Winning One In 2016.
Regina Milkovich is a Precision Rifle Series competitor who recently made history by becoming the first woman ever to win high overall at any major practical/tactical precision rifle match. Her top finish was at the 2016 NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge near Sacramento, CA.
One of Regina’s favorite hashtags this season has been #WinOneIn2016. She’s been working hard to excel at her sport, and it’s extremely exciting to see her meet her goal so early in the year. I caught up with Regina to ask her a little bit about how she got to the top of her world this week:
What draws you to shooting practical/tactical rifle?
The people involved. From the competitors to the Range Officers, the love of the sport shows through. The first time I watched a tactical rifle match, that was what I noticed the most. Plus, I love a good challenge so the courses of fire being so dramatically different from match to match are exciting.
Tell us about your first practical/tactical rifle match.
My first actual match was a small monthly club match here in Phoenix. My husband dialed the turrets on my scope for me, so all I had to do was point and shoot. I had a lot of fun that morning. I think I finished 4th or 5th overall, but the club matches are always really laid back. I know I was terrified because I was extremely inexperienced with firearms altogether. I think I would describe myself as nervous for the entire first year of shooting. My first big match was the 2010 NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge. I shot a borrowed right-handed .308 (I’m left-handed) and finished 58th out of 59 shooters. Now that match I know for sure I was shaking in my boots! I was the first woman to shoot that match so I felt some pressure to not screw up and I struggled with the challenging COF. Those are some of the reasons winning the 2016 NorCal TBRC was such a highlight for me.
How do you juggle competing at a high level with the rest of your life?
This is why reloading ammo is always left until just days before a match! Juggling is hard! I’d love to say that I spend hours dry-firing, but I don’t. I spend a majority of my practice time running scenarios mentally. I can’t get to the range as much as I’d like, so live fire is usually once or twice a month. Work is work, so when I’m there I focus on that. Thankfully, my husband and I both shoot so spending time at the range is a perfect date for us.
The goal of winning a major match is a lofty one in any shooting sport. How did you decide this was the year?
It hadn’t been done before. And I figured if any sport is 90-95% mental, then telling myself over and over that I could do it just might make it happen. If you happen to see a picture of me looking out into space or something, I’m probably mumbling the same two or three sentences under my breath.
What would your advice be for someone who is interested in getting into practical/tactical rifle?
Find a local club and go check out a match. Ask lots of questions of people you trust. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Volunteer to be a range safety officer at a national level match. You’ll learn more than you could imagine by watching other shooters. And most important: remember to be safe and have fun!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with our readers, and congratulations once again, Regina! We’re all looking forward to following your continued success.
Take a moment to congratulate Regina Milkovich on the big win in the comments below.