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Fast, Accurate and Fun: Fairbanks Alaska Shooters

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:35 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Shooting sports are among the oldest and most successful sports in Alaska. The state has seen multiple shooters go as far as the Olympics and the University of Alaska Fairbanks has won 10 national championships, the second most all-time.

The Fairbanks Alaska Shooters, or FAS, is a local shooting club that is affiliated with United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). The non-profit group focuses on shooting fast and shooting accurately. The club takes part in matches run through the USPSA system, which is the governing body for practical shooting and the matches held by FAS and is recognized by the International Practical Shooting Confederation.

FAS is a very active club with regular matches happening almost every Tuesday and two Sunday’s a month. In the summer, most of these matches take place outdoors where the courses and shooting is more technical and requires more movement. In the winter, when it isn’t safe or practical to shoot outdoors, the club has matches at the Tanana Valley Sportsmen’s Association indoor range.

Much like Biathlon, the goal of the game is to shoot as fast and accurate as possible and the scores are a combination of the time it took to shoot and the placement of the shots on the target(s).

The sport hosts multiple categories based on the caliber of the ammunition and the style of firearm. Participants can choose between pistols or carbines chambered for 9 millimeter, .40 Smith and Wesson or .45 ACP.

There are endless drills and courses that can be run for matches and anyone who can handle a firearm is welcome. The club has members running from early teens to seniors and people of all experience levels. They even run hold introductory events a few times a year.

Vice President of FAS Keith Barrian stressed that the shooting they do is not tactical shooting, but it is challenging and involves shooting from various positions including from behind barriers. Barrian referred to the drills as, “situations where you wouldn’t expect to shoot a gun” and that “it’s never boring”.

The goal at the end of the day is to make each participant a better shooter while having fun and always being safe as is the number one priority in any shooting sport.

For those who are interested in joining, the club can be reached on Facebook at Fairbanks Alaska Shooters or at FairbanksAlaskaShooters.com

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