Romero Upsets Butler, Wins $5,000 in 3GN Shoot-off
See Below for a Variety of images from the FNH 3-Gun Event.
FAYETTE, Mo. -- Team Noveske’s Robert Romero upset defending shoot-off winner Taran Butler to gain his first victory on the FNH USA 3-Gun Nation Tour, Presented by SureFire, and take home $5,000, courtesy of FN, following the FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships here May 23.
Romero had a tough road to the finals, drawing veteran 3-gunner Kurt Miller in the first round before taking out Glenn Shelby in the semi-finals. Then Romero gained a measure of payback in the finals, defeating the vaunted Butler, the very competitor who handed Romero a first-round exit during the Blue Ridge Mountain shoot-off in April.
“The reason I got into this sport, I was watching (professional shooters) on TV one night, and I said ‘I got to try it,’” Romero said. “I’ve always been to into guns, and I never had a sport that I could actually come out and try. Seeing those guys on TV, Taran and Kurt, and Miculek, that was the real appeal. Being able to rub shoulders with them on these big stages; to me it’s a big accomplishment for them to even know who I am.”
Butler, shooting in his third 3GN shoot-off, though coming up short in the finals, remained the hottest shooter in the sport with another Tactical Optics division victory in the FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships. That gives him successive wins at every major match he’s entered this season, with division titles at Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun, Larue Tactical and the FN match, along with a 3GN shoot-off victory at Blue Ridge in April.
Butler’s route to the finals included a much-anticipated first round match-up against Smith & Wesson’s legendary Jerry Miculek, who won the Open division. To the delight of the crowd, the two titans of practical shooting were even coming out of the rifle portion of the shoot-off, before Miculek surprisingly opened the door during the shotgun run, and Butler laid down a blistering pistol rack to seal the victory.
“I think he’s done stuff that no one will ever do on this planet,” Butler said. “Jerry is obviously the best revolver guy ever, and he shoots semi-automatics, obviously, fantastically too. And he does some wild, amazing trick shooting that no one will ever duplicate. You can try all day long and it ain’t going to happen. So he’s going to go down in history as a one-of-a-kind epic shooter of all-time.”
In the semi-finals, Butler faced his friend and frequent competitor in the southern California shooting leagues, SureFire’s Barry Dueck, who won the Tactical Optics Heavy division. Dueck, who laid down a brilliant run in a first-round victory over Tactical Iron winner Mike Pinto, couldn’t find his rhythm during the rifle portion, and Butler cruised to a comfortable victory, setting up the final match-up with Romero.
The field was rounded out by Heavy Metal winner Patrick Kelley, who made his second 3GN shoot-off. Kelley entered FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships as the overall 3GN points leader, and after another strong performance remains poised to earn a spot in the 3-Gun Nation Championship.
The eight-person shoot-off is a format like no other, where competitors take on steel rifle, shotgun and pistol racks in a race to the stop plate. To level the playing field, contestants fire an FNH USA SCAR 16 equipped with a SureFire muzzle brake and suppressor, chambered in .223 Rem., a new competition variant of the 12-gauge SLP semi-automatic shotgun, and the new FNX-9 semi-automatic pistol in 9 mm. Each gun runs ammunition provided by Federal Premium, and the rifles are topped with Weaver or Leupold optics. Add in eight of the world’s fiercest 3-gunners, and the competition heats up.
The next stop on the FNH USA 3-Gun Nation Tour, Presented by SureFire, is during the MGM Ironman, June 10-12 in Parma, Idaho. The fourth of five qualifying events, competitors will be shooting for series points in hopes of earning a spot in the 3-Gun Nation Championship, where one winner will claim the title and cash prize of $25,000, courtesy of Leupold.
Multi-gun, or 3-gun, is a unique sport within the discipline known as practical shooting. Considered the fastest growing segment within the shooting sports, 3-gun challenges competitors with rifle, pistol and shotgun, maneuvering through unique stages of fire as fast as their skill will allow.
The National 3-Gun Association, through media properties "3-Gun Nation Television" and 3GunNation.com, was formed with one mission: to promote practical shooting by shining a light on amateur and professional shooters alike, as well as the guns, gear and lifestyle that define the high-octane sport of 3-gun competition. Bringing never-before-seen cash payouts to the table, 3-Gun Nation is quite simply changing the game. 3 Guns. One Champion.