Excitement & Fun!

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Classes



The excitement is spreading! Girlfriend Gun Party has been exactly what I hoped it would be. A great way to introduce firearms to more women, a way for friends to get together and have fun with a theme, and a very effective way to spread education about firearm safety. It is very rewarding to meet new people and share firearm safety and education with them and be a part of their inner circle for a little while.

When I started this, I hoped that other women would be just as excited as I am about it- and they are! You don’t have to have a large group of women to book a party, just you and three other friends, or even two. To ensure quality and individual attention, I limit the party to six women unless there are special circumstances. I love that instead of inviting women over to sell them a product, women can get together to learn & have fun without any intimidation or loud range.

When I started this, I hoped that other women would be just as excited as I am about it- and they are! You don’t have to have a large group of women to book a party, just you and three other friends, or even two. To ensure quality and individual attention, I limit the party to six women unless there are special circumstances. I love that instead of inviting women over to sell them a product, women can get together to learn & have fun without any intimidation or loud range.

Most women want to learn to shoot but never take the step to go to the range, that’s okay- I will bring the education and fun to you!

A Girlfriend Gun Party is perfect for:

  • Ladies Night
  • Baby Showers
  • Bridal Showers
  • Bachelorette Parties
  • Birthday parties
  • Family Reunions
  • Team-Building at the workplace
  • and more!

Anyplace you can have a small gathering, we can accommodate. For larger events we can give more of a portable laser range to entertain guests.

Ask questions if you have them!

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Did He Just Say That?

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Perspectives, Stories

You’ve arrived at the range, you stop by counter to check-in and here comes Fred. Fred takes a look at you and says…

Oh no, better watch out, she has a gun.

Women should shoot revolvers, they are simple.

Here’s a pink gun you will like.

Forget that gun, this one is a Muddy Girl.

You have to have big hands to handle big guns.

Your hands are too small to shoot a gun properly.

To his friend, you better not let a girl beat you.

Are you sure you want to shoot THAT?

You can’t carry a .45, it’s too powerful for you.

This range is too long for you, the shorter one is over there.

Women always limp-wrist, they are too weak to hold a gun properly.

Women can’t rack the slide of this gun, it’s too hard.

You shooting a .22 or .380?

Do you want me to show you how to handle that gun?

Wow, your husband lets you shoot his guns?

Whoa, that gun is bigger than you!

If the women are done clucking…

Do you know how to load that?

It never fails, they say exactly what they are thinking without thinking sometimes. For every supportive, experienced shooter there is two others that have more opinions than sense. Do not let these comments make you doubt yourself or stop you from shooting. Share the ridiculousness with your friends and laugh it off.

Tell Us What Your Mama Said

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Perspectives

Celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend, I realize that a good bit of what my mama told me was true. Now that I have a seventeen year old daughter myself, I wonder what she will say, “my mama said…”

To celebrate and share the joys (and tears) of motherhood, let’s share what our mamas told us. Good advice, bad advice, funny stories, gross (should we go there?) stories. What other way to honor the mothers in our lives but with their own words! These are going to be GOOD!

When you decide you want more…

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Perspectives, Stories, Training Notes

Are you a hobby shooter wanting more? When you go to a range, what are you practicing for…skill, defensive, or just out hangin’ around just to have fun! I was one that found myself going to indoor ranges to become a better aim, hit that center target and have fun while building my skills and then something clicked that I wanted more.

I started paying more attention, getting more serious about what I really wanted in my knowledge. Thinking long and hard about this hobby of mine and what I really wanted out of it. Do I just want to go to the gun range and shoot a hole in the center target or do I want to get serious about what I’m doing and go further, push myself, learn more, crave more, desire more?

At this point in my shooting skills, the want to move forward in learning the correct way of shooting hit me hard. Paying more attention to my stance, grip, trigger pull, front sights and target put me in the running for more knowledge and understanding the fundamentals. I noticed that I was craving more, something fun although structured in learning.

Being around the indoor range and always hearing about competition, it got me thinking…what really is competition? Now, I wanted to know more. I got myself into a women’s league and one of the facilitators does competition shooting along with a few women in the group and that piqued my curiosity.

Consequently, one night I went to the gun range when they were hosting an IDPA match and whoa, was I hooked! This is what I’ve been looking for. The structure, the thought process, and development of shooting skills. I watched eagerly to learn and wanted to know more. The next week, they were having an ASPSA match and I got myself the necessities to shoot that match. Belt, magazine holders, gun holster, and ammunition. I was set.

Not knowing what to expect, I signed up for my first match. Nervous and not understanding the commands, I asked questions, a lot! Listening to the squad leader and RO tell you what the match will be about and how it will be played, you then come up with your strategy to move forward in this match.

My first turn came up, all eyes were on me, the new comer to the game. My nerves were racked as I’m trying to understand and digest what to do, how to do it and make it count. My first trigger pull, my firearm stove pipe’s, I wanted to cringe, although I got through it and by the time I did, I was extremely proud of myself for shooting my first stage in the four stage match.

I get through the second stage with better timing and better accuracy and by this time I was floating on cloud 9! I was so proud of myself and I felt good. I was getting it down and the 3rd match came and it was my turn. I instantly got disqualified as I unholstered planning my strategy without thinking, when I knew better. That was a definite learning experience.

After I was DQ’d I stuck around, help paste the targets, clean up and tear down to still be apart of my team and show excellent sportsmanship. This is the kind of person that you want to be and your team mates need. That night when I left there, I couldn’t be more proud of myself and still am!


Now, I’ve got the bug. I’ve got to get the training although don’t know where to go. Because I’m still new in town, I really don’t know anyone so I join online women gun groups in South Carolina and I make an online friend who is more than willing to help me get to my next journey in life.

Craving more and more, I had to set myself back due to eye surgery. In the mean time, I was looking for someone I could talk to about learning the correct way of handling my gun, techniques and understanding the commands for competition.

I make some phone calls, sent some emails and I found a person who I thought was perfect for what I wanted. The more I conversed in email, the more I realized I didn’t want to learn more defensive, I wanted to learn competition. Back to the drawing board. I see a message through an online group and I decided to call this place and the person on the other end of the phone understood what I was looking for and teach competition and we set up a date for myself and my husband who has caught the bug  to learn our new passion that we are now sharing together.

We went, we learned a wealth amount of education and we had fun. This is when truly I realized this is what I want to do. One step at a time learning as I want to do it right. Eager to move forward and excited, I’m hoping to find a mentor that will take me under their wing in my area to move onward with my new-found love, competition shooting! Earning the respect of my fellow shooters and making new friends who enjoy the same passion is where I want to be in life while enjoying….competition shooting!

 Smile…It Confuses People,
 Leah D. Lichtenberg  
guest author for Live Love Load

Inside a Girlfriend Gun Party

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Classes

I cannot tell you the excitement I felt as I put together the concept of a Girlfriend Gun Party- finally, a way to reach more women with fun and education. It is a way to expose women to firearms education without scaring them with live fire or loud ranges. When you gather with your friends, you are already in a comfortable, known situation- add the excitement of learning something new together, it is fun bonding time.

The idea stemmed from working at a local range, a group of five women came in to get private instruction as a group. The caveat was that they were only paying for an hour, and private instruction is $50 per person per hour. Let’s see that’s $50 x 5 =$250 plus additional range costs. As their instructor, I had to squeeze in as much information as I could and get them on the range to shoot within 60 minutes. I realized one hour was not sufficient, for the purpose of the individual women learning. I would rather provide personal quality instruction for more women than charge more per person.

As a woman who is trying to encourage other women to try firearms and learn to shoot, this experience felt impossible.

The alternative is another gun range that offers 40 minutes of a video, female instructor standing in front of a group demonstrating how to grip and load/unload with other general terms, then time on the range with a .22 revolver and .22 semi-automatic, shoot 50 rounds- here’s your t-shirt, thanks for coming for $30.  Again, not enough time, not enough instruction or one on one time. If all you want to do is show up to a range and shoot, just do that. If you want help, guidance, and someone to help you- that’s what I am here for.

We see the parties everywhere, ones for jewelry, clothing, make-up, skincare, etc. – why not one for private instruction? Why not have a little safe fun?

I arrived to meet Kim, she showed me the church building where we would be meeting and I started setting up. One by one, the other ladies arrived. We introduced ourselves and chatted while we waited for the remaining women to arrive. We put name tags on so I could get their names right, you’ll see why that is funny in a moment. We talked together about their firearm experience and fears. I explained that this ‘party’ is an introduction only, not intended to replace a formal firearms training class.


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We got started. First, we talked about the firearm safety rules and their meaning and reason. Next, I demonstrated how a firearm works and explained each components part and their proper name. Each woman held, cleared and manipulated a firearm as they learned.

Once everyone felt comfortable, we moved on to dominant eye practical exercises. Determining which dominant hand and dominant eye for each participant allows me to be able to tailor individual instruction in a small group setting. As I worked around with the ladies, I couldn’t see Julie’s name tag and I adopted the name Linda in my mind for her. Every time I went to say her name, it came out as Linda. There was not a Linda at the party. We laughed at this over and over again as I apologized over and over again.

Each woman got a chance to hold different firearms, to clear them, manipulate their controls and get familiar. We moved on to stance and then grip. Once the stance and grip were established we worked on sight alignment.

During these practical exercises, each woman received individual attention to check for consistency and to address any issues. Once they felt comfortable, we moved on to shooting one by one. This was a larger crowd, a group of seven, so the individual shots took longer. During each woman’s shot, they got instant feedback, what they are doing well and what to do improve on.

Once every one shot, it was time for the SHOOT-OUT! The ladies were fun, it was such a great time and it was amazing to see their confidence shine as they shot against each other. I asked for feedback about the party, we all hugged, thanked each other for a great time and left for home. I felt honored to be a part of their tribe for a moment in time, to be able to assist them in learning a new skill. I’m excited for the next Girlfriend Gun Party! Book yours today at http://liveloveload.com/training/girlfriend-gun-party/





We are women who shoot.

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Being A Woman, She Hunts

We are women who love to shoot. We learn, practice, train, and train some more. We shoot for self-defense, for sport, to hunt, for excellence. Yes, for excellence. When a woman decides to do something, it’s not so she can say she did it, but she did it well. We are proud of our targets. We want to share our experiences with you. We want to bring more women into the world of shooting. We long to share our joy with you. Help us encourage other women to start shooting, take a friend to the range this week. Share your picture in the Shooting Woman of the Month contest, participate in a women’s shooting group. We are Strong. Capable. Fierce. We are WOMEN.

SHARE with other WOMEN.

Her Budget Hunting Rifle Search

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Product Reviews, She Hunts, Stories

My husband hasn’t been hunting in a few years and had a chance to go with his father since they both had the same week off from work together. I want to hunt, I love to hike and camp so being out in the woods is preferable to me. We are conscientious about buying so we have to do our research. At this point, I do not have enough knowledge to pick a hunting rifle at the $500 plus price point. If I had to choose today, I would choose a Tikka rifle but with more experience, who knows?

The biggest decision I had was what caliber to shoot- which meant borrowing or renting rifles. I borrowed a 30-06, 25-06, and 270 Win to shoot to determine. When you borrow, you cannot choose the weight of the rifle so it is a consideration if you are looking at synthetic vs. wood stocks, the difference between a 12 lb rifle and 7 lb can change your felt recoil.

Opinions are not helpful, everyone has their preferred caliber and sometimes preferred rifle manufacturer. Some said the .243 was more than enough to hunt with, while others warned it wasn’t enough stopping power. I did my research and yes, some shoot the .243 with excellent results but for the most humane hunting, I would prefer a larger caliber. The last thing I want is to prolong the suffering of an animal.

The 30-06 kicks. I stood my ground with it but it was a shoulder punch and not something I would ever consider shooting from a tree stand. When I shot the 25-06, it was okay but I preferred the .270 caliber rifle. Then the research began!


Hubs and I agreed that a first hunting rifle should be under $400, preferably with a scope already mounted for the best value. A quick internet search yielded a few models to consider. American Hunter had a great article about budget hunting rifles for under $500 that was written in February 2016 (timely). With this short list, there was a starting point of model research.


The first rifle to research was the Ruger American rifle, we have both heard good things about this rifle it seemed to be a safe place to start. The price point was a little higher than I had hoped for but I found the Ruger American Rifle with a Vortex scope! (SCORE!) Then it was to read the reviews. Nutnfancy on YouTube is very thorough on his reviews, even when he voices his personal preferences, he tells you flat out. He goes over all the features and what he likes about them or doesn’t without prejudice.


I personally do not like the Savage AXIS rifle, I held it at a gun store and it is not a good fit for me. The bolt was not smooth, the trigger was long. I did not take the time to research the Savage or the Marlin rifles on American Hunter’s list. After seeing Nutnfancy’s video and a few others on YouTube, we set out to find the best deal we could on the Ruger American. The Ruger American seemed to be the best deal for the best value, a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 mm scope with BDC is priced (on sale even) at $149-$199, which with a price point of the Ruger American at $447 (-$149=$298 rifle). Proof below.

americanriflevortexWe had a gun show in town so we figured where else to go on Black Friday weekend than to the gun show! Yes there was Ruger American rifles there in .270 but none with the scope. Of course, that’s how it goes sometimes especially if you are looking to buy online vs in-store. Table after table we looked for a .270 even if it wasn’t a Ruger American, just to get the best bang for our buck. We stopped at one table and when asked what we were looking for the personal opinion came out that the .270 has more recoil than the .308. Ho! Lookie here, there’s a .308 on the table for sale. Wink. Then Hubs started second-guessing the .270 selection, as he wants a .308 himself so he could shoot military surplus rounds (7.62×51). Then his wheels got to turning and we did a quick assessment of whether to look for a .308 or .270. Honestly, I could handle the 30-06 and as long as my rifle has LESS recoil than that, I’ll do fine with it. I believe the more you shoot a firearm, the more familiar and easier it gets. On to the next table that sent our little world spinning for about the next 2 hours…


There sitting on a table was a Ruger Predator in ugly green but with a thicker, threaded barrel and chambered in .308 at $399. It handled just like the Ruger American, was a tad bit heavier and was able to have a muzzle break added to it. Ugly green, really ugly and the only color it comes in. But it had NO SCOPE. Was it worth the extra cost? We found the Vortex Crossfire II scope on sale at one of our local vendor’s table for $149 (sweet!) so if we went ahead with the Predator ($399 plus tax)=$432 then the Vortex scope ($149 out the door)=$581. Um, OUT OF BUDGET! Again, Hubs, is it worth it? He decided no, thankfully. Bye-bye ugly green.

We left the gun show, no purchases but with a lot more confusion! Let’s go to Gander Mountain to look, we did- no Ruger American with a scope. The Ruger American was available in .308 at $349.99 without a scope (with tax) =$379.73 and then purchase Vortex scope ($149)=$528.73 URGH. Realization: If you find a deal online, you will NOT find it in a store and it is impossible to get a store to match that price. I wouldn’t even ask a local gun shop to match that price, they have to make money to stay in business and they need our support. We then went to Field & Stream (yes we are spoiled and we know it).

Upon waiting for one of the two people on staff at the counter, we saw a Remington rebate info sheet. This is what steered us to Remington over Ruger. The Ruger American was there for $349.98 without a scope, chamber in .308 ready to purchase. Same predicament as at Gander Mountain, too much money. The Remington 783 was there with a scope at $349.99 within budget. We couldn’t get over the Vortex scope yet so we left. I knew this was the better deal and the budget firearm we set out looking for. I did want the Ruger American more but our focus of this expedition was to get the best budget rifle we could.

We learned a couple of things: 1) Online deals cannot be found in stores unless you are looking at big box stores offerings. 2) There will always be PROS and CONS to your decision. 3) You don’t have to ‘upgrade’ unless you find a reason to upgrade through your experience.

Ultimately, we found a Mossy Oak camo Remington 783, .308 WIN with 22″ barrel with 9×40 scope for $343 delivered. This is the same deal below at little higher cost, apparently we got the only one available or others were shopping at the same time we were. I will post more about this after it arrives.




Women are in more danger with guns?

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Being A Woman, Newsfeed

These articles just fire me up! These “studies” are touted around by gun control groups but the actual study is not looked at, the actual statistics and the reasons for the statistics. This is disgusting opinion articles disguised as journalism!

New Study Shows That For Women, Guns Still Offer More Danger Than Protection

Of course women who are in domestic violence situations have an increase in death with a gun in the household. There is no discrimination whether the gun belongs to the victim or the abuser. Of course an abuser will use a firearm to threaten and scare (even kill) their victim. It is a tool of POWER and CONTROL. The articles written about these ‘studies’ do not go into detail whether the abuse victim received firearm instruction and/or kept the firearm away from the abuser. Abuse situations are all about power and control, if the victim cannot keep any power and control over a firearm, it would be dangerous to have one in the house!

It is a shame that Ms. Magazine wants to discourage women from their American right to bear arms, to further the message more that woman shouldn’t defend themselves against their abusers because they may die. Of course they may die, they may die from being physically beat or stabbed with a kitchen knife!

If you are or know someone in an abusive relationship, reach out- talk to someone, contact area shelters and get out of the situation as soon as possible. You are NOT ALONE. You are STRONG. You can do ANYTHING. You are WORTHY. You are IMPORTANT. Everything that is going wrong in your relationship is NOT YOUR FAULT. There IS BETTER OUT THERE FOR YOU, even if you cannot see it right now. One moment, one decision at a time is all you need to do. Make the decision now to reach out.


Range Fashion: What to Wear at the Range

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Training Notes

Men have it so easy! I’m serious, they could wear khaki pants and polo shirts with close toed shoes and be all set for the range, either in/outdoors! For women, there is much more to consider. Well, there may be some useful tips for men too…

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Let’s take this Head to Toe…

Cardinal Rule: Comfort is #1 while shooting.

  1. Hats – Absolutely! Outside, it will protect you from the sun and elements; inside, the hat will limit the amount of lead and gasses that get into your hair. I prefer Velcro backs, that way I can take the hat on/off around my ponytail easily.
  2. Ponytails are IN! The less hair to get in your way, the better. Pull your hair back, up- whichever is the most comfortable for you.
  3. Makeup. Keep it simple ladies. Liquid foundations and indoor ranges do not mix well. Mineral makeup is best suited for indoor ranges. One you will look fresher and it is healthier. Liquid foundations will trap the air in the range on your skin (yuck) and I don’t know many women who like to wash their faces after being at the range before they leave the range. Waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and matte lipstick or a little bit of tinted lip balm. You want nothing that could be sticky on your skin. Best thing to do is wash your face after your range visit.
  4. Earrings. Studs are fine but dangles may dig into your skin. Hoops may pull as well. It is best to remove any earrings before putting ear muffs on. If using ear plugs, no need to worry about your earrings.


  5. Tops. Higher necklines are best for preventing the hot brass dance. Hot brass casings will eject from your firearm and travel as you are shooting. Gaps in your top are the perfect place for these scalding hot casings to land. You can change tops in the bathroom if you are dedicated to your cute blouse. Best range wear tops? Pro-gun, pro-women t-shirts!
    1. If you are going to an outdoor range, outdoor performance shirts are fabulous. Sun-protection is highly important.
  6. Bras. I think it goes without saying, you should be as comfortable as possible while handling firearms. Keep the restrictive, pretty, painful bras for another time.
  7. Pants/Shorts. Unless you are doing a ton of kneeling shooting positions, you do not need tactical pants. Lightweight pants with cargo pockets are wonderful for indoor and outdoor ranges. Again, comfort is key. If you are doing kneeling shooting positions, get a pair of tactical pants with reinforced knees and consider knee pads.
  8. Belt. The reason to wear a belt is to carry a holster. First, check with your range to make sure using a holster while shooting is allowed. A good gun belt is rigid and at least 1.5 wide. Most pants will accommodate 1.5 belts.
  9. Shoes. Close-toed is the only way to go. Remember the hot brass dance? Keep your piggies safe and burn free, cover them up. Do not get a pedicure then come to the range.

Safe Shooting,



Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Stories, Training Notes

My nerves were constantly on. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I had a laser focus on my fundamentals and I felt sick everyday. My mind was working overtime, what if I don’t shoot well enough, what if I’m not ready. What if…

For months I worked on my shooting, the closer to the class date the more my jaw would clench while shooting. All the work I had done, money spent, would it be a waste? I was thankful that the shooting qualification wasn’t going to be first, maybe I could relax before having to prove myself.

For the last weeks leading up to the instructor certification class, I shared my targets with police officers and other experience shooters hoping to get pointers if needed. All said to relax. All said, “you’ve got this.” A few police officers said that I shoot better than officers they know.

I was dry firing, working with my laser training system, and shooting live fire once a week at least. In some way, I had determined that this class was going to determine that either I am doing the right thing or that I need to reconsider my goals.

I woke up at 4:00 am to drive 2.5 hours to the location of the class. I had chosen respected instructors for my certification, instead of just taking it to take it from a local place without the best reputation. I had decided to invest more in my certification and training. When I arrived, I was relieved to find out that I was not the only woman taking the course but we were a small group of nine people.

First we went through Basic Instructor Training class then our test, one member of our class failed the test. We didn’t fully realize he hadn’t passed until he wasn’t shooting in the qualification part. With a chance to relax and get comfortable in the environment, I shot once and passed the shooting qualification, we had an opportunity to shoot again if we didn’t pass the first time. It was painful to watch 2 members of our class fail the shooting qualification. It also goes to show, not everyone is ready to become an instructor. Three people out of class of nine had failed, including the other woman in our class. I gave her a quick hug on her way and encouraged her to try again. I reminded her, “it’s just a thing.” Which is what I was telling myself as I drove 2.5 hours to the class earlier.

After the shooting qualification, we all relaxed, the rest of the instruction would be information based. We enjoyed the rest of the course, learning together and practicing what we knew. We laughed at our mistakes and learned from each other’s individual styles. We all wished each other well and departed, all to go home as newly Certified Basic Pistol Instructor, most of us also going to teach Concealed Weapon Permit classes for South Carolina.

Quality is quality, there are no shortcuts. Demand quality from yourself and others. And RELAX! Geesh, I realize now that I was too stressed about the whole process but I placed high value upon it as this is what I am passionate about. We all learned from the class, I also learned a lot about myself.