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.”

Why Women Like GLOCK

GLOCK shooter, Armorer and instructor Lisa Marie Judy started her shooting career by helping her husband out as he taught new shooters on their range. She soon became proficient in shooting and qualified to instruct, so she began teaching classes to other women herself. Recognizing that her students were talented and competitive yet reluctant to shoot against men, Lisa Marie wanted to create a competitive venue just for women. She approached the GSSF, who loved the idea and sanctioned the first ever women-only GSSF match, the Palmetto GLOCK Shootout. An unexpectedly huge hit, instead of the expected 40 women, the 2011 match had 74 women and 105 entries. This year’s match had 145 entries with female GLOCK shooters coming from all over the country to compete.

The competitors primarily wanted to have fun, with husbands supporting their wives, mothers helping daughters and teams of female police officers sharing, learning and laughing a lot—all in a low-pressure, well-run, beautiful venue.

Although she owns many different firearms, Lisa Marie is a GLOCK shooter exclusively “because they go BANG every time. They are by far the most reliable guns I have ever shot. I have never seen a GLOCK malfunction on my range and we have taught over 1,000 students.”

Lisa went on to describe her shop. “About one in seven firearms purchased in my store are sold to women, which is about double the amount sold than in previous years.” Why? “We as women like things to be simple. A GLOCK is not complicated, even to clean. It is reliable and safe, and you can get it sweaty and dirty and it still will run.”

“The GLOCK G19 Gen4 is the pistol most women like because it is balanced, accurate, the grip can be perfectly fitted to their hand and the dual recoil spring reduces recoil, so it is very comfortable to shoot.”

Lisa Marie allows her students to make their own decisions based not on what she says, but how well a pistol shoots in their hand. “When female shooters get on the range with my 35 handguns, including nine different GLOCKs, I let them shoot what they like and they usually end up with a GLOCK 19.”

Young shooter Brittany Alexander has been a fan of GLOCK pistols, competing with them for over three years. Her experience includes winning Georgia’s annual Youth Shooters Challenge in 2011 as well as earning Top Junior Female honors in GLOCK matches in Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. Brittany said, “GLOCKs were my first experience with pistol shooting. I fell in love with shooting them because they are easy to shoot and simple to handle.”

When asked how GLOCKs help her shoot better, Brittany replied, “GLOCK pistols are comfortable to use and are crafted for any age group.” As with any age or activity, training and practice is key, so Brittany explained, “The GLOCK makes me want to practice more and because of the trigger safety, I feel safer on the range and during competition.”

“GLOCK pistols are superior for competition due to their lightweight design and trigger control. Also, GLOCK pistols are simple and easy to use because there are no external levers to switch off. When the buzzer goes off, all you have to do is get on target and press the trigger!”

Right to Protection

Women are taking charge of their careers, their lives, and the lives of their family members by choosing to own firearms. Just as GLOCK has already revolutionized the gun industry with superior materials and engineering, GLOCK is the perfect pistol that many women have chosen as their own. By sheer numbers, American women have made a statement, and they’ve chosen GLOCK.

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