Although writing was her first love, it wasn’t long after starting Precision Rifle Series competition that Lara Spanic discovered her true calling. Now she is an accomplished precision, 3 position and air rifle competitor. Find out what she keeps in her storage bag.
What are your earliest memories of handling a firearm?
My first rifle was a Ruger 10/22, the 50th anniversary edition. I liked filming it just for fun. However, it wasn’t until Jim Kauber of The Site let me fire his scoped sniper rifle – an Accuracy International AX308, at 300 yards – that I really got hooked.
Lara Spanic in a standing position with her Walther KK500 .22 LR rifle.
Tell us how you got started in competitive shooting?
I started competing in the Precision Rifle Series in 2017, both because it was fun and I realized that when I was shooting, everything else in the world faded away. In 2019, I started 3-position and air rifle shooting. I wanted to expand my horizons with a different challenge – PRS requires precision due to distance, but 3-position and air rifle are in a whole different ballpark. For 3 positions, the bullseye is 10.4mm at 50 yards. In air rifle, the target is 0.5 mm at 10 meters. This is the size of a point in 12 point font.
Please share with us some of your recent filming accomplishments.
This year I won the ASSA National Intercollegiate Club Smallbore and Air Rifle Championship, which was very important to me. I was Wisconsin State Smallbore Position Champion twice in a row – also the first woman to win this award. Since July of this year, I have been a nationally ranked 3rd place competitor. I am also a member of the Forster Pro Staff and represented the company at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. In addition, I have been a precision rifle instructor at the Site since 2021.
What firearms and other equipment do you use for competition?
For long range I shoot a TS Customs built rifle chambered in 6XC with a MasterPiece Arms BA Competition frame, Benchmark barrel, Defiance Deviant action and TriggerTech trigger. I also load my own long range ammo, using Alpha Munitions brass. All these companies sponsor me. Without their help, it would be much harder to compete. For my other disciplines, I shoot with a small caliber Walther KK500 and a Pardini GPR1 rifle.
My favorite accessory for long range is the Area 419 RailChanger. Area 419 has helped me a lot since I started competing. They actually gave me the first RailChanger ever produced – serial number 0001. It’s a plate that attaches to the front of the stock and holds an Armageddon Gear Game Changer bag. This made moving from position to position in PRS matches much easier. In For 3-Position and Air Rifles, I like to use the MEC 3D Grip, which is a lightweight 3D printed plastic that wicks away moisture and molds to your hand with just a bit of heat.
For new shooters, Spanic advises sticking to the fundamentals and “everything else will be so much easier.”
Tell us about your shooting bag and what you carry in it besides your firearms?
I use an Ogio for the 3 position and air rifle, and an Eberlestock backpack for the long range. The Ogio carries tons of gear. I can fit everything in it – and trust me, that’s a lot – with room to spare. The Eberlestock has a scabbard to carry my rifle to games and space to store loads of gear. There is also a metal bracket at the bottom to help support the load with a full bag.
I store my rifles in separate cases, but in my Ogio I carry my shooting suit, my knee roll, my boots, my shooting range, my ammunition, my keys and other tools, my shooting gloves, my parts spare parts and other accessories. I usually also keep a washcloth or two with me, in case I shoot in the heat and need to wipe up the sweat, paint markers to mark adjustments, snacks for longer matches or if I need a quick refill before shooting, plus my notebooks. In my backpack I keep my support bags, such as my Armageddon Gear Game Changer, magazines, ammo, knee pads, hand warmers for cold matches, a Kestrel 5700 wind and weather meter, a data book, a thin rain jacket, rain pants, and a cover for my gun (the rain gear came in handy while I was shooting a game in Florida during a tropical storm), snacks, and water. water.
Whatever the discipline, if I’m shooting outside in the summer, I also pack sunscreen, insect repellent, tick repellent and a cooling cloth. A bout of heat exhaustion once in a game taught me that lesson.
What would you say to someone who wants to know more about your sport?
If you want to learn more about long range shooting, I recommend taking a precision rifle course on The Site. For 3-position and air rifles, the USA Shooting website has information on rules, procedures, and competitions. Also visit YouTube, where you’ll find plenty of recorded Olympic and World Cup final matches to watch and learn from.
Any tips for new shooters?
Focus on shooting and remember your basics. Trigger, natural aiming point, follow and focus on the front sight, not on the target. If you pay attention to the fundamentals, everything else will be so much easier.