Tuesday, February 26, 2013

David Hill Interview

     David Hill recently finished 13th in the 3 Gun Nation Pro Series qualifier in Florida.  David Hill is a law enforcement officer in the Kansas City Metro area who has been steadily improving the last several years in 3 Gun competition.  In 2012, Mr. Hill had a 22nd place finish at the CMMG Midwest 3 Gun Championship followed by a 9th place finish at the Ozark 3 Gun Championship.  The steady improvement has made some people take notice, mainly Burris Optics, as he is now proudly wearing their jersey.
     You may have already read the interview on 3 Gun Nation.com but, I recently had a chance to catch up with David and ask him a few questions in regards to his competitive shooting.  The question and answer session is below:

Photos by: Aegis Atlanta courtesy of 3 Gun Nation

DJ: How did you get into 3-gun?

Hill: I shot my first local match in December 2009 at CMMG’s range in Fayette, Mo. There was a mixture of rain, sleet and snow, and I was soaked and freezing by the end of the day, but I had so much fun I was instantly hooked. Since then I’ve tried to shoot at least one day a week and sometimes as many as three or four days a week, not including dry fire of course.

DJ: What firearms do you use in 3-gun?

Hill: I built my own rifle using an 18-inch Nordic barrel, SJC Titan comp, and an AP Customs carbon-fiber handgaurd. The trigger is Chip McCormick. My shotgun is a Remington Versamax, and my pistol is an STI Edge in .40.

DJ: Which one is your favorite and why?

Hill: That’s like asking which of your children you love the most! I love them all equally.

DJ: Is there a firearm you would like to try?

Hill: It took me over two years to really nail down which guns I was the happiest with. I think it is constantly evolving, but I am very happy with what I have now, and that allows me to be very familiar with my guns and I can focus on improving my shooting instead of tweaking my gear.

DJ: Of the three firearms, which one do you think you are the strongest in? Weakest?

Hill: It depends on the match really. I know my zero’s very well, so long range usually goes pretty good for me as well as hosing targets with the rifle. I’ve spent a lot of time knowing my slug zeros, so that is a strength with the shotgun. Pistol is probably the weakest, I am not a Grand Master USPSA shooter like some of the other pros. It’s the hardest gun to master, and it takes the lion’s share of my practice time. BUT, I can be extremely accurate on small targets at longer ranges and that is definitely an advantage. I regularly shoot at 50-100 yards at steel.

DJ: What are your goals for this season?

Hill: I want to make the top 30 in the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series and get that invite to Vegas baby! The top 30 will engage in a head-to-head bracketed shoot-off where the finalist will go home with $50,000.

DJ: Who is your favorite Big Name shooter?

Hill: Kurt Miller. The guy is a fantastic ambassador for our sport. He is approachable, friendly, and very experienced. I was having some problems with factory ammo blowing primers and locking up my trigger group at the Midwest 3-Gun match in 2011. Kurt gave me enough of his ammo to get me through the last stage. That’s not to say that Kurt is the only one that would have. I’m constantly amazed at how generous, trusting, and courteous 3-gun shooters are to each other.

DJ: What do you think of the format changes of 3-gun in the Pro Series?

Hill: Let’s face it, the series is made for TV. Nobody wants to see someone standing still or laying down shooting at targets they can’t fit on the TV screen. People want to see guns blazing, dirt flying and shooters gasping for breath when they’re done. That’s so much more fun anyway!

DJ: What do you do for a living? Do you think others in your line of work should participate in this sport?

Hill: I’ve been a Police Officer for 16 years. There is no doubt that shooting competitively has increased my skill level exponentially. I introduced a friend to the sport a couple years ago. He was amazed at how much better of a shooter he had become. It saved his life last summer when he was on the perimeter of a barricaded subject armed with numerous weapons. The guy came out and pointed a long gun at him and he said it was just instinctual how fast he was able to engage him with his rifle and end the situation. It’s easy to get a cop to a competition, the hard part is getting him to come back. That’s because 3-Gun is so much more dynamic than qualifying on a piece of paper that requires no movement on the shooter’s part. The fact is most cops are not hard core gun people. It’s a sad truth that most of them do not train enough on a skill that might save their life one day.


DJ: Any tips for improving?

Hill: Shoot matches. As many as you can afford to shoot. Nothing beats experience and nothing will simulate the stress of a real match as much as a club-level match will.

DJ: What has helped you the most?

Hill: I saw my biggest improvements while training for and shooting single-gun matches for rifle and shotgun. Something about focusing all of my attention on one gun for a couple months really brought me into another level.

DJ: What would you say to someone who is thinking about shooting 3-gun, but just hasn’t been to the range to check it out?

Hill: Everyone has fired their first shot in competition. Just jump in and do it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find how accommodating and helpful other shooters will be.

DJ: What do you think could be done to get more people into the sport?

Hill: Local clubs should advertise and hold novice-friendly events to encourage new shooters to participate.

DJ: You are wearing a Burris jersey, I assume you like their products? Which of their optics do you use?

Hill: I love the 1-4 MTAC. I don’t think you’ll find a better scope for twice what it costs. About $400. The clarity, huge field of view, and reticle all come together to make this the perfect 3-gun scope. I’ve shot targets from 3 yards to over 500 yards. The ballistic drop reticle almost makes it feel like I’m cheating.

No comments:

Post a Comment