GG2G friend and awesome CHL instructor, Julianna Crowder, recently had the opportunity to attend some carbine and pistol classes at Tiger Valley in Texas.  She shares her experience in the post below.  And we gotta say, we absolutely love that she has a custom  lavender AR-15!

Julianna’s adventures taking a firearms course from a high profile school.

My first weekend of training was a level one carbine class. I knew that I would most likely be the only girl in class and was ready for my fellow classmates not to expect much from me or my shooting ability. So that morning I did my hair and make-up, picked out my shooting “outfit” and loaded up my gear, which includes a custom lavender AR-15. The hair and make-up didn’t last long, but I looked good when I got there and pretended I was a badass Angelina Jolie character! My husband John came along as my chauffeur and cheerleader for the weekend. It was wonderful bonding time for us! Let me share this tip with you girls: there is no better turn on for a guy than a girl shooting a gun and doing it well!

As I expected, I opened the door to the classroom and walked into an all male class. I was met with smiles from my instructors and quick glances from the guys. After the range safety brief we started the class by zeroing in our rifles to make sure we were hitting what we were aiming at. The instructor pointed out how well I was doing and told the guys I was making them look bad! I had an immediate confirmation that even though I didn’t know as many technical terms as everyone else, my lavender AR and I were going to do just fine!

Julianna with her fabulous lavender AR-15

What I wanted to gain from this carbine class is a higher confidence and build muscle memory with my AR. My muscles learned after two days of training that before we take the level two class we will be going to gym and getting into shape! I practiced drills getting on target fast and accurately, shooting while moving, getting down to the ground and shooting long range. That was work and I don’t care who you are! There is a phrase “train how you fight”… so I had on my “go to war” gear and practiced how to move around with it. Being a girl with a lot of curves it was challenging at times. I came away from weekend #1 with pride, excited that I learned new techniques and did them successfully. I made friends with a few of the guys and was definitely part of the team.

The next weekend I returned to for the Level 1 pistol class. I went alone this time because I felt comfortable with my instructors and really wanted to step out on my own. I spend a lot of time at the range helping others with their marksmanship. I recently realized I am having some issues that I haven’t been able to fix on my own. So weekend #2 was my personal confidence booster!

As I did the weekend before, I walked into a class of all men but this time saw a few familiar faces from my shooting community. There was another couple in class and I assumed that lady was along to watch her husband because she wasn’t dressed appropriately to spend two days at the range. But to my surprise she took the class. Remember the quick glances I spoke of before? Well she got them for sure. It was the third time she had ever held a pistol and did very well, and did it in a pair of low heel boots! Her mental attitude was very inspiring and she didn’t let this very intimidating environment shake her! I would like to add that even though she did fantastic, this kind of class is not meant for the completely novice shooter. I would highly recommend taking the NRA First Steps course so you have an understanding of safe handling of the firearm and range etiquette before taking any class that teaches marksmanship.

Julianna “checking her 6” during her pistol training course.

The two days I spent with my Glock 34 were wonderful. It was like finding a new best friend! I had marked improvement on my issue with trigger control and gained a new perspective on what your grip should FEEL like. I can’t wait to get to the range this week and practice, and will miss my instructor saying “outstanding” every time I do it right. I am so excited and inspired it is crazy!

Overall I spent 4 days training with my carbine and pistol. It was time I was able to invest in myself and I left with more than marksmanship skills. I added more tools to my tool box for sure, and I also gained another layer of empowerment. Getting in shape for level 2, that is the real ninja stuff.

I am a certified NRA Firearms instructor and teach the Texas CHL, so I feel very comfortable around guns in general. My husband is also a firearms instructor and has educated me over the years. But as we know, there is only so much your spouse can teach you before you need to hear it from someone else. No matter what your level with firearms is, taking a beginner course is always a good idea. I was able to spend time on the very basics of shooting and put into practice the skills I need to draw my gun and shoot accurately. If you can shoot fast but can’t hit your target… It is time to take a class.