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sdnative13 12-06-2017 6:08 PM

Shooting/teaching advice
I would appreciate some feedback on the following situation. I have twin daughters who are about to turn 7 and are always asking me to take them shooting/hunting. I have had a cricket 22 from my older kids and recently took them out to shoot at a club i belong to. Nothing technical, just had them aim at a 3'x3' steel target so that would get auditory feedback when they hit it (trying to keep it fun). Since then they have asked to go again so i took an old crosman 760 pellet gun, shortened the stock, and have been shooting in the back yard from ten yard at clay targets. They are having a blast but here is my dilemma. Do I worry about form/technique (proper mount, keeping check on the stock, etc.) or just let them have fun. I just don't want them to be developing bad habits or poor muscle memory. Right now they are hitting the clays but their form drives me batty. Any suggestion. I apologise if this is the wrong place for such question

sd joe 12-06-2017 6:17 PM

I have 7 and 10 year old daughters and both have customized 10/22’s that I built up for them. I personally let them blast away and work in technique little by little. I don’t want to overwhelm them with coaching and make them dislike shooting. However, I am a stickler for safety.

Divernhunter 12-06-2017 6:18 PM

It is better to gently teach proper form now than try to correct bad form later. I have taught a number of kids and started my daughter on a 22RF at 4.5 years old. To teach it you 1st need a firearm that fits them and they can handle. Do not throw too much at them at a time. Fun is very important if you want them to keep shooting.

sdnative13 12-06-2017 6:32 PM

Thanks guys. Sd joe a problem i am having is gun fit. Mainly lop on a plastic stock. Sure on the 22 its wood and fits them nice but they only get to shoot that once a month at best because of travel time etc. Whereas with the pellet gun we can shoot everyday. Ive cut the stock but im just guessing on appropriate lop.

Thefeeder 12-06-2017 6:52 PM

Don't know if your have them shoot with a rest or not.

My advise is to make it bit more difficult so that a teaching moment rises.

Perhaps shooting off hand at the clays @ 5 yards then 7 then 15 at some point "form" will be the prohibiting factor in making hits....thats when "let me show how to hit that target" comes in.

And I'll agree 100% ....a decent fitting gun will be needed to teach proper way to show a child how to hold a rifle if its way to long in the stock

duckman1 12-06-2017 7:14 PM

It has to stay fun or they'll lose interest. That being said work the technique stuff in a little at a time. Just be sure they are still having fun.

RandyD 12-06-2017 7:28 PM

If I was in the same situation, my priorities would be safety, then fun, then technique. If they are having fun, they will maintain interest and will be open to adjusting their technique to be more accurate. If shooting becomes overly technical, then the fun goes away along with their interest, and that is something to avoid.

XVIga_Rob 12-06-2017 9:48 PM


Originally Posted by RandyD (Post 20996304)
If I was in the same situation, my priorities would be safety, then fun, then technique. If they are having fun, they will maintain interest and will be open to adjusting their technique to be more accurate. If shooting becomes overly technical, then the fun goes away along with their interest, and that is something to avoid.

Working with my daughter (13), and could not have said it better. I also agree with just shooting some type reactive targets. Another good one is to put a little baby powder in a ballon and inflate. Gives a nice “puff” when hit.

sdnative13 12-07-2017 4:46 AM

When we shoot in the back yard it is off hand at ten yards. Being twins they are very competitive with one another so this increases their desire to do well. Based on the comments so far i think i am on the right track. That you everyone for the replies.

wpage 12-07-2017 5:12 AM

Agree with safety 1st, form, and fun...

LynnJr 12-07-2017 5:44 AM

Fit is the number one reason people have bad form.
Cut the stock so it fits and let them enjoy shooting.

sdnative13 12-08-2017 4:35 AM

Ok so based on the replies i think im doing things the right way. Another question i have is what is the preferred method to measure lop? A quick google search gave me many different methods but im not sure which one is correct.

RandyD 12-08-2017 8:09 AM

Length of pull is the distance from the trigger to the end of the stock. I shoot smallbore competition where we have adjustable stocks and most everyone uses a different length of pull in each of the different positions, so in my opinion, there is no one length of pull that is optimal for every position. What you want is a general length of pull that will enable your kids to use the rifle in a variety of positions. I would use the general rule of gripping the rifle stock with the strong hand, and insure the stock is long enough to touch the inside crease of the elbow. This length of pull should allow the shooter to easily mount and hold the rifle properly.

CG11 12-08-2017 8:30 AM

Correct them gently, one thing at a time. They will thank you for keeping them on the path later.

sd joe 12-08-2017 11:15 AM

Measure crotch of the elbow to the end of the index finger.

sdnative13 12-08-2017 12:09 PM

Sorry if i didnt not explain myself earlier. I know what lop is and how to find out a particular guns lop but not a persons.

Sd joe i saw that method mention on a video and another post

RNE228 12-08-2017 12:24 PM

I taught my son when he was young, but also had him in 4H shooting program while young. I am a big supporter for the 4H program.

In 4H, the kids would get a safety brief.

Then, rifles came out on the bench, and ammo was distributed. Then they shot target to verify zero, and for scores. The instructor worked with all of them during that sessions on shooting form and getting good groups.

After that, was fun shoot. On the range we went to, they had a bunch of steel targets. We'd get them all set up. Then the kids could still shoot paper, or they could plink on the steel targets. We generally had short shoot sessions then, because the kids were so accurate that they knocked the steel down in no time.

I liked that program and the order they went in. The kids did well with it. My son was a good shot to begin with, but he definitely improved after that program.

I would HIGHLY recommend the 4H program if it is available in your area.

sd joe 12-08-2017 1:36 PM

I’ll measure the LOP on my girls rifles and PM you tonight.

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