Ever wondered what a Femmes Fatales event is like? Here, first-timer Hannah James tells all about stepping out of her comfort zone and leaping in to the exciting world of our all girl gun club. 

A Duck Out Of Water

As I mentally prepared myself for this ‘Femmes Fatales’ novice ladies day I honestly didn’t quite know what to expect as I drove out to the middle of nowhere (aka 15 minutes from Oxford on country roads so to a townie like me, that’s the barren lands beyond). It was sideways rain and I was already disappointed in myself… acutely aware that a duck down jacket was a poor wardrobe choice.

I’m as far from the concept of girls-girl as you can get. I work in a business dominated by chaps, I have few female friends and most of my clothes are greaseproof, literally. I really couldn’t think of more than one reason why I would want to join a group of ladies I didn’t know for a women’s novice shooting day. But that one reason was compelling and shameful in equal measure.

My reason for joining a Femme Fatales day; 

I didn’t want to look like a prat in front a group of experienced and accomplished chaps. There, I said it. And now to drop my comrades in it too…. I wasn’t alone.

Vanity got the better of me and despite having a large number of friends who chose to ‘smash clays’ over a session at the driving range, I opted for the relative anonymity of hanging out with a bunch of girls who were equally inexperienced and my hope, as useless as I was sure I’d be.

I was wrong – almost without exception everyone was better than me but… I had an absolute blast.

Rather than a blow by blow account of what you can expect, I thought I’d share some of my insights from the day and hopefully dispel any misconceptions or reservations you might have.

Top 5 take home thoughts from my day with the Femmes Fatales;

  • There were ladies there who’s cuticles were as badly tended as mine. Phew!
  • You can wear whatever you like – you don’t have to go and invest in a beautiful tweed getup stitched by Hebridean lemmings but if you want to, there’ll be someone else there with all the gear too. Just don’t wear duck down if it’s raining… that’s plain stupid.
  • You’ll laugh…. A lot! At yourself, at your instructor, with your instructor and with your fellow shooters.
  • Rain does not stop play. Wear waterproof mascara as we had a gaggle of Alice Cooper impressionists by coffee break.
  • You can re-take selfies as many times as you like without looking vain… We all know it’s important to get the right angle and lighting right?!

And also you learn to shoot. And that’s the really fun bit.

Do not think for a second you’ll be indoctrinated into some sort of girl-power cult, you wont (or perhaps I didn’t make the grade). It is exactly what it says on the tin – learn a new skill, meet new people, get some fresh air.

It’s no different from a yoga class (well it is a bit) or learning Zumba (again, a bit different) but it’s a cool thing to do and as an introduction to a relatively inexpensive sport, I couldn’t have wanted more.

Got me, hook, line and sinker!

Hannah is the co-founder of luxury leather ear defender micro-manufacturer Decibel Industries who hand make beautiful hearing protection products for people who live life loud. Decibel Industries are the Official Hearing Protection Partner of Femmes Fatales and you can buy the bespoke Femmes Fatales ear defenders from DecibelRacing.com.

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