Youth Taking Competitive Shooting by Storm

Youth Taking Competitive Shooting by Storm

The kids are alright… or at least it seems that way from a recent article on a competitive shooting wunderkind.

The report on Shyanne Roberts comes from a surprising source, the former home of anti-gun blowhard Piers Morgan. There are still nits to pick, but for the most part the article by CNN’s Christina Zdanowicz on the budding shooting star was positive.

Roberts has gripping story, at just 10-years-old she is hanging with some of the big guns of competitive shooting:

Shyanne competes alongside junior shooters, who are participants younger than 18, and even adults. Last year, she beat out adult women to place second in the Women's Division of the New Jersey Ruger Rimfire Challenge.

On October 31, she will square off against 200 of the top women shooters at the Brownell's Lady 3-Gun Pro-Am Challenge in Covington, Georgia. Shyanne is the youngest competitive shooter registered at the female-only event, according to the match director. The top shooter has a chance to win $5,000, as well as items from a prize table of guns, ammo and more.

Of course there is a mentor to the story. In this case Roberts’ father played an influential role in her becoming a hot shot:

The Franklinville, New Jersey, girl, who now has more than 20 sponsors, started learning gun safety when she was 5. After she could recite the rules and had grasped what guns can do, around age 6, her father started taking her to a gun range. Dan Roberts is a certified firearms instructor and a single dad. He has custody of Shyanne and her younger brother.

Shyanne's natural talent turned into a passion and at 7, the young athlete started competing in local matches. Physically, a competitive shooter needs to have good hand and forearm strength, as well as the ability to handle the firearm's sometimes-strong recoil. Good technique also helps.

Naturally, this being from “The Media”, there are some sections that will get gun owners’ gritting their teeth. Really, did the Brady Campaign need to be quoted for this story? (Sigh.)

Despite the expected media hand wringing and pearl clutching, the article is worth a read. All in all, Roberts’ early success is well and rightfully documented. Hopefully she’ll keep making competitive shooting headlines in the years to come.

Gun Digest 2015

Gun Digest 2015, 69th Annual Edition


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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