Father-son pistol shooting duo dominating competition
Published 12:02 am Sunday, November 2, 2014
NATCHEZ — Jimmy Wilkinson and his son Jimmy “Boo” Wilkinson Jr. are just like any other father-son combo.
They enjoy participating in sporting events together, but their sport is a little bit different than most.
The Wilkinsons have teamed up and become one of the best competitive pistol shooting teams around, with father and son competing for two years now.
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“It is a fun sport where my dad and I can hang out,” Wilkinson Jr. said. “I thought it would be nice to be able to do that.”
Both have enjoyed success, most recently, at the Louisiana state championship.
“We did pretty good,” Jimmy said. “I came in second in the open division, and my son got high junior.”
Jimmy said he was like most parents of a 13-year-old who wants to handle a gun, cautiously.
“Sure, I had some reservations, but with the competitions we shoot, they emphasize safety so much,” he said. “If you break one of their rules, you are disqualified. Safety comes first.”
Jimmy has had the experience, though, making him more than happy to pass along his knowledge to his son.
“I’ve been around guns since I was about his age,” he said. “I grew up hunting and stuff.”
But the competitions the two are shooting aren’t as easy as shooting from a tree stand or shooting house. Instead, they put the shooters on the move.
“In the competition this past weekend we had to open a door and go in and shoot through doors and holes,” Jimmy said. “We shoot moving targets as well. We shoot a lot of different stations, not just still shooting.”
Making it through the stage also takes some planning and knowledge of the weapon.
“You’ve got to plan your stage out and work in your magazine changes so you don’t run your gun dry,” Jimmy said. “We take probably three or four magazines at a time, and you’ll shoot through them all in a stage.”
Wilkinson Jr. knows his guns well and said that his favorite to shoot is his 40 caliber.
“I mostly shoot my major gun which is the 40 cal,” he said. “I also shoot a minor gun, a 9 millimeter. But my favorite is the 40, though. I’ve had it for about three months.”
Although the sport isn’t huge, it still draws plenty of shooters.
“You see people that are masters all the way down to beginners,” Jimmy said.
Jimmy and his son usually compete in two matches a month and blow through about 1,000 rounds apiece during that time.
For the Wilkinsons, competitive shooting hasn’t only brought a fun activity for a father and son to share, it has also helped develop a young boy.
“I’ve seen a lot of passion and a lot of maturity from him,” said Jimmy of his son. “I’ve seen him mature with guns and in just general life over the past year than most 13-year-olds.”
Wilkinson Jr. said he has gotten memories from shooting that he will never forget.
“When I was six I shot my first 22 and it was really fun,” he said. “It brings back memories every time I touch a gun.”
Next up for the duo is a tournament in Byram this weekend.