On Sept 21-22, 2019, many of the key figures in the early days of Practical Shooting reunited for a weekend of shooting and socializing. The event was hosted by Bill and Joyce Wilson at the Circle WC Ranch.
Almost everyone there had started competing in Practical Shooting matches prior to 1985, and most were at the Columbia Conference in 1976 when the International Practical Shooting Confederation began.
- Bill Wilson (designer, innovator, shooter, hunter, founder of Wilson Combat & IDPA)
- Joyce Wilson (executive director of IDPA)
- Bill Rogers (Rogers Shooting School, creator of the kydex holster and dozens of other innovative products)
- Ken Hackathorn (trainer and IDPA founder)
- John Sayle (IDPA founder)
- Massad Ayoob (trainer & gunwriter)
- Gail Ayoob (gunwriter, blogger, podcaster, photographer)
- Michael Bane (shooter, TV producer, podcaster, journalist)
- Jim McClary (trainer, law enforcement officer)
- Jeff Wassom (gunsmith & Steel Challenge shooter)
- Rob Leatham (“The Great One”)
- Jim Wall & Nick Harvey (from the Milt Sparks holster company)
- Bob Arganbright (fast draw & holster expert, gun writer)
- Dan & Mary Predovich (trainer)
- Tommy Campbell (former S&W team shooter, Safariland)
- Dave Westerhout (1977 World Shoot champion who came all the way from Zimbabwe to attend, also competed in 1976 (hurdles) and 1980 (pistol) Olympics)
- Greg Moats (gunwriter and original IPSC section coordinator)
- Karl Rehn (shooter, blogger, author, trainer)
I was invited because of my work archiving and documenting the history of handgun training, and the attendees graciously tolerated all my questions throughout the weekend as I took pictures of all the photos and documents and vintage gear they had brought. The event included a 200 round match consisting of pre 1985 “classic” stages, a tour of the Circle WC ranch and facilities (including Bill’s gun room), lunch & dinner each day, and lots of time to visit.
The event was documented by Michael Bane and his crew from Shooting Gallery (for a future episode of that show), the Wilson Combat youTube channel photo/video team (for online content for Wilson Combat social media), Massad & Gail Ayoob (for a print article), and me (for my upcoming book and this blog).
Over the next week or two I will share more about the event as I sift through notes & photos and follow up with some of the attendees to make sure I got all the details right.