5.11 Tactical Cirrus Pants & Trinity Polo: Review & Pictures

For years I’ve been too cheap and kept shooting in jeans, cargo pants and inexpensive bottoms from the Juniors department. I always rationalized that pants are not that important and wouldn’t make a difference. I was so wrong! Recently I decided to ask my shooting friends (and my husband) for their recommendations and after some consideration I decided to give 5.11 a try. Here is my honest review:

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Me in my 5.11 Tactical Cirrus Pants & Trinity Polo

5.11 Cirrus Pants Review

Hands down, these pants are the BEST! My husband has multiple pairs and wears them every single day. These pants are great for the shooting range, the office, the woods, the farm… you name it. They are extremely lightweight, soft & comfy, yet uncharacteristically durable. The cut makes them both comfortable & stylish, which is really important to me. As a small (but curvy) woman, I have always struggled finding the right fit so it was such a relief to finally get a pair that is not too deep (hate the high-waisted look) and does not gape at the waist (at least not much). Last but not least, the Cirrus pants have a ton of deep pockets at all the right places, yet they are not obvious & don’t scream “I’m wearing tactical pants”, which suits my classic style very well. All in all – these pants are THE BOMB and totally worth the money ($74.99 seemed steep before I actually tried them). I have spent so much $$ over the years on cheap pants that just don’t work; my advise – buy quality & buy it once.

I will wear these until they fall apart, I will purchase more black ones & probably get them in other colors as well. The pictures simply don’t do them justice! My only complaint is they don’t make ‘em for small girls – the smallest size they offer is 2 and miraculously that’s ok for me in the Cirrus cut but I also got the Stryke pants (sz. 2 also) and they are huge! I’m disappointed because I really wanted at least 2 to alternate… I’ll see if I can get them tailored and will report back but honestly, I like the clean look of Cirrus better anyway.

If I could change a thing – I’d love these babies in a size 0 and a skinny cut – then I wouldn’t take these babies off EVER! Seriously – I would get like 5 pairs and wear them everywhere. I wonder if you can sleep in them? ;)

  • Looks: 10/10
  • Durability 10/10
  • Comfort: 10/10
  • Cut: 9/10

Trinity Polo Review

I will admit – I had no intention to buy a polo. The 5.11 folks were kind enough to send me a sample so I figured I’d try it. Same deal – how much difference can a shirt make, right? Wrong! Turns out being able to move comfortably and getting rid of excess moisture makes all the difference in the world!

The most impressive part about the Trinity Polo is the material – it is tough, durable, lightweight and most importantly – kept me cool & sweat-free (which is a hard job in humid MO and since my style dictates I HAVE to wear black even in 100-degree weather). Their website describes it as a “dependable Polyester jersey knit fabric with a moisture wicking finish”. Call it what you wish but it works!

Another thing I love – the style! The V-neck is perfect and the decorative sweetheart stitching is absolutely gorgeous. Finally someone is paying attention to style in tactical clothing! Also, I like that the shirt is long enough to tuck in & stay that way – most manufacturers think that “small” means “short”.

Talk about sizing: the fit is my only gripe about this polo. The smallest size they offer is S and I am sure I fall in the XS category (I wear a 0 or 00 in street sizes). As a result – the armpit area was big on me (you can see it on the picture) which affected the look and it wasn’t nearly fitted enough in the waist area for me (the curse of the skinny girl). The sleeves are a great length, though, and not too wide (which is a common problem with jerseys, thank God somebody noticed). I would still recommend this shirt and I will continue wearing because of it’s comfort & style. Hopefully they’ll make my size in the future… Also, I’ll be waiting to see if they come up with a similar (but tight fitting) option with the same sweetheart neckline stitching but with long sleeves – that would be so versatile!

  • Looks: 10/10
  • Durability 10/10
  • Comfort: 10/10
  • Cut: 8/10

Hope this helps you in your selection. Here are a few more pictures (sorry, they are not ideal as they are phone selfies I took when I first got to the range)

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A close-up of the Trinity Polo. Even in this pic you can tell the material is really high quality.

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Front view of Cirrus Pants – I love that is has enough belt loops (and they are wide enough) to work with both my competition and everyday belts. Also – I love the deep hidden pockets. By the way, the brown hue is from the sun & the picture – these pants are solid black!

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Side view (sorry about that shadow from my phone). Did I mention I love the pockets!?

XOXO
Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

Posted in Fabulous Females, Gear, Tips for Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet The Real Taran Butler

National & World champion, first ever Multi-gun “Triple Crown” winner, entrepreneur, TV personality, chick magnet, trainer to the Hollywood stars and the ultimate shredding machine (with perfect hair). Will the real Taran Butler please stand up?

Much has been said about him, mostly true, yet none of these terms really define the man Taran Butler is. So in this short article I’ll try to acquaint you with the crazy loon he truly is. (with his blessing, of course)

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Jacob Betswort, myself & Taran Butler at the 2014 3 Gun Nation Midwest Regional at Rockcasttle Shooting Center in KY. We had the most fun squad ever!

The first time I met Taran was back in June when I pulled up at his home in the valley just north of Hollywood. He had called me about a month or so before & told me he wants to sponsor me. I remember thinking: “What? Why? Are you kiddin’ me? Hell yeah!” Anyway, so I pulled up to his shop, totally nervous and unprepared but what followed completely changed my perception of the man.

Taran gave me a big ole hug, proceeded to equip me with a gun & ammo and took me to a local match with his buddies. Over the next couple of days he showed me great hospitality – trained with me, introduced me to a bunch of new friends and even showed me around LA. I had an amazing time and can’t wait to visit again!

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Jeannie Bolda, me & Taran at the 2014 West Coast Steel Challenge in Piru, CA.

Since then he’s equipped me with some killer guns, talked me into several big matches I’d never have the guts to sign up for by myself and introduced me into the growing family of TTI staff & shooters.

As I got to know him more I found out he does a lot for the shooting sports – he brings new shooters to the range all the time, mentors them, and sponsors “no-name” people to help them get into the sport. One time I asked him: “So why did you decide to help me?”. His answer: “I sponsor good people who love to shoot.” Simple as that.

Another quality I admire in Mr. Butler is how down-to-earth & grounded he is. For someone who’s been in the public eye for so long and is constantly surounded by celebrities, top competitors and cameras, he has a very solid grip on what’s real in life – loyalty, friendships and the smell of gun powder!

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Sightseeing around LA…

And what’s up with all the hot girls, many would ask? Very simple – women love Taran because he is nice to us, he treats us with respect, truly trains us, and gives us awesome guns. Plus, he’s just pure joy to be around. Taran’s “Ballistic Angels” is a thing although I’ve made the argument to rename us to simply “Taran’s Angels”. What every one of these women have in common (if you look past the physical beauty) is a fun personality, a kind heart and an undeniable love for shooting. His benefit – great marketing & people thinking he is a total player. ;)

The last observation I have is about how Taran treats his employees and friends – like family. He often talks about his mother, his brother John (who is super nice too), everyone that works at TTI and all the shooters he sponsors. He doesn’t talk about return on investment, conversion rates or revenue; he talks about human stories and the lives he’s become a part of… I wish more people measured success that way.

On any given day if you happen to be invited to visit TTI you can expect goofing off, a nurf gun war at the shop (my contribution to team building), a trip to the range (about 50 feet away), a talk about the latest block buster, and lots of laughter. I’m humbled to be a member of the extended TTI family and proud to call them friends.

So who is the real Taran Butler? He is a crazy fun “loon” who imitates Arnold & other celebrity voices, says stuff like “toopid” (read “stupid”), “I’ll slap you with a dead salmon” and “it’s the new way”. He is a business owner who’s trying to make a living just like the rest of us. He loves movies & taking random funny videos of people (see an example of his hilarious directorial work from my visit below). Last, but not least, he is a man who truly loves shooting & has a mission very similar to my own – to introduce shooting to everyone, make it popular & accessible to everybody, and to mainstream its acceptance in the US & world-wide.

Salute, my friend, rock on!

XOXO

Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

Funny video of us goofing off around the shop (yes, this is what happens when you ask “Hey, what’s in that safe?” at TTI – you find guns from movies):

Posted in 3-Gun Fun, Day One, Everything Else, Fabulous Females, Firepower, My Life, Range Day, Top Shooters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons Learned from my First 3 Gun Nation Match at Rockcastle Shooting Center

If you live on planet Earth surely you’re heard of 3 Gun Nation. Well, so have I but frankly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was my third big 3 gun match but the first one under the 3G Nation sanction and certainly the most complex I’ve shot. Here’s what I learned, I hope it helps you or at least it makes you laugh.

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Battle in the mud – sounds more fun than it is. :)

Lesson 1: You have to have a game plan. I know I’m absent-minded, easy-going & generally a go-with-the-flow kinda gal.  Turns out my “show up & play” mantra doesn’t work with 3 Gun, at least not with 3G Nation stages. The first stage I saw blew me out of my little fantasy real quick. Wow – this stuff looks complex! A ton of targets & steel, some only visible at certain angles, stages spread out over several shooting bays and 3 guns to alternate between… To top it all off, certain targets can be engaged with your choice of gun. Frankly, I didn’t even know where to start. Fortunately, there were several experienced 3-gunners in my squad that gave me tips on how to break down a stage & plan what to do, when & where.

Lesson 2: Slugs suck, especially when you’re in Open class. Let me elaborate: there are certain targets you have to hit with slug rounds instead of bird shot in your shotgun. We’ll leave the part about me only trying slugs for the first time a few days before the match out of this discussion. The point is – you have to plan for these accordingly because they are not always in the beginning – they can be in the middle of a stage that already has a lot going on. So, if you’re in TO, you can just pop a few in as you need them but if you shoot Open class – you really have to plan when/where you will have these slugs loaded in your shotgun. And then if you miss…. Well, let’s just say you have to count a lot!

Lesson 3: Know where your point of aim is on long distance targets. My rifle is sighted-in at 200 yards so I knew my point of aim is different at 100 & 400. Still, my scope is only 1×4 so the long shots were hard for me – mostly because my heart was about to jump out of my chest from excitement.

Lesson 4: Be prepared to shoot in less than favorable conditions. The first day at Rockcastle was great – nice weather, friendly staff, an amazing squad. On the second day, however, all hell broke loose as rain poured on & off pretty much all day. The remaining four stages turned into a muddy mess, resetting the targets was a major chore, nobody even though about painting the long distance targets and the staff was overworked & behind. Fortunately, we all remained nice and professional about it and even shared a few laughs. Being the girly girl I am, I’m actually pretty proud of myself for even surviving it. Needless to say, I didn’t do that great on day 2… Oh, did I mention – bring your rain gear!

Lesson 5: If you think you’re going fast, you’re probably wrong. Now, this may just be my problem but I suspect I’m not alone. There are so many different things happening in a 3 Gun stage, so much to remember and so much to do! In my little world I really thought I was going lightning fast; turns out I was moving like a turtle. :)

Lesson 6: Safety first. This really should have been lesson #1 but since I didn’t have an issue myself, it appears further down. There were 22 DQ’s in this match – accounting for more than 10% of the shooters and most of them were safety-related issues. So, mind your muzzle, safeties & trigger finger!

Lesson 7: Practice your shotgun reloads. This seems to be the one thing that can make or break your match when it comes to 3 Gun competition.

Lesson 8: Equipment matters. Yeah, yeah – I know all the pros tell you that you don’t need fancy gear in order to perform well. Maybe that’s true if you’re a professional but for me – I’ve noticed that every little bit helps. It just makes for a much more enjoyable experience when your guns run smooth, don’t kick you like a mule, and man, do they look good! So, do your research, ask questions at the range, save your cash and invested in high quality gear. And if anyone offers to let you try out their gun at the range – do it. I let people try mine all the time too and if you see me at the range – feel free to ask me about my TTI guns!

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Photo credit: Thanks to Becky Yackley Photography

Lesson 9: If you want booze – bring it. That’s right, folks – Rockcastle shooting center is located close to Cave City, KY in what people refer to as “the Bible belt” – an area of the south that, among other characteristics, is also mostly alcohol dry. You can’t buy booze at stores or gas stations, there are no clubs & bars and about the only place you can get a cocktail is at a restaurant (but not on Sundays). The people are really nice though & the food is great so it kinda balances out. ;)

Lesson 10: Everyone should try it. Don’t allow the complexity of 3 Gun Nation stages scare you. It is not just for pros, 3 Gun is a great sport and it is accessible to everyone regardless of their skill level. As long as you’re safe, don’t let that “I’m not good enough” voice discourage you from having the adrenaline ride of your life.

I really hope the lessons I learned help you & encourage you to look up a 3 Gun Nation club near you, gear up and just go – you won’t regret it!

XOXO

Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

Sponsor acknowledgements:

Special thanks to my friend & mentor Taran Butler of Taran Tactical Innovations for talking me into this match, giving me help & support, being super fun & equipping me with the sickest guns & basepads a girl could ask for!

Also, thank you Safariland for my gorgeous red ELS belt, 014 Competition Holster, all my pouches & range bags – everything held up extremely well in the rain & mud. One doesn’t really think about how important high quality accessories are until they see other people struggle with safely carrying their guns!

5.11 – I LOVE my Cirrus pants! I only wore them day one, though – I couldn’t get myself to roll in the mud with them… :D

Thanks to my friend Kathy Ergovich of What-Ya-Say Hearing Protection for my custom earplugs – 3 Gun is extremely loud and I hate earmuffs.

Thanks Becky Yackley Photography for the one good picture I have from this event (featured)!

Thanks to my hubby (who cleaned my guns, packed & carried everything, and was not too pushy), my squad mates and all my friends for encouraging & supporting me as I keep trying more & more shooting disciplines.

Last but not least – thanks to all the 3 Gun Nation staff – you guys rock and are true professionals able to handle whatever faith (and the weather) throws your way!

Posted in 3-Gun Fun, Day One, Fabulous Females, Firepower, Gear, Tips for Success | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When People Notice You: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

So, you picked up a couple of sponsors, somebody gave you a jersey and all of a sudden you find people notice you. It sounds great but there are a few things you should know. I pride myself on being very honest, so here are my observations, I hope they help you.

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Me at the Mover, 2014 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup. Photo credit: Ralph Horne – notice the bullet in flight!

The Good

  1. You make a lot of new friends: Connecting with like-minded people is always a plus in my book. You make new friendships, connect with shooters from all over the world, and share information and common interests. I love my shooting friends!
  2. You learn a lot: Truth is, I have picked up a lot of tips and shooting advice along the way. I am notoriously bad about practicing – I just don’t do it because I prefer to save my ammo for matches (it’s an expensive hobby, you know). But, I am making an attempt to implement advice I have received from other shooters and just try out new things during our local matches.
  3. You inspire people: This is one of my primary reasons for sharing my journey into this amazing hobby – attracting “regular people” to the practical shooting sports. It has been such a joy for me and has enriched my life in so many ways that I am humbled I get to inspire others to try it. Here are my Top 10 Reasons to Try Competition Shooting.
  4. You make a difference. We all know how heated the political debate over the 2nd Amendment is. While this blog is intended as a fun resource, I really believe that it fosters understanding and educates the general population on the safe practice of recreational & competitive shooting. As Nelson Mandela said: “Education it the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Now, I’m far from changing the world, but to an extent we all try…
  5. People encourage you: Lots of people will appreciate your efforts and inspire you to keep doing what you enjoy. I have received so many positive messages & emails and I cannot express how grateful I am because it is not easy to put yourself out there. Everyone needs a pat on the back, a friendly smile or some help.
  6. You become stronger: When you expose yourself to public opinions, you learn to develop a thicker skin and concentrate on what’s really important in life. Criticism is part of our daily experiences and unless you learn to deal with it, you’ll go crazy! I take constructive criticism as an opportunity to improve myself but don’t let it get to me. This helps “toughen you up.”
  7. Men respect you more: If you are a lady shooter, you will notice that men (on the range and off) respect you more if they know you’re good with your weapons. All I have to say is: Amen, sisters!
  8. You get opportunities. One of the advantages of people noticing you is that you get invited to do things you otherwise wouldn’t consider. Here lately I have been invited to so many fun shooting events, participated in shooter support groups, and have been featured in a few publications. While this has never been a goal, it makes my mom proud so I try to do all I can. :)

The Bad

  1. Expectations rise: Just because you are learning in a public way, people expect you to get better faster. That is not the case, folks! You have to put your time in to become a good shooter –ask anybody! I have improved tremendously since I started but I am not “great”, nor do I claim to be. I am really trying as much as my schedule permits but people can be very critical. Now, this could be a good thing because it pushes you but I also try to remember that this is just a hobby and above all it is about having fun.
  2. It takes a lot of your time: I have the tendency to pile up a lot on my plate. I work full time as a business analyst, my career is very important to me. I am also a wife & a mother so in between business meetings, Girl Scout outings, household chores, and my hobby – there is not much time left. If you start getting noticed, be prepared to dedicate some time to being responsive to the kind people who contact you. Unfortunately, that takes time away from other recreational activities such as sipping a martini by the pool…
  3. You will face jealousy: Now, I’m not really sure if some people think there are that many perks about being “sponsored” or they just feel they are better/more deserving than you, but you may face that uneasy feeling that all of a sudden some of them just hate your guts. First of all – let me clarify – unless you are doing this professionally and get paid, being “sponsored” simply means you may receive products from your supporters. I personally have very specific tastes so I only support products that are absolutely A-mazing! I am extremely grateful for the help I receive but honestly don’t understand how a couple of guns and some free gear can alienate certain “friends”. But it does so be prepared!

The Ugly

  1. You may get stalkers: It really blows my mind that anyone has interest in being my “fan”. While it will definitely boost your confidence and make you feel incredible, be prepared to receive interesting propositions. Some are just funny & kind, while others may be inappropriate or plain old creepy. I guess it’s part of it so my advice is – be gracious and polite but firm. Trust me, you don’t want to recreate a scene from “The Fan”, lol.
  2. You may get threats: It really happens rarely to me but I have received a couple of very disturbing messages from radical gun control proponents. I was shocked because I am a very empathetic person and really try to understand everyone’s point of view. But some people are just violent, ignorant or both. I received some great advice from Janna Reeves – report creepers, block them & move on. You should too!

These are just some of the things I have learned in my journey as a shooting hobbyist. I have received some great advice from other shooters and wanted to share an honest overview of what it’s like to make your experiences public. Obviously, the Good outweighs the Bad vastly so if you are in similar situation – keep doing what you’re doing, enjoy yourself, and concentrate on the positive!

XOXO

Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

Posted in 3-Gun Fun, Gear, My Life, Tips for Success | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Dealing with Disappointment & Failure in Competition Shooting

It sounds pretty depressing but this is actually a funny article, I promise. I’m no pro so this is not meant as a serious advice. I am just a regular gal who “tells it as it is” and I hope that if my approach to failure doesn’t help you – at least it will make you laugh.

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Me after my epic jam/fail at the 2014 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup. Photo credit: Raph Horne

Let’s Begin at the Beginning…

So, last year I decided I wanted to scratch off an item from my Bucket list & signed up for the MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup – one of the most prestigious shooting events in the US & the World. Wow – what a ride – read about it here! Despite how nerve-wracking & intense this championship is, it has its way of sucking you in, luring you, and making you believe you can do better “next year”.

Since I am a slow learner and the torture wasn’t enough, I just had to do it again this year. And I did. Once again I borrowed a gun, practiced for several days before the Cup and off I went to face my demons. They won.

Despite my short practice (believe me, it felt like a lot to me), I felt like I was doing really well. I was cleaning the plates in training, shot my best barricade ever (474, 26x) and thought I had this thing under control. Yeah, not so much. My first day I had a jam on the plates (clean your guns, people!), lost a ton of points, broke down mentally & never really recovered. The rest of my performance wasn’t as bad, yet it was quite underwhelming. I had hoped to shoot a score in the mid to high 1700’s and ended up with mid 1600’s – Ugh, the disappointment!

If you have participated in any competitive sport you know damn well how much it stings when you suck, especially in front of a crowd. You probably also know, however, that losing is a major & inevitable part of the game too. We all deal with disappointment differently. Here is how I do:

1. Cry or Cuss

I usually go for the latter, but hey – whatever works. Just let it out. Try to avoid affecting other shooters and do it in private, please.

2. Laugh it Off

Laughter really is the best medicine for everything. I goof off a lot & often poke fun at myself. Besides putting you in a better mood (hello endorphins), it reminds you to concentrate on what’s really important in shooting sports – having fun!

3. Get a Hug

Okay, okay – I know it’s not very manly, so if you’re a guy – go for the shoulder tap. For us ladies – there is not much a good ole hug can’t cure.

4. Lean on your friends

Shooting buddies are like family. So when you tell them how you felt – they’ll understand. They’ll empathize, make you laugh, give you a hug, and possibly give you a kick in the butt. Which leads us to the next point…

5. Suck it Up, Buttercup

I used to do Crossfit with a guy in his 60’s who often wore a shirt with this slogan. I would be panting profusely, trying to catch my breath & suppress vomit urges while he just pushed through…..

Ok, so you sucked. It happens. Don’t just give up, try again. Chances are, this is not the first time you failed and inevitably it won’t be the last. So dust off you ruffled feathers, throw away your cry towel, lift your chin up & move on.

6. Learn, Don’t Burn

Aside from equipment malfunctions, failure is usually your fault. Don’t dwell on it, but figure out what your mistake was, correct it, and practice not omitting it again. No worries, there are plenty of other mistakes you’ll make but you can reduce their likelihood of happening if you address them one by one. In my little Bianchi example: while it was not my fault I had a jam, it was my mistake that I let it impair me for the rest of the event. So, from now on I’ll facilitate malfunctions in practice (use my “bad mag”, not gauge my ammo, etc.) just so I can learn to move on calmly after an equipment problem.

7. Fear of Fear Itself

This is a tough one. I am convinced there is something in the frequency of the competition timer that makes your knees shake, your palms sweat and your vision blur. I will name it Buzzerphobia. Fear of failure is my biggest enemy and if anyone has figured out how to overcome it – please let me know!

8. No Public Opinion Tax

Another tough one is the anxiety that comes with performing in public, the fear of being judged and the predictions of what others may think about you if you fail. Get over it. Chances are – nobody really cares about you because they are too worried about themselves. Besides, their opinion shouldn’t really matter because those that count will love & respect you just for trying. You don’t have to pay $$ every time someone judges you now, do you?

9. It’s the Task, Not the Person

Just because you failed at something doesn’t mean you are a failure as an individual. Take a moment to look at the rest of your life – do you have a nice family? A great job? A bunch of friends that will give you crap for your performance? Then you are lucky and definitely not a failure. Plus, let’s face it – you can’t be good at everything.

10. ???

I couldn’t come up with one more but the natural order of things dictates that I have to have #10. :)

These are just some of the ways I deal with disappointment when I suck. What are yours?

XOXO

Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

Posted in Bianchi Cup, Fabulous Females, My Life, NRA, Range Day, Tips for Success | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top 10 Reasons to Consider Competition Shooting

Why competitive shooting sports? – This is probably the most common question I get from relatives, friends, coworkers, etc. Here are my top 10 reasons. What are yours?

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Me at our local USPSA match last weekend. Photo credit: Ralph Horne

  1. Adrenaline – Sorry folks, call me shallow but this is my number one reason. I have always been a thrill junkie – rock climbing, flying, hunting, fast cars, guns…. I like it all. Maybe less so after I had a child, but that mixed wave of fear, excitement & pleasure gets me going like nothing else. If an elevated heart-rate is your idea of nirvana – shooting sports are definitely for you!
  2. Fun – Have you ever watched a video on YouTube and thought “Jeez, that looks like fun”? Well, it’s because it is! Just think about it – you can shoot Zombies, sniper something 1000 yards away, practice self-defense, or pretend to be a navy seal. Whatever it is that gets your chest muscle pumping – there is a shooting discipline for it. (watch for my next article outlining some of the disciplines I’ve dabbled in)
  3. Friends – Really, I should call them a Shooting Family. Because that’s what it really is. Contrary to common (media) portrayal, “gun people” are usually the nicest, kindest, most helpful and caring individuals you’d ever meet. We are working professionals, parents, patriots, hobbyists, and generally have a very strong sense of community – one you’d really want to be a part of when the Zombies come. ;)
  4. Skills – This is one of the original reasons I first started competing. As a woman I sometimes feel particularly vulnerable to an attack (and I have been attacked & robbed as a teenager). Yes, target practice and maybe a Conceal & Carry class are (marginally) better than nothing but I firmly believe consistent muscle-memory learning under stress (this is really important) is the best way to train your body to react to a threat. I hope I never need to use these skills but I’d rather be prepared.
  5. Travel – Based on budget & time constrains, you might choose to travel for some bigger matches. My husband & I are hobbyists so we selectively pick which matches to attend based on cost, location, and level of fun. It is an added bonus that we get to see new places, meet new people and make a mini family vacation out of each trip.
  6. Gun Collection – Let’s face it, if you are into guns you are probably constantly looking for a reason to buy new weaponry & gear. Shooting sports are a perfect excuse as to why you NEED that customized rifle, a high-powered scope or a red ELS rig. I don’t have that particular problem but the vast majority of my friends need to report to their significant other with regard to gear spendings. What better way to justify your obscene overspending with “But honey, I could win…”?
  7. Trophies – Since we are one the subject of winning: some people really do! It has happened to me (on occasion) but mostly I am satisfied with just improving myself. While most smaller matches distribute trophies only (if that), many of the larger regional & national championships also have a significant prize tables primarily due to sponsors. Contrary to popular belief, a vast majority of the goods are distributed not only to division winners, but also to any competitor through a raffle or drawing. Prizes or no prizes – it is very rewarding to bring a trophy home!
  8. Politics – If this is not something you consider important but you enjoy competitive or even recreational shooting, maybe you need to reconsider. Protecting our Second Amendment rights is a big issue for the Shooting Community. While I have no polar political preference, I believe that participating in competitive shooting sports supports the cause through both publicity and economic growth. Because let’s face it – it is a lot harder to outlaw an industry that generates billions in revenue!
  9. Street Cred – I don’t care if you’re 110 lbs. or 300 – knowing how to shoot a gun well qualifies you as an instant badass. Period.
  10. Parties – People that shoot are fun. Whether you are drinking beer around the bonfire after your local shoot, gathering for the margarita ritual after a match, or dressing in your fancy digs for a formal awards banquet – shooting parties are always a blast (no pun intended). Why? Well, for one there’s always someone you know who won & needs help celebrating. Two – you deserve a reward for your hard work. And three – shooting folks are just a blast to be around and you really don’t need a specific reason to hang out with them!

These are just some of my top reasons for shooting competition. What are yours?

XOXO

Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

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