Rising Shooting Stars: Jenna Larsen

They call her "Braided Steel," and here's why!

by
posted on March 1, 2024
Jenna Larsen Lede

Twenty-year-old Jenna Larsen is easily recognized on the range by her iconic braid —she goes by “Braided_Steel” on Instagram—and her fast steel times. She joined the Kansas City Steel Raiders SASP program when it was founded in March of 2019 at Mill Creek Rifle Club. Five years later ...

... Jenna currently holds six world records in Steel Challenge and is a 5x Grand Master. She is most proud of her Steel Challenge performance at the 2022 World Speed Shooting Championship (WSSC), when she broke the female world record by shooting a 60.82 with her RFRO. She followed this up at the 2023 WSSC with a third place overall in RFPI. She recently broke 60 seconds for the first time at the 2023 Cornhusker Classic Steel Challenge with a 59.43 in RFRO. This recent achievement is a major step towards her 2024 goals: to shoot sub-60 second times and hold the fastest female records in both RFRO and RFRI at the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championship.

How did she get here so quickly? Well, Jenna started shooting long before she started shooting steel competitively. Her dad took the time to teach her basic marksmanship fundamentals and firearm safety when she was young, so she had a good foundation to build on. The same spring that she joined the KC Steel Raiders, she also tried Steel Challenge and Rimfire Challenge. It wasn’t long before Jenna decided shooting steel was something she wanted to invest more time in.

Competition drives Jenna and she particularly loves how mentally and physically challenging shooting can be. “Letting go of the things out of my control is necessary but not an easy task,” she admitted. A unique combination of creative and competitive, Jenna not only plays the piano and paints, but also plays competitive games to keep her reaction times sharp.

Jenna’s dedication has earned her a long list of individual sponsors. She is a member of team Tandemkross and represents Steel Target Paint, Hunters HD Gold, Striplin Custom Gunworks, Creekside Custom Lasering and AXIL. Her team, the KC Steel Raiders, is sponsored by the Metal Madness Shooting Sports Association (MMSSA), Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP), and Rim/Edge.

She uses a variety of equipment across several pistol and rifle divisions, including lots from Tandemkross including DoubleKross 10/22 magazines, gun bags and a pistol magazine loader. For ease of use and easy transitioning between irons and optics, Jenna uses the same pistol and rifle setups—just with different sighting systems.

She competes in Rimfire Pistol Iron Sights (RFPI) with a Tandemkross Cthulu lower and Volquartsen Mamba upper, bolt and sights. Her Rimfire Pistol Optics (RFPO) setup is the same but with a Trijicon SRO red dot. In rimfire rifle, she uses a Blackhawk Axiom stock, Ruger receiver, Kidd bolt, Tandemkross Manticore Trigger Kit and TacSol Barrel. She uses an XS Sights Ghost-Ring in the Rimfire Rifle Irons (RFRI) division and a C-More red dot in the Rimfire Rifle Optics (RFRO) division. Her PCC Optics (PCCO) setup is a bit different. She shoots a JP GMR-15 with Tandemkross HiveGrip, Elftmann trigger, carbon fiber handguard and C-More red dot.

What are Jenna's tips for those who wish to braid steel, too? “Your subconscious mind is a power tool so learn to control it and quiet your mind for success,” she said. “Get your hits first then speed will follow.” Even with how much time Jenna spends on developing her mental game, she acknowledges that working with others is important too. “It’s important to get multiple ideas of strategies from people or coaches to find out what will work best for you,” she explained. “Learn to enjoy your time with friends and competitors on the range because you will spend more time there than on the podium.”

 

 

 

 

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