USPSA Area 6 Handgun Championship Gains Wide Industry Support SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. The number of sponsors for the U.S. Practical Shooting Associations (USPSA) first major championship of the year, the Area 6 Handgun Championship sponsored by Glock, has grown to 29 with the addition of five well known names from the firearms industry. When the first shots are fired this Friday morning, April 16, Bar-Sto Precision, PremEAR Hearing Protection, Starline Brass, UniqueTek and Ionbond will be among the corporate sponsors helping to kick off the USPSA championship season. Already 387 shooters have entered the match, setting a new record for the Area 6 Handgun Championship, and with last minute entries, match officials say that number could reach 400. The turn-out for this years Area 6 match is incredible, said Dave Thomas, executive director for USPSA, who will be attending the match. Overall weve seen an 18% growth in USPSA membership during the last 28 months and a 20% increase in Area 6 match competitors over last year. This is very good news for both USPSA and the shooting sports as a whole. Charles Bond, a member of the USPSA Board of Directors and the Area 6 director sees the growth as a reflection of increased industry support. Shooters are seeing familiar names in the firearms industry, some of them the biggest and best known brands in America, supporting recreational shooting, and they are naturally gravitating towards competition to test and refine their skills with firearms. Without that strong partnership between industry and organization where both are working hand-in-hand to grow the shooting sports, I dont think wed see the kind of record numbers in USPSA were seeing now, added Bond. Not only is the firearms industry filling the role of corporate sponsor for shooting matches like the Area 6 Handgun Championship, but many companies are also fielding shooting teams. At this years match factory shooting teams from Glock, Sig Sauer and Smith & Wesson will be on hand as well as shooters affiliated with FNH USA, STI International, Springfield Armory and CZ USA. The growth in shooters competing under a companys banner is being led by the venerable 158-year-old Smith & Wesson which just recently issued an open call to shooters across many disciplines to apply to Team Smith & Wesson for the new shooting season. This clarion call to competitive shooting is paying off as 28 states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, the states that make up the Area 6 region, will be represented at this years championship at the South River Gun Club ranges in Covington, Ga. That call has even extended beyond U.S. borders as Canada, Colombia and Jamaica will have shooters present to help put more than 100,000 rounds down range in the quest for the Production, Limited, Limited-10, Single Stack, Revolver and Open division titles. For more information on the USPSA Area 6 Handgun Championship sponsored by Glock visit www.USPSA6.org. For more information on the sport of Practical Shooting and the U.S. Practical Shooting Association visit www.USPSA.org or call (360) 855-2245.