Just a few hours ago, Andy Slade took 1st place at the 2023 Armageddon Gear Cup, winning the $30,000 prize! Clay Blackketter won $5,000 for winning Day 1 & 2 of the competition, plus another $7,000 for coming in 2nd place on the final day of shooting. Keith Baker finished in 3rd. Congrats to those guys and the rest of the competitors!
The AG Cup is a unique, 3-day precision rifle match featuring the biggest cash payouts of the year. Tom Fuller, owner of Armageddon Gear, has designed the AG Cup to run very different than other Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches throughout the year. The AG Cup only consists of about 30 shooters who have to qualify for the event via AG Cup qualifying PRS matches throughout the year. They represent the best-of-the-best, so all the stages are designed exclusively with that top-tier professional competitor in mind. Also, all of the big, national-level, pro-series PRS matches are 2-day matches, but the AG Cup is a 3-day match. The match starts with around 30 shooters who compete over the first 2 days of competition. After Day 1 and 2, all the shooters are ranked, and only 15 shooters advance to Day 3. The kicker is that all scores reset to zero for Day 3. The scores from Day 1 and 2 don’t carry over, so the $30,000 prize could be anyone’s. It definitely adds a bit of drama to the environment.
The location of the match changes from year to year, with this year’s AG Cup being held at the Clinton House Plantation gun range in Clinton, South Carolina. Day 3 was shot in a completely new area of the range where none of the shooters had ever shot. Commentators at the event said the facilities cleared trees for that new portion of the range just 3 months ago. That was intended to ensure a level playing field, even if some of the shooters were local to the area.
Andy Slade dominated Day 3, finishing with 97 points – which was 10+ hits more than some of the very best shooters in the world. Clay Blackketter and Keith Baker were the only two within 10 points of Andy.
Here are the complete results from all 3 days for all of the shooters:
Even those who came in at the bottom of the list are truly world-class shooters. I’d personally be thrilled to be good enough to be listed at 30th! 😉 Only the top-tier pro shooters are invited to the AG Cup, and the stages are very challenging. So well done to the entire field of competitors!
The Shooter’s Mindset had a live stream of all 3 days of the AG Cup that you can watch on their Facebook page. Thank you, guys, for doing that! I was watching live when Andy claimed the victory, seen below.
About Andy Slade
Andy Slade says the most important thing for him is always going to be God and his family. He was raised in rural Virginia, where he grew up roaming the woods with a 22 rifle hunting squirrels. Andy joined the Marine Corps at the age of 23, not long after 9/11. Shooting continued to be a big part of Andy’s life in the military. Andy says he was fortunate enough to shoot company high, which got him on the radar of some higher-ups in his unit and allowed him to go to the coach’s course and later the instructors/trainers course so he could help other marines become more lethal.
Andy was still in the Marine Corps when he started shooting long-range rifle competitions, but it was something he personally got into and was doing in his free time. When he went to the instructor course, the Marine Corps noticed some of the things he was doing on the competition side, and they extended him an invite to try out for the Marine Corps’ competition team. After joining the Marine Corps Reserve Shooting Team, Andy was able to claim a few competition wins, including the 2019 Mammoth Sniper Challenge.
After retiring from the military, Andy helped start the Virginia Precision Rifle Club. Today, Andy is a full-time marksmanship instructor/performance coach through a company called Rifleman’s Path. Andy became a sponsored shooter for Team MDT in 2021. He won his first pro-series PRS matches this year by taking 1st at both the MDT Frostbite PRS Match in February and later the Pigg River Precision H.A.M. PRS Match in June. He also finished 2nd in the 2023 PRS Pro-Series Finale match, landing Andy at 3rd overall in the 2023 PRS Season Points.
That is already a long list of accomplishments – but he’s now added 2023 AG Cup Champion to that resume!
I (Cal, author of PRB) was fortunate enough to be in the same squad with Andy Slade back in May at the Okie Showdown AG Cup Qualifier Match. After shooting with Andy for 2 days, I can say for certain that Andy is one of the best guys in this game. He’s always willing to help other shooters, share his knowledge or equipment – and I could tell he was an extremely hard worker and a great dad. The PRS community has a lot of great people, and Andy is definitely one of those at the top of the list. Congrats, Andy!
Here is a video produced by MDT where Andy introduces himself, and you can watch an entire series of videos that MDT produced where Andy shares some shooting and training tips.
Andy Slade’s Competition Rifle Setup
Andy literally completed my “What The Pros Use” survey last night (12/2) as he was at the AG Cup, so I have all of his gear details hot off the press! Thanks for sharing the info with the rest of us, Andy!
- Action: Lone Peak Arms Fuzion
- Chassis: MDT ACC Elite (not bedded)
- Barrel: 26” Geissele barrel in MTU contour
- Gunsmith: ICE Rifles (this is owned by Keith Baker, who finished 3rd in the 2023 AG Cup)
- Trigger: Trigger Tech Diamond set to 10 ounces
- Muzzle Brake: MDT
- Scope: Vortex 6-36×56 Razor HD Gen III with EBR-7D reticle
- Scope Mount: MDT One-Piece Scope Mount
- Bipod: MDT Ckye-Pod (only bipod he carries at a match)
Andy Slade’s Ammo Load Data
Andy also shared his load data on my “What The Pros Use” survey, so I’ll pass along all of those details:
- Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor
- Bullet: Berger 153.5 gr. Long Range Hybrid Target
- Powder: 40.6 gr. Hodgdon H4350
- Brass: Peterson
- Primer: CCI #450 Magnum Small Rifle Primers
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,680 fps (SD = 5 fps)
Thanks again, Andy, for sharing all of that info with the rest of us!