Welcome to Women Who Shoot, our new series highlighting women from all over the country who are making a positive difference in the shooting community.
First up in our series is Ursula Williams, a competitive shooter from Phoenix, Arizona who recently brought home a team bronze medal at the 2018 IPSC Shotgun World Shoot in France. We asked her some questions about how she got started and her experiences as a competitive shooter. Here's her story:
Growing up in the ghetto of Detroit, Michigan, I didn’t have the same shooting upbringing as most competitors. I got into firearms when I became a detention officer in 2005. I became weapons certified, a separate certification, in 2010 and my first duty gun was a Glock 22, .40 cal.
In early 2014, after years of going to Ladies Night at local indoor ranges, I started competing in local outdoor pistol steel matches in my duty gear. Later on that year, the match director of those matches approached me about getting into 3-Gun. All I knew about 3-Gun at the time was it’s expensive and I was, still am, a poor government employee. After much debate, I decided if I was going to dedicate time and money to a hobby, I wanted to do it right and lay down a solid foundation. So, I Googled “3-Gun training” one curious night and found A Girl and A Gun’s 3-Gun University. It is 3-Gun training match with a real prize table, trophies, and most importantly, coaches. I ran back to that match director and told him what I found. He immediately took me under his wing and prepared me for that match, not knowing he was a well-respected high-level 3-Gun competitor. He even loaned me his Benelli M2. I finished 2nd in my division at that match and I was hooked.
I enjoy the complexity of 3-Gun. I have to be proficient on three firearm platforms; pistol, rifle, and shotgun to maintain a strong competition level. The beauty of it is that I can break down each component and shoot them in single gun competitions for 3-Gun practice.
Before I left for France, a great friend of mine, Glen Stilson of Independence Training and host of The Arms Room Show podcast, gave me a patch that says, “Nobody Cares, Work Harder!” I wore that patch on my hoodie while overseas and now it’s posted in my car as a constant reminder to stop complaining and get to work.
I was selected to represent the US in the 2018 International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Shotgun World Shoot, which was held in Chateauroux, France. The best way to describe it is the Olympics of Practical Shooting. There were approximately 40 countries represented there. It was a slightly different format than I was used to here in the States but nonetheless, it was fun and challenging. What I appreciated the most outside of shooting there was meeting shooters from other countries and learning about their strict gun laws and culture.
Ask questions, have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously!
A shooting tip that I received from Jerry Miculek was how to make the target bigger mentally. For most 3-Gun paper target scoring, you are required to place two rounds anywhere on target or one ‘A’ Zone hit. He said, “just aim between the two sticks!” (the target holders).
Ursula's sponsors include Troy, Vortex Optics, Elftmann Tactical, Lucas Outdoor Line, We Plead the 2nd, TUFF Products, and Plug’r. You can find her on Instagram at @ursula.308 and on Facebook at @ursula.308