Ever hear of the Second Chance Bowling Pin Shoot? Back in the mid-70s, Richard Davis – the armed citizen who won a three-against-one shootout with armed robbers, and invented the soft, concealable body armor that saved thousands of cops in the decades since – created a competition shooting format in which whoever shot an array of bowling pins off a table fastest, won. It sounded at first like plinking tin cans off the back fence, only with bigger guns and bullets and targets, but it turned out to have great spectator appeal with instant feedback.
The match grew, drawing hundreds of shooters and hundreds of spectators. It encompassed great free food, and a carnival atmosphere in which the midway was all live-fire outdoor shooting galleries with different games for pistol and revolver, rifle, and shotguns loaded with buckshot for pins and slugs for heavy steel knockover plates out to a hundred yards.
I shot that match 23 or 24 years in a row, until Life went on. Richard stopped the match, sold his sponsoring Second Chance Body Armor company, and retired. We gun folk missed that iconic match, where many friendships had been made. I always said that if shooting matches were rock concerts, that one would have been Woodstock. It was A Happening. It was…groovy.
What’s that you say? The ‘70s called and wants its terminology back? Maybe…but the 21st Century called and said it wanted this great old match back, too. Richard’s son Matt Davis carried on the family tradition, creating the Armor Express brand that’s now one of the biggest in the body armor industry, and he and his dad have brought The Pin Shoot back!
It will be in its traditional location, the family vacation land of Central Lake, Michigan, near Traverse City. Awards will be traditional, too: guns, guns, and more guns. Entry fee ain’t cheap, but the prize table is good, and deep. For info on what is now known simply as The Pin Shoot. Dates are June 9-16, 2017. You don’t have to be there the whole time to shoot, and win.
For us old gunnies here (Randy and Ken, you listening?) it’ll be like a high school reunion with guns. I’ve rearranged my schedule to be there. Hope to see some of you there, too.