Bobby Carver has won more Matchmeister awards in GSSF than anyone else.
The GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation began in 1991. It has grown exponentially, with new events every year, and each successive season sees higher shooter turnouts. You shoot it at your own speed. That’s amateur against amateur, master shooter against master, and public safety/military personnel against their own trained kind. It’s GSSF’s way of keeping the sharks swimming only with other sharks to level the playing field.
That said, even a minnow wants to bite like the sharks do, and it seems to be a good idea to pick some of the consistent top winners and ask them for tips. A proven master shooter has lessons to share with apprentices, journeymen, and other master practitioners alike. So, without further ado, let’s learn from the best.
Man with the Most Wins
Bobby Carver, 58, has won more Matchmeister titles than any other competitor in the history of GSSF. “Matchmeister” is the nickname given to the shooter who has the overall best score of the tournament with a stock GLOCK. Danny Ryan, the unofficial GSSF historian, has logged Bobby at a total of 80 wins. “When I’m getting ready for a match, I try to focus on basics. I shoot the far targets mostly—not the complete course. I work on always keeping the first shot (from a low-ready position) under one second, and on keeping my double-taps at 0.15 to 0.20 seconds, focusing mostly on the second shot of the double-tap.”
When it comes to practice, “I used to shoot 12 to 15 GSSF matches a year, flying to the West Coast and up North for some of them. I was shooting about 1,000 rounds a week for practice then. Today, shooting only a couple of matches a year because of the time demands of my business, I only shoot about 20,000 rounds a year in practice.”
What about hardware? “The GLOCK 17 is my favorite. I use all stock GLOCK parts, polished a little. You can’t beat what GLOCKs have inside. I use the 4.5-pound connector. I shoot in the Unlimited, Master Stock, Subcompact, Major Sub, and Competition divisions.”
As for shooting tips, “I shoot right to left and had to train myself to do that. I shot the plates so fast I’d trap brass shooting left to right. In man-on-man events like the American Handgunner shoot in Montrose, Colorado, I had to shoot both ways, and found I was more efficient by knowing both. Whatever the target array, I shoot right to left, not near to far.”
We asked each Matchmeister what sequence of stages they preferred. For Bobby Carver, the answer was, “I’ve experimented with that, and I always explain that my preferences might not be the same as those of others. I like ‘Five to GLOCK’ first; my nerves are calmer with the long targets being shot first. As you build your adrenaline, you’ll pick up speed. Then I shoot the ‘GLOCK’M,’ and finally, ‘GLOCK the Plates.’ If you feel keyed-up and psyched-up going in, you might want to start off on something more forgiving, and that would mean starting on the plates and not going too fast. You can lose two, three, even four seconds on the plates, and it won’t hurt you as much as a bunch of D-zone hits or missing a target on paper.”
Bobby Carver began shooting in GSSF competitions in 1998, but he came to the game with a broad background in other practical handgun games, including having won the National Pin-Shooting Championship in Iowa.
Gunny Challenge Dominator
Some seven years ago, it was determined that the GSSF would sponsor a tournament of champions, with only Matchmeisters eligible. Retired USMC Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey, known to the world as “The Gunny,” had become a GLOCK spokesman, and the event was named The Gunny Challenge. To keep the playing field level, each competitor would use issued box-stock GLOCKs and issued factory ammunition. The Gunny Challenge does not use the standard GSSF course of fire, nor is each competitor running alone against the clock, as in a standard match. In the Gunny Challenge, it’s man-against-man, with the winner as readily apparent as in the Roman Coliseum.