Robert Vogel was raised on a farm in rural Ohio, where guns and shooting were a part of life, and where Robert learned early to shoot and hunt with rifles, shotguns and handguns. At 15, he decided to become a police officer, joining the police academy after high school. While at the academy, he discovered competitive shooting, launching a career that, as of this writing, has resulted in two World and 16 National Championships across three Practical/Combat shooting disciplines.

“For eight and a half years I served as a full-time street cop. During most of that tenure I was a part of the agency’s SWAT team and was also one of their firearms instructors,” Vogel said.

Do you think that competitive shooting has applications for those who want to train for self-defense purposes with their handgun?

Of course it does. Whether you’re talking about competitive shooting (USPSA, IDPA), law enforcement applications or even concealed carry/self-defense shooting, they all have this in common—you are taking a real handgun and trying to shoot at, and actually hit, a human-sized target as fast as you can hit it under a variety of different circumstances. I don’t care which of those three you’re most interested in, when it comes down to the shooting that is the goal!

There are those, of course, who put down competitive shooting, but it usually seems to be out of convenience, for those people most often fall into one of two categories:
They have very limited experience in it, they’re not very good… or both.

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