Sport Shooter Focus: Paul Henkel

Q: What firearms do you currently compete with?

Age: 28
Years shooting competitively:  Four
Shooting clubs affiliations currently:  FBSSC
Shooting sports participated in:  

  • 3 Gun Nation
    IPSC Shotgun


  • BSADPA Africa Champs ESP Overall Winner in 2014
  • 3 Gun Nation SA Champs 2015 Overall Winner
  • 3 Gun Nation National Champion 2015
  • Participated in the 3 Gun Nation Championship 2015 in Tulsa in the US
  • IPSC Shotgun Nationals 2016 Level III Standard Division Overall Winner

Q: What firearms do you currently compete with?

A: Rifle: Norinco CQA 14.5" with Vortex Razor 1-6x24 Gen II in a Vortex mount, Magpul stock and grip, Troy Alpha rail, Timney 3lbs trigger, JP Enterprises adjustable gas block, NEA Gill Brake, Magpul 40 Pmags with TTi +6 extensions. Shotgun: Beretta 1301 Competition with Nordic components +7 extension (12 rounds total), Matchsaver, customised load port. Pistol: Glock 17 with Heinie rear and Warren tactical front sights, ZEV Competition magwell, customised trigger, Glock 17 round magazines with TTi +6 extensions.

Q: What gear do you compete with?

A: G-code XST Retention pistol holster, G-code mag pouches, G-Code AR pouch, Taccom 8-up shotgun loaders, CR speed torque belt, Peltor Comtac earmuffs, Peltor eye protection, Truspec tactical pants.

Q: What firearm do you prefer using in 3 Gun Nation, and why?

A: I definitely enjoy the rifle the most, as you can shoot targets from 2 m up to 200 m. The change in the pace of shooting, and having to shoot as fast as possible at the close-up targets, and shoot far targets, while simultaneously controlling your breathing, adds to the excitement. My favourite part is getting super-fast splits at a close array of targets.

Q: What firearm modifications are essential for you in 3 Gun Nation, and why?

A: Rifle: A compensator is the first priority, as it mitigates recoil and allows the shooter to control the rifle. Next is a free-float handguard so you can get your grip as far down the gun as possible, leading to faster transitions. Next is a high-quality red dot sight or variable 1:6 power scope, depending on which division you want to compete in.

I would then add a single-stage trigger, which I find is paramount to the way I can shoot the rifle in competition. There are loads more extras for the AR15, and many upgrades that a shooter can add. However, for me these are the four essential items needed to run a rifle quickly.

Pistol: A good set of fibreoptic sights is the single most important investment for a 3GN pistol. Some nice optional extras would be a magwell, customised trigger and extended magazines.

Shotgun: For both a semi- and pump-action shotgun, the ability to load is the most important criterion, so I suggest smoothing out the load port. It is also important, if your division allows it, to extend the capacity of the shotgun. In practical terms this means fitting an extension, which would give you 12+1, the optimal compromise in terms of the number rounds and manoeuvrability. A matchsaver always comes in handy on a long stage.

Gear: A solid holster with good retention, pistol mag pouches, a rifle mag pouch, shotgun ammunition carriers, and a good belt.

Q: What got you involved in sport shooting, and why have you elected to participate in 3 Gun Nation?

A: I started out in IDPA, until I wanted something faster-paced and with less restrictions. This lead to my involvement in the development stages of 3 Gun Nation at FBSSC, with the help of Craig Gerstner. I also enjoy the fact that I can compete on the leaderboard against competitors from other countries. If you do well enough, you can get invited to the 3GN Championships in the US.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow 3 Gun Nation shooters who want to improve themselves?

A: There is no substitute for practice in this sport. This does not mean you have to engage in live-fire practice all of the time. Dry firing is a good way of keeping sharp, while you can even practice something like footwork or transitions when at home or on the range. One thing that has always helped me is squadding up with better shooters, and asking questions. Most shooting disciplines in South Africa have top guys who are always willing to give advice and lend a hand. Lastly, remember that you can shoot faster than you can think.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to participate in 3 Gun Nation, but who has never shot a match before?

A: Firstly, visit to see if there is a nearby club. There is a lot of club development around the country this year. I would also suggest speaking to people involved in the sport, and watching videos of participants locally and in the US.


Last modified on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 10:40
  • 594 Times