Saturday, August 3, 2013

Women and weapons

What happens when you bring the shooting industry's executives together for a weekend of competitive shooting in Cody, Wyoming? You get industry peers relaxing and having fun at a shooting event. HAVA invited Aaron and I, along with another couple, to participate in this event. HAVA works hand in hand with the shooting industry as you can see from this quote on their website: "As the number of injured men and women returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan grew, members of the firearms industry initiated a non-profit partnership called HAVA to aid disabled soldiers as they transition to their lives back in the United States. The ultimate goal is to increase their confidence and hope for the future by reconnecting with their love of the outdoors and the American traditions of hunting and firearms."  This event gave the industry executives the opportunity to see firsthand where their donations are going. The private industry is vital to the ongoing support and unmet needs of wounded soldiers. They pick up the shortcomings of the VA and the various branches of the military. 

For the entire 20 years of our marriage, I have watched Aaron drool over gun magazines, talk gun talk for hours on end with his buddies and go to the range anytime the opportunity presented itself. The way most guys are into sports is how my husband is with guns. He can never get enough! I never really understood this fascination until I participated in the Shooting Industry Masters event. The majority of the group was men, but I was surprised to see how many women were in the industry as well. It was the first time I had been around female shooters and seeing how well they performed brought out the competitive side of me. I had the chance to shoot in timed events, shoot black powder rifles, shoots with a laser and more. My favorite was shooting at the metal targets and hearing that plinking sound when my bullets hit the target.

During this event, I learned that the number of female shooters has increased over 51% in the last decade and that manufacturers are gearing their marketing to female shooters. Female shooters want color choices, accessories and pistols that fit smaller hands for conceal and carry. Would you have guessed that the most popular color choice for accessories is pink? Barbie pink is not my personal favorite, but if lavender or a soft teal were available I would snap it up. To learn more about female shooting clubs check out or

 I got a little side-tracked talking about my new interest and forgot about everyone else. Sorry! For the HAVA team there was a relaxed schedule which allowed us to shoot side matches and not actually compete. Many wounded veteran's bodies don't do well with a timed schedule and the stress it puts on them, so being on a relaxed schedule was perfect. Each station offered something different to shoot ranging from black powder 4570's, to target shooting with pistols or rifles, to skeet and trap, etc. Aaron and Nick (another wounded veteran) shot a replica of the Gatling gun, which is the forerunner for the machine gun. The Gatling was used by the Union forces during the American Civil War in the 1860's. Each time Aaron and Nick fired it, 20 rounds were expelled in a matter of seconds. This was easily Aaron's favorite as he shot it over and over and over again! 

To round out the weekend, we had a some downtime to sight see in Cody. We spent close to 6 hours in the Buffalo Bill museum, ate at the Irma Hotel (where Buffalo Bill's famous bar is located), checked out the Old Trail Town and spent each evening relaxing in the pool and enjoying conversation with our group. The final evening was a dinner with auction to raise money for the USA Olympic team as well as First Shots which assist new shooters in learning about the sport. Prizes were given out for various events to include "most improved with laser" shooting in a timed event. I was one of the 3 winners in this event, which awarded a Lasermax Centerfire laser of our choice. I joked that I won this event, because I didn't realize I was being timed the first round and so naturally I improved the 2nd time around when I understood that I needed to speed it up!  Unfortunately Aaron didn't win the Buffalo Bill replica rifle that he had his eye on, but Nick won a gift bag full of gun goodies.

Thank you to the Shooting Industry Masters sponsor -FMG Publishing, which made this event possible as well as all the volunteers. We had an amazing time and great conversations with genuine people who love this sport and we hope to participate next year. 

P.S. When we got home, a copy of Guns and Ammo was in the mailbox and I wrestled Aaron for it. On the front was a palm size .380 pistol with interchangeable frames in white, earth brown, black, purple and you guessed I admit that the color choices caught my eye on the front of the magazine and at the same time I think Aaron liked that I wanted to read his magazine. Good job marketing folks!

P.P.S. I took a CHL class (concealed handgun license) last weekend and passed it. Once I complete all my paperwork, FBI background check and finger printing I'll be an official gun toting wife with her own small-sized weapon.Watch out boys!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Karen! It was so great to meet you and Aaron at the Masters in Cody. Delighted that you were both able to come and that you enjoyed it so much. What's not to like, right?

    Please give that hubby of yours another hug from Russ and me, and take one for yourself, too. Bless you both!