We caught up with Team Glock shooter Tori Nonaka at the Glock booth at the recent NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis. After a fair bit of begging and whining, Tori agreed to sit with us for an interview. Here’s what she had to say.
Tori Nonaka: Sure. I’ll start back when I was 3 years old and I shot my first gun. It was a .22 long rifle. I target shot for a while, and then when I was 12, my father and I got into the shooting sports together. We took a class out at USSA, then came back and shot a local match. We got really involved with the sport. I tried out a number of different guns and then I tried out the Glock and it shot the best for me. At that point, my name was out there and Glock asked me to be on their team! Now I get to represent Glock across the US and sometimes internationally at matches and events like this.
MGC: Obviously you’re on the road a lot of the time. I’m guessing that your school administrators have fits over you!
Tori: I had to really find a good balance between high school and shooting – bringing my work along with me on planes and doing homework in cars. My school has been very supportive and understanding of my goal to have this become my career. I’ve made sure to have good grades at home so that I can come out here and be part of the shooting industry.
MGC: You’re a Junior category shooter right now, and when you turn 18 you move into ladies category. You have to tell us, and this is just between me and you – and the internet – who do you most want to beat?
Tori: The internet???
MGC: Yeah, it’s no big deal. So who are you ‘gunning’ for?
Tori: Well, my goal is to be the dominant force in the women’s category so I’m just trying to improve my skills. This is my last year as a junior shooter and I want to end on a good note, a positive note, and transfer into the ladies category.
MGC: OK, now come on. We all know that Julie Golob is really, really nice, but you can tell us. You want to beat the tar out of her right?
Tori: (Laughs) Well, I wouldn’t put it that way! We enjoy competing together and it’s always been a good competition. I’ve been running with the ladies for a while and so I hope in the next few years I can represent the younger generation and carry the torch.
MGC: So you have to tell us, how many Glocks do you have?
Tori: Oh, gosh…
MGC: And if its more than a hundred, you can estimate to the nearest ten.
Tori: Well, I don’t have a hundred! But I like to keep a primary and backup. Glock treats me well, so I have some 34’s, 35’s, and 17’s.
MGC: So is the Glock 34 your primary competition gun?
Tori: It was for a while for Production Division. This year I’m just choosing to mix it up and shoot the Glock 35 in the Limited Division.
MGC: This next question could be a little controversial with the Glock people, so we’ll tell them not to listen to this next part. Let’s say Dr. Evil came out with a new evil ray device that made all the Glocks in the world instantly disappear. Would you quit shooting or choose a different gun?
Tori: Well, I think that we would have to come up with the Glock anti-evil ray device to compete against it! I think that’s what we have to do. It’s called Glock protection!
MGC: I have a daughter who is just about your age, and we use the gun dad ritual where, when a guy comes over to the house for a date, I make it a point to have some of my guns out for cleaning. In your household, do you scatter a bunch of YOUR guns around just to let the guy know who’s boss?
Tori: Well, everyone knows I shoot and if anybody comes over, my dad is decked out in his camo wearing his Glock hat, and carrying in the kitchen. Pretty much everyone knows we’re a shooter family so we scare ‘em off!
MGC: When you have a really bad day, you’re really frustrated, and you just have to blow some targets up, do you prefer a Glock 20 or a Glock 31?
Tori: Glock 18!
MGC: Whoa! Full auto! Sweet! You’ve shot one of those haven’t you?
Tori: I have… It was great and I’m grateful I was able to shoot that down at the Georgia plant.
MGC: We have an ongoing debate in our editorial room and we ask everyone we interview this question. Is the MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher appropriate for home defense? Some people are worried about the blast radius, but I think it’s fine. What do you think?
Tori: I would say that… Well, personally I think it’s a little too much gun. Yes, it’s a little too much gun for a home weapon. Why not the Glock 17? Or maybe the Glock 18 so we’re using the automatic Glock instead of the automatic grenade launcher!
MGC: So what’s next on your schedule?
Tori: Next for me, I’ll be traveling to Italy to shoot the European Cup in two weeks. It will be my first trip out there and I’m really excited!
MGC: So are you gonna show those Beretta folks who’s boss?
Tori: I will definitely aim to put on my best performance. My gear is dialed in and I look forward to a great match!
MGC: Best of luck with the match! Thanks again for talking to us today!