We welcome Beth Walker, teenage pro competition shooter, to our team of writers. Beth’s shooting story starts with Ruger, and continues with Ruger. ~The Editors
Sponsored by Ruger
My journey with Ruger came full circle in March of 2019 when I signed onto their professional shooting team. It was an extremely humbling opportunity to join their shooting team after my love for firearms began with a Ruger Mark III. Knowing that I was joining a company that manufactures products that continue to impact me on a personal, professional and emotional level is something that was important to me when considering and navigating through the partnership. Here’s my Ruger story.
My Ruger story is one that started as a young girl with a Mark III that my grandpa owns. An experience with a Ruger firearm ignited my fire for shooting while in my cousin’s back yard. By the time I turned 12, I discovered competitive shooting. After a few years of shooting and trying out different guns and gear, I just couldn’t find my groove or the comfort that I sought. Thankfully, my partnership with Girls with Guns Clothing led to meeting the amazing staff at Ruger. Now, I shoot all Ruger firearms for competition. My pistol of choice is the Ruger American Competition Pistol, but I still go back to my roots when I am able.
After extensive conversations, prayer and encouragement from my family I signed a contract with Sturm, Ruger & Co. There is no better feeling than being comfortable with the firearms that you shoot. This is a feeling that is not only unique to competitive shooting, but anyone who goes out to the range, regardless of their experience levels. Finding the right firearms is like becoming comfortable in your own skin. Truth be told, the stock firearms that I received from Ruger have been the best fit for me, even over some heavily modified and precisely tuned guns that I have tried and experienced in years past. There is something special about a company who has been around since 1949 and continues to manufacture firearms that are sought after by people across multiple generations.
Along with amazing firearms, I also found a family in Ruger. Not only my competitive team, but also, extending to their employees and fellow brand ambassadors. I noticed this connection at my first trade show as part of the Ruger team. The National Rifle Association 2019 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis became an incredible experience in getting acquainted with many of their employees and making deeper connections with my team. One of my fellow teammates, Maggie Reese Voigt, and I spent time together meeting Ruger fans, talking about our own competitive shooting journeys and how blessed we felt to have built the partnership that we now have with Ruger. Brand Ambassadors, such as Norissa Harman and Jen O’Hara, have been close friends and are now like older sisters since I began my shooting journey in 2016.
As an 18-year old in the firearms industry, I never would have expected a major firearm manufacturer to approach me about a partnership. Being a part of an iconic household name is such a blessing and not something that I ever wish to take for granted. It has allowed me to further find my voice in the firearms industry and beyond into politics, school and everyday life. Being partnered with such an amazing company has increased my confidence in all areas of my life.
A word of advice to anyone who is already shooting or just starting out: If something or someone impacts you about a company or firearm, trust that feeling. Life is made up of moments, and moments become memories, and memories are the things that we hold on to that last forever. Moments like my first shots with a Ruger Mark III will stay with me forever. My first time shooting my Ruger American Competition Pistol brought back those same memories and feelings. Those are the things that are so special about shooting and the firearms community. We make moments that turn into memories that last a lifetime. I’m just a girl who loves her guns and I am incredibly thankful for Ruger’s role in that and my introduction to firearms as a young girl.