If you know anything about competitive shooting, chances are you’ve heard of Julie Golob. She’s a multi-time world and national shooting champion, experienced shooting instructor, U.S. Army veteran, and published author. She’s living her dream of being a professional shooter but says her favorite job is being a wife and a mom.

Julie’s shooting career spans more than 20 years, and to say her trophy case is impressive is a massive understatement. She holds over 155 major championship titles and over 50 world and national titles. I should’ve been more intimidated to reach out to someone who appeared on “Top Shot,” but I wasn’t. 

I’ve followed Julie on social media for years, and her signature big, bright smile is as genuine as they come. She was kind enough to give me a bit of her time for this spotlight, so let’s dive in.

Guns.com: What was your first firearms experience?

GolobFirearms have always been a part of my life since I was small. My father was both a hunter and a shooter. As a kid, I plinked a bit here and there with my dad, but my first real memories were going to the range with him when I was 7-8 years old.

I was my dad’s little sidekick, picking up brass, repairing and setting targets, and looking through his spotting scope to confirm his hits. Despite being a bit dirty and oftentimes hot, I loved how adults treated me on the range. They were happy I was there and grateful to have me help out. It made me feel important and respected.

Guns.com: How did you go from picking up your dad’s brass to being a record-setting champion sponsored by Smith & Wesson?

Golob: What started out as a fun thing to do with my dad evolved into something much more. As a young adult, I started working events and became a certified range officer in United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) matches. Working as an RO, I had a front-row view of some of the best shooters in the world. I knew I wanted to become one of them.

Julie Golod Shooting at the Range
Julie shown as a new competitive shooter at the age of 14. (Photo: Courtesy of Julie Golob)


I shot my first competition at the age of 14 and earned a slot for the 1994 USPSA Nationals. It was there that I caught the eye of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s (USAMU) Action Pistol coach. With just one national under my belt, I came home with a letter of acceptance for a one-year trial for the Army Shooting Team.

20+ years later, I still have my dream job as a pro shooter for one of the most iconic companies in the firearms industry. What’s really neat is that my first sponsor as a youth competitor was Smith & Wesson. It’s funny how things come full circle.

Guns.com: Women accounted for over 40% of new gun sales in the past three years, and you’ve helped many on their journey. Why do you think it’s important to empower women to own and shoot firearms?

Golob: That’s very kind. When I was a teenager looking to make my mark in the shooting sports, I was fortunate to have several women role models to look up to. That said, I was the only young girl at the range. To see how far we’ve come, to have so many girls and women on the range and shooting, is exciting.

Julie Golod receives a shooting award
Julie shown accepting the Bianchi Cup Women’s Championship award. (Photo: Courtesy of Julie Golob)

In my youth, all the females I knew who shot did so because of a father or partner. Today, we see women shooting because they wish to compete or they want to protect themselves and their loved ones. Shooting isn’t something they only do with their significant other or family member, though there are plenty of couples and families that shoot together, and that’s a great thing.

Julie Golod Shooting at the Range
Julie competing in a practical shooting competition that simulates real-world scenarios. (Photo: Courtesy of Julie Golob) 

Beyond that, we see so many women who are taking the initiative and exploring it on their own. There are plenty of role models throughout history we can look to who inspire us, from Annie Oakley to influencers on social media. It’s critical that we continue this momentum so that more women can learn how to shoot for whatever reason they choose. We’ve come so far, and I am excited to watch our participation numbers grow.

Guns.com: Firearms safety is a theme on your social media, and you’ve written a children's book on it. Do you feel you bring a unique perspective as a female shooter?

Golob: I wouldn’t say my perspective is that unique. In fact, as a mother with firearms in the home, there are millions of us. I do think that for many decades, shooting and firearms were considered male activities, including firearm safety education. Moms are completely capable of talking to their kids about the subject.

Firearm safety is for everyone, no matter the age, race, or gender. The more we talk about it and the more tools we have to teach both adults and children about this important topic, the better. It’s incredibly rewarding to have both moms and dads reach out to me on talking to their children about firearm safety.

Guns.com: What advice would you give women interested in firearms but don’t know where to start?

Golob: Whenever I encounter a woman who’s looking to get started, I’m always so excited for them. One of the main reasons I have been as successful over the years is because of a great beginning. My father was a schoolteacher who understood the importance of knowledge and repetition. Knowing and understanding the rules of firearm safety is the first place to start.

Julie Golod Shooting at the Range
Julie competes at the IPSC World Shoot in the Classic Division. (Photo: Courtesy of Julie Golob)

After that, learning range rules and how firearms work gives you a solid foundation of safety. Shooting is a lot like learning how to drive a manual transmission. Yes, it is possible to glean what you need from videos and books, but having a teacher/trainer makes it safer and faster. Head to your local range and ask about taking a class. Then shop around for an instructor with a teaching style you feel you can learn from.
For the moms wanting to learn to shoot, if you can schedule training and range time for yourself, you may find it’s not only fun and educational but makes for some great and oftentimes much-needed “you” time. Plus, focusing on you, your firearm, and shooting skills without distractions can help you feel confident and capable faster.

Julie Golod Shooting at the Range
Julie competing in the support-hand string practical event with an action pistol. (Photo: Courtesy of Julie Golob) 

Guns.com: What are five things you always keep in your range bag?

Golob: Aside from the obvious – guns, mags, ammo, and eye and ear pro:

  1. Sunscreen – nothing sucks my energy like getting sunburnt.
  2. Water – I drink a lot of water when I shoot. It’s true, sometimes range bathrooms or port-o-johns aren’t the nicest facilities, but I never shoot well when I am dehydrated.
  3. Hand sanitizer
  4. Small cleaning kit with lubricant & multi-tool – Whether it’s a one-use cleaning kit or a small portable one, I always have something to clean my gun(s). Wind, sand, mud – you just never know what could end up on your firearm. I also have a small Wheeler multi-tool that has all the right bits for firearms I keep in my bag as well to make takedowns or tightening screws easier. I love that it’s compact and has everything I need.
  5. Dedicated lip gloss, or a berry-colored balm, that stays in my shooting bag – My lips get dry sometimes, and it’s always nice to have a little color or shine for a photo or interview on the range. 


If you’d like to learn more about Julie, you can follow her on Instagram or visit her website, which is full of resources for new and experienced shooters. She’s also written two books, including “Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules: A Children’s Book About Gun Safety,” to help parents navigate this critical conversation.

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