The McChesney Family: front, left to right – Judi, Julia, Heidi, Bria, Back – Sarah, Will, Cheri, Jimmy. photo from

Will McChesney, a Pennsylvania native, had never been involved in a real shooting match before he and his six kids went to the 2015 National Rimfire Sporter Match on August 1 at Camp Perry. The whole family—yep, every one—shoots.

Will grew up on a farm shooting birds, groundhogs, and other small game. That was about the extent of his gun know-how and experience, until he and his wife, Sarah, bought handguns during the Y2K scare (remember that?). The couple took the pistol out to Will’s family farm to try it out. Ever since, shooting has been a hobby for the couple.

Years later, a local shooting club was looking to expand its youth program and drafted one of the McChesney daughters into service. The family truly does everything together, with the whole gang getting into the sport.

The family has been members at the club for two years and has only competed in the Civilian Marksmanship Program air rifle postal match, until they made their way to Camp Perry.

The family made up two-thirds of the Beaver Valley junior team and had a variety of experiences at the match.

“I think the nerves got me,” Will said. “Just the idea that this is an actual competition. Just wondering, ‘Am I going to shoot the next person’s target?’ That kind of thing. But I enjoyed it.”

Cheri (left) and Julia.

Cheri, 17, the oldest of the kids, said it was definitely different from playing volleyball. “I like it. It was worth doing…I did better than I thought I would,” she said.

The only boy, Jimmy, 14, said he likes to hunt more than target-shoot, but still liked competing in the match.

Judi, 15, is the standout shooter of the family, earning a bronze medal during the Rimfire Match. She managed to finish in the top 100 out of more than 200 competitors and in the Top 20 of the junior marksmen…not bad for her first time on the firing line.

Heidi, 10, said, “She doesn’t need practice. She gets it in the bull’s eye every time.”

The youngest of the McChesney clan, Julia, is 8 She shot tactical because that was the only gun they could get that was small enough to fit her. She said her favorite position of the event was standing rapid fire, which usually a challenging position for most competitors.

“It used to be pretty hard, but today I got two bull’s eyes on fast standing,” she said.

Will said he just took it all in.

“My one daughter was here, another one right there, another right there—to be able to see the whole group and see how they’re doing…be able to go up to them to see how they did, it was a lot of fun,” he said. “I think it’s a great think to be promoting this to the youth, because if you don’t, then they’re going to grow up being scared of guns…this is a very valuable thing.”

All of the six McChesney children fired side-by-side during the match.