Conyers, GA – November 2014
Where to begin? There were devils, apes and skeletons, $250,000 in sponsored prizes, cameras, news crews, double parking on the lawn, squirrel doing a keg stand and cheeks hurting from chilly weather and from too much laughter. (See Photo Gallery at bottom) And like Vegas, what happens at the Ladies ProAm stays at the Ladies ProAm. Well at least it stays in the ProAm Closed Group Page on Facebook. Don’t worry, we behaved ourselves. Sort of. But when you get a couple of hundred women together for 5 days taking over one hotel and shooting for 3 days, well, fun things happen. Women from all over the country and from age 10 – 65 plus participated.
I traveled with 3 guns in one large case and one over-weight duffel last Tuesday to Atlanta. My Devil Dog Arms 5.56, my FN SLP shotgun and my Tanfoglio Witness pistol were stuffed in one Pelican case. Thankfully all of my gear and bags made it and with no hassles from TSA. The Holiday Inn in Conyers will never be the same. The hotel was so packed that people were double parking on the grass lawn out front. I just felt sorry for anyone other than a 3 Gunner staying there. The courtyard atrium of the hotel lobby was our gathering place and we would stand around the edges and banter back and forth. I am sure it echoed for miles. Our first prep day on Thursday after a trip to Waffle House, (We don’t have Waffle House in WA) we made it to the range to check in and walk the stages of the match and catch up with some of my sponsors. ESS Eyepro took great care of me on this trip and I can’t thank them enough. They had their huge popup tent display and must have donated a ton of eye wear for the prize table. They were still nice to me even though I posted a photo of some proto-type lens of theirs on my FB Page that aren’t out and all of Asia bombarded the company with requests. Oopsie! It gave them a lot of attention! Devil Dog Arms also was there with a demo bay of their rifles. They make a line of rifles for Natalie of Girls Guide To Guns and she was able to shoot her custom “Snow White” AR they made for her. Of course I also was shooting my Nib-X coated DDA rifle in 5.56 DDA donated a couple of ARs to the prize table as well. Thursday afternoon I had a photo session with Joe from ASAP Photography. ESS is putting me in there next catalog wearing two hot off the press new styles of protective eye wear. I was in last year’s catalog as well. It is a little weird coming across an ESS display case in a store and seeing your image. I love their eye wear. I live in it. Stay tuned for some great new lens they will have. Later Thursday evening was a Meet N Greet and a chance to see everyone before the shooting started on Friday. Shelley Rae and I hung out and had dinner with Natalie Foster and her NRA film crew.
Friday the first day of the match happened to be Halloween which also happened to my birthday. Many of the women had light costumes on to shoot in including myself. I donned some sparkly devil horns and a tail. I was able to shoot the entire match without getting the tail stuck on barricades. I said that if it was at all in my way it would be ripped off but it worked out. The 8 stages of the match were straight forward. An equal amount of targets for all 3 guns. For beginners this was great. For me I was able to practice speed and shooting on the move. Most stages had only 10 – 20 rounds per gun. Since my weakness at the moment is pistol it was good for me to force myself to speed up. (This will change after my pistol boot camp in Utah this month) I also had the chance to shoot more shotgun in place of pistol which I was able to practice my new reload system. I bought the Carbon Arms pinwheel caddy where I can grab 4 rounds and do a weak handed quad load. I was really happy with my efforts there. Although my ego was deflated when I heard one gal was able to load 12 rounds using the quad system in about 7 seconds. I am still searching for that girl. She needs a medal. That gives me a goal to reach for. That evening after the match, tactical wear company 5.11 Tactical made dinner for us at the range and we had a costume contest.
5.11 had been cooking brisket all day while we were shooting. It was torture having to wait for dinner. Even though the weather started to turn for the chillier, many people dressed in costumes. We had Care Bears, (in fact Care Bear shot a stage), Apes, “over-sized” hula dancers, Pink Ladies (that was my squad), squirrels (the famous keg stand squirrel) and one fabulous costume of the queen from Maleficent. The weather started to turn very cold that evening and the weather channel warned us that Saturday would be a high of 50 and low of 30. We never did see 50 degrees. We did see 35 degrees plus crazy winds. I had on every thing I brought on the trip. Leupold rocked it with a knit cap in our registration goodie bags. Every single person out there had theirs on. What a great promotional coo for them. I believe everyone posted an image wearing the hats and tagging Leupold.
We had media from NRA, Nightline, The American Woman Shooter and GunTalk. Of course the “lady” most featured was 10 year old Shyanne Roberts. She had Nightline following her around for the match. Shyanne took it in stride and had a great time. She even won a custom purple AR at the awards ceremony. She was so excited she wanted to take it home on the spot. But dad had to let her down nicely that they had to wait to have it delivered to him through an FFL. Oh the suffering.
Lisa Marie Judy and with the help of Kay Miculek put on this amazing event. I know it was stressful for Lisa Marie but she kept her cool and ran a great match. There were some issues but there always are at a first ever event. Nothing kept the match from running well. Chris Palmer “put up” with all of us as range master. Rough job for him to direct a range with 200 women. He told me at one point that he thought his radio was broken because he had not heard from any of his RO’s for awhile. He actually drove around making sure all radios were working. At a normal match with men he is constantly having to referee arguments between shooters and RO’s. He hardly had one request here. The funny thing was it was some of the spectator husbands that were causing the drama here. Leave it to the ladies to be good sportsmen.
The sponsorship supporting this match was amazing. Over $250,ooo in prizes. The prize table wrapped around the banquet room. There was a Pro and Amateur division and separate sets of prizes. Trust me when I say that the Am table was just as fabulous as the Pro table. And twice as much stuff. I think this is the largest prize table I have ever seen at a match beside the Trijicon World Championship in September. The list of sponsors is impressive so please check out this link. SPONSORS. The success of this event will surely guarantee a return for next year. I think many of us thought there was no way we could fill 200 spots for this match. Are there that many women who shoot 3 Gun? Well when word got out about this women came out of the woodwork. Many had never shot any match before. But they came anyway. It was a less intimidating atmosphere for them. Thank you to several shooters from local GA and neighboring states that brought extra equipment to share and loan. We even had to loan out some clothes to a shooter I shall not mention….Miss Becky….. who left her suitcase sitting by her front door 13 hours away. 200 women? Wardrobe problem solved. Plus a trip to Goodwill. Hey, shopping is shopping.