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Old January 13, 2019, 06:57 AM   #19
Spats McGee
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Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 8,158
Mine got interested at about 5, so I took her out with a BB gun. As enthusiastic as she was, she really couldn't focus long enough to shoot safely, so we ended that session and it would be another couple of years before we tried again. When she hit her target, she'd get all excited and whirl around to tell us about it (even though we'd seen it), sweeping everyone in the process. At about 7 (or was it 8?), we went back out with some "Shoot-N-C" targets and let her shoot to her heart's content. By then, she was big enough to handle the BB gun on her own, and could better follow all of the safety rules.

A BB gun or pellet gun is a pretty good place to start, IMHO. Like millions of others, I started with a BB gun. Yes, you could put an eye out with it, but the odds of actually killing someone with it are pretty low.

I'll also suggest that kids do much better with some kind of reactive target. Punching paper is fine for adults, who can wait a while to see whether they hit their target. For kids, though, some immediate response from the target helps hold their interest. I'm not sure it matters if it's something like the Shoot-n-C, which has a "splash" of color show up when you hit, or a steel target, that goes "ping," or something different entirely. I've always been a big fan of soup cans. They're heavy enough that they won't (generally) blow across a field like a thin aluminum Coke can, but they'll move and go "ping" when hit. Heck, I still like 'em for my own plinking today.
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