Posted By: Zak Smith on June 5, 2018

I’ve been the Match Director of 35 major matches over ten years. Over that interval we’ve never had a cheater at one of our matches. Pushing the rules or stage briefings is one thing; falsifying score sheets is another. We caught and stopped a brazen and in my opinion pathetic attempt at cheating at the Steel Safari this year.

I’ve met most of my best friends of adulthood from the practical shooting community. Virtually all of my business partners got introduced at 3-Gun or Long-range shooting matches. The caliber of individual is excellent. If your rifle “goes down” at a match, someone is likely to offer to lend you his $8000+ rifle so you can finish out the day’s shooting. People are honest, straightforward, and honorable.

The essence of practical long-range shooting is one of competition against one’s self and the laws of nature, at the base of it. To cheat in order to gain false fame, or to defraud the system by getting prizes you don’t deserve, is dishonorable and ultimately pointless. Furthermore, it’s unfair to EVERY shooter at the match. It undermines the entire activity. It damages the match, and it damages matches as an activity.

As Match Director, I apologize to every shooter, but especially the new long-range competitors and new Steel Safari competitors, for having an incident that worked to undermine the integrity of the contest and tainted the trust we have in our fellow competitors.

Cheaters are not welcome at CD events.

The shooting community should eject and ostracize known cheaters.

I have a full 8-page post ready to go that contains the evidence of cheating. At this point I don’t see the need to post it and I hope I do not have to.

To clear up a few things: Match staff discovered the cheating and we confronted the competitor with the proof. He did not come to us to confess. His apology before the awards meeting was due to a deal I made with him in which he could keep his proper legitimate score and not get an immediate DQ only if he publicly admitted to cheating and apologized.

I bet you didn’t know CD had a CSI lab and Investigations Division. Don’t cheat. We’ll find out and you’ll be booted from the shooting community.