Spc. Aaron Eddins was named the Dragon’s Cup 3.0 Open Division Champion at the U.S. Practical Shooting Association Pistol Match in Odessa, Texas April 20-23.
The U.S. Army Soldier claimed the Open Division win with a score of 1636.1499 points and a time of 242.63 seconds, which beat second place by 41.696 points and 8.62 seconds.
The 14-stage pistol match had more than 450 competitors from around the United States quickly engage an array of challenging targets with a minimum of 348 rounds.
Eddins, a marksmanship instructor/competitive shooter with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Moore, Georgia, navigated the 14 stages of the big match efficiently, earning three stage wins over the other 129 other Open Division competitors.
Even though this was only the third year for Dragon’s Cup, it has become a key match for the USAMU Action Shooting Team, said Staff Sgt. Jacob Hetherington, a Prescott, Arizona native who placed 3rd in the Carry Optics Division over 215 other division competitors.
“This match is the largest besides Nationals, and hosts the highest number of professional shooters.”
Eddins did not compete at the first year of Dragon’s Cup in 2021 due to Army training. However, in 2022, the new Soldier claimed second place. As the reputation of the match grew, Eddins said that Dragon’s Cup became THE match to win.
“For the past three years, competitors have said this was the hardest and most fun match of the year, and I’d have to agree,” said the Wilkesboro, North Carolina native.
Of course, hard may be a relative term to the USAMU Action Shooting Team members since we are always practicing extreme scenarios, explained Eddins.
Extreme training paid off as the Dragon’s Cup results proved to be a great way to gauge the teams’ strengths and weaknesses before Nationals.
USAMU teammate, Sgt. 1st Class John Browning who hails from Jackson, Georgia, also preformed excellently, claiming 2nd in the Limited Division. And all three Action Shooting Soldiers (Eddins, Heatherington and Browning) claimed High Military in their respective divisions.
And now that Eddins claimed his first Dragon’s Cup win, he said this will continue to be a ‘go-to' match for him.
“This is one match I plan to shoot for many years to come.”