What does it take to become competitive in the sport of tactical shooting? Some people may be born with the skills, but for most people, it takes practice, practice, practice. Peter Lozano was 21 when he purchased his first firearm, and he only used it occasionally, visiting the range every six months or so. Ten years later, he started getting involved in the tactical shooting and next thing he was gaining success in organized competitions. Within the same month, he won second place in the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) Florida State Championship Stock Service Pistol Division and first place in the “Production” category in the local chapter competition for the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). At the same time, he was promoted from the Marksman classification to that of Sharpshooter within IDPA.

Lozano, a native of Lima, Peru, has lived in Miami since 1995 when he was ten years old and now works as an airline pilot. He learned about the Tactical Nights held at Stone Hart’s Gun Club & Indoor Range and decided to try them out. He found these sessions were of great help in developing his skills in a dynamic setting. In his words, “You can do things there that you can’t do at other places in Miami while still feeling like you are in a safe and controlled environment.”

A friend then introduced Peter to IDPA. Having heard of that organization’s reputation for low tolerance of error when it comes to safe gun handling, his friend was worried that Peter might be disqualified on day one. On the contrary, Peter did well and qualified to compete in the state championship, and has plans to continue in the sport. The practice and experience of Tactical Nights at Stone Hart’s were crucial to Peter’s development in tactical shooting, and he continues to encourage friends to join him at those events.

Lozano’s pistol of choice for the competition was a Glock 34 with competition sights and custom trigger work done by Steve Schack at Stone Hart’s Gun Club. His preferred ammunition is Federal American Eagle 147 grain, preferring this over 115 grain due to the lower recoil which allows for more accurate and quick follow-up shots. He found it very helpful to get in twenty minutes of dry fire each night, using snap caps. In the month and a half leading up to the competition, Lozano increased his practice level – not an easy feat for someone with three kids at home between the ages of 2 and 6. In the end, the practice paid off, helping Peter to place ahead of many people with more years of experience.

If you are interested in getting involved in the tactical shooting, a great place to start is by coming out to Tactical Nights at Stone Hart’s Gun Club & Indoor Range. These are currently offered on the second to last Wednesday evening of each month, starting at 6:45 with a safety briefing and with shooting starting at 7:00. The cost is only $20.00 for members or $25.00 for non-members. You must have an approved outside the waistband holster, a double magazine pouch, and at least three magazines. Shooters must be Rapid Fire and Holster qualified to participate, and that is something that can be done at the range at any time for a one-time fee of $15. For more information, call 305-255-4884 and ask for Augusto, Marvin, or Pat.