Corey Cogdell has traveled the world with her guns, using them for everything from hunting plains game on the African savanna to winning a bronze medal in Women’s Trap at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Through it all, she has become quite attached to them.
When Corey opens her gun safe, she sees hunting partners, tools that defend her life and a shotgun that has taken her around the world. Yet she realizes that some other people view guns differently.
One of the things I’ve learned over the past few years is that people see guns in different ways.
When I open my gun safe, I see hunting partners, tools that defend my life and a shotgun that has taken me around the world. The latter, of course, is my Krieghoff K-80 12-gauge over/under shotgun. It’s my competition gun. Another shotgun helped me win a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, but I took this one to the London Olympics and have used it to win World Cup medals. I train five or six days a week with my Krieghoff K-80, and it never quits on me. This shotgun is my baby!
My Kimber Pro Crimson Carry II, chambered in .45 ACP, is the fun gun in the safe. It’s a semi-automatic handgun that’s a joy to shoot. I’ve been shooting handguns for several years now with my good friend Ryan, who is an International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) national champion. IDPA is an action-pistol sport that involves shooting a combination of paper and steel targets as quickly and accurately as you can. Ryan taught me to shoot my .45 much more accurately by using a two-thumbs-forward grip and a modified isosceles stance that helps control muzzle flip. I love challenging myself with different forms of shooting and seeing how quickly I can pick up a new sport.
Then there’s my Kimber Pro Carry II handgun, chambered in 9 mm. This handgun is a great size to carry on my body or in my purse while I’m out and about. I believe strongly in the right of citizens to defend themselves. Being a woman, that goes double, as criminals often target women. With this handgun I feel protected, when I would otherwise feel vulnerable.
Next is my Krieghoff Semprio slide-action rifle, chambered in .300 Win. Mag. I took this rifle on my first African safari. I backpacked in Namibia for a week with this gun on my shoulder—hiking over huge mountains and sleeping under the stars. I also got water poisoning and felt like I was going to die. When I look at this rifle, I remember all those great memories, and I remember pushing through sickness to finish a successful hunt.
Last but not least, I have to mention my Beretta Xtrema 12-gauge shotgun. This is my go-to gun when I want to sit in the rain calling ducks or freeze in a ground blind listening for geese coming to a field—a beautiful sound that gives me chills. However, some of my favorite memories with this gun came while I sat under a shade tree with some of my best girl friends in southern Alabama waiting for doves to fly. We talked about an amazing pair of shoes we saw at the mall, we laughed about a blind date I’d been set up on, and we talked about the new pink camo pattern I want to get on the AR-15 I have been dreaming about.
That’s how I see some of my guns. I think competitive shooters, hunters, and those who want to defend their lives have similar views and memories of their firearms. I have to remind myself now and then that some Americans don’t see guns this way at all.