Annie Got Her Gun … Ladies, You Can, Too

At Bristlecone, an indoor shooting range in Lakewood, Colorado, we offer monthly classes, firearms training and shooting range options geared toward shooters of all experience levels and backgrounds. This month, in honor of Mother’s Day, we’re highlighting our women’s firearms classes and events. Here are a few fun facts about the history of women’s shooting in the United States:

  • Women of the Old West often learned to shoot. Some such as famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley earned a livelihood at it, too.
  • From 1968 to 1980, men and women competed against each other in Olympic shooting events. Some competitions today outside of the Olympics still have co-ed matches. (Source: USA Shooting).
  • From 2001 to 2010, female participation in hunting increased by 37 percent (Source: The National Shooting Sports Foundation.)

Whether you’re a first-time shooter, want get to your concealed carry certificate, or if you’re a modern day Annie Oakley who wants to shoot with other women, we’ve got options for women shooters at Bristlecone. These include monthly firearms training and classes, competitions and events, and a retail center where you can get guns and accessories (pistols, holsters, and apparel, for example) specifically geared toward women shooters. Our May 2016 events include:

  • Bristlecone Ladies Night, Every Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Every Tuesday ladies shoot at a discount (just $10) from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and then for free from 5 p.m. until close. Come out and make some noise!
  • A Girl & A Gun Chapter Meeting, May 12, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is $10 for Bristlecone members; $20 for nonmembers. A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) is a shooting club established by women shooters for women shooters. AG & AG events are intended to be fun, social gatherings where women can come together for support, encouragement, ask questions in a safe and nonjudgmental environment, improve on their marksmanship, and bond together in the shooting community. All AG & AG events are supervised by NRA Certified Instructors and/or Range Safety Officers. All facilitators are women who can “speak girl” and provide techniques and tips for female shooters. The goal is to empower, educate, and have fun at the range.
  • Women’s Only Intro to Pistol, May 14, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The session cost is $100. This comprehensive safety course is designed to give women shooters a solid foundation as they explore the practical side of handguns. Whether you have never held a gun before, or have done some shooting and want to refine your basic skills, this class will help you start strong and gain confidence in your ability to handle a firearm safely. You will learn: firearms safety rules, pistol actions, ammunition nomenclature, how to load and clear a pistol, how to select and store your pistol and more. Equipment requirements include handgun (Firearms can be rented from Bristlecone or students may bring their own.); 50 rounds of ammunition; and eye/ear protection.
  • Women’s Fundamentals of Concealed Carry, May 22, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is $150. This is a six-hour course designed to give students information on concealed carry, including the firearms best for concealed carry, how to carry them safely and securely, and how to use them efficiently in the context of a dynamic critical incident. The class also introduces new shooters to some of the core basics of the Defensive Focus® Shooting program, as well as aspects of handgun ownership and information (firearm safety, holster selection, live fire drills in the range, alternate force options, and interacting with law enforcement and the aftermath of an incident). The cost is $150 for the six-hours of training and covers CCW certificate and permit. Required equipment includes: medium size semi-auto pistol (Pistols can be rented from Bristlecone, or students may bring their own.); 3 magazines; minimum of 150 rounds of ammunition; holster (OWB strong side preferred); double magazine pouch; (preferred, not required); eye and ear protection; and pen and paper for notes.

To register for these classes or to learn more about Bristlecone, visit or call 303-985-0989.