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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My little girl recently turned seven, and shortly thereafter she says "daddy, now that I'm seven I can go to the shooting range with you, right?" Who could say no to that? ;)

She's always been my companion at the workbench while I'm cleaning up after a range visit. Has lots of questions on what type of firearm I shot that day, what each part is/does. I view it as a great opportunity to go over safety and demystify guns in general.

We spent a little time each night this past week going over safety rules, learning sight picture, dry firing, more safety, more dry firing, more safety, more sight picture, more safety, etc... today's rainy weather proved to be the perfect time to hit the range.

The one thing you cannot prepare for at home is the noise. The range I frequent is indoors and I figured this could be a deal breaker. After reading the range rules, taking a 25 question test, filling out her own application and receiving the safety brief from the range officer she was handed her own range card. I thought her eyes were going bug out of her head! "I get my own card? I didn't know I was gonna get my own card. Can I keep this in my purse? sweet" :D

The range trip was cut short as the noise was a little much for her (shotgun two lanes over wasn't helping the cause). She managed to put five rounds through my Ruger 22/45 before she decided to call it quits. I didn't want to push and have this turn into a negative event, so we packed up and went to the lounge to clean up.

I'm sorry we had to stop daddy, but can we come back another time when it's not crowded and shoot some more? ubetcha! :rock:



Take a kid shooting!
 

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Great story!! Thank you for passing on the tradition of shooting and responsible firearm ownership to the next generation. Stay safe and good shooting to the both of you!!
 

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Fantastic! You DID have quality hearing protectors for your daughter, didn't you? Didn't see that mentioned in your post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Fantastic! You DID have quality hearing protectors for your daughter, didn't you? Didn't see that mentioned in your post.
I knew the range provided ear protection wasn't the greatest, and probably wouldn't fit her small head well. She was using my Howard Leight Impact Sport electronic ear protection over foam ear plugs.

My electronic ears fit her really well, and I figured it'd be nice for her to be able to hear me if/when I had to talk to her (vice shouting at her). When she first mentioned the noise bothering her, I turned the electronic ears off and she said that helped a lot.

I have an older set of Leightning NRR30 non-electronic ear muffs that we'll try on our next range visit (again over foam ear plugs). Aside from being bulky, the really block the noise well.
 

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Tom,
Being an old hearing impaired shooter, I'm always especially concerned about adequate eye and ear protection for young shooters. Was hoping the hearing protection was included in your multiple comments regarding safety. IMO, noise is slightly lower at outdoor ranges if you have that option where you live. Good shooting to both you and your daughter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tom,
Being an old hearing impaired shooter, I'm always especially concerned about adequate eye and ear protection for young shooters. Was hoping the hearing protection was included in your multiple comments regarding safety. Good shooting to both you and your daughter!
understood - during our last practice session at home last night, I made her wear the eyes & ears so there wouldn't be any surprises with how they felt at the range. She's a trooper :)

I'll admit today went much better than I anticipated. I figured we'd get to the range and she would decide she didn't want to shoot after completing her test; rather we'd hang out in the lounge and watch folks on the line. Hats off to the guys working the range this afternoon, they were great and made her feel welcome.

While I wish we could've burned more ammo today, I want this to be a positive experience for her and I'll take whatever baby steps necessary so that she grows to enjoy it. If that means we only put five rounds down range for the first few visits, so be it... She's excited, and that's all I need.

I think it helped that she saw a couple of other ladies there (several college girls and one grandmother)!
 

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understood - during our last practice session at home last night, I made her wear the eyes & ears so there wouldn't be any surprises with how they felt at the range. She's a trooper :)

I'll admit today went much better than I anticipated. I figured we'd get to the range and she would decide she didn't want to shoot after completing her test; rather we'd hang out in the lounge and watch folks on the line. Hats off to the guys working the range this afternoon, they were great and made her feel welcome.

While I wish we could've burned more ammo today, I want this to be a positive experience for her and I'll take whatever baby steps necessary so that she grows to enjoy it. If that means we only put five rounds down range for the first few visits, so be it... She's excited, and that's all I need.

I think it helped that she saw a couple of other ladies there (several college girls and one grandmother)!
You did VERY well! Congratulations!

I didn't fare as well when I took my wife shooting for her first time 3 years ago. I'm not terribly recoil sensitive, noise doesn't bother me and flames coming out of the barrel are cool IMHO. Hot 10mm is my favorite round. I failed to consider that MY humble opinion was not the same as HER humble opinion. From my perspective I at least considered recoil :biglaugh: I started her out on a 9mm :bawling: Should have been a .22 at an outside range or a friend's house. She was intimidated to begin with, the noise only made it worse and flames sealed the deal. She's only just now considering trying again and that's after I've told her repeatedly how her increased trepidation is because of ME and not the activity itself.

You did a great job!

I hope my failure will give someone pause to think. Things that seem commonplace to us can make a new, already intimidated, shooter even more afraid of the sport.


-Nick
The road to Hell...
 

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While I wish we could've burned more ammo today, I want this to be a positive experience for her and I'll take whatever baby steps necessary so that she grows to enjoy it. If that means we only put five rounds down range for the first few visits, so be it... She's excited, and that's all I need.
Sounds like a plan to me. I was successful in getting my son involved in shooting during his early years and now he is an enthusiastic shooter and part time LEO. Am working with my grandson who just turned 8. When he was 5 we taught him 1) Never to point any gun at any person, and 2) Never handle any gun without Dad or GrandDad there. He can look at or handle any pistol, rifle, or shotgun in my gunsafe on request with one of us there to supervise. Am planning to get him a Red Ryder BB gun this year and move into a single shot .22 rifle when he is ready. That single shot .22 is one that my Dad bought when he was a teenager. I learned to shoot with it and put untold number of rounds thru it growing up. Then my son learned to shoot with it. My grandson will be the fourth generation in my immediate family to learn to shoot with that little Winchester SS rifle.
 

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first time

Great stories. I bought my son a Marlin youth model single shot 22 for his first X-mas. He was only 3 months old. He is now 15, damn I'm getting old. He started shooting with me when he was 5 and went on his first dove hunt at age 14. What a great time.

My youngest son now 10 started at 5 also. I have yet to take them to an indoor range because of the noise and some of the people that go there.

Being law enforcement and one of the range guys I am able to sneak them down to the range on take your kid to work day for the past 3 years. The one thing they always want to do is shoot the mp5 full auto. We then go to Aker Leather and see what's new in the leather shop and off to lunch at their favorite mexican food join in Logan Hieghts.

In a few years I will get the youngest out to the dove hunt too. Right now he is the one who is recoil shy. Loves .22's and the mp5, but still dosen't like the recoil of the .20 gauge yet. We will see. Maybe I should just get him a WWII rifle since he is totally into WWII right now and collects stuff from that era.

Take the kids shooting, make sure they are safe, ears and eyes, and have a great time with them. Time goes by so fast!!!!

Tony P.
 

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Taking a kid even an adult shooting is the only way to keep our culture alive.
I have taken a reporter shooting who was very negative about guns.
After asking him if he had ever been around firearms he stated no,
so I invited him to come out to shoot with me.
He enjoyed it and has changed his opinion on guns, the safety training was what helped with this new shooter.
 

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GOOD ON YA! Great thing to take your daughter shooting. My oldest was with me at the range with me when she was in HS and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. During the shooting session her hood was collecting empty casings unknown to either of us. She went to work at the ice cream parlor later that day and when she pulled the "hoodie" off to put her apron on, shell casings went everywhere! The boys treated her real well after that!
 

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+1 for being heartwarming great stories...


I have a 20 year old girlfriend that has moderate firearm experience. She has discovered my... obsession... for firearms, and being the good girl that she is, is trying to show interest in my interests... I can tell she has the personality, when presented with the oppourtunity properly, to legitimately enjoy shooting sports. What is the best way to go about doing this range visit, and future ones at that, if im lucky.
 

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A great story. I take my 8 and 5 year old only to outdoor ranges for that reason. I am also not 100% confident in the ventalation in most indoor ranges for kiddos.
 

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Great, but let me add, as others, the you must get her top notch ear protection. Otherwise she will lose hearing very fast.
I find that I need double earprotection. I also have two hearing aids from the years of shooting without proper protection.

If you can fit her, consider electronic muffs over foam plugs. Properly adjusted e muffs will let her hear well but in combination with the foam plugs protect her hearing. I can hear the click of the safety with that combination, but not much of the muzzle blast.

The pro shooters may have some updated info regarding the best protection for her. Don't let cost be an influence, but get the absolute best protection available. She has many years ahead, and hearing is very important, as we know when we lose it.

Congratulations.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
get your kids to the range!

My little girl has really taken a shine to this :) She's progressed from 9 feet to 21 feet, and shooting at 3x5 cards on their side. A few more range sessions like this and I'm moving her back to 30 feet. Once she gets consistent with that then we'll get rid of the rest and work on freehand :rock:

21 feet from rest


I can't think of a more fun way to spend an afternoon...
 

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sight, hearing protection yes,,all round and Dad good job.

we have to remember, taking a child under 10 or 12,,..they are way more responsive to what is happening around them, not scuffed up like an adult or even an older teen..

have to figure, a 7yr old, skinny little girl. or even a chubby little boy:biglaugh:. is gonna feel a 12ga blast from 10' away like its going on 10" away. the concussive force is going to hit her 10 fold over what an adult will feel.

take a "sick day" with your kids mid week in the summer time when they are off. go to the range early when its cool and very much less crowded, and let them have at it then..

it will be a better time for all, better focus for you and for them and no jackasses scaring the kids.

just my 2cents
 
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