Dustin Carr of the California Grizzlies – Junior Feature
September 24, 2020Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸Dustin Carr of the California Grizzlies – Junior Feature
Dustin Carr, 19, has been a member of the California Grizzlies for four years.
At the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Talladega Highpower Regional Cup Matches, held at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in July 2020, Carr landed in the Top 10 of Service Rifle competitors and earned himself the High Junior Honor during the aggregate event. He also joined teammate Lauren “Sissy” Wood in the Two-Man Team Match to earn third place overall.
In 2018, Carr set a new junior record in the Vintage Military event during the National Games Matches at Camp Perry. He was also one of the members of the High Junior California Grizzlies team that fired in the National Trophy Infantry Trophy (Rattle Battle) Match in 2019 as well as the National Trophy Team that set a new junior National Record score the same year.
In April 2019, Carr earned Distinguished Rifleman Badge #2490 and has currently earned points toward Service Pistol and .22 Rimfire Pistol badges.
How did you get into competitive shooting?
I got into competitive shooting from my Dad. My dad was into highpower shooting when he was in the Navy, and he talked about how great it was.
Do you only shoot highpower? What’s your favorite firearm to shoot, and why?
The types of competitions that I do are highpower rifle and bullseye pistol. I’m currently Distinguished in rifle but working very hard on going Distinguished in pistol. I love all firearms. I can’t really say that I love one firearm from another, but I can shoot the best with my service rifle. The rifle that I’m shooting is an AR-15 with a 4.5 powered scope with a pined UBR stock. The rifle weighs about 25 pounds to reduce wobble.
What is one of your best memories from competitive shooting?
My favorite memory of shooting is when I went Distinguished in rifle. It was just a great feeling. I won the bullseye pistol match that day as well.
What is your practice routine? How often, and what do you do?
My practice routine… Well, when I shoot offhand at the range, I’ll shoot 40-60 shots, but almost every day I dry fire. I do have a process when dry firing, but I would take too long to type so in simpler words. When I dry fire or shoot, I talk to my trigger finger, and that’s how almost every shot is repetitive and consistent.
How do you prepare for a match on match day (mentally and physically)?
Before match day, I make sure I have everything I need – write in my data book and try to picture in my mind’s eye a perfect shot. I’m still trying to find a way to control my nerves during the match though. When I find the secret to that, I’ll tell you.
What’s the best shooting advice you’ve ever received?
The best shooting advice I’ve gotten was from a person named Jim O’Connell, saying, “Be aware of the trigger.” To me, that means feel out the trigger and be aware of pulling the trigger.
What are some other hobbies you have outside of shooting?
Outside of shooting, I wrestle and lift weights. #gymrat
What are your plans for the future (in and outside of shooting)? What are some goals you hope to achieve?
Right now I work at a gun store and am going to college, but I would like to join the military one day.
About the California Grizzlies:
The California Grizzlies Rifle Team has been a part of the Jamestown, California, community for over two decades – formed in 2003 and earning a 501(c)3 distinction in 2008. Consisting of juniors between the ages of 13 and 20 who come from all over the state of California, the team is open to National Rifle Association and CMP Highpower classified California youth who are interested in trying out. Many Grizzlies have advanced from their junior marksmanship careers to the Citadel, Air Force Academy, Army Marksmanship Unit, U.S. Rifle Team, Navy and Annapolis.
Each summer, the California Grizzlies travel to Camp Perry, Ohio, to compete in the annual National Matches. Over the years, the Grizzlies have accrued countless junior wins in National Matches events, with National Record-setting members. One of their most notable accomplishments came in 2009, when the Grizzlies became the first junior team to win the century-old Rattle Battle, also snagging the honor of being the first civilian team to win the match since 1930. With the win, the team also set a new junior National Record score.
To learn more about the California Grizzlies, visit their website at https://www.teamgrizzlies.org/index.html.
Interested in getting involved in marksmanship in your area? Visit the CMP Competition Tracker page and search clubs: https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=clubSearch. You can also get in touch with your CMP State Director through the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/training-tech/state-director/.
– By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Staff Writer