She’s a long, tall, cool drink of blogger, Anette Wachter, aka 30 Cal Gal. We’ve been following her blog for a couple of years now, as she competes in long range rifle events across the continent and reports back to us. There are very few women rifle competitors and fewer who have achieved the rankings and awards that Anette has earned. When she’s not blogging, or designing jewelry or shooting in competitions, she works at West Coast Armory in sales and as a range safety officer.
We figured you’d like to know more about this lady, and she is a lady, and she leads a most interesting life in Seattle. And, we think she sleeps occasionally, too!
Babbs: Name, rank and serial number.
30 Cal Gal: Anette Sarah Wachter, 30CalGal, .308/.223/.40
Babbs: Why do you live in a city that refuses to allow sunshine?
30 Cal Gal: Well the rain has allowed me to grow up big and strong. At six-feet tall, my nickname amongst my friends is Leaf Eater. Not sure if I should admit this. Did I say this in my out loud voice?
Babbs: How’d you get started on the whole rifle-shooting thing? And why do you like it so much?
30 Cal Gal: My husband introduced me to competing in High Power with the service rifle. I caught up to his level in only two years. Then another shooter friend introduced me to the prone long range. After only one year I was asked to be part of the US Rifle Development Team. Perhaps they both regret it? My poor hubby now has to supply two of us with gear and ammo. Competitive shooting has consumed my life. In a good way. My success in long range shooting came quickly.You kind of get hooked when things are going well. I look forward to every match I go to whether it is a local weekend match or Nationals. I also appreciate that there is no separate division for men and women in high power. We all compete together. The rifle has no idea if you are male or female. But the fun part is telling people you shoot from 1000 yards with iron sights. Sort of stops the conversation. Tee-hee.
Babbs: Tell us about your rifle and your fav thing, your shooting jacket? And really? How much does this set a person back, at the least, to own all the stuff for these types of competitions?
30 Cal Gal: Ahhh. You mean Carmen? Named after the Opera character. Sassy and beautiful. My bolt action rifle is custom at every inch. The wood stock is carved of English Walnut with hand checkering at the grip. I have an RPA Quadlock action with Kreiger 30-inch barrel. My front and rear sights are top of the line. The US Team requires one brand of rear sight and of course they chose the most expensive. Every piece is made in the US except the action. That is from the UK. In fact they do not make them for the civilian market anymore. I think the rifle with everything on it set me back several thousand dollars. Then you need a shooting mat, spotting scope with stand, cart, and the crazy shooting jacket. The scopes can really cost. The shooting jackets are custom as well. A very thick leather straight jacket. I am not a happy camper wearing that thing at Camp Perry in August. This really is an expensive hobby. There is still the ammunition and travel as well! Requesting sponsors!!! Anyone?
Babbs: I saw your car. Wow! What does that say about your lifestyle?
30 Cal Gal: What can I say? I have always loved muscle cars. I was the first one at the dealership when the Dodge Chargers first came out in 2006 and bought the limited edition GoMango RT. Charles, my husband, surprised me last November and traded that one in for my Toxic Orange Challenger SRT8. The monster one. Go big or go home right? I wanted 30CALGAL as my vanity plate but in WA that is one too many characters so I decided on RIFLGAL. The plate frame has my website on it as well. I am odd. I like guns and muscle cars. I was out with some girlfriends recently and I was talking about my gunsmith fixing something for me. My friend remarked that most women have manicurists or dermatologists. Where as I have a gunsmith. My childhood friend who is like my other brother said to me, “Anettchen, (my German childhood name) you are just weird. You are unlike any girl.” I’m okay with that.
Babbs: And, you also have an interesting little hobby that makes you money. Wanna tell us about your jewelry business?
30 Cal Gal: I started with a pet accessory business manufacturing designer collars, leashes and tags. Jewelry for pets basically. I then transferred that to human jewelry a few years ago. I started with jewelry parties and would sell out of everything in one night. I occasionally make custom bridal pieces. Last year I thought there has to be something I can make that has to do with guns. At times we have brass cases that can’t be reloaded anymore so I started making pendants out of them and adding embellishments. I also thought to mold a sterling silver bolt face shape from my AR out of Precious Metal Clay. For the brass pendants I do use .223 or 9mm cases instead of .308. .308 would be a bit too large.
Babbs: You call yourself a “foodie,” and believe me, I’ve tasted a few meals prepared by you and you should be called a Super Foodie! Delish! And, you left behind a Bon Appetit magazine on the bedside table. First question: Do you want that back? Second question: You say you’ve gone off gluten … did that change your cooking very much and how did it affect your life? Oh, and where did you learn to cook like that, aka awesome?
30 Cal Gal: Charles says you can keep the magazine. He is trying to walk through the stacks of cookbooks and magazines I have collected as it is. I think I have a couple hundred.
I started cooking just out of college. Not sure why I had an interest. Then I signed up for a gourmet cooking school and the instructor was a total food snob. I loved her for it. It stuck to me.
I tried an experiment of eating gluten-free several months ago. I could not explain why I was feeling sluggish all of the time. I have friends who have done it for allergies and had great results. Four months into it, I really did feel better. Perhaps it is a placebo affect, but hey, whatever works. It made me eat better in general. When traveling a lot I find I eat fast food. All of it is breaded and just bad. My lunch bag I bring to work now has six tupperware containers of food. I snack all day on veggies, nuts, fruit, tuna salads you name it. If I don’t eat, I get cranky. (Charles will vouch for that.) I starteded to slip a little in the last month and have sneaked in some bread and pasta here and there and I felt cruddy. So I am back on the wagon again. I love pasta and finally found an amazing gluten-free pasta brand that really tastes like and has the texture of flour pasta. It’s called BioNatura. It truly is the only one that works. I know my pasta.
Babbs: If you could shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
30 Cal Gal: Well I am heading to S. Africa next April with the US Team for their Nationals and the America’s Cup. I have never been there. The logistics we have to go through to transport the team’s gear, ammo and firearms is pretty tedious. But exciting!
Babbs: One more gun for the collection. What would it be?
I love 1911s. I want a custom built one off of a Les Baer frame. Are you listening, Charles, aka Sweetie Pie Love of My Life?
Editor’s note: We just want to add a little “tee hee” to the end of this interview. And yes, she really is as she appears. A long, tall, funny drink of competitive shooter. Visit Anette at her blog, 30 Cal Gal, or check out her fine jewelry at A.W. Collections on Etsy.