If you were to look at Michelle Waldran, you probably wouldn’t immediately think, “Now, there’s a 3-gun competitor.” This petite pistol-packing powerhouse decided a few years ago that 3-gun would add excitement to her life, and quickly rose to competition level skills.
Sponsored by Walther Arms
She then decided to get her NRA pistol certification so that she could teach women to shoot.
Michelle also added Council on Law Enforcement and Training certification as a handgun instructor and Oklahoma self-defense act instructor to the street cred list. She now trains one-on-one and hopes to incorporate advanced firearms classes for women in the near future as well.
Her day job also involves working with mostly women – as a hair salon owner. She said that shooting guns reminds her of doing highlights in hair, one of her favorite tasks at the salon. Over time, she’s honed her highlighting skills (“It’s all about the chemistry.”) and also, over time, she’s improved her gun-handling skills. However, there’s always a bit of a risk with both skill sets. Michelle mentioned that several of her clients have been her students, and tease her about stepping out to the range while they wait for the chemistry of the highlights to work under the foil (That’s an interesting picture to imagine.).
Michelle is sponsored by Walther Arms, and you’ll find out why she loves this partnership in the answers to our questions below:
In your About section at Facebook, you wrote: “Salon owner by day, competitive shooter by weekend, certified handgun instructor but always a student.” Please will you explain?
I reside in Claremore, a small town north of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I own a hair salon. Because I am a business owner, it allows me to be flexible with my schedule so I can focus on my passion, which is educating ladies on how to safely handle a firearm. I also love being the student and try to attend at least two training courses a year to keep me proficient.
How did you come to be a competition shooter?
I decided to try my hands at competition shooting once I was proficient with all of my firearms; I needed a challenge. I knew it would be a huge challenge, but, didn’t realize the camaraderie that came with this sport.
I discovered 3-gun competition when a good friend told me we should go watch. That is where I met Lena Miculek, Dianna Mueller and Taran Butler, who told me “Yes! You CAN do it, too. There is a bay with a short stage set up. You should go try, it’s free to anyone …” Needless to say, the rest is history.
You hear things in a salon, I’m sure. What are women talking about in re: to personal defense?
The main concern women have is, of course, safety and proficiency but, also, seeking comfort and accessibility when carrying on-the-body and other carry options.
What do you tell a woman who might be curious but hasn’t committed yet to buying a gun?
DO NOT run out and buy a gun just yet. Try out many as you can; ask your friends and family who own a gun. Most gun ranges have several different manufacturers’ handguns that are for rent. While you’re there, inquire about a ladies-only gun group you can join.
What’s your favorite Walther?
Hands down, my Walther PPS M2 . It fits my hand perfectly, like it was made for me. It also has the same action as my competition gun, so I can keep things consistent.
I’m very honored to have this opportunity to reach out to all the amazing women who are out there supporting each other.