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NRA Women is designed for female gun enthusiasts. It's a resource for news, education, events and more. And we're telling more stories of empowered women like you. Come explore, connect, celebrate and unite with the women of NRA.

Crystal D. Mann

NRA Training Counselor & Chief Instructor: Central Carolina Gun Club Inc

Burlington, NC

Who or what got you into shooting?

I became a FFL dealer in 08 & often assisted folks with their firearms. I worked with Remington awhile then began training f/t & Inc. the American Women Shooters Mentorship Inc in '11, a nonprofit womens education organization whose Mission: To Mentor, Support and Promote Firearms Safety Education and Shooting Proficiency For All American Women! Recently I was appointed as Chief Instructor & Chief RSO at a new up & coming range.

Do you shoot handguns, shotguns, rifles or all of the above? 

All of them!

Why are you involved with the NRA or how do you support their efforts? 

I am a NRA Training Counselor because I support & am committed to the mutual mission of sharing the Knowledge, Skills & Attitude and values of the NRA & our Constitution.

Tell us about the first gun you owned or your favorite gun.

My PawPaw Bud & I carried matching Beretta tip ups in 25, it was my first self defense handgun....I still have them both and wouldn't take a million bucks for them. 

What's your current go-to gun?

S&W 38SP Airweight for conceal carry....but my fav shooter is a H&K P7 in 9mm, plinker rifle is my Marlin 39A in 22lr.

What's your favorite shooting range or place to hunt?

Central Carolina Gun Club of course!

Do you have a favorite accessory or clothing item you won't go shooting or hunting without? What makes it so important? 

Not really, I roll around in a mobile range so we usually have everything with us!

What's your most unusual gun-related item?

I refinished an antique violin coffin case for my lil 410 takedown shotgun.

What's your best or most memorable moment as it relates to firearms? 

We were invited to visit Barrett Firearms in April 2010. My husband & I drove our old Chevelle out & really had a BLAST! Love Mr. Barrett & his awesome family! 

I own a gun because: 

It's my responsibility.

Tell us the best (or worst) gun advice you've ever been given. 

My Expert Army Marksman friend says: Always Respect the bore! Worst: A gun for your wife? Just give her a revolver...(overheard at local gun store)

What's your easiest gun to handle and shoot? Hardest?

Easiest: Browning Buckmark Camper....I've used it for years in training. Toughest: S&W 460 (standing, 2 handed) was a beast!

What would be your recommendation for best entry-level gun? 

That will vary by person & purpose depending on their physical ability, purpose,etc.

Your ideal shopping trip: the mall or an outdoor outfitter? 

Outdoor fitter...I'm a junk store junkie too!

What do you think is the best home defense — firing or fleeing? 

The situation dictates the response...I would prefer to avoid if possible.

Who or what inspires you?

I've had the most awesome super hero "gunspirators" & encourager's...folks like Mr. Barrett & Mr. Tucker (Davidsons) have welcomed, mentored & helped me along this shooting adventure. Countless other friends have helped me along & they inspire me to keep making progress & sharing the information. 

What's your favorite holiday? Why?

Memorial Day....I celebrate all the contributions my Grandfathers & father made in our country's service, usually with very loud gunfire! I've always clearly understood Freedom is Never Free and never forget those who give it all.

What do you do to relax and unwind — watch TV, listen to music, go to movies, catch a game, exercise, something else?

I make lye soap, lip balms, crazy craft stuff! I enjoy my old Chevys, my pressure cooker collection & hanging out with my family & shooter friends at the CCGCI & my private range with the kids.

Your greatest accomplishment?

I've been welcomed & humbled to spend time with my idol Mr. Barrett, participated filming the Gallery of Guns TV show produced by my friend & Davidsons CEO Mr. Tucker. I've trained some awesome folks too. My daily greatest accomplishment in training is sharing & empowering women & youth with the knowledge & confidence to safely handle firearms for personal safety, recreation or hunting.