Shooting for Glory
Faith. Family. Firearms. When you hear those three words you might think about an episode of “Duck Dynasty,” but for Jason Davis, those three simple words exemplify the story of his life. Jason shoots for glory, but it’s not what you may be thinking. He isn’t seeking praise for his accomplishments, but for the glory of the Lord to shine through the gift he has been given.
Jason is an East Texas boy. Although he calls Panola County home, he is originally from Gilmer, Texas and went to Harmony High School. His parents are Terry and Laonna Davis. As children, Jason and his younger sister Kelley learned the value of a good work ethic from their parents. His dad worked in the oil field, and his mom worked in the school cafeteria at Harmony ISD.
The fun-loving little boy grew up and fell in love. Jason (still fun-loving) was on a co-ed softball team in Longview, and one of his friends wanted to introduce him to a girl he might be interested in. Jason watched as this “interesting girl” bebopped up through the parking lot and up to the field. Jason says, “My friend was right; I was interested!” When she got onto the field and didn’t have anyone to warm-up with, Jason immediately volunteered. He finally got to introduce himself and to know the name of the bebopping beauty, Rachel Reed. Over the course of the next few practices, their warm-up routine and conversations evolved. During one practice, Rachel was getting in some batting practice with Jason pitching to her. Jason lobbed the perfect pitch to Rachel and she hit a line drive right into his shin. Jason fell for Rachel in more than one way. Right after she literally swept him off his feet on the ball field, they started dating exclusively. A couple of years later, they were married. Now, they are the proud parents of three children—Adyson (9), Brock (6), and Case (3).
Growing up, Jason would trek into the woods on a hunting expedition or would shoot rifles around the pond behind his house for fun, but he didn’t really ever shoot pistols. It wasn’t until he obtained his concealed carry license that becoming proficient with a handgun became important. For a marksman, having the proper gear is vital. As Jason continued fine-tuning his skills, he found he was having a hard time finding a holster that fit him. The perfect holster that was comfortable and functioned exactly the way he needed it to work just did not exist.
Realizing the only way to acquire the “perfect” shooting accessories would be to custom create his own, Jason decided to try his hand at building Kydex holsters. After doing the research, he knew he would need lots of tools and lots of money! Jason slowly started adding tools to his toolshed and started experimenting. First, he made himself a holster. Then, deciding it looked pretty good, he made his dad one, and after that made them for a couple of his buddies. Word got around quickly, and he has now made over 350 holsters and is now making competition holsters for the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA).
Even though Jason had his concealed carry permit and was also licensed by the State of Texas to teach concealed carry courses, he felt that he could be more prepared to protect his family. He noted that one of the big issues now is that there are people licensed to concealed carry, but they really don’t know how to get their firearm out and use it when there is a threat. Because his whole reason for obtaining his concealed carry license was to be able to protect his family with his weapon, not just carry it, he decided to really start intensive training.
Jason found a Facebook group called East Texas IDPA Shooters. He was an IDPA video and thought it looked fun, so investigated more. Through his investigation, Jason found out that it was designed for concealed carriers. He inquired about shooting with them and was contacted by a representative who said he was welcome to join the group and would need a good holster, at least two magazine carriers, three spare magazines, and 100 rounds of ammo. When Jason met the group, he realized that he wasn’t just joining a gun club but was getting to congregate with an enjoyable group of like-minded people. Initially his mindset was in conceal carry training, not in competition.
Over time, Jason became more and more proficient and decided that he would try his hand at competition shooting. He started by practicing the different stages and reading the rule book. The first year, on the first Saturday of every month, Jason would compete in a couple of local matches.
The second year, Jason shot in his first sanction match. A sanction match will have 150-300 shooters with five divisions—Compact Carry Pistol (CCP), Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP), Stock Service Pistol (SSP), Revolver (REV), Back Up Gun (BUG). It also included five classes—Master (MA), Expert (EX), Sharpshooter (SS), Marksman (MM), Novice (NV). After the second year, Jason competed well and moved up to the Master Level in SSP division.
During his third year, Jason changed divisions and progressed up to Master in ESP division. This year, Jason was able to compete in several matches. In the Texas State IDPA Competition he finished second in ESP Division Master Class and Most Accurate Overall with four points down. After his big win in the state match this year, Jason kept shooting in sanction matches throughout state and decided it was time to try his hand at the national competition.
It was time indeed. Jason had prepared for his competition, the IDPA Nationals in Talladega, Alabama. Including Jason, there were 355 shooters ranging from Sharpshooter to Distinguished Master Level. There were teams that came from as far away as China and Thailand to compete in the three-day championship shootout. Jason was entered in the Master Level Class ESP Division, with a total of 18 stages in the course of fire over two days. Knowing that his abilities come from God, Jason always prays before every match and this biggest match he had ever competed in was no exception. He still gave all of the glory to the Lord and prayed, “Keep me safe, keep everyone safe, and let my bullets fly straight.”
Jason says, “After the first day, I felt really good. After the day, I was only 15 or 16 points down. With the most difficult stage already out of the way, and knowing what the rest of the stages looked like, I was mentally prepared to make sure my shots were accurate for the final half of the competition.” When he completed his final stage, his total was 29 for the whole match. Because of his focus and determination, Jason didn’t have any penalties or hits on non-threats. Leaving everything out on the range, he was pleased with his performance. Later that night the official scores were posted. Jason came in third in the nation in the ESP Division Master Class Level and ninth overall in the competition. He says, “My whole goal was to come in top 10 and bring home a trophy, and I did!”
Although winning accolades and honors in national shooting competitions is great, Jason believes that investing time in his family is more important. As amazing as it would be to be a professional marksman, Jason says he would never do it full time because it would take him away from his family. All of Jason’s children are interested shooting sports. Jason said, “Adyson is pretty good with a pistol. Brock likes shooting the .22 rifles. Then there’s Case. He is going to be my outdoors guy, my hunting buddy.”
Jason also instills the vital importance of safety practices into his children. “The most important safety rule to remember,” he says, “is to never ever point the muzzle of a firearm at anything you’re not willing to destroy. Another important safety practice for anyone to remember is to always make sure your gun is unloaded when you aren’t firing it. Always make sure that there isn’t a magazine in the mag well or a round in the chamber when cleaning, handling, or dry-fire training. Negligent discharges can happen to anyone.”
Next year, Jason is planning to enter the IDPA National’s competition again. He has set his goal to make the Distinguished Master Class Level in the CDP and EXP Divisions. With his faith, family, and firearm all by his side he will continue shooting for glory.