Shooting With the Girls
When I started shooting almost ten years ago, women were more of a rarity on the range, especially women who came to shoot more than a time or two. Fortunately, there’s been an explosion of women interested in the firearms world and it’s gotten much easier to find like-minded ladies who want to talk and shoot guns. But if you’re having trouble finding a group of gals to hit the range with, here are a few tips from my experiences:
- Say hello! It’s more and more likely that you will see another woman no matter what range or match you’re at. Whether she looks new and lost, or clearly “one of the guys” who has been part of the crew forever, she’ll probably welcome a self-introduction from a potential new friend. I’ve been known to walk up to women and say, “Hi, you’re a girl too. Can we be pals?” And plenty of them have indeed turned into real friends.
- Find local meet-ups. There are a number of women’s shooting clubs around the US. The two biggest are A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League and The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters, but there are also a number of local groups as well as less formal gatherings like Ladies’ Nights at ranges that attract regular attendees. How can you find them? One of the easiest ways is to ask around at your neighborhood range or gun shop. They’ll often have a pretty good idea of when and where, then all you have to do is show up and have fun!
- Make your own. I understand that guns are controversial and you might not want to tell all of your non-gun friends about your newest hobby, you might be surprised at how many of your girlfriends are interested in trying a firearm or two. If you’re not comfortable teaching them how to shoot, organizing a group lesson can make for a fun girls’ night and could turn into a regular event.
- Brownells Ladies Multigun Fall Festival hosted by A Girl and A Gun. Shooting competitions aren’t the only way to meet other women who shoot – you should also check out gatherings like the NRA’s Women’s Wilderness Escapes. You’ll be surprised at the local friends you’ll meet far from home, and enjoy the prospect of future travel to shoot again with new friends who are more distant. Travel. An increasing number of major matches are hosting women’s squads, either on their own or in conjunction with one of the women’s shooting clubs mentioned above, and there are even ladies-only matches on the calendar, like the upcoming
- Use social media. Searching for and participating in shooting groups and communities on the Internet can be daunting and I’ll admit, not all of them are friendly or productive corners. But lurking for a few days in local and national or worldwide groups can help you find all of the opportunities I mention above. How do you find them? Start by checking out the social media pages for the women’s groups and events already named, as well as your favorite shooting heroes, then once you feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to jump in with comments and follow them, or send friend requests. We’re a friendly bunch and happy to welcome newcomers.