Girls Gun Wild!

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The 2014 shooting season closed out with a bang last weekend with the most anticipated event of the year – the inaugural Brownell’s Lady 3-Gun ProAm Challenge in Covington, GA. After months of pent-up excitement, 164 mothers, wives, daughters, girlfriends, and all the single ladies (right, Beyonce?) converged on Georgia to try their hand at something new . . .

Experienced professionals shot alongside first-time 3-gunners. Shooters of other sports crossed over into the 3-gun world to give it a try. There were no cat fights and no tears, except for the laughter-induced kind. There were hugs and Halloween costumes and banquets. It was a 3-day slumber party in our gun belts, and there were no boys allowed!

The vortex of excitement, estrogen, and gunpowder was enough to drive away the late October warmth and brought a gusty cold snap to Georgia, leaving shooters shivering on the final day of competition. I told one range officer it was because hell froze over when that many women all got together and had FUN without any drama. Truly, an historic moment!

But really, it was historic – and not just because we all got along. The match was the first-ever women’s only 3-gun event, and women of all ages and from all walks of life came out to be a part of history.

It was also historic in the amount of sponsor support allocated specifically for women competitors. The prize table had over $270,000 worth of merchandise on it – all for women. The top pro (Lena Miculek) received a $5,000 check courtesy of Benelli. The top amateur (Ashely Rheuark) received an STI pistol, a Benelli shotgun, and an ArmaLite rifle. The last place competitor (little Shyanne Roberts) received a rifle for what has been dubbed the “Tough as Nails” award for her persistence throughout the match. Following the event, Facebook was plastered with a cascade of happy competitors showing off their new rifles, pistols, shotguns, scopes, gift cards, and other goodies.

I think this match was also historic for the amount of color that was at the range! Walk around your average 3-gun competition and you will see a slew of black and desert tan guns being shot by dudes in black, blue, and gray jerseys. But Lady 3-Gun was a refreshing rainbow of color! Black rifles were decked out with red hand guards; shotguns were painted zombie green; mag pouches were pink; jerseys were purple; and my personal favorite, one rifle even had a penguin etched into the lower. The gear at this event was as bright as the smiles on the ladies’ faces.

For me, the most rewarding part about the event wasn’t my 6th place finish. It was the opportunity to share the sport I love with so many new ladies and be able to coach them through their first event. I watched their faces transform from pre-stage freakout to enormous smiles after shooting their first stage. From being totally lost on stage 1 to discussing the merits of different shooting plans on stage 8, they transformed from timid to confident. It was incredibly rewarding to see these ladies fall in love right before my eyes, because I know they will be back. And they will bring their friends, and my little 3-gun family will continue to grow!

After this event I’m truly pumped about the future of 3-gun. I’m excited at the growing interest from women, and how we will shape the industry as we demand new products that are truly designed by women, for women, and meet our needs for size, shape, and functionality.

But I’m also excited about the future of America. Too many times (ok, like all the time anymore), gun owners in America are portrayed in a negative light. Instead, this event represented a very positive example of how gun ownership can be safe, fun, and educational. It was the right to bear arms being exercised not in an in-your-face-kitted-up-in-your-Starbucks way, but rather in a strong-and-confident-is-sexy-and-altogether-nonthreatening sort of way.

To the sponsors who supported the event, the women of 3-gun extend our deepest gratitude. To the industry members who passed up the opportunity to support, you missed out on history. To the ladies who didn’t come, we invite you to play with us next year. And to America, we are girls (gun wild!), and we are gonna save the 2nd Amendment. You just watch.

This article also appeared on Unapologetically American. For photos of the event, visit www.facebook.com/asartisticphoto, www.facebook.com/beckyyackleyphotos, or www.facebook.com/karlaherdzikshooting.

comments

  1. avatar TheBear says:

    Looks like it was a lot of fun. I wish I still lived in GA so I could have seen it.

  2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

    “they transformed from timid to confident.”

    That, in a nutshell, is why the Statists, and the media in particular, don’t mention women shooters in a positive light.

    1. avatar Todd Moriarty says:

      A larger reason that statists do not portray female shooters in a positive light is that the idea doesn’t fit their narrative, and therefore doesn’t exist…

  3. avatar Phrederick says:

    I wish this event had been televised. We need to start hammering shut the arguments that gunners are all white, old, racist and misogynist men.

    The irony that we are called racist and misogynist by progressives as they ignore the women and people of color in our ranks is baffling in that more people do not see it.

  4. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Wish I coulda been there!

    I really hope this concept grows and there are more events like this, all around the country, in the coming years. You ladies are our best ambassadors for the future of gun rights!

    1. avatar Karla says:

      Thanks, Curtis. It really was a great time – and we are already planning for next year!

  5. avatar Another Robert says:

    Good on ya’, ladies!

  6. avatar Taylor TX says:

    Was really looking forward to the coverage of this, glad it was well received. Looking forward to some of the videos of shooting stages (all I have seen so far are stills, so Im hoping there is some video in there somewhere).

  7. avatar J. Zoss says:

    Very nice. Thanks for the write up.

  8. avatar another Steve says:

    Sounds awesome! Great article Karla, and Hats off to all the competitors and sponsors—

  9. avatar Accur81 says:

    Congrats to Lena Miculek. She’s one hell of a shooter.

  10. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Great event! Sure hope this inspires the women members of shooting clubs to start up 3-gun matches at their ranges. Go to your next club meeting and announce that you want to start up a similar 3-gun match, and ask for help from the club. Pretty much every club I have ever joined would be really happy to have someone volunteer to start up a new event like this. Don’t wait for “the club” to do it, make it your own idea and your own responsibility. Go for it!

  11. avatar Tokamak says:

    My friend Janet made it out there all the way from CA. I won’t see her until this weekend but the word is that she had a fantastic time. Can’t wait to see how she does at our next club match. I can only hope the sport of 3G continues to grow for the ladies because that means it continues to grow for all of us. What a good idea! Thanks to Brownell’s and all the other sponsors.

  12. I hate that this only has, now, 14 comments. I guess the elections kind of overshadowed the topic. Too bad, because this is one of the greatest stories on TTAG. I may be biased since I live ten minutes from where this event was held. I went to all the facebook links and liked them. I soooooooo much want my wife to get into three gun. She would love it because she wants to have something to do where I am supporting her instead of her going to my activities all the time. Neither of us has done a shooting competition of any sort but I know she wants too. She mentioned getting bored on the square range and she has expressed interest in joining Sout River Gun Club and GSSF. When the time and money are right, we will be there.
    Great story Karla! Hope we see you next year!

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