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Preview – Zeroed In – Jerry, Kay and Lena Miculek

Photos by Henry Z. De Kuyper

The First Family of Shooting
Despite Being the Reigning Dynasty in Competition Shooting, Jerry, Kay, and Lena Miculek Remain as Humble and Enthusiastic as They Were the First Day on the Range. Competition Has also Brought the Family Even Closer, Giving Credence to the Sentiment That the Family Who Shoots Together Stays Together.

Few names in the world of competitive shooting draw the admiration, reverence, and respect as Miculek. In our world this family is royalty, and seeing that surname on the list of competitors for a shooting event is akin to seeing “Andretti” at an IndyCar race lineup, “Manning” on a football team’s roster, or “Gracie” on an MMA fight card. The Miculeks come to win, and they always win. Perhaps that’s overstating it a tad bit, as on any given day anyone can win or lose out on the range, but if you had to go with the odds, they are your best bet at easy money.

Jerry Miculek, the patriarch of the clan, needs no introduction. For evidence of his unparalleled greatness and consistency, one need only know that he’s won the International Revolver Championship — 20 years in a row. That’s two decades. He’s simply the best in the world, and his other accomplishments read like a bucket list of titles for any aspiring shooter. Kay Miculek’s résumé is just as impressive, as she is one of the best competition shooters to ever pull a trigger. And then there’s their daughter, Lena. Beginning a competitive career at the tender age of 8, this 17-year-old has already etched her name on championship plaques at the 3-Gun Nation shoot-off in Vegas during the 2013 SHOT Show and at the 2012 IPSC Shotgun World Shoot (Standard Division). More recently she earned second place at the 2013 Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun match in the Ladies Tactical Optics Division and was also High Junior. What’s that saying about the falling apple and the tree?

“I’m not sure how old she was, but we were at a restaurant and Lena asked the waitress for a ‘reload’ on her drink. We knew she was a shooter early on,” quips proud mom Kay, as we chatted at the Rio Salado Sportsman Club Range during this year’s Superstition Mountain competition. (It should be noted that Jerry took top honors as the Match Champion and High Senior, and Kay won the Women’s Open Division.)

While the family’s accomplishments on the range are the stuff of legend, they pale in comparison to their values as a family and their roles as ambassadors to the shooting sports off the range. Being the best doesn’t always draw friendships, but the Miculeks possess that rare ability of being liked as much as they are respected. Jerry’s Louisiana drawl shines through in conversation and, as cliché as it sounds, he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Kay and Lena are as well, and the family’s achievements coupled with their personable nature represent the diversity that exists among firearms owners and enthusiasts in this country today.

RECOIL Magazine: What drew you into the world of firearms enthusiasm?

Jerry Miculek: I was the only gun nut in my family, and hunting is what brought me in, really. When hunting season shut down, my friends and I would look at each other like, “Well, how are we gonna make noise now?” [Laughs.] We spent a lot of time with .22 rifles when I was coming up and then I started reading about the old exhibition shooter Ed McGivern, and I just wanted to learn to shoot a revolver well. My buddy who I used to shoot with all the time when we were young started buying revolvers, and we began playing around with Ed’s techniques. It was a lot of fun. I ended up meeting a guy from Arizona who was working in our area doing construction, and he was a pistol enthusiast who had been shooting in matches in Arizona. I saw him shooting steel on a stick with a 1911 and thought, “Man, it don’t get no better than this!” I started running a 1911 and just kept going.

Kay Miculek: My father was a gunsmith and a competition shooter so I was raised around it, which piqued my interest. Jerry and I actually met when he came up to practice with my brother, and I guess we dated at matches ever since. [Laughs.]

Lena Miculek: Of course my parents introduced me to shooting. It’s just a way of life for our family. We’re like any other family. Except when we do laundry, we find bullets in the washing machine and make little piles. [Laughs.]

Are there any advantages for a novice handgun shooter to begin with a revolver as opposed to a semi-automatic?

Jerry: One thing a revolver is going to teach you is how to control a trigger because there’s so much of it; it’s a great training wheel. If you can control a revolver trigger, you can control anything. There’s really not a platform you can’t pick up afterwards and execute well.

Lena: It was that way for me. I think it’s a lot easier to go from a revolver to a semi-auto, because the trigger is just such a part of it that it forces you to have to learn trigger control.

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