Women and long range shooting…..

Women and shooting seems to be a topic that get pushed to the wayside. By this I mean women, or “lack-there-of,” in the long range shooting community or shooting in general. Now without speaking in generalities, the lack of women in shooting sports is a multi faceted problem. You can do basic deductive reasoning and try to explain why they don’t participate. Chances are you are overlooking a lot of things.


Women have been proven to be some of the best shooters around. Furthermore, their ability to see better than men, and process multiple things at once is leaps and bounds above men. Not only have we not addressed this problem in regards to women, but we often do not address it because we do not want to hear the truth. The truth is, men have chosen to have it this way. Subsequentially, I have watched my wife in numerous precision rifle matches be spoken to as if she is just another guy. That’s not really how it works. Ever hear the statement, “You kiss your momma with that mouth?”

Women fit into smaller spaces…

If you think a woman desires the hearty conversation of a bunch of degenerate men for 8 hours while having to execute in a performance based event, you are probably wrong. I find that there is a threshold of stupidity and lies a woman can listen to. Usually it is about 2-3 hours. Then only the most mentally resilient push through. I can surmise that its like spending a day with a bunch of people speaking a different language and often acting as if you know what they are talking about. It is mentally draining. Applied Ballistics

Respect from the beginning…

Women get the sensation that they are not always welcome when they are put at the bottom of the lineup during competition as if they are not ready to go. I find that often we try and verbally assist women with a minimalist approach when we have not adequately trained or instructed them on the extremely complex parts of these games we play. We expect them to show up and execute without putting the time they need to allow them to ask questions and without the spotlight. We also talk to them as if they are limited on ability vs. limited on exposure. DOWNLOADABLE TRAINING TARGETS

A woman and her rifle

The reality is, we never gave them the same time we were afforded. Most of the long range shooting community grew up with some really stellar mentors. Whether it is military Snipers, or regional competitive shooters, most men have that mentor that got them out of the weeds. I spent my whole adult life shooting for a living. In order for women to catch up, they have to have the one-on-one instructor time. They have to have the initial investment for knowledge that we have had. http://Bergerbullets.com

Let’s transition to something often overlooked. Equipment is something that we skimp on generally for the ladies. One it’s tremendously pricey to build an equal level rig for them. Without even realizing it, you are setting them up for failure or sub-par performance. Whether its caliber choice, or scope quality, more often than not, the playing field was not level from the beginning. I found that building a really nice precision rifle, mirroring mine was the ticket for making my wife feel like her equipment was worthy. A side note, most women do not want a pink rifle. Just food for thought.

Big crowds and women in a classroom environment definitely do not go well together. They tend to enjoy the more personal approach. Women are also generally visual learners in this space. The Trigger-cam is a really amazing tool that seems to be very engaging for my wife to visualize what were doing.

Fundamentals of marksmanship

Have you ever went shopping and looked for female outdoor gear? It is exponentially more expensive. The same “like-item” would be a minimum 33% more cost just to get them setup. That is another very costly part of getting them squared away for adverse conditions and crawling in the dirt. Women can’t just hit the wood-line like a man and relieve themselves. There are more things at play and we need to as a community address, before we bring them into the sport with us. Let’s invest in them with not only time, but energy, and begin to grow the sport into something better than a sausage-fest with (fill in the blank weapon system).
Even teaching first time women like this, involves patience and technical know-how. Make sure you speak to women as if they are any other student as well as worthy of your time and patience. Do not talk to them like they have a learning disability. Let them ask questions. Let them make mistakes, as well as remember that mocking or ridiculing them is not how women tend to like being treated. Maybe we should all do a reality check on whether or not were being stewards to the profession. Let’s make our goal to bring more women into shooting sports. My final note is that these are just some mere observations I have made over the past few years. Not every situation is the same and everyone is different. Conversely, If I could change things with the snap of a finger I would have already. But, this kind of thing takes a significant investment and its totally worth it in the end. Moreover, sit down and ask some questions and commit to active listening. Unquestionably, the most basic thing can be note worthy.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Liam Riley says:

    Well Said! I could not agree more.. My wife and little girl put a can of Whoop Ass on me every time!

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