WASHINGTON CITY — The target becomes visible in your crosshairs. In that fraction of a second you feel the hair on your neck begin to rise. You know the clock is ticking and you press forward, attempting to keep your aim true despite the precipitous surge of adrenaline.
This might describe the feeling of many of the nearly 300 competitors slated to take part in the Berry’s Steel Open, a 4-day event at the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range April 5-8. The staff match will take place April 5 and 6, while the main competition is April 7-8.
“This is the largest steel-target-only match in the world. It combines three different types of steel practical shooting – field, par time and static steel – into one ginormous match that competitors from all over the world come to,” match organizer Ken Nelson said. “It’s a labor of love organized with a local company, Berry’s Manufacturing, that gives St. George and Berry’s a global impact in competitive shooting.”
The event carries broad appeal throughout the globe. Nelson said competitors from Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada, England, Holland, Germany, Netherlands, Scotland and France are expected to participate, and of the total number registered approximately 85 percent live outside Utah. The average out-of-town participant stays approximately three nights in the St. George area, Nelson said.
It takes about 750 shots to finish on approximately 350 to 400 targets, he added.
“You have to admire the poise and focus of these very skilled shooters, many of whom come a long way to participate in this exciting match,” Kevin Lewis, the Washington County director of tourism, said. “The Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range is a top-notch facility, recognized among the very best complexes around. The venue has a tremendous following, stirring up excitement worldwide.”
- More information regarding the Berry’s Steel Open.
- St. George Sports.
- Visit St. George.
- Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range.
- What: Berry’s Steel Open practical shooting competition.
- When: April 7-8
- Where: Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range, 1134 S. Regional Park Road, Washington