You asked and she answered. Last week, you sent us your questions for trick shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss and here are her answers:
1. What types of rimfire rifles would you recommend for adults getting started in target shooting? And is it better to start with iron sights or a scope?
In general to begin to prep or target shooting, I would say to look into a fairly accurate (around 1 moa which is roughly a 1 inch group at 100 yards, so half an inch roughly at 50 yards and so on) bolt action 22 lr with a consistent trigger.. It is almost always better to start with iron sights rather than a scope. Scopes can be a crutch, but interestingly enough they can also help in developing bad habits if your fundamental marksmanship skills aren't developed yet. A 17hmr is not a bad choice either, but the ammo is more expensive.
2. When you put yourself in awkward positions, angles, etc.; do you ever get vertigo? If so, how do you handle it during your shot?
Ha, this is a good one! It depends on the shot. I'm not sure whether its a product of training, sports and activities I did as a kid, or what... but I'm blessed with very good balance. Some of the best as tested on the advanced equipment the Olympic Training Center uses to test their athletes. It's something that always has to be honed, however, and I've always enjoyed excersises that benefit balance. If I feel vertigo or balance issues, I take deep breaths and calm myself before ever taking the shot... or simply start over. There's nothing wrong with beginning again and airing on the side of safety.
3. What is one goal which you have yet to reach in your shooting career? The next shot. So far everything I've done is for the first time on camera. It may not always be like that, but its fun to experience new things right there with my audience friends. This way its not something I've trained for hours beforehand off camera. Because, of course anyone can do anything with enough practice, right?
I want the person watching to know that they can push their limits too, and its okay to try new things even if you don't get it the first time.
I show my misses in first time attempts, because I want to be real in that its okay to miss sometimes. It’s not about making the shot the first time you try it, but about challenging yourself and having fun. You have to try first, to see where your limits are...in order to break those limits.
Many people are afraid of failure because there are so many people these days busy trying to seem perfect, so busy constructing a false reality... but all that does is put pressure on them to live up to all the fake!! Perfection is overrated and doesn't actually exist in its purest form. Living in that truth really frees a person.
I will say I have made a few shots on my first attempt... which I wouldn't say is perfection as much as I probably need to push myself a little harder, haha! But boy does it feel good, and is fun when you surprise yourself like that! But making the shot is more important than how many attempts it takes. Everyone has to start somewhere, and being brave enough to go for it in spite of the unknowns, is the first step.
4. What has been your most difficult trick shot to date?
Shooting from a helicopter to blow up a car is up there. Also shooting blindfolded... hmm... There all pretty challenging in one way or another. ...Maybe Point Blank Peeps. * tongue placed firmly in cheek*
5. If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
Well that's difficult. So I'll go with the first 3 that come to mind. Tenacious. Eclectic. Genuine.
6. Other than trick shooting what are your hobbies?
SO many things. Hence eclectic, haha. I'm an artist, writer, firearm consultant, scuba diver, linguist, skin diver, explorer, martial artist, dancer, ethnobotanist, entomophagist (depending on the country), hunter, computer game nerd, nomad....let's just trail off there for now. Life is too interesting not to explore.
7. What is your favorite handgun, rifle and shotgun to shoot?
It depends on the application :) I really don't have one favorite. I have a preferred gun for the specific job. In general I think the perfect gun is a trifecta of functional, unique, and beautiful. I love innovation. That doesn't always mean a new gun. There was a massive amount of innovation in the history of firearms. It's fascinating, and I commend those who leap into new and unproven territory. No one can take that bravery away.