November 24th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Teen Queen — 18-Year-Old Rifle Ace Katie Ezell

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie poses in high school graduation cap and gown with her Walther LG400 Alutec Air Rifle.

Hard work and tenacity do pay off. Smallbore/Air Rifle ace Katie Ezell is proof.

Story based on article by Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer
Hailing from Denver, North Carolina, Katie Ezell, 18, is a rising talent. Katie graduated Summa Cum Laude from High School in 2019 and now attends Ohio State University, where she competes on the OSU Rifle Team. At the age of 10, Katie’s parents introduced her to marksmanship, wanting their daughter to have hands-on instruction in firearm safety. Thus began a love affair that has only evolved since then.

“The first time I ever went shooting, I knew this was something that I would want to continue to do.”

One of Katie’s match rifles is a Walther LG400 Alutec Competition Air Rifle:
Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Since she was so young and unable to join the teenage pistol team at her club, Katie applied to the women’s team, which had no specific age restrictions, and proceeded to compete with those far older and more experienced. Katie accredits much of her competitive drive and how she handles match pressure to pursuing the competition venture at such a young age.

After pistol came skeet, in which Katie traveled to national and international competitions. Thinking about the future, Katie soon realized that a shooting scholarship would allow her to continue in the shooting sports while funding her education. Precision rifle appeared to be the best avenue for this, leading Ezell to move into rimfire sporter for four months before making the jump into precision air rifle.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Ezell cites her greatest accomplishment as “getting accepted to be on The Ohio State [University’s] rifle team after shooting for a year and a half”. While Ezell had been shooting for eight years, she had only been training and competing in precision rifle for 18 months when she was accepted onto the team, where she made her dream a reality.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

After joining the Ohio State team, Katie’s first competition was the Junior Olympics, which added some extra pressure to the already prestigious event. This was not the only special part of the occasion. Katie’s father, a deployed military member, was in town, and this was the first time he could watch her compete in person, since his deployment makes attending matches difficult.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie Ezell at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center in 2018 for Winter Air Gun.

Katie notes that after she set the nervousness aside, she found herself excited and shot a personal best in smallbore. She had hoped to shoot better with her air rifle, but she knows that being part of a college team will help her to improve her skills.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie excels at Smallbore. Here she aims a .22 LR Walther rifle at the 2018 Nationals at Fort Benning, GA. She shot a personal best at the Junior Olympics.

With Coaching, Katie Has Achieved Personal Bests in Both Ari Rifle and Smallbore
Katie is nearing the end of her first semester at Ohio State and has surpassed her previous bests in Smallbore and Air Rifle. Her coach has changed some of Katie’s positions, and she is improving.

“Marksmanship has taught me a lot about self-control. If the shot does not look right, then I reject it and try again. I have learned that failure is okay….” Katie recognizes that failure can inspire one to do better and to learn. She advises competitors “to not be afraid to fail”. Katie started into precision shooting at a much later age than most, especially those who end up with a college shooting career. Though it took time, she learned to appreciate the experience and to not bury herself in expectations.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Walther LG400-E Expert with Electronic Trigger
The E-trigger ensures wear-free operation and exact trigger settings for many shots. The LED-indicator and the installed rechargeable battery ensure readiness to fire as well as easy and quick loading.

· Trigger pull weight can be reduced to 15 grams
· Wear-free operation and exact trigger settings over many years
· Choice between two-stage mode and direct trigger mode
· Realistic dry-firing conditions (dry-firing trigger)
· Rechargeable battery via mini-USB
· LED indicators for system readiness and battery charge level
· Automatic e-trigger turnoff when not in use

Credit The First Shot CMP Newsletter, story by Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer.

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May 21st, 2019

New McMillan A-10 Stock for Smaller-Stature Shooters

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Not all rifle shooters are created equal…

Some have smaller stature. Ladies, on average, have smaller torsos and shorter arms than men. Junior shooters are also smaller than adults. For all these types of competitors, particularly ladies and juniors, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has created the new A-10 stock. This new stock is shorter, lighter, and more compact than other popular McMillan stocks, such as the A-5 and A-6. It has a modified, more-forward grip, and the LOP adjusts down to 12 inches.

The A-10 incorporates features of McMillan’s popular tactical stocks but in a more compact format to match the ergonomic needs of smaller-frame shooters. The new A-10 is a well-balanced tactical design that combines a thinner forearm like the A3-5, a butt hook similar to the A-5, and the sleek lines of the A-6.

The vertical grip is positioned further forward than other A-series stocks, which allows for a more relaxed 90-degree trigger finger placement and shorter trigger reach — perfect for shooters with smaller hands. The grip also features a small shelf to assist in consistent hand placement and reduce fatigue. To further accommodate smaller-frame shooters, the adjustable buttstock can deliver a length-of-pull as short as 12 inches. An adjustable cheek-riser ensures optimal head alignment.

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Britainy McMillan, McMillan VP of Operations, explained how the A-10 was developed:

“We consulted many of the top shooters in the country throughout the R&D process of the A-10, including Regina Milkovich, one of the top competitors in PRS competition. We wanted to know what the pros would like to see in a precision stock, and the result is the A-10.

We feel this is the optimal rifle platform not only for women and other small-stature shooters, but especially for the youth shooter. The overall design, coupled with full adjustability in length-of-pull and cheek piece height, provides a stock that younger shooters can ‘grow with and not grow out of.’ We also went with the A-10 designation because this is a totally new stock in the McMillan lineup.”

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

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March 16th, 2019

Lady Scorpion — Marksmanship Builds Confidence and Focus

Arizona Junior Shooter Madison Rovelli Lady Scorpion black belt pilot
Madison Rovelli shoots in competition with the Arizona Scorpions Junior Team

We like to showcase young shooters — as these young people are the future of our sport. This article features a talented Arizona shooter, Madison Rovelli, a 17-year-old member of the Arizona Scorpions team. Over the last four years Madison has become one of Arizona’s top junior high power shooters. Here’s the story of how she developed in the sport. Madison says her marksmanship training has boosted her confidence and focus, with positive results for her academics and other activities.

Marksmanship Builds Confidence
Rovelli cites confidence as the primary thing she has learned from marksmanship. She states that, “believing in yourself is important when you’re on the firing [line]. Shooting is a mental game that often challenges self-confidence, and it has only made me a stronger person.”

Madison outlines the tenants of what marksmanship has taught her: safety, responsibility, patience, and confidence. Firearm safety is always of utmost importance, but Rovelli indicated that shooting has made her more situationally aware than she was previously.

Arizona Junior Feature: Madison Rovelli
Report based on sotryy Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer

Madison Rovelli of the Arizona State Junior High Power Rifle Team discovered one of her passions by asking. Madison explained: “When I was 13, I begged my parents to take me to Ben Avery Shooting Facility since I had never been, and it looked so cool. While we were there, my mother asked the Range Safety Officers if they had any junior shooter programs.”

After attending an open house hosted by the Arizona Scorpions Junior High Power squad, Rovelli received an invitation to join the team. Fast forward three years and Rovell is still “very grateful to her coaches for seeing potential in her.” Though she did not join the Arizona Scorpions until she was 13, she enjoyed casual shooting with family and friends since the age of nine.

Arizona Junior Shooter Madison Rovelli Lady Scorpion black belt pilot

Advice for New Shooters
Madison Rovelli says young shooters shouldn’t worry at the start — everyone begins as a novice: “Do not join shooting sports thinking that you do not have what it takes to be like the top shooters that you’ve seen or heard about. Every top shooter started at the bottom; you are no different. As long as you take good advice from other competitors, try different positions (when you need to), practice quite often, and believe in yourself; you can become a top shooter”.

One reason Madison loves shooting is the camaraderie: “Competitive shooters are the friendliest, tightest knit group of people that I have ever met. Shooting is the only sport, that I know of, where your competition will come to your aid when needed and help you to become a stronger, better shooter.”

Arizona Junior Shooter Madison Rovelli Lady Scorpion black belt pilotShe has taken on increased responsibilities as she has been with the Scorpions team, “loading her own ammo, cleaning and taking care of her rifle and equipment.” She admits that she is not, by nature, a patient individual, and comments, “I learned the hard way, but the wind isn’t always your friend so you need to slow down and roll with it,” referring to spending the time to read the wind and conditions rather than just shooting through it.

Madison Rovelli Is Working for Black Belt
and Private Pilot’s License

Madison keeps busy playing volleyball for her local public high school and as a Brown Belt and Student Instructor in Krav Maga self-defense, working towards her Black Belt. She also is studying for her private pilot’s license. Even with so many ambitions, Rovelli notes that “I can’t think of anything else that I want to do more than shoot”.

In return for all of the help she has received, Rovelli hopes to give back in the future by returning to the Arizona Scorpions team to coach, to “carry on this great legacy”. First, though, she plans to get her pilot’s license and attend a military academy.

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September 17th, 2018

Kristy Titus Explains How to Prepare for a Hunt

Kristy Titus NRA Women Hunting guide

As part of the NRA’s Tips & Tactics video series, Kristy Titus explains how to prepare for a hunt. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show, is a certified instructor has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In this video, Kristy discusses fitness training and demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt.

Kristy explains: “Hunting can lead you into some steep, rough country. It’s really important that you train both your body and your mind to handle the elements and the rigors of hunting. With no two hunting situations being the same, we must train to be adaptable and make the most of every opportunity. The most important aspect of hunting success, ultimately, is the person behind the rifle. So, if you plan on going on a mountain hunt, get out and train your body. Train with your firearm. Get off the bench and have some fun with this. Do some positional shooting or, if you want to add a stress dynamic… have someone put you under a time parameter.”

Other NRAwomen.TV videos featuring Kristy Titus include: Rifle Fit (LOP, Cheek height, Eye Relief, Grip); Sight Picture, Natural Point of Aim, and Positional Shooting.

Kristy Titus NRA Women Hunting guide

“When it comes to bolt-action rifle fit, there is no ‘one size fits all’,” says Titus. “When picking out your rifle [consider options] after the purchase to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.”

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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