Chasing My Dream:
My name is Allie Barrett. I am 15 years old and live in the country in a little log cabin in Southwest Missouri. My friends have called me Allie-Cat since I was little. I think the nick name has stuck. I have always enjoyed shooting guns with my Dad and Mom, but never really got the idea of competing until my parents starting teaching Concealed Carry Classes at our gun range business they started a year ago. I wanted to help my parents on the Range and attended an NRA Pistol Instructor Course. It was 17 hours and I had to get up and teach just like the adults in the class did. I learned a lot about gun safety, took the tests and became a Certified Apprentice NRA Pistol instructor. I began shooting my Dad’s Smith and Wesson 1911 45 and then got my own Smith and Wesson M and P 9mm Pro. I loved it! I am a big Smith and Wesson Fan!
While attending the Tulsa Pro-Am a year ago, I met Molly Smith, one of the junior members of Team Smith and Wesson. Molly gave me a Smith and Wesson hat pin when I met her. It was great to watch someone my age shooting with Jerry Miculek, B.J. Norris, Phil Strader, and Dave Sevigny. After watching them fly thru the stages knocking down the steel so fast, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to become a competition shooter.
The summer of 2010 flew by and we continued teaching CCW classes on the weekends. Because I was helping my parents every weekend on the Range (as our family business began to grow), there was not much time to go shoot matches. I was able to get in a few fun events; Steel Challenge and an IDPA classifier.
Winter arrived and we still had CCW classes in 19 inches of snow! I was determined that come spring of 2011, I would start competing in matches. I wanted to shoot it all! USPSA, IDPA, Steel Challenge and ICORE.
Minor Setback: I had been a volleyball player since 7th grade and was playing winter club ball when I rolled my ankle, breaking a bone in my foot. In April 2011, I had surgery to remove the bone and re attach the tendon. Two months in a cast! Ugh! No running, no competing in matches. My heart about sank. But I was determined to not let my injury stop me. As soon as I could, I was out on our Range, shooting from the golf cart. I then began to use crutches and would shoot with one leg on a foot rest while standing on the other. I would practice as much as I could.
Since I couldn’t compete in matches, I still wanted to go watch and learn My Dad took me to the Single Stack Nationals in Barry, Illinois. The weather was so cold and rainy. I was on crutches and still in a surgical splint and the hills were very steep. We watched the Super Squad in action. All the famous shooters were there. I finally got to meet Julie Golob, Kippi Leatham, Lisa Munson and Tori Nonaka, Taran Butler and Dave Sevigny. Everyone was so nice. They must have thought I was nuts to be on crutches out in the rain! My foot was exposed and I guess had turned blue. Dave Sevigny came up to me and said he had extra hand warmers in his gun bag and wanted to put a bag over my foot with a few hand warmers in it to keep my foot warm. The next thing I know, Taran Butler, who has become such a great friend and Dave were fixing my foot up. Everyone in the shooting sports have been so encouraging and helpful to me. I knew then that these shooters were like a big family.
A few weeks later, when my Doctor asked me, “what color of cast do you want?” I told him Smith and Wesson Blue! And a week later, I was at the Bianchi Cup with my Mom sporting my new fancy cast. So many nice shooters signed my cast and I got to meet Jessie Abbate, Maggie Reese, Randi Rogers and visit with Julie G and Jerry Muculek again.. I met Trevor Baucom. He is so awesome and such a very nice guy. I also saw old friends I had made at the Pro Am and SSN.
While at the NRA Bianchi Cup, I became acquainted with the owner of Secure Firearm Products, David Surgi. We talked and he asked if I was looking for a sponsor to shoot for. I was thrilled that he was wanting me to shoot on his team! Tiffany Piper who shoots for SFP won the Junior Title this year!
As of this writing, I have been out of my boot now and back to full speed for about a week. I entered my first IDPA match in Berryville, Arkansas on July 9th 2011. I was very nervous. There were so many rules to this sport and I did not want to get disqualified on my first time out. So I took a deep breath and just went for it. It was so much fun. All the shooters were so helpful and gave me pointers. The weather was in the high 90′s, but I was having so much fun I didn’t care. I found out that I had won High Lady and finished 2nd in Stock Service Pistol in my division. I am hooked!
My mom and I will be leaving for the MGM Junior Camp next week. I am ready to shoot and learn and have so much fun with other junior shooters. The chance to learn from so many Master and Grand Master shooters is going to be a great learning experience. When I get back, I am headed to the Ruger Rimfire Championship in New Mexico with my team and then it’s time to get busy and shoot as many USPSA matches as I can before my Dad and I head to the Area 4 Championship in Texas in September.
Shooting competition is such an awesome sport with so many great people involved who are willing to help a new shooter out like me. My dream someday is to be shooting on the super squad. Until then, I am going to get out there and listen and learn from the adult shooters and be the best junior shooter I can be.
See you on the Range!
Allie “Allie-Cat” Barrett
Member of the Secure Firearm Products Shooting Team
Editor’s Note: We apologize to Allie and her family for the delay in posting. We experienced a few issues with our blog in August and have been holding onto our blog stories while we were straightening things out. Best of luck at Area-4, Allie. We hope you have an awesome weekend! :)