Ambitious and wise beyond her years, Abby Jackley is just at the beginning of her shooting career. Soon to be 16, Abby competes in USPSA, Steel Challenge, and the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP).
Born into an outdoors family that embraced hunting and shooting, it was only natural that Abby would follow suit. Abby says that it was her dad who sparked her interest in shooting. “I have been shooting with him since I was little, from BB guns and archery to shotguns,” she said. “More recently rifles and pistols. He definitely sparked my interest in the shooting world, and I grew up with guns basically as an everyday part of life for as long as I can remember.”
Based in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, she competes on the Wilmot High School SASP team and practices USPSA and Steel Challenge at Schultz Resort Rod & Gun Club in Muskego, Wisconsin. Though she enjoyed shooting from an early age, it wasn’t until three years ago that she began competing competitively in SASP. Just last year she expanded her horizons to USPSA, competing alongside her dad.
With so many disciplines, she has quite the array of equipment.
“I shoot USPSA with my CZ Shadow 2 in production division, but I hope to move to carry optics or open soon. I also compete in Steel Challenge with my Kimber Team Match II 1911 in 9mm and Volquartsen .22. I shoot SASP for my high school team with Wilmot Panthers Pistol Team, where I use my Ruger Target Lite 10/22 optic rifle, Buckmark iron pistol (.22), Volquartsen Black Mamba optic pistol (.22), and Kimber Team Match II, 1911(9mm) and the team’s iron rifle (.22).” Abby also cites All American L&M Lenses shooting glasses and Grizzly Ears hearing protection as her must-haves on the range.
Though still relatively new to competitive shooting, Abby has some impressive accomplishments. She was the 2021 SASP Wisconsin State Ladies High Overall 1911 State Champion, and took second place in the Ladies JV 1911 class at SASP Nationals in 2020. Shooting isn’t the only place Abby shines. The year 2021 also brought insight into a new career path, when she joined Junior Shooters Magazine as a contributor. The Summer 2021 issue features Abby on the cover as well as first-person stories of her experiences.
“My future plans and goals,” Abby said, “would be to continue to use my social media for marketing and the promotion of junior shooters with the hopes of someday making it on to a professional team and making a career in the outdoor/shooting world in media and marketing. I hope to get into podcasting or video marketing and advertising.”
One thing Abby is never giving up is her shooting and advocacy for the Second Amendment. Marksmanship is a wonderful teacher, and she has learned not only that shooting is fun, but that it’s a way for her to challenge herself and see the results of her efforts over time. “I’ve made shooting a part of my life and it doesn’t always have to be competitive,” she says. “But if you’re ready to take your shooting to the next level there are plenty of opportunities…nothing you want will just come easy, it requires you to work hard for it and give it time.”
Abby’s favorite thing about marksmanship is that it is a skill she can develop over the rest of her life. While most sports careers peak in high school and college, hers is just beginning with no end in sight. She doesn’t have to follow a specific season or schedule, and can practice whenever she chooses, with or without a team.
While she has different bits of discipline-specific advice, firearm safety and learning from others are at the heart of all of it. “Look into your local clubs and don’t be afraid to contact them. My journey into the USPSA started with an email to the match director asking if they welcomed junior shooters. I was invited to visit the range to watch a match and soon I was shooting myself. Look into groups such as the NRA, A Girl and A Gun, and for kids 4-H, SASP or SCTP all have great shooting programs!”
Over the past year Abby took another step in protecting her Second Amendment rights, joining the NRA as a junior lifetime member at age 15. Wise beyond her years, Abby recognizes that her decisions play a role in preserving freedoms. “I joined the NRA …as a way to have a voice and protect my Second Amendment rights,” she stated. “And assure I will be able to own and carry handguns in the future.”
Not your typical teenager, Abby has foresight beyond her years and a passion for the Second Amendment she is just learning how to best share.