Bryan Morgan stepped out his door and headed to his shooting range in Baker a little after 1 p.m. last Tuesday. “He’ll be back this afternoon,” his wife, Misty, explained.
Around 5:30, still no Bryan. “Well,” Misty said. “He literally can’t stay at the range past dark.”
And at 6 p.m. Bryan returned, squeezing out those last rays of sunlight at the range.
Shooting is what Bryan does, and he does it perhaps better than anyone in the country, military or otherwise.
This past year, Morgan won the 2014 Sniper’s Hide Cup, the Texas Lone Star Challenge, and the Precision Rifle Series National Championship, along with several smaller matches on the Precision Rifle Series (PRS).
“There’s more to it than just me hitting a target,” said Morgan, who was participating in his third year on the PRS after finishing 12th in 2012 and fifth in 2013, though he had to sit out the finale because he was hosting the championship. “It’s as important for me, as bad as it is to say, for someone else to miss a target. It’s a challenge. There’s no guarantees. Every time I compete against these guys there’s no guarantees.
“If you walk in thinking you’re gonna take a match, you’re gonna be humbled real quick.”
There’s no shooter hyperbole in that. It is, indeed, a great deal more than hitting a target. Competitors are thrown into every situation possible — moving targets, hostage situations, a shoot house. “It’s a game of chess,” said this year’s All Sports Association Amateur Award winner, “not checkers. There’s a lot of planning that goes into those shots.” Take, for instance, a match in Wyoming in 2012. Morgan was 1,400 yards from his target. Winds were blowing between 35-54 miles per hour. The target was 18 inches. “It’s extremely hard,” he said. “Each stage has a time allowed that you have to get your shots off. A typical stage is anywhere from two minutes to four minutes, depending on how the match is set up. “You have to shoot off boulders, sides of trees, tree limbs, outside helicopters. It’s fun, it’s a lot of fun. “Everything is not normal. Very seldom do we just lay on our belly and pull the trigger. You gotta be what I call a disciplined shooter. You gotta wait and don’t rush your shot. You can’t miss fast enough, so you gotta slow down and get the hits.” Morgan does more than shoot. At his range in Baker, he instructs those who protect this country how to do just that.
“If I can help in any way, I do,” he said. “I compete against a lot of military snipers. A military sniper has a lot more to worry about than a piece of steel that you’re shooting at from a distance. Even if I’m more accurate, they’re doing a lot more.