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Teaching Your Spouse or Partner to Shoot (Without Splitting Up After the Lesson)

In America, men are expected to know how to shoot from birth. Most guys think they will know how to operate a real gun when the time comes. It's more than just point and shoot, especially since revolvers from back in the day are mostly replaced by polymer pistols today and require more knowledge to operate safely and accurately. If your husband or boyfriend learned to shoot in the military, those muscle memory techniques will probably come back to him after some dry fire practice and gun familiarity discussion at the range.

Teaching your adult spouse or partner to shoot is not the same as teaching a teenager anything. They are fully formed people with their own life experiences and opinions. You need to ask yourself if this is something you want to do versus something they want you to do (and get an honest answer from them), or is it better to pay for them to take some lessons from a qualified, certified instructor? If they say they would rather take lessons, don't pout about it; find them the best instructor you can and tell them to enjoy the experience. You can shoot with them on the back end of their lessons, when they are ready. Most adults are not comfortable being seen as less than proficient at something and don't want to fail at some task in front of someone they care about. This is especially true if you're a guy and your wife or girlfriend is either as good or a better shot than you.

If your man has never fired a gun, he will need to go through the same eight steps below as anyone else who has not. Your man may not have the self-confidence or self-esteem to let his woman teach him how to shoot, even if she has mad skills. It might be best to have him lesson up with a male instructor and then meet back on the range when he has enough proficiency.

When it comes to teaching someone to shoot, your goal is probably not his or her goal. You have to keep your ego out of it. Perhaps they are going to the Range just to make you happy and really don't want to do more than just have that one first and only experience. You can't force shooting enjoyment on someone. Once they get over their initial fears and anxieties about doing a highly unusual task, maybe they will want to do it more often, or maybe not. It should be no sin if they don't. Maybe their first lesson is all they really want to do until the next time, even if the next time is six months away.

My advice is to Have your spouse get training from a professional instructor. Does this possibly benefit me as an instructor yes but that is not my reasoning. I believe it's better to have someone independent do the instruction. I did not even teach my own partner to shoot. I sent her to Foxes and Firearms. That way there would be no hurt feelings on any side.

Keep your head down and keep the faith,


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