George Gardner was a high-powered rifle shooter before he joined the U.S. Army. He kept shooting during his time in the service as a military police investigator, and later as a police officer. It was a small community back then. I was just into precision guns. It morphed from 1998 to now. I just happened to be a guy who was around when it started,” George said. “It was just some long range military shooters and law enforcement guys who said ‘Hey, we should do some matches that are more realistic than just shooting paper.”
George turned his passion and skill for building high-powered rifles into a career when he retired from the North Kansas City Police Department to start GA Precision. The company has built rifles for federal agencies like the FBI and ATF, as well as countless police departments across the country.
The long-range shooting community has grown from its roots in law enforcement and former military personnel. George, as a board member of the Precision Rifle Series, has been able to foster the sport’s growth. “Thirty guys was big match back then. Now a big match is 200 people, and the waiting list is huge,” George said. “It used to be there might be three matches a year, then maybe seven. Now they’re every month, and weekends are doubled up. There are two matches on any given weekend anymore. You can pick a weekend and find a match to shoot. They’re everywhere.”
George started long-range shooting because that’s what he grew up with. Now a lot more people are coming to the sport due to the efforts of people like him.
“The only shot that ever really stood out was around 1993, on a whitetail doe on a dead run at 380 yards. It went right through the heart. I held out in front about three body lengths and pulled the trigger. That’s by far the best, luckiest, craziest shot I’ve ever made. Probably never to be repeated.”
- Served six years in the U.S. Army
- Retired from the North Kansas City Police Department
- President, Senior Rifle Builder at GA Precision
- Board Member, Precision Rifle Series