In the mid-1980s, GLOCK revolutionized the world of firearms when the GLOCK 17 was introduced to American shooters. At the time, law enforcement, military and sport pistols had wooden handles and steel frames—and they were almost exclusively shot by men. Now, with over two-thirds of American law enforcement agencies using GLOCK pistols and hundreds of thousands in the hands of American sport shooters and competitors, once again GLOCK is revolutionizing the industry by responding to its fastest-growing segment of shooting enthusiasts—women.

In the past decade there has been a huge influx of women to the shooting sports. Women are getting into shooting, becoming regulars at ranges, competitions and classes, in staggering numbers. A lot of them walk in with GLOCK pistols purchased for their exceptional safety, quality and accuracy. They often enter through gateway organizations that specifically welcome new shooters like the GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF), which makes sure novice shooters are greeted with enthusiasm and open arms.

A Warm Welcome

The number of female shooters, including hunters, competitors and concealed carry holders, has nearly doubled over the last decade. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, about 47 percent more women are shooting now compared to 10 years ago. To put it in perspective and according to a Gallup Poll, almost one in four American women own at least one firearm. Why? Almost three quarters of those sales are for self-defense, with less but still significant numbers for hunting, competition and sport shooting. For whatever reason, either purchased for protection or just for the fun of it, the next step is getting ammo, accessories and training. As a result, NRA clinics and private concealed carry classes have all seen increases—with some up to 400 percent—in participation by women.

With increased gun ownership, women are now a positive economic influence, adding significantly to the $28-billion-a-year firearms, accessories and ammunition industry. In response, there are new lines of clothes, gear and guns tailored for women. Some makers simply decorate their firearms with pink furniture and market them as “women’s” guns, but GLOCK has fully addressed the ergonomic differences. Users can adjust the grip sizes of the new GLOCK Gen4 pistols to accommodate hands of all sizes. The pistols also incorporate a dual recoil spring assembly for softer shooting. As a result, GLOCK Gen4 pistols are ending up in the handbags of women without having to make them in bright, shiny colors!

Most shooting organizations that are serious about growth and supporting the shooting sports make sure that new shooters are not discouraged or made to feel unwelcome by holding their inexperience against them. Wei Young, the first female Matchmeister in the GSSF, shared what it was like getting into the gun world: “I just wanted to learn how to safely handle a gun, but it turned out that the people from the club I joined were very friendly and quick to share their knowledge. They asked me to shoot in local competitions, which I did and did well!”

Brittany Alexander, a young shooter new to competitive events, said GSSF staff had “caring attitudes and a helpful nature. They are eager to share tips of the trade with a young shooter like myself. The people at GSSF events really keep me coming back.”

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