined the US Modified Team at the 2018 Shotgun World Championships in Paris. That’s Paris, France, not Paris, Texas, in case you’re wondering, though the Lone Star version is a nice little town. Jack performed very well, placing 80th in a field of 700, despite getting a “zero” on one stage thanks to an ill-timed squib load. Jack also shot with the Russians and Ukrainians in Paris, and he has some interesting comments on that.

Jack’s favorite category, though, is Three-Gun. He says it’s more exciting. “I want to run through a course of fire and have my rifle slung behind me, and my pistol, and carrying my shotgun.” Jeremy, as a newer competitor, acknowledged Jack’s preference, but also notes how he likes the simplicity and structured setup of Steel Challenge matches.

A Welcoming Community

Jack allows that shooting Three-Gun can be scary at first, but he emphasizes how nice the entire community is, especially compared to what he calls “purist” competition circuits. Not that those circles are complete snobs, but the vibe is different. Jack relates how another competitor once loaned him an $8,000 pistol to shoot a stage when his Glock wouldn’t cycle his reloaded ammo.

(jack_3gun Instagram)

Jeremy agreed that competitive shooters are very welcoming, citing his first Precision Rifle match, where he says most everyone was excited by his interest in their sport. Similar to Jack’s experience, another shooter offered to let Jeremy use his rifle. Great stuff.

Jeremy also talks about the obstacles to entering the sport, saying they are almost always self-inflicted. But that same PRS shooter told him that “There’s always a reason not to start. You can always come up with something that’s gonna stop you. But if you come out here and shoot, people will lend a hand.”

Now that he’s established, Jack says he’s very selective about the matches he shoots. He particularly likes Jerry Miculek’s Three-Gun match. He mentions several reasons why, but a big one is that “It’s a great group of people.”

Jack says he wishes professional shooting paid better (don’t we all). Jeremy notes that most shooters pay for their own gear and equipment, though some stuff is discounted. “They’re not just handing out rifles to guys who want to shoot,” he says. “Ask me how I know.”

The Importance of Quality Training

This part of the podcast kicks off when Jeremy says the time and expense of training also keeps people from entering competitive shooting. “But starting and moving somewhere is better than doing nothing.” Jack agrees, saying he believes in training, even if it’s just a small local course. Do what you can and build from there.

(jack_3gun Instagram)

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