Many youngsters from shooting families like to say that they “grew up at the shooting range.” But 20-year-old Lena Miculek Afentul has a leg up on all of them—she was literally born at the range.
Now the nation’s top woman 3-Gun shooter, Lena travels the country and the world with her parents as they all compete in a sport that has provided their family’s livelihood for three generations.
You might know me from my appearances on “3-Gun Nation TV” or from my work on one of the top firearms-related YouTube channels, Miculek.com. More than likely, though, you recognize me as being the daughter of Jerry Miculek—one of the fastest, most recognized professional shooters in the industry.
But my family connection to the firearms industry goes even deeper. My grandfather, Jim Clark Sr., founded Clark Custom Guns in 1950 and was a pioneer in the 1911 gunsmithing business. He was also the first civilian to ever win the NRA National Pistol Championship, in 1958. My mom, Kay Clark Miculek, worked in her father’s gun shop, owned a retail gun store, has a competitive shooting career that has spanned more than 20 years, and has won dozens of national and world shooting titles.
When my mom and dad married in 1992, they bought a range together and soon took residence there. I was born on the Shootout Range, on Shootout Lane, in 1995. Being literally born on a range and traveling to dozens of shooting competitions each year with my parents, you can imagine that my formative years were greatly influenced by the shooting community. My parents tell a story about a time we were at a restaurant when I was 5 years old. I wanted a “refill” of my drink, but instead asked the waitress for a “reload.”
I participated in my first major competition, the Sportsman’s Team Challenge, at the age of 8—about the same time I developed a passion for bird hunting. I won my first World Title at the IPSC Shotgun World Championships in Hungary in 2012. My primary focus in the competitive shooting world is now multi-gun competitions, where I shoot a S&W M&P15 rifle (AR-15 style), a S&W M&P9 pistol, and my father’s signature Mossberg JM 930 shotgun.
After winning each 3-Gun Nation Women’s Pro series match in 2013, I defended my title as 3-Gun Lady Champion in January 2014 in Las Vegas, then again late last year at the final match in Tulsa, Okla. Every year, I travel approximately 180 days to participate in shooting competitions, make appearances at trade shows, perform shooting demonstrations and teach firearms classes.
Shooting has given me the opportunity to travel all over the world and really makes me appreciate the freedoms that American shooters enjoy as a result of the Second Amendment. In many countries, because of very restrictive laws and exorbitant prices, the shooting sports are available only to a privileged few.
As a freedom-loving American, I am very concerned about the mainstream media’s negative image of law-abiding gun owners. They can’t seem to tell the difference between the gun culture and the criminal culture, which are two very different things.
In truth, the American gun culture is made up of my friends, my family and me. As a Life member of the NRA and a member of what has been described as the “First Family of Shooting,” I am committed to not only promoting the shooting sports, but also educating the general public about why responsible firearms ownership is crucial to the freedom of this country.