12-Year-Old Brian Houck Joins Hornady’s 3-Gun Team


Well, he did for the Hornady Pandemic Zombie Shoot, at least. This is a story that should have Larry Houck (Brian’s father and Team FNH USA captain) on the short list for “father of the year” award. Not only does Larry build his 12-year-old son a zombie-themed AR-15 complete with zombie-themed trigger guard and takedown pins. He then took him to the Hornady zombie-themed 3-gun in Grand Island, Nebraska during the last week of school. And then he talked with Steve Hornady (the second generation owner of Hornady, the ammo manufacturer) to get his son on the team for the weekend, complete with zombie green competition shirt. And Brian didn’t disappoint . . .


The kid was presented his team shirt and told the news at an event the day before the competition by Steve Hornady himself, and admonished with the Team Hornady motto: “don’t f*** up.” And he didn’t. Brian ran the ten stages of the competition better than the majority of youths (everyone under 18) at the event, and was only knocked out of the top three for his division because his rifle experienced a series of double-feed malfs and became inoperative on the last stage of the second day. Naturally, Brian will be switching to one of his dad’s spare SCARs from now on.

While the original plan was to have Brian shoot for the Hornady team for the zombie match only, there are rumors that his performance has had the team re-examine that agreement and they may offer him a permanent spot on the team. That would make Brian one of the youngest pro 3-gun shooters in the United States.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    The Houck family should be getting a no knock visit from the CPS about now.

  2. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

    Great story, thanks for sharing and congratz to the Houck family.

  3. avatar Jeh says:

    Can anyone name the scope?

  4. avatar Nobby says:

    Does gripping the rifle with the left hand so far forward lend some kind of accurancy advantage? I see a lot of guys doing that at the range. I admit they look extremely SWAT-ish/tacticool but is there something behind it that increases accuracy?

    1. avatar LongBeach says:

      I’ve found that it helps mitigate the fierce recoil of the 5.56 round, as well as helps me transition between targets more precisely. I shot two mags back to back, the first was with a more traditional grip (hand holding bottom of handguard, elbow pulled down and in), the 2nd holding as seen above. The 2nd mag was quicker because I didn’t swing the muzzle past the target and back each time. It looks a bit goofy, but it does work.

      1. avatar MN Matt says:

        Thanks for the explanation, I’ve always wondered about that particular grip style.

    2. avatar Gadsd N. Flagg says:

      I believe there is indeed an advantage, especially with a long barrel. Imagine it this way: if you’re at the range and shooting from sandbags or a rest, do you tuck the rest up as close as possible to the mag well? Or do you put the rest under the forward end of the handguard? Simple geometry says to put the rest (fulcrum) as far forward as possible.

      I suppose it also depends on how steady you can train your extended arm to be… for me, I’m not sure this technique would work all that well. But for a kid (i.e., anyone under 30)? I’ll bet it works great, with sufficient practice.

    3. avatar Chase says:

      Does a good job of causing tennis elbow.

      Costa has it pretty bad.

  5. avatar Mike Crognale says:

    WAY COOL! congrats to the young man and yes nominate the old man for Father of the Year.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    The kid is twelve. Twelve! What were you doing when you were twelve?

    Wait. I’m not sure that I want to know.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Shooting clays with my single shot 410.

  7. avatar Matt in FL says:

    That’s pretty cool for him. Dad of the year, indeed.

  8. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Brian if you get to read ttag, that is amazing! Nick keep us posted if this youngster shoots more 3 gun with you this summer.

  9. avatar g says:

    Great story! Hope to do the same some day with my son AND my daughter.

  10. avatar Brian Houck says:

    To answer a lot of questions yes I will be shooting more three gun and to nobbys question yes this grip style helps if anyone has seen my father or the FNH USA team doing it is because one it lets you transition between targets without as much overswing which we all hate because you have to go back and Reacquire your target and secondly it balances the weight of the Rifle better and reduces fatigue in your arms from holding up the heaviest part of the gun

    Thanks for all the great comments

  11. avatar Ed says:

    Brian awesome job. I know your dad, and I met you maybe when you were 4. Holding the arm the way he does is pretty much standard. It does offer body mechanical advantages. Try it both ways without a rifle. you should feel the way brian holds his will make the acquisition quicker.

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