June 26th, 2017

Top 50 Female Competitive Shooters — the SSUSA.org List

Top 50 Fifty female lady competitive Shooters

While the majority of competitive shooters are male, some of the very best shooters are female. Competitive shooting is one sport where men and women do compete head-to-head at the highest level. You won’t see that in tennis, or cycling, or basketball, but in shooting, it’s not unusual to see a talented lady on top of the podium. There still are gender-based classifications in some shooting disciplines, but in F-Class, NRA High Power, and Benchrest women can and do compete on a par with men. These talented ladies have proven themselves capable of winning National and International Championships against all comers.


Top 50 Women in Competitive Shooting on Shooting Sports USA »

To celebrate the skills and talent of lady shooters, Shooting Sports USA recently created a great article showcasing 50 of the most talented female shooters in the USA. This list includes Olympic gold medalists (in shotgun and air rifle), Pistol champions, Palma rifle shooters, PRS competitors, and 3-gun specialists. Here are some of the 50 notables from the list. CLICK HERE to see the whole list.

Kim Rhode Shotgun Top 50 Lady ShootersKim Rhode: One of a few household names on this list, Kim Rhode and her Olympic bronze medal performance in Rio last year made her a six-time Olympic medal recipient. Kim has won an Olympic medal on five continents. Additionally she won the Women’s Skeet Final at the 2016 ISSF Shotgun World Cup Final in Rome, Italy. She plans to “definitely [go] for Tokyo in 2020. If Los Angeles gets the bid for the next one, (even if they don’t) I’ll probably go to the 2024 Olympic Games. There’s no reason for me to stop at this point.” Kim was recently elected to the NRA Board of Directors. Editor: Kim is a once-in-a-generation shooter; we support her work with the NRA.

Ginny Thrasher Top 50 Lady ShootersGinny Thrasher: This Olympic gold medalist needs little introduction. Quietly arriving on the scene after years racking up smallbore and air rifle victories, Ginny Thrasher arrived at West Virginia University and made history. Not only did she win the smallbore championship at NCAA in 2016, but her performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics started a media frenzy. Winning the first U.S. Gold Medal of the Games will do that. Prior to glory on the international stage, Ginny was winning NRA smallbore championships as a member of Northern Virginia’s own Junior Acorns team.

Lena Miculek Top 50 Lady ShootersLena Miculek: The daughter of master shooter Jerry Miculek, Lena burst onto the competitive shooting scene in 2005 with five consecutive Sportsman’s Team Challenge Junior national titles. Moving on to 3-gun, by 2015 she had an astonishing 89 percent win rate. Lena was the 2016 NRA World Shooting Ladies Champion. Recently, she traveled to Russia to compete at the inaugural IPSC World Rifle Championship, along with her mother Kay Miculek, Ashley Rheuark, and Maggie Reese. Lena and Team USA’s women’s team won Gold in the women’s Open division, and Lena won a second Gold Medal as the Ladies Open Division Individual Champion.

Lanny Tracy Barnes Top 50 Lady Shooters

Lanny and Tracey Barnes: Both highly decorated Olympic biathletes, the identical Barnes twins have been on the World Cup circuit for over a decade. At the age of 18, they made their first World Junior Championship team and medaled in the World Junior Championships the next year. Lanny competed in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, and Tracy competed in the 2006 and was an alternate in 2010. Lanny posted the best U.S. finish in 16 years in 2010 with perfect shooting. These days, the twins compete in 3-gun and Sportsman’s Team Challenge—and also are serious hunters.

Kirsten Joy Weiss Top 50 Lady ShootersKirsten Joy Weiss: Before making great trick-shot videos on YouTube, Kirsten Weiss was a smallbore rifle champion, winning high lady and second place overall at the NRA 3-position smallbore nationals in 2012. Remarkably, Kristen shot the any sight match with iron sights, while many of her fellow shooters were using scopes. For those new to rimfire, Weiss says, “It is almost always better to start with iron sights rather than a scope. Scopes can be a crutch, but interestingly enough they can also help in developing bad habits if your fundamental marksmanship skills aren’t developed yet.”

Nancy, Sherri, and Michelle — The Tompkins/Gallager Clan

There are three more ladies, champions all, who should be included in the Top 50 list. We would definitely add Nancy Tompkins, and daughters Sherri Gallagher and Michelle Gallagher to this list. Nancy and Sherri are the only two women in history to have won the National High Power championship. Michelle Gallagher has won the Long Range National championship and she also serves as the coach of the U.S.A. F-Open team at the 2017 F-Class World Championships. Nancy Tompkins has rightly been called the “First Lady of American Shooting” and rightly so. You won’t find a nicer person, or a more talented shooter. Sherri, currently with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute Team, was an ace shooter with the USAMU squad who earned U.S. Army’s Soldier of the Year honors in 2010.

Accurateshooter.com Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher Michelle Gallagher

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April 21st, 2017

SCATT MX-02 Electro-Optical Training System for Shooters

Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

“SCATT” — if you’re an Olympic Class air rifle or smallbore competitor you know what SCATT means. The Russian-made SCATT is a marksmanship training system with an electro-optical sensor that fits on the end of a barrel. The sensor “sees” the target and then tracks your muzzle movement relative to the center of the target, recording a “trace” that can be displayed on a computer. The latest SCATT MX-02 unit works for live-fire training as well as dry-fire training. To learn more about the SCATT electronic trainers, visit SCATTUSA.com.

Pro shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss demonstrates the SCATT MX-02 electronic training system:

The system traces and records valuable information such as hold pattern, shot hold duration, follow-through, recoil pattern, and much more. The latest SCATT MX-02 systems can be used both indoors and outdoors up to 300 meters (and possibly more). READ FULL SCATT MX-02 TEST HERE.

SCATT traces reveal muzzle movements during the aiming process.
Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Review Video Electronic Trainging system test

Kirsten Joy Weiss, a top-level competitive position shooter, has tested the latest SCATT MX-02 training systtem. She put the MX-02 through its paces, and then produced an informative video that shows how it works. Click on the video above to see Kirsten use the MX-02 with her Anschütz rifle and other guns.

Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

Kirsten was impressed with the SCATT MX-02 she tested:

“We live with tech woven into our every day, so if you had the chance to work with a computer to make you a better shooter — would you? Can a computer train you as well as your favorite coach or, dare to say, better than a human?”

Weiss says it’s like having a little coach with you recording your every move. “If R2D2 had a cousin who knew how to shoot,” Weiss quips, “his name would be the MX-02″.

The SCATT MX-02 can also be used with target pistols.
Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

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October 21st, 2016

Pumpkin Carvin’ with Kirsten — Halloween Artistry with .22 LR

Halloween Pumpkin Kirsten Joy Weiss carving Volquartsen

Halloween is just ten days away. Talented trick-shot artist Kirsten Joy Weiss, did something special in prep for the gouls/goblins holiday, “carving” a pumpkin using her semi-auto Volquartsen .22 LR rifle. Kirsten had to send a lot of rimfire rounds into her orange friend. It turns out the little .22-caliber bullets worked better on exit than entry — Mr. Pumpkin’s posterior side was more impressive than his front. But overall, the effort turned out very well indeed, as you can see. Nice job, Kirsten.

On inspection, Kirsten found that the most impressive Jack ‘O Lantern face appeared on the reverse side of her pumpkin. The “exit wounds” were better than the entry holes.
Halloween Pumpkin Kirsten Joy Weiss carving Volquartsen

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January 23rd, 2016

Kirsten Joy Weiss on NRA All Access

Kirsten Weiss trick shot Annie Oakley NRA All access

Our friend, trick-shot ace Kirsten Joy Weiss, will be featured on the NRA All-Access TV show next week. As a performance shooter (and modern-day Annie Oakley) Weiss has focused her efforts to “bring the fun, challenge, and joy of shooting to a mainstream audience” via social media.

Watch Preview of NRA All Access with Kirsten Joy Weiss

Kirsten wants to be a good ambassador for the shooting sports, “spreading the positive reality of shooting”. Kirsten explains: “The fun challenge and joy of shooting is important to me because I really wanted to be a positive example. So when the media says the ‘guns are a bad thing and nobody does anything good with guns’, they can say ‘Well, what about her [Kirsten]’?”

Kirsten Joy Weiss

Kirsten Joy WeissA gifted “natural” shooter, Kirsten started shooting fairly late — at age 16. Despite her relatively late start, she learned very quickly, and managed to earn a place on the University of Nebraska shooting team. That literally opened up a new world for Kirsten: “During the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve gone to World Cups… in Zagreb, Croatia, in Munich, Germany. I’ve won National Championships, and got on to the U.S. Olympic short list, so it’s been a good career.”

In 2012, Kirsten was the top USA athlete-shooter at the Munich World Cup. She won the 2012 NRA Three-Position Women’s Smallbore Championship and also won the Standing Position, while finishing as the National Overall Woman Champion.

Kirsten tells us: “A lot of people don’t think of shooting as a sport, but it absolutely is, and I would even go so far as to say that it is an art form.” We don’t know if this is art, sport, or magic, but very few shooters have the skill or flexibility to make this upside-down shot…

Kirsten Weiss trick shot Annie Oakley NRA All access

This animated GIF shows Kirsten cutting a card in half with a .22 LR bullet. Impressive!
Kirsten Joy Weiss cut cutting trick shot

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January 1st, 2015

Happy New Year — Kirsten Opens Champagne Bottle with a .22 LR

Kirsten Weiss Champagne Trick ShotSharpshooter (and competitive smallbore shooter) Kirsten Joy Weiss tried a special New Year’s trick shot for 2015. In keeping with the festive New Year’s spirit, Kirsten attempted to shoot the cork off a champagne bottle. After a few unsuccessful tries, she managed to hit the cork with at least two shots. But alas the cork did not fly. She actually hit the cork, but it did not release. That was surprising…

Undaunted, Kirsten changed her strategy, aiming for the neck of the bottle. This duplicates the process of “sabering” a champagne bottle — a method of liberating the bubbly by slashing off the end of the neck with a blade. Aiming for the neck of the bottle, Kirsten successfully blew off the top of the bottle. (Apparently, when “sabering” it is actually the pressure within the champagne bottle which does most of the work).

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November 6th, 2014

Texas International Firearms Festival This Weekend in Austin

Ok, here’s the deal. Get yourself to the Austin, Texas area this weekend, and you can shoot a bunch of new guns from numerous major manufacturers. At the first annual Texas International Firearms Festival, avid shooters can try and buy the latest guns and gear. With more than 30 dedicated gun bays and dozens of ammo and accessory retailers, the Texas International Firearms Festival proves the old adage that everything is bigger and better in Texas.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill gunshow where you can only look at a bunch of guns indoors. At the Texas Firearms Festival this weekend you can actually “test drive” dozens of new firearms. Here are some of the big-name gun-makers offering firearms at the Festival: Barrett, Beretta, Cabot Guns, FN Herstal, Henry Repeating Arms, Sig Sauer, Tracking Point, Walther, Winchester.

The Festival isn’t free — but the price is more than reasonable considering the hours of fun you can have. A one-day pass, which includes the cost of ammo, is $59.00. A weekend pass for two full days of shooting is just $95.00 (ammo included). Purchase tickets at TexasGunFest.com.

Festival Location and Directions
The Festival will be held at the Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas. The address is 19500 W. SH 29, Liberty Hill, TX 78642. For driving directions, use this interactive Google map:

Our friend (and ace sharp-shooter) Kirsten Weiss will be at the Festival this weekend acting as a spokesperson. Maybe you can meet Kirsten and learn how she makes those amazing trick shots featured on her popular YouTube Channel.

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October 23rd, 2014

Kirsten Weiss Cuts Cards, Annie Oakley-Style

Kirsten Joy Weiss is a phenomenal off-hand rifle shooter. In this video, Kirsten performs a classic Annie Oakley trick shot, cutting a playing card in half with a bullet. Splitting a playing card would be hard enough with a scoped rifle shot from the bench. But Kirsten makes this amazing shot from standing position, shooting over iron sights, with an inexpensive rimfire lever gun. Trust us, that’s not easy. It did take Kirsten three tries, but we’re still impressed.

To accomplish this trick shot, Kirsten’s horizontal aim had to be ultra-precise. A playing card is only 0.25mm thick (about 1/100th of an inch). That leaves almost no room for error.

GIF Animation Shows Bullet Slicing Card in Half:
Kirsten Joy Weiss Annie Oakley Card Playing shot

We know top benchresters can put five shots in one ragged hole at 100 yards, used a scoped rifle sitting on a stable rest. But make those folks stand on their hind legs, hold the rifle, and aim over primitive iron sights, and some of those benchrest aces would be lucky to hit a dinner plate at 100 yards. Kudos to Kirsten for making this great shot.

Kirsten Joy Weiss Annie Oakley Card Playing shot

Kirsten Joy Weiss Annie Oakley Card Playing shot

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February 12th, 2014

Valentine’s Day Trick Shot by Kirsten Joy Weiss

Valentine’s Day is almost here. To celebrate this romantic holiday, Kirsten Joy Weiss has devised a very special trick shot with her .22LR Volquartsen semi-auto rifle.

Braving winter weather, Kirsten manages to drill three shots into a heart shape on her target. This trick shot is performed, Kirsten adds, “for the love of shooting”. See more cool trick shots on Kirsten’s website, KirstenJoyWeiss.com.

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December 16th, 2013

Kirsten Joy Weiss Makes Trick Shots with .22 LR Target Rifle

Kirsten Joy Weiss is one of America’s top smallbore shooters. Her many titles include the 2012 NRA National Women’s Smallbore 3P Championship. Using her Anschütz target rifle and Lapua ammunition, she has competed at top-level national and international events. To help demonstrate the fun of shooting, Kirsten has started her own YouTube Channel, Facebook Page, and her own website, www.KirstenJoyWeiss.com. There you’ll find shooting tips, gear reviews, and videos. Each week Kirsten does a new trick shot video. Here are three of our favorites.

Here Kirsten Drills the Center of Two Apples with One Shot:

In this Video, Kirsten Shoots from Pilates Position with Rifle Held Upside-Down (Wow!):

For this Trick Shot, Kirsten Shoots the Lead Tip off a Pencil without Breaking the Wood:


Kirsten Joy Weiss Competition Highlights
Kirsten is from Pennsylvania. A 3-time All-American in smallbore, Kirsten led the Univ. of Nebraska Cornhuskers to a 4th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Weiss was an NRA Second-Team All-American and was named to the CRCA All-Collegiate Team twice. In 2012, Kirsten was the top USA athlete-shooter at the Munich World Cup. She won the 2012 NRA Three-Position Women’s Smallbore Championship and also won the Standing Position, while finishing as the National Overall Woman Champion.

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February 17th, 2013

Smallbore 3-P Champion Talks about Shooting Fundamentals

Article based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
Kirsten Weiss was the 2012 NRA Women’s Smallbore Three Position (3-P) Champion. In this video, Kirsten condenses ten years of competitive shooting experience into an easy-to-understand segment about the fundamentals of aiming, head position, and proper cheek placement. Kirsten explains, “proper aiming is a relationship between the eye, the sights, and the target. Head position on the stock is the basic prerequisite to good aiming. And the cheek placement must be consistent every single time.” Kirsten also has a tip for scope fitting: “Once your cheek placement is comfortably achieved… make sure the scope comes to you — don’t move your head to the scope, [which requires] changing head/neck position. Adjust your scope to your eye in a comfortable way.”

So why are the fundamentals so important? Kirsten explains: “Even elite snipers and top-level competition shooters go back to basics to review and refresh their knowledge every once in a while. This reinforces knowledge, ingrains proper technique, and polishes out developmental flaws.”

Kirsten WeissKirsten Weiss of Cornwall, PA was the 2012 NRA Women’s National Champion at the NRA Smallbore 3-P Championships held at Camp Perry, OH. She won the 2012 3-P smallbore championship in only her second trip to Camp Perry. Her first came nine years ago.

Back then she was still learning what it takes to be a top competitive shooter. Her skills still raw, she placed second in the Sharpshooter Category. Not good enough. She resolved to get better — and she did.

Weiss would go on to earn a spot on the Nebraska Cornhuskers rifle team. Her tenacity and techniques would garner recognition from USA Shooting and a sponsorship from Lapua Ammunition after a top eight finish at the Olympic Trials. She also has a been involved in hunting since age twelve. In fact, it was in the field that the foundation of her shooting skills began.

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