When we first began our search for sponsored 3 Gun competitors, we sought to find a group of shooters who shared a similar mindset and offered a solid fit with our corporate culture. As a family run organization dedicated to continuous improvement of our products and the shooting community in general, the staff of Criterion Barrels believes Heath and Niki Clevenger of Team Clevenger Shooting offer a perfect fit for our introduction to the 3-Gun community.
Team Clevenger has enabled Criterion to maintain an active presence at various 3-Gun events along the East Coast, sharing knowledge with new shooters, providing their fellow competitors with detailed information regarding the Criterion product line, and have worked with our organization to test and evaluate new equipment, all the while actively sharing content through a wide variety of social media channels.
We would like to take this opportunity to share a little background information regarding the competitive shooting history of Heath and Niki Clevenger, our sponsored 3-Gun shooters.
Heath began his career as a deputy sheriff in 1997. He has been a firearms instructor since 2005 at his department, and currently holds NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructorships in Pistol, Patrol Rifle, Tactical Shooting, and Select Fire. He also holds a firearms instructor certification at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Heath is the primary instructor for the York County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team for ten years running (since 2006) and has been on the team since 2001. He has held positions as a Patrol Deputy, Traffic Officer, Patrol Sergeant, and the Training Sergeant within the department. In dealing with firearms frequently for the department, he found it helpful to become a certified Glock, 1911, and Colt M16/AR-15 armorer.
Heath’s competitive shooting career kicked off in 2006 when he began shooting in a number of IDPA matches. He primarily competed in IDPA until 2009 until he shot his first 3-Gun match, an NRA Tactical Police Competition (TPC). From that point forward he was hooked on 3-Gun. Heath continued competing in pistol and NRA TPC matches through 2012.
As 3-Gun competitions became more popular, he was able to participate in the Bushmaster Tarheel 3-Gun monthly matches that are held within driving distance of his home. As time progressed he was able to acquire the necessary equipment to become more competitive. Now there are at least six monthly matches within driving distance of his house, and he tries to attend as many of them as he can.
Heath trains as much as possible in his off-time, and attends matches while also working full time as a Law Enforcement Officer. Heath’s wife Niki recently began participating in 3-Gun matches with Heath to enable them to spend more time together.
Niki’s competitive shooting journey began in February 2014 when she signed up for the Brownells Lady 3 Gun Pro-Am Challenge in hopes that it would help hold her accountable to train for 3-Gun. Niki started training with her husband Heath, and then proceeded to take a class for 3-Gun beginners taught by Kay and Lena Miculek. That class was enough to get Niki hooked on 3-Gun. Since then she has been competing in local monthly matches and major matches throughout the southeast, while also traveling to matches in multiple other states including Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.
Niki was excited to have been invited to 3 Gun Nation Nationals in October of 2015. Finishing 8th out of 85 women in the Ladies Club Series earning her a first round invite to the match. For the 2015 season she finished 9th overall in the Ladies Club Series, and 23rd in the Ladies Regional Series for 3 Gun Nation. Competing in her first national event proved to be quite an exciting experience!
Niki is an NRA Certified Basic Pistol instructor and hopes to become an instructor in Home Firearm Safety in 2016. Her goal is to eventually coach and instruct woman so that they may become more comfortable with firearms. More specifically she would like to help other police wives become more comfortable with firearms safety and operating firearms because they all have firearms in their homes.
A guest host on the YouTube channel “The Shooter’s Mindset”, Niki frequently interviews shooters and members of the firearms industry. She also regularly contributes to the Team Clevenger social media channels and blog site. She recently provided Criterion Barrels with details regarding her “Perfect 3 Gun Build” in a four part article series.