Passion Forward – Interview with 5.11 Ambassador Katie Francis

At 16 years old, Katelyn (Katie) Francis is an avid competitive shooter. Katie began shooting with a 22 revolver at the age of five, and by the age of eight she began shooting a 9MM pistol. When Francis was 10, she started shooting in local United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) pistol matches. That same year, she competed in the Monster Match in St. Louis, Mo. and was the third place junior. Katie will be representing the U.S. at the International Practical Shooting Confederation Shotgun Match this coming September in Italy.

Being exposed to competitive shooting from a very young age, and being surrounded by a family that promotes safe and fun shooting activities, Katie has quickly scaled the ranks in the world of 3 Gun competitions. With a strong social media following and respect from her peers in the sport, she stands as an inspiration for young women who are interested in sport shooting.

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1. You have developed a strong following over the years. What would you say has been a key factor in your popularity?
I believe that my success has to do with me starting out so young, and all the videos I post on Facebook. It also has to do with me being a junior girl who can handle a gun well.

2. A few professional female 3 Gunners have cited you as being a direct influence in inspiring them to enter or at least try 3 Gun. What piece of advice would you like to share with women who are interested in the sport?
I would just say to have fun and try it. The sport isn’t for everyone but if you try and enjoy the sport of shooting, then do it. If you don’t have the right equipment, the 3-gun community is very sharing. We are all willing to let you try our stuff.

3. Besides 3 Gun competitions, what are some of your other interests?
I run track for school. I am also in Spanish club, FBLA, and Operation Bugle Boy.

4. What has been the most challenging aspect of being a 3 Gun shooter?
Well, being short and all — the ports are not meant for me! Other than that it’s just being away from my friends and missing a bunch of school. But I manage to keep my grades up and still spend time with my friends.

5. What are the toughest conditions you / your pants have withstood in or out of competition?
Recently I shot in a match where I slid down a roof top and ripped my elbow and my knee up, but didn’t even tear my pants. Other than that I’m always kneeling and laying down in dirt, gravel, and other rough terrain. I also shoot in rain and other harsh conditions and my 5.11 Stryke pants, being water resistant, hold up great!

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About 5.11 Tactical Women’s Products
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), more than half of women in the U.S. said they intend to purchase at least one firearm in the next 12 months. In the U.K. women make up more than 25 percent of today’s police force. With steady growth of women’s participation in shooting sports, gun ownership and law enforcement, we continue our efforts to extend our women’s line of tactical apparel and gear—designed by women, for women—to support this growing community. See the full line of 5.11 Tactical Women’s products and check out our Facebook page for the latest updates on Katie and all of our women ambassadors.