While visiting Louisville for the NRA AM I got to walk the show floor with many other young outdoor and shooting enthusiasts. Many of the shooters I met and talked to ranged from 10- to 18-years old. I was lucky enough to get to interview a few of young lady shooters and talk about their goals while there, namely Cheyenne Dalton, Vanessa Aguilar and Breanna Noble.
All of these young ladies compete in NSSF Rimfire Steel Challenge and United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). In NSSF Rimfire Steel Challenge you stand in a shooting box and engage 5 to 7 targets from 7 to 30 yards away. You are timed when you shoot the targets; you shoot them 5 times and your longest time is dropped and the other times are added together for a total score. In USPSA you shoot arrays of targets while moving around from within the fault lines. You are scored on where you hit the target and how fast you run the stage. In USPSA you shoot steel and paper targets.
One of my good friends on social media is Cheyenne Dalton. I am a fan of hers and love watching all that she does in her sport. Cheyenne is 15-years old and shoots in 3-gun, which she has shot for 1 year. She also has been competing in USPSA and Rimfire Challenge for 3 years. Cheyenne shared some fun facts about her shooting and future goals with me.
It is always important to train for your sport. Cheyenne trains several times a week. “I do dry fire exercises, live fire exercise, both 3-gun and rimfire. I always ‘try’ and exercise a few times a week.”
I asked Cheyenne what her future goals are for her shooting career, as well as what she would like to be when she is older.
I would like to progress as far as I can in the shooting sports. Winning ladies Rimfire World Championship is definitely a goal, too. I want to help other women and juniors become safe and effective shooters as well. I’m going to hit 3-gun harder this fall and next year so I can improve as much as possible.
Cheyenne plans on being a pharmacist when she grows up.
Many of these shooters play a great role in the gun community. Cheyenne shared how she sees herself in the industry.
I see myself as an ambassador for the shooting sports, trying to show people how our sports are safe and fun to participate in. I like to talk to kids about shooting and try and help them get involved with rimfire. I’m just a small part in the whole 2A movement, but I want to do my best to spread the word. I’ve been told that I’m very approachable and I want to continue to be that way. I love to talk to everyone!
As a kid involved in shooting, I think I have an extra burden to bear because in today’s world guns are so vilified. We must show the world that kids that are taught safe handling of guns can have a lot of fun shooting. The media mostly shows the bad side.
Being an active shooter myself, I asked Cheyenne to share some tips for other young or new shooters. She recommends learning proper techniques from the beginning. It’s so hard to break a bad habit, especially a bad shooting habit. She also recommends seeking help from experienced shooters. “Our community is very open to helping new shooters.”
She also shares some advice for all the new and young shooters out there:
Take it slow and easy. I’ve seen a lot of younger shooters come in and try to dominate the sport and then get frustrated when that doesn’t happen. Practice and experience are what helps you the most. Ask lots of questions and don’t get mad if someone is trying to help you in a nice way. Share your love of this sport with others; we need more people in our corner.
I also interviewed Vanessa Aguilar. Vanessa is 10-years old and competes in Steel Challenge and International Defense Pistol Association (IDPA). She is starting to get involved in USPSA. She shoots a Walther P22, S&W M&P .22 compact, a Ruger Mark III, M&P 15-22 and an AR-15. Vanessa is currently training on speed and safety while competing.
Vanessa told me about her goals and what she wants to do in the future, “I want to do my best and beat my dad at shooting. When I grow up I want to be a police officer and work with the K-9s.”
When asking about where Vanessa sees herself in the shooting sports, she said, “I see myself using shooting competitions to train for becoming a police officer when I grow up. For now, I keep trying to beat my prior times, make new friends, shoot safe and have fun! If I win, it’s a great day, but it’s more important that I shoot safe and have fun doing it.”
A tip an advice from young shooter, Vanessa Aguilar, “Always follow the 4 rules of gun safety! Shoot straight and shoot safe!”
A young shooter and one of my fellow Team Girls with Guns’ members, Breanna Noble is another great shooter I interviewed. Breanna is a 17-years old, and a senior in high school. This is her 3rd year competing. She competes in Rimfire Steel Challenge – where she shoots a .22 rifle and pistol, and also in USPSA – where she shoots a GLOCK 34.
Breanna shares what she is doing to train for her competitions, “Two things that I work on a lot are accuracy and transitions. It is so easy to go to fast and start missing targets. In USPSA you are scored on where you hit the target and how fast you run the stage; therefore, you have to shoot slow enough to get a good hit but fast enough to get a good time.
A way to speed up your time is during a transition. A transition is when you move from one target to another. By speeding up on transitions, you can take a second or 2 off your time … every second counts.
Breanna’s ultimate goal is to become a Grand Master in USPSA, She hopes to do this in the next 4 to 5 years. In the meantime she would like to gain a class every year.
Breanna sees herself advancing and helping others learn what she has learned these past few years. She will be attending the AMU, Army Marksmanship Unit, training camp this October to continue learning from some of the best shooters in the United States.
Breanna shares a great tip for all the shooters out there. “Don’t outrun yourself. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, that is the first thing I learned when I started shooting competitively and it has been repeated many times since then. It means when you shoot slow you are smooth, and over time if you continue to shoot smooth you will become faster. Don’t start out trying to be fast, speed will come later.”
Always be safe on the range, and have fun. Stand up for your Second Amendment Rights. Bring other people to the range,” said Breanna.
Follow the shooters at their social media sites:
Cheyenne Dalton: https://www.facebook.com/cheyennedalton.competitveshooter
Vanessa Aguilar: https://www.facebook.com/SureShotVanessa/