Brian Zins

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Brian Zins
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1988–2008
Rank Gunnery Sergeant
Awards Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Meritorious Service Medal

Brian Zins is a retired United States Marine Corps Military Police Gunnery Sergeant. He is also a competitive shooter known for his proficiency with the M1911 pistol with which he holds various records at the NRA and other events. He is also known for competing in the second season of History Channel's marksmen competition Top Shot.

Early years[edit]

Brian Zins was raised in Canfield, Ohio.[1] He grew up playing baseball and also learn how to juggle at a young age, both of which he credits for his good hand–eye coordination in shooting. After graduating from high school, Zins went to college to study Law Enforcement. However, he decided to quit and joined the United States Marine Corps in 1988.

Military career[edit]

After completing the Recruit training program at Parris Island, South Carolina, Zins attended the Military Police School at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama. During that time, he received the Top Gun Award for having the highest qualification score with the M1911 pistol.[2]

Through his career of 20 years at the Marine Corps, Zins served in various capacities, like:

  • Primary Marksmanship Instructor
  • Assigned to Weapons Training Battalion in Quantico, Virginia
  • Permanent member of the Marine Corps Pistol Team
  • Mobile Training Team at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
  • Military Police Patrol Supervisor, Watch Commander, and Hostage Rescue Team's designated marksman in Iwakuni, Japan (1994)
  • Recruiter in the Detroit area for three years
  • Doctrine developer with Marksmanship Program Management Section (2004)
  • Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Pistol Team (2006)

During that time, he participated in various competitions, setting several records.[3]

  • 1991, first Lance Corporal to become Pistol Distinguished
  • 1992, 2nd Place at the NRA National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio
  • 1993–1994, 1st Place at the Inter-service Pistol Championship with the Pistol Team
  • 2006, set National Records for the Center Fire 900 and Center Fire Timed Fire
  • 2006, tied National Record for the .45 National Match Course
  • 2006, 2nd Place at the NRA National Matches
  • 2007, set National Record Score for Military Police Corps Trophy
  • 12x National Pistol Champion (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010)[4]

Zins retired from the Marine Corps in May 2008.[5]

Post-military career[edit]

After retiring from active duty, Zins has worked as National Manager of NRA Pistol Programs in the Competitive Shooting division. He also works as an independent security contractor. Zins also started his own line of ammunition called Gunny Zins Ammo. In 2011, he was hired by Cabot Gun Company as spokesman and ambassador. In 2012 he married the love of his life Mary Jo Boomhower and they reside in Ohio. He also has a step son named Jacob Manente. [6]

Top Shot[edit]

In 2011, Zins appeared in the second season of History Channel's marksmen competition Top Shot. During the first half of the competition, Zins competed as part of the Red Team. His team ended up winning six challenges, and Brian was never nominated for elimination during that period. During the final half of the competition, Zins won three of the last individual challenges before the final. In the final, he lost to Chris Reed.

In 2013, Zins appeared on Top Shot.


External links[edit]