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.

Tatiana Louise Whitlock

INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER


Maine

Who or what got you into shooting?
My husband sat me down one day and as lovingly as he could, said, “Honey, you need a hobby.” We have 2 toddlers, I was working full time and trying to start a new business. He felt I needed something of my own, with other women. You can imagine his shock when I signed up for a Women on Target clinic! 

Why are you involved with the NRA or how do you support their efforts?
This past year I joined the NRA, became a Refuse to be a Victim and Basic Pistol instructor, as well as a Range Safety Officer, and donated my time at Women on Target events.

Tell us about the first gun you owned or your favorite gun
Shortly after participating in my first Women on Target clinic my husband asked what I wanted for our five year anniversary. Something shiny and metal of course! He didn't see the trip to the Cabela's gun counter coming. I selected my first handgun: A U22 Neos Beretta.

What's your current go-to gun?
I'm a Smith & Wesson M&P girl. My go-to gun is my Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm.

What's your favorite shooting range or place to hunt?
My favorite range is the North Berwick Rod & Gun Club in southern Maine. Terrific facility, but it is the membership that makes it extraordinary. My favorite place to hunt is at the Bradford Camps on Munsungun Lake in northern Maine.  Majestic is the best word to describe that landscape; Maine at its best.

Do you have a favorite accessory or clothing item you won't go shooting or hunting without? What makes it so important?
My favorite accessory is my G-Code holster for my Smith & Wesson M&P. Rugged is an understatement. When other holsters have failed under the thousands and thousands of repetitions in training, their holster hasn't flinched. Reliable, rugged, and made in the USA. 

What's your most unusual gun-related item?:
I had to use foam pipe insulation to pad a single point sling for a short time. My training partners refereed to it as my "flotation device." While not exactly the most stylish piece of gear it was remarkably comfortable!

What's your best or most memorable moment as it relates to firearms?:
Its 4 a.m., freezing out, and I'm lying in the duck blind with my father and brothers. The air is deliciously salty coming in off the ocean. The birds finally come in, my father gives me the OK to shoot, and I take aim, fire and hit my mark. I was 13 years old and will never forget the look of pride on my Dad's face. 

I own a gun because:
As an industrial designer I am fascinated with precision engineering and good design. I own them for what they are as masterfully designed objects, for the recreational enjoyment they facilitate, the friendships they create, the protection they provide and the food they put on the table.

Tell us the best (or worst) gun advice you've ever been given.
Best: “Follow through” is the continuous application of the fundamentals before, during and after the shot is fired. Worst: Just point and shoot. 

What's your easiest gun to handle and shoot? Hardest?:
I have yet to meet a firearm that I didn't like. The easiest would have to be the 9mm I train with given how comfortable I am with it. The hardest would have to be the first few rounds through a gun new to me, until we get better acquainted that is! 

What would be your recommendation for best entry-level gun?:
.22 caliber semi-automatic handgun

Your ideal shopping trip: the mall or an outdoor outfitter?:
Get the kids a babysitter... I'll be at the outdoor outfitter for quite some time.

What do you think is the best home defense — firing or fleeing?
No possession is worth exposing my family to harm over. That being said, if I can't get my family out of my home in the event of a home invasion, I would not hesitate to make it clear I am prepared to fire and am comfortable with the consequences. 

Who or what inspires you?
Women in history who broke the mold, achieved the unthinkable and raised the bar for us all. From Elizabeth the Great to my own Mother, extraordinary in their strength and warrior spirit. 

What's your favorite holiday? Why?
The 4th of July is my family’s favorite holiday for all that the day represents and for the traditions we have formed around it. 

What do you do to relax and unwind — watch TV, listen to music, go to movies, catch a game, exercise, something else?:
Other than heading to the range? Cooking recipes handed down from my mother and grandmothers with my daughter. 

Your greatest accomplishment?
United States Patent 6357153, designed with my father and two brothers, was one of my first patents. Such cherished memories of the design process, model making, and engineering with these three brilliant men and my childhood hunting partners. The four of us shared two passions: design and the outdoors.