Nancy Tompkins is a smallbore superstar and has been for many years, so it's no surprise that she just brought home her third consecutive win at the Western Wildcat International Smallbore shooting competition. The match, held March 15-21, 2021 and hosted by the Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club, saw Tompkins finish first at the Grand Aggregate with a commanding 6392-508X (of possible 6400). Although this well-deserved first-place title will help cement Tompkins' place in NRA Women's history, Tompkins herself noted that the best news wasn't on the leaderboard at all.
First, a few words about what the competition is about. In the ammunition world, "wildcat" cartridges are custom-made or hand-loaded, often for a specific gun, and often by the shooter herself. Some competitions forbid the use of wildcat cartridges, while others demand them. As you may have guessed, the Western Wildcat International Smallbore competition is of the latter.
Tompkins, one of the MVPs of Team Lapua, brought home the Western Wildcat International Smallbore title using Lapua Center-X .22LR ammunition. Her Center-X .22LR ammunition is matched to her firearm at Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Center. Unique lots of ammunition are tested at 50 and 100 meters simultaneously, identifying the best performing ammunition for purchase.
The 2021 Western Wildcat wasn't just another competition for Tompkins; it was something of a renaissance after the wreckage of COVID-19. Said Tompkins, “The 2021 Western Wildcat Smallbore matches were challenging, but a great time of shooting and enjoying friends. It was just a year ago that the world was shut down due to the pandemic. The 2020 Wildcat was canceled as was most everything for many months."
But something wonderful happened in 2021: "While travel is still challenging for some and impossible for our overseas friends," said Tompkins, "we had over a dozen first time shooters to the Wildcat and thankfully many of our longtime participants."
Over the last year, millions of American women have joined the ranks of gun ownership. Clearly, these new NRA Women are eager to learn and grow in the sport of shooting, and they're already raising the bar at the firing line.
"I always say that the best part of shooting is the people, and that still holds true," continued Tompkins. "That includes the shooters, the workers, and the sponsors that contribute their time and/or product to make this match what it is. I would like to thank Lapua for making precision ammo that allows me and others to achieve their highest possible scores. Winning the Western Wildcat three times in a row is an honor of which I am truly thankful for.”
The Lapua "wildcat" service that created Tompkins' wildcat-winning cartricges is available to you, too, if you're interested. Schedule your testing here at either of Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Centers located in Mesa, Ariz., or Marengo, Ohio. Of course, there's much more to shooting success than great ammo (although it sure doesn't hurt!). If you'd like to read more about Tompkins' secrets for success, click on over to our friends at Shooting Sports USA!