ARCHIVE - ISSUE FOUR - OCT 2013 FEATURE PICTORIAL - TRAINING - LIFESTYLE - REVIEWS ARCHIVE - ISSUE FOUR - OCT 2013
West Coast Correspondent
On the Cover,
Cover girl Tiffany is a full time student at Texas State University in San Marcos. She is working towards a BFA with a specialization in fibers and metalworking.
Tiffany trains hard with the Sure Shots, and even brought her own antique guns to the photo shoot
See more pics from the cover photo shoot!
A Match Made in Heaven
Miss Battle Born gets serious at 3-Gun
by Miss Battle Born
I remember the first exposure I ever had to 3 gun; about 6 months ago I saw a video of 11 year old (at the time the video was filmed) Katelyn Francis running through the woods blasting targets with a shotgun, pistol, and rifle. I was instantly obsessed with the concept and I also had a the thought "well she's just a tiny thing! If she can do it, I can do it!" I decided at that moment that multi gun competition would be "my" new thing....and broke into a nervous sweat just thinking about it. I'm deeply competitive and love being challenged but the thought of a shooting competition was a bit intimidating, to say the least!
A lot of you may have been shooting for as long as you can remember but many of you - like me - started shooting as an adult and maybe not that long ago at all. We already face the intimidation factor of taking on a male dominated sport or hobby and even the most confident woman may feel out of her element. Walking into a gun store, show, or shooting range and being the only woman in a sea of men can be uncomfortable and to me, the thought of competitive shooting took that to a whole new level! There were also a million questions, and - at least it seemed - very few answers. How do I choose my first match? Do I just show up by myself? Will I be the only female? What gear do I need? And of course the standard girly thought....what do I wear?!
I started seeking out answers and found internet forums (such as Brian Eno's) to be a great resource. Since 3 gun was my chosen competition, I looked for a local multi gun club and found one on Facebook. The club I discovered held frequent matches and practices and I started pestering all the members on the Facebook page with questions. I shouldn't find this surprising but it turns out that all the shooters were extremely helpful, friendly, informative, and eager to help a newbie get started. At their urging, I registered for a the Nordic Components Shotgun Challenge that also included a clinic with the Noveske Shooting Team that was held the day before the match. All of the participants would then be able to shoot the match with the pro team as their "coaches". Out of the 3 guns involved in 3 gun competition, the shotgun was my weakest discipline so I felt I really needed the experience.
Train, Train, Train! by Ramia Whitecotton
Ramia of Grey Group Traing rocks her Glock
For almost four years, I have worked for Grey Group Training, a high end military and outdoor retail store and firearms training company in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Not only have I worked for a training company, the location of the company is less than a mile outside one of the post entrances of Fort Bragg, home of the 82nd Airborne and Special Forces, where soldiers train daily. Considering my employment and location of said employment, I didn’t realize how important firearm training was until August 2012 when the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado happened.
I was born and raised in Texas, but didn’t shoot my first pistol until I was twenty years old and my first rifle at twenty-one. My mom bought me my first pistol as a Christmas present in 2006. I picked it up, wrapped my hands around it and fired. I never participated in any formal training or received any guidance as to how to properly grip the pistol or pull the trigger. Without any training, I developed horrible habits of yanking on the trigger and leaving gaps in my grip, all the while wondering why my bullets weren’t going where I wanted them to. My poor husband, who received Top Shot at the U.S. Army Sniper School, tried to help. Unfortunately, the saying, “husbands cannot teach their wives anything” holds true in our case.
I viewed my style of shooting as a hobby. In my mind, there were only two people who trained, those who shoot for competition and those who shoot for their job (MIL/LE). My mindset was why train if it’s just something I do on the weekends for fun? I never even considered people who carry concealed. Not only did I rule out training for concealed carry, my laid back view of firearms training led to sloppy weapon handling practices.
The Long Ranger
Who is that masked precision shooter?
by Regina Milkovich
I’m standing at the bottom of a huge cargo net, rifle slung over my shoulder, magazine loaded and in my pocket, wondering how to approach this obstacle. Not only do I have to climb to the top of this net and then fire two rounds at a 1.5” dot at 148 yards, but then I have to rappel down the other side, run to a three tiered culvert, climb that obstacle, shoot another two rounds at another 1.5” dot at around 110 yards, then climb down and run to a horizontal tower and shoot my last two rounds at a .8” dot at 90 yards. Oh, and I have to do all of that in less than two minutes. Sounds like fun, right? This was just one incredible stage in the Precision Rifle Series Finale hosted by Rifles Only last December.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I started shooting later in life. I was 37 when I shot in my first precision rifle competition. It was a monthly match at my local gun club. I was terrified. I’d only shot the .223 that my husband had just bought me once and that was the day before! Well, I wasn’t last. I actually didn’t do all that bad. I didn’t really know what I was doing but luckily, I had a coach who told me what to dial for every shot. Despite the nerves, I fell in love with precision rifle shooting. I’d watched and helped spot at a national level match that our local club hosts and couldn’t believe the competitors were hitting targets all the way over on the other side of the mountain. I think those targets were around 450 yards away. Those are easier shots for me these days, but man do I remember being impressed with their skill! I wanted to do that too!
Since that first local monthly match I’ve competed in more competitions than I can count. I’ve won some local ones here in Phoenix and also in Las Vegas and Prescott, but the closest I’ve come to a win in a national level match was 5th place. I’ve done well enough to pick up a few sponsors along the way. I participated in the Precision Rifle Series last year and was lucky enough to finish the year in 20th place and was also the high lady shooter for the series. I gotta tell ya though, there aren’t nearly enough women in this sport and it’s perfect for ladies.
SS PMAGS Gone Wild!
All those awesome rifles from the Sure Shots AR-15 Build Project became the best-accessorized kids on the block when our friends at Scalpel Arms created a special limited edition Sure Shots PMAG. Our ladies went nuts for them, and they sold out in one day!
Women in the Industry - Gun Goddess by Nikki Raye
Athena, the Goddess of Guns.
This month we are excited to bring you the first of a new series that we will be running showcasing various females in the firearms industry: CEO’s, industry personalities, business owners, you name it! There are so many females in the shooting community doing extraordinary things, we thought it would be fun to introduce them to you, our readers.
With that we would like to introduce you to Athena Means, the owner of GunGoddess.com. I myself first discovered GunGoddess.com thanks to my husband. He had purchased a range bag from Athena’s site as a Christmas gift for me. I have been a big fan ever since. It was fun getting know the Gun Goddess herself and I hope you enjoy getting to know her as well.
Sure Shots Magazine (SSM): I first became aware of GunGoddess.com when I received one of your range bags for Christmas. How long has GunGoddess.com actually been in business?
GunGoddess.com: In November, it will be 2 years since the GG website went live. Hard to believe! It has just flown by!
SSM: Times flies indeed! It seems like we have been fans of your site forever. How did you become involved in the shooting community?
GunGoddess.com: My hubby made me do it! LOL. He wanted me to know how to use the guns he owned. I didn’t really care. But to the range we went. I learned on a Beretta 92F, it felt heavy & clunky but I was hooked! Then I signed up for a basic handgun class, bought my first gun, got my CCW and was pretty much just a recreational shooter who carried for self defense. But I always wanted to push myself a bit more, and I am very competitive, so when we moved to Nevada and I discovered the IDPA and USPSA clubs at our local range, I just had to give those shooting sports a try. That’s what really sucked me in - and led to shooting becoming a huge passion that I couldn’t get enough of, and that I really wanted to share with other women.
SSM: Ok time to get a little personal. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
GunGoddess.com: I was born in Cyprus, but grew up in South Africa. I wanted to travel, so after college I headed to Europe, worked a bit, moved around a bit. That’s where I met my hubby, who was in the USAF - I ended up moving to the States in ’98. I became a citizen in 2005 - a very proud day for me. Of all the places I have lived in and traveled to, there is no country I would rather be living in than the United States! My work background is in public relations/communications, with a stint in real estate. That has been a great foundation for me when it comes to running GunGoddess.