Field and Stream

The Ringer

Long-range competitor and social-media influencer Rei Hoang talks precision rifles, 3,000-plus-yard shots, and secret Facebook groups

- INTERVIEW BY JOHN B. SNOW

Long-range shooter Rei Hoang talks guns, gear, and social media.

MY PARENTS were from Vietnam and weren’t into the outdoors or firearms. But ever since I was a kid, I liked guns and camping. I loved action movies and always wanted someone to go to the range with me, but I couldn’t find anybody. I’m not the kind of person to give up, though, so I figured it out myself.

IN 2015, FOR MY 33RD BIRTHDAY, I bought myself a Remington 700 in .308, my first bolt action. After shooting that for three months, I built my own custom rifle—a 6.5 Creedmoor on a Defiance action with a Manners stock and Bartlein barrel that I chambered and threaded myself. I was hooked.

ONE BIG LEARNING CURVE was all the terminolog­y in precision rifle shooting. I had to figure out the military talk and the long-range talk. Another was that in Northern California, I only had a 100-yard range to shoot at. I would go every Tuesday from 4 P.M. to 9 P.M. and shoot dot drills. It was boring, but good practice.

WHAT I LOVE about long-range shooting is that you take these ingredient­s—bullet, powder, and brass—and you put the data in your ballistic calculator, press the trigger, and hit something 800 yards away. It’s amazing. You can feel it in your soul.

I BORROWED A RIFLE—a .375 CheyTac—for my first ELR match and did my load developmen­t the day before at the range. I got a hit at 3,565 yards on a 36x36-inch target. That’s the fourth-longest ELR shot in a match ever. I got some pushback from that. Some ELR shooters who’d never seen me thought I was just some lucky gun-bunny. I might have been new to ELR, but I wasn’t new to longrange shooting. Internally, I know I’m a shooter first. The media comes second.

DOCUMENTIN­G WHAT I GO THROUGH is something I enjoy, and if people actually look at my socialmedi­a content, they’ll see that I’m passionate about this. No one spends 13 hours rolling around in the mud or in 100-degree weather without being serious about it.

THERE’S DEFINITELY a sisterhood of long-range shooters. I am part of a secret Facebook group called Precision Rifle Ladies. We have over 170 members, and we talk about things that are shooting-related and lady-shootingre­lated. We give each other tips, and when someone does well, we all cheer her on.

YEARS AGO, I got a Hello Kitty piggy bank and put a note on it that said GUN FUND. I put all my $10 bills in it, and that’s how I got my first several firearms. I still have the piggy bank, but now I have to put fifties and one-hundreds in there to afford what I want.

I’VE GOTTEN MESSAGES from fathers who say their daughters want to learn to shoot after seeing me. I love that! Shooting levels the playing field. I can’t compete against a man in football, but with a rifle, it is all equal.

 ??  ?? Hoang settles in behind a 6mm BRA long-range rifle she built herself.
Hoang settles in behind a 6mm BRA long-range rifle she built herself.

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