BOLDNESS TAKES RISKS. IT TAKES UP A CHALLENGE. AND IT DOES WHAT IT TAKES. NEW
• Dmitry Sinkevich design • S35VN stainless steel blade • Carbon fiber front, titanium back
SURE SHOTS MAG | ISSUE 19 | jan 2017
THE BIG BANG THEORY Just what does it take to be on a bomb squad?.
THE ART OF TRACKING Chandra Carlton gives a glimpse of the world of Search and Rescue and combat tracking..
TRAINING 06 COMPETITIVENESS 09 WOMEN’S ASSAULT PREVENTION With ROB PINCUS 10 DIY: target stands 13
one to watch: JENNA collier
Feature pictorial by dustin meyer 26 1 7-year-old competitive shooter Reanna kadic sets the standard in all that’s GOLD.
LIFESTYLE 32 GROWING UP A GUN GIr L 36 STYLE ME TACTICAL: ESSENTIALs 38 Women in the Industry: JANNA REEVES 40 HOW WE EDC 43 GOTTA GET: HANDBAGS WITH A BANG Jesse James’ 1911 especial, courtesy of Jesse james firearms unlimited, jjfu.com
Photo by Niki Jones.
REVIEWS 45 VORTEX RAZOR® HD GEN II RIFLESCOPE 46 FRANCHI Instinct Catalyst 12-Gauge
FROM THE EDITOR
’ve always had a thing for gold. I also have a thing for Eastern European fashion magazines, especially when they feature over-the-top opulence. So when Carrin and I conceptualized the theme for this issue, I wanted to combine the two, and when we chose our beautiful and talented cover model, our “The Gold Standard” theme fell right into place. Besides having the qualities we were looking for to represent our magazine for the first issue of the new year, Reanna Kadic also looks like she’d be right at home on the pages of Elle Hungary. A few calls to some friends procured some vintage Versace and Moschino for the photoshoot, a badass rifle from IWI, and, in line with our opulence theme, Jesse James’ stunning personal EDC.
Our “One To Watch” feature is fast becoming my favorite—the number of Austin Sure Shots’ “Mini Sure Shots” (our club’s youth shooters) is multiplying like Gremlins in water, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Recently, we had nine of our junior shooters, girls ranging in age from 4 to 15, at our weekly Sure Shots practice—I’m not anticipating that we’ll be running out of young ladies to feature anytime soon. I’m excited for some fantastic new endeavors coming in 2017, and can’t wait to share them with you all, so stay tuned...
Shoot straight! -Niki One of the killer outfits from our photoshoot: a 1990s Moschino suit from Archive Vintage.
Jenna, Carrin and me hanging out at the Sure Shots Christmas party. Our army of Sure Shots Youth Shooters is constantly multiplying!
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Niki Jones photo by Annie Ray. Moschino photo courtesy of Archive Vintage. Other photos courtesy of Austin Sure Shots.
This issue’s fashion presence carries through to our “Gotta Get” feature, and, of course, our Style Me Tactical pages, which is always on the pulse of what’s new and fabu. But this issue isn’t limited to just pretty things—we get some insider info on Search and Rescue, and explore what it takes to be on a bomb squad when we ride out with Austin Police Bomb Squad, plus so much more.
Founder and editor-in-chief
Niki Jones associate editor and webmaster
Carrin Welch Copy Editor
Jenna Johnson Content Lead
Finally - A Firearms Course Designed Exclusively For The Thinking Woman
Tom Alibrando Heidi Burns Chandra Carlton Anthony Collier Jenna Collier Jeff Crawford Jeff Donaldson Susan Ellis George Ewing Rachel Foster Kanani Fox Kyleigh Hayworth Sarah Hernandez
Claxton, Simon Claxton Mira’s version of James Bond • 24 years world wide military experience • United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) • 22nd Special Air Service Regiment (Tier 1 SAS) • Firearms Instructor for Chicago SWAT • Chief Instructor UDSF Sniper Training Cell
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Mark Hopkins Jesse James Caine Johnson Reanna Kadic Stefan Kadic Issa Kafena Nicole Maddocks Dustin Meyer Annie Ray Janna Reeves Elena Reid Emily Valentine Stefan Van Ruijven Tiffany Venters Jessica Wright
Sure Shots Magazine is a free publication. For submission requirements, email email@example.com. All content ©2017 Sure Shots Magazine. No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. Visit us online at sureshotsmag.com. For ad sales contact SureShotsMagAds@gmail.com.
100-yard indoor range | redsguns.com
Competitiveness BY JESSICA WRIGHT
Competitiveness: that’s the name of the shooting game, isn’t it? To get better, to grow as a shooter, to get to the top… then what? What do you do once you get there? Besides the obvious fight to stay there, you share your knowledge. You share your experiences with someone in the same shoes you were once in. With the women’s talent pool being a smaller margin then the men’s, there is always the need for more encouragement and guidance for other women.
At the beginning of the year, I became very disciplined with my practice. I reached out to Olympian Lanny Barnes to start her training plan with TOP Shooting Institute. After some baseline measurements, she wrote not only a shooting program for me, but a workout and meal program to conjoin with my shooting and matches. My plans incorporated my travel time to matches, rest days, etc., and I valued my plans like they were gold, because to me, they were. I didn’t fully understand the importance of my coach until a hard lesson occurred. That important lesson came when I was at a match and I was doing great, until one stage. I let that stage hang over my head the rest of the match, which affected stage after stage. I tanked miserably because of it. I was so disappointed in myself that I just kept battering myself in my head, You’re better than that; Why did you do that?; That wasn’t the plan you had before the stage. I admit, my emotions got the best of me. I laughed as tears rolled down my cheeks, thinking of that famous line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” because there is no crying in 3-Gun, but there I was. My wonderful coach, Lanny, reached out to me, asking how the match was going. I explained to her my self-destruction. She told me not to let the previous stage get to me. “What good does that do? You can’t change it. What’s done is done. All you can do is shake it off and go forward.” She was right!
Tiffany Venters, Jessica Wright and Lanny Barnes at the Ironman 3-Gun match in Parma Idaho
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Jump forward a few months: I was getting ready to shoot the infamous Rockcastle Pro-Am. I was hesitant to jump on the pro side, and was confiding in my coach about it. “I just feel fake shooting on the pro side when I haven’t made pro series yet. You know what I mean?” Lanny replied, “No, I don’t know what you mean. If you think you’re a pro, then you’re pro, and you need to shoot on the pro side.” She went on to explain that everyday while training for the Olympics she had to tell herself she was an Olympian. Your mental game is the key to your success. Oftentimes we get so caught up in competing and getting better that we forget to look behind at those struggling and looking up to us. Take the time to encourage one another. A little goes a very long way and you never know the impact you can have on another’s success by just your words. There have been many ladies in my time shooting that have been extremely helpful, encouraging and embracing. I want to thank those ladies for taking the time to do so. Always, thank you to my amazing and supportive sponsors: Trop Gun Shop, Vigilance Tactical, Nordic Components, Lucas Oil Outdoor Line, Warne Scope Mounts, Invictus Practical, F-1 Firearms, CMC Triggers, ESS Eye Safety Systems, Dissident Arms, Notchgear and Sure Shots.
game is the key to your
Facebook: facebook.com/powerhousemouse Twitter: @powerhousemouse Instagram: powerhousemouse YouTube: youtube.com/c/JessicaWrightpowerhousemouse
Photos by Tiffany Venters.
#squadgoals at the Ironman match
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WOMEN’S ASSAULT PREVENTION With ROB PINCUS
Photo by Carrin Welch.
BY JENNA JOHNSON The ladies take our personal protection very seriously and recently we were lucky enough to have Rob Pincus of I.C.E. Training in town to teach a class on Women’s Assault Prevention, and the turnout was huge. The class started with a discussion about “the myth of the bad guy.” We hear of so many “bad guys” in the news: attacks on joggers on the hike and bike trail, children being grabbed in broad daylight, etc. Rob pointed out that while these are not myths, most attacks on women happen from a “trusted source”—meaning the man that you “trust” to enter your home to fix the A/C unit, the “trusted” delivery man that you see on the regular basis, or even a co-worker or boyfriend that you “trust” would never do anything to harm you. These men that you’ve given a certain amount of trust to can quite often be the one that has the opportunity to attack and harm you. The discussion continued into the ability to set boundaries. Everyone’s boundaries are different, depending on if it’s a stranger, co-worker, loved one, or our children. As our boundaries are pushed or challenged by individuals, we have to be willing and able to clearly define those boundaries and defend them. Rob had so many great analogies that really helped put those boundaries in a relatable perspective: a drunken co-worker at a company happy hour or Christmas party that gets too handsy, hugs too long, or really just anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Often, women write that off as he was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing. However, that may have just taught him that your boundary lines are movable because you didn’t defend that boundary line the moment it was crossed. As those boundary lines are crossed, they allow the chance for actions to escalate to the point of having to defend yourself and your body. Another great analogy was flood waters heading toward your home. If you live near a river or body of water, you are all too familiar with the chances of water flooding your home. As that water rises, you know where your boundary lines are. It may be the banks of the river, a large tree in the yard, or a flood marker set along the bank. As that water rises and reaches each of the markers, you know what actions you need to take: like placing sand bags around the house, moving important things out of the basement, or packing up the car and moving the family to higher ground. The same can be said of your physical and emotional boundaries. As someone moves towards each of those boundary lines, you will have a specific action that you need to take, like using your words to express a warning, removing yourself from the situation, or using a weapon to defend yourself. This moved us into the last part of the class, where we moved out the chairs and tables and Rob educated us on some physical movements we could use to defend ourselves. As not all places We have to we travel will allow us to carry a weapon, we needed to know how to use our bodies in a way that we can defend against be willing and most attackers, no matter their size or weight. These moves incorporated the use of the bony ridge on our forearms, able to clearly gouging at the attacker’s eyes, twisting of the attacker’s ears define those and pressing the forearm against the throat to choke out the attacker. Most of the moves could be used in a variety of boundaries and different attack positions and we had the opportunity to pair up and practice, all of course without harming our training defend them. partners, in the time we had remaining. The class was incredibly informative and I wish we had more time to discuss additional topics and to practice the defensive moves more. But unfortunately, time and space was limited. But I’m still very thankful that we had the opportunity to learn from Rob, and definitely look forward to the next training event. More information can be found at personaldefensenetwork.com. sureshotsmag.com | 9
story and photos BY KANANI FOX
Building your own target stands is easier than you think! Kanani Fox of California’s Central Coast Ladies Shooting Club shows us how in this step-by-step guide.
What you’ll need: 2 x 4’s: two 24” pieces, two 18” pieces Furring strip cut into 10” pieces Twelve 4“ screws Tape measure and drill with drill bits
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Arrange your pieces for assembly
The 24” pieces are for the sides and the 18” pieces are for the center. The 10” furring strips act as spacers between the 18”pieces
Assemble the Center Section
1. F our screws will be needed to attach the 18” pieces together.
2. With the 18” pieces and the furring strips clamped together (previous photo), drill two holes near the top of the 18” piece.
3. Insert two screws into these holes.
4. T urn the center section over. Drill two holes near the bottom Note: The 10” furring strips should be placed one on of the 18” piece. top of the other as shown. This will create a space to place longer furring strips to attach your target.
Attach the Sides
1. M easure 9 ½ inches from either end of your 24” pieces. 2. Place your center piece at these marks and begin drilling through the 24” piece and the center 18” pieces. 3. I nsert four screws shown in Step 2. 4. Repeat on the other side.
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ONE TO WATCH
JENNA COLLIER BUDA TEXAS Age: 9 Grade: 4th Age started shooting: 7 Competes in: Steel Challenges and local steel competitions. “I hope to start competing in 2-Gun and any other competitions that will allow .22-caliber real soon.” Competition gun: Ruger 22/45 and Smith and Wesson 15-22 Favorite gun and why: “My favorite gun is my S&W 15-22, because its has an adjustable stock, cool Holosun red dot, and sweet CMC trigger.” Future goals for shooting: To improve accuracy and speed Future non-shooting goals: To become a better dancer and continue to get straight-As Other hobbies: Dance, Choir, Girlstart
Photo Anthony Collier. Photo byby Carrin Welch.
Sponsors: Austin Sure Shots, Sure Shots Magazine, Lantac USA, Froglube, BSG Security, On Your 6 Designs, High Speed Gear, Hard Corps Tactical, CMC Triggers, Red’s Indoor Range, VZ Grips, and Federal Ammunition Check out Jenna and Faith Collier on their YouTube channel: CollierGunGirls
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BIG BANG THEORY 14 | sure shots mag | issue 19
just What does it take to be on a bomb squad? STORY AND PHOTOS BY NIKI JONES sureshotsmag.com |â€‚ 15
It’s just about 9am on a chilly morning in Austin, when the Austin Police Bomb Squad gets a call to come out and investigate a suspicious device placed in the middle of a residential street. After the bomb disposal robot removes it and takes it to a place it can be examined, it is determined that it is a novelty grenade, and is not a threat. “Callouts” like this are typical for the unit, which was formed in 1983 and is comprised of 11 men (there are no women on the Austin Police Bomb Squad). Seven of the officers are bomb technicians and four are dog handlers. All were already APD officers before joining this unit, which is a prerequisite. I went out with the squad to one of the biggest events in Austin: the annual Trail of Lights. Filled to capacity each night with crushing crowds, I was interested in seeing what procedures the squad had in place for what could potentially be a terrorist target. A scheduled event like this is called a “sweep.” I accompanied two bomb techs, Officer George Ewing and Officer Caine Johnson, and dog handler Officer Issa Kafena, through the event before it began. This “find or function” was to see if anything looked out of place—unattended backpacks, packages, etc. Trash cans were checked, as well as behind and underneath objects and vehicles. With us was Dax, a sweet, petite 7-year-old Belgian Malinois who can detect 24 different types of explosives, and is certified in 12 of these. Dax walked with us along the vast grounds of Zilker Park, sniffing everything, while the three officers visually inspected the area. Officer Kafena showed me what Dax would do if she did, in fact, detect an explosive. He hid a piece of detonating cord (a plastic tube filled with an explosive material) in the wheel well of a trailer, and instructed Dax to search. Once she got to the wheel well, she very deliberately sat down, stayed as still as a statue, facing where Officer Kafena had placed the cord. This is called an “alert” and it was quite impressive. Had this been a real-life scenario and not a training exercise, the next step would be a bomb tech taking over from there. As Officer Kafena explained, a detection dog is the first and last step of any bomb squad operation, as it must be determined that the area is clear of any additional threats before the investigation or situation is over.
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Austin Police Bomb Squad Responsibilities Respond to all explosion scenes Respond to all known or suspected explosive devices including suspicious packages. Pick up and dispose of all found commercial and military explosives. Pick up and dispose of all ammunition and ordnance 50 caliber and greater.
Entrances and choke points like this one are areas the unit focuses on at large gatherings.
While there are other dog breeds with a more acute sense of smell, the high energy level and willingness to work make the Belgian Malinois, like 7-year-old Dax, an effective detection dog.
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It’s important to sweep the grounds of an event beforehand.
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To become a certified bomb technician, one must attend and complete the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School in Alabama, which is a six-week intensive program (all bomb squads are overseen by the FBI). In order to join Austin Police Bomb Squad, Officer Ewing explained, one must possess a high level of “mechanical reasoning.” The Austin Police Bomb Squad has an organized training day every Wednesday, but the bomb technicians’ training is by no means limited to once-weekly—they’re constantly attending courses (X-Ray, Electronics, etc), often traveling far to attend them. To join Austin Police Bomb Squad, you also have to be a certified diver—this unit happens to be both the Bomb Squad AND the The Austin Police Department Dive Team, an amalgamation that happened in the department somewhat organically over the years until the city decided to make it official that these officers have dual duties. This means that for this unit, the officers must be on call 24/7 for suspicious devices callouts (like the one referenced at the beginning of this article), underwater search and recovery, and, if that wasn’t enough, SWAT calls as well. Dealing with explosives and being on call 24/7 is a huge commitment. Being willing to get in the water in any circumstance, whether it’s a freezing lake or a mosquito-infested swamp, is another
kind of commitment. These officers must do all. Back at the Trail Of Lights, it was getting crowded, and the unit was focusing on entrances and choke points. Officer Johnson explained that being on-scene at events like this provides three key functions: • Sweeping before and during the event to detect and investigate anything potentially dangerous • Deterring anyone that is potentially planning an attack • Giving attendees peace of mind The Austin Police Bomb Squad has a handful of scheduled events throughout the year: parades, UT games, Formula One events, and mega-festivals like Austin City Limits, but the majority of their time is spent on callouts. Since these officers are on call 24/7, all three I met with agreed that it’s important that the unit operates like “family”—each one having the others’ backs when determining who can make it out to callouts and who can cover for whom, and it was clear to me from spending time with these men that they were like brothers. Though, it would be nice to one day see a sister in the mix, too.
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photos and story BY Chandra carlton
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East of Sasabe AZ – Looking at Cartel scouts at top of mountain in distance.
(Search and Rescue) and combat tracking are perhaps some of the most misunderstood, underused, and underestimated capabilities in the modern era. SAR tracking is often used to locate a lost child, elderly person, hiker, or victims of a natural disaster. The trackers, usually volunteers, follow signs and clues such as footprints, broken twigs, and more in order to search for the missing person or people. Combat tracking, which is also called tactical tracking, is used both by various law enforcement agencies and the military alike to search for escaped prisoners, wanted criminals, and in human/drug trafficking scenarios. The military uses tracking not only to gather intel on the movement of enemy forces, but also to locate things such as booby traps, land mines, and IEDs. Going back through the history of mankind, these skill sets have long meant the difference between survival and death of a culture. Modern opinions on tracking are sometimes based on misconceptions that well trained dogs (or even rats!) and technology can accomplish more than the human mind. Ultimately, however, the use of all available resources produces the most favorable results, and even the most sophisticated machines can’t truly duplicate human intellect and intuition. After spending a year practicing tracking techniques in different environments, I still consider myself a student of the art of tracking. My initial interest was sparked both by curiosity and by the fact that I own a business, Texas Tactical Outfitters, which sells survival and tactical equipment to SAR, law enforcement and military personnel. TTO specializes in wholesale of USGI surplus, tactical gear, emergency medical gear, and survival equipment. I routinely work with individuals, larger businesses, and specialized teams in the USA, Canada, and Mexico as well as multiple other countries around the world. Since I started participating in tracking missions I have gained valuable hands-on experience which has vastly changed my recommendations in gear. In addition to the business aspect, assisting in the efforts of locating an injured or lost family member adds a humanitarian aspect to tracking that is in-line with my interest in paying things forward. Inherently, women possess a nurturing instinct, which can play an important role in recovery efforts. Being involved with the Sure Shots ladies’ gun club has made me realize that there is a huge network of mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and friends out there who take a proactive stance to encourage our next generation of young ladies to excel in male-dominated areas, such as tracking. With just a little refining, tracking skills can easily carry over into hunting, hiking, camping, precision and competition shooting, and even navigating your way around an unfamiliar town!
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went out to Arizona with a sense of adventure. What I saw and realized out there made me come back truly humbled by those who work to stop smuggling as a life mission. This area of the Arizona desert, which borders Nogales, Mexico, is ripe with Cartel scouts using extremely advanced strategies to smuggle drugs into the United States. 60 billion dollars of drugs are smuggled through that 5090 mile stretch of desert each year. It is estimated that only 15% of the drugs and human smuggling are stopped. It is a huge enterprise business. Human smuggling is even more heartbreaking. Any criminal organization that uses human beings as a literal decoy to smuggle drugs is obviously willing to kill anyone in their way. In this particular mission, I worked with Arizona Border Recon â€“ the same group featured in the 2015 documentary film Cartel Land.
Tracking mission in the Arizona desert with Arizona Border Recon
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here are many clues that we look for in the field. Studying the lengths of footprints, for example, can give a very close approximate height of an individual. The way footprints are angled and spaced can provide information such as gender and gait. These clues can help verify that we are following the correct individual when more than one set of footprints are present.
ftentimes, combat/ tactical tracking consists of a team in a patrol using infantry style formations. These teams are utilized to locate criminals, enemy combatants, or smugglers. In order for a tracking team to be effective, they must commit to hours of training. In a real world scenario, trackers wear body armor and seek out potential booby traps in the trees. Formations training taking place for our tracking team.
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[ GEAR ] There are several key pieces of equipment that every tracker needs to maintain a balance of stealth and comfort. The following list contains gear that I have found useful in my tracking endeavors: 3 2 pairs of very sturdy but comfortable combat/ hiking boots 3 Low-profile hydration system 3 A good flashlight with multiple color lenses: red lens for picking up prints on pine needles, black lens with Luminal for blood, and blue lens for locating prints on snow 3 Knee pads or pants with built-in knee pads that fit properly 3 Durable, multicam clothing 3 72 hour pack containing food and clothing
artel scouts are members of the Mexican cartel who watch movement of border patrol agents and trackers, as well as which way cameras are pointed, so that they can send drugs and people in the other direction. They post up at high points in the desert and have radios, binoculars, scopes, and even drones. They have eyes and ears everywhere – people and agencies are paid on both sides of the border to give information to cartels. They have code names for helicopters, drones, and even which border patrol agents are on duty in which areas. We carry weapons. Although they don’t want to kill us, if cornered, they certainly will. They do not want to resort to violence as it will draw law enforcement attention to the area and slow down smuggling operations. Nevertheless, the scouts are well aware of our presence at all times. They will even wave at us. It’s a crazy—and dangerous —place to be.
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3 Gloves, boonie hat, high quality belt, and sunglasses for both eye protection and eye relief 3 First aid kit 3 MOLLE vest 3 A hiking stick with rubber bands/hair ties 3 A rifle with a sling that is easy to use, as well as a 4x power scope and a 45° back up sight for quick transitions from near to far.
A detained drug smuggler on the Arizona border.
Carpet shoes, specially designed to hide the smugglers’ tracks through the desert.
en and women as young as 15 years old are paid by the cartels and used as drug mules to carry upwards of 40 lbs of drugs 60 miles through the desert. They stumble into our camp because they are desperate, often dehydrated and very hungry. The temperatures in the desert can soar to well over 105°F. Clues that we use to identify a person as a mule include strap marks from the burlap packs that they may have hidden prior to coming to us. After being detained, we call border patrol to pick the mules up and take them to Tucson for processing. Although taking pictures is not frowned upon, we must be careful not to show too much detail of the detainee’s faces. They could be found out and killed even years later.
racking teams often employ dogs to alert them of potential human smugglers in the area. Sgt. Rocko, above, has hundreds of hours of patrol under his belt and is also a beloved companion to the AZB team. Although Sgt. Rocko has no official training, he has plenty of field experience and is an invaluable asset to the tracking team.
Dog, Sgt. Rocko, with Arizona Border Recon.
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PHOTOS BY DUSTIN MEYER
Standard gold stand·ard noun the best, most reliable, or most prestigious thing of its type. To say 17-year-old Reanna Kadic is the Gold Standard in the world of shooting is pretty accurate. From the moment we met this 3-Gun competitor and rising star in the world of competitive shooting, we were struck by her poise and maturity, and let’s face it—her supermodel looks. This Texas girl began shooting firearms at the age of eight, under the tutelage of her father, Stjepan. “I would participate in and accompany my dad on hunting excursions and eventually to the gun range, and then local 3-Gun, Falling Steel, USPSA and Steel Challenge competitions. I have been competitively shooting for three years now, and I realized that I have a real love for the sport. I love the comradery that the sport of the 3-Gun offers and friendships that I have gained with fellow shooters.” This high school senior is also an avid huntress. In her free time, Reanna enjoys spending time with family and friends, managing her social media, and playing in the great outdoors. Her shooting goals are to continue shooting at the high level and become one of the top ten women 3-Gun shooters in the country. We have no doubt she will rise to the top. After all, she’s the gold standard. The guns featured in this pictorial are Jesse James Firearms Unlimited .45 Caliber Peewee 1911, Jesse James Firearms Unlimited .45 Caliber Especial 1911, and an IWI Galil GAR1651. Reanna currently shoots a Hayes Custom Guns 6” 2011 STI 9mm, a Benelli M2 12-gauge shotgun, and a custom AR-15 by CenterMass Armory Rifle Systems. She is sponsored by Freedom Munitions, Briley, Invictus Practical, Taran Tactical Innovations, Eye Safety Systems (ESS), Copperhead Creek Shooting Club, WildEar, CoreSpeed Gym, Hexmag, Timney Triggers, ExOps Industry, Weapon Shield, and The Range Shooting System.
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What moves you? What sets your heart on fire? What do you want to accomplish with your life? Everyone has a passion—chase it with great fervor. As I have grown, I’ve discovered that mine is standing up for my right to bear arms and bridging the gap between my generation and firearms. BY RACHEL FOSTER photos by Mark Hopkins
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For me, it all stems back from glossed wood, shiny metal and the smell of gun powder. Some of my earliest childhood memories center around the Remington 1187 youth model shotgun my grandfather, with huge expectations, gave to me. I remember one afternoon he led me to his gun safe and showed me the gun. Little did I know the impact those precious memories would have on the rest of my life.We then spent the afternoon behind the barn together, Grandad pulling one clay pigeon after the next and me trying to bust all that I could. My love of trap and skeet has not faded since that day, but more importantly, my love of guns and shooting with my family has grown tremendously. It wasn’t until I went away to college that I discovered that not everyone shoots, let alone likes or approves of the 2nd amendment. These are the moments that I began to realize I have been blessed with an amazing passion and I am incredibly proud of my roots. Firearms to our family are not simply a hobby, or a sport, but a way of life. They pull us together, challenge all of us to be stronger individuals, and instill a sense of reverence for the incredible blessing we have to be Americans. About five years ago my dad, uncles, and cousin took their passion of firearms and turned it into a company based on innovation. Today our love for the 2nd Amendment and helping protect those who protect us pours out in our family business. Every day we get the chance to manufacture another firearm, we are humbled to think back
“Yes, I am a millennial, and I know this word now has a great stigma around it.”
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to each generation that instilled this passion deep inside of all of us. For me it was my grandfather and father, for them it was their grandfathers and fathers, but today we all share the same drive and that is “To make the world safer, one gun at a time.” The story of the sheepdogs is one that I almost wear out. But I truly believe that there are three types of people in the world; sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves. We live in a world filled with bad people: the wolves. The general population however, are sheep, those people who do nothing to protect themselves or others. Luckily there are sheepdogs living among us, people who arm themselves to not only protect themselves but others. I am a sheepdog, I will not fall victim to the evil of this world, instead I choose to protect those around me. As Americans, we are surrounded by sheepdogs that deserve to be thanked: police, military, and those of us who stand for the right to bear arms. Yes, I am a millennial, and I know this word now has a great stigma around it. If there is one thing I could say to older generations is that there is hope. I know most of you look to our generation and all you see is one filled with entitlement. I promise, however, that there are some of us who appreciate the hard work, sweat, and blood those who have gone before of us have laid out. To all of you who have served: thank you; freedom isn’t free. I hope that in my lifetime I will shed a glimmer of light to my generation and to other young females that the 2nd Amendment is one to be incredibly proud of, and that its worth defending. I am proud to call myself a sheepdog, a 3 percenter, a daughter of a firearms family, and, lastly, an American.
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Style Me Tactical
ESSENTIALS Badass girls are everywhere, and if you count yourself among them (which, of course you do, because you’re reading this!), you know that while attitude and fearlessness is the key, a good assortment of great tools and accessories are almost as important. Some things help a busy girl keep track of events—and shooting practices, naturally. Other items help protect us, while some things provide the perfect coverage to conceal. Style Me Tactical’s Emily Valentine, a major badass herself, has compiled a collection of the essential items that will keep us ladies on the ball wherever we go. —Niki Jones
1. The North Face Vest The perfect layering piece for fall or winter is also be perfect for those concealed carry days. $149, thenorthface.com 2. Starbucks State Tumbler Show some state pride while getting your morning caffeine fix. $23, starbucks.com 3. 2017 Planner Tackle 2017 like a #GirlBoss with a cute planner to manage everything from daily appointments to yearly goals. $28, nordstrom.com 4. Defense Alert Device Sometimes concealed carry isn’t always an option, so opt for this alternative device to alert people if you are in danger. $130, tigerlight.net
7. Scarf Wrap Every gal needs a good scarf/wrap. It’s such a versatile essential that works anytime of day with any kind of outfit. $99, nordstrom.com 8. Pocket Knife As part of becoming more self-reliant in 2017, why not start adding a quality knife to your everyday carry? $24, amazon.com 9. Ear Protection Upgrade your shooting ear protection to an electronic version to use at the range. $60, amazon.com 10. BKR Glass Water Bottle We all need to drink more water, so why not carry it in style with this spiked water bottle. $40, neimanmarcus.com
5. Gucci GG Marmont Bag From day to night, this little crossbody is chic, practical, and a total #TreatYoSelf kind of splurge. $980, neimanmarcus.com
11. Camo Field Jacket I’ve always said that camo is a neutral, and this field jacket is just too cute. $148, shopbop.com
6. Initial Bracelet Add a new bangle to your arm party with an initial bracelet of your partner, kids, or yourself. $28, nordstrom.com
12. Sam Edelman Ankle Boots This color will go with everything and the grommets add a bit of edge to any outfit. $140, nordstrom.com
Check out the Style Me Tactical blog: stylemetactical.com | Follow Style Me Tactical on Instagram: @ stylemetactical
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Compiled and laid out by Style Me Tactical. *Some items may no longer be available.
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WOMEN in the INDUSTRY
If you ask women in the shooting industry who they admire, you’ll be able to compile a pretty solid list of truly awesome women who are gracious, supportive, determined, and work hard to be the best. Janna Reeves will definitely be on that list. This new mom and sponsored shooter has a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, and is an exceptional shooter. –Carrin Welch Sure Shots Magazine: Please tell us a little about yourself mentor to me since my entry into the sport. In an arena like 3-Gun, and your background. it is invaluable to have a teacher who’s experienced and understands the ins and outs of the game. Janna Reeves: I’m a 34-year old professional competitive shooter and a mom to a 7-week old little boy and a 7-year old pit bull. I live SSM: What is your primary weapon (or weapons) and why? in Georgia where I work full time in the firearms industry, train JR: I use Noveske’s “The Rival” AR-15, a Benelli M2 worked over in my backyard range for 3-Gun, and travel around the country by the master Taran Butler at Taran Tactical Innovations, and competing. I love the outdoors, and besides shooting I enjoy hiking, a custom-built 2011 pistol from Predator Tactical. I didn’t start rock climbing, and snowboarding. shooting something just because a company offered me sponsorship. SSM: How long have you been shooting? What made you I started shooting guns and gear that I loved and felt was top of decide to start shooting competitively? the line, and then I sought sponsorships from those companies. It is important to me to shoot guns that I JR: I shot my first gun in late 2010, which was “It is important chose, that fit me, and are top quality. a small .380 pocket pistol I had purchased for to me to shoot concealed carry. I shot mostly as a hobby and to SSM: What does your exercise and fitness guns that I become proficient with my CCW gun for a couple routine look like? years. I discovered competition in 2013. I found a chose, that JR: Right now it looks like excessive pacing up and YouTube video online of a young lady doing 3-Gun fit me, and are down my hallway trying to keep my 7-week old baby and I was instantly determined to get into the sport. top quality.” happy! Prior to pregnancy, and what I am working I’ve always been super competitive, athletic, and on resuming now, is 3-4 days a week of high-intensity love being challenged, and 3-Gun appealed to all of resistance training. I hired a personal trainer last year and we had those things. I participated in my first match in July of 2013 been working on a lot of speed, agility, and sport-specific training, SSM: When and how did you get your first sponsors? which I definitely noticed helped me in competition. JR: At one of my very early matches, I took a class from the guys SSM: What are your top three shooting goals right now? who were, at the time, the Noveske Shooting Team. The guys took JR: I want to win High Lady at major where the best ladies in the me under their wing and began helping coach and mentor me, as sport are competing, or win a major ladies match. I try not to make they believed I had potential and a bright future in the sport. After six months or so of shooting with them, I was invited to be a member my goals centered around beating this person or that person but I’d by lying if I said I didn’t have personal goals to beat a couple of the team. In doing so, I was included in the team sponsorships, of specific people—this list includes men and women! It’s a goal to starting January 2014. finish Top 10 at a major as well. I have lots of smaller, more short SSM: Did getting sponsorships change how you term goals too, as I feel those are important to set and achieve along approached the sport? the road to your larger goals. JR: Yes and no. I was always determined that I would work hard to SSM: Where do you see yourself in five years? become a relevant competitor, sponsored or not. I never set out in the JR: Still competing, but likely focusing on a lot more training and sport with the intention of being sponsored and in fact, didn’t even coaching than I do now. I love working with ladies coming into the know that was a “thing” when I took up competitive shooting. sport and I feel 10 years as a personal trainer have made me well Once you’re sponsored, you’re essentially a paid representative suited for teaching. I will compete in 3-gun as long as my body of a company. It makes your performance and behavior at matches tolerates it and I still have a passion for it! a reflection of the companies you represent; not just you as an SSM: What is the best shooting advice you have been given individual. In my mind, I’m doing a job for those companies, and it’s my responsibility to ensure I’m doing more than enough to justify that you feel might be important to share? their investment. JR: There’s quite a bit. One lesson in particular that’s been valuable SSM: Have there been any lessons competing has taught you? to me is to gauge your progress against yourself, not against others. It’s easy—especially in a competitive environment—to compare JR: I was a competitive athlete in some form for most of my life yourself to everyone else and ignore the fantastic progress you’ve and I’ve always believed competing helps instill and grow grit, made. Try to reflect on your own path and what you’ve been able to determination, and a “won’t quit” attitude. Competitive shooting accomplish as a shooter or competitor over a period of time. is something I took on at a later age in life, so as a more “seasoned” human, I’d say it has served as a refresher on those things rather SSM: And for our final question… If you could be any than a teacher. character in a movie, who would it be, and why? SSM: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as JR: It’s a toss up between Sarah Connor from Terminator or Alice your mentor? from Resident Evil. Both are the kind of tough, awesome women we all aspire to be and who doesn’t want to kill zombies or evil machines JR: I have a mentor and he has been a blessing. James Casanova, that are trying to take over the world?! one of 3-Gun’s top competitors, has been a tremendously valuable 38 | sure shots mag | issue 19
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Photo courtesy of Brownells.
HOW WE As women, we face unique challenges when deciding how best to protect ourselves. Whether it’s concealing a firearm or finding the right less-lethal option, we want functional carry options that also allow us to stay comfortable and fashionable. Austin Sure Shots Women’s Gun Club is a diverse group of women from every walk of life with a focus on shooting safely, training regularly, and having fun. This series explores how and what the ladies of Austin Sure Shots carry daily for self-protection. Heidi works as a Physicians Assistant in a hospital and enjoys yoga. While she does enjoy shooting, she does not carry a firearm. Instead, she relies on her less-lethal tools. When walking her adorable dog, Waffles, she usually carries this Kershaw Leek knife and UltraFire tactical flashlight. She alternated between scrubs or professional clothing at work, and likes to have many options to fit different situations, including a telescopic baton she keeps in her car.
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Elena is the office administrator for an architectural firm. With her police officer husband and two boys, she devotes time to volunteering for various charities—it’s important to her whole family to give back to their community. Shooting is a skill she works hard to perfect and believes that if you choose to carry any weapon, training is a necessity. Preferring to carry on her person as opposed to in a bag, she most often chooses to carry concealed with her Glock 43 9mm in an IWB holster made by Flashbang called The Betty, but also carries a flashlight and pepper spray regularly.
Sarah is a vocal instructor and very active with her church community when she’s not chasing her two little boys or caring for her new baby girl. She takes training seriously and is always working on developing new skills to protect herself and her family. Her go-to method to conceal her Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield is this Warrior Creek Warrior Pack 8-Way, a flexible bag that gives her lots of options that keeps her gun close to her body and easy to access. When wearing jeans she opts for an IWB kydex holster, or Thunderwear. Sarah always has her ASP Palm Defender pepper spray on her keychain, and usually carries this Kershaw knife as well.
EDC STORY AND PHOTOS BY CARRIN WELCH
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GET High quality leather hangbags with impressions of guns, knives and grenades? Yes, please! JustGunBag is a Dutch company headed by artist/designer Geraldine Macqueron, and they offer an array of different bag styles with impressions of gun, knives, and even a grenade. So many options of these high-quality leather bags make choosing just one near impossible... though you may want to think twice before you bring yours through the TSA security check at the airport (just a guess!).
Photo by Stefan Van Ruijven.
This JGB Shopper in Cognac retails for around $200 USD and is available at justgunbag.com.
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REVIEWED: Want to advertise in Sure Shots Magazine? Weâ€™ve got great rates, but spots go FASTâ€” reserve yours today:
VORTEX RAZOR® HD GEN II RIFLESCOPE granted, I just turned 15 years old. That said, this scope is built like a tank. Not only is it practically indestructible, but it also has a lifetime warranty. People always freak out when I throw my rifle in a barrel at a 3-Gun match, but I could probably throw this scope off the top of a building and it would be perfectly fine. Retailing for $1,999, the Razor HD Gen ll is definitely worth the money. I think overall the biggest benefit of having this scope, besides the quality, would be its versatility. Some scopes might be great for 50-yard targets only, and some might be great for 500-yard targets only, but they aren’t really good for anything other than that. With the Razor, you can easily and quickly go from shooting short range to long range and anything in between. My overall recommendation is to give the Vortex Razor HD Gen ll scope, and you won’t be disappointed with its performance and quality! Vortex Razor HD Gen II Riflescopes retail for $1,999.99, $2,999.99 and $3,399.99. Dealer listings are available at vortexoptics.com. —Kyleigh Hayworth
Product photos courtesy of Vortex. Kyleigh Hayworth photo by Susan Ellis.
When I started shooting competitively in 2015, I used the Eotech Model 512 red dot on my rifle. In early 2016, I switched over to a Vortex Strike Eagle 1x6 because the magnification was better for long range shots. In August 2016, I was invited to join Team Vortex and became a Vortex sponsored shooter. They sent the Vortex Razor HD Gen ll scope for me to compete with, and I really enjoy using it. I use this particular scope for 3-Gun competitions. Even though I use it for 3-Gun, the Razor still has a lot of flexibility. Within the same stage I often quickly go from using the integral red dot at 1x for shooting CQB (close quarters battle) to using the range calibrated ballistic hash marks at 6x to quickly engage long distance targets (600+ yards). Vortex offers 3 different reticles. I use the Razor HD Gen ll, 1x6x24 with the JM-1 BDC reticle. It has a magnification of 1x6, with a length of 10.1 inches and a weight of 25.2 ounces. The Razor also has an eye relief of 4.0 inches and a tube size of 30 mm. Almost everything about this scope is amazing. My only complaint with it is the weight. As far as a standard tactical scope goes, the Razor is very heavy, especially for competitions—
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When Sure Shots Magazine’s Associate Editor Carrin offered to let me shoot and review her Franchi Instinct Catalyst Over and Under, I jumped at the chance. As an avid hunter, I was excited to spend a day at the range, getting more practice and trying out a fancy new shotgun. On a chilly Saturday in December, I met up with Carrin at Best of the West Shooting Sports in Liberty Hill, Texas, and we set up at the Trap range; I brought some Remington 12-gauge #8 shot shells, which I’ve found are good for bird hunting. Carrin was my trapper this day (meaning she was in control of the remote that launches the clays). I loaded the gun, put it to my shoulder, and told her to “pull!” Miss. Miss… Miss! Miss! Okay, perhaps I’m not used to the over-under setup. I’ve never shot one before—I’m a semi-auto girl. In spite of my poor performance, I noticed how perfectly-sized this gun is for me. I have a youth model (read: shortened stock) Benelli Montefeltro 20-gauge, and it fits me like a glove. The Franchi fit me just as well. The length of pull (LOP, the distance from the trigger to the end of the buttstock) is 13.875” as compared to the standard Instict’s 14.25”. For me, at 5’1”, that fraction of an inch does make a positive difference. In addition to the LOP, Franchi made a few more adjustments to make it female-shooter-friendly. They designed the drop, cast, and pitch to better accommodate the female frame. It was very comfortable when I put it to my shoulder and cheek. So far, the redesign was making a lot of sense to me. But what specifically are the design changes they made? Here are some terms before I begin: Drop: The point of the comb where your cheek rests – if in proper place, you should align well with the front sight without effort. Cast: The deviation of the butt away from the center line of the gun. The cast is to the right for a righty. Pitch: The angle formed by the angle of the stock/butt and the line of sight. First, the most noticeable change is the comb. It is much different than that of the standard version. The standard version’s stock is a fairly typical design (see Franchi Instinct L diagram), while the Catalyst’s stock has a Monte Carlo design, which is formed by more curvature along the top of the stock, creating a raised comb and a bit longer “drop to heel.” It also makes the 46 | sure shots mag | issue 19
gun look different from most others, aesthetically speaking. The next noticeable difference is the pitch. This is the angle of the line of sight in relation to the angle of the buttstock. The Catalyst has a much more pronounced down pitch than the standard version. This, combined with the adjusted cast, helped the gun sit right in the sweet spot. When firing the gun, the red fiber optic front sight was very easy to see, unlike the small metal bead on my Benelli. I love this feature and I’m considering adding one to my shotgun. The over-under setup was a bit different from what I’m used to. First, the fact that I only have two shells, not three (to 8), threw me off a bit. Second, I’d like to blame my missing 90% of the clays on the fact that the barrels are on two different planes, but who am I kidding?—A shotgun sprays shot in a fairly wide pattern, so an inch shouldn’t make much of a difference. That is, unless you take advantage of the two-barrel setup and use different choke tubes in each, but that’s a discussion for another time. While maipulating the Catalyst, I found it difficult to open and close the shotgun. Carrin told me it’s difficult for her, too. We decided maybe it just needed to be oiled or worked in a bit—a gentleman who was also in the trap range asked to try it, and he had no issues opening or closing it, so I’m back to my original thought that I’m just a weakling. I noticed the O/U Catalyst had much more recoil than any 12-gauge semi-automatic I’ve ever shot. This season I was shooting a Beretta A400 Xplor 12-gauge while dove hunting, and it has technology to reduce recoil, so I may be a bit spoiled. In comparison, I felt the Instinct Catalyst had a lot more impact on my cheek. While the light weight of the gun (6.9 lbs) certainly is a positive, it doesn’t do much to help combat the recoil. This is a significant trade-off to consider when you’re shopping for a shotgun. With a MSRP of $1,599, The Franchi Instinct Catalyst is certainly a beautiful shotgun. The standard Instinct L Over and Under is $1,399, and it has the same barrel length, same weight, and is .75” shorter in overall length. I certainly appreciate Franchi’s attention to detail and consideration of women shooters. As with any firearms, my suggestion will always be to get out on the range and try out as many different models as you can, and see what works best for you. The Franchi Instinct Catalyst retails for $1,599. Dealer listings are available at franchiusa.com. —Nicole Maddocks
Photos courtesy of Flashbang. Photos by Carrin Welch.
FRANCHI Instinct Catalyst 12-Gauge
Franchi Instinct L
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