ZSA July Thoughts from the Range

John and Ken

From the President of ZSA

Let me start by apologizing for not doing this sooner and more often. My social media adviser, Mr. Martin Brossman, who is about the best in his field, has been on me to do this on a regular basis, so I am starting NOW.

It’s been a long time since our first ZSA match back on 26 JAN 2011, and we’ve come a long way. Since that time we’ve hosted almost 500 matches around the Country and had just over 10,000 shooters, not too bad for what some called a “joke”. Those that have shot our matches, know that we have a special type of match that is set up so that a first time shooter can SAFELY have a ton of FUN while getting his/her feet wet in competitive shooting, and some of the top shooters in the world (USPSA, 3 Gunners, IDPA) have shot with us and the common reply from all of them is “John, that was a blast,,, can’t remember the last time I had so much fun shooting,,,, your people are some of the best and nicest I’ve met on any range”. I concur, our ZSA matches ARE FUN, and the people that support us are some of the finest people you will ever meet, to each and every one of you, my gratitude cannot be expressed in words.

The RO’s and regular shooters at ZSA matches are really the heart of what we do. There are no egos, no hard core competition (yes Ken kicked my butt with a revolver, and he was competing HARD, but that was a different sport, congrats Brother, well done). Everyone at our matches is there to have FUN while being SAFE and helping out the newer shooter, while improving their own skills.

ZSA was started as a business, with the goal of any business to make a profit. Has ZSA succeeded in that??? perhaps, we do get our bills paid and we do make a few $$ on most matches. But my definition of TRUE success, is doing what is right, having fun and providing a product to the consumer that they enjoy and value. I feel we have done that and are very successful. Every time someone shakes my hand after a match and thanks me and our staff for a great time, that IS SUCCESS!! Not measured on a balance sheet in red/black ink, but by smiles on faces.

We are always seeking input from our shooters to improve what we do, and will always listen to you. There are many new things in store the rest of 2016. Our new “Centurion” series is proving to be a hit, we have the 2016 ZSA NC State match coming up in September, we just finished the 2016 ZSA “Gauntlet” match, and we have added 2 more ranges just last month. Plans are in place to expand into Virginia very soon, and also maybe way up North in Massachusetts. Details as they become available.

In closing, thanks to everyone, and looking forward to many more great days on the ranges with some fine people, John Z.

From the desk of the VP

So about half the year is over already, but there is still a lot more stuff coming up for ZSA in 2016.

We have started the new ZSA Centurion, those who may not know, you confront 100, yes 100, steal 6”x6” plates and you have 200 seconds (little over 3 min) to get as far as you can. Doesn’t sound to bad right, well I can tell you, standing in front of 100 plates is a little intimidating, and after about 30-40 rounds everything starts to get heavy, and your muscles start getting weak and you wonder why you did this in the first place, then you hear one of the range officers yell out “BREATH” and you do a reload, take a big breath and keep going. One you are done it is a great accomplishment, even if you don’t get them all, it is really not about that, it is about the comradery of your fellow shooters, the help if you don’t have enough mags and we all pitch in to pick up and reload your mags, and mostly it is about you. Most people who come out and shoot ZSA will come to the realization that it is not about the match, it is about the shooters. One of the big things we want is for everyone to learn something every time you come out. It is about everyone getting better and learning, sometimes you learn it on your own, other times we will bring you aside to show you a technique you may not have thought about.

Well we all have to progress, and ZSA is no differant. With the 2016 ZSA NC State match coming up fast (will be the first Saturday in September, more to come on that) we are coming going to start embracing technology, that is right starting the next ZSA pistol match in Oxford, we will be using tablets and Practiscore. I have 5 on order today, and by the State match we will have more. So we will be posting the sign up link on the Facebook page, even though we will be preferring you sign up online and pick your squads, we will take walk ups as well.

One other thing I would like to bring up is Range Safety. I know this is not something we want to talk about or even think that any of us are unsafe, but you have to remember that we all do this all the time between dry fire at home, live fire practice, and shooting match we are around and handling firearms all the time, and with that familiarization can come complacency. Some time we may do something out of habit and not mean to be unsafe. Now, first thing is first, shooting sports is about the safest sports you can do, with everyone out there on their toes watching out even if you have a moment of not thinking, someone is there to make sure you are safe.  Some of this can include handling firearms behind the line, moving long guns around while people are down range pasting targets. So that brings me to my next discussion, Range Etiquette. These are mainly a set of general rules when you come out to the range to shoot or to participate in a match.

1, Cold Range. Some ranges may have special rules, but the general rule and the rule at any match specifically ZSA matches we operate a Cold Range, meaning your firearm is unloaded at all times unless you are the shooter on the stage, and only then is when you are instructed by the RO to load.

2, Never handle your firearm, The only place you can handle your gun is at a safe area or if you are the shooter on the stage. If you don’t know where the safe areas are, please ask a range official

3, Do not handle other people’s guns without asking, this is more of a courteous to other shooter. A lot of us have spent a lot of dollars and time on our guns, and we will never say no if you ask to look at something, but if people come up and start moving something or messing with your scope setting it is not very good.

4, Getting in the way of the on deck shooter, Now this is one that is personal to me, and I know people do not mean to get in the way, but we all need to be mindful of or surroundings and what is going on. I will give you your space during the walk through, but if I am up next and I am trying to get my stage plan together, please do not walk in front of me, or hang out on the stage, or start talking while I am trying to get in the zone. I do not mean to be mean about it, but we all want to do our best and we all have our own ways of doing that. I will be more than happy to help you figure out your game plan, or talk about my rifle or pistol, once I am finished with my turn on the stage.

Those are just a few for now. I am sure I am missing some, but I do not want to make this too long. Basically use common sense while on the range, we are all there to have a good time and be safe.

So in closing, I want to thank all those who come out and shoot our matches, and to the ROs who help run squads. We all do this for the love of the sport and to help the next person to get better.

So until next month I will see you out at the range, Ken K


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