Young Shooters


April 29, 2007, 08:21 PM
I pay particular attention to young shooters at the rifle range where I'm Range Safety Officer, to make sure they are handling their guns safely and are being properly trained in safety. Gotta tell you about a couple of young shooters that amazed me today:

Shooter #1: A lovely girl about 15 to 17 years young, shapely, ponytail, about 5' tall and I really doubt she weighed 100-lb dripping wet...shooting with her young soldier boyfriend. She was shooting a Leopold Mark 4-scoped Rem 700 Tactical .308 rifle with bipod. Curious as to how she was taking the considerable recoil with her light frame, as well as general safety practice, I stood behind her for a while. She was taking the recoil in stride, thank you...she hit our 12" square 450-yard steel plate three times in succession!

Shooter #2: A father brought his 11-year old son, a small, eagar kid who the father said weighed 72-lbs. I watched this pair closely, as I often have to call safety violations on such. Rather than the .22 LR I expected, the kid started out with an iron-sighted AR-15 at 100-yds...and shot a 10-shot group one could cover with a silver dollar! Father said he was giving the kid the AR-15, and had a Rock River Varminter 8-pitch upper on order so he could shoot 80-gr bullets at longer range. The kid then shot his father's Savage Model 10 Tactical .308 with Leupold Mark 4 scope and bipod...something I REALLY doubted he would be able to handle...but he did indeed! Shot a three inch group at 225 yards!...and begged to shoot more.
The kid's father hovered over him like a hawk, and the only time I faulted them for safety was when the kid was looking through the rifle scope during a cease fire when people were downrange (including his father, retrieving the 225-yd target to show off). The kid also shot his father's Kimber .45 at 25-yds...again very capably...recoil and weight didn't faze him, and his standing and gripping position was impeccable. He handled these firearms as capably as an adult...and better than many! They shot for more than two hours, and the kid never tired of it.

Made me proud! And I complemented them all. Got the girl's contact data for a possible Assistant Instructor for a Women's firearm class we are trying to set up...:D

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XD Fan
April 29, 2007, 10:58 PM
That is awesome! We have got to get them while they are young. I cannot wait until my daughter is old enough to do the things of which you speak. I am buying her her first rifle next month. It will be a Cricket .22 because she wants a "pink one." She is five. I hope that she loves shooting, but more importantly I hope to instill saftey hardwiring, confidence in handling firearms, and respect for weapons,

April 29, 2007, 11:48 PM
My eleven year old beat me last week at the .22 shoot at our club. Man on man, shooting a series of 12 reactive targets, the first one to the 13th wins.

Silly me thought that I could win using iron sighted BLR22 vs. him with a scoped 10/22. Then he beat me using a 1911 with .22 conversion vs. me with a model 18.

Lessons I learned-

1) It's cool when your kid beats you

Great fun!

Quintin Likely
April 30, 2007, 12:10 AM
It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy reading posts like this. :)

I'm working on getting a junior involved in our local high power club...just as soon as he gets his grades straight in school. :banghead:

May 1, 2007, 02:43 AM
Good for you folks! Kids really get a lot out of spending quality time with Dad (or Mom!) at the's a very big thing for them. Just hover over them, give them your full attention, train them slowly and carefully both in the use of firearms and safety, praise them for what they do, and you will both benefit immeasurably.:D Kids should start out with air rifles or .22s at short range, graduating to larger stuff only when they are ready and ask for it...and they will!

The very same goes for wives and woman friends...just don't make the mistake of assuming a woman new shooter can start out with "the big stuff" just because she's grown up...she's very likely not to enjoy it, which is not what you want...:(

Also, don't focus on learning so she can shoot creatures and bad men...which turns off a lot of women. Focus on the challenging sport of getting tighter little groups of holes in paper...

May 1, 2007, 03:47 AM
Great to see you gave them positive feedback. Keep up the good work and encourage them to bring their friends.

11 year old, 72lb'r shooting a 308, nice.

My nephew is 10 and shoots a 12ga, and only wants 12 ga guns for shotguns. Good kid that one.

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