Monday, December 8, 2014

Pass It Up or Pass It On

by Shari LeGate

There’s a huge influx going on right now. One that hasn’t gone unnoticed — the growth of women in the shooting sports. Just recently, a report was released showing that in the last decade, the number of women who target shoot has increased by nearly 70% (67.4% from 2003 to 2012) to more than 6 million. The number of women who hunt has increased 43% to 3 million. That’s a big jump. With that many women coming into the shooting sports, there’s a another great opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up; A chance to share not only the fun of reloading but the knowledge of reloading as well.

When I started shooting, women were not as prevalent as now and a woman reloading was even more unheard of. I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, when I wanted to start reloading, I asked many fellow shooters to steer me in the right direction. Find a reloader, teach me the process and simply just give me a better understanding about the art of reloading. Well, that was a lot to ask back then.

Instead of someone showing me how to reload and explaining the process, I had many offers to reload for me, but not teach me how to do it. I didn’t want someone to reload for me, I wanted to reload my own ammunition myself and I wanted to learn how to do it right. It took a while, but I finally found someone who took the time and effort to share their knowledge and techniques.

Passing something on to the next generation is one of the greatest pleasures of life. A physical object you can touch such as a gun, a reloader, some equipment and even furniture is valued. But passing on the vast knowledge of experience accumulated over the years can be worth so much more.

Most women have felt the intimidation of walking onto a shooting range for the first time and that same intimidation occurs when they stand in front of their first reloader. Stories are told of what happens when a mistake is made and the dangers of not paying attention. For those of us who have reloaded over the years, we’ve learned many things about the reloading process and we’ve all made our share of mistakes. But sharing all that knowledge, the good, the bad and even the ugly is the best way to instill passion and pass on the enjoyment of the shooting sports.

Times have changed and the statistics show it. As more women continue to enter the shooting sports, there will be more and more women in need of learning the art of reloading and that’s where we all need to step up to plate.

There’s a lot to learn about reloading, particularly if you’ve never even been around it and most women haven’t. So, take your wife, daughter, female friend and introduce them to your reloading room. Now, I realize that some of those “man caves” might be hands off to women, but in this case, make an exception. Sure, it’s easier and faster to do it yourself, but not only will you be depriving someone of learning something new, you’ll be depriving yourself from passing on your knowledge and passion that can only come from you.