2011 marks two decades of GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) matches. Alan Ramsey has been head of GSSF, and also GLOCK’s director of training, since 2005. He took a little time out of his busy schedule to help our readers understand where GSSF has been and where it’s going.
Q: Alan, how long have you been with GLOCK?
A: Nine years. Prior to that I was with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Q: Can you give our readers a brief history of GSSF?
A: GSSF goes back to 1991. Our founder, Mr. Gaston Glock, decided he wanted to create a form of handgun competition that was specific to GLOCK pistols. The object was a venue in which his customers could use their GLOCKs in a safe, fun, family-friendly setting. He grabbed Chris Edwards to start it up and he did an absolutely great job! Chris was, more than anyone else, responsible for creating the courses of fire, with a lot of help from USPSA great Tom Campbell, Scott Gilbertson and others over the years. We have separate divisions for every type of GLOCK, from the subcompacts to the most exotic target models.
Q: Chris’ duties have expanded at GLOCK, but I understand he keeps his hand in as a GSSF coordinator. How many other coordinators do you have?
A: There’s Scott Gilbertson, who apart from Chris has been with us the longest. There is Cindy Noyes, who is hugely popular with the shooters. And there is our newest GSSF coordinator, Scotty Banks.
Q: Track the growth of GSSF for us.
A: We now have over 12,000 members. Membership has almost tripled in the last few years. In the fall of 2010, we had our largest GLOCK match ever – GLOCK Annual Shoot Number 17 at the South River Gun Club in Conyers, Ga. We had 411 shooters, some entering multiple pistol categories for a total of 744 entries. We’ll soon have our 500th GSSF match, in Oxford, NC. We’re particularly gratified that so many whole families shoot GSSF. We also encourage senior citizens and juniors and have a strong female turnout, with separate categories for each. Another branch of GSSF that has developed very well is our GSSF Indoor League, which now offers over 180 matches a year around the country.
Q: Any plans to celebrate GSSF’s upcoming 20th Anniversary?
A: Well, we had a Tenth Anniversary GSSF Commemorative pistol a decade ago and we have some design suggestions going back and forth between Smyrna and Austria for a Twentieth Anniversary Commemorative pistol.
Q: A lot of GLOCK owners don’t realize that a GSSF membership entitles them to more than just shooting matches.
A: They can get a free inspection of every GLOCK they bring to a GSSF match. We do routine parts replacements, such as springs, at no charge. You’d like us to install a New York trigger? No charge. We don’t sell things like night sights at the match, so we don’t compete with our regular dealers, but if a GSSF member brings in GLOCK-approved night sights, we’ll install them for free.
Q: And the armorer’s school?
A: Until recently, only police and military could attend the armorer’s school, but today an exception is made for the private citizen who is a GSSF member. Around 25% to 30% of GLOCK armorer’s school attendees these days are there through GSSF.
Q: And the annual gun discount?
A: GSSF membership entitles you to our “Police Price” on one gun a year. On a standard service model, that would be $425 brand new…substantially below retail.
Q: Alan, thanks so much for taking the time to share this information with our readers. We at the magazine all wish you and your team continued success.