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From the First Time to the Best Time: The Making of a Shooting Family

This episode is special to me because I get to introduce you to Allison, my wife and tireless supporter. She’s been part of The Everyday Marksman journey for a long time. She’s helpd with everything from taking pictures to design choices on the site. It’s time to give her the spotlight and talk about her journey from knowing nothing to becoming the wife of The Marksman.

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Summary

Allison didn’t grow up around firearms. In fact, she never even thought about them or noticed them, save for the occasional action movie.

By the time we met when I was on active duty, I had a small collection that I generally didn’t talk about with anyone except for showing off at social gatherings. I certainly didn’t tell her about it for fear of scaring her off.

Allison and Hera, the dog that started it all

It all came to a fateful head one night while she was tending to our newly adopted puppy and sleeping on the floor next to the crate. Allison happened to roll over and saw my M1A tucked rather casually under the bed. 

Yes, I didn’t have any proper storage at the time. We’ve since rectified that problem.

Allison found herself needing to make a decision: how was she going to handle the discovery? She ultimately approached me and recognized that if she was going to be part of my life, and that life included firearms, than she should at least learn to be safe around them.

The evil-looking M1A that Allison discovered under the bed

Learning to Be Safe

The first order of business for Allison was learning to be safe. I taught her the basic safety rules, as well as another personal one of mine regarding checking chambers. Soon after, she began thinking that I was out of town enough that she should probably learn to defend herself, and Hera, if needed. So she wanted to learn how to shoot.

The first experience was negative, which was entirely my fault. Rather than keeping it as a dedicated 1-on-1 learning session to build trust, she was thrust into the middle of a social situation with several people we knew all shooting firearms. Not all of them were being safe about it.

Luckily, that first experience didn’t sway her from continuing to learn. Her second session focused on pistols, and then on to the first AR-15 I owned,

That experience stoked her enthusiasm, and she demanded her own AR-15. That rifle, which I dubbed “The Wifle” is otherwise known as the Minimum Capable Carbine that I discuss in my article on choosing your first AR-15.

From there, Allison grew to enjoy the art of marksmanship and ringing steel at 300 to 500 yards. 

Where We Go From Here

The demands of family life meant that Allison hasn’t gotten to stay practiced on her skills. But she’s interested in learning more about long-range shooting and ballistics.

Her background as a professional musician and marathon runner instilled a strong sense of discipline and willingness to “do the grind.”

She’s also interested in learning survival skills, especially those surrounding bushcraft and the outdoors. 

An older photo of Allison posing with a much earlier iteration of Gungnir, my precision rifle project

Allison will be back on the show from time to time to explore the things she’s been learning. Or maybe she’ll make a great co-host for certain topics. In all, she really enjoyed discussing her experiences and providing some advice for those of you looking to introduce your wives, girlfriends, or anyone else to shooting.

Picture of Matt


Matt is the primary author and owner of The Everyday Marksman. He's a former military officer turned professional tech sector trainer. He's a lifelong learner, passionate outdoorsman, and steadfast supporter of firearms culture.

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