Skip to comments.Going Great Guns
Posted on 01/26/2023 8:34:40 AM PST by w1n1
If you are a man who loves and respects women, and really cares about the future of shooting sports in America, I advise you to read this article about A Girl & A Gun and then pass it along to as many women as you can. They will appreciate a women’s shooting sports organization that is actually run by women. Now, I am not telling you to hijack your wife or girlfriend’s social media friend list, but it’s long past time that women around this country realize that shooting isn’t just a guy thing.
More women want to own guns and participate in shooting sports than most people, even industry professionals, realize. I know this because Robyn Sandoval told me so. She is the executive director of A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG), an organization of national scope dedicated to training women to shoot for personal defense and encouraging them to continue shooting for the sheer enjoyment of it. For 12 years, AG & AG worked to expand its reach and training capabilities, refine its course content, and create a supportive sisterhood atmosphere where women could learn about shooting most effectively and not be prevented from evolving into the shooters they wanted to be.
FOR AN IDEA of the sophistication and breadth of their offerings, let me summarize some of the regional and national events crafted exclusively for women shooters. On the small-scale level, AG & AG created 3-Gun University (3GU), a program where ladies learn all aspects of this fun, fast-paced, action shooting sport over three to four days. AG & AG gathers the best competitors in the industry for small-group instruction and coaching, so participants of all skill levels receive meaningful support to help them grow into real contenders.
For women inclined to long-range precision rifle shooting with a military twist, the AG & AG Sniper School is a five-day stealthy adventure in fieldcraft, camouflage, range estimation, ballistics, scope manipulation, and wind and mirage reading needed to put your bullet on target at ranges from 1,000 yards to well over a mile away – without revealing your position to an overwatch “enemy.”
AG & AG also offers three- to five-day destination events around the country for members to come together, share new shooting experiences and meet new friends. For all members, there’s A Girl & A Gun’s Dynamic Real-World Immersive Firearms Training Academy at Virginia International Raceway. DRIFT Academy is the first training course of its kind that addresses all aspects of vehicle defense training in, around and with your vehicle – and yes, there will be drifting! AG & AG sponsor Glock also hosts several Glock Getaways at their facility in Smyrna, Georgia, where ladies train on the range with a Glock professional instructor, become certified armorers, and learn about all the features and functions of the most successful semiautomatic handgun in the world.
AG & AG has a lot to show for its efforts, but the organization is still an undiscovered treasure for most American women. That needs to change for the benefit of shooters of both sexes, as well as the preservation of the Second Amendment. The unique thing about AG & AG is that it is by women and for women. In light of that fact, I think the success of AG & AG at their mission warrants some study.
Why do they succeed where many others fall short? Think about that. Ever wonder why your special lady doesn’t want to go to the range with you? Could it be your humiliating “mansplaining” training style? Maybe she doesn’t think it’s funny when you fart in her port while she’s trying to aim. It could be anything, really. If you care about the shooting sports, and you care about her, stop spoiling her shooting experience and leave the training to AG & AG. American Shooting Journal recently caught up with AG & AG ED Sandoval to find out more about the organization.
ASJ How did you get involved with AG & AG Women’s Shooting League?
RS It was actually my husband who first heard about the new club that was just getting going in my area back in 2011. Julianna Crowder was not only a concealed carry instructor, but she competed in IDPA and was often the only woman at matches. She would see women there with their husbands, but always sitting on the sidelines. She thought it was strange that she didn’t have a high number of women coming to her concealed carry classes, so she began to investigate why women were not interested in self-defense and firearms education. Julianna identified all of the negative excuses that kept women from the range, and then turned them into positives. She decided to make armed self-defense not only a fun experience but an approachable pathway to learning this necessary life skill.
She began hosting Girls Night Out at the Range with her firearms, ammo, and a welcoming attitude for anyone who wanted to just “check it out” with no pressure. It was a success, and A Girl & A Gun was born! I attended the third event, and it changed my life. It opened the door to learning about firearms, conceal carry, competition and friendships that I never knew existed.
ASJ According to your website, AG & AG offers several monthly livestream interactive experiences for members.
RS Yes, even without range time, our members can still train through our AG & AG online interactive, virtual Girls Night Out events and seminars livestreamed from HQ two or three times a month. These events were very popular when we couldn’t get together in person during the Covid lockdowns and we kept them going. There is so much quality educational and training content to learn, and women still enjoy the sisterhood that is uniquely AG & AG from their own homes.
ASJ I was blown away by the depth of the content there. I’m not sure I could digest all those illustrated articles and videos in a month. I noticed you and Tatiana Whitlock are major contributors to the online library.
RS Tatiana Whitlock is our director of training, and she is a wonderful instructor and role model. People are sometimes surprised when they meet her in person because, based on her reputation and accomplishments, they expect a 6-foot-tall Wonder Woman and she is very petite. With her own experience as a shooter, combined with hundreds of hours on the range as an instructor working with men, women and youth, she is able to teach different techniques for any shooter to be successful, regardless of size or physical dexterity. Tatiana helps women understand that skill with firearms can be a defensive equalizer, and that with practice they can grow in confidence that is a little hard to quantify. Being able to protect yourself is very empowering and we often see it carry over into other areas of women’s lives in all sorts of positive ways.
ASJ I notice you also host the AG & AG online book club every month. That is almost, though not quite, as stereotypically feminine as a Tupperware party, except for the hardcore shooting/self-defense/survival/crisis management/Second Amendment subject matter of the books. You read The Gun Rights War by Neal Knox, Deadly Force by Massad Ayoob, The Ranger Way by Kris Paronto of Benghazi siege fame. I want to be in your book club.
RS Our book club is pretty incredible. The book club is another program that came out of shutdowns, as a way to encourage discussions and promote learning when many women couldn’t get to a local range. In addition to dry-fire practice, reading can also radically expand one’s knowledge of self-defense and gun-handling skills.
We tackle a variety of topics about violence, perceived versus actual vulnerability, the importance of mindset, the value of mental versus physical strength, the price we are willing to pay for safety, logic versus emotion, criminal motivation, and threat assessment, to name a few. It’s an opportunity for intellectual growth, to expand your understanding through the thoughtful consideration of the author’s ideas and get outside your comfort zone. Read the rest of A Girl & A Gun here.
Hopefully that doesn't mean ejection port. I don't think I'd want my fanny that close to a live firearm...
The real problem here is that none of the ranges have decent bathrooms.
My wife likes to shoot, and she was good at it, but the only ranges left are outdoors and the toilets are *nasty*.
The other factor I’ve seen is the idiots who think the way to introduce their girlfriends or wives to the sport is hand them a .44 magnum right off the bat.
I started the wife off with very very light .38 loads in a BIG .357, super low recoil. Then bought her a Ruger .22 target pistol. Much later, once she was getting good groups out at 15 yards, I got her familiar with my little 5 round .38. She can now handle even the .357 with regular loads and was actually one of the first women I know of to shoot the SS&W 500 BFR right when it came out. But she just likes her Ruger MkII and doing nice tight groups.
My ex hated going to the range because every time she went some side would come over and coach her.
She’s good with a gun. But yeah, the man’s mansplaining is real.
My current girlfriend is retired Combat army, sharpshooter. I can’t wait for our first trip.
ha. My military brat mom has been totin’ a S and W 357 mag as long as I have been alive. My wife asked once ,”where does your mom’s confident attitude originate?” I replied,” she’s the best pistol shot in the family and fears very little in this world”.
I have suggestions for friends taking their women for first-time shooting, but the primary suggestion is to make the first one pure fun and enjoyment, merely a pleasant afternoon with a (very) little casual, don’t point the gun at anyone basic.
Whether taking females for their first time camping or first time shooting, make it pleasing and friendly, and comfortable the first time, have them leave happy and confident, to hook them.
Husbands instruction is ALWAYS seen as personal criticism!
For pistol grip, (with unloaded firearm at home). Show them the many elements of the grip and then have them sit through several videos of expert demonstration.
Remind them of how long you've been practicing, and that you still seek improvement.
Farting is always funny.
Come on, be a sport.
My ex hated going to the range because every time she went some side would come over and coach her.
It’s all in the approach. I taught by gf to shoot, using the same method as Republican in Occupied CA. Start on the .22 Ruger, slowly work your way up.
The only mansplaining she encountered was during her CCW qualifying shoot. I wasn’t there, but the jerk instructor let every other guy shoot before trying to coach her through on her turn.
She ignored him and shot the best group of those present with her P365 in 9.
We generally take our favorite 9mm pistols or .357mag with 38SPL ammo. We are there to have fun punching holes in paper.
When you’ve been shooting guns since you were 11 but are now married to a weapons expert ya gotta put up with a little instruction. 😆
I suppose you let him win once a year. :)
Mr.GG2 is a red hot hand gunner. No beating that guy. 😊
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