Sports Shooting For Kids

Youth Sport Shooting Competition

You think your kid may be a natural in the sports shooting arena, and you want to get him involved. Sports shooting can teach kids several skills including responsibility, independent learning, handling peer pressure, and functioning in stressful situations. However, there are some things to consider before you get started. Consider the child’s age, interest, and ability to focus.

Age

There are differing opinions on the age when a child should be introduced to guns. Some organizations will start at age 8 while others suggest ages 10 and above. For the most part, it depends upon the child’s interest and maturity level. Children at younger ages tend to start off with simple weapons like BB guns and air rifles. As the child ages, the weapons become bigger and more lethal.

Interest

One parent stated that you should wait until the child expresses interest in guns before heading out to the range. If a child is not interested in shooting, then pushing the issue is not going to have a great result. Consider the reason for wanting to teach the kid to shoot. Is it because he is interested or simply because you want a plinking buddy or future Olympian? No matter what the reason, start off easy and gauge if it’s a sport that interests your child.

Ability To Focus

The ability to focus is the most important aspect when it comes to being educated about guns. A child should never be given a gun without knowing the basics and being versed in safety. Keep the instructions short and to the point, but reinforce it often. If the child only wants to play and refuses to listen to the rules, then forging ahead can lead to disaster. Table the activity or choose another sport that is less dangerous.

Lessons Learned

There are many lessons that can be learned from sports shooting. Many can be transferred to other areas of a child’s life. The best part is that the child will probably not realize he’s in a school of a different kind.

Learning To Fail

Learning to fail may be one of the best skills we can teach our children. While no one wants to fail, it creates great opportunity for growth. A child that never learns to fail won’t be able to handle it when things don’t go his or her way. In sports, success and failure are instantaneous. If you hit a target, you’ll know it. If you miss, that too is obvious. It gives the child the chance to use critical thinking to correct what went wrong and fix it. Success after a failure is more powerful than hitting the target on the first try.

Competition

Sports shooting is highly competitive and can teach the child how to challenge himself. In competition kids are often pitted against adults. This may seem unfair but it’s one of life’s best lessons. It creates persistence and tenacity. Additionally, children will be exposed to every type of competitor, from the newest of the new to old timers that have been competing before their parents were born. It teaches children how to relate to people in other age groups, learn from experience, and perhaps gain a mentor.

Quality Time

Shooting sports are not age or gender specific. Unlike Hannah’s soccer game or Bobby’s wrestling match, shooting is a sport that everyone can participate in at the same time. The entire family can have a great day plinking or attending a competition. If one or more members of a family compete, the family may have the opportunity to travel across the country. It’s a bonding experience that will last a lifetime.

Education

Ray LeBlond said, “You learn something every day if you pay attention.” What can shooting sports teach children? Critical thinking, time management, math, and physics, for starters. Children who participate in sports show much higher levels of success in math and science than children who do not.

Choosing a Sports Shooting Rifle

Introducing Shooting

 The Gun

After educating your child on the basics and safety procedures involved in shooting, the next step would be to find an appropriate gun. Until you gauge your child’s interest in sports shooting, using a gun already on hand is the smartest and most economical way to go. When choosing a gun, make sure it’s one that the child can handle safely. If a child is injured on his first day out, chances are that’s the end of it.

When choosing a gun, consider if the child is best suited to using a rifle or a handgun. Also, consider the ammo needed and the amount of recoil. 

Fun Targets

Shooting should be fun, especially for kids. To keep it light, pick out some fun targets. There are paper targets on the market that incorporate several games to keep the child’s interest. Family members can compete against each other in a lighthearted way. It builds the child’s confidence and skill level without adding pressure. You might also want to choose tin cans or steel targets that create a noise when hit. Moving forward, you may want to incorporate skeet shooting. Every kid likes to see things explode.

Keep it Simple

Remember that teaching shooting should be easy and fun. Approaching a lesson like an Olympic trial isn’t going to make the kid want to continue. Always keep safety measures in mind, but create games to engage the child. If the child makes a mistake, point out what he did right and help him to correct his mistakes in a gentle way. Pushing too hard will cause a child to lose interest.

Bring a Friend

Kids like to be around other kids. If your child has a friend who would like to tag along, encourage it. Maybe that friend has a parent or sibling that also enjoys shooting. Creating a fun day out will only encourage your child to continue, and by continuing, to improve.

Three Rules of Safe Gun Handling

Despite not being the most popular of sports, target shooting is a favorite pass-time of many. It goes without saying that shooting sports can be quite dangerous and are not for the faint at heart. Here are three safety tips for every shooting sport enthusiast.

Mind Your Muzzle

The muzzle is the most important part of a gun when it comes to safety. Gun-fire accidents occur when an individual points their gun muzzle at something they didn’t mean to.

As a responsible target shooter, you should see to it that your muzzle always points in a safe direction. Safe in this context refers to the direction in which bullets will cause no harm if you fire them accidentally. When determining a safe direction for your muzzle to face, you need to remember that bullets have the ability to penetrate through ceilings and walls, as well as possible ricochets.

The safe direction can either be up or down depending on the nature of the situation and the immediate environment.

Always Use The Correct Ammunition

The type of ammunition you use on your gun also has a great bearing on how safe you are handling the gun. It is your responsibility as a shooting enthusiast to ensure that the type of ammunition you use matches those specifications outlined in your gun’s user manual. For example, rimfire ammo should only be used with rimfire guns and so on.

In addition to this, you need to ensure that the cartridges on your gun are of the right caliber and gauge. Failure to do this will put you at great risk of personal injury if you damage the firearm as a result of using improper ammunition.

Do Not Modify Your Firearm On Your Own

Guns are not nearly as simple as they may look. They are expertly designed to work well in their original condition. Making changes or modifications to your gun can make it a very dangerous weapon. This is for the simple reason that you lack the expertise required to make such modifications or alterations. Any modifications on your firearm should be undertaken by a licensed expert.

You need to remember that your safety and that of other shooting enthusiasts (and any other third parties), is in your hands. Though not very common, target-shooting accidents are often fatal.

How to Stay Safe With Your Sporting Shotgun

Shotguns can be dangerous in any context especially in the sporting arena where people have dropped their guard and thrown caution to the wind. Most accidents in the US involving shotguns come from negligent actions that are preventable. Below are some guidelines you can apply to stay safe with your shotgun whether at home or in action.

Treat You Sporting Shotgun Like It’s Always Loaded

First, treat it as if it were always loaded. This way you will not make jokes and there will not be a chance for accidents. Do not be point the gun in any direction either to yourself or to a friend. Treat it as though it is loaded Make sure you wear your protection for the eyes and ears when in action. This will keep any debris off your eyes thus enhancing your experience. It is wise not to attempt to place your finger into the trigger position unless you are ready to fire. If you are not firing, keep the barrel aimed up or down to the ground. Always remember the shotgun is not just a toy but a powerful tool.

Firing Your Sporting Shotgun

When ready to fire, place the gun on your shoulder. It must be firmly supported with the butt lying on your shoulder to dispel any kick on firing effect. Your posture must always respect the dangerous tool you are holding. Your feet should be at least 75 cm apart and you must bend a little to lower your center of gravity. In the same breath, do not shoot straight ahead. Always turn about 40 degrees from your target, to keep you stable.

In addition, never should your fingers be on the trigger unless you are actually firing. Place them always on the stock to support the gun as well as restrain the rest of the fingers from firing accidental shots. Finally, be careful what you are shooting. Usually, shotguns are best for moving targets like birds or game. For learners, ,make sure your first shots are fired in a rural or game setting, thus steering clear of any resulting damage that may come from any acts of negligence.

Considering the Range

According to what you wish to shoot, make sure you consider the range of the gun you end up purchasing. The shotgun must be quality, with approved ammunition such as the 30 06 ammo. Most guns have a range of up to 300 meters which may be dangerous for beginners. Look for something mild then go for more powerful power with experience. At the end of the day, what will really count is the amount of fun you manage to squeeze in between all those precautions. Whatever you do, make these safety concerns second nature and make the best of every opportunity to be happy.

Essential Safety Regulations for Gun Users

Now that you are the proud owner of your own gun, it is important that you consider these precautions and follow certain safety regulations for gun users to ensure that you are on the right track.

Direction Is Important

At all times, it is essential that you keep your gun aimed in the right and safe direction. It should not point in the direction where you do not desire to shoot. Under any circumstances, do not direct your firearm towards any person. Depending on the place or situation that you are in, it is important to gauge the safe distance and act accordingly.

In general, when not in use, there are two ways of keeping your gun in a safe position. One is with its muzzle pointing directly towards the sky and the other downwards toward the ground. If your weapon fails to fire even after you have gone ahead and pressed the trigger, then it is important to exercise extreme caution with regards to the direction in which you place or point your firearm; it’s a good idea to throw the dead cartridge away or put the safety latch on.

Finger Positioning

Another important regulation to keep in mind while handling guns is your finger positioning. Always remember to keep your finger away from the trigger, unless you are absolutely ready to shoot. There exists inherent and real danger if you keep your finger in the area of the trigger guard or on the trigger—especially if you have not taken the decision to shoot.

The safest place to keep your trigger-friendly finger is by the side of the gun or on the outside of the trigger guard. These are the areas which have the least probability of any accident taking place. The many dangers of keeping your finger on the trigger include the possibility of something startling you or your hand slipping at the wrong time –thus shooting out your 40 cal ammo or any other pellet that you may be using for your purpose.

Awareness of Surroundings and the Target

Total awareness of the target and your immediate surroundings is a must too. There always exists a chance of missing your target while you are firing your gun (especially true in the case of inexperienced people), and so it is crucial to keep a watchful eye on the area that is located beyond the target. Unexpected things or people may appear between you and your target and so along with the target you have to keep the surroundings in mind also.

Last but not the least, safe storage is one of the main fundamentals of the safety regulations involved with guns and ammo. Proper precautions at all levels are a must. These safety regulations for gun users will help you have more enjoyable experiences with your weapons.

All the best!