A few months ago, ISOtunes Sport spoke with Andrew Hyder after he participated in the USPSA National Championship. He talked about his experience competing in the Open Division, and what it was like to place sixth after a few days of the competition. Although we all know Andrew to carry a big presence in the world of action shooting, he has just as much of an interesting life off the range. Read on to learn more about Andrew.
Who are you off the range?
- I am a husband and a dad to an adorable 8-month-old son, Jax. I bleed the Second Amendment even off the range.
What got you into shooting?
- I used to race motorcycles for a living but quit in December 2008. Before racing, I always had a passion for guns, but I wasn’t educated on them and didn’t own any. I was searching for something to replace my passion for the racetrack. One day I watched a 3 Gun video on Youtube, and I admired how much fun they had; that’s when I realized they were racing with guns. That’s what sparked my interest in going down the rabbit hole of competitive shooting. I took a year break from motorcycle racing and then bought a concealed carry gun in 2010. I would shoot 100 rounds at the range once a month with my dad and began competitive shooting in 2012.
What drew you to action shooting?
- The racing component. It is such an individual sport that you don’t have to follow the same suit as everyone else ; it caters to your strengths instead of your weaknesses.
What division do you shoot and what drew you to that division?
- I primarily shoot the Open Division, which is like the top fuel division of shooting sports. Everything goes as fast as you can imagine, with very few restrictions. It really boils down to the shooter’s capability behind the gun; everything is optimized. Just to get my feet wet, I shot a couple matches in the production division which is limited to ten-round capacity magazines. However once I saw someone in a higher division shoot open, I knew that’s what would replace me being on a motorcycle on the racetrack.
What is your current USPSA classification?
- I’m currently ranked as a Grand Master! To be a Grand Master, you have to fall in between 95 to 100% hit factor of all shooters in USPSA on at least 4 classifier events.. I scored at 96.3% at USPSA Nationals.
What kinds of things did you focus on to make Grand Master(GM) and how long did that take?
- It took me nine months of serious training. I would shoot dry fire drills two hours a day, five days a week, minimum three matches a month, with 1,000-1,500 rounds per week. It’s a lot of gun handling skill. I tried to really shorten and bridge the gap from the guys who have been doing this for 15 or 20 years.
How has the focus changed or shifted over the last decade?
- The focus has changed to compete at a grand master level and to be more efficient in everything. Every movement in your body matters whereas it used to be about how fast you can get a gun out of a holster. That carrot was dangling in front of me, and once I made it to the next level I realized “I’m here, and I have to work for it.” I changed how I trained - focused on becoming more fluid, more consistent, and more conscious of every movement I make.
What are your goals for the 2023 season?
- I want to shoot in four national championships, along with various other state and area matches. The goal is to win everything I compete in, which is a stretch because two divisions I am only competing in because they are close to home. I want to win USPSA Open Nationals, and US IPSC Nationals. If I could round out the consistency of bigger matches that would be great; I just want to be as consistent as possible. My long term goal is to qualify for the 2025 men’s world championship in South Africa. I also wish to continue growing as a father; it’s all still very new to me. I want to help Jax grow into a little man.