She is known throughout the world of long-range shooting as “30 Cal Gal.” She also is known for accomplishments at long-range rifle competitions, for being a spokesperson for the shooting sports through a popular blog – also titled “30 Cal Gal” – and most recently, for her jewelry design. Meet Anette Wachter, who lives near Seattle and travels the world with a competition rifle.
Sponsored by Capstone Precision Group
The WON: Do you remember the first time you got behind a rifle on a range and shot out far? What was that like and why did that happen?
Anette Wachter: My first time shooting a rifle was out to 200 yards. I was taught position shooting when I was introduced to NRA High Power Shooting. At 200 yards, I shot a post sight on an AR15 off-hand slow fire and seated rapid fire. We also shot rapid fire prone at 300 yards and the slow prone at 600 yards (all iron sights and sling support). This was back in 2006. I loved it immediately. Through this discipline I was introduced to Palma long range high power: 800 to 1000 yards iron sights and sling support.
The WON: Because of your success, you’ve been able to travel the world. Do you have any favorite memories? What are they?
Anette Wachter: I have so many awesome memories! My favorite, is of course, winning the BC (British Columbia) Rifle Championships in 2011. The second woman and first US woman to win in its 127 year history. Shooting South African Nationals in 2013 was pretty awesome, as well.
The WON: How would you recommend that people get started in long range shooting?
Anette Wachter: Shooting sports are more common than ever now. And especially very welcoming to women. For NRA disciplines, like what I compete, in you can visit its competition information online. Each state has a Rifle and Pistol Association that has new shooter information. Great junior programs, as well. I also love shooting the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches. These are tactical with bolt action rifles and optics and use wilderness terrain for competitions. PRS is the most common series for matches and information. Their blog has great info about gear and ammo. I suggest going to a match first to watch in any discipline. Then, talk to people and ask questions.
Anette Wachter: The best. Period. I used these products even before I became a team shooter. I load my own rounds and every detail counts. I have stuck to the same load forever. Hey, if it works, don’t mess with it. I trust each component.
The WON: How long have you been blogging, and has that evolved throughout the years?
Anette Wachter: I started blogging in 2010 just for fun. More like my personal diary of getting in to competition. I sent in an application for the new TV show coming out called “TopShot.” So I wanted to blog about that and my journey of competing. Who knew people would actually read it? (I made it to tryouts for “TopShot,” but did not make the show.) Apparently, I was not dramatic enough.
The WON: Let’s talk about your jewelry designing business … how’d that start and why?
Anette Wachter: I started making jewelry about 5 years ago. It was a gun-related line using brass-case heads and gems. The market became pretty saturated, and I was also designing a luxury fashion line, non-ammo related. When I met my fiancé, he had on a handmade bracelet with large textured stainless steel beads. The beads he had made for himself a long time ago and each one represented a friend who lost a life. I was inspired by the story and asked if I could create a line using the beads. It took forever to find a local machine shop to help us make the beads, but we finally did. I have a cool line of men’s and women’s leather and steel bracelets and then, have mixed in gems and black pearls for a larger collection. I also design all of the sterling silver and gold pendants, clasps, beads, etc. By starting this business later in life, I focus on other women like me that are ageless and adventurous. Unique jewelry for unique people! The line is definitely bold and statement. I donate a portion of all sales to SOWW (Special Operations Wounded Warriors), an amazing organization, and The NW Parkinson’s Foundation. The latter because my dad suffered from this horrible disease.
The WON: Because of family obligations, you’ve stepped back a bit from competitions recently, what’s in the future?
Anette Wachter: I am excited to ramp up again. The US Rifle Team captain just sent out the schedule for tryouts and practices to make the squad for World Championship in 2023 in South Africa. So, the excitement begins again!
The WON: Let’s also talk about the jacket you wear. Because you shoot Precision Rifle, iron sights, you wear a very tight jacket. And you’re so tall … where do you get one of these?
Anette Wachter: Yes, the jacket is heavy, thick and tight. A straight jacket. Makes shooting in Ohio in August a lot of fun. NOT! We shoot prone with a sling on. Self-supporting the rifle in our hands. The jacket gives a place for the sling to grab on to and the shoulder placement for the butt stock. Creedmore is one of the most popular manufacturers of the jackets. I have had mine for over 10 years. It is worn in and frayed, but I love it. I had to get a men’s jacket back then and add some length to the sleeves. My friend, Jennifer, designed the girl in a red dress holding an AR cartoon character – based off one of my favorite artists, SHAG. The AR was what I started competing with. I had the image embroidered to the back of my jacket. You can’t miss me. Another reason I will not let go of that jacket.
The WON: What else do you need for this sport?
Anette Wachter: I was thinking not much but the jacket and rifle but then I thought about it and we do have a lot of stuff: a shooting mat, scope and stand to see your target and score and mirage, glove, bag that holds plot books, ammo and gear. I have a timer with me, a lovely shooting hat (JK) and my good luck medal. The medal was from my win up in Canada.
The WON: How can people contact you and follow you?
Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. She is a contributing editor at "SHOT Business," and her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at ozarkian.com. View all posts by Barbara Baird