I'm fortunate to have a wife who supports my hobbies, and wants to get involved. It's also cool that she is equally comfortable in a fancy dress and high heels as she is wearing hiking boots in the middle of nowhere. She's a good little chick.
Faith also shoots guns, granted, nowhere near as much as I do, but she is an accomplished shooter in her own right. She's not one of those girls who gets her bikini on and carry's a gun for the sake of a photo for Instagram, although I have got plenty of them over the years...She's an actual shooter. A really good one, and I'm proud of her for taking the time to build her skills.
I started teaching Faith how to shoot about 15 years ago. It started as us just wanting to spend extra time together; She'd come to the range or property I was shooting on and hang out with me. She'd ask questions as I did my thing and as she spent more time with me her questions got more technical. Eventually she got behind the gun and started shooting. It helped that she was naturally good at it, and that she took instruction well.
Within months she was proficient in shooting all of the guns I owned including revolvers, semi-auto handguns, rifles and shotguns. She knew how to handle them, the safety processes, how to load, shoot and make them safe then pack them away. To this day I keep her skills at a minimum level and I'll be honest, she'd put many male shooters to shame.
Below you can see a group shot at 300m (328 yards). She shot these with my .308 bolt-action rifle, 12 shots in total for which I gave her 3 minutes to shoot...180 seconds, so 15 seconds per shot with a change of magazines in there also. This was in training and I wanted to test her when under a little time-pressure.
You can see how tight the group is in comparison to her finger. At 300m every one of those shots would land...Well, exactly where she needed them to.
As we were working on building her skills she began to get more interested in long range shooting. I tried to get her more keen on handguns but the aggressive grips I use on my handguns were pretty harsh on the skin on her hands so she prefers to limit the handgun stuff. But long range shooting is something she enjoys.
She became proficient at 700m quite quickly but it wasn't enough to be able to just pull a trigger at that range, she wanted to know how to make the shot, the science. We're still working through that, but I began working on teaching her how to call the wind speed and direction right away. Say 6 mph full-value to Faith and she'll know what you mean.
We spent hours working on wind-calling and whilst her accuracy isn't as good as mine it's good enough for her to call it, input the data to my ballistics calculator and make a shot out to 700m with about 80% accuracy. That's actually pretty impressive - 8 of 10 shots land on the target.
Her accuracy drops off to about 60% at 1000m but not because she's a bad shooter, just because her wind calls aren't as accurate as they need to be. Some work on that and she'll be a 1 kilometre shooter all day long.
Having said all of that, I'd not want to be 1000m away with her trying to shoot me right now because she'd only need a couple of rounds to get it done.
Here's Faith the day she hit 700m. If you look carefully in that gap in the trees to the right, above the ammo box, you can see some white targets arrayed out there. The 700m target is the one right at the horizon at the tip of the red arrow.
Below the image shows what she sees through the scope - A different day and scope, but you get the idea. The steel target, also at 700m is the little white thing at the bottom of the arrow point.
Faith isn't into guns. She doesn't talk about them, doesn't call herself a shooter and doesn't ever look at a gun and exclaim about how amazing it looks. She hates the fact I shoot and kill things; She doesn't think I'm cruel of course, because she knows that I am humane when I dispatch an animal, certainly more so than would happen in an abattoir where animals are processed for human consumption. She doesn't like the thought of it though and fair enough.
She enjoys shooting though, and having the skills to do it effectively and safely. We like the fact we can spend time together, most often out in some remote spot, doing something we both find enjoyment in.
We often fly around the country together as I go from event to event. I'm glad to have her along as she is good company and keeps me fed and hydrated and helps to keep things in order: Magazines full, spent brass collected, DOPE cards wiped clean ready for the next stage, ear muffs, scope glass clean etc. All I have to do is focus on my shooting. The other competitors get a bit jealous - Maybe because their partners don't support their hobby. Suckers!
Faith is never going to be a better shooter than someone who does it weekly like me; She just doesn't have the time to spend getting that good - Not that she wouldn't be able to. She doesn't really want to. But she could pick up any of my guns, find the right ammunition and put accurate fire onto a target, all unsupervised. Of course, I have to supervise every single thing she does because she isn't licensed. That's the law, but theoretically, she could do it all herself.
I also like the fact that she can identify guns by looking at them, know what each might be capable of, whether it is a bolt gun, pump action, revolver, semi...Whatever. One never knows when that sort of understanding may pay dividends; A hostage situation maybe - It happens you know, however unlikely it may seem. She can often be heard scoffing at the TV screen in movies these days, at how implausible the shooting is, how bad the grip, no magazine changes etc. She got that from me.
I'm lucky to have a partner who supports me in everything and is willing to join in with me as I do my hobbies. I guess it's one of the things that has kept our relationship so solid over the last 33 years, the ability to support each other.
Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.