Jun 06

A Girl & A Gun National Training Conference, Marble Falls TX

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A Girl & A Gun National Training Conference was held at the facilities of Copperhead Creek Shooting Facilities in Marble Falls Texas April 29-May1. A Girl & A Gun has many Chapters throughout the United States. A Girl and A Gun is a ladies-only organization established by women shooters for women shooters for pistol, rifle, and shotgun sports!

A few months ago, I was asked if I would be interested in being the Lead Instructor for teaching ladies precision mg9rifle competition shooting. Of course, I jumped at this opportunity. To be able to teach, train and share my passion of long range shooting with other females was just a pure blessing.  The class I taught was “Intro to Precision Rifle competitions”.  Jim was going to tag along with me to the event, but he had a class of his own to teach in Utah.  So, Texas bound here I come!

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With my sweet friend and partner in crime, Candice Horner

Candice Horner was asked to teach the long range natural terrain class. I met Candice a few months ago at a PRS match and she was really sweet. So I was excited to get to spend a few days with her in Texas & get to know her more. What I come to realize during my time with her is that, this girl is just like me!! Wicked sense of humor, no nonsense and all around great person. When I arrived in Texas that Thursday, Candice and I went to dinner. The loaner rifles for my class were heavier rifles and kicked really hard and not really what a female would want to shoot in a match. Plus one was a top feeder rifle. A Girl & A Gun organizers didn’t know our competition rifles are much different than hunting rifles.  The loaner rifles from A Girl & A Gun was not what we shoot in matches and I really didn’t want to scare any of the new shooters away from this wonderful sport. Candice was teaching Long Range Natural Terrain and she suggested we combine our classes and my ladies could use the rifles she brought. Plus, her rifles were more competition style.  I agreed and both of us started making phone calls to make sure it was okay with everyone.  Candice and I were both teaching long range and together we would make this one dynamic class.

We started each morning around 9:00 am. I was nervous and excited for this but I really wanted to do a great job and make everyone proud.  Candice and I explained to the ladies the basics of Long Range shooting. We covered topics such as the basic understanding of the scope, the ballistics of the bullet, Mil vs. MOA, and Wind. It was really difficult to try to cram all this information into a 3 hr class, but we sure tried!  Next we had each lady come up to the line and got them behind the rifle so they could shoot the steel targets that ranged anywhere from 200 yrds out to 600 yrds.  Just the sheer excitement that most women had when they would the steel ring was well worth this trip and weekend.

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With other instructors at the Bang-quet. Candice Horner, myself, Diane Muller, & Tatiana Whitlock.

Friday evening was a “Bang-quet” for all attendees and instructors. It was a lot of fun to see each of the ladies that won door prizes. Candice and I had a great time as we were accompanied by Sam Adams….hee hee hee.

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With my Bushnell gear, XRS 4.5-30 scope and Fusion 1 mile Arc Laser range finders.

The whole weekend was such a great experience. It was such a wonderful feeling to be able to see the joy the women had when hitting those long distance targets. Huge Thanks to my partner in crime, Candice Horner for helping make this a great experience. Big Thanks also to Julianna Crowder and Robyn Sandoval for putting in all their hardwork and making this a great experience for all. You guys rock!! As always, my biggest heartfelt Thank you to my wonderful sponsors, GA Precision, Armageddon Gear, Bushnell & Hoppes, you all help make a lot of this possible for me.  To learn more about A Girl & A Gun, please visit their website at http://www.agirlandagun.org

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2016/06/06/a-girl-a-gun-national-training-conference-marble-falls-tx/

Apr 22

HIGH CALIBER FASHION SHOW, Ft Walton Beach Florida

20160416_133649I received a phone call from a dear friend of mine asking if I would be interested in speaking to a group of women at a female firearm event. Of course I was interested. I had been wanting to get my feet wet in the motivational public speaking arena this past year. Well, here was my chance! Heather Burleson, was spearheading a “fashion show” that would feature a few speakers along with a keynote speaker, followed by a fashion show which had ladies modeling different holsters and ways to conceal carry. I loved the concept especially since it benefitted a worthy cause, Building Homes for Heroes. I gave Heather a call and we talked about her idea. I LOVED it! But there was a concern…How the heck, what the heck was I going to talk about?!! I could share my story of trials and triumphs in my journey of Precision Rifle Shooting and maybe help motivate other women to follow their passion.  I had a story but how was I going to tell it and relay it to 100s of people……would they get it? Would they feel every word I spoke?   I was honored to be chosen to come speak, but I was really scared deep down inside. I write and keep a journal basically of all my shooting experiences and relay these into stories that I will publish on my personal blog or its published on Snipers Hide or Sure Shots online magazine. How am I going to relay this same message, but speak it? I will admit, nervousness can bring out some chatter in me!! My boss and good friend Tom Fuller has had many speaking engagements before and he could sense my nervousness. “Let me help you write your speech Miss” Those words were magical to me!! With guidance and a few thoughts, I was ready!

My sister Barbie and her Husband Adrian came down to my house to make the journey with my Husband Jim and I for my speaking engagement. After the 4 hour drive, we arrived at the condo that we rented for the weekend and I immediately started practicing my speech over and over. We went to the facility, Shoreline Church, where the event was being held. It was good to see where and how everything was going to work the next day. That evening, my Husband and family joined Justin & Claire Anderson along with their friend at McGuires for some great food and fellowship! 20160415_202304If you have never eaten there, you MUST. I couldn’t decide on just one drink, so I got the beer sampler…..simply divine!

Saturday morning was upon us. I got up early, made the coffee and joined my Husband out on the beach to just sit and relax before the day began. Fast forward to show time! The doors opened at 11:30 am. There were a lot of people, both men and women, who attended. There were different vendors that were set up which showcased their products. Ranger Firearms is a woman owned company and they brought different types of holsters as well as purses to carry your firearm. Other vendors included Otto Arms, Guardian Custom Firearm Coating, and HR Custom Holsters. There was a variety of food that everyone snacked on as well as an assortment of drinks.

20160416_170234Heather Burleson started the show with some opening remarks followed by Kelly Switzer of Building Homes for Heroes. The video Kelly shared was just heart touching. It is great to know that there are companies out there helping our service men and women in such wonderful ways!

There was an attorney from US Law Shield Attorney speaking on the topic of Florida statutes. It was very interesting listening to him and everything he had to say. After he spoke, there was about a 15-20 minute break then it was my turn to go up on stage.

My good friend, Justin Anderson was there to introduce me on the stage. I met Justin at CORE Shooting solutions last year when I shot a day match. Justin came to shoot the one day match with his teammate right before he shot the International Sniper competition at Ft. Benning. Jim wound up being their coach at the match and I had “fill in” duties one day with the guys. I had such a great time with them, I even attended the banquet the next evening! Sorry, back to my original story…

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This is my “How the heck did I get here” look!

As I was standing there listening to Justin introduce me, I had so many different feelings running through me. I felt proud, I was scared, I was happy, I was nervous, I was excited, I felt sick……..I was having an out of body experience!!! Then all of the sudden, it was my turn to walk up on that stage.

As I was walking onstage, a few ladies that were working the event passed out bags that Hoppes 9 sent to every lady in attendance. It was some great Hoppes cleaner and swag. That was pretty AWESOME! Everyone in the audience was wonderful and inviting. I walked across the stage, thanked Justin and took the microphone. Then……my mouth suddenly became bone dry. “Just great” I kept saying to myself. I didn’t trip walking across the stage, but now my freaking lips are going to stick to my teeth while I try to talk and people are really going to know what a goob I am! I’m sure someone thought “what the heck is wrong with her”.  20160416_140203

I started my speech with letting the audience know that I was a Cubmaster for our local chapter of cubscouts and that my experience public speaking has been only to 20-30 cubscouts and they definitely didn’t look like my little cubs!! And then, I just started telling my story. I talked about my real life experiences in the firearms world, my life today and my love for long range shooting. I talked about CORE Shooting Solutions, which is literally in their backyard. If I lived that close to CORE, I would try and be there once a week or more!! I probably sounded like an infomercial, but CORE is really that spectacular with all the training that they offer including all the different competitions that go on there! I talked about overcoming the negative talk toward me and overcoming the obstacles that sometimes we as females face in a “mans” world. I explained to the ladies, that most competitors in the long range community were extremely nice and were always willing to help you out. I talked about the Precision Rifle Series and what a joy it was to be a part of that series and everyone involved with it. I was able to speak about my sponsors, G.A. Precision and Armageddon Gear. I was proud to announce that I am a Brand Ambassador for Bushnell Tactical and Hoppes 9. Telling “my story” can be a nerve racking. I wasn’t sure if it sounded stupid or if anyone would care.

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Talking about my new rifle sponsor GA Precision & Team GAP

Other than the proceeds of the event going to Building Homes for Heroes, the best part for me was having ladies come up to me afterwards telling me how inspired they became. I had some ladies thank me for telling my story. They had questions about shooting competitions, about CORE Shooting facilities and questions about concealed carry. It was truly a remarkable event.

After I finished on stage, there was another break for shopping with the vendors, then the fashion show segment began. It is really great to see how far the firearm industry has come. There were holsters for women that I didn’t realize existed. The industry is really listening to the female population. It is great to know that no matter what outfit I choose, there is a holster I can wear to make sure that I am always protected with my fiream.

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A little laugh between Heather and I

Ranger Firearms spoke about safe storage and the negative stereotypes of women and guns. Then an OCSO Crime Prevention officer came to speak about a Home Defense Plan. She was very well spoken and to the point!

At the end of the event, Heather gave her closing remarks and then the raffle began! There were many different items being raffled including 3 different pistols and classes from CORE Shooting Solutions. There were also gift baskets with wine! In the end, everyone had a great time and I hope that Heather plans another one soon. The event raised over $4,550 for Building Homes for Heroes!!

If you would like to more about Building Homes for Heroes, please visit them at www.buildinghomesforheroes.org

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2016/04/22/high-caliber-fashion-show-ft-walton-beach-florida/

Apr 05

The Guardian Long Range match at Frontline Defense in NC

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Photo credit: Gary Larson With squadmate Sarah McQuay of 8541 Tactical

Gary Larson, National Match Director. The name alone means a lot of great things to many different people. You see, Gary grew up in foster care since the age 12. Gary went between state-run orphanages and foster families. Right before he aged out of the system, Gary was adopted by his case worker. His life was forever changed. To hear Gary tell his testimony, will bring tears to your eyes and happiness to your soul. The Guardian Long Range is a charity event that gives back to Bethany Christian Services. Every match fee and raffle ticket bought, goes directly to Bethany Christian Services. 20150425_153444-1 To date, this match has raised over $50,000 for orphaned and vulnerable children being cared for by Bethany Christian Services. A couple of years ago, Gary had this vision of creating these matches with all this mind. He had a plan, a venue and was ready to go. He reached out to me in the very beginning and once I had done my “Google” research, I was on board 100%.  Wytheville Virginia at Bangsteel (Dan Newberry) was the beginning of these many matches. Now, 2 years later, Gary has been able to bring his vision to life by holding many Guardian matches a year, along with dedicated ranges all over the US. This year, Frontline Defense in Warrenton North Carolina was on board with the April 2nd match. Match Director Paul Smith was over accommodating to have this match held at his facilities. With no charge to Gary, Paul and his team did an outstanding job by not only holding the one day match, but also holding a Night match the evening before. Enough credit cannot be given to Paul Smith and the many RO’s who selflessly gave their time and weekend to be here. Thank you simply does not cover it.

With an 8.5 hour drive ahead of us, Jim and I left our home early Friday morning. After many entertaining talks, driving through rain and pit stops, we finally arrived in Warrenton, NC that evening. Matt Peterson and Travis Bankston with Ashbury Precision Ordnance met up with us and Gary Larson for dinner. Though I am no longer a shooter with APO, We are still family and I will always forever be debt to them for helping jump start my shooting career. After many stories and laughs, we all retreated back to our hotel to get a good night sleep.

Saturday morning there were clouds but no rain yet. Jim and I were on “Team Samson” along with Brandon Ford, John McQuay, Josh Jeffords, Lee Satterfield, Matt Peterson, Mike Walpole, Sarah McQuay, Scott Whitehead, Travis Bankston, Kevin Gray and Wade Moeller. We had such a great group of people to be with all day.

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Photo credit: Gary Larson

My GA Precision 6Creedmoor in a Manners EHT stock was ready. As I fondly call it “The Blackwidow” this little rifle is nothing but short of a slaying! With a 25″ Bartlein barrel with APA Little Bastard brake and GAP Tempest V2 action, Not one single problem was had with this gem. I top off my rifle with my Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30 scope.  If you haven’t shot a GAP rifle, I suggest you do so. You will be hooked with every Impact you have!

Every stage was biblical related. There were eight stages with 10 rounds for each stage and 99.9 seconds to complete each stage. The first stage of the day for my squad was “Noah’s Ark”. You started with an empty chamber, safety on and mag in. When the buzzer sounded, you climbed into the boat, grabbed the stuffed duck and lamb which you had to use instead of a bipod. Once in position you had 5 targets to shoot with 2 rounds each. When I got up for my turn, the rain started. The boat was suspended so of course it wobbled. Once in position, I was able to successfully hit 7 out of 10. The rain continued to pour down through the next 3 stages.

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Photo credit: Gary Larson

One of my favorite stages was “Moses”. You had a baby doll in a basket at your starting position. Once the buzzard sounded, you grabbed the baby then used it as a prop on the log to shoot 8 rounds at 3 designated targets at 180 yrds, 426 yrds and 536 yrds. Once you shot your 8 rounds, you transitioned to the platform, along with the baby Moses of course, and shot your remaining 2 rounds. Of course this was my favorite stage as I cleaned it in 86.57 seconds!  I used my Armageddon Gear Fat Bag to use for my elbow to prop on to get a firm, stable position.

After your first four stages were shot, we all met up and lunch was provided to every shooter. It was a delicious barbeque, slaw and potato salad. After everyone had their bellys full, it was on to the next four stages. And thank goodness the rain stopped and the sun started peeping through the clouds!!!

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My Hoppes 9 Field kit.

The Last four stages were challenging yet fun. You had “Tower of Babylon”, “Samson”, “Stairway to Heaven” and “My Brothers Keeper”. It was a lot of fun shooting all these stages with our squad. Everyone had such a great personality, you just couldn’t help but have a great time. A squadmate had a little problem with a case breaking in his rifle and got stuck. Hoppes 9 range kit to the rescue!! This awesome field kit not only has the lube and cleaner in it, it also has cleaning rod, attachments and cleaning patches. I was able to quickly put together the rod, then attach a cleaning brush. When entered into his chamber, the other piece of brass quickly fell out. I always carry a small can of “Gun Medic” with me. At least once during this match after the rain, I had to spray a little on my bolt. After this my bolt started running smoothly again.

12592591_1735306240024040_6732786636116258631_nThe stage “Samson” had 5 empty barrels stacked up. You had to knock over the barrels then shoot 2 shots off each barrel at the given distances of 132yrds, 260yrds, 350 yrds and 441 yrds. I used my Lifeline on this one as it added an additional 20 seconds to the time to complete. I wound up with 7 hits within 110.59 seconds.  It was fun to watch how every competitor completed this stage. With my Bushnell Elite XRS, I was successful in using holdovers. And talking about my Bushnell XRS scope, I have put this poor scope to hell and back and it has weathered through it all. Two weeks ago at the LRSE match in Kentucky, it rained the 2nd day. I fell in mud on my last stage and my poor rifle took the fall too. Through that mud and rain, it handled great with no problems. No fogged lenses or anything. Bushnell definitely makes great quality scopes that I am grateful for!

Overall, this charity match was such a huge success. With 67 shooters in the match, the stages ran flawlessly. Having quality match directors really help!! Thank you again to Paul Smith and his crew for their hospitality and professionalism. Thank you to Gary Larson for another Guardian match. Your vision and passion has not gone unnoticed and I think I can speak on behalf of all the shooters who congratulate you and Thank you for this.  Big shout out to Scott Whitehead of Best Targets for the awesome trophies!

The scoring was done a little different. As Jim explained to me AFTER the match, your misses deducted time and your overall time to complete the stage was factored in.  Say What?!!  I didn’t realize that until AFTER the match and Jim sure as heck didn’t tell me during it. I thought it was like a normal PRS type scoring match.  I was wondering why the ROs was telling the scorekeeper the time it took for the competitor to complete the stage. I figured maybe it was to break a tie. Thanks Honey. Anyway, Congrats to Andy Slade for taking away 1st, Sam Barr 2nd and Dave Moore 3rd.  I walked away with Top Lady and 21st place. Huge thank you to my sponsors, GA Precision, Bushnell Tactical, Hoppes 9 and Armageddon Gear for being so wonderful and supporting me. Until next time Guardians……..20160402_180702-1-1

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2016/04/05/the-guardian-long-range-match-at-frontline-defense-in-nc/

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