Missy Gilliland grew up in a hunting family. The competitive shooting bug didn’t bite her until she attended a 2012 match in Tennessee with her husband, retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant James Gilliland. Missy went to spend some quality time with James, as well as get some photos of him in action. “It looked like so much fun. At first I thought it was just for law enforcement and military folks,” Missy said. “I went out to the range with him two weeks later, and it was so much fun plinking little things at a distance." “I did a team match with him and I was just hooked on it.
Missy started her competitive shooting career in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) in 2013. Precision Rifle Series matches require competitors to hit multiple long-range targets in a short time from a variety of firing positions. A differentiator in the PRS world is that men and women compete side by side, there is not a separate female division. The math science of long-range shooting appealed to Missy just as much as the challenge. “I’m a nerd at heart. All the factors that go into that one shot while shooting long range – elevation, the wind, the environment, plus hitting tiny targets at distance – it’s not just point and click,” Missy said. “There’s so much more that goes into that one shot other than just pulling the trigger. That’s the thing that excites me about it.”
Missy has also seen women’s participation rise since she began her shooting career, She welcomes the opportunity to help introduce shooting sports to more women, whether its through competitive shooting or being an NRA-certified firearms instructor.