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The Lehigh Valley Chapter of "A Girl & A Gun" caters to women shooters

“A Girl and a Gun” and steel plates is not a kitchen dilemma. Far from it.

Range officer Dave Snyder of Allentown and Melanie Totenbier of South Whitehall Township, welcome 18 ladies to Guthsville R&G Club for the organizations first steel plate clinic
by Nick Hromiak
18 female shooters attended Saturdays steel plate shoot
by Nick Hromiak

This past Saturday 18 girls and their handguns showed up at Guthsville Rod and Gun Club in Orefield for some steel plate shooting. No, they don’t shoot dinnerware, but metal plates on posts set at various distances and in a prearranged array with a single, red colored plate post being a stop plate. The stop plate in the group has to be shot last. Hitting it before the other plate’s results in a score deduction.

A Girl and A Gun (AGAGClub) is a women’s only organization established by women shooters for women shooters for the pistol, rifle and shotgun sports. The league, according to the organizations website (www.agirlandagunclub), is designed to take beginners to whatever skill level they wish to achieve. Its objective is to improve ladies’ skill levels for target and/or competitive shooting, and for self-defense training. It has chapters from Maine to Washington State and this is the first chapter in the Lehigh Valley area.

The weekend clinic was co-sponsored by Wiley X sunglasses and led by Lehigh Valley Chapter Facilitator, Melanie Totenbeir of South Whitehall Township.

Since this was the organizations first year anniversary in the Lehigh Valley, Totenbeir offered this instructional clinic to all girls from the Lehigh Valley and New Jersey. After shooting paper targets, Totenbeir thought steel plates would be more interesting and exciting for lady shooters, most of whom have had some shooting experience and know the safety aspects of gun handling and shooting.

The hot range was run by Dave Snyder of Allentown and Eric Serfass of Emmaus who gave a review of safety rules, steel plate shooting and some tips on timed shooting of the plates.

Of special significance was the participation of a blind gal from Texas who took a bus from New York City, where she was visiting, to shoot the plates for the first time.

Melissa Resnick is totally blind but it doesn’t hamper her desire. Resnick explained that she is working on a PhD degree in Biomedical Infometrics, but enjoys shooting despite her handicap.

The 49 year old petite lady was eager to shoot the plates because, and unlike paper targets, she said, “Even though I can’t see them, I can hear the plink sound when hitting the steel plate targets.”

For the shoot, Resnick borrowed a 9mm pistol from Totenbeir. Much to the surprise of the other gals waiting their turn to shoot, Resnick’s first shot pinged the plate plus the four others on that particular course. Everyone was amazed, and her guided ability gave enthusiasm and encouragement to the others.

To accomplish this, Resnick had two spotters. Serfass lined up her extended arms while April Sweeney of Allentown looked over her shoulder to establish a sight picture while offering verbal corrections to the target.

Some of the overheard conversations among the women during the clinic ran from gun choices to a young gal who was carrying what appeared to be a ladies large handbag while waiting her turn to shoot. Another gal asked why she had the bag and her reply was that her father doesn’t know she owns a gun so she has to disguise it when walking out of the house.

All toll, each lady shot between 150-200 rounds over the eight stage course, with one girl toting a six shot, snub nose .38/.357 revolver, a handgun that is tough to shoot accurately at longer ranges because of its short barrel length.

Being a member of A Girl & A Gun offers other activities such as “Girls Night Out,” “Breakfast & Bullets,” “T” Time,” plus being able to shoot in recreational leagues of IDPA and USPSA including multi-gun classes and clinics. Members are also offered discounts from local and national retailers, discounts on classes and other special events.
To get more details on A Girl & A Gun call Totenbeir at 267-210-7256 or check their aforementioned website.

“New shooters are always welcomed,” said Totenbier.

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