Last month in Range Bag, we featured University of Kentucky rifle shooter Will Shaner. For September, we have Shaner’s collegiate teammate, NRA All-American and fellow 2021 U.S. Olympic Team member, Mary Tucker. Find out what she keeps in her range bag.
Mary Tucker helped lead the Kentucky Wildcats to a GARC championship victory earlier this year.
What are your first memories of handling a firearm? I started early. The first firearm I ever shot was an old wooden .22 LR when I was only 9 years old. Then, I caught the 3-Gun bug at 13, moving on to precision rifle at 15.
Tucker shooting her first gun.
Tell us how you began in competitive shooting. In the summer of 2017, I started to really concentrate on my competitive shooting skills. A few people told me I wasn’t going to be any good at the sport, and I wanted to prove them wrong. Now, I shoot for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, the U.S. Olympic Team and iShoot Consulting.
Tucker on the firing line with her smallbore rifle.
Please share with us some of your major competitive shooting accomplishments. Without going into specifics:
Medals at 2019 Meyton and H&N Cups.
High qualification score at Rio 2019.
NRA Collegiate All-American and Shooter of the Year.
GARC First Team and Shooter of the Year.
Multiple National Records.
What firearms and other gear do you use for competition? During competition, I shoot a Pardini air rifle with R10 pellets. Additionally, I use a Bleiker smallbore with Eley ammunition. I have a custom palm block on my air gun, as well as a stabilizer on my smallbore, that were both made by Matt Rawlings. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
The contents of Mary Tucker's range bag include her shooting suit, boots, gloves, sightbox, guns, ammunition and more.
Tell us about your range bag and what you carry in it besides your firearms. For my range bag, I use a 5.11 Tactical rolling duffel bag. This bag is compact, lightweight and I love all the different compartments it has. Inside, I carry my Capapi suit, Pelican sightbox, pistol carrier with all my buttplates, emergency screws, AHG boots on shoe trees, an offhand stand and box, gloves, sling, journal and my favorite—Rice Krispie treats.
What do you do in your free time? What free time? When I do get any time off, I like to ride horses or work on my Jeeps.
Tucker encourages shooters to use wobble boards to help with balance.
Any tips for new shooters? Practice at every opportunity you get. Like I mentioned earlier, there is no such thing as free time when you could be practicing. Carry a wobble board to do balance training. Have the will to set and achieve big goals, but don’t stress yourself out. Be confident and enjoy yourself. Also, make sure to read the book With Winning in Mind by Lanny Bassham.