It seems like a mere six months ago that we here at NRA Women casually mentioned 16-year-old Ashlynne Thomas ... mainly because it was six months ago. However, by the time Thomas appeared at the 2021 A Girl & A Gun Fall Fest, she had already garnered some fairly impressive laurels. Today, Thomas' upwards trajectory got a big boost when Benelli announced that she's the latest addition to the company's winning 3-Gun team. What's more, the company predicts that the boost will be mutual.
Like so many NRA Women, Thomas' journey began in girlhood with the gift of a .22 rimfire rifle. It was, as we like to say, "love at first shot."
“The first day at the range,” the young Texan explained, “I knew there was something about shooting that made me happy.”
That said, the seven-year journey to sponsored-shooter status began with rimfires, but it certainly didn't end there. Since then, Ashlynne has broadened her skills and repertoire, expanding to the AR-15, pistols and eventually shotguns. Over the last year, she's collected some impressive finishes at top venues, including the Nordic Tri-Gun, Zombies in the Heartland, Texas Magpul 3-Gun, Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun and (as we mentioned), A Girl and A Gun Fall Fest.
As the young dynamo began lighting up competitive shooting, she made equipment choices that were best for her. The Benelli M2 caught her eye for the hottest new sport in competitive shooting: 3-Gun.
“Three-Gun is a challenging yet exceedingly rewarding discipline that is enticing to young shooters and provides them with an on-ramp to further specialize in the shooting sports,” said Tim Joseph, Vice President of Benelli USA Brand Marketing. “Ashlynne is a perfect representation of the next-generation competitive shooter and no doubt she will, through her social following and media exposure, inspire more youth and young adults to pick up the shooting sports for recreation and perhaps even competitive careers.”
In addition to 3-Gun, Thomas shoots USPSA, IDPA and Steel Challenge events. Congratulations, Ashlynne ... we look forward to seeing more of you on the firing line!