View Full Version : Looking to get my son involved!
June 9, 2013, 05:50 AM
While I don't shoot competitively, I was thinking my son might enjoy it in a few years. He has some health issues that will keep him from playing most if not all sports (long story). He loves shooting, mainly his BB gun and every now and then the 22 right now. He is only 6, so I realize I'm jumping the gun a little bit, but I'd like to look into his options for something he might enjoy and possibly excel at. I'm not looking to turn him into a pro or anything, just looking for something he can sink his teeth into and have fun at, also I think teaching kids about healthy competition is a good thing. Not to mention our family is mostly enthusiasts so it would be a fun way to instill that in him and do some bonding with the grandpas (and mom for that matter lol). Any tips or suggestions for me? We live in a very rural area and there aren't any clubs in our area, so it'll be just us doing it on our own. Right now we are mainly working on firearm and range safety.
June 9, 2013, 02:07 PM
With the little guy as young as he is it might be best to develop a base line for his abilities. Perhaps choosing a target[paper] and keeping track of a score based on 10 shots. Keep a chart with his scores so he can see progress. It's not necessary to do this exclusively. Let him plink at whatever is safe to do in your area. Every so often take that target and challenge him. This will present both success and failure that he will have to deal with. Shooting is a great teacher. both for the game and for life.
June 10, 2013, 06:37 AM
I shoot USPSA competition (because, in my opinion, it offers the greatest intrinsic value amongst the 'shooting sports').
The youngest competitor I've shot with was 9. That was at a BIG match......
When I started, my first year's goal was to beat an eleven-year-old girl; I did not meet my first year goal.
Ah, but the SECOND year.....:D
June 10, 2013, 08:06 AM
That's the perfect time to start. My son started at 6. Got really good w/ a pellet gun (still is) moved on to .22, then .223, .308, 06 etc.
At 13 he was shooting steel with a .308 at 800 yards. Now he's 14 and is shooting 1,000 yard F class matches. The sooner he starts the better.
June 10, 2013, 10:27 AM
I agree Tempest! The younger the better!! My dad started letting me shoot with him when I was about the same age as my son and it is honestly one of my favorite memories with him. He has a bb gun rifle ( old school red rider!) that he got for Christmas. After letting him shoot my 5906 with assistance from mom, he thought he was hot stuff! He walked around with his chest puffed out all evening! Lol. He's been asking to shoot my ar, but I still think he's too small. He is pretty small for his age. We got him some 1911 air soft pistols for his birthday, but they are a little big for his hands, but he thinks they are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Lol We have been using the bullseye targets that show in paint where he hits, and he does great at first, then he just wants to shoot and stops aiming as much, but I figure that's because of his age and attention span. I'm not trying to force shooting on him, but we never say no when he asks to. :p
June 13, 2013, 03:25 PM
There are a ton of shooting sports.
Steel Challenge and Ruger Rimfire Challenge are sports designed with minimal physical requirements...there are paraplegics shooting these sports. These are still considered action sports due to the speed element, but very low physical demand.
There are clay sports, straight line target sports (no speed element, but much more precision) like Bullseye, Silhouette, Hi-Power, etc. and action sports. Try to get a feel for all the styles and see which ones he prefers.
Go look at some of the stage descriptions and set up some stages for him to try. You can use paper targets. If he likes it, some of the resealable polymer shooting targets might make a great gift for him.
I started my boys at about 6 and they are now 9 and 11. The oldest has started USPSA with an M&P9 and both shoot Steel Challenge, Ruger Rimfire and the ARs off the bench.
June 13, 2013, 06:09 PM
I'll second Steel Challenge. Good stuff.
June 14, 2013, 01:27 AM
If there is a junior small bore club around that is a good place to start. I just saw the targets for a girls first competion. She has been shooting since January.
June 14, 2013, 07:36 AM
If you live in a rural area I would bet there is a 4H somewhere that supports your area.
Talk to your County Extension Office for information.
Start him in 4H Shooting Sports. They are run by Leaders trained to instruct firearms to kids safely. Also 4H leaders are vetted to make sure you're not getting any child molesters.
Also the 4H programs helps with guns and ammo with the help of the CMP and NRA.
They have Rifle, Pistol, shotgun, muzzle loader, and archery programs.
June 15, 2013, 10:42 PM
If you are doing it on your own, reactive targets can raise the fun factor quite a bit. Clay pigeons or cookies/crackers set up in front of the backstop, popping balloons stapled to a board, swingers, spinners, etc.
As the others said, any kind of competetion, if possible near you, would be excellent.
June 18, 2013, 02:56 AM
I've looked into 4H but he has to be 9 for it. So I've got some time, I haven't seen any competitions in my area at all unfortunately.
June 18, 2013, 01:52 PM
cowboy action seems like such a family affait
I have literary seen a three generation family compete, the kid was a teenager but still.
June 18, 2013, 02:37 PM
While I think all trigger time is good time, SASS is probably not the best place to start off for a young new shooter. The guns and equipment are insanely expensive and exclusive to the sport. But the minimal movement is good if you can borrow some gear.
June 22, 2013, 06:16 AM
He can more around and run and things like that, but due to having 2 brain surgeries at a very young age he won't be able to play contact sports. And unfortunately all the sports our small school offers are contact sports.. so if he needs to run from stage to stage or something like that he'd be fine. Just can't play football or basketball or any of the typical school sports, and I want him to learn about competition from somewhere ya know.
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