Getting it Right the First Time

By Kellene Bishop

Start out with your ideal weapon of choice. Photo c/o pdgtraining.com

Start out with your ideal weapon of choice. Photo c/o pdgtraining.com

I’ve had many comments come to me that a new woman shooter should “start out” with a revolver.  I have nothing against a revolver, however, I vehemently object to a woman purchasing and practicing with something other than their ideal tool of self-defense. 

A revolver may be an ideal firearm for a woman, but until they have tried other firearms, they will not know this.  For many women, just taking the step to finally own a firearm is a big one and a financial sacrifice as well.  So why advise a woman to do it “half way” or “incompletely?”  Why can’t she start out with her ideal weapon of choice? 

Ladies, make use of the firing ranges in your area to try out various kinds of guns.  Don’t settle.  Make your first purchase count.  Yes, your tolerance of the firepower may change later on down the road, but one of the reasons why I counsel you to practice with different firearms is to help in this process.  Get THE gun that feels good in your hand and in whatever manner in which you’re going to store it (preferably on your person).  This way you will be sure to make your practice and your shots count.  A gun is one thing that you shouldn’t compromise on.  It’s there to save your life.  You want to learn to “dance” with it expertly, not constantly switch it up based on the latest hype.  Get it right the first time, at least as much as possible.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

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My Wish – 100,000 Women Strong

By Kellene Bishop

Owning a handgun does not offer women any benefit for self-defense.  KNOWLEDGE, on the other hand, of how to use a firearm for self-defense is the ultimate equalizer.  And to me it’s the ultimate sign of freedom and liberty. 

There are a great many female gun owners in the U.S. at present.  Unfortunately the fact that these same women don’t actually use their firearm for self-defense merely gives fodder for the anti-gun crowd who claim, “See?  Firearms don’t help women prevent rape.”  Now that’s a shame. 

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

If I had my wish come true, it would be that an additional 100,000 women not only possess firearms in the U.S. this year, but also get expertly trained in handling them and carrying them on their person.  While my wish may sound a little far fetched, I firmly believe it’s a worthwhile one.  Imagine the hesitation in a violent criminal’s mind: “Geesh.  (Censored, of course)  Is THIS one of those 100,000 armed women who know how to use it against me?” or “Am I really ready to go up against a skillfully armed woman?”  I believe that the number 100,000 is sufficient to thwart millions of crimes all over the U.S. and make criminals think twice before assuming a woman is a vulnerable target.  I believe that that impact of 100,000 confidently armed women will alter the wrongfully perpetuated societal stigmas that many have about armed citizens.  And I believe that 100,000 armed women will make children more safe, not only against firearm accidents, but against perpetrators who target them.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have my wish granted and see 100,000 women competently quick-draw their weapon, shoot accurately, and reholster it.  It nearly gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!

Photo care of

Photo c/o northshorejournal.org

Can’t you just hear the beautiful symphony made by the sound of the action after the slide is released all over the nation?  Ch-chang!  (I LOVE that sound!)  The patriotic sight and sound of “the rockets red glare; the bombs bursting in air” would be akin to the sound of double-taps all over the practice ranges in the U.S.  Can’t you just imagine the new level of confidence as women walk and talk strong and powerful knowing that they no longer will play the role of a helpless victim?  While my wish of 100,000 women is barely a dent in the number of the population of adult women in our nation, I believe that it’s sufficient to suitably rally against the crimes against women and their children and to accomplish what our law enforcement and government officials simply can’t or won’t do.

Independence isn’t just a benign word to be associated with our nation.  It should be a state of being that we women embrace every day.  We can be independent in our own effective protection and security and in doing so, literally impact the protection of women all over the nation.  This is my wish. 

Will you be one of the 100,000?

Will you be one of the 100,000?  

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

By Kellene Bishop

Have you ever had such a hectic day, you’re nearly certain that you forgot to even breathe?  Thank goodness it’s an automatic physical response in most cases.  Otherwise I know a lot of busy, frenzied women in my life who’d be passed out in their kitchens, at the school, or in the shopping mall. 

Don't forget to breathe! Photo by Women of Caliber

Don't forget to breathe! Photo by Women of Caliber

Yes, we all know that breathing is essential to life.  But it’s also essential when you’re defending your life, more particularly when you’re firing your gun.

Most women that I instruct at the range will inevitably aim their firearm and then hold their breath anticipating the loud “bang” of the gun. In actuality, this dramatically hinders the accuracy of their shot placement.  When you hold your breath, all of your muscles are tightened.  Tight muscles redirect even the most careful of targeting.  When you draw your firearm, as you’re extending it to shoot, always make sure that you exhale. The exhaled position is the most relaxed position.  The more relaxed you are, the more accurately you will shoot—no ifs, ands or buts.  You no longer have the tightened muscles to throw your aim off.  I have done personal instruction with gals who have great stance, great attitudes, and focus on the other fundamentals of shooting, yet are still missing their shots.  When I reinforce the exhale step prior to rolling the trigger they inevitably make their shots.  Who knew that breathing was so important, right?

Additionally, getting out of the habit of inhaling just as you shoot also ensures that you inhale fewer of the chemicals that exit your firearm upon firing. 

My point, don’t forget to breathe, ladies.  It’s highly underrated when it comes to proper shot placement.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Fashion Sense at the Shooting Range

By Kellene Bishop

Ladies, let’s face it.  Given that there are very few female firearm instructors, no one has come right out and provided sound “fashion” advice to women for their trips to the range.  Although my husband is a great instructor and incredibly knowledgeable, there are certain things that even he would not think to share with me.  So I had to learn on my own… not fun.  That said, I thought I’d share with you a few fashion tips for the shooting range that will make your trip a bit more safe and comfortable.

Photo c/o deerflydiaries.typepad.com

Photo c/o deerflydiaries.typepad.com

Shirt—Be sure that you wear a shirt that sufficiently covers your chest.  I particularly avoid any v-necks, or button-up shirts.  I usually am wearing a t-shirt or a sweatshirt when I go shooting.  The reason being is when you’re shooting, those hot little casings don’t always go where they are “supposed to” and some of them make it down a loose shirt and linger in your bra.  Ouch!  Those buggers are hot.  If a hot casing isn’t enough to make you lose your shooting concentration, then you are one tough mama!  If you’re going to be with all of those guys, do you really want them to see you doing the “get this hot casing out of my bra” dance?  So if you’ve got cleavage, cover it up.  (Don’t worry. You’ll still look sexy with a gun in your hand.)  Also, be sure that you don’t wear any “dry clean only” items.   The gases and debris aren’t completely removed in the dry cleaning process, and in some instances are even found to be set permanently in the fibers of your clothes through that process.  So be sure you wear something that can easily be thrown into the wash.

I don’t mind wearing a short sleeve shirt because the casings just bounce off of my arms. But I’m sure to change clothes shortly after shooting.

Make up—Personally I avoid wearing makeup when I go to the shooting range.  I realize that for some of you women that’s nearly against your religion.  So here’s some food for thought.  If you can wear mineral makeup instead of a cream foundation, it’s a lot better for your skin. The gases and debris from shooting linger much easier on a cream foundation that a mineral one.  Mascara, lipstick, and blush are fine, but I wouldn’t wear a base when attracts the gases and such… until some scientist discovers that they’re actually good for your skin.  🙂  I also always have on hand some facial cloths to use immediately after shooting.  (Oil of Olay, Ponds, and the like make a great portable version.)  Just thinking about the gas and debris sitting on the outside of my facial pores gives me the creeps.  (I know.  I know.  Whoda thunk I’d be so girly, right?)  

Shoes—Again, those hot casings are not very obedient when I tell them where to fall.  So I never wear shoes that expose my feet.  I always ensure that they are well covered.  Please don’t wear flip flops or sandals when you go to the range.  You’ll make all of the rest of us women look like mindless sissy-girls when you do the “hot casing” dance.  You’ve never seen a man doing that dance, have you?  

Photo c/o news.xinhuanet.com

Photo c/o news.xinhuanet.com

Hat—I prefer wearing a hat when I go shooting.  This prevents the gases from going into my hair.  It also keeps any glare from the sun or the lights out of my vision, so it makes for more accurate shooting.  If you’re using electronic ear muffs, or simply those that go over your head instead of inserted in your ears, be sure to wear a hat that your ear muffs can easily go on top of.  That’s right.  Leave the Easter Bonnet at home.

Long Fingernails—For those of you who fashionably indulge in those great looking nails, that’s fine.  But you should carry a toothbrush or a nail brush with you for washing your hands afterwards. Use the brush to scrub thoroughly under your nails and around your cuticles.  The gas and debris is toxic and you don’t want it getting into your food or drink.  Not to mention it dries out your hands like a brittle old stick.  So wash them well, and then apply a nice hand cream to restore a softness that any fashionable woman would require.  Otherwise, reasonably long fingernails don’t affect your shooting skills whatsoever.  

Hopefully these fashion tips for the shooting range help you to have a safer, more comfortable time at the range! 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. 
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop