How Athena Lee Got Started Shooting

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Athena Lee explains how she got started shooting, hoping for a chance to eat at McDonald’s:

My dad started shooting IPSC style shooting, he was the shooter in the family. In the Philippines, shooting is a little bit expensive. It’s not like here where guns are readily available. My dad had been shooting at the time for about 4 or 5 years, and this was back in December of 1991, he went to the shooting range to practice for a Steel Challenge tournament. I went with him because I figured that he and his friends would go out and get something to eat at McDonalds, which had just opened in the Philippines.

That was a big deal, because while here in the US there is a McDonalds on just about every block, over there they just didn’t exist. This one was the first, so I went with him and helped him pick up brass and whatnot after he shot. Of course, being 13, I got bored really fast. He noticed and said “Hey, try shooting this single stack 1911 in .38 Super.” Those may not have been his exact words, but he told me to “Try the gun, shoot at these targets.”

So, the first stage I ever shot was the Steel Challenge stage “Smoke ‘em and Hope,” for those of you who are familiar with that setup. The targets were gigantic and really close so it was pretty easy.

Being new, I didn’t care about times. I just kept hitting and hitting and I kept asking my Dad for more magazines. He figured that I was holding the gun pretty safely, which was remarkable because I was less than five feet tall at the time, and my hands were tiny. Still, I was gripping the gun well so he decided to let me shoot.

He had me dry fire for about two weeks, and then I joined the upcoming Steel Challenge match.

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