Smith and Wesson

Welcome to the NRA Women's Channel

Presented by Smith & Wesson

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.

Patty McConnell


Reno, NV

Who or what got you into shooting?

In June of 2009 I took a class, Women's Introduction to Handguns, from the Women's Shooting Academy in Reno Nevada. I absolutely fell in love with shooting so I continued to take classes and obtained my CCW permit in December of 2009. Two years later I became an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor so I can share my passion for shooting with other women.

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

Currently I shoot handguns and a .22 rifle. I hope to purchase my own rifle in the future and do some hunting with my husband.

NRA member since:

May 2010

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

I support the NRA through my membership and encouraging others to join the NRA. My business, Silver State Apparel, designs and sells concealed carry clothing for women and our website has a link to the NRA.

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

My favorite gun is my Kimber .45, named Kimmy, she is fun and easy to shoot. All my guns have names, Maggie (Ruger .357 Magnum revolver), Ruby (Ruger.38 Special Revolver with a red laser) and Bel (Browning .22 SA).

What's your current go-to gun?

When I am at home my go to gun for home defense is the Kimber .45. My carry gun is the .38 revolver.

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

I live in Reno Nevada and shoot at the Washoe County Regional Shooting Range.

I own a gun because:

I want to take responsibility for my own safety and that of my family. It is a privilege to live in a country where we have the freedom to bear arms and I want to exercise my God given rights.

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

The best gun advice I have been given is don't leave home without your gun, because when you need your gun, you need your gun.

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

My easiest gun to shoot is the Kimber.45 because it is big and absorbs the recoil. The hardest gun to shoot is my carry gun because it is a lightweight polymer revolver and has a bite when I shoot it.

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

The best entry-level gun is the one that you feel comfortable with and will be able to use with confidence.

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

My ideal shopping trip is to Cabelas. I can find something cute to wear and look at guns and ammo all in the same place!

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

The best home defense is to be prepared and to stand your ground and fight. We must take a stand to stop the evil that is trying to invade our world.

Who or what inspires you?

My family inspires me to be the best I can be. My husband Shaun supports me in whatever I am doing.

What's your favorite holiday? Why?

Christmas is my favorite holiday because it is a celebration of the greatest gift mankind has ever received, Jesus Christ.

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

To relax and unwind I watch TV. I love baseball and watching the Outdoor channels and of course Duck Dynasty.

Your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment is my family. I am a wife, mother of four wonderful children and a grandmother of 7. Nothing is more fulfilling than watching your children grow up and raise families of their own and teaching their children the values you instilled in them.