Campus Recreation Hosts Top Shot Competition For Students

The Liberty Mountain Gun Club hosted the Top Shot Competition on April 1-3 for students, faculty and staff to test their marksmanship skills with rifles, pistols, shotguns, and bows and arrows. 

The Gun Club located just past Hydaway Outdoor Center has four ranges for training and hosting competitions: rifle, pistol, shotgun and archery. Over the span of three days, competitors rotated through each range. 

The man and woman competitors with the best target accuracy throughout the competition win. This semester, the prizes for the winners included eye protection lenses, electronic ear protection, an NRA duffle bag, an ammo box and other items. 

On Saturday, a few girls safely cheered on their friend JJ Lopez as she shot a rifle for the first time. After the bang of the gun and the distant clang of the bullet hitting a target, the girls shouted with joy for their friend’s successful aim. One of the girls watching senior Lopez was eager to try out the Gun Club and participate in the competition. 

“I was like, ‘Let’s empower some women. Let’s go shoot some guns,’” Lopez said. “It’s incredibly empowering to know how to operate a weapon like that. I never feel embarrassed either. The instructors are really patient and helpful.” 

Employee of the Gun Club Jacob Kline said the competition brought both beginners and experts. 

“The competition is open to anyone and everyone,” Kline said. “We have seen people who have never touched a gun and people who are nationally ranked.” 

In addition to hosting competitions like Top Shot and having open gun ranges, the Gun Club also holds free elective classes for two credit hours each. The classes are for all students regardless of the amount of experience they might have. 

While the cost of tuition covers students’ courses, shooting at the ranges requires an out-of-pocket cost. 

For one student to spend an hour on the pistol or rifle range, with eye and ear protection, it costs around $18. The shotgun range prices are anywhere from $14 to $20, but the archery range is a flat rate of $5 per person.

Range Safety Officer Daniel Hughes encouraged students to come to the Gun Club because of its reasonable prices. 

“I think it’s a good value for what you’re getting, nowadays,” Hughes said. “With shooting sports, prices fluctuate much easier than other hobbies. We keep our costs pretty low. It’s a good way to introduce it to people who have never experienced firearms or shooting sports for the first time.” 

For more information on the Liberty Mountain Gun Club’s pricing, competitions, hours and more, visit

Napier is a news reporter. Follow her on Twitter

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