Kevin Nevius is probably one of the kindest and most humble souls in competitive shooting, with a big heart and a great sense of humour. This guy is impossible not to like but nearly impossible to beat! Having always been an impressive shooter, Nevius was asked to join Team Lapua in 2008. Nevius excels in Smallbore Prone, High Power Long Range Prone, and Palma disciplines. He utilizes Lapua Smallbore ammunition, brass, and bullets.
“We didn’t have any firearms around when I was a kid, and you know what happens when you tell a child that they can’t have something, right? So as soon as I turned 18, I was like “Man, I’ve got to get myself some guns!” My brother, who was quite a bit older than me, had already done the same and gone and bought quite a lot of firearms. So we’d go out and do some long-range varmint shooting. We were out on my cousin’s farmland and shoot groundhogs to up to 1,000 yards, and we got pretty good. So that lead to competitions, which also lead to small bore competitions. I mean, high-power and smallbore are not that different. Of course, the recoil is different, but the holds and sight picture are the same, as well as settings and so on. And the real blessing of being a part of the Lapua team is that I have access to both sides.”
2018 was the year of Kevin Nevius. Going into 2018, Nevius looked to his training and it paid off. In July 2018, Nevius competed and made history at the National Matches in Camp Atterbury, IN. Having won the Critchfield Trophy in 2008, 2014, and 2015 for the Smallbore Rifle Prone National Championship and the Smallbore Rifle Metric title in 2010, he made history by bringing home the Tomkins Trophy, emblematic of the US Long Range Championship. He became the only person in history to win all three convent titles. Kevin also competed in team events and added the National Long Range Herrick Trophy Championship and the National Long Range Romanian Trophy Championship to an already successful competition. He didn’t stop at the Long Range Nationals, he continued on a roll at the National Smallbore Rifle Championship by becoming the Smallbore Conventional Prone Any Sight Champion and took a bronze medal at the Smallbore Metric Prone Nationals (overall aggregate). In August, he joined Team USA at the DCRA Canadian Nationals and assisted the team in bringing home the gold medal in the America match. To top it off it, he was named to the US Palma team. To Kevin the greatest achievement for the year was, “Winning the NRA Long Range Nationals. That was on my bucket list, winning there was a blessing for sure.”
2016 was also a really good year – at the Nationals, Nevius finished in the top ten in the High Power and the Smallbore Prone. “I also had the opportunity to do some load development using the new 6,5 mm 136 grs Scenar-L, and I got a really good load with it. So at the National Mid-Range match, I managed to shoot a new National Record with it! So I was really pleased.”
Regarding Lapua product favorites, Kevin has a lot to pick from. “I’ve got to say the 6.5×47, I just adore that. When it came out some years ago, and I had the opportunity to build a couple of prone guns around it, it was just… wow. It is just an awesome cartridge. Low recoil, great bullet choices, great case cases. Awesome! Since all my high-power is between 300 and 1000 yards, that cartridge is right at home there, even at the 1,000 yards’ mark.”
For young and upcoming shooters, Kevin’s advice is to focus on the technique. “In shooting, most of the influence on the rifle comes from the hand and the finger that pulls the trigger, so it’s important to learn how to control that motion. And another thing, regarding the equipment, don’t waste your time and money on the not-so-good stuff. I wish someone had taken me aside a long time ago and said “look, I know getting this expensive rifle is a really painful, but you’ll have this for the rest of your life and you’ll get really good at competing when you use just this one.” That would be my second recommendation. Shooting is a repetitive process and function, so you’ve got to shoot a lot to get really comfortable behind a gun. There really is no replacement for it.”