Spc. Aaron Eddins won the U.S. Practical Shooting Association’s 2023 Area 5 Championships in Brooklyn, Michigan June 1-4.
The 15-stage, national pistol competition included more than 220 marksmen from around the Nation. Eddins, a Wilkesboro, North Carolina native, secured the Open Division win with 1685.5440 points and 186.12 seconds, which was 13.56 seconds less and 85 points more than the second place competitor.
Seizing a clear win was just what the marksmanship instructor/competitive shooter with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Action Shooting Team said he needed in his second year at the match.
“Area 5 was a challenging match last year, which I really enjoyed. I lost the match by nine points last year, so I really wanted to get some revenge this time.”
To seize a win against the talented marksmanship competitors, the young Soldier knew he had to change some things up.
“I tried something a little different, which was to treat each stage as it’s own match and win each of them. I was up pretty big after day one and just tried to cruise on the second day, and it ended up working out pretty well.”
The strategy worked well indeed as Eddins placed in the top four of 13 out of the 15 stages, including winning five of the those stages.
Of course, no matter how well you perform at at match, there is always room for improvement. Eddins explained to Bullets N Bourbon Podcast that when he makes a mistake at a match, he intentionally goes out of his way to learn something from that situation.
“Immediately, the next time you get your next practice session, replicate that and do it so many times that you physically cannot do it wrong.”
And that’s the key to practice. It’s more than just dumping rounds down range. It’s about learning how to practice that you become a better shooter, said Eddins.