Getting the kids started


Tommy Gunn
June 14, 2003, 03:17 AM
I recommend renting Disney's Davy Crockett series to get the children warmed up to buckskinning. Then surprise 'em with the rifle, possibles bag, and accoutrements. If you are feeling ambitious, go to your local taxidermy and Tandy Leather store to outfit them in fringed buckskin clothes with coonskin hats.

They will love it! :)

- .50 Caliber
- 24" blued barrel length/ 38" overall length
- 1:48" rifling twist
- Select hardwood stock
- 5 lbs. total weight

At 38" long and weighing a mere 5 lbs., the Youth Hunter is a wonderful starter gun that is specially designed for the younger shooter or petite lady. Built according to input from instructors with the YMCA, Hunter Education, Boy Scouts of America, and 4-H, it continues to be a winner in these instructional programs, as well as on the range and in the woods. By using a 24" octagonal barrel and a shortened hardwood stock the balance is made perfect. With a 1:48" twist and deep groove rifled barrel, excellent accuracy can be achieved using patched round balls or conical style bullets. Comes fully equipped with a Williams adjustable sight, oversized trigger guard, and synthetic ramrod. Complete instructions included and backed by CVA's lifetime mechanical warranty.

.50 Cal Youth Hunter PR4104 . . . . . $135.95

Rifle (
Starter Kit (

This caplock rifle is just the thing for boys & girls to get started with. It costs less than an evening out on the town and will last for generations with proper care.

Recoil will be light by just using light loads. I recommend 60 grains of FFG blackpowder with a .490 or .495 diameter patched ball for light recoil. It will have plenty of power for deer sized game.
Since it is a muzzle loader you will need some accoutrements. Ie. Possibles bag, powder horn or flask, powder measure, patch worm, cleaning jag, and et cetera.

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4v50 Gary
June 16, 2003, 09:24 PM
Good idea Tommy Gun. Good price for a starter (but I'd change the buttplate and add a patchbox if I wanted to give it to a kid).

The attendance at Friendship (National BP Matches) is declining and we need to start the young 'uns on this joyous path of trailblazing, tomahawk throwing, shooting and story telling. Just don't introduce them to the pie eating contest.

June 17, 2003, 09:05 AM
I agree 100% about getting more kids involved in the blackpowder or other shooting sports. However, I do not feel that Friendship is the place to try and get them to come. Nothing against the NMLRA, but most families today can not afford a family trip to Friendship nor do they wish to spend their hard earned vacation on a trip with such a limited scope, no matter how much we might want them to. (My family and I have been going to Friendship for the nationals for the last 10 years.) And the NMLRA has shown a tendency to be unwilling to establish a youth shooting program outside of the Friendship area. I know because there have been several of us trying to get the NMLRA to work with 4-H, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the NRA on establishing just such a program that would take the blackpowder shooting message out to youngsters in across the country for the last 5 years and we have continually hit a brick wall or been met with very apathetic responses. So we have moved forward in working with these organizations through the programs they have in place to teach youngsters about the blackpowder shooting sports. In 1999 I assisted with and event where we introduced over 600 youngsters to blackpowder and cowboy action shooting in Houston, Texas. We also had an “Indian/mountain man” style camp set up where they could learn about life in the early 1800’s. This was a big success and we have repeated it around the country many times for the last 4 years. Hopefully, one day the NMLRA will wake up and realize that many of their shooters are getting older as well as greyer and that it might just be time to put even a little effort into recruiting more youngsters by taking the program to them and not expecting them to seek out the NMLRA on it’s term because as history has proven, that is not going to happen. Good luck and happy shooting!

4v50 Gary
June 17, 2003, 02:26 PM
The NMLRA is wakening up to the fact that they have a graying audience. Average age I was told is 55 (hey I'm greying, but I'm nowhere near 55). You're right in that there must be more outreach and activities to promote kiddy interest. Cooperation with 4H and Boy Scouts would be good and I hope they go in that direction to start a new generation of skinflints (opps, buck skinners). Not only is the audience graying, but it's also shrinking. They lost several thousand members from last year (guess Muzzleloader is really kicking them and darn if I don't enjoy their magazine more).

Write them and suggest it.

June 17, 2003, 03:29 PM
I have written them, called them and spoken to many of the officers and office personnel in person for the last 10 years in an effort to get some kind of youth program going. We included the NMLRA in a deal between 4-H, NRA, NSSF and NMLRA to develop a uniform blackpowder instructor course to teach the Muzzleloading sports to all new shooters who wanted to learn. After hee-hawing around for over a year after the other parties had agreed to a proposed plan the NMLRA was the only group not to sign the final Memorandum of Understanding “because they had not had enough time to study it”. I have written several articles about getting more youth involved and programs that could be used to do, only to have them butchered and published in such a haphazard manner in Muzzleblasts that many people called and asked why I had written such incoherent pieces. (They knew it was not my typical work.) I worked with Chriss Pace of Kadooty fame when he was on the educational and youth committees at NMLRA. Several of us did in fact. However, after years of frustration and not seeing any willingness on the part of the NMLRA , it’s officers or office staff to promote anything outside of the limited scope of Friendship, we have all let our memberships lapse and moved on to work with organizations that are willing to perform and not just mouth the words. Sorry to sound so bitter, but I know what can be done. Here in my home state I am part of another shooting group that hosts 8-10 youth shooting sports festival type events around the state each year. Last year we hosted over 7,500 youngsters who were ale to shoot sporting clays, skeet, muzzleloading rifles, muzzleloading pistols, cowboy action firearms and .22 rifles. We also introduced them to ‘Indian/mountain man style camping”, the competitive shooting sports, hunters ed, firearm safety classes and various other shooting related events. We even set up several Seneca or Woods Walk trails for the kids to enjoy. This year we are exporting this program to groups in 6 other states. So yes I know what can be done but could not get anyone at NMLRA to put their neck on the line and try. And as the old saying goes, “you can only hit your head against a brick wall for so long before you begin to bleed”.

4v50 Gary
June 17, 2003, 05:41 PM
Frustrating, isn't it? The NMLRA, like the NRA or any other organization has it's own little clique. They listen to their own and exclude outsiders. I know there's several people well qualified to teach the classes at Bowling Green, but they don't want them to as some folks have it locked up. Roland Cadle wouldn't mind teaching a horn making class and his style is entirely different (screw tip) from that taught by the other instructor. Both are good instructors and knowledgeable, but their styles are so apart there's no reason why they couldn't even run the two classes consecutively. Oh well, I'd better shaddup.

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