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The 2023 Bullseye Tournament of Champions Results and Write-up

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The 2023 Bullseye Tournament of Champions Results and Write-up Empty The 2023 Bullseye Tournament of Champions Results and Write-up

Post by H_T_Davis 11/16/2023, 10:48 pm

On the last Monday of October, 2023, a new annual championship match fired its inaugural shots. The Bullseye Tournament of Champions (BToC), sponsored by Pardini USA, offered the top shooters of the year a chance to compete head to head under ideal conditions for a winner-take-all cash prize worthy of their skills. Seven shooters accepted their invitations to test their mettle at the Mid-Carolina Gun Club in Orangeburg, SC. In the end, SSG Chris Hudock of the Army Marksmanship Unit outscored all, winning the inaugural BToC and this year’s $1,000 prize.

The Bullseye Tournament of Champions was envisioned as a way of taking the very best shooters from the top events sanctioned by the CMP and the NRA and pitting them against each other as evenly as possible.  The competition would be elite – a small group of shooters, each capable of firing the winning score.  The competition would be focused - taking place in a single session, with minimal interruptions.  The competition would be exclusive – shooters had to earn an invitation by finishing atop the results of the largest, most prestigious events of the year. And the competition would be rewarding – there would be no entry fees, and the winner would take home $100 for every shooter in the match, with a minimum prize of $1,000.

The competitors consisted of SFC Ryan Franks (AMU), SGT Jason Gregoire (AMU), SSG Chris Hudock (AMU), SFC Josh Kingery (AMU), Adam Kopstein, SFC Greg Markowski (AMU), and Jon Shue. 

At 8:00am, Monday, October 30, 2023 the competitors met to draw for firing points.  After a short practice session, all guns and ammo were impounded for inspection.  Only those guns and that ammo would be allowed in the match.  After a few last minute adjustments to bring a couple of wayward firearms into spec, the shooters took the line.

The .22 match started strongly with 6 of the 7 shooters turning in a score of 190+ for Slow Fire.  Shue led overall with a 198-8x, followed closely by Kingery with a 197-6x.  Hudock came in with a 192, but half of his shots were X’s.

For the National Match Course, Shue stretched his lead with a 297-21, but only minimally, as three others shot 296s.  Gregoire fired a second best 296-20x,  with Hudock and Franks on his heels with 296-16x and 296-15, respectively.

Timed-Fire was really a matter of piling up X’s, as 6 of the 7 fired either 199 or 200.  Markowski fronted the pack with his 200-15x, with 3 others coming in just behind with 200-12x’s.  Rapid-Fire saw Gregoire shine with his 200-14x, with Kingery a half-step back at 200-13x.

After the .22 match, Jon Shue led with an 895-54x, Kingery held second with an 891-45x and Gregoire sat third at 889-53x.  No one cleaned the Short Line, but Gregoire, Hudock and Shue dropped but a single point.  In all, 25 of the 42 Short Line targets were cleaned, and of the remaining 17, 9 scored 99.

The first gun fired and put away, the shooters took a brief break to snack and recoup.  The range was polished, then it was on to Centerfire.

While the competitors roared out of the gates in the .22 match, things started a bit more slowly in Centerfire.  Hudock and Markowski turned in 193s, with Hudock claiming first by the thinnest of margins, 193-7x to 193-6x  Everyone else was in the 187-189 range.

The National Match Course saw Gregoire become the second shooter (Shue), so far, to win a second match,  posting a 297-13x.  Franks, Hudock and Markowski all claimed scores in the 292-295 range.

Timed-Fire again found the shooters piling up the X’s.  Shue fired a 200-15x, being the only competitor to clean both of the targets.  Hudock and Markowski did not let him gain too much ground, firing 199-13x’s and Franks’s 199-10x kept him in the hunt.

Closing out the Centerfire match, Franks took the Rapid-Fire title with a 200-15x, and Hudock placed with his 199-15x.

Adding it all up, Markowski fired the top Centerfire score, with his 885-48x.  Franks and Hudock also were north of the 880 line, with their 881-49x and 883-50x scores.  Overall, 10 of the 42 targets were cleaned, and 17 of the remaining 32 scored 99s.  Markowski was the only shooter to shoot 99+ on every Short Line Target.

With two guns completed, the top of the leaderboard showed Hudock (1771-100x) in first, Markowski (1767-93xx) in second, Franks (1765-91x) holding third and Shue (1764-86x) still in the hunt in fourth.  The shooters took a second break, with a light lunch provided for those who desired.  Refreshed, the competitors rose for the final gun.

Fatigue and the constant pressure of knowing that every single point and X mattered was bound to be taking its toll as the .45 Slow-Fire match commenced.  Markowski continued his hot streak, taking his second match with a 192-7x, with Gregoire just behind with a 191-7x.  Hudock shot a 187-4x, Franks a 189-4x and Shue a 185-7x.  This put Markowski in the lead over Hudock by a single point, 1959-100x to 1958-104x, with 3 matches to go.

The National Match Course is really the whole 900 in microcosm, equaling out specialists in Slow Fire with those in Sustained Fire.  Of course, at this level, the difference between shooters in any of the matches is minimal, but the NMC, with its 3 targets, often sees the match turn.  Likewise, if a shooter wants to put a match away, the NMC might be their last, best chance, and the Slow Fire target of the NMC perhaps the most crucial.

Markowski, known for his stoic consistency, opened with an uncharacteristic 92-2x, while Franks, 5 points back, answered with a blistering 99-4x.  Shue fired a  rock-solid 97-3x, but at 10 points back, the question was whether it was enough.  Hudock paced the crowd, bringing in a 96-1x.

Sustained fire wrapped up the NMC.  Franks faltered a tad on the Rapid-Fire target, but still posted a solid 293-12x.  Markowski resumed his typical relentless scoring, posting 99-4x and 98-3x in sustained, for a 289-9x total, but that 92 might have been too much to overcome.  Shue was determined to be there should events break his way, posting a nearly perfect 100-9x and a 97-7x, for a NMC 294-19x.  Hudock, though, is the one that laid claim to the NMC, and perhaps the Championship.  On the two Short Line targets, he dropped one more point, scoring 100-4x and 99-3x, for a top NMC score of 295-8x.  Five of the 7 shooters posted NMC scores in the 290s as the Championship rolled relentlessly towards its conclusion.

With the Timed-Fire and Rapid-Fire matches yet to shoot, Hudock led the group with a 2253-112x.  Markowski and Franks were second and third, back 5 and six points, respectively, and hanging on by a thread.  They both needed a bunch of cleans and a bunch of help.

With nerves of steel, Hudock met the Timed-Fire Challenge head-on, posting a 200-10.  Franks, who also posted a 200-10x, kept his hopes alive, but was unable to gain any ground.  Markowski fired a 100-5x and a perfect 100-10x, but could only watch as Hudock ground relentlessly onward.

With one match to go, not much had changed, so it all came down to this – if Hudock did not experience any equipment problems, and he could avoid losing more than 4 points in Rapid-Fire, he would take the Championship, regardless of what his competition shot.  For everyone else, it was shoot a clean target and hope for the best.

On Rapid-Fire, Target 1, Hudock was a rock, firing a 100-3x, and closing the door a little more.  Franks outshot him by 4 X’s – but he needed to gain points more than X’s.  Markowski also cleaned his target, firing a 100-6x, and also not really gaining any ground.  So onward they rolled.

It was down to the last target of the last match of the last gun of the First Tournament of Champions.  With all of the great shooting performances turned in by all of the great shooters of 2023, The BToC would shine, truly coming down to the last shot.  Everyone on the line deserved to be there and every one of them was a Champion this year.  But only one can win the Tournament of Champions.

Markowski, back 5 and badly needing a clean, recorded 96-4x, all but eliminating him.  Franks, 6 back, and also needing a clean, came oh so close, turning in a 99-5x.  This left Hudock needing a 94 to take home the title and the money.  And that he did, turning in a 94-3x and a Championship performance.

In the end, it was Greg Markowski in third with a 2644-134x, Ryan Franks taking second with a 2646-130x, and Chris Hudock becoming the first winner of the Bullseye Tournament of Champions with a 2647-128x.  Congratulations to Chris and all of the competitors for a fantastic showing.

Interesting Facts:
·           Jon Shue cleaned Timed-Fire, firing 600-41x across the three guns.  Chris Hudock just missed achieving the same feat, firing a 599-35x.
·           Greg Markowski and Jon Shue were the only two shooters to fire a 10x.
·           Ryan Franks fired 100-8x on all 3 of his first Timed-Fire match targets.
·           Chris Hudock, the overall Champion, did not win any of the 1-gun aggregates.  They were won by Jon Shue (.22, 895-54x), Greg Markowski (CF,885-48x) and Ryan Franks (.45, 881-39x)
·           Markowski won 3 matches, not counting aggregates (.22 TF, .45 SF, .45 TF), as did Shue (.22 SF, .22 NMC, CF TF).  Hudock (CF SF, .45 NMC), Franks
          (CF RF, .45 RF) and Gregoire (.22 RF, CF NMC) each won two matches, not counting aggregates.

The BToC would like to thank the many people that assisted with its creation and presentation. Phil Hemphill, Jim Henderson, Ted Carter, Mary Badiak, John Hollingshead, and others gave crucial advice and guidance in setting up the format of the tournament. Pardini USA’s sponsorship was fundamental to the success of the match and in allowing it to be run as a no-fee invitational. Ted Carter acted as the Chief Range Officer for the match, and John Hollingshead called the line. Sue Carter, Jack Hagan, and Brian Mitchell acted as Line Officers. Karen Davis and Donna Hollingshead kept the snack table filled and fixed the lunch. Donna Hollingshead also acted as the photographer.

The 2024 Bullseye Tournament of Champions is a travelling match, and next year’s venue will be announced shortly after the new year, along with 2024’s Qualifying Matches.  Requests for Information can be sent to HurdisTDavis@gmail.com.
The 2023 Bullseye Tournament of Champions Results and Write-up Attachment
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Last edited by H_T_Davis on 11/17/2023, 1:29 pm; edited 3 times in total


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Post by john bickar 11/16/2023, 11:43 pm

Congrats to Chris Hudock! Good shooting, young man (although neither he nor I are as young as we were when we first met).

I bet that match ran about 1 hour per 900. Shoot your shots, walk downrange and write down 10 numbers, shoot four staples, then back to the firing line.
john bickar
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Post by john bickar 11/17/2023, 12:06 am

I really want to acknowledge the hard work that Tom Davis is doing here to promote Bullseye. I have not had the pleasure of shooting the Orangeburg Regional, nor the Bullseye Tournament of Champions, but between hearing a trusted colleague saying that the Orangeburg Regional is their "favorite match bar none," and Tom saying that they went through "22 pounds of butter, 20 dozen eggs, 30 chickens, and 16 pounds of cheese," that's a pretty high bar to set for myself as a hit-or-miss match director.

Thank you for setting the standard, sir. May we all strive to achieve it.
john bickar
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Post by bruce martindale 11/17/2023, 12:39 pm

This is an awesome read!  Reporting like this would be welcome at other big matches.

bruce martindale

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Post by H_T_Davis 11/18/2023, 5:51 pm

Thank you John for the kind words.  The BToC had one alibi string, and your estimate of an hour per 900 is close.  It was all business from an administrative standpoint; the shooters were focused but loose. It seemed a good environment to me and I haven't yet gotten any suggestions for changes.  I don't know who said the Regional was their favorite match, but I'd be willing to bet that it is one of the many shooters who cover for Karen and me when things start to go sideways.  There are so many shooters from across the country who have taken the position that the SC Regional is THEIR match and it succeeds because they want it to succeed.  And we try not to interrupt our guests while they're having a good time.

And thank you Bruce.  The last step in our matches is always the write-up, which I dread more than any other single thing. I'm glad you liked it.


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