Beth Walker Shares Her Experiences as Teen Competitor :: Guns.com

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Beth Walker

Beth Walker tackling the pistol stage at Multigun Nationals. (Photo: Beth Walker)

At 17 years old, Beth Walker has currently taken the competitive shooting globe by storm. As the youngest member on Group Ruger, Walker’s blazing speeds paired with her accuracy on the variety have created her a tour de force in the multi-gun universe. Guns.com sat down with the Walker to speak Ruger, competitors and how she balances life as a teen competitor.

GDC: What age had been you when you began shooting?

Walker: The very first time I shot a BB gun was possibly among the ages of six and seven. As fas obtaining into it competitive, I was in the sixth grade. We’re a firearms friendly family members and my dad is a law enforcement officer and it definitely was a aspect of our family members. We have a lot of family members members that are into hunting or in the military or law enforcement.

GDC: What spurred the selection to compete?

Walker: I got a definitely extreme concussion in fourth grade and then two years later I got one more 1 and I was prohibited from competing in get in touch with sports. At that point, when I was laid up with my second concussion, I saw Katelyn Francis,  1 of the very first female junior shooters ever. I identified her on YouTube and believed that was one thing I definitely wanted to pursue.

A couple of months later when at the NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis in 2014, I met a couple of men and women that sparked my interest even a lot more. Two years later, I met TacTissy and she introduced me to the sport of three-Gun.

GDC: Quite cool. You pointed out three-Gun and that definitely appears to be your jam. What about this style is most attractive?

Walker: What I discover so attractive is the diversity of the competitors and the stage design and style. With a lot of sports and specially in some shooting sports, it is the identical factor more than and more than. With three-Gun there’s so considerably contrast from match to match, stage to stage. You see components like terrain playing into it. Down south there’s a lot a lot more rough terrain when up north you will see a lot more bay style matches. There’s also the men and women. The youngest kid I’ve noticed competing in three-Gun was seven and the oldest was possibly in her late 80s. The diversity is just awesome.

Beth Walker

Walker is the youngest member on Group Ruger. (Photo: Beth Walker)

GDC: It appears like a pretty diverse arena. So you have been crushing the three-Gun game and, certainly, Ruger took notice. How did that partnership evolve?

Walker: I am sponsored by Girls With Guns clothes and they’ve been partners with Ruger for years. I was introduced to some of the men and women at Ruger with no expectations of something taking place. I didn’t foresee them placing collectively a shooting group or something but halfway by means of final year, we began speaking. They introduced me to Doug Koenig, their group captain. The groundwork began from there for this group.

GDC: How did it really feel to hear the official news that you had been a Group Ruger member?

Walker: This was the target: to get to a key firearms manufacturer since I want to do this as a profession. It was particularly overwhelming. I’ve been familiar with Ruger firearms for years. 1 of the very first guns I ever shot was 1 of the Ruger 22 pistols. Ruger’s just one thing that has been a aspect of my life for so lengthy. Having to companion with a organization like that is overwhelming. I’ve had moments exactly where I just sort of step back and consider how blessed I am to have this chance. Possibilities like this do not come about just about every day.

GDC: You are operating with some iconic shooters, most notably, Doug Koenig. How does it really feel to function with a shooting icon?

Walker: Doug has constantly been a mentor to me since he’s so iconic in the shooting neighborhood. He’s somebody I’ve constantly looked up to and so becoming in a position to have back and forth conversation with him as a teammate is just awesome.

GDC: It is specially exciting that you are the youngest individual on this group. In reality, you are the only youth shooter. So what are some challenges teen competitors face that you consider most adult shooters do not?

Walker: Effectively, I would say possibly the most significant challenge is dealing with peers in schools, specially just after the Parkland shooting. I go to on-line college now but I was in public college when (Parkland) occurred. There’s been a lot of negativity that impacts us junior shooters in a pretty deep way since we do go to college just about every day. I have gotten backlash for becoming a young individual who knows how to manage a firearm.

Junior shooters have to be prepared to educate other men and women since we have a platform exactly where men and women are not expecting us to be involved in one thing like this. We’re not crazy and we are educated and we are all about security. So yeah, I consider that is pretty one of a kind to junior shooters.

GDC: It is exciting that you hit on the negativity surrounding junior shooters since as a youth shooter you are proving that youngsters can be accountable with firearms.

Walker: I went to public college and there are youngsters that I would not trust with a firearm but searching at the maturity level of youngsters that have been brought up with guns and taught to respect firearms — it is diverse. I am involved in various advocacy groups and I’ve been to D.C. twice and spoken with legislators. I want them to see a 17-year-old who competes in the shooting sports and comprehend what is so particular about it. It impacts them a lot more than we consider.

GDC: So what’s your message to other teens who want to pursue competitive shooting?

Walker: It feels like a pretty daunting method and it is a large investment but I will say it will under no circumstances really feel like the proper time to do it, so just go out and shoot a match. That is the beauty of our sport, you just have to dive head very first into it. Take a leap of faith. Obtain matches in your region, connect with other shooters on social media. Attain out to fellow shooters. We’re a neighborhood and we want to assistance develop the sport.

One thing pretty one of a kind to competitive shooting is the willingness of other individuals to assistance. You can watch a competitor crash and burn on a stage and they’ll stroll up to you afterward and inform you precisely how to beat them. They’re pretty supportive and just want to construct that subsequent generation.

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