Competitive Shooting

3-Gun Champion and Top Shot Competitor Maggie Reese

Maggie Reese is well known on the 3-Gun circuit as one of the fastest shooters in the Open division. Her journey onto the national stage as a top level shooter is a bit different than most. She didn’t get started shooting until the age of 18 and, until a few years ago, never shot more than steel and bowling pin matches using her .45 caliber race gun. Now however, she’s a force to be reckoned with in USPSA handgun and multigun competitions.

Maggie also appeared on the History Channel’s reality TV show Top Shot as one of two female contestants. She was gracious enough to grant us an interview following her elimination from the competition, and we discussed her background in the shooting sports along with her experience on the show.

Cheaper Than Dirt How did you first get introduced to firearms and get started shooting competitively?

Maggie Both of those things happened at the same time. When I was 18 years old my dad took me out to the range and taught me how to shoot and we immediately jumped into competition. That was the idea behind it was that he wanted to introduce me to something that he loved and already did, and it was a great way for us to spend some quality father-daughter time together.

Right from the get go I shot local competitions where we lived in Northern Nevada. We shot man-on-man steel and bowling pin matches, and I had a custom built Caspian .45 that I borrowed from my dad. I shot that with 230 grain ball ammunition and we just went from there.

Cheaper Than Dirt Did he shoot competitively before that?

Maggie He did. He shot on a local level in Northern Nevada. It was just something real small scale and just a great way to spend a weekend with a good group of people who all had similar backgrounds and shared a similar hobby. It was something locally that we did together and he had started it before I did and really encouraged me to go out and do it with him.

I honestly didn’t really have any interest in it. I hadn’t shot guns before and didn’t see myself as a competitive type person, so I kinda hesitated to do it, but he really pushed me and said “If you just try it once and if you don’t like it, I won’t make you do it again.”

I went out the one time, borrowed his gun, absolutely loved it, and kept going back.

Cheaper Than Dirt At that point you’d gotten bitten by the shooting bug and were basically just off and running then.

Maggie I was.

Cheaper Than Dirt Did it kind of awaken the inner competitive drive that you’ve got? Or was it just the joy of shooting?

Maggie It was a little bit of both. I really enjoyed shooting. I kinda just took to it. Of course, when you find that you can do something and you can do it well, it’s encouraging to stick with it. I was happy to discover that about myself, but I also did find that I enjoyed the competition aspect of it and that did get my blood pumping and I really just wanted to keep going and get better and better and push myself.

Cheaper Than Dirt Did you get started in USPSA fairly quickly?

Maggie Well, I shot at local competitions at the steel matches and bowling pin matches, and I did that for 10 years off and on.

Cheaper Than Dirt At what point did you break out and decide to start doing other sports such as 3-gun?

Maggie Three or four years ago I moved back to Southern California and a friend of mine told me about this competition called Steel Challenge. He said “You’re going to be right there, why don’t you just show up and shoot it?”

I figured “Sure, OK. Why not?” So I just kinda wandered out there, I didn’t know what to expect or what was going on. I still had my .45, that’s what I was shooting at the time. I showed up and figured I’d shoot the competition and that would be that. While I was out there I met a lot of great individuals, one of whom is Taran Butler.

He saw me struggling with my .45 and he came up to me and he said “I don’t know who you are, but what are you doing? That’s not the right gun for this competition, let me give you some help. Here, shoot my gun. Shoot this 9mm,” and he loaned me a gun and I shot the competition and just had a blast doing it.

Then he said to me, “You know what, why don’t we go shoot some USPSA matches, I think you’d really like it.” Now, I didn’t know what that was, but I figured I’d try it. So, I went and shot some USPSA matches.

Then he said to me “You should shoot 3-gun.”

I said “Well, I’ll show up and I’ll just watch one to see if I like it.”

I showed up to my first USPSA 3-gun match, and he handed me his guns and said “No, don’t just watch. Shoot it!”

I said “Well, OK,” and so I shot it.

It was just those people like Taran that I met along the way who just came to me and kept saying “Here, try this!”

I kept saying “Sure, OK,” and that’s how I got into 3-gun, just by happenstance.

Cheaper Than Dirt Did you have any coaches or mentors other than Taran who kind of guided you along?

Maggie Definitely. My boyfriend Michael Voigt is the President of USPSA and a pretty good shooter himself. He’s a 10 time national champion in 3-gun.

Cheaper Than Dirt Just to be clear, did you meet him before or after you started shooting 3-gun?

Maggie I started shooting 3-gun and I met him on the range actually. Obviously once our relationship started he became a real driving force in my competition shooting and was able to coach me and support me and encourage me. Before that I had been doing it on my own with the help of friends and family members.

I think that my level of shooting really changed when I met Mike.

Cheaper Than Dirt At what point during all of this did you decide “Hey, I’m going to make a video and send it in to audition for Top Shot”

Maggie You know, I watched the entire first season, episode for episode. I just really loved it as a show, and I was familiar with some of the people who were on it. As I was watching it, I never in a million years imagined that it was something I would do. I just didn’t see myself on TV doing that kind of a competition.

I watched the show, but when they started the casting process for the second season, a lot of people just encouraged me to send in an audition video and fill out the application and see what happens, but I thought “No, they’re never going to pick me. This is just totally out of my comfort zone. I just don’t think I can do it.”

So many people encouraged me to try out, I just thought “You know what? Why not. What’s the worst that could happen? I’ll send in the application and if I never hear from them, who cares?”

Then they called me back, and they asked me to come out for the semi-finals part of the casting process in LA, and I thought “Oh gosh, do I really want to do this? It’s kinda nerve wracking, but I’ll just go out and see what happens.”

So, I went through the final casting process and then they asked me to do the show. It was just once again this weird sequence of steps where someone urged me to try it and I went ahead to see what happens.

Cheaper Than Dirt I’ve got to ask, J.J. Racaza has been a driving force in encouraging a number of this season’s competitors to audition for the show. Both Athena Lee and Jermaine Finks were prodded along by J.J. Did he encourage you as well?

Maggie You know, I know J.J., I’ve seen him on the competition circuit, he was actually one of the first big time shooters that I met. Blake was the first one. I had no appreciation back then for who these guys were, they were just nice people that I met at the range. I had no idea how awesome and amazing they were. But yes, they’ve both been very supportive and encouraging, and just been great representatives of USPSA to the rest of us to say “Yes, go out and do this.”

Cheaper Than Dirt We talked with Athena about some of the pressures of being a female shooter in a male dominated sport. How much of that weighed on your mind when you were considering whether or not to do the casting call?

Maggie You know, that honestly wasn’t a factor for me because I am so used to it on the competition circuit. I’ve showed up so many times to the range and been the only woman there and had people look at me and go “Are you lost? Do you need help? Can we point you in the right direction?”

So I’m kinda used to that. I didn’t think about going into it and trying to prove myself as a woman, I just thought about going into it as another competition.

Cheaper Than Dirt Still, it had to be a bit of a relief to see Athena there at the final casting call and realize you weren’t going to be the only female shooter on the show.

Maggie Definitely. I also knew Athena before the show, so she was somebody who I have a tremendous amount of respect for and was so happy to see her there. She was my roommate on the show, so it was great to have another woman to bounce ideas off of and reflect on the day, and just have a buddy to hang out with.

There is so much down time back at the house that you need people who understand where you’re coming from, and having another woman really helps.

Cheaper Than Dirt Before the show, going into it you had to know after watching Season 1 that there would be all manner of weapons thrown at you from shotguns to rifles and handguns, and as we saw in the last episode bows and arrows. Did you do any particular type of practice to brush up on your skills with those other weapons?

Maggie There wasn’t very much time between when I found out I’d been accepted for the show and I actually had to be there. Literally the day before I was just finishing up the USPSA Handgun Nationals. I had been in Las Vegas the week prior, and before that I had been preparing for that match and before that I had been shooting 3-Gun Nationals, so all of my focus was on my competitions that I already had planned.

I still had an obligation to myself and to my sponsors to show up and do well. I just put my focus into shooting the USPSA Handgun Nationals, but I did switch to iron sights instead of shooting the Open division so that I would have a little bit more experience shooting iron sights.

We left from Las Vegas and we literally left the competition in Las Vegas and my boyfriend dropped me off in LA for Top Shot and I never even had any other time to do the other things I would have loved to do.

Cheaper Than Dirt You really just got thrown right into it then, and the first episode just made things even more dramatic with the first competition right out of the gate.

Maggie Yeah, we had a couple of days of filming and doing the commercials and the photography and things like that, and you’re right exactly. We showed up and didn’t think that we’d be doing a competition right out of the bag. We thought we would go into the house and get settled and familiarized and kind of adapt to our new surroundings, but you’re right, instead right from the get go we had a competition.

Cheaper Than Dirt We’ve talked to some of the other contestants about the weather and other difficulties that the first team challenge presented. Everybody seemed to struggle, but you’ve got some experience with the .45 caliber 1911 platform, and you mentioned you’d done at least some practice with iron sights. What happened during that first team challenge?

Maggie Definitely from the onset when we were sitting there and we saw that that was going to be the first challenge, we all felt a little sense of relief. We thought this was a good gun to start with right off the bat, there was nothing weird or foreign or unusual. It was just a standard 1911 .45.

I think for some of us, particularly for myself, we simply weren’t in the right mindset for it. I just can’t even really begin to tell you how disappointing that whole performance was for me and for my team as well. Half of us failed completely at that challenge. It was really difficult, and I think we had just put ourselves into the moment and let our nerves get the best of us. We hadn’t really settled down and found a rhythm yet.

It proved to be a lot more challenging than we had considered giving it respect for. It definitely slapped us in the face and we had to regroup and come back and say “OK, wow. This is serious now.”

Cheaper Than Dirt A number of Blue Team members were handgun experts, yourself included. Do you think that the performance during the first challenge affected the team dynamics?

Maggie One of the things that happened with our team was that we noticed that there was a lot of negativity right from the start. We had some poor performances, and we had some high expectations from some members of the team. When things didn’t go well, it really did affect the team dynamic and the negativity really began to permeate throughout the situation. That was kinda difficult to overcome.

Cheaper Than Dirt Going a bit deeper into the team dynamics, we noticed that right off the bat that Jay Lim seemed to try to take charge immediately, but there was a bit of resistance from some of the Blue Team members. Were those just personality conflicts and how did that affect team morale?

Maggie I think that it had a huge effect on the team morale going into the challenges. We all felt like we were there for a reason, we all felt that we’d been picked for a reason. We all had our own specialties and things that we could lend to the team, and I think we wanted that respect in return for what we brought to the table.

Definitely there were some personalities conflicting, and when you’re in this sort of stressful situation to begin with your really need your team support. When that is lacking, it affects everything else you do and it affected us in the challenges for sure.

Cheaper Than Dirt Athena, the only other female on the show, was eliminated fairly quickly into the competition, leaving you by yourself. Did that change your strategy for dealing with other competitors or change your mindset at all?

Maggie It didn’t change my strategy, but I definitely felt her absence back at the house during our down time. Because we were roommates and, like I said, we bounced ideas off of each others heads and we could relate with each other at night when we were back in our rooms by ourselves, not having her there really kind of put me in a different position where I had to strike out on my own. I didn’t have her to rely on anymore. My buddy who I got to talk to all the time is gone.

Cheaper Than Dirt It’s important to point out too that your rooms were not in the main house. You and Athena had a little guest house off to the side to yourselves and had to head up to the main house to interact and socialize with the rest of your teammates.

Maggie Yeah, we were in what you might call a Mother-In-Law unit, a converted garage out in the back yard. We had our own bedroom, our own bathroom, and our own little sitting area. We really were separated from the men in that way. Of course we had communal living spaces in the main house and we would always go in there and visit with everybody, but at night we would draw back and be by ourselves and have that time just to ourselves.

It was so thrilling when I found out she was going to be there, and I went into that situation not knowing if there was going to be another woman. When I found out that there was, that was so exciting for me, and then to lose her in the beginning was so disappointing.

Cheaper Than Dirt Let’s talk about the Uphill Challenge that aired two weeks ago. You went into that challenge with high hopes and it seemed like absent Jermaine’s errors, you really should have won that.

Maggie I definitely think we should have won that. It was totally within our reach. We were so far ahead.

Cheaper Than Dirt What I wanted to know about is not so much the challenge itself, but afterwards. When it came time to decide who to send to the nomination range, Jermaine was obviously going to be one, but tell us about the team meeting after the challenge.

Maggie Initially in the beginning Jermaine insisted on being nominated into the elimination round. I didn’t necessarily agree with that because I felt like he was one of the stronger competitors on our team and one of the better shots, but he insisted on it and there was no way to talk him out of it. He really needed to do that for himself and we couldn’t deny him that opportunity to redeem himself.

The logic behind it was that he had made this fatal mistake in that one challenge, and we were only as a team looking at the specific challenge that we lost. We weren’t taking into consideration previous challenges, which may have been a mistake in our philosophy. So, we agreed to let Jermaine get nominated into the elimination round and then we decided that he would make the final decision about who he wanted to go up against.

That was a big decision, I think, to place on his shoulders when he was already focused on so many other things. I think we sort of did it in the moment because it was the easy way out for us. There was nobody else to really choose from. He had been the one to make this mistake, so how do you pick anybody else?

We decided that we would let him do it. Of course that was just the initial plan within the team meeting.

Cheaper Than Dirt At the nomination range, we saw Jermaine vote for Kyle and then Jay got nominated as well. Watching the show, viewers have to realize that there is a lot that happens on camera that never makes it onto the episode. Was there any collusion between yourself and Daryl to choose Jay instead?

Maggie Actually, what happened was that everybody voted for Jermaine except for Daryl. He voted for Jay, and Jermaine had of course already voted for Kyle, so that left a tie. Then I had to make the tie breaking decision.

I had talked to Daryl before the nomination round and he had told me that, upon reflection, he didn’t feel that it was a fair decision for Jermaine to make on his own. He felt that as a team we should step up and let our voices be heard as well. Daryl was of the opinion that Jay had been the weaker performer at that point and he told me of his decision to vote for Jay.

I knew going into it that there might be a tie breaker situation and I of course had my own opinions. Then I just happened to be the one picked to make that decision.

Cheaper Than Dirt Do you think Jay’s personality and the team dynamics surrounding that played into that decision at all?

Maggie Definitely. When you’re in this kind of team situation and you have such a limited time to practice with and so much at stake within the challenges, you have to be able to work together as a group.

When I looked at that decision between Kyle and Jay, first of all I saw Kyle as somebody who didn’t have the opportunity to compete within the Uphill Challenge, so if we were going to do what we had said we were going to do which was look at somebody’s individual performance within that specific challenge, Kyle didn’t compete in that and I didn’t think it was right to hold him accountable for our loss. I didn’t think that that was fair if we were going to go by the rules that we had established as a group.

I saw Jay as somebody who had been a little bit separate from the group in the practice. We had made an agreement going into the practice that those most comfortable with the rifle and those most familiar with sighting in a gun would be the ones to do it. Jay didn’t have any experience with the rifle and he didn’t have any experience sighting in a weapon, and yet he was still being very opinionated on what he wanted to see done.

It was such a short time available to us, there just can’t be those disputes.

Cheaper Than Dirt Just to be clear, for those who may not know, you only receive about 30 minutes as a team within which to familiarize everybody with the weapon.

Maggie Exactly, so when you have six, seven, or eight people trying to cycle through the weapon, including some people who have never shot it before and need extra time and extra help, and you also have a limited amount of ammunition so every shot counts and you can’t afford to waste ammo going back and forth.

Six of us felt comfortable with where the rifle was sighted in. One person felt differently. In that kind of situation you just have to suck it up and go with what the group wants, and he just wasn’t happy to do that at that time.

Cheaper Than Dirt After that, it seemed like everybody was sad to see Jermaine go. He did seem to be a valuable team member, despite his mistakes on the previous challenge.

Maggie He was just a really good guy, strong competitor, good shot, and had a great mindset. He particularly was a huge help in all of the practice sessions. He is a great instructor and someone who was able to give knowledgeable and welcome instruction to the rest of us. That’s important. It’s important to surround yourself with people who have the right mindset, the right mentality, who are positive and supportive.

We all needed each other as a team and he was a huge asset to us. Having lost him I think really affected us going forward.

Cheaper Than Dirt How did things change after Jermaine was eliminated and Jay was the one to return to the house? We saw at the beginning of the most recent episode Daryl sit down with Jay and apologize, and then Chris Reed sat him down at the head of the table and Jay just looked like a fish out of water.

Maggie He did. I think he felt very uncomfortable and he didn’t know what his place was within the group anymore, and he was very aware of how sad we were to see Jermaine leave. I’m sure that made him feel uncomfortable as well. That was just one of those awkward moments that we all had to work through.

Cheaper Than Dirt When you saw that the next team challenge was archery, that had to give him a good angle to get back in good with the team.

Maggie Certainly. At the end of the day we’re all there to compete and to win. Any advice that we can get from someone who is knowledgeable is always welcome. Finding out that archery was the next challenge and that that was something that he was proficient at, we were very happy to have him there.

Cheaper Than Dirt It was quite the turnabout from earlier practice sessions where it seemed that his advice was not welcome to this challenge where it was not just welcomed but requested.

Maggie Any time somebody has an opportunity to contribute something and the timing is appropriate and the place is appropriate, we want that.

Cheaper Than Dirt What happened at the team challenge?

Maggie Well, we watched the Red Team compete first, so we kind of knew what their performance was and could adjust accordingly. When we came up to the line we found that some of us were struggling. I missed two shots myself in a row, and I dramatically missed them.

It was just awful to be in that sort of position. I came back to my team and everybody just wanted to know what went wrong. I really struggled with the bow. It was foreign to me, having never shot one before. I was just trying to focus on some of the most simple and mundane aspects of it. They caught me in an honest moment when I said “I don’t know which way is up and which way is down.”

I really failed to get a proper sight alignment on my shots, and I really struggled to draw back on it. The weight of the bow was really hard for me. Some of my other teammates also struggled. Some of them had really close shots, but a miss is still a miss.

Jay did well though. He hit his shot right off the bat on the first try.

Cheaper Than Dirt Do you know what the draw weight of the bow was? We’ve had some questions from our Facebook fans about that.

Maggie It was 40 pounds. All of the men shot the Bowtech Assassin, but I shot the ladies version, which is the Hearbreaker. The draw weight was set up at 40 pounds and they guesstimated what my draw length would be.

Cheaper Than Dirt I see, so you had different bows.

Maggie Mine was, I think, 10 pounds lighter. The others were set up at 50.

Having never shot one before, I didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like and I really struggled with the weight of it, and I really struggled with the length of it. I found that difficult to overcome.

Cheaper Than Dirt After the team challenge, you pretty much chose yourself to be in the elimination challenge.

Maggie I was disappointed in my performance. We discussed back in the team meeting who had performed well and who had not. I was one of the people who had not made my shots, and I felt it would be appropriate for me to go into the elimination round.

Cheaper Than Dirt And Kyle was chose based on his overall performance?

Maggie This was where we kind of started to change things. Kyle had actually made his shot in that competition. We had now started as a group to look at people’s cumulative performances and we had enough to reflect back on. It was his previous challenges that put him in the elimination challenge this time.

Cheaper Than Dirt It seemed that, at the elimination challenge, that you were still struggling with the weight of the bow.

Maggie I was. Each time, during the team challenge, we had practice in the morning and then we had the team event. For the elimination round we had practice in the morning and the elimination challenge itself later.

I really found that I had fatigued myself trying to get the bow sighted in and trying to become comfortable with this operation, you know I went through dozens of arrows. During my practice session for the elimination round I got to the point where I couldn’t draw back the bow at all anymore.

The expert was great, we just set the bow down and he talked to me and just gave me all the verbal cues and tips. He walked me through it verbally, but I couldn’t physically draw back on the bow anymore and I had to give my arm a rest.

Cheaper Than Dirt Many viewers don’t realize just how much physical fitness is required to perform well on the show. When we spoke with Athena she described getting beat up and worn out from shooting the Thomson sub-machine gun.

Maggie Yeah, that’s right. That was really something I struggled with.

The object of the show however is to overcome and adapt. During the elimination challenge I wasn’t able to get the full extension of the bow when I was drawing back, and that caused my shots to go a little wild and a little low left. I saw that and was able to start holding off and start to overcome that.

Cheaper Than Dirt We saw that, and for a while it seemed like you really caught your rhythm, to the point that you caught up with and tied Kyle’s score for a while. Did you have any idea of how you were doing?

Maggie I had absolutely no idea. I was not at all looking at him, I wasn’t going to take a split second to look over at him and see how he was doing. I was just trying to stay focused on the moment.

I could hear Colby yelling out sometimes “Kyle hits! Maggie misses! Kyle misses! Maggie hits!” and I knew that he was saying Kyle was hitting a lot more often than he was saying I was hitting. That was something that was going on in the back of my head, but it was also something I was trying to push out of my mind and focus on the task at hand.

Cheaper Than Dirt We were all sad to see you eliminated there.

Maggie It was definitely hard for me to leave. I think one of the hardest things about it was that I just really grew to love and respect so many people in the house. It was just a great group of people, a great group of men who are just full of so much integrity and honor, and who have done really courageous things in the case of our military members.

I love the dynamic of being around these people and I loved working with them. It was really hard to say goodbye, and to say goodbye so abruptly. Of course I wanted to go on and win and do all of that stuff, but on a personal level it was just hard to leave all of these good friends that I had made.

It was really disappointing to walk away.

Cheaper Than Dirt We’ve been doing these interviews for a while, and one thing we’ve heard from almost every single participant on Top Shot is how they’ve made good and long lasting friendships with all of the competitors.

Maggie Definitely. When you go through something like this that is so unique and unusual, and something that not too many people have the opportunity to experience, you really bond with those people who understand what it was like to be there in the moment, and the stress, and the pressures, and the rewards, and everything else.

These were just such a great group of people, and I talk to almost all of them on a fairly regular basis. We message each other back and forth over the internet. It’s been great to keep in touch with everybody and watch it play out on TV. Now we get to sit back and be fans of the show again and see what happens.

Cheaper Than Dirt If you had the chance to do it all over again, would you?

Maggie I absolutely would. I would just love the experience to do it all over again.

Cheaper Than Dirt I don’t know how much of last night’s episode you saw, but Blake Miguez and J.J. Racaza are coming back-

Maggie I know! I can’t even begin to tell you my disappointment! One, that I missed out on seeing J.J. and Blake, and two, that I missed out on shooting a race gun!

Cheaper Than Dirt Oh my, I can only imagine. You know, I commented to Athena today after seeing that show, “Not only are Blake and J.J. coming back, but they’re shooting a Limcat!” Which is one of her sponsors, and of course you shoot a race gun in Open division as well.

Maggie Yes! I shoot Open division as well, and then Limcat was the first race gun that I ever shot.

I’ll give you a little inside scoop: When I left the show and went back to the hotel, I saw J.J. and Blake in the hotel lobby!

I said “What are you two guys doing here? Say it isn’t so! Say it ain’t so!”

And of course, they were saying to me “What the heck are you doing back at the hotel?” and I had to hold my head in shame.

Cheaper Than Dirt That had to be such a bittersweet moment.

Maggie It was, it was great to see two friendly familiar faces, and at the same time so disappointing. If only I had been able to hang on.

Cheaper Than Dirt Well, hopefully you were able to enjoy a few drinks together before you had to go and they had to go.

Maggie Yeah, we were able to. We were able to visit.

Cheaper Than Dirt If you’ve got time, I’d like to open up the floor to some of the questions we’ve gotten from our fans on Facebook. Do you have a bit of extra time?

Maggie Oh sure, yeah.

Cheaper Than Dirt We had a couple of questions regarding defensive firearms. Do you carry a concealed handgun for self defense?

Maggie I never have actually. Honestly, I’ve just never done it. It’s never seemed necessary for me. I would really have to sit back and ponder what I might want for that type of situation.

Cheaper Than Dirt For somebody just getting started in 3-gun, what division is good for a new shooter and what is a good 3-gun setup?

Maggie Tactical is definitely the easiest division to get into. Once you get into Open you’re getting into all of the tricky stuff and the fancy stuff, and the expensive stuff. There is a lot of money in that division. You can get into Tactical right from the start and use stuff that’s right out of the box. That’s a great way to keep the cost down when you’re trying to get yourself going.

Cheaper Than Dirt Any particular makes and models?

Maggie You know, I’ve got a Benelli M2. The only thing I did to it was chop it down a little bit so that it could fit my smaller frame. Other than that, I did the same thing with my AR. It’s just a flat-top AR and I put a scope on it, and of course I put the fancy optics on it to make it more competitive in the Open division, but it would work just fine in Tactical once you strip all of that stuff off.

You don’t have to get super fancy to go out and be competitive. That’s the great thing about USPSA is because of these different divisions, is you find somebody who is on your skill level with the same sort of equipment. Then you’re really just testing your shooting capability and it doesn’t come down to money.

Cheaper Than Dirt Gerald Weeks from Facebook wants to know: How many hours do you practice every week?

Maggie It depends on the competition I have coming up. I shoot a lot of different styles, from Steel Challenge, to Bianchi Cup, to 3-Gun, so it really just depends on what I’ve got coming up. I just put everything else away and focus on that for the moment. I try, if I’ve got a major match coming up, to be out at the range every day.

There is a lot of time that is spent just loading ammo and getting the equipment ready, and setting targets once we’re out at the range. The preparation is just as time consuming as the actual shooting. That being said, I can easily shoot 500 rounds a day.

Cheaper Than Dirt So, could we estimate 14-20 hours a week then?

Maggie Yeah, that would be fair.

Cheaper Than Dirt We touched on this earlier, but Justin Berkihiser wants to know: What kind of weapon did you first learn to shoot? He also wants to know what advice you have for those of us who dont compete but like to shoot for fun or practice for personal defense?

Maggie It was a Caspian .45, a 1911 style.

As for advice… You know, I shoot a local match here every Saturday that I’m in town. There are all different sorts of people out at these matches. There are people who are professional who compete on a national level, and then there is another group of people who just like to come out and have a great time. They just like the experience of being around other shooters and they are just there for the fun.

It’s that same thing that, because we have different classes and divisions, you can go out and shoot against people who are just doing this for fun as a hobby. It’s a great way to spend a weekend. It doesn’t have to be this high pressure situation where you have to go out there and get your but kicked by somebody else.

Just go out and shoot your local matches and have a good time.

Cheaper Than Dirt All right. Well, I think that’s about all we’ve got time for, and I do want to thank you again for your time and speaking to us.

Maggie Thank you so much!

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (2)

  1. im tryng to reach MAGGIE REESE can someone give me her contact info we are starting a new tv network called GUN TV and we want to talk to her about being on the network

  2. I find it very educational that the finely-tuned competitive shooters generally get eliminated early. They’re spending too much time honing that last hundredth of a second that could have been spent on the basics of other styles.

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