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pics from the first Bianchi Cup

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The first Bianchi Cup (1979) was held before the range was really ready. The wall separating the moving target range from the falling plate range was new as were the walls concealing the beginning and ending locations of the mover. None of them were painted, nor were the newly erected barricades on the barricade stage. The location of the barricade stage and practical stage had recently been bulldozed flat and gravel had not been laid. It had rain prior to the shoot and those two ranges were a mess!


Here's the Practical Range--berm was new and wide enough for 2 shooters---almost had to wade to the shooting postions.


The first morning of the match, things were delayed while work was completed on the mover. Somewhere I had a pic of Leonard Knight up on one of the end barricades with a wrench, helping Ray tighten the guide wire. Some of us wheeled wheelbarrows of mulch onto the practical and barricade stages to help soak up the water and give the shooters something to stand on other than mud.

The first morning, the barricade stage got started first. Heres the first relay. Unfortunately you cant see the shooter in the box on the right---its Kirk Kirkham who was the first U.S. IPSC champion in 1977. Im in the box on the leftwe got to shoot the first rounds of the first stage of the first Bianchi Cup (actually Kirk fired the first round, beating me to the draw quite easily).


Here's a pic of the range looking toward the Barricade stage from door to the office. These guys are standing at the back of the Mover range.


Edited by Early IPSC'er
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The first Bianchi Cup Champion Ron Lerch at the banquet:


It looks like Sonny Bono was there, but that's Bill Wilson--he came in 9th IIRC


At the head table-John Bianchi, Bill McMillan (guest of honor and speaker) and Dick Thomas. For some of you newer guys, you've possibly never heard of Dick Thomas. He was a lawyer there in Columbia, MO that did alot of work for a young up-and-coming dept. store called WalMart. Jeff Cooper credits Thomas with being the impetus for conceiving and organizing the original Columbia conference in 1976 which gave birth to IPSC. He's why it was held in Columbia. He's also the reason that there was a Chapman Academy. He and his buddy Raul Walters convinced Ray to move to Columbia when he retired in California and start the Chapman Academy. The three of them were partners initially although the partnership didn't last too long IIRC. I guess you could say that if there hadn't been a Chapman Academy, there wouldn't have been a Bianchi Cup, so w/o Thomas, it may have never happened---same with IPSC to a lesser degree.


I'll get more shooting pics later.

Edited by Early IPSC'er
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In the first couple of years, the plates were not attached to the bar. When struck, they fell off of the support onto the ground or back into the hill side. That made the first year particularly muddy---here you can see one in the mud on the bank and another about to fall off of the support:


This gives you an idea of conditions on the Mover Range:


John Bianchi made an appearance at the range and even did alittle shooting:


The final outcome of the 1st Bianchi Cup:


Since you probably can't read that too easily, here are the results so that you can compare them to today's scores:

1. Ron Lerch 1816-62

2. Mickey Fowler 1799-71

3. Michael Murray 1795-46

4. David Bates 1792-57

5. Tom Campbell 1785-58

6. Jerry Usher 1784-52

7. Addison Clark 1767-45

8. Steve Hamilton 1755-60

9. Bill Wilson 1741-55

10. Jim Scordato 1739-44

11. William Norton 1727-49

12. Jim Baynes 1725-50

13. Kirk Kirkham 1714-43

14. Massad Ayoob 1703-36

15. Jim Cirillo 1686-86

16. John Shaw 1682-55

17. Ralph Pendleton 1674-40

18. Al Burnett 1672-60

19. Leonard Knight 1664-45

20. Arthur Melanson 1661-38

21. James Lenardson 1658-44

22. John Robbins 1640-43

23. Dick Crawford 1633-50

24. Lloyd Harper 1624-37

25. Ed Self 1618-38

26. Rick Miller 1616-35

27. Richard Watson 1615-45

28. Frank Coffey 1614-44

29. Archie Kirchner 1606-40

30. Buck Toddy 1598-37

31. Ken Hackathorn 1591-52

32. Art Jeffries 1546-42

33. Jim Joy 1541-38

34. Gasper DeFino 1539-42

35. Keith McClanahan 1533-49

36. Larry Gray 1530-27

37. Bob Crovatto 1529-21

38. Frank Triplett Jr. 1528-39

39. Roy Giles 1524-36

40. Mike Carmean 1513-42

41. Darrell Early 1510-41

42. Greg Moats 1508-36

43. Charles Grabbatin 1491-31

44. Robert Aldridge 1490-30

45. Lynn Schoening 1487-36

46. Wayne Freer 1486-34

47. Seth Nadel 1481-29

48. Lewis Sharp 1471-40

49. Mike Plaxco 1471-28

50. Roger Harrison 1470-30

51. John Robbins, Jr. 1448-29

52. Ed Martinez 1440-24

53. Dale Puckett 1430-31

54. Joseph Pascarrella 1420-23

55. Norvell Zeiger 1409-21

56. Michael Vogel 1406-28

57. Bill French 1404-33

58. Richard Archibald 1401-28

59. Victor Fields 1399-29

60. Sammy Puentes 1399-27

61. Joe Simcho 1398-26

62. Daniel Buchanan 1377-29

63. Dick Thomas 1365-26

64. Rick Phillips 1334-19

65. Richard Marx 1330-18

66. Bud Watson 1315-17

67. Robert Spring 1303-23

68. Brian Torgeson 1302-15

69. Harry Osborn 1292-28

70. Frank Behlert 1288-25

71. Royce Mullens 1274-14

72. Frank Murphy 1265-34

73. Werner Weissenhoffer 1261-12

74. Rick Remelen 1258-15

75. Eugene Carkoski 1256-27

76. Fred Nagel 1253-15

77. Wayne Harrison 1250-17

78. Guy Neill 1235-22

79. Bill Weatherman 1230-17

80. John Nowlin 1223-15

81. Raymond Treve 1210-26

82. Charles Funk 1203-15

83. Irv Stone 1188-20

84. Bill Tinsley 1188-19

85. William Palermo 1177-11

86. Tim Oliver 1175-14

87. Harper Creigh 1171-17

88. Walt Serth 1168-13

89. Thomas Dowd 1157-18

90. Jerome Duran 1151-22

91. Chuck Wilson 1034-13

92. Theodore Hunt 1027-10

93. Scott Heter 1009-16

94. Russell Rebouche 980-11

95. Peter Winnie 963-12

96. Art Benjamin 897-14

97. Bob Arganbright 861-13

98. John Nicolson 849-10

99. Heidi Lippmeir 823-8

100. Don Tobin 773-10

101. William Harton 713-10

102. Jim Woods 689-6

103. John Lightfoot 654-4

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Very cool, thanks!

The scores look alot lower than the typical perfect scores of 1920 we sometimes see today, with 1816 being the highest score back then. Did they have less events, or was there another reason?

Same events, less sophisticated equipment. This was the first time these events were shot---they weren't "grooved" in like they are now. A few people actually just showed up and shot w/o having practiced any of these events--at most, the course was sent out just a couple of months in advance---also a large % of the competitors were IPSC guys that shot primarily Comstock Count events so were use to giving up points for time. The targets were standard IPSC silhouettes (not the current tombstone) with modified scoring rings, so we IPSC guys were at home blazing away quicker than we needed to and dropping points for no gain in time. Timed events were an anomoly for most IPSC events except for standard exercises in those days.

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  • 4 months later...

Thanks for posting. It is very interesting as in 1979 I was still in high school and new very little about This type of shooting. Back then I worked in a restaraunt part time in Tucson Az and one of the owners always carried a single stack .45. He talked all the time about the shooting competitions he was involved with. His name was Jim Scordato, of a restaraunt called "Scordatos". Jim Scordato was listed at 10th place above. I bet it is the same guy I worked for.

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  • 1 year later...
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  • 10 years later...

Jim was a great shooter, and wonderful guy.  Shot with him at Kinney Road Range in Tucson and Pima Pistol Club in Catalina for many years.  Haven't seen him and Roberta in many years.  Last I heard of him, he was participating in SASS shooting, but that was quite a while back.

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What a wonderful walk through the past.  Great to see the old names and the great shooters.


Kirk Kirkham was a legend and I was happy to have known him.  Bob Weatherford, another Arizona did well too.  


It's always great to see the memories of our past.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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