A Woman's Introduction to the Shooting World

September 1, 2012

     During my involvement in the shooting community, I have met some wonderful, good-hearted people.  One of my goals as founder and creator of Bulletbytes is for others to share in the pleasure of knowing some of these fine folks and help keep the community growing in a positive direction.  I am overwhelmed by how helpful and friendly complete strangers can be, all in efforts to help each other fully appreciate the value of shooting as a hobby, sport, and means on self-preservation. 

 

     In the "Personal Profile" section of the Bulletbytes blog page, I will shine the light on various members of the Austin shooting community individually.  You may know some, you may not know some, and some you may have only thought you knew.   Introducing individuals and the companies and/or organizations with which they are associated will help us network among the community, and continue to grow as a strong and diverse group.  Since I'm still new to the blog game, I have volunteered to be the first guinea pig.  

 

     Up until a couple of years ago, I have always had a "reserved" appreciation for the outdoors and adventure; camping, hiking and other outdoor activities kept me satisfied.  In my mind I wanted to be more adventurous though, I just never had the courage to act on it.  Several years ago, my husband, Vic, bought me my first gun, a "dirty Harriett" Taurus .357 revolver with a 6" barrel (which I still love to shoot).  Shooting that thing made me feel so secure and confident, with a bit of a nostalgic vibe, and my outlook started to change ever so slightly.

 

     Soon thereafter, Vic became very involved in teaching Israeli martial arts classes which eventually exposed him to a variety of tactical shooting and training opportunities.   Every time he spoke of his latest gun class or seminar, his eyes would light up and he couldn't wait to tell me about it.  Better yet, show me about it.  We started going to the range somewhat regularly, and while he practiced the skills and techniques taught in class, I eventually joined in.   This was a huge step for me, and his gentle nudges, extreme patience, and consistent encouragement built my confidence so that I would join in and take it at my own pace.   And now, I can't get enough.  

 

     I used to be gun shy (pardon the pun) when approaching the gun counter at the store.   As I become more confident around guns, I am more likely to ask "stupid" questions, allowing me to learn so much from my friends, acquaintances, strangers, and the guy behind the counter.  I'm still learning about gun types and parts, ammo, accessories, shooting techniques, etc., but the main thing I have learned is "if you don't know something, ask someone!"  Typically, folks are eager to help me understand something without feeling stupid; that helps my confidence and theirs.

 

     Currently, I am honored to hold the position of Secretary of A Girl and a Gun Club, Facilitator of the local AG&AG Chapter, participate in regular IDPA matches, and throw in some training classes here and there as well as practice on my own whenever I can.  I typically shoot my Springfield XDm 9mm 3.8" but I'm fortunate enough to have several other options to rotate in.  I recently acquired a very nice Bushmaster (with Deep Earth Magpul accessories...pretty!) with which I'm getting acquainted.  My near-future goal is to become proficient enough to participate in an IDPA carbine match, and then move on to a 3-gun competition.   I'm learning the important balance between speed and accuracy, and lots of practice. 

 

      I obtained my Concealed Handgun License in 2012, and have actually helped with the administrative side of a couple of CHL classes.  The information obtained in a CHL class is very interesting to me, and I plan to continue learning and solidifying the material.   I also plan to continue taking shooting classes and seminars, as well as other related classes such as combat first aid, general self-defense, knife classes and more.  I will share many of those experiences through Bulletbytes as I grow and learn. 

 

     The satisfaction I have achieved from shooting has helped me realize that I need to open my eyes and see all of the things the world has to offer.  Since I began my shooting journey about 2 years ago, I have found the confidence to do so many new things such as skydiving, adventure mud races, started a business and created a website, and soon I will have my scuba diving certification; I would have never considered doing any of these things 5 years ago.  Shooting has helped change my life, and my husband and I have so many new activates to experience together.

 

     Other than my CHL, I am also Certified NRA Pistol Instructor, and plan to focus on additional training and expanding credentials.  I still have a unique perspective to share since I'm still somewhat of a newbie to shooting.  I want to share my experiences and knowledge with others to give them an opportunity to reach their own desire to shoot with comfort, confidence, and camaraderie.  Keep an eye out for me though because I'm just getting started and this is too much fun to stop!

 

--Julie Fredlund

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