Now that we've discussed some general ideas on how to prepare for a match, we took some time to sit down with one of Beretta's team shooters to find out how she prepares for a match, and pick her brain about her competition gun, the Beretta 92X Performance.
Jessica Hook is a professional shooter who has won Ladies' championships in Rifle, 3Gun, and Pistol Caliber Carbine divisions. We also talked about how the Beretta 92X Performance has eased the transition from being a PCC specialist into hand gunning.
Jessica’s 2021 Matches
The first thing we talked to Jessica about was her match schedule. Jessica recently represented Beretta at the IDPA National Championship in September 2021 using her Beretta 92X Performance Defensive, and in October 2021 with the Beretta 92X Performance RDO at the USPSA Carry Optics championship. With two big matches wrapped, the questions turned to how she prepares for a match. Right now, her biggest focus is daily dry fire. Jessica said, "I've been dry firing at least 10 minutes a day, going back to the basics." She went on to explain that a big reason for the daily focus on dry fire was to aid in managing the transition from being primarily a PCC shooter to focusing on shooting the Beretta 92X Performance, first with iron sights and now in the red dot/Carry Optics configuration.
Jessica and the 92X Performance
Speaking of the 92X Performance, we asked Jessica what her favorite feature of her new competition gun was, and she didn't hesitate in answering. "The weight of it," she said. "That was the first thing I noticed, and it was just so much more comfortable to shoot than a polymer striker-fired gun." That makes perfect sense, because before picking up the Beretta 92X Performance, Jessica's competition handgun was a common polymer framed striker-fired 9mm. At 46 ounces, the Beretta 92X Performance weighs approximately double what her old competition handgun weighed, and that makes a huge difference in recoil management. Keeping the gun tracking flat means faster splits, faster transitions, and interestingly, less fatigue in matches.
Jessica's previous competition handgun was heavily modified, which is common for competition shooters. Most guns come off the shelf and need loads of work to be match ready. The 92X Performance? Not so much. She did make one small change though. "I also replaced the 92X Performance trigger with a classic 92 trigger," she said. "The classic trigger is a little more bowed, my index finger is probably shorter than the average man's, and so that helps me get a little more leverage on it." In addition to accepting standard curved 90-Series triggers, the 92X Performance uses the Vertec grip angle, which is more compatible with different hand sizes, allowing for easier trigger reach.
For the Carry Optics configuration, Jessica’s 92X Performance is topped off with a Burris FastFire 3, one of the lightest mini red dot sights on the market, which helps keep the gun under IDPA's tight weight limit for Carry Optics division. Jessica's daily training and tight focus on handgun skill pair quite nicely with the 92X Performance features. She plans on keeping those skills sharp by shooting a few club matches as well.
Training like a sponsored shooter doesn't have to be grind. As Jessica illustrates, simply touching your gun with intent for 10 minutes a day of dry fire coupled with regular club matches is going to bring improvement. Who knows, maybe with a little practice you'll be competing for a spot on Team Beretta in the future to shoot alongside Jessica Hook and JJ Racaza with a 92X Performance of your own. As you train like a Team Beretta shooter, remember Beretta offers a full eco-system of dynamic shooting gear for your next match.
Author | Caleb Giddings
Caleb Giddings is a professional shooter, firearms journalist, and military firearms instructor. He has been published in nearly every major firearms magazine and many online outlets, and also appeared on the first season of Top Shot on History Channel. During his decade plus in the firearms industry, he has also placed in the top five at multiple national level matches. As a member of the USAF, he has deployed in support of the Global War on Terror, and trains other military members in marksmanship and tactics.