Episode 82: Adam Renno, Steel Challenge Competitive Shooter
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Adam is a Steel Challenge competitive shooter who travels the country competing. In this episode, Adam shares how his shooting journey came full circle at one specific competition. He remembers going to his first big match and squadding with some of the biggest names in Steel Challenge. He had been following them online, watching videos of them shoot, and they inspired him to want to get better. Because of how friendly and welcoming they were towards him as a new shooter, he knew he was in the right community that he wanted to be a part of. Years later, Adam now strives to be the kind of person that welcomes new shooters as they did him.
Adam wasn’t always pro gun. In fact, he shares how he converted from anti-gun, to being curious about firearms, to now not knowing life without them. Adam is a great role model on and off the range and always has a smile on his face.
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The Reticle Up Podcast is where our resident competitive shooting expert, 3 Gun Kenzie, interviews competitive shooters, hunters, fisherman, archers, entrepreneurs, and outdoorsmen.
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0:00:00.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Welcome to the Reticle Up Podcast where I, 3 Gun Kenzie will be interviewing competitive shooters, hunters, fishermen, archers, entrepreneurs and outdoorsmen. Come learn with me as I interview people from all walks of life in different disciplines all across the world, from novices to professionals of all ages. No matter what, everyone has something they can teach you. So come join me on the journey.
0:00:27.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: The Reticle Up Podcast is produced in partnership with americanfirearms.org. American Firearms Mission is to recommend what works. We believe everyone deserves access to unbiased, helpful information about firearms and our buying guides, product reviews and learning resources are designed to help real people find the stuff that will work best for them. Check us out at www.americanfirearms.org.
0:00:53.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Welcome back listeners to Reticle Up Podcast. I’m here with my buddy Adam Renno. We’re going over Steel Challenge. That’s his realm is Steel Challenge Competitive Shooting. And we’re gonna talk about his journey into shooting, ’cause it’s actually the first, I’ll tell you this, we talked offline about it. He’s the first person I’ve talked to that was anti-gun before coming into the firearms kind of industry. So hi. [laughter]
0:01:14.0 Adam Renno: Hi.
0:01:16.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: How are you?
0:01:16.9 Adam Renno: Great.
0:01:17.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Awesome to have you on here for sure. Yeah. Most people for sure that I talked to was like, “Oh, firearms was part of growing up.” Or “I was always like in the firearms excited.” So walk me back, was that something you grew up feeling or what, why was that?
0:01:37.8 Adam Renno: I was raised not around guns at all. I hadn’t really fired anything. I went to my uncle’s house and he kind of secretly showed me the cool stuff. [laughter] But I still was… I was very anti-gun up until my probably junior year of high school. I ended up joining a Small-Bore Rifle team, like a youth league for International Air Rifle and Small-bore which is like Olympic style shooting. And I just joined that just because I was like, “Well, it looks cool.” I had some friends in that that were already part of the team that I wanted get closer with and spend time with outside of school. And I wanted something for college resumes. I didn’t wanna look like I hadn’t done anything in high school.
0:02:14.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:02:15.2 Adam Renno: I joined into that and I ended up falling in love with it. And so I shot… I took that very seriously. I shot sporter which is limited almost where the rifles are limited to a certain amount of money. You can’t spend more than 500 on your equipment.
0:02:31.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: It’s like base model for NRL or…
0:02:34.1 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:02:34.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
0:02:35.0 Adam Renno: Yeah. It’s production of that. But pretty much nobody stayed in production though.
0:02:40.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:02:40.0 Adam Renno: ‘Cause people in that sport, you eventually will out-shoot a gun that will shoot $500 worth.
0:02:45.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:02:46.7 Adam Renno: And then you get into all the crazy stuff. I’ve got one of those canvas suits and everything that makes you walk around like C-3PO.
0:02:52.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: I have heard about how that can complicate later in life. Like your back or…
0:02:57.3 Adam Renno: Oh yeah.
0:03:00.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:03:00.8 Adam Renno: And they lose backs and you lose shoulders and you lose like feet.
0:03:02.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Why is that a thing? Why do people shoot this? [chuckle]
0:03:06.6 Adam Renno: Well, ’cause it’s accessible and it’s international. I think you can make money doing that a lot easier than you could shooting steel.
0:03:15.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Okay. Fair enough. Okay. So.
0:03:17.7 Adam Renno: And it’s simply in a lot of schools it’s like that too. And it’s a much wider sport because you have… You have restrictions in other countries to shoot steel. So a lot of other countries you can’t shoot semi-automatic guns, stuff like that, whereas, with air rifle it’s accessible to almost every country or at least you can get a pass for it without huge barriers. So it’s internationally low barrier entry.
0:03:41.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Cool. Okay. Okay. So not raised around firearms, got into the high school team. What was that like for someone that age to… How were you so motivated to do well? Because most kids… I’ll be honest, I was not that focused at that age on succeeding in something.
0:04:00.4 Adam Renno: We had a very, very good coach and it was a… It was the atmosphere of the sport. Precision rifle is… He described it as a very classy sport.
0:04:10.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:04:11.1 Adam Renno: Everyone… It’s almost like piano. Everyone wants to be really, really good at piano. Nobody wants to play piano and be mediocre at piano. So when we got into it, it was… You were competing against your friends like that ’cause it was all still individual but we also competed as teams. So we’d have groups of about three people on a team and they were like… They were like sub classes of our… The X Count, which was the name of the team. But we would go and compete with each other. So you’d enter in a three man bracket or duos or something like that when you went to the state. And then, so you didn’t want to be the bottom scorer for your other teammates too. And that pressed a lot of it.
0:04:49.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Right.
0:04:50.8 Adam Renno: But it was, since the score is… The precision rifle takes a lot of… It’s a very purist sport as far as precision shooting goes because you don’t have wind, you don’t have bullet drop you have to worry about ’cause your distance never changes. It’s just all iron sites and you have as many mechanical assistances like the shooting suits that help prevent injury, but they also… They prevent you from having as much human error.
0:05:19.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay.
0:05:19.8 Adam Renno: So it can be entirely down to your mental game and shot calling and your muscle memory of getting in and out of positions. So it’s a very, very quantitative. You can’t go and say, “Oh my gun jammed and that’s why I didn’t pass.” You look at your scores and you say, “I didn’t pass because I didn’t shoot as well as this person.” And that’s what it comes down to.
0:05:40.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Got you. Okay. What were the cost of those firearms ’cause I don’t really know?
0:05:46.7 Adam Renno: I played the cheapo route.
0:05:47.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay.
0:05:47.9 Adam Renno: And it worked out okay. A lot of the air rifles are in precision, which is the… It’s open precision. A lot of people shoot guns that are around 3-5k. It depends what you wanna put into it.
0:06:02.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:06:02.3 Adam Renno: And it’s just for air riffles bubble rifles. Mine actually I have here it is very old. It was normally you have re-compressed cylinders. So you got a scuba tank and you fill it up by replacing tank. This one is a piston operated gun which they don’t really even make anymore because they’re not… They’re kind of obsolete. But they… You can still make them work but they’ve run with a large distance and it’s a single strip. So [0:06:31.6] ____ I’m gonna keep literally firing it, discharges the air. This one I bought from a former US Olympian [0:06:40.2] ____. I met him at a CMP match. I think it was in 2014-ish. I was still a junior shooter and I was… I wanted to get in precision. I wanted my rifle and I could not afford that kind of rifle. So I think this one, it went for 1200 and he sold it to me for like 600.
0:07:01.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: What?
0:07:03.3 Adam Renno: Yeah, I was.
0:07:07.0 Adam Renno: So I had the weirdo gun, and the only… The disadvantage of them is when you’re in prone or kneeling positions. In prone, you have to roll to the side and cock it. Normally when you have pre-compressed cylinders, you just have a little switch, a little gate and you just flip it open. You don’t have have to move at all. So you try to just keep your position.
0:07:26.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay.
0:07:26.5 Adam Renno: I got really good at getting in and out of positions, but everyone knew me as the po boy who is beating everybody else. [laughter]
0:07:33.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Now the optics for that game, are those similar to Steel Challenge, USBSA? Like what does that look like? ‘Cause I…
0:07:38.9 Adam Renno: Yeah, they only allow peep sights. So like…
0:07:41.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh, okay.
0:07:42.5 Adam Renno: These sights, they’re like, each line is a point and a point could be the difference between the eye on one of the, like a coin. It’s that small, and this will do six clicks per line.
0:07:56.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay. So you’re dialing essentially for shots?
0:07:58.8 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:08:00.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay. Alright.
0:08:00.3 Adam Renno: They have to use decimal scoring for a lot of stuff in that sport. Especially at Olympic level. A 10 is like the size of the bullet almost, and they stack them up and they’ve got scanners and stuff to do it, but the guy who’s shooting nines is going to lose the Olympics.
0:08:17.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Holy cow. Okay.
0:08:18.4 Adam Renno: Across like 60 shots. If you shoot one of those, you’re gonna drop enough points that you’re out.
0:08:22.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: It’s neat. Okay. Sad but neat. The canisters on that, too. I wanna get an airgunner. I’ve watched the American Airgunner. That’s cool to watch. What does that look like?
0:08:33.5 Adam Renno: It’s really relaxing because I don’t really have to worry about anything when I’m up there. It was described to me as, when someone was trying to sell me on the sport initially, when the buddy got me into it. He’s like, “Well, I show up to the range, and I take a nap, and then I get my heart rate way down, and I wake up right before I go to shoot. And I shoot and I have fun, and then I go back, take a nap, and then I wake up, and I go out for ice cream.” And I was like, that sounds awesome. [laughter] They’re trying to keep their heart rate as low as possible.
0:09:02.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. Okay.
0:09:03.6 Adam Renno: It was a really good team environment, too.
0:09:06.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:09:08.6 Adam Renno: We placed very well in earlier state matches. We were against a couple military academies and stuff. I think there was like six other schools in our area that we regularly competed with, but we definitely were the most driven, I think. And that was partially because we had, at the time it was a very small team. There was I think seven of us in Precision entirely.
0:09:31.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Wow.
0:09:31.7 Adam Renno: And so we did a couple of travel matches that was, they travel a lot more now than when I was in ’cause it was a lot smaller.
0:09:38.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:09:39.5 Adam Renno: Even just funding wise.
0:09:41.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:09:42.0 Adam Renno: But it was, you’d take trips to Georgia or the CMP in Ohio, and… Everyone would load in one van. We’d all be hanging out. It was, it’d be fun weekends.
0:09:52.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So you’re getting into guns, you’re really enjoying firearms. So walk me through kind of like anti-gun to like understanding firearms and then what made you feel like you could like them again, or like firearms? I don’t know how to explain that, but the process.
0:10:10.4 Adam Renno: Yeah. So I initially got into it, and I even while I was on the team for a while, I was like still against them. I was like, Yeah, these are cool, but like nobody needs… But what I liked to do was, I was completely immersed in that atmosphere, because I wanted to get really good, like everyone else was trying to get really good and I want to keep up. And when you have friends like that, and you’re completely surrounded by that environment, you hear everything from the other side pretty much. And I hadn’t been exposed to that at all. After I got into it more, I started researching the rifles more, and I got more into guns in general. ‘Cause I like had been playing video games forever and since I was a kid. But I still was like, I hadn’t looked at the real stuff at all, and I joined in a couple Facebook groups and online forums about them to try to learn more. And I heard all the other counterarguments and stuff like that and I was like, “Yes, this doesn’t make sense.”
0:11:09.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh, okay. So you were open to it, you had never been around it.
0:11:14.8 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:11:15.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Receptive to it.
0:11:17.9 Adam Renno: I wanted to see all the other information, and you couldn’t see the other information without the standard gun community posts.
0:11:23.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Sure. And I will say it’s challenging to find the right people to talk to us sometimes. Right? [0:11:28.4] ____ Yeah. So you’re in an environment where it’s a lot more friendly, trustworthy, good people. So they’re just casually having conversation with you. Whereas that, as if you’d gone elsewhere it may not always the case. It might not have been that, right? It might have been really aggressive and kind of rude.
0:11:45.5 Adam Renno: It’s like you have to have your mind not completely made up all the time. I think just in general for a lot of topics. But that one especially and like the hot button topics, you can’t… If I went in there being for sure, oh I’m not about this, and I’m not going to listen ’cause I think I’m right. It’s like it never would’ve happened.
0:12:02.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s awesome. Adam, that’s really cool. Glad you’re here, that’s for sure. [laughter] Yes, so you’re in the high school realm of Airgunning and all that. Now Steel Challenge, I wanna know where you got there. I will say this to you, Steel Challenge is like the country club of shooting sports. So you just went from a bougie to a really bougie.
0:12:21.0 Adam Renno: Oh yeah, absolutely. [laughter]
0:12:22.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay. I’ll just say that. What did that progression look like? So out of high school, how did you find Steel Challenge?
0:12:29.8 Adam Renno: But as soon as I got out of high school, I went into college. I studied mechanical engineering for a couple of years, and during that time I really, really missed the competition.
0:12:39.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:12:40.5 Adam Renno: That was something that always… I’m not a… I am a competitive person, but it’s isolated to some things. I’m not competitive in things that are, don’t really matter, but something I work hard in, I want to be competitive in if there’s opportunity to.
0:12:53.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yep.
0:12:53.5 Adam Renno: And I kind of thrive on that. So when I got into college my time was a little bit lower. I think I stayed in college for about… Oh, it’s my bad.
0:13:05.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: No, you’re good.
0:13:08.0 Adam Renno: So I got into college, and then I was there for about a year or two where I didn’t do anything shooting related at all. But I actually just, I really missed the environment of it and I missed… Oh, I just missed that environment. I ended up coming back to coach the Youth League team for a little while as an assistant coach. So after school I’d go in, or like nights I didn’t have class, I’d go drop by and I’d help like the spotter kids a lot of times because there was still a pretty big gap. And while I did have a decent amount of knowledge in precision, I could still… It was… Doing spotter was a breeze and those kids needed more attention on precision. So I [0:13:52.3] ____… Or more informed coaches went and helped them out. But I did that for about a year and a half, two years and I was like, “All right, this isn’t enough. I gotta… ” I went back in. And so I ended up, I was like, “All right, I wanna do something totally different. I’ve done the precision shooting for all this time and so now I wanna try something like action sports.” So I’d seen like multi-gun stuff and I was like, “That looks super fun.”
0:14:18.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: [laughter] Yes, it is.
0:14:19.0 Adam Renno: But the problem was, at the time I think I was 21 and I didn’t have 3-gun money. I still do not… Nobody really has 3-gun money.
0:14:26.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: No. [chuckle]
0:14:28.7 Adam Renno: So I went into steel ’cause I was like, “Oh well, it’s 22. I could definitely do that.” And I think I was making like $9 an hour or something like that at the time in some… I was in a repair shop.
0:14:39.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Did you go through that 22 shortage, by the way?
0:14:42.9 Adam Renno: Yes, I did.
0:14:43.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Me too, yeah. Right when I got into shooting, I was like, “Kill me now.” [chuckle]
0:14:47.8 Adam Renno: I felt the cost of it, but luckily… So my first year I was… My first season was 2019, I’d competed for like four and half months. I was shooting off Thunderbolt and so that was pretty cheap. My gun worked. It worked and I was like, “All right, whatever.”
0:15:03.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: It works. Yeah.
0:15:03.9 Adam Renno: It does what it’s supposed to. And luckily with The X Count they have sources for ammunition. They can buy by lot. So when ammo shortage hit in 2020, I could go to them and they would order pallets at a time ’cause they were… They wanted all the same batch for their precision rifles. And since I was already a member of the team, as far as like coach goes and I was still on their lineup, I could buy ammunition from them and they helped me out with that a lot. So I had basically a source that other people didn’t know about at the time that I could get as much CCI as I wanted.
0:15:38.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh, nice.
0:15:39.0 Adam Renno: And it was pretty… It was a fair price. I think that year I shot like 50,000 rounds of CCI.
0:15:47.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Nice.
0:15:48.8 Adam Renno: That was when I really kicked it into gear. That was right after Area 5. I went and shot that match and I immediately went home, bought like two cases from them and I started shooting about 500 rounds a week. No, I shot a 1000 rounds a week, 500 two days a week.
0:16:06.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh yeah.
0:16:06.8 Adam Renno: So went Tuesdays, Thursdays and then I’d go shoot matches. And I think I shot a match almost every weekend that year.
0:16:13.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: For that kinda training too, was that something where you’re literally just setting up the Steel Challenge stages at the range and shooting them? No?
0:16:20.4 Adam Renno: No. I have never shot a Steel Challenge stage outside of a match.
0:16:24.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Still?
0:16:25.8 Adam Renno: No. Well, I’d say maybe two or three occasions where I went to a match and I had it set up and I went and just ran [0:16:31.0] ____ it couple times, but I didn’t have the space or anywhere I could set up steel stages. So what I did was I bought two plates and it was like a 10 inch and a 12 inch and I would just set them up in different arrangements at a 50-yard gravel pit that was nearby. So it was like a little tiny fish and game club and they… There was never anybody there, there was no range officers so I could go shoot any distance and I had that to myself, pretty much was excellent. So I’d go there with my car and I’d throw those up and I would just do random little drills like that, where I’m super far away to do pendulum or I had extra sticks. I’d cut them down sometimes to do the drops.
0:17:12.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, yeah. Well, just the transitions is everything in any sport that you shoot. And then even the depth too, so that’s perfect. Yeah.
0:17:23.0 Adam Renno: I did… I do lots and lots and lots of dry fire though. That was the year I bought the Go Fast Don’t Suck dry fire targets and those have been monumental. I set those… There’s enough room in my basement. I got really lucky that it all just happens to line up. There’s one configuration where I could fit all the stages.
0:17:40.4 Adam Renno: And so I was… I would go down and I’d dry fire those at the… I think in 2020 I was doing about an hour, hour and a half a night of that. Not like on trigger time, but just like… I was down there for an hour and a half. We all know how dry fire really goes though. I don’t wanna know my screen time.
0:17:58.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Mm-mm.
0:18:00.3 Adam Renno: But that’s what I was doing for a while. And then after my first world speed, I kicked it up to about two and a half, three hours where I can. I’d say it averages like two hours a night, even up till now.
0:18:15.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Now, 22 dry fire actually pulling trigger. What could you do for that exactly?
0:18:19.6 Adam Renno: No. What I do is like, I have… Where did my gun go?
0:18:25.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: ‘Cause there are people listening that don’t understand that you don’t dry fire 22s ’cause it can damage.
0:18:28.8 Adam Renno: Yeah, yeah. I flag mine. If you flag Mark Fores, you can pull the triggers on them, but the weight is still up in the front. If you have it with the bolt lock back, the weight distribution’s different. And so I want it to be as close as possible. So I did this and then I’ve got a magazine that I put a bunch of fishing weights in that is not used anymore, to weigh… I think I weighed it for like eight rounds, so that way it would be the average weight during the string if I’m firing five shots.
0:19:00.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:19:01.2 Adam Renno: And then I just did a lot of shot calling.
0:19:04.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Cool. Okay, okay. So did you… Were you self taught for Steel Challenge? I know that it’s simple, but it’s really complex as well with where you put your feet, how you swing the gun and all that. Did someone teach you? Did you watch videos?
0:19:20.4 Adam Renno: I got a lot of inspiration from Kolby Pavlock, Chris Barrett and Steve Foster. I watched a lot of their stuff online. But none of that… Like I hadn’t shot a pistol until early 2019. I just had never done it and then that’s why I got into pistol ’cause I was like, “Oh, this is… ” It’s part of the thing of, “Oh, it’s just, it’s new, it’s action sports, it’s more exciting, just everything’s different. If I’m gonna start from scratch, I might as well change everything.” And…
0:19:50.9 Adam Renno: So the physical stuff of it was just mechanics and I think that I had a head start on a lot of people getting into the sport, just comparatively because I had that background of precision shooting and that style where it was all entirely based off of muscle memory and mechanics. So I knew what it took from that to get better at Steel Challenge very quickly and make things as repeatable as possible. ‘Cause that’s the focus of that entire sport, pretty much. And then we have a really, really good coach in that team and he had us pretty much set up all for mental prep. ‘Cause that’s such a heavy mental game in that sport. So I think going into steel, I pretty much just had to pick up mechanics and everything else was more or less accelerated from there.
0:20:38.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay. Let’s talk mechanics. So thinking about newbies or people that haven’t shot Steel Challenge, right? How, from the base up, what does your platform look like? Like your body, all of that stuff?
0:20:51.2 Adam Renno: Like how I create my, positions?
0:20:53.2 Adam Renno: Yeah. So mine’s weird. I took from Chris Barrett, I took the idea of like, I like how he gets his feet really wide and he squats down. I mean, he’s very tall.
0:21:05.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:21:06.7 Adam Renno: But I realized that was because he wanted them to be all the plates level. So that way you don’t have to do any kind of up and down transitions. That way you can push it a little bit harder and you won’t have to worry about deviating as much up and down because you just… You don’t have to learn it. Like if you just learn side to side, you can focus on that and you can be twice as good as side to side as you are up and down, but if you never have to use up and down, then you’re just twice as good.
0:21:31.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yep.
0:21:32.7 Adam Renno: I like that he did that. And he has a really stable platform because he since… And so wide and then I tend to… What I took from air rifle shooting, a small war shooting was natural point of aim. I think a lot of people don’t have an understanding of that in steel or it’s not commonly taught. Of where you want your body to be at, your natural point of rest is like a benchmark point. So your body knows where you are at rest. So if I go and I get into the box and like I’m pointing at my target, I usually set my point of rest at the stop plate. That way when I go up to the box and I’m shooting, I’m twisting my body to shoot other plates. It’s the same amount of twist in my body every time. That way it’s, if I’m focused on a different plate, it’s gonna be a different amount of torsion in my hips, stuff like that, then my balance, I’d be a little bit different. It’s just trying to get every possible little bit of muscle memory to be consistent.
0:22:33.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:22:34.4 Adam Renno: I also run a gun that is not fun for a lot of people to run. I wrap mine in, a lot of people run like skate tape and stuff. I work construction by a day and I dry fire this so much that, my hands are very callous and that it’s not rough enough. So I used stair tape. I think it was on like steps and a lot of people don’t like that at all.
0:23:03.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: I would never borrow that.
0:23:05.4 Adam Renno: Yeah, I can dig in super, super tight with it.
0:23:08.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:23:10.7 Adam Renno: I think there’s also a lot of pre stuff that you have to do before you go up to shoot the match or before you go up to the box. I try to keep the same amount of energy level as far as like calories go. So I’ll have… I have a box of a little cart and a peanuts that I have on the range card.
0:23:27.7 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:23:28.7 Adam Renno: I’ll have a handful of those every single time I go up there to shoot about one shooter before I go up because it’s that way I know that I have the same level of hunger the entire match, pretty much just to be consistent that whole time. I save my energy from that, ’cause it’s slow burning and it also kind of pairs it as a conditioning response to, I’m about to go up and I’m about to be really, really nervous and I’m about to get a lot of adrenaline. So if I have this, like I will, it’s… It triggers a response to like, “Just calm down, this is normal.” We’ve done this a hundred times, you’ve eaten peanuts before every stage and it just calms you down and it slows your heart rate a little bit, but not so much that you’re going to go and go slow.
0:24:12.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. So, okay. Food, nutrition, mental and then wide stance, low stance, not fighting that height change.
0:24:23.2 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:24:23.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: So, okay. And then talk about, I know there’s different stages. So in general, I was trying to teach people how the draw or even if it’s low ready coming up on the first plate, like what does that look like versus when you’re going left to right or right to left to just trying to hit targets while the dot or the irons cross the target and then you hit the stop plate. What are the mechanics of that?
0:24:43.4 Adam Renno: Okay. So there’s a few different ways people like to do it. I know that there’s people that are close to me in my area that like to do it with who are very accomplished.
0:24:55.1 Adam Renno: They like to kind of float it where they’re coming up on the target and they don’t really come to a complete stop.
0:25:01.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yep.
0:25:01.7 Adam Renno: They kind of just decelerate as they’re there and they go off of with timing. I don’t like to do that. I think you have to kind of teach yourself manually to do that, but I think that only really works well in Steel Challenge, which isn’t a bad thing if that’s your headline sport, like that’s what you should be doing. But I think it’s better to shoot entirely based off just fundamentals for target by target. So while some stages I might do that on some plates. I do that because my brain is just kind of I’ve done it so many times with looking at each target manually that it just kind of happens, that’s the most efficient way my paths have learned to do it. What I like to do is…
0:25:44.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Substituting, the best point of aim for those large and then you actually, yeah.
0:25:50.7 Adam Renno: Yeah. What I like to do is, I shoot all target focused and I don’t follow the dot at all. What I think most people want to do and like Kenny and Grant both have done this as well. And there’s people at the top who do it both ways. I think you can be equally successful either way, but that’s just the way I picked it and that’s how I learned it.
0:26:12.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. You gotta be consistent with whatever you pick.
0:26:14.2 Adam Renno: Absolutely. Yeah. If you’re not shooting comfortably, like you’re definitely not shooting your best. I think shooting an inefficient way comfortably is better than shooting an efficient way uncomfortably, ’cause you’re gonna think about it and make mistakes.
0:26:25.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:26:28.5 Adam Renno: But like, what I try to do is the way I approach a match is like, I want it to be as, I wanna be as reliable as possible and just trust what I’ve done. Because I think that if you show up to a match, you’ll be nervous like everybody gets nervous no matter how many you’ve done.
0:26:45.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yep.
0:26:46.1 Adam Renno: And I mean, some people might not, but if I didn’t get nervous, I wouldn’t do it.
0:26:51.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:26:52.9 Adam Renno: They’ll go up to it. And you have to remember that like you have done the dry fire, you’ve already done this. You can trust yourself to be fast enough and if you push it harder to try to compete based on who else is there, you’re gonna try to run their pace and you can’t do it.
0:27:07.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yep.
0:27:08.4 Adam Renno: What I try to do is just I wanna see my sites every target I want go and just base it entirely off of… I’m not gonna push for a certain time. I’m just gonna go with it and whatever time it happens happens, as long as it’s clean. ‘Cause I know that that’s as fast as I can shoot it today.
0:27:22.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:27:23.1 Adam Renno: As long as I’ve done my practice beforehand, like that’s what is gonna make me fast in a match. It’s not me going, “Oh, I’m gonna shoot today fast,” that’s not gonna work.
0:27:33.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of sports though. Like you have your match speed, you’re trying to be consistent. I mean you’re not going all out just ’cause it’s match. A lot of people don’t shoot their 100% right? It’s like 80-90-ish.
0:27:45.6 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:27:45.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: And that wins.
0:27:46.4 Adam Renno: Yeah. I like you… I don’t think you… I think a lot of my best times are four clean. I think most peoples are four clean, and I might get PBs like a burn down, but like, my best eight stage match I’ve ever had I think I had one makeup shot on the clock and none of those were burn downs. I think I had one burn down where I had four clean and I went for a fast string and it worked out. I think I only have a possibility of two burn downs during that match and one of ’em didn’t work. And one of ’em did. So like the burn downs look really cool for Instagram.
0:28:22.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:28:22.8 Adam Renno: But like you’re not… If you’re there to try lay down a solid score consistently at every match you go to, it’s just not gonna work.
0:28:30.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah okay, so pickup shots, makeup shots. I’ve RO’ed Grant. I never want RO Grant and try to call.
0:28:38.2 Adam Renno: Oh, he’s insane. He’s hard to watch.
0:28:39.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: He’s hard.
0:28:40.8 Adam Renno: Like, it’s very exciting. But like his makeups are so fast that like, it’s… That’s just his shooting style though. I think that he makes that happen.
0:28:50.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Well, and his processing. It’s the processing. It’s the ability for your brain to even catch up with what you did. So for you, I know a lot of them like stages, like they’re 1, 2, 3, 4, then stop plate, or you just got 2, 2 and 1, whatever it looks like. So how do you process, I guess, to try to shoot every plate before coming back to it, or do you just keep coming back to it to shoot it? Like what’s the strategy there?
0:29:15.4 Adam Renno: I mostly like listen for it a lot of times, or I’ll call it in my head and if it’s sketchy, I’ll listen. Otherwise, I’ll kind of tune the rest out. If I have a shot where my red dot is just on the edge of the plate and I don’t know for sure, I’ll listen and I might go back or double check it real quick, but like the way that I shoot is I look at the plate and my gun’s off of center. So like imagine like a line from the plate to my eye. When I’m bringing the gun up, as soon as the gun gets in line, like once the site itself is breaking that line of sight, you can pretty much just shoot. At a certain point, your variance in transitions gets low enough where you don’t really have to do that and then you can… You’re not really processing faster, it’s just you’re processing more efficiently. ‘Cause you don’t have to spend as much time on it per plate. So when I make a shot like that, I usually know it’s a miss or not just in my head before I hear the impact, because I can… When I’m pulling the trigger, I know like it has to be just a completely automatic response and that’s why Grant is so fast at them. He can process them so quick because he doesn’t have to spend as much time, like thinking about where his hits landed.
0:30:33.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:30:33.7 Adam Renno: If you fire the shot and you saw your site and it wasn’t exactly in line, or it didn’t feel like it was in line, you probably missed and you probably gotta come back.
0:30:42.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah.
0:30:43.4 Adam Renno: I’ll usually… It depends which stage, but like, five to go I’ll always go back to it immediately. But like, if it’s something like like roundabout or accelerator, I’ll go back at the end ’cause it’s tight and usually they’re bigger plates. So you can kind of just whip it and hopefully you hit it on the next shot. If you have more than two makeups, usually…
0:31:06.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: You’re done.
0:31:08.2 Adam Renno: Yeah. It’s like, “Alright, well that was my toss,” so.
0:31:09.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure okay, cool. So in your opinion too, all of that together complexity, what’s the hardest part about Steel Challenge? What makes it so hard and yet it’s so simple?
0:31:25.7 Adam Renno: You just gotta see your sites. It’s such a simple game. You just have to call your shots. And nobody wants to do it. I don’t wanna do it. I love shooting fast. I don’t wanna wait. But that’s what has to happen. And I think that’s why a lot of people should shoot Iron Site divisions in conjunction with optics divisions. I know a lot of people like to shoot both their irons together and both their optics together in separate like sessions. But I always like to shoot PI before PO just because it forces you to do it. If you’re not seeing your sites, I think you’re gambling.
0:31:58.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:31:58.8 Adam Renno: And you’ve spent so much time practicing and you’ve spent a lot of money traveling to these matches, especially the bigger ones, that it’s not worth gambling all that effort to put in for a 10th or 0.05 off of target, when you can just spend that little extra bit and you guarantee it, because if you drop it, you’re gonna lose like half a second maybe.
0:32:18.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:32:18.7 Adam Renno: And that’s huge for a lot of classifiers.
0:32:23.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Now, and you, I know you changed kind of divisions a little bit too, so how often are you, you shot carry Optics, right?
0:32:30.3 Adam Renno: I did once.
0:32:31.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. One of ’em. Hey, that’s still cool, but like the differences with that is huge, of course. Besides like low ready, but okay. Like if you’re shooting a six stage match with a gun that you have to drop from the holster. So whether it’s limited, Carry Optics, open, doesn’t matter. How does that overall time, like of a six stage match differ from that of a 22-rim fire pistol open, right? And that’s gonna be…
0:32:54.3 Adam Renno: I don’t actually know. I’ve only shot out of holster one time, and it was at world speed. I had a wait list entry and I had my carry gun with me and I shot a Glock 19 with like an RMR and it went like a flashlight. It was not set up for Carry Optics at all, but I went and did it so I was like, “Well, I got the bullets, I’ve got the entry. I’m already here, like why not.”
0:33:14.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: For sure.
0:33:17.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Do you feel you learned something though, I guess, with shooting Carry Optics that… ’cause it’s so different from the typical…
0:33:22.4 Adam Renno: Oh, yeah.
0:33:22.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Steel Challenge. Yeah. What was your takeaway from that?
0:33:26.2 Adam Renno: I learned that I need to stop jerking the trigger, and I need to shoot… [laughter] Because I went into that and I was… I had been shooting 22 for… I think I shot a thousands rounds the day before, for practice. And then I went and shot pistol optics and pistol iron… Re-fired pistol optics and irons that morning at world speed, so that was another 500, 600 rounds. And then I went immediately after that, I went and shot Carry Optics. And I was anticipating the recoil after the first stage, and so I started Kentucky whinging it and tried to shoot.
0:33:58.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Sorry, that’s amazing. [laughter]
0:34:00.3 Adam Renno: Yeah. I was like, “I should not be doing this here, but here we are.”
0:34:04.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Here we are. [laughter]
0:34:05.7 Adam Renno: And I think I shot more through that gun, ’cause I had just recently just put an RMR on it. That was the most ammo I shot through that RMR, it was all in that, just that one day.
0:34:15.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: You sound as stupid as I am when I go to a bat. You got it. [laughter]
0:34:18.3 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:34:20.0 Adam Renno: I think I threw it all in a week, ahead of time.
0:34:23.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh, my God.
0:34:25.1 Adam Renno: I don’t think I had it. I think I zeroed it and that was it.
0:34:27.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:34:27.9 Adam Renno: I prepared a little bit, but…
0:34:29.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: It’s interesting…
0:34:29.3 Adam Renno: I wasn’t there to win Carry Optics.
0:34:31.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. I was gonna say, it’s interesting too, your 22, right? It has that grip tape and all that on there for stairs. But does your Carry Optic Gun have that?
0:34:38.4 Adam Renno: Oh, absolutely not. I do not wanna walk around like I don’t even care.
0:34:40.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Exactly. Right.
0:34:41.3 Adam Renno: That’d be terrible.
0:34:42.9 Adam Renno: I was slipping for that one.
0:34:45.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. That’s where you need it on, not 22s. In my opinion, but yes.
0:34:48.4 Adam Renno: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. If I had it set up just for racing, which I may next year, I might build out a 34 or something fun, but…
0:34:55.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: There you go.
0:34:57.4 Adam Renno: I would totally wrap it then.
0:35:00.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Okay.
0:35:01.2 Adam Renno: I don’t need to carry rug burn everywhere I go.
0:35:03.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: No, it’s not comfortable at all. Cool. Okay, so we kinda got the lay of land there. But I know we talked about it offline too, so if you wanna share what was that very first major match, or second major match, whatever… Experience? And how did that really get you motivated and excited about staying in this sport?
0:35:25.3 Adam Renno: So my first really big match was 2020 Area 5 Steel Championship. So I had been in… I’d been competing at that time for roughly… I had about four and a half months of shooting matches, and then winter came along up north and we put it all away. But I got back into it then, I think I was shooting for a month and a half before that event. And I signed up and there was… I was like, “Alright.” I had heard about it the last year in 2019 when I started, but I think I’d been shooting for two weeks… I like, I’m not doing that.
0:35:54.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: No. Yeah.
0:35:55.9 Adam Renno: So I signed up on an empty squad just for Roundabout, that’s where I usually like to start at. And I looked three days later and it had filled up, and it was a whole bunch… Everybody else on the squad was members of Steel Target Paint.
0:36:08.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Awesome.
0:36:08.9 Adam Renno: And so, I was freaking out, because this is a level three regional national match, and I was like, “Oh, my God, this is crazy.” I was already nervous. And then I have people who have won world titles, world champions on the team, and I was like, “Oh, I’m gonna be a third wheel. I’m a third wheel, really hard for this.” And I was worried about that going into it actually.
0:36:29.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:36:31.4 Adam Renno: But I got to the match and I think I only shot pistol optics that day.
0:36:35.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay.
0:36:36.3 Adam Renno: But I drove down there, I went and shot and I think it was a three hour drive for me. I went and met with them and I was… I had butterflies in my stomach. I didn’t say a word. I was… I used to be very, very introverted actually, before I was really into… Before I started to travel more for matches and talking with people.
0:36:53.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:36:54.3 Adam Renno: But I showed up there, and Steve Foster walked up, shaked my hand and he introduced himself, and to everybody else in the group, and asked me what divisions I was shooting and all this. And I felt totally welcome. I went into that expecting to be the odd man out because I was shooting with this whole team…
0:37:12.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Right.
0:37:12.4 Adam Renno: Who already knew each other. But I was joking around then… And I thought I was real hot, ’cause I had just made Master. And I remember showing up, and then I saw Philip with all these GMs and I was like, “Alright, I’m… ” Kind of went in my little…
0:37:30.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Like shell? [laughter]
0:37:30.9 Adam Renno: I started shooting some decent stages for me, and I started out really messy, I think I shot a C or B class round my first station frontal. But I started shooting better as the day went on. I kind of… The nerves went away, as much as they can, at level three.
0:37:46.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:37:47.4 Adam Renno: But they spent the whole day joking around with me and stuff like that. And they were… I was included in all the jokes. I was getting tips and stuff like that. I was picking their brains for stuff. And it was a really, really, really positive experience, because these were guys that I had seen on social media for… The whole time I had been getting introduced to it and trying to get good, and these guys, I had watched online and I’d seen in magazines and all this crazy stuff and to shoot with them in person it was… I really look up to these guys, and I still do.
0:38:16.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:38:17.8 Adam Renno: But the way that I felt so accepted while I was there, that made me feel amazing. My drive home from that, I’ll never, ever, ever forget how good that made me feel. Coming on that three-hour drive home I was like, “That was amazing, that was a great experience.” And I decided that I wanted to pursue shooting much more seriously because I wanted to be as good as they were and get that kind of reputation that they had.
0:38:47.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:38:48.0 Adam Renno: So people saw me the same way I saw them…
0:38:50.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:38:51.0 Adam Renno: When I went to matches and stuff like that, if I traveled for anything or even just going to different locals outside of my normal clubs.
0:38:57.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:39:00.1 Adam Renno: If someone recognized me like that and I made it like that, I can give them that same experience that I had, and hopefully that I can inspire them then to go and try to do the same thing.
0:39:09.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. A hundred percent. That’s awesome. I think the sport needs more of that, as far as, people just don’t know when people are gonna enter the sport or whether it’s sport spectating. Yeah. And it’s like they can be super turned off or they can be very turned on to what’s going on, what’s happening around them, being very welcoming. And I do think that there is another thing that people do sometimes poorly, maybe not all the time. But teams, these people they’re your teammates, you’re very ingrained, you’ve got your inside jokes. And that can be very polarizing to someone who’s like…
0:39:41.4 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:39:42.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: “I am so not part of the club.”
0:39:43.8 Adam Renno: Yeah, absolutely.
0:39:44.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: So with, people in our sport. Like it’s just important to remember that there are new shooters or people that feel very uncomfortable or intimidated or where we were when we got started. ‘Cause I was there too.
0:39:53.7 Adam Renno: Yeah.
0:39:56.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, no, I love that and I love that you had a positive one ’cause people that end up with negative ones, they don’t come back.
0:40:02.7 Adam Renno: Yeah, and like I, mean, I’m still shooting with, there’s a guy, Jason Wilkinson, and he’s not on any social media or anything like that, but I shot with him my first match I ever went to down in Atlantic Conservation Club. I went and… I randomly squadded with him and I’ve been shooting with those guys since then. I still, it’s… Almost like, I think of it like an old man’s club where everyone goes down to like, like cafes and stuff on like Tuesday mornings or whatever. It’s like that where none of us ever communicate like outside of shooting or outside of matches or outside of even just in person. I text him now and again, but like pretty much when I see him is when I, see him on the squad list. I’m like, “Oh yeah, okay, I’ll go squad with Jason,” and I’ll drop by him. And like, I’ve been shooting with him the entire time. I shot with him this last weekend actually. And like, I… There’s a lot of relationships that I have made with people through shooting that like I would’ve never in a million years had like known as many people as I do now, due to that.
0:40:56.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh yeah. It’s not sad I’ll say, but it’s sad how many people I see in the shooting sports over my own family. I just want to shoot.
0:41:06.8 Adam Renno: They just wanna be friendly, like the bakers I’ve always called, they… You have a separate family. You have your real family and you have your shooting family. And my, mom noticed that too, so I started taking her to major matches, this last year she started traveling with me more and like I feel like the third one, she’s like, “I just kind of realized all these people all know each other.” I was like, “Well, yeah, that’s why we’re here.” Like.
0:41:32.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, yeah. We don’t get very many new people, which is, a hard part. Like how do you see the shooting sports growing unless, a parent gets involved or gets their kid involved. Like how else can we reach, those people to come join?
0:41:46.1 Adam Renno: I’m gonna sound very partial on this or, but I think that there’s almost nobody in their mid-20s at all in shooting. And I think that a lot of people that when the few people in mid-20s that I’ve seen get into it, they take over major roles. But the problem is that it’s, such an expensive sport that like, if you’re a junior, you have your parents and they can help you along with that. And I mean, you can’t get into it unless, if as a junior, unless you have a parent that’s supportive, that’s willing to drive you to all this stuff. Buy all your equipment. But as like a, 20-year-old, it is like, it was like, me and Jesse Misco, the only people, in our mid-20s without… Who started in their mid-20s, who go to like, all the majors at least in Steel and are competing for like spots. Or for like top 20 rank, and I think that like, he’s taken over, Colfax Sportsmen’s Club, he does a whole bunch of organization there. He’s the match director for Steel. They do two or three matches a month there.
0:42:53.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Nice.
0:42:53.9 Adam Renno: He’s very involved now. He’s very involved in Rimfire Challenge and he’s a really, really good guy for the sport. But I think that it’s… We’re a demographic that is not… It’s not easy to get into the sport because you are going through one of the most the hardest financial points in your life. And then you’re trying to take on a sport that is never going to… You’re never gonna profit from, that’s gonna cut into that pretty deep. And it’s also a time constraint for a lot of people. So I think that like, it’s just… I think a lot of people in the mid-20s will take over greater responsibilities and I think that you could grow the sport a lot bigger by recruiting more people in that age group.
0:43:36.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. I got in in that age group and it’s single, no kids, financials, right? Or it’s like.
0:43:42.8 Adam Renno: Yeah, exactly.
0:43:44.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: You’re not saving, not preparing for retirement, you don’t have a social life, but you are right like there’s gaps in that age. ‘Cause you’re trying to figure it out. You’re in college, you’re getting your very first job that, I mean, that was me and for me, it was me volunteering my time to go RO to be able to pay for that match. Yeah.
0:44:01.1 Adam Renno: Well, and that’s not on the shooting sports too, you’ve got your own podcast and things like that. You’ve managed some matches and I’ve seen you in a lot of articles lately.
0:44:12.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Just a few. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if you know, I have a Master’s in Marketing, so my background took me into marketing and then when I started shooting, I was like, “Okay, I love passion for shooting, and here’s my marketing degree, how to put them together,” and like it worked. So, but that’s not the case for every 20-year-old for sure. That’s like a… I knew what I wanted to do and I was gonna chase it and go after it. So there is ways to do it, but, yeah. It’s difficult. Yeah. Okay. So growing sport is trying to figure out maybe sponsors or some sort of entry and maybe for that midrange or lowering the barrier for cost or like borrowing gear, lending out gear. I think that’s huge. I know another club too in like Texas, they know the ammo like in our industry, obviously they like, we know people so like they order in bulk and then they let people buy ammo at the same price they pay for it just so they can shoot, ’cause most of these new shooters, they buy 50 rounds a year maybe, right? Like, they don’t think I need thousands of rounds. [chuckle]
0:45:08.9 Adam Renno: Yeah. I told people I shot 40 or 50K that one year and people get sauce on their eyes like…
0:45:14.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, people don’t believe me. I’m like, “No, no. I can give you the number of where I’m at halfway see right now,” [chuckle] Yeah. Cool.
0:45:24.0 Adam Renno: I don’t think it’s… There’s really anything… I don’t have a solution to the problem that, huge gap in people. When you look at like the top 20, a lot of like the juniors are they’re getting into their early 20s now or former juniors I guess we all are former juniors, but, people that were at the top at 17, 18 are now getting into their early 20s. They’re still sticking with it because they have the sponsors to keep going. But I, it’s just that you don’t see many new people getting in and, I don’t really know what to do about that because it’s not like there’s more money funneling into the sport to support that. And I don’t really… I don’t wanna say like, “Oh, we should give them free ammo,” and stuff like that too. And it’s just, it’s extremely difficult. But I think that people should be, and that group should be encouraged to join. Like if you… When I was like, I think in 2020, I was trying to get as many friends as I could ’cause I was like, “All right, well, I have ammunition. I have a source for ammo, I can sell you the ammo. You can come out, and you can borrow my gun, whatever, we’ll play with it.” And I got a few people in doing that way, but it’s a really complicated problem, I think.
0:46:33.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah. Not everyone can do it. I tell people like, “Your first match is on me or if you can’t get to a match and you wanna shoot a match, like I’ll just give you ammo and give you guns.” And that’s what I’ve been demoing with some of my friends and their daughters is like, here, locally. ‘Cause it is lonely too for me, it’s like, I want someone to shoot with, so I would rather give you ammo so I have a friend. Yeah.
0:46:49.6 Adam Renno: Yeah. Exactly. I have been guilty of bribing people to come out or I’ll be like, “Well, everything’s on me for the first one and then now you’re hooked and you’re addicted.”
0:47:04.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Bye.
0:47:05.8 Adam Renno: You said yes. It’s not my fault.
0:47:08.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: For sure. Now. Okay. For Steel Challenge, similar to you guys can say there’s area matches. You’ve got of course your state matches and your local stuff, but there’s also World Speed Shoot and there’s Rimfire World Challenge. Can you explain the difference between those organizations, those matches, what that looks like for you?
0:47:28.3 Adam Renno: For me, Steel is definitely prioritized. I like how Steel is balanced a little bit more. I shot… So I’m very new to Rimfire Challenge. I shot… My first Rimfire Challenge two weeks ago for Indiana State. And I knew I was pretty much competing with Lance Bratcher Jr when I was there, ’cause he’s local to us and that’s the homie. But we went in and I was… I had never seen like the… Well, no one had ever seen the stages ’cause they’re all new. But the way that I was told they were set up was that rifle is set up for most of precision stages. And I see the pistol is set up for speed stages where the plates are a lot bigger and a lot closer.
0:48:10.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay. Okay.
0:48:11.3 Adam Renno: I really, really enjoyed myself shooting Rimfire Challenge, but I’m a pistol shooter, entirely, pretty much. I don’t practice rifle at all anymore.
0:48:20.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: You’re like worked out. [laughter]
0:48:21.5 Adam Renno: Well, no, I love shooting rifle, but my time constraints are I could be really good at pistol and dedicate entirely at pistol and try to compete with the guys who have more time than me. Or I could do ’em both pretty good.
0:48:36.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Mediocre. That’s where I’m at. Mediocre across the board. No, but it is like that. [laughter]
0:48:39.4 Adam Renno: Well, I know it is fun. The way I’ve approached rifle is like I have low… I don’t have any expectations for it at all actually, because I don’t put…
0:48:48.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: That’s fun.
0:48:49.2 Adam Renno: Anything into it. Yeah. And I love shooting rifle.
0:48:53.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:48:53.9 Adam Renno: But when I go into… Like a pistol, when I go into shooting matches with pistol, I spent a lot of time and I spent a lot of money and other things on improving that and I have expectations for it and I know what I want to do.
0:49:04.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:49:04.8 Adam Renno: And if those fall short outside of my control, I’m gonna have fun regardless, but I don’t wanna think about that on my way home.
0:49:13.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: No.
0:49:13.7 Adam Renno: I wanna think about… I shoot my pistols in the morning and then I shoot my rifle in the afternoon. So no matter how I did with either gun, it doesn’t even matter. My rifle I know I’m gonna have a fun time regardless of my score and I’ll be thinking about that on the way home instead of, “Wow, I had a jam on pistol and it bombed my score and I spent a lot of time.” I don’t wanna think about that. That’s the last thing I want.
0:49:34.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah. Are you an AM RPM shooter by the way?
0:49:37.7 Adam Renno: What was that?
0:49:38.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: You’re an AM shooter is what it sound like you’re shooting your favorite guns, the ones that you wanna do well with and then…
0:49:42.4 Adam Renno: Oh, yeah.
0:49:43.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Okay. Okay. Keep going.
0:49:46.0 Adam Renno: I don’t practice rifle at all anymore. And actually I got interviewed at World Speed from the Outdoor Channel and I told them that, “I don’t think I like that.” I was shooting rifle at the time and I was like, “I don’t wanna say you shouldn’t practice, but I’m having a great time not practicing.” They did not include that in the episode.
0:50:07.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh, you watched it? Oh, that’s funny. That’s really funny actually. [laughter]
0:50:14.2 Adam Renno: I believe that Rimfire Challenge is very heavily rifle focused or the stages are weighted more for rifle. Where even though you have an equal amount of shots for each thing, I think that when you’re trying to catch somebody, as a competitor, you want the stages that are slow and difficult because those are gonna have the greatest skill gap and that’s where you’re gonna catch up time. If I have a really good smoking hope, I’m only gonna gain 0.1 maybe over my expectations.
0:50:40.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Point, yeah. That doesn’t matter.
0:50:43.2 Adam Renno: It’s a variance of like 0.2 seconds on a plain run.
0:50:45.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
0:50:47.0 Adam Renno: Now like outer limit, you can give me half a second or I can…
0:50:48.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Outer limits.
0:50:51.0 Adam Renno: Or even like a 0.75 which is massive. And those are the only place I can pick up time or like that. They’re a pendulum. If someone doesn’t make up on pendulum, that’s 0.5, maybe 0.7 depending on how, and if you grant or not, or penny.
0:51:06.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: It’s true.
0:51:09.1 Adam Renno: But I looked at Rimfire Challenge and I was like, I had already gone into it looking at. So Lance is significantly better than me in rifle. Lance is an excellent rifle shooter. I’d say I’m pretty close to him for pistol, we go back and forth, whatever day of the week it is. But we have a very friendly competition there. But I knew going on that match, I was like, “I’m gonna take second to Lance because my pistol is equal but I cannot make up 10 seconds in rifle.” And then I got there and they were all fast stages for pistol and I have been told that that’s the way for other Rimfire matches generally. And I was like, “Oh yeah, he’s got this in the bag.”
0:51:47.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: I don’t mean to interrupt. I actually know nothing about Rimfire Challenge. Are you telling me that there’s different stages for each Rimfire Challenge match and then they’re not like Steel Challenge where you know them going into it and I don’t know… Are they still five plates? Is there a stop plate? Walk me through as if I had never been there, cause I haven’t.
0:52:04.0 Adam Renno: As an expert who shot one match.
0:52:05.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: There we go.
0:52:07.5 Adam Renno: I’ve got… My understanding is that the stages are all made up beforehand and they’re not released. I know for Worlds, people were mad because they let out the stage. They weren’t exact when people showed the layout on the sheet.
0:52:21.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh, okay.
0:52:22.3 Adam Renno: And people were mad because they were like, “Well, now people can practice it at home if they’re… ” ‘Cause it was the first day of the event they released [0:52:27.9] ____.
0:52:28.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Right. And there’s five days of shooting.
0:52:30.7 Adam Renno: And so everyone that’s traveling is like, “Well, now, I can’t practice this stage like everyone else is going to or whatever.” But they’re supposed to be… They’re fresh for every match. They’re never reused. So the match that I went to, they had two… There was five stages for each gun and they had two boxes. The one box was like, they were almost like diagonal. So you’d have, like here’s your stage. You’d have one box here and one box way back here.
0:52:57.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay.
0:52:57.6 Adam Renno: So you’d shoot pistol up close. And so every single pistol stage was fast and every single rifle stage was slow and precise.
0:53:03.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: I don’t think that’s fair ’cause that’s not telling you that that shooter’s a well rounded shooter for either one.
0:53:08.7 Adam Renno: I’ve kinda felt that way a little bit as well, but I don’t know if that’s how it is for every club. That was the one match I got. My single size is a hundred percent. But I asked about it and it’s still fun. I’ll definitely go out and shoot those, but that’s why that’s not my main event.
0:53:24.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Is it still five steel plates or whatever and stop plate…
0:53:30.1 Adam Renno: They have… I think it’s 5-7 and you only get 10 rounds.
0:53:34.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: And you only get what?
0:53:36.0 Adam Renno: You only get 10 rounds.
0:53:37.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: 10 rounds and…
0:53:38.5 Adam Renno: And you can’t do…
0:53:40.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay. And then you have two boxes. You’re shooting what, two strings from each or two?
0:53:43.5 Adam Renno: Shoot… It’s… They’re like their own stages. So at the one we did where it was one box, you’d shoot five strings for pistol.
0:53:50.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Gotcha.
0:53:50.9 Adam Renno: And then they’d rotate everyone through for pistol and then you go and do the rifle version of it, just so it only occupied one day. I think it… I don’t know how they do it at World Speed. I heard that was new. But I asked about it and I was told that they do typically make the rifle stages the harder stages, in Rimfire Challenge, even at World Speed. But not World Rimfire…
0:54:11.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: World Rimfire Challenge, yeah. And there’s stop plates. There’s a stop plate.
0:54:16.7 Adam Renno: Yes.
0:54:16.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay. Now I’m trapping. Okay. Got ahead.
0:54:20.7 Adam Renno: So I’m still gonna shoot that Nationals. I’m still or I’m still gonna shoot Rimfire Worlds just for fun, and I… Everyone’s gonna be there. Why would I not…
0:54:27.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Well, and I was so bummed ’cause it’s the same weekend as PCC Production Nationals in CP at Talladega, ’cause it got moved to that date. And so meanwhile, World Rimfire is literally in my backyard every year and there’s always a nationals conflict on the same weekend. And I could shoot it right there [chuckle]
0:54:43.2 Adam Renno: They also have US Steel Shoot that same weekend.
0:54:48.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh.
0:54:48.6 Adam Renno: I heard about the… They only got a three-year hiatus or something like that. I had never even heard of this match.
0:54:53.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Right.
0:54:53.9 Adam Renno: And I hadn’t been in. And I was asking people about it and they’re like,” Oh yeah, it was the formerly the Steel Nationals, but it wasn’t sanctioned.” The US PSA went along with it, I guess. I don’t know if they have price tables or whatever, but everybody that’s fast in all the Rimfire divisions are all gonna be Rimfires. Yeah. So I thought of going anyway just to be… I’ll be like,” Maybe I can clean up… “
0:55:17.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Go in, yeah. [chuckle] That’s frustrating though. You don’t want that you do like… The people are gonna go are gonna be happy ’cause they’re like, “Oh yeah, I have a chance at this.” Right. But then at the same time, people… Yeah, are like, nobody can go.
0:55:32.0 Adam Renno: And I think that the level system is important for matches, but I think it’s… Who’s there is what makes a major, I believe. Like East Coast Steel Challenge. I think East Coast Steel Challenge, I think it’s third biggest in attendance. I think a lot of people consider to be one less than World Speed, even though it’s really just a state match. It’s, I think it’s Pennsylvania. But it’s got a fancy label and they got payouts, so competition’s there. You could have… Even if you had just a random state with one day, like an AM session, if you had five people from the top 20 show up for a couple different divisions, I’d consider it a major.
0:56:17.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah.
0:56:20.1 Adam Renno: I think that the… It’s just a label of who shows up.
0:56:23.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Oh, we skipped over that. Circling back to now, with area five. So first big major impact of your life, what happened at this one?
0:56:33.3 Adam Renno: I came back and I won actually. I came full circle. So I ended up… I took 10th my first year I went and then I came back, I took third, I think. And then this year I won high overall. That one was really crazy. That was my match where I only had one makeup.
0:56:47.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Cool. One makeup that counted, or did that get dropped?
0:56:52.3 Adam Renno: It was on the clock. So I had… And it came full circle actually, because, I won’t name who it was, but there was a young man who was shooting with us that I was talking to throughout the weekend and his father that were there, and they were following us around squads and they were shooting us for… I think they shot us on one of the sessions. They were there the whole time. I can’t remember which one they shot in. But they were hanging out and when I had that, when I did have that makeup, they were there watching the whole thing. And I had… My makeup was on string three and I had… It was like a makeup on stop or plate, I think, it was really quick. But when I came, it was still a… I think I had a PB on that stage, even with the makeup.
0:57:33.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: That’s awesome.
0:57:33.9 Adam Renno: So I was not mad about it in the slightest. I was not pressed, but it was like a… It was a 1008. And I went in on the last string and I had a jam on the last shot, and I came in really hard. I was… That one I knew I pushed it, ’cause I was like, I knew there was a PB, I’m gonna go for it. And I had the shot lined up, I called it in my head on the stop plate and just went click, and it was a failure to eject. And I was kinda… And I walked off the line and I was still smiling about it actually, I still… It was still a good stage, and I was like, “Oh, cool.” That was typical. [laughter] And that young man, he came… His father came over to me and he asked me, he is like, “Hey man, I really appreciate you setting an example for that.” ‘Cause I know that his son, he wouldn’t have done that. And he knows a lot of people that wouldn’t. So that was cool, to go back and do that, set an example. It was meaningful to me at that event specifically because it was full circle of what I had experienced or the mirror of it, or on the other side for two years ago. And that was what I wanted. I wanted to be able to make people excited to be out there. And I wanted to make sure… I wanna be the guy, when I go out there, to make sure everyone else is having fun with how they’re shooting, regardless of how it’s going.
0:59:01.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: You and I are the same person, yeah. I got to shoot at Kentucky a couple weeks ago. This helped, okay, when I cut my finger open, I was shooting rifle. It helped…
0:59:08.2 Adam Renno: Oh, you lost the pocket knife?
0:59:10.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, yeah. I have it, it’s… Yeah. Zero to Kenzie one, two. [laughter]
0:59:15.3 Adam Renno: I gotta, got it out on Facebook.
0:59:17.4 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Thank you, Steve Foster, with Creekside custom, shout out. No, but what was cool about that is I was angry at my myself because I wanted to go into that match and destroy. I was like, “I’ve shot really well, I’m doing pretty good. I really wanna win.” I do, of course, right. But then I was like, expectations Kenzie and you have this really fat finger and I had to pull a rope, which I forgot to do the inaccurate, the wrong way, and I hurt myself by pulling it the right way. And then unloaded start was not fun either, so there were challenges. But I remember coming off so many stages where I just went full send and it wasn’t a great hit factor. I had so many, well Charlie Delta’s over there, and I was floored. I was like,” Did you see the raw time though?” [chuckle]
0:59:58.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. And in another long stage, I even paused because I did call my shots on that one. I was like, “Did I hit it? Did I hit it? Did I hit it? I know I missed it. I know I missed it. I know I missed it.” But I didn’t make up the shot and I just kept going. And it was one I was like running gun 50-yard stage it was so long. But at the end of it I was like, “That was really fun.” ‘Cause I like shooting and moving and running and gunning. But like you said, just coming off and smiling at people like, “Why is she happy? She sucked at that.” [laughter]
1:00:22.8 Adam Renno: Yeah.
1:00:23.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: I was like, “Dude, that was awesome.” The gun ran. I’m happy I’m outside. I don’t know.
1:00:29.5 Adam Renno: Well, it’s infectious too. When you’re… We all have had people that throw tantrums. I’m not gonna smile at them again. I’ve always… In rifle we had this too where we’re like… In rifle you all shoot in one big line with one firing line with all targets down range.
1:00:49.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Okay.
1:00:50.2 Adam Renno: And so I always really like shooting next to left-handed shooters in front of me because that way you’re facing each other. And so what we were told to do is, you smile at your teammates or even whoever’s next to you if they’re a competitor too.
1:01:04.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
1:01:05.4 Adam Renno: If you have a bad shot, you smile because then your teammate sees it and they’re like, “Oh, well it’s contagious.” And it’s like, “Oh, my teammate’s having a good day. I’m having a good day. This is fun. We’re all here to have fun.” If it’s a competitor, they’re gonna go, “Oh my God, he just shot an amazing string. I gotta pick this.” And then they’re in their head.
1:01:21.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: And they’re in their head. Yeah. I think that…
1:01:23.5 Adam Renno: I’m not trying to get anyone in their head for shooting when I’m shooting Steel but it’s the same idea of like, you kind of… You throttle your excitement off of other people that you’re with in your energy. And that’s why the last… For my first two World Speeds, I shot with a kid, Nicholas Spinoff. I really like Nicholas. He didn’t make it to this last World Speed. But we kinda… You make a friend on a squad. You’re always high fiving them, you’re always fist bumping on them no matter what kinda run they had and they’ll stay in the game. And you’ll stay in the game too, because you wanna keep that up.
1:02:01.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, yeah. For sure. I like all this. This is good experience, good life lessons for sure ’cause I carried over outside of shooting as well.
1:02:09.8 Adam Renno: Absolutely.
1:02:10.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah.
1:02:12.7 Adam Renno: I used to be very introverted before I started taking this more seriously. When I’d show up… I wouldn’t ever approach anybody. I’d just kinda be shooting. I’d join in and I was kinda more responsive. I’m always been more responsive than initiator. But I knew that if I wanted to be who I wanted to be, I would need to do that and be more personable and be personality. And it’s helped me out in everyday life too. It’s transferred over and I’m much more outgoing now than I was before.
1:02:45.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yep.
1:02:45.8 Adam Renno: And I’m more confident talking to strangers and stuff like that. And that was a really big deal to me.
1:02:50.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. I adopt introverts. That’s my hobby. It’s really, really fun.
1:02:55.2 Adam Renno: Oh, yeah. I like to do it as well.
1:02:58.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: It’s really fun. And then if you go back and listen, I’ll have podcast up with Travis Fosse and he… I was like, “You’re an introvert that had to become an extrovert.” And he is an extrovert now, there’s no going back. Because in this industry, when you’re at that level and you wanted like you said, welcome new shooters or people or whatever, you have to become an extrovert. There’s no option.
1:03:16.4 Adam Renno: Yeah. And especially if there’s people that like… I don’t wanna sound this way, but I still seem… I go home from matches. This is not my… I’m not making a salary or nothing like that. I don’t think anyone’s making anything if anything at all. I go home and I’m in a premise for instruction. So I go home and I get to play whoever I am on the weekend or I have people wanna see me on the weekend. But I come home and I’m still just the dude who’s a helper. And I think a lot of people don’t see that. They see your social media and they see your scores and they’re like, “Oh, well this… ” You might be the first person… That impression might be the first one they have when they come see you. And if you’re someone who is just completely isolating or only talking to the people that you consider to be your peers, that you consider yourself to be a different status for whatever reason, then that person’s not going to approach people like that. And they might not learn anything from their experience with you.
1:04:17.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
1:04:17.8 Adam Renno: And they might see that as they don’t want to continue to shoot with people of that nature.
1:04:26.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. I think all of us shooters need to remember that we are just people. That’s like…
1:04:32.3 Adam Renno: Absolutely.
1:04:32.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: The most part, 90% of us are like, “This is what I do for fun. I’m just human. We’re all human. We all have the same stuff going on in life. Family, friends, loss, love, whatever’s going on.” So yeah, I remind people, I’m like, “Yeah, my social media is this.” That’s why I hate and love social media. But I was like, “But I am just a redneck from lower Alabama enjoying shooting guns.” But I put in the work that’s for sure. But I’m like, “You can do it, anybody can do it. If I can do it, anybody can do it.” [laughter] But you’re right, you’re right. You have to remember to step down from your pedestal sometimes.
1:05:05.4 Adam Renno: Yeah. And I think it’s a hard balance too. And I have… Through precision rifle shooting, I have met a lot of… I’ve talked to a lot of a couple Olympians and stuff like that and people that are way up in their version of their side of the sport.
1:05:21.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Their discipline. Yeah.
1:05:22.1 Adam Renno: Their classes they are. But I’ve discussed a lot of topics like that with them that I don’t feel comfortable discussing with people that are in my own sport just because of how it might appear. But a lot of people, I think that to perform at your highest level, you have to have no doubts about what you’re doing. So I think the people that get really good, it’s common to feel like you’re a different status almost. But I think people need… I think every match when you show up, if you’re showing up there to win the match, you have to show up knowing who you are and what you’ve done. And in the sense of what you’ve accomplished previously and what work you’ve put in to be there to be confident in your shooting and make confident shots.
1:06:08.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
1:06:09.6 Adam Renno: But if you make that your personality, I think you’re not gonna last.
1:06:14.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good advice.
1:06:15.8 Adam Renno: ‘Cause people won’t put up with it ’cause people don’t like it.
1:06:18.3 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
1:06:18.5 Adam Renno: And also, you won’t get any help from the people and you won’t have anyone to celebrate with when you’re done if you do win.
1:06:27.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Yeah, absolutely. Well, Adam, I appreciate all these insights and these learnings. Is there anything that we haven’t talked about or that I missed or that you wanna share?
1:06:38.0 Adam Renno: I’m gonna plug, I do have a free shooting guide. So I actually… I wrote down, it was like a, I say a 12-page document. I occasionally update it, it’s very… I speak in a very mechanical sense, but it’s a very dense guide of like, I consider to be advanced mechanics. So it goes into stuff like mental prep that I’ve used and different techniques that I’ve used to practice to get where I am now and things I’ve experimented with that worked or didn’t work that I’ve stuck with, that is available on my Facebook. It’s in a pinned post on a Google Docs. You can open it up and save it, print it out, whatever.
1:07:12.7 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Cool.
1:07:13.8 Adam Renno: A lot of people have found that to be very useful and it’s due for an update pretty soon anyway.
1:07:19.5 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: I probably need to go read that. [chuckle] So I will go check it out for sure. Speaking of that too, we’ll go back to sponsors in a second, I wanna talk about them, but what is your social media for people to be able to go find you and find that document?
1:07:32.2 Adam Renno: My Instagram is Adam Renno Shooting. That’s R-E-N-N-O, no one can say it right. I don’t mind if you mess it up but then you can also find me on my Facebook. I just have a personal page that I’ve posted everything to against family’s wishes I bet, but you can find everything on there. Just Adam Renno. And I post some match videos up to YouTube, but that’s not as populated. I usually, I’ll throw like nine-minute videos of full matches on there that I kinda wanna watch ’em ’cause I know that that’s would’ve been a resource that I would’ve liked to have watching other people while I was trying to improve my own skill.
1:08:08.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Oh, for sure, both for first person, third person videos are really helpful. Yeah. Let’s talk about sponsors in the sport, I know we both share several of ’em and, whether you’re in USPSA, Steel Challenge, Three Gun, there you go. I see the logos. So if you wanna talk about the companies that you work for and not just, or work with, but not just that, the sponsors in general, what they do for the sport, why we should be supporting them, and how important they are, and thank them.
1:08:37.9 Adam Renno: So my major sponsors are, ZX Gun. They were my first really big sponsor that really supplied help or assistance. They supply all my ammunition. I think that the best way to get sponsorships is to have… You have to be the person that they want to sponsor, not necessarily the person that wins the matches. So I knew a lot of… Everyone that I shoot with as far, it’s like on my jersey, they’re all people that I would like to work with and use their products independently even if I wore a logo or not. I got behind their stuff and it was stuff that I was already using and I went and messaged them and like, “Hey, I like your stuff. Do you want to get in a relationship for this kind of thing?”
1:09:20.9 Adam Renno: So like ZX I was with them for… I started my sponsorship with them in 2020. I’ve been shopping there since I was like 2017-ish and I knew all the guys in the shop and I was like, “Hey I’m doing this, do you guys wanna join?” It’s kinda how it went. It was pretty casual I just kind of drop in and drop out. But the sponsors for the matches are huge. I know that a lot of majors and a lot of people were talking about this at World Speed is like, they were in the negative. It’s like, well, they put those events on, the sponsors put those events on not with the intention of making money, it’s the intention of making the sport bigger so people see it and they take it more seriously. I guess people more opportunities to do that, have good experiences going to these major matches and seeing all their friends that everyone knows each other.
1:10:09.8 Adam Renno: And I think that that would not happen without all the people that are willing to pay that deficit. And like USPSA absorbs a decent amount of that, but sponsors, I don’t think the return on investment for sponsors for a lot of matches is really there. Like Hunters HD, everybody knows Hunters HD and they know how much they get back and they know that it’s possible to do this and have those kind of big, fancy events. And there’s no way USPSA or local clubs could do that without their support. I think they gave… Brian was saying that they gave away, it was like $250,000 this year, just so far into this year.
1:10:51.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: So far. Yeah, quarter of a million dollars, I made that graphic and I…
1:10:54.5 Adam Renno: That’s massive. I think all of it was, I thought it was like $50,000, for World Speed last year it was like $60,000. It was somewhere in that range and that’s a lot. And they’re one sponsor, they’re like, well, Horton puts a lot of stuff. TANDEMCROSS puts out a lot of stuff.
1:11:13.8 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Still TargetPay I think doesn’t get a lot of credit because they’re supplies and people forget consumables are so expensive like targets and Pasters and paint is huge. And when I see, oh my God, a match without the target paint, I lose my mind. I get so angry and I’m like, “This is garbage, it’s leaking, it still looks grey, this is not okay.”
1:11:37.5 Adam Renno: Well, and you need that at higher end events too, a lot that’s applied, that’s been standardized. A lot of people, I have so many people that they’ll… I’ve brought people to Steel Challenge matches and they’re like, “You have special paint for just painting the steel?” It does make a difference like shooting at Rimfire, it’s huge. If you’re trying to set world record times, you have to build to see it the fastest, you wanna take out as many variables as you can so you use the stuff.
1:12:05.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Game changer. Yeah. Who else, did we miss anybody, I know you’re talking about a couple.
1:12:10.4 Adam Renno: The [1:12:10.4] ____ has given me a lot of, well that’s the original rifle team that I was part of. I was running their logo on stuff before I had received anything from them really. ‘Cause I, they’re just a company that, or as a business model I guess, and a program. I think it’s really, really positive for shooting sports because it’s extremely accessible for anybody. Yeah. We had paraplegic shooters this year who were shooting air rifle. I’ve seen blind people shoot air rifle. [laughter] They have a product for it where it’s a little laser that tracks your target and so it’ll live update on a little screen or a computer system. And it will… It’ll make different tones of beeps depending on how far away you’re from the target dead center. So you play it by the beep and you pull your trigger.
1:13:02.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Super cool, yeah.
1:13:03.8 Adam Renno: And then you have someone else that’s a spotter that’s like, “Oh, you shot this far out,” or whatever once you fired a shot and I’ll tell you what it is or it’ll read out to whatever the score is.
1:13:12.2 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Super neat. Awesome. Well, Adam, is there any other final thoughts, words of wisdom or anything else that you wanna leave people with?
1:13:19.5 Adam Renno: Call your shots.
1:13:21.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: For sure.
1:13:23.1 Adam Renno: Just see the sites. It’s that easy. It’s so easy.
1:13:27.0 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: And one for one. One for one is always faster.
1:13:28.6 Adam Renno: Yeah. They’re a bit tight one for one.
1:13:32.1 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Awesome. Thank you so much. And I know I don’t shoot Steel Challenge enough, but I love seeing your videos and pictures and I see a lot of your posts ’cause I share ’em with Hunters. But I hope to see you on a range very soon. For sure.
1:13:43.7 Adam Renno: Thank you for having me.
1:13:44.6 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Absolutely. All right, listeners, stay tuned to the next episode of the Reticle Up podcast coming next week.
1:13:50.9 Kenzie Fitzpatrick: Thanks for listening to the Reticle Up podcast. Be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcast and on YouTube. Follow along on social media at Reticle Up 3 Gun Kenzie.