The 19th Annual Adams Cup

By Diggory Hadoke
Photograph by John Imboden

For double-gun enthusiasts, the name Cyril Adams is synonymous with fine shotguns and even finer shooting. Adams, who lives in Houston, is the former owner of British gunmaker Atkin Grant & Lang, was the co-author (with the late Robert Braden) of the book Lock, Stock & Barrel, and has won world championships as a pigeon and Helice shooter. Now in his 80s, Adams still shoots trap, and this past May the competition that bears his name celebrated its 19th year.

The Adams Cup was held May 4 at the American Shooting Centers, in Houston. The rules are simple: Shooting must be done with a side-by-side shotgun, preferably English, and each competitor shoots 42 modified skeet targets, 25 ball-trap targets, 50 5 Stand targets, 10 Helice targets and 10 Bogardus “glass ball” targets. The winner of each event is determined by high score and shoot-offs and receives a coveted Adams Cup belt buckle. The overall winner is calculated by a total of the scores from the various events, with each first place receiving one point, second place two points, third place three and so on. The competitor with the lowest overall score wins the Adams Cup trophy.

This year, winning overall with a margin of only one point, was Texan Cory Kruse. Kruse, who won the Helice event with a perfect score, was the 2018 NSCA US Open Sporting Clays Champion. He won the Adams Cup using a borrowed Charles Lancaster “wrist-breaker.” (Of course, following the win, he just had to buy it.)

The 2019 Adams Cup was sponsored by Gordy & Sons Outfitters. According to Retail Director Mike Burnett: “At Gordy & Sons we have one of the largest collections of best English guns in the US, so it made perfect sense to be involved in this event.”

Bob Mills traveled from California to compete. After winning the 5 Stand event, he said: “It was a wonderful day—a fun and well- presented shoot with terrific people in a lovely setting; and I got to meet and visit with the great man himself. The unexpected buckle was frosting on a delicious cake.”


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