Competitive shooter Maggie Reese made several appearances in the Colt firearms booth at the 2015 Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) in Las Vegas this January. Prior to one of her appearances, Maggie and I sat on the floor in a cluttered storage area for an informal chat.
Michelle: What matches are you scheduled to compete in for 2015?
Maggie: Single Stack is my favorite division that I shoot, and I really want to focus on it in 2015. So the USPSA West Coast Single Stack Championship at the end of the year will be my big match. I also plan on shooting some of the 3-Gun Nation regionals matches. My absolute favorite match, however, is the MGM Iron Man 3-Gun in Parma, Idaho. The stages of this match are so long and involved, it’s like a marathon—you have to keep on going. Unlike other 3-Gun competitions, you can be coached and helped by others on your squad. I love being able to have coaching; it’s so much more fun. Even when I know what I’m doing, I still yell out for advice as I’m moving through the stage. It’s a friendly, group environment where everyone involved supports her fellow competitor.
Michelle: What model Colt do you shoot, and why would you recommend it to other female shooters?
Maggie: For USPSA, I compete with a Single Stack Colt Government Model 38 Super Comp. I shoot minor, which means the rounds are lighter and a smaller caliber, so the shooting is much softer. Although the scoring is different, with minor getting fewer points, the tradeoff is I can carry a magazine with higher capacity. So I have to be more accurate, but have enough ammunition to be able to make up a shot.
I love shooting a Colt 1911 because it can be totally customized and modified. Many things can be done after market to make it suit the individual shooter. It has everything on it that I like. My grips, curved trigger and adjustable sights are exactly what I want. The oversize safeties are easier for me, and the narrow single stack fits my grip. A shooter can find a 1911 that fits her grip and customize it with whatever parts she prefers.
Michelle: Do you have any rituals before you step into the shooter’s box?
Maggie: I get super nervous and intimidated while I’m waiting, This can become very negative and self-defeating. I try to turn this around and take a quiet moment to be positive. I think about something I want to accomplish, like, “I’m going to have a nice, smooth draw,”or “I’m going to make a perfect trigger press.”
Michelle: What advice do you have for women who may want to start competing?
Maggie: Start doing your research ahead of time. Online, USPSA, 3-Gun Nation and IDPA all have club-finder links. Once you find a nearby range, go there and just watch for a while. Begin by being a spectator, then ask questions and start immersing yourself in the sport. Most competitors are super friendly, and are more than willing to talk, answer questions and show you their gear. There are people of all different skill levels out there, and everyone was a newcomer at some point. Don’t buy a bunch of gear at the beginning. Think about which division you would like to shoot, which sport appeals to you, and which direction you want to go in.
Michelle: I understand you’re an avid reader. What books would I see if I perused your bookshelf?
Maggie: I love historical fiction, like about the royals and monarchy. This past summer I visited Scotland with my mother. When I returned home, I started reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which takes place in Scotland. I just finished reading the first book in the series; there are 7 more to go. (I also started watching the TV show.) Another must-read is A Game of Thrones [the first book in the series of “A Song of Ice and Fire”] by George R. R. Martin, especially if you’re planning on watching the TV series. There’s so much more detail in the books.
And yes, in case you wondered, competition shooter Maggie is also a fellow Downton Abbey fan.
Follow Maggie Reese on her Facebook fan page.