Recently we were able to interview Nate Gibson, the winner of the 2019 Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association Championships. Sixteen year-old Nate lives in Dysart, Iowa.
When did you become interested in competitive shooting?
I was 11 years old when I first became interested in competitive shooting but started shooting when I was about 6 years old.
Were your parents involved in any aspect of shooting? Hunting, competition, etc.?
No, my mom and step dad were not involved in competitive shooting prior to me getting started but we all love anything outdoors and shoot for fun. My step dad got me into bow hunting and I got my first button buck with my Mathews bow when I was 11 years old. We all enjoy bass fishing and have gone on several fishing vacations over the years.
Did you have a coach or mentor early on? If so, do you still work with them or another individual?
My coaches/mentors are close family and friends. I had the opportunity to help coach/train youth shooters at the 2018 Tandemkross Rimfire Challenge Experience with Dwight Stearns and Mike Benda! It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun!
Was Rimfire your first competitive endeavor?
Yes, I first started shooting rimfire in the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP), which I still currently compete in today.
What attracted you to Rimfire?
My friend I met in SASP invited me to come shoot a NSSF Rimfire match so I went and had a blast. What I liked most about Rimfire matches was that the stages were different and no match was the same.
Do you compete in other disciplines?
Yes, I also shoot USPSA Steel Challenge and SASP.
How often do you practice and what is your regular routine?
When there’s no match coming in the near future I practice three times a week, but if there’s a match coming up I practice everyday the two weeks before. I shoot anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours a day. I practice first shot and then I set up stages to work on speed and transitions.
How many Rimfire Challenge matches do you shoot each year?
I try to shoot about 6-8 RCSA matches a year. 2020 was an unusual shooting season and I only attended the Iowa and Wisconsin RCSA Championship matches.
What would you say to someone that is thinking about trying Rimfire Challenge?
It’s a lot of fun, a very family friendly environment, and it makes you better for every other type of shooting discipline because you never know what the stages are going to look like so you can’t go off muscle memory.
What firearms do you use for Rimfire Challenge competitions?
I shoot all Volquartsen Custom rifles and pistols. My open rifle is the Volquartsen Custom ultralight with a Vortex Razor optic site. For my limited rifle I shoot a Volquartsen Custom lightweight rifle with ghost sights. For my open pistol I shoot a Volquartsen Custom FTV Scorpion with a 6 inch barrel and a Vortex Venom for my optic site. For my limited pistol I shoot a Volquartsen Custom Scorpion with a 6 inch barrel and the Volquartsen limited sights. All of my rimfire guns have Hogue grips and both of my pistols have SJC custom magwells.
|Do you have a preferred ammunition?
Yes, my preferred ammunition is Federal American Eagle Suppressor.
Do you have sponsors? If so, who are they?
Yes I do have sponsors and they are Volquartsen Custom, Vortex Optics, Hunters HD Gold, MD Ammunitons, Revo-Gear, SJC Customs, Competitor Target Stands, Striplin Custom Gunworks, MCF Customs, Lead Star Arms, ZClear, Grizzley Ears and Hatch Grading and Contracting.
What is the secret to your success?
My secret is having fun, practicing a lot, and focused determination.
What are your long-term goals as a competitive shooter?
My long-term goals as a shooter is to hopefully become a pro and train others.
What are your interests outside of shooting?
Outside of shooting I like to ride ATV’s, dirt bikes, hang out with friends, work out, build my dream truck, hunt, fish, and hang out with family.
Anything else you would like to tell viewer/reader about yourself and/or Rimfire Challenge?
If you like or have interest in shooting I would definitely give RCSA a try! It is so much fun and you will meet so many great people! The shooting community is unlike anything else and everyone is so willing to help. Check out the RCSA website to help get you started.