(From L-R: Terry Cross, Regina Milkovich and Jake Vibbert. Photo credit: Conx Media)
(From L-R: Terry Cross, Regina Milkovich and Jake Vibbert. Photo credit: Conx Media)

Still think women are the underdogs when it comes to shooting sports?

Think again.

Long range precision rifle competitor, Regina Milkovich, earned first place at the 2016 NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge, making her the first woman ever to win a Precision Rifle Series Match. Already the reigning top female in tactical precision rifle shooting, Regina bested her recent 2nd place finish at the Rifles Only Bushnell Brawl and beat 74 other shooters at the NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge, held at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center on April 22nd-24th, 2016.

Regina not only finished the match in first place, she also picked up two stage wins—a 425 mover stage that she cleaned in 31 seconds and a 200-yard paper target stage. Regina’s gunsmith Marc Soulie of Spartan Precision Rifles and one of her sponsors had this to say, “We’re so proud of Regina’s accomplishments this last year. We stand behind her because she’s a formidable competitor and her attitude and persistence make her an asset to the sport. We’ll continue to sponsor her as long as she’ll have us!”

I had the chance to catch up with her this week and ask her a few more questions about the competition, her background and her brisket:

  • How does it feel to be the first woman to be the PRS winner?
    It feels fantastic! I’ve been working really hard for the last 6 years, and I created the #WinOneIn2016 hashtag to give myself some extra motivation this year. I’m thrilled that I get to retire that hashtag so early in the year and I hope this win serves as an inspiration to all women that compete or would like to start competing.
  •   How did you get into shooting sports?
    I married a shooter. My parents wouldn’t allow guns in the house when I was a child, so I didn’t grow up around them at all. When I met my husband in 2008, he took me shooting and I liked it. While we were dating he’d asked if I was interested in trying out any of the shooting sports he participated in like 3-Gun or pistol competitions. Because I was so new, those sports were very intimidating to me. I helped my rifle clubs first national level match, the Tactical Precision Rifle Challenge, as a spotter and fell in love with precision rifle shooting. After we were married, Tim bought me a used left-handed Remington 700 in .223, showed me how to operate it (safety, malfunction clearing, firing, etc.) and told me I was shooting a match the next day. So it took a while to get a rifle, but my induction was really quick afterwards!
  • Do you think your OCD helps you on the range?
    Absolutely! I reload all of my own rifle ammunition, so that’s where a majority of my OCD comes out. I have notes with load data for every rifle I own and some I don’t own anymore.  I also have databooks for every rifle, so I can track round counts, but also for information on different ranges I’ve taken that particular rifle to, velocities of different loads I’ve shot through that rifle, and DOPE (data on previous engagement) charts.
  • Did anything specific prompt you to start the hashtag #WinOneIn2016?
    Not really. I’d won plenty of one-day club matches in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas, but I hadn’t won a national level Precision Rifle Series match yet. I really wanted to do, so I sat down and wrote out goals. #WinOneIn2016 was at the top of the list, so I put it out there to help me stay accountable. Hard to say that if you’re not putting in the work to make it happen!
  • Tell us about your my competition rifle build!
    a Spartan Precision Rifles built 6mmXC on a Defiance Deviant Tactical action with a Timney Triggers Calvin Elite left-handed straight trigger, Hawk Hill Custom Marksman Contour barrel, Blast Tamer muzzle brake, and Vortex Optics Razor Gen II with an EBR-2C reticle. It’s currently in a T4A Manners Composite Stock, but will be switched over to a McMillan as soon as that stock arrives (I just signed on with McMillan in March).
  • Do you have many sponsors?
    I have a boatload of them. Some folks get everything from one sponsor, but of course I have to be different, so I have a medley of folks who help me with gear. I’m thankful for every one of them: Spartan Precision Rifles, Vortex Optics, Defiance Machine, McMillan Group International, Voodoo Tactical, Rifles Only, Timney Triggers, Hawk Hill Custom, Butch’s Reloading, CONX Media & Contingency X, Sierra Bullets, Patriot Cases, Original SWAT Footwear, WieBad, Short Action Precision, Storm Tactical Databooks, MGM Targets and LightReact.
  • Now that you’ve “won one in 2016”, what do you think your next hashtag will be?
    I’ve gotten a few good suggestions on my Instagram account. I’m torn between #WinAnotherIn2016 and #WinMoreIn2016. I should probably use something like “WinTheGoldenBullet though! (At the Precision Rifle Series Finale, the top shooter for the year takes home a giant golden bullet trophy.)
  • What’s your favorite subject to color in the lines?
    I have a few coloring apps on my phone. They’re awesome because you CAN’T color outside the lines. Those make my little Virgo heart happy. And I’ve been known to doodle quite a bit in a Wonder Woman journal I keep notes in as well.
  • Can you share your favorite brisket rub with our readers?
    The recipe I use is straight out of a cookbook, but slightly modified to make it spicier. If I told you the proportions though, then it wouldn’t be a secret and all of my friends would just smoke their own briskets instead of coming to our house! I use chili powder, coarse salt, black pepper, brown sugar, garlic salt, onion powder, ground cumin, ground mustard powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper. I also use a wet mop sauce of white vinegar, beer, sliced onions, jalapenos, garlic salt, brown sugar, and chili flakes while the brisket is smoking.

It was great to catch up with Regina and we send her a great big CONGRATULATIONS! I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this amazing women in the future!