The former junior shooter from West Virginia, Brittany Long, currently the 2nd ranked Lady in the Club Series, shoots her way through a year full of transitions, with an eye toward more
This is a year full of transitions for West Virginia’s Brittany Long. High school days are done, college is on the horizon, and a whole new world full of awaits. Remarkably, one of the constants thus far is Brittany’s ever-continuing progress in the sport of 3-Gun.
At the midway point of this season, Brittany sits in second place in the Lady category of the 3GN Club Series, a testament to her skill, passion and commitment. But like every good shooter, there’s more than meets the eye to her current standing. So we posed 10 Questions to Brittany, to take a closer look at one of the sport’s rising stars and see what helped her get here.
3GN: What first got you into shooting?
BL: I first started shooting when I was four years old, and started competing when I was nine. Shooting has always just been a family pastime for me and something I’ve grown up around with both parents being in law enforcement. I started getting serious about competing when I was 12 and saw 3-gun on TV, which I knew I had to do.
3GN: How has your dad’s influence shaped your interest and growth in the shooting sports?
BL: My dad has helped shape my shooting career in a number of ways. First, he’s always been my coach. Second, he sort of became my agent or manager, and made connections with companies and people in the shooting community to help get me started. We stumbled upon the Beckley Gun Club, which became my home range, and he was elected president and brought 3-gun to southern WV. Most my practice comes from shooting in the club matches. But originally, it wasn’t about the competitions that had me shooting. He taught me the importance of the 2nd Amendment and how to defend myself as a little girl, and seeing that all the guns he had would one day be mine, he wanted me to learn how to shoot them.
3GN: What is it about 3-Gun that captured your attention early on?
BL: I remember watching 3-Gun Nation on TV when I was younger and thought it was the coolest thing ever. We went to a major match just to watch, and I remember being pretty awestruck meeting all the big-name pros like the Miculeks that I had been watching on TV for years. I walked around with a hat and got autographs from the same people I shoot against today. When we got back home, I told dad that I wanted to be a shooter one day, and it really took off from there.
3GN: Tell us about what other sports you have played, and if there is any crossover for you from traditional sports to competitive shooting?
BL: I used to be involved in about every sport or activity you could think of. As a kid I played on football, soccer, and basketball teams. I sang and danced on stage and was in the marching band in middle school. In high school, I took up boxing and was a captain on the basketball team and lettered varsity all four years. Now I have a little less time on my hands because I’m working two jobs and going to Concord University. I’m thinking about majoring in sociology and minoring in criminology. Right now the only extracurricular activities I do are shooting and boxing. There are some similarities in the more traditional sports to shooting. For instance, the values of “practice makes perfect” and “you perform how you practice” carry over into shooting. They helped me keep in shape during shooting season as well.
3GN: You recently graduated high school, what’s next?
BL: I’m starting as a freshman at Concord University on August 13th, probably majoring in Sociology and minoring in criminology.
3GN: How has shooting changed, or how have your obligations changed your ability to train and compete?
BL: Finding the time to practice has always been a challenge for me with my constantly busy schedule, but I always find the time throughout the week and always try to buckle down right before a big match. Here in West Virginia, we also have some pretty harsh winters, so I have to shoot when the weather allows it, giving me a “shooting season” that most the folks out west and down south don’t have to worry about; they shoot year-round.
3GN: As you continue on, pursue a career, etc., will shooting and competing remain part of your life?
BL: I plan on going into law enforcement just like my parents. I’m hoping to be a Deputy U.S. Marshal like my mom. Hopefully by then my schedule will settle down, but even if it doesn’t, I always plan on shooting for as long as I can pull the trigger and afford to do it!
3GN: What’s the shooting accomplishment you are most proud of to date?
BL: One of my favorite accomplishments in my shooting career was the last match I shot as an amateur. I came in 1st in the amateur division of the 2015 Brownell’s Lady 3-Gun Championship, which took place in the middle of a hurricane. I remember being so shocked when I heard my name called, and right after the match was urged by my sponsors and friends to shoot in the pro divisions from then on.
3GN: Tell us about your relationship with DoubleStar, other sponsors, and how they’ve helped you along the way?
BL: I don’t even know where to begin with my sponsors. DoubleStar especially has treated me like family, and it’s been a dream come true. They gave me a flawless rifle that I’ve never had any trouble out of and some amazing friendships too. They have given me a spot on their team for as long as I want to be there. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I have some local sponsors too. TechSolutions has always helped me financially on my trips and been a reliable sponsor I’m lucky to have. NiceGunz Tactical is a gun shop in Princeton that is run by a dear friend to my family and me. Kurt, the owner, has given me so many accessories and top-of -the-line gear that I’ve needed. My newest sponsor is Cheata Tactical, who has sent some amazing product my way and promoted me really well. I’m very proud to be on team Cheata, and I’m extremely blessed to have the sponsors I have.
DoubleStar has been blessed to work with Brittany. Since 2014, we have watched her grow from a young girl learning the basics of shooting competitively into a young lady leading the way in 3-Gun Nation Junior and Women’s divisions. She is a joy to work with, and we are very lucky to have her representing DoubleStar. Her personality is fantastic and her skills just keep getting better. We look forward to having her on our team for years to come.Nick Collier, DoubleStar Corp.
3GN: What will see next from you in 3-Gun?
BL: Hopefully my next steps in 3-Gun are to keep climbing the ladder and building a name for myself and getting better and better. It’s an awesome community, and I’m definitely in it for the long haul!