Best Competitive Shooters in the Country

Guest Post by Ben Jimenez

In the United States, there are an estimated 270 million firearms. That’s a large number, and people have firearms for different reasons, like hunting or self-defense. A growing number of them use firearms for target shooting.

Among the target shooters, there is a small percentage of people that take the sport to the next level and become competition shooters. These people are highly skilled athletes, some of whom get the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the Olympics in the 15 shooting events that make up the summer Olympic games. Also, there are other opportunities to compete either nationally or internationally as well. Here are four of the top competition shooters right now.

Kim Rhode

Kim Rhode is one of the most impressive shooters in the country. She currently holds six Olympic medals in skeet and trap. She is also the first American to have won five consecutive events over five different Olympic games.

Her passion for the shooting sports started at a young age. She was an avid hunter from the age of seven and honed her shotgun skills hunting dove on her family’s ranch in Arizona. Later, she went on to compete in trap and skeet and won her first Ladies

World Championship at the age of 13.

Rhode not only shoots for Team USA, but she is also sponsored by Team Beretta. Her first Olympic appearance was at the 1996 games when she was only 17, and she won the Gold Medal in double trap. She has gathered trophies and awards at hundreds of national and international shooting events, making Kim Rhode a household name in the shooting world.

Matt Emmons

One of the most accomplished shooters in Team USA Shooting history, Matt Emmons has competed in four Olympics. During his first Olympic match in 2004, he took home the Gold for Team USA in the Men’s 50m prone position.

Emmons also won a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics and a bronze in the 2012 games. He is a very accomplished shooter outside of the Olympics as well, having competed and won several awards in both national and international competitions.

Emmons is still competing and is happily married to another Olympic Gold medalist shooter named Katerina Kukova, whom he met at the 2004 Olympic games. Hunting and traveling to Alaska, as well as promoting the sport of shooting, are some ways this sharp couple enjoys spending time together.

Jerry Miculek

Often called the greatest shooter of all time, Jerry Miculek holds a number of records and wins, and he’s known for his impressive shooting feats in many different shooting sports. He started from humble beginnings in Texas and Louisiana, but he wasn’t interested in traditional sports, choosing to spend the majority of his time shooting and hunting.

As he grew older, he found an affinity for shooting guns that would lead him to his true passion: competing as a professional competition shooter in the 1980s. He also is a gunsmith, master welder and general handyman, so he’s just as skilled with tools as he is with a gun.

Miculek is one of the best in the three-gun competition. This shooting sport is meant to mimic the possibility of a self-defense situation, where competitors use a pistol, shotgun and rifle as they move through a shooting course with multiple targets.

Miculek is a seven-time USPSA three-gun champion and holds over 100 other national and international titles.
Outside of competition shooting, Miculek also has a number of other accomplishments that solidify his reputation as one of the best in the field. He holds several world records for the fastest shooter, including the time he shot five rounds from a revolver in under one second. He is one of the most accomplished and fastest shooters in history, and his wife Kay and daughter Lena are very accomplished marksmen as well.

Lena Miculek: Like father, like daughter

Lena Miculek was born into a shooting family. Her father and mother are two of the world’s most accomplished shooters, so you can say that it comes naturally for her. Lena has only been competing since 2005, and she is already a force to be reckoned with.

Recently, Lena won the Gold Medal in the IPSC Open Division ladies’ category, as well as two gold medals in 2012 and 2015 in the shotgun world shoot. This is only a fraction of her major accomplishments because she has been competing and winning competitions since she was 11 years old.

With a proud family tradition of competition shooting, Miculek is also an advocate for gun rights. She often speaks publicly with her father on the issue and aims to introduce more women to the shooting sports. The Miculek family runs a shooting event known as Babes with Bullets, where Kay Miculek — Jerry’s wife, Lena’s mother and an accomplished shooter in her own right — teaches all the events.


Shooting sports are becoming an increasingly popular discipline that appeals to both men and women. The athletes featured here have worked for years to become the best in their particular shooting disciplines. Many have gone on to win Olympic gold medals, and others have found victory at shooting competitions around the globe.

The increase in women engaging and excelling at shooting sports bodes very well for the health of these competitions. Women are starting to put their own particular mark on the shooting industry. Kim Rhode is the only American Olympic athlete to have won a medal in five consecutive Olympic games while Lena Miculek is an advocate for promoting women in competition shooting and expanding it to a new generation.

As more and more people are introduced to the competition, shooting sports in the U.S. will continue to grow. With the increase in gun ownership, it is only a matter of time before the next generation takes its place among the competitive shooting world.

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