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Old July 5, 2012, 12:45 AM   #1
LOLERCOASTER
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Youth Shooting Competitions

Just wondering your thoughts on them.
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Old July 5, 2012, 02:38 AM   #2
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I'm kinda perturbed there aren't more of them, or more youth participating in them. I still have ribbons I won from way back in jr. high school through our county 4-H shooting team. The skills, safety, and responsibility I learned doing that was far and above anything I learned in my academic endeavors down at our little consolodated school district.

Another plus for youth competitions- is if young shooters are taught to be good stewards to the sport, then I feel those young men and women won't be so inclined to be embarrassments or liabilities to the sport when they are grown.
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:43 AM   #3
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I've shot USPSA matches with folks as young as nine.
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Old July 5, 2012, 08:14 AM   #4
rgrundy
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We have many young shooters at our club and they shoot with everyone else. I think the enjoy getting the attention and help from the old guys and really enjoy beating us as they progress.
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Old July 5, 2012, 02:27 PM   #5
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One of the biggest problems with getting juniors involved in organized shooting is finding adults with the time,skill and desire to run a program. Having coached juniors teams in the past I can tell you that it is very rewarding but also very consuming of time and energy. Club level competition is the greatest resource for introducing young ones to shooting. They don't have to try to be Olympians but the exposure to organized competition plants a seed for being responsible and safe shooters.
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Old July 5, 2012, 03:51 PM   #6
LOLERCOASTER
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Kinda off topic, but does anyone have any reccomendations for rifles/pistols your kids can "grow" with?
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Old July 5, 2012, 11:07 PM   #7
10-96
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I don't prescribe to the thought of having a rifle a youngster can grow with as far as competition. I understand a lot depends on the shooters size/strength, but when/if they start out small and light, they should be allowed to upgrade as they grow. An example might be going from a CZ scout, to a CZ 452 Military Trainer, and then on into the serious rifles such as Anschutz and the like. By the time a youngster gets ready to outgrow the Military Trainer- he/she may well decide to venture into another arena such as High Power, Service Rifle, etc.

Rimfire competition can be fiercly competitive and quite costly, so I hate to see a kid sent out under-gunned. Whatever he/she starts out with should have, or be able to be set up with peep sights.

But I degress. Choosing a rifle also greatly depends on what type of competition they are gearing up for- Benchrest, 3-Position, Silhouette, Running Target. Maybe from 8/13 years old one rifle may do all for him/her. But if they are serious- they should look to specialize by 14/16 years. But, that's just my opinion.
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Old July 7, 2012, 12:12 AM   #8
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I have shot USPSA matches with youngsters in their early teens. They invariably handled themselves in a safe and competent manner, usually shooting the same match with a parent.

One club ran a fun match under USPSA rules that had a loaner .22 for young children to use. I saw kids as young as 7 or 8 shooting the same stages as the grownups. The RO would make any necessary reloads and carry the gun while the youngster would walk between the various shooting positions. Time was not counted, only hits were scored with plaques awarded after the match. This was a big confidence builder for the kids involved.
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Old July 7, 2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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My oldest grandson "Shooter" started shooting handgun competition with me when he was 8 years old.

We competed in USPSA/IPSC, Action Pistol, and Steel matches.
He actually was pretty darn good and beat many of the men that he had to compete against.

He shot the Single Stack Classic when he was 9, this was before they used USPSA rules so there was no junior class for him to compete in, he loved it.

There was a write up about him in the junior section of Front Sight magazine.

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Old July 11, 2012, 01:56 PM   #10
Youngshooter
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I remember my competitions we held at the local club between all of the younger kids. It wasn't but about maybe 30 of us split into two age groups, but it was awesome. I can't speak for everyone but the involvement makes me think that it teaches very special habits that stick with you. Me and my dad went to the range every weekend religiously just to practice, but more importantly have fun. He gets mad at me jokingly now when I smoke him, and just tell him its his own fault!
I still have my trophies from over 10 years ago!(yes the name is correct) haha. Encourage your club to start competitions even if they will be small, I loved mine and your kids will too!
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Old July 11, 2012, 06:16 PM   #11
4EVERM-14
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Youngshooters post is the best representation of why getting kids into organized shooting is important. They learn safety and shooting not only from the instructors but also from people their own age. Get valuable lessons about dealing with others and memories to look back on. Some even find a new shooting partner. Their Parent. How much better can it get?
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Old July 12, 2012, 09:50 AM   #12
Youngshooter
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Thanks! Although I can't speak from a parents perspective on the matter, I think it provides education and further enjoyment throughout their progressive shooting lives. Your kids wont understand what it means at the time beyond something that is fun! Anyone on the fence about the competition I would encourage to get started for their kids. Competition is good for the soul! They will thank you down the road.
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Old July 12, 2012, 05:04 PM   #13
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Both my sons shoot on their schools shotgun team here in South Carolina. At the 2012 South Carolina Youth Shooting Foundation state sporting clays tourney we had 360 shooters from 7th -12th grade.
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Old August 20, 2012, 12:09 PM   #14
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http://www.nrahq.org/hunting/yhec/index.asp

Here's one my kids have competed in the last 2 years. Though not a strictly shooting competition. The kids do compete with bow, .22, black powder and shotgun.
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