For the 19th time, competitive shooting superstar Doug Koenig, a former Alburtis resident now living in Hamburg, Pa, has won the prestigious and competitive Bianchi Cup National Action Pistol Championship held May 24–28 at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club in Hallsville, Mo. After firing all four events, Koenig ended the match with a score of 1920-182X.
This is the 19th Bianchi Cup Championship victory for Koenig, which is the most of any competitor in the history of the match.
"I just finished the 42nd Bianchi Cup and proud to have won my 19th Cup. Congrats to all the winners for a great match in some tough conditions. Thank you as well to Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club for running a great championship and to all the match sponsors. I’d also like to thank my sponsors Ruger and Hornady for their support. I could not do what I do without them."
Bruce Piatt, the 2019 Bianchi Cup Champion, also finished this year's match with a perfect 1920 score, but he was down from Koenig in the X-count, and finished second.
Becky Yackley won the 2021 Bianchi Women's Cup with a final score of 1908-139X. Her score placed her 13th among all the competitors. In addition, her son Andrew Yackley secured the Bianchi Cup Junior Championship with a score of 1882-134X.
The Bianchi Cup is a championship match for the shooting sport now known as NRA Action Pistol. Action Pistol encompasses a number of set stages that are somewhat confusingly called “matches” or “events”, with the aggregate score of several being combined into one “course of fire” to determine winners and placement. Classically, the Bianchi Cup events are the Falling Plates, the Moving Target, the Barricade, and the Practical.
One of the defining features of Action Pistol is that each event is shot on a par time. Instead of scoring based on how fast competitors can shoot the required targets or number of rounds, competitors have limited time, counted in seconds, and limited number of rounds to shoot the best score possible. With most events being composed of strings of six rounds or less, revolvers have a special home in Action Pistol where they can compete on equal ground with semi-automatic pistols.
Except for the Falling Plates, Action Pistol events are shot on cardboard “tombstone” targets. The best Action Pistol shooters are able to shoot the 8-inch circle of the 10-ring and the black 4-inch X-ring inside of it consistently at distances out to 50 yards and under time pressure. Bianchi Cup champions in the open division, using optical sights, regularly score a perfect 1920 points, though the perfect 192x to go with it has been elusive.
As for Koenig’s experience, it spans nearly three decades of professional shooting. He attributes his success by incorporating a strong work ethic into his practice sessions mostly at Topton Fish & Game Association’s ranges where he does the majority of his practicing.
Koenig was born and raised in Pennsylvania and began shooting competitively at the age of 17 winning both regional and national competitions. In 1990, Doug turned pro as a competitive shooter. Since that day, his list of accomplishments and championship wins continues and may never be surpassed. He holds more than 70 National and 10 World titles including an unprecedented 19 times as a Bianchi Cup Champ. He’s also a lifelong hunter and hosts his own TV Show, “Doug Koenig’s Championship Season” on a cable channel.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.