Smith and Wesson

Welcome to the NRA Women's Channel

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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.

Mandi Zimcosky


Columbus, OH

Who or what got you into shooting?
My Fiancé got me into shooting handguns the second I expressed any interest in learning about them.

Do you shoot handguns, shotguns, rifles or all of the above?
I shoot handguns competitively and I will begin shooting shotguns, rifles, and handguns in multi-gun competitions later this year.

NRA member since:
I have been an NRA member since 2011.

Why are you involved with the NRA or how do you support their efforts?
I am an NRA instructor and teach their courses to my women’s group in Columbus, OH.

Tell us about the first gun you owned or your favorite gun.
My favorite gun that I own is my competition 2011. It is custom-built .40 from Brazos customs guns. That gun is the gun that I use in all of my competitions.

What's your current go-to gun?
My go to gun is my 2011 .40. I carry a 380 for protection though.

What's your favorite shooting range or place to hunt?
I love shooting on any outdoor pistol range. I love being outside and being open to shooting different targets.

Do you have a favorite accessory or clothing item you won't go shooting or hunting without? What makes it so important?
My favorite gun accessory that I own is my competition belt with my mag pouches and holster. I don’t go to any competition without them because I have to have them and also because they are set for me with everything in the right position.

What's your most unusual gun-related item?
My most unusual gun related item is the grip on my 2011. The grip displays my company, Steel and Lace with its logo.

I own a gun because:
It’s my right. It’s my way of protection and it’s also my hobby.

Tell us the best (or worst) gun advice you've ever been given.
The best gun advice I have ever gotten is to watch my sights and to let them be my speedometer.

What's your easiest gun to handle and shoot? Hardest?
The easiest gun that I have ever handled is a 9mm. I am so used to having a firearm that recoils more then a 9mm. The hardest firearm that I have ever shot is our Smith & Wesson 500.The gun is just so hard to control.

What would be your recommendation for best entry-level gun?
Well that would depend on what the firearm would be used for and who its for. I try not to recommend anything to people unless they have had a chance to go and shoot. The best way to know what kind of gun you should buy is by shooting them. It all depends on what you like.

Your ideal shopping trip: the mall or an outdoor outfitter?
Well I'm a girlie girl and I love to shop, so either place would be ideal. I can always find something I love or need at either place.

What do you think is the best home defense ‹ firing or fleeing?
Firing of course. I would do anything to protect my family and myself.

Who or what inspires you?
My shooting team inspires me. We are a group of friends who have become family, all with different goals in the shooting world. They are always there to help me or anyone else who has questions. The make shooting fun and they are always there to support me.

What's your favorite holiday? Why?
My favorite holiday is Christmas. I love just everything about it. Having the family come together and just enjoy each other. 

What do you do to relax and unwind ‹ watch TV, listen to music, go to movies, catch a game, exercise, something else?
I do all of those things. I just hang out with everyone close to me. I just go with flow and have fun with it. Normally though my team and I are on a range somewhere.

Your greatest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment this year is winning my class in limited division and taking high lady in limited at the Arkansas Sectional USPSA match earlier this year. It was my first big win in the sport.