While we like to have fun at the range, it is important to us that all members are well trained. It’s more than sending lead down range; it’s about grip, stance, trigger control, sight picture, and of course safety and more! Our facilitators are all NRA-certified instructors who encourage women to utilize best practices while shooting pistols, rifles, and shotguns.
The Dreaded DQ
In the world of shooting sports DQ means Disqualification, not Dairy Queen. There is a saying in the competitive shooting community that “there are two kinds of shooters: those that have DQ’d and those that will.” Some competitors have been shooting matches for 30 years before they experience it; others it happens early into their shooting career (and then they hope never again). DQ’s happen because of safety violations such as muzzle pointing in an unsafe direction (breaking the 180), unintentionaly discharging the gun aka “accidental discharge”, dropping a gun or leaving a firearm in an unsafe condition. When it happens to a shooter, it is a very sensitive moment. Some shooters know what they did right away and go quietly into the sunset, others may challenge the ruling and fight to stay in the match. Either way it is the most dreaded thing a Match Director/Range Master has to do by telling a competitior they are out of the match. It is also the last thing you want to see as a range officer, and this summer I personally witnessed 4. Sharon Griffin is a regular face you see at the major 3 Guns matches around the country and […]
5 Basics of Accurate Shooting
When shooting a handgun, there are 5 basics of accurate shooting. These simple factors, when focused upon, will dramatically improve shooting accuracy.
Getting help from a professional instructor is the best way to improve your shooting techniques, but sometimes a diagnostic target can be a useful tool.
Competition Gear Check
By Randi Rogers – As I start to prepare for the match I have a Big List of all the items I think I might need so I can be prepared. Clothing Before you attend any match you want to make sure that you wear your clothing in practice or a local match to make sure it wears the way you want. Shoes- I always suggest bringing two pair of shoes if possible. Tulsa has been known to have rain and nothing is worse than wearing soggy footwear. Socks- Make sure you have plenty- also a good idea to throw a pair or two in the car. Short vs. Pants- An age old question. I would suggest brining a pair of both that you like. You can make that decision the morning of shooting or even bring them both in the car and put it on when you get there. Shirt- Does your shirt fit right and comfortably? Make sure you have shot in it so you know what it feels like to stow magazines. Hat- Bring two! This is something you want to make sure you have and another thing that is no fun to get wet. Shooting Gear […]
Proper Shooting Stance
The shooting stance is one of the fundamental components to making sure you have a good platform for operating a firearm. Having your body positioned properly allows you to be steady regardless of what and how you are shooting. It is important to keep your weight forward on the balls of your feet. Even while standing practicing with static target shooting, your posture should be forward, aggressive, and ready to move. While moving, keep your core muscles engaged to support your body with steady, confident movements. Keeping a healthy and active lifestyle will help keep your posture solid so that you can have a strong framework for shooting. Training with a proper stance creates muscle memory that gives you the ability to move with a stable platform so that your gun can function. During competition stages or if you have to respond defensively in a crisis, your body will be properly trained to be forward and stable. This allows you to focus primarily on your front sight and trigger control, without worrying about what your feet are doing.
4 Factors When Buying a Carry Gun
When selecting a firearm that you will depend your life upon, there are four very important factors to consider: RELIABILITY Your gun must work each and every time you reach for it. This means your gun must be of good craftsmanship (you get what you pay for) and remember KISS – Keep It Simple Sister. Don’t go crazy with custom upgrades, except night sights. EFFECTIVE STOPPING POWER Your goal is to STOP someone who is actively trying to kill, cripple, or rape you. There is debate within the industry of the minimum caliber that you should carry as a primary defense gun, whether .380 or 9mm, which is a separate conversation. Regardless, you must consider the various barriers, such as seasonal clothing that needs to be penetrated and distances/accuracy. WEARABILITY You must be able to carry your gun open or concealed on your person throughout your daily routine. Select a gun that is the correct size and weight related to the size of your body frame and/or ability to carry extra weight. If you intend to purse carry as your primary option, adding a big ole gun to your already heavy bag is not really an appealing idea. This is […]
Prevent Injury With a Daily Shooter’s Workout
By: Becky Dolgener, Facilitator: Temple TX A Girl & A Gun Chapter Source: Beth Moses, Trainer Whether you’re active in competitive shooting or just getting started, the sport makes physical demands on our bodies that can lead to injury. Most injuries can be prevented by strengthening supporting muscles and being prepared physically for the demands of your particular sport. Start by selecting the right firearms for your current fitness level, and then gradually strengthen your body to prevent concussive and repetitive-motion injuries using the following shooter’s workout regimen. Adjust it to your own needs and fitness level by adding or subtracting reps and weight, and be mindful of existing injuries or limitations. Add cardio, core, and lower body work for a complete fitness regimen. Get help from a certified trainer if you’re unsure how to proceed, and always consult with your doctor before you start a new workout routine. That’s especially important if you’re nursing an injury. Warm-Up: 25 Arm Circles, 25 Arm Crosses, 25 Wrist Circles (Repeat 2X) Dynamic stretching is the way to warm up cold muscles without risking injury. Make big movements that involve your chest, back, and core, feet directly under your hips. Complete arm circles […]
5 Tips for Women — Choose A Gun For Self Defense
When selecting a firearm that you will depend your life upon, there are 5 very important factors to consider: #1: RELIABILITY Your gun must work each and every time you reach for it. This means having a gun of good craftsmanship (you get what you pay for), and remember KISS– Keep It Simple Sister. Don’t go crazy with too many toots and whistles…except night sights! This also means you need to maintain your firearm – regularly shoot it, clean it and twice a year, rotate ammunition & magazines. Reliability can be affected by your ability to shoot the gun successfully. If you notice when shooting a certain handgun that it malfunctions a lot… try different ammunition. Sometimes certain guns and ammo don’t get along. If you eliminate the ammunition the problem causing malfunctions and you are still experiencing malfunctions, it may be an indication that you and the gun are not compatible, or you need some more training if you are inadvertently causing the gun to malfunction due to technique. The last thing to consider is that you and the gun just don’t get along, and it is time to look for something new. #2: EFFECTIVE STOPPING POWER Your intention […]
Is A Concealed Carry Purse A Good Option For Me?
A Girl & A Gun has several wonderful vendor partners that offer various options for carry on and off the body. Recently we added a few concealed carry purses to the AG & AG store from two of our vendor partners and wanted to open the discussion on how to decide if this option is right for you. When choosing to carry in a concealed carry purse, here are some questions you might ask yourself: Am I forgetful about where I leave my belongings? If you have a tendency to leave your stuff in the bathroom stall, a store, in a friends car, or misplace your purse at home or work you need to seriously consider the following questions to determine if you are prepared for the responsibility of off body carry. For many this is a huge personal shift and brings a higher level of awareness and responsibility into many areas of your life.
Range Bag Essentials And Checklist
Having a great day at the range starts with having your range bag packed correctly! The items you will need in your range bag may vary depending on if you are shooting at an indoor range or an outdoor range. Below are the essential items and a checklist of some additional items that you will need to get started. Being as prepared and as comfortable as possible will minimize the unnecessary “favors” and keep you from disturbing others on the range. Depending on your goals, there are certain items in this checklist that are an absolute necessity while others may simply come in handy. Range Bag First things first. You will need a range bag (or two or three) because no two range bags are alike. Different bags meet different needs and each will vary in size, number of compartments, and the number of firearms it can hold. When shopping for a bag there are many excellent choices on the market. Make sure to check out the bags that are offered by our vendor partners as you look for the bag that is right for you. Various features to look for and consider as you choose your bag are below. Removable pistol pouch with muzzle indicator Designed […]
Shooting Training Slides
If you’re a new shooter, experienced shooter, or instructor it is always beneficial to review the basics. Use these training slides to easily review proper stance, grip, and shooting techniques to improve your accuracy.
Why You Should Buy Your Own Gun
Congratulations! You are in the market for a new gun. You are interested in being an education consumer and have started out on the path to firearms ownership, or you may be starting this adventure to appease someone in your life that really wants you to know about guns. Either way, let’s learn about how you can choose the right gun for you! How it Fits Your Hand Purchasing a firearm is a very exciting thing to do. Fit and personal preference is just as important for choosing a gun as it is for choosing clothing or shoes. How can I compare a gun to your shoes? Well the minute you try on new shoes you know if it will be your next favorite shoes or ones you take off immediately because you feel where the blisters will form. There are real, legitimate, physical, and kinetic reasons why guns fit everyone differently, and that you really do need to “try them on for size.” How a gun fits your hand is so important that I wrote an entire article on the subject. You Know What You Like Many times the men in our lives purchase the gun they think we […]
How To Fit Your Hand To Your Pistol
size/shape of your hand + how to fit checklist + size/shape frame/grip = right gun for you! Trying different handguns is like trying on shoes: You may wear a size 8, but not all size 8s fit the same — only you know if it’s “right” for you and absolutely love it… or not. Similarly, many different handguns will fit your hand comfortably, but keep searching until you find the “one.” Some people are blessed with being able to pick up any gun and have a perfect fit, but some have to try many different brands. This not a discussion on caliber, which can affect this process if the grip size varies by a single- or double-stack magazine. If you are drawn to a particular manufacture with a handgun in various calibers, be sure to do the checklist with all of them. Your Hand: Shape and Size First, let’s identify the shape of your hand. I love this graphic, above, from an article in wikihow on how to read palms. It is a great example of the typical hand shapes, and as a bonus you get a personality assessment! I did a quick survey of 26 AG & AG Facilitators and […]
Mama Said Use Your Words Part 1
I didn’t know if she wanted money, if she was distracting me and setting me up for a hit. I didn’t care. I didn’t let her talk, I didn’t let her get any closer to me and I changed her plan immediately. At no time did a reach for my gun, I simply stood ready, made eye contact with her, looked her up and down and took notice of her clothes and if she could have a weapon on her. I was ready though.
Mama Said Use Your Words Part 2
It has been 10 years that I have actively participated in my own personal safety. It has been a process to become a safe, educated, responsible gun owner. The journey never ends but continues with regular practice at the range, taking classes from various instructors with different methodologies and developing an understanding of the law in regards to when and how to act, etc. As a community, we are all in different places in the journey, which makes us lucky because we get to share experiences with each other. It is the little reminders that sometimes mean the most. My post from August 24, 2015, shared an experience I had in a Walmart parking lot. Sharing my experience on my personal Facebook page as well as the business page for A Girl & A Gun sparked important conversations in which many people shared a similar experience and the words and body language they used throughout the confrontation. It also served as a reminder that it is time to get back in the “gun school classroom” and get a refresher on verbal interactions with a threat. “Using your words” is something we say to our children when they become frustrated and […]
The Gun Carrying Lifestyle
If you are new the idea of using a firearm for home defense and/or daily personal defense there are several things to consider, but let’s get started with three questions to identify your mindset, goals and expectations of the gun carrying lifestyle when you are not at home. Will you carry everyday or based on circumstance? Everyday means you will incorporate the gun into your daily life by having it in your possession all places that are legal to do so and/or in your vehicle. Based on circumstances means you will mostly likely only take it with you when you travel outside your comfort zone (road trips, what you consider to be the bad part of town, etc). If you raised your hand for everyday carry, you get a gold star! Carrying a handgun for self defense is a lifestyle choice and in order for it to be an effective tool in your toolbox you must have it with you at all times possible. On average it will take 21 days before the holster/gun system you chose to not feel like a foreign appendage on your body. Muscle memory will need to be developed for holstering/unholstering in safe and efficient motion. If you […]
I presented the question, “How do you save money on shooting?” to the San Antonio Chapter of A Girl & A Gun and here are the ideas they came up with.
AG & AG Publishes Innovative Shooting Journal for Women
AUSTIN, TX — A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League announced that it has published an innovative Shooting Journal for women shooters. While there is evidence that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being, there are also practical applications for documenting shooting sessions. The AG & AG Shooting Journal thoughtfully combines both aspects to give women clarity to achieve their shooting and personal goals. With drills and documentation for new and advanced-level shooters to track shooting progress, it also has worksheets to log thoughts, emotions, and experiences as their empowerment and success from shooting translates into other areas of their lives. The Journal refers to this hybrid experience as “Tactical Foo Foo.” “This Journal is unlike any other training tool in the shooting industry,” says Julianna Crowder, Founder of A Girl & A Gun. “We are very excited to continue to offer unique opportunities for women shooters to grow in the shooting sports as well as experience personal growth and empowerment.” With a different monthly focus on important skills such as one-hand shooting, low-light, shooting from the ground, and others, shooters will learn more about themselves, their strengths, and their limitations. Each month they will receive drills and […]
Member Spotlight: Never a Victim Again, Ever
March 1, 2014, 0320 on an island in Texas…. Crash! Crash! Boom! Boom! Awakening to a dog in his kennel barking [a fear bark], a blood curdling bark. Once again, Crash, Boom! Crash, Boom! I nudge my husband who’s lying next to me dead asleep, “What the….” he jumps up, and rushes to the back door, no shoes, no shirt. I hear “Get out of here! Get away from my house!” I dial 911, as I hear the back door booming and the sound of kitchen plates, pots and pans crashing. Like a cartoon, where the sounds are coming from bubbles above the characters, “bam, boom, crash, bang” I am on the floor, crouching/hiding beside the bed, whispering into the receiver talking to the 911 operator, “please help, we’ve had a break in…oh my gosh, there are TWO of them… please, help.” The calming nature, the reassuring voice, my “lifeline” on the 911 call, dispatcher, Ms. Melissa, who held my hand on the telephone until help arrived. There are no words to describe the lifesaving heroic deeds of the dispatcher and GPD provided us that morning; the morning which changed my life forever. Long-time AG & AG member, Ashley West, […]
Safe Storage Options for New (And Not So New) Gun Owners
One of the first questions I asked myself when I bought my first firearm, seven years ago was, “How am I going to store this thing safely when I’m not using it?” My children were not small anymore at that time, but I was still concerned about unauthorized access – whether during a burglary or simply a teenage slumber party. My choices were somewhat limited at the time. The cheap push button safe that I purchased served the purpose when I needed it, but it is probably not what I would choose were I starting over again today. Why? Because there are so many better options now than there were even seven years ago. My recent trip to SHOT Show afforded the opportunity to investigate the wide array of safe storage and quick access options that are available for today’s first time gun owners. I limited my search to smaller options, thinking that if you already had or could buy a large floor model safe, then you probably weren’t a first-timer. While I was looking, I imagined myself as perhaps a young single mother in a rented apartment, who had limited options for space or renovations, and I narrowed the […]
Gun Valuation: Deciding to Repair, Refinish, or Restore an Old Firearm
You ask, “Is this old gun worth anything?” Should it be refinished, restored, cleaned, or left alone? With good info you can make the right choice.
Creating a Family Emergency Plan
In our society today, the topic of emergency planning is often wrapped around an active shooter. While the odds of an active shooter situation for your family are small, it is something we can talk about and plan for — but don’t go overboard. Create a universal action plan for your family that includes action words, safe words, and basic escape strategies for a variety of emergency scenarios. Fight Flight Freeze When dealing with a person who intends to harm us, the body will naturally do 1 of 3 things fight flight or freeze. For kids we can give the a very simple understanding of what to do when they experience “Condition Black.” Fight- Using anything in their immediate area, tools of opportunity to throw at or defend themselves from an attacker Flight- Run. Keep running. Don’t look back. Freeze- Freezing is not always a bad thing. Being still is less likely to draw attention to you and the attacker may walk right past you. If the situation is extremely violent, play dead. Free Thinking vs Doing What You Are Told In an emergency situation, even a young child of 4 years old can make a decision to Fight, Flight, […]
AG & AG at the Happiest Place on Earth
Last week I was at Disney World on a celebration trip! Exactly one year ago, my daughter was rushed into emergency surgery for a massive brain tumor and we almost lost her, so we were celebrating her 6th birthday in a big way! We danced with princesses, fought with pirates, and enjoyed fireworks and rides! Then I learned that Disney World was on high alert for a potential terrorist attack. I pulled my family aside and we had a mini-training session at the front gates of the Animal Kingdom. I turned to my 9-year-old son and asked, “If I say, ‘get down!’ do you know what that means?” I assumed that he would know to hit the deck, but he began acting out Home Alone-style boobytrap ideas complete with tarantulas and paint cans. I reviewed with them what I remembered from our recent #TrainingTipTuesday discussion on Creating a Family Emergency Plan. We identified our action words, what they meant, and created a plan. Next I turned to my mother and asked, “If there is an active shooter, where are we going?” We reviewed the difference between concealment and cover from our April Shooting Journal. I told her, “No, we can’t […]
Overcoming Gun Phobia
The word phobia is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. You may or may not identify yourself as having a true gun phobia, maybe just a fear of the unknown, nervous because you don’t know anything about firearms or what to expect the first time you fire a gun. If your only exposure to firearms is what you see on TV and movies, which has created a perception and understanding that guns are bad and scary, that is a reasonable fear. Or you may 100%, no doubt about it, have an overwhelming fear brought on by a subconscious or conscious life experience. Either way we are here to address the unknowns of firearms, learn how to anchor the fear and anxiety you may be feeling, and turn this into an empowering moment in your life. It is just a piece of machinery, a tool if you will. When you learn how to control the tool, the tool no longer controls you. Identify Your Level of Fear We’ve all heard the regular advice – things like ‘be well prepared’, ‘relax’, ‘remember to breathe’ – and all this advice is great if you only have mild […]
Why Hiring a Firearms Instructor Is Important
If you are not shooting as well as you’d like to, you are probably not having as much fun as you could be having. An instructor is worth the money!
Semi-Auto vs. Full-Auto
The terms may be confusing to some people, but semi-auto and full-auto firearms are very different from each other.
Traveling with a Trauma Kit
If you carry a gun or knife you seek out training, but basic first aid and trauma kit training are so important and often forgotten.
How to Find a Firearms Instructor
The first step to learning to shoot a gun is to find a good instructor. Learning correct marksmanship skills and creating good habits from the start will give you a solid foundation for success and confidence at the range. Here is how to find the right firearms instructor.
Shooting While Pregnant or Nursing
Shooting is a perishable skill, so 9 months to 3 years is a long time to go without pressing the trigger. If you shoot reducing lead, noise, and contaminants; or choose safer training options for pregnant and nursing moms.
You, Yes You: Secure It
As a community of responsible gun owners we say, “YOU! Yes, you! Secure your firearm.” Share safe storage options and educational resources with others.
Ingenuity and Frugality: Money-Saving Cheats
These cheats can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a season. If you aren’t a sponsored shooter and are playing on your own dime, or you are just getting started on a limited budget, every little bit helps. This may even be a make-or-break proposition for a mom who is trying to squeeze a new hobby out of an already stretched family budget. The possibilities and savings are endless – if you pay attention and use a little ingenuity.
Get Started in Competitive Shooting
If you have ever thought to yourself “I wish I could do that, but I’m not a good enough shot” or “I need more practice” and it is keeping you from trying your hand at action shooting sports, here is something that you should know.
AG & AG Travel Checklist
You have booked your trip, arranged for your furbabies, stressed about your children, thought about having your mail stopped and plants watered by a friend. There are a few more things you can do before you leave to ensure you have a calm experience and a safe trip.
How To Be An Effective Learner
5 Fundamentals Of Pistol Marksmanship Partnered with 5 Key Points of Effective Learning If you’ve ever tried to teach someone how to shoot a handgun, or tried to learn from a friend or family member, it may not have gone as smoothly as you expected.Over the last 11 years Julianna Crowder has taught thousands of people to shoot handguns, and along the way taken note of core principles that help aspiring shooters to be more effective learners. Mapped onto the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship, here are Julianna’s 5 key points for effective adult learning. 5 FUNDAMENTALS Be ready to learn. Just as a pistol shooter is told to “find your feet,” the effective learner has to cultivate a mental stance of openness and decide that the time is right to acquire a new skill. The teacher should utilize this attitude of readiness by adopting a flexible approach and looking for teachable moments as they present themselves. Know the whys and hows. For the student, it is empowering to understand why learning certain information is necessary for accuracy and safety, and how mastering this knowledge puts them in control of the outcome. Awareness of these factors is important to be able to […]
Stay Safe on New Year’s Eve
If you’re preparing to go out and sing Auld Lang Syne with friends and family on New Year’s Eve, make sure that your safety plan is in place. Keep Your Head on a Swivel Crowds can be targeted by criminals and terrorists, so keep your guard up. Know the area and routes to take in an emergency. Don’t travel alone, and keep items such as mobile phones, purses, and electronics out of sight. Take Responsibility for Your Personal Safety If you plan to be drinking or be in a situation where you may have impaired judgment, you will not have your personal defense tools with you, so have someone nearby that you can rely on for your personal safety. Don’t ever set your drink down. If you suddenly don’t trust your date or the people you’re with, then find a waiter or someone who can keep you in a safe location until you’re able to go home. Plan a Ride in Advance Before you go out know your options for transportation and decide whether you’ll take public transportation, use a ridesharing service, or carpool with your friends. Driving accidents rise during the holidays, so make sure your loved ones know […]
Etiquette on the Range
There are unspoken rules of etiquette within our shooting community that should be observed at the range. Sometimes you don’t find out about them until you have done something wrong and are on the receiving end of some harsh criticism. To save you from having to learn the hard way, here are seven ways you can be a respected shooter the first time – and every time – you walk into the range.
Understanding Range Commands
The purpose of range commands is to establish clear, concise, and standard methods of range operation in order to make things move efficiently and enhance safety. On a shooting range, in a firearms class, or in competition, commands are just that: commands! They are not suggestions or good ideas – they are words that demand a particular course of action.
Documenting Your Training and Practice
If you have to use your gun in self-defense, you will find yourself in a lengthy legal process. How will you demonstrate that you acted appropriately? How will you prove that your decision was based on knowledge, rather than panic or over-reaction? Could you articulately convince a judge or jury of your peers that your actions were justifiable?
4 Components of a Cartridge
There are several different words used to describe ammunition: bullets, shells, projectiles, rounds, shot, slugs, cartridges, munitions, etc. In reality anything can be used as ammunition, whether it be a stone you are throwing or words you are using in an argument. In the world of firearms it is most commonly referred to in the informal context as “ammo.” Many people call them bullets, which to some is like nails on a chalkboard because the correct term for firearms ammunition is “cartridge.”
Rotate Your Ammunition and Magazines
If your ammunition is never exposed to extreme fluctuating heat or cold for extended periods of time then you may never have to replace it; however, it is simple to follow this routine and do monthly maintenance of your firearms. If nothing else, this affords you an extra opportunity to inspect your ammunition and your firearms to ensure they are fit for protecting your life should you ever be in the situation to need it.
What is an Over-Used Cartridge?
When manipulating your everyday carry, vehicle, or home-defense firearms, you may unknowingly be damaging your ammunition. Avoid creating an over-used cartridge by paying close attention to how you rotate your ammunition.
AG & AG Releases 2017 Shooting Journal
While there is evidence that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being, there are also practical applications for documenting shooting sessions. This journal thoughtfully combines ballistic data collection and professional training documentation with worksheets to log thoughts, emotions, and experiences as a woman’s empowerment and success from shooting translates into other areas of her life. The Journal refers to this hybrid experience as “Tactical Foo-Foo.” With a different monthly focus, the Shooting Journal provides dry-fire and live-fire drills along with guided discussions to inspire women to achieve shooting and personal goals.
Lethal Force Is No Laughing Matter
Part of being a responsible and safe gun owner is understanding how you can hurt your defense by something you might be doing unknowingly and unintentionally. If you ever have to use lethal force to save your life or protect a life of another, your character will be called into question. Your persona on social media will paint a portrait of your character. The memes that are somewhat inappropriate, controversial, or what you think is funny will be used to describe your mindset. Inappropriate signs in your home or bumper stickers on your car will sabotage your defense as you are trying to prove your analytical mindset and your understanding of the law and Use of Force.
9 Ways to Be a Better Shooter
January is over, and so are the month’s good intentions. If you are like most people you hide from the doom of New Year resolutions and proclamations of change and improvement. Let’s face it, change is hard and not likely to take hold in just a few short days at the beginning of each new year. But change and resolution is possible, you just have to look at it differently than what is prepackaged and shoved in your face new year after new year. In relation to your goals as a gun owner, improved marksman, even competitive shooter, you can start anytime you are ready. We are waiting for you whenever you are ready with the support you crave and the education you need!
How do you know if you’re getting good training?
A smart consumer will research options; a good student will, too, when seeking a firearms instructor. Here are names of the best and 9 red flags to watch out for.