Single mom teaches children to shoot – Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

As we begin today’s report, remember that I’m doing this for a single mom with two young boys to teach. Everything I write is from that perspective.

Okay, you’ve had enough time to get everything together from the list I gave you in part 3. And I assume that you have chosen a safe place to shoot. That would be a place where the cat and dog cannot suddenly pop up downrange without your knowing about it, or a place that has no door downrange that can’t be locked so people don’t suddenly walk into the line of fire.

Your first session
Remember, this is supposed to be fun. So, enter it with that mindset. The first step is to get the pupils to pay attention. You talk to them about it and explain that on a firing range everyone listens to the rangemaster (range officer or whatever). Tell them you will be testing them on this from now on.

The line
Safety is the first briefing. No one touches a gun once it is on the line until the rangemaster instructs you to. Since these are children, “the line” is going to be special initially. Let me describe it now. The line is a table with rolled blankets (or whatever you can find) on which you can rest a single rifle. There’s a chair behind the table where the shooters are to sit.

No air pistols for initial training — they’re too dangerous for untrained people to handle. Since we’re teaching children and there’s only one of you, there will be only one rifle on the line at any time. That means one shooter, only, at any time. You can control the actions of one person, but not two. The rifle is oriented on its rest so that it is aimed downrange at a pellet trap.

There must be a command at which all students know to stop talking and start listening. In the Boy Scouts, the leader used to raise his hand with the three-fingered Boy Scout salute. The word quickly spread through the troop, “Sign’s up!” and everyone knew to go quiet and turn to watch the leader. You have to have the same control on your firing line because you’re teaching discipline. The rangemaster is important, the student is not. This is one of the hardest things to teach, and with some children it’s impossible. I have been involved with youth shooting programs. If we had a problem with certain children after working with them as long as we felt we could, they were discharged from the team for that year. They were welcome to return the next year to see if they had learned to calm down.

A single parent cannot discharge her children, but she certainly can stop a training session and explain the reason to both pupils. The next session she holds should (hopefully) show improvement. But do not proceed if you don’t have 100 percent control of all shooters. This is a sport with potential danger, and we’re working to cancel as much of it as possible.

Deputy rangemaster(s)
Since everyone learns the few simple rules, anyone can call a “cease fire” any time the range is hot and they see a safety violation. “Hot” means that active shooting is happening. A cold range is a safe range, and the rangemaster calls the range both hot and cold. I will tell you how to do that in the next installment. It’s important that the conduct of your home range follows an established pattern, because some day your children will be on other ranges and they need to learn the universal procedures of range conduct. But the point I’m making here is that everyone involved should feel bound by the same safety rules and know what to do when they’re violated. So, every shooter is a deputy rangemaster.

The rules

  • No one goes forward of the firing line when the range is hot.
  • When the range is cold, guns may be touched if the rangemaster allows it.
  • No one touches a gun when there are people downrange (on a cold range).
  • Guns on the line are opened with safeties on (if possible — some guns won’t permit it), so the rangemaster can see they are not loaded (i.e., bolts open).
  • Shooters do not approach the firing line until told to do so by the rangemaster.
  • Guns are brought to the line and removed on the command of the rangemaster.
  • Behind the firing line there should be no handling of guns unless commanded by the rangemaster.
  • When off the line, guns are bolts open and safeties on (if possible — some guns won’t permit it).
  • During breaks, no one handles rifles unless accompanied by the rangemaster.
  • The muzzle of the rifle on line is always pointed downrange. No one ever gets any part of their body in front of the muzzle of the gun on line.

It’s impossible to write every rule for a firing line, so common sense must be employed. So, everyone needs to keep this in mind and act on it. Any unsafe act is a safety violation. If the range is hot, a cease fire must be called and the violation pointed out and corrected.

Rapid training
Mom teaches these rules and requires the shooters to memorize them. Hint: if you begin with the basic safety concept, the rules are easier to remember. A verbal test (for younger children) is given, to verify they understand the basic safety requirements.

Here’s the rapid training part: Mom intentionally violates a rule while instructing to encourage the shooters to draw her attention to it. Once they get the hang of doing this, you’ll have the safe range you desire. Keep this up occasionally to keep the shooters sharp.

Next time, I’ll cover the range commands and teaching the shooters how to sight a rifle.

65 thoughts on “Single mom teaches children to shoot – Part 4



    • Jack,

      You have to balance the hammer travel and the striker force while chronographing your shots to get to 3,000 psi. And the transfer port should be wide open, as well.

      But I agree with twotalon. Why do it? Shoot the gun a few thousand times first. Get to know what you have. 3,000 psi isn’t going to give you any more power. Maybe a couple of extra shots per fill, but it will drain your scuba tank faster, too.

      B.B.


  1. Ryan i told you once and i ment it – you are LEGEND i can fell what you are going through couse i been there and it is not a pretty place to be in .You are over judgmental toward yourself but these “diagnosis” are only state you are going trough and if you are taking meds for it then know this I do too and 50%(ore more?)of the world -here ,you know my old saing dont mind my grammar 😉 WE EXPECT YOU TO JOIN US ON THE BLOG (today)


    • I have slyed grammar here ,i ment to say “i do to” and not i do too,saying and not “saing”.Sorry Ryan perhaps there was too many emotions involved ! Back to the blog great advices that we should all take more seriously


  2. BB:
    A handy tip tip that about making deliberate infractions.
    Kids do love to correct their parents at EVERY opportunity.LOL

    Cjr:
    Not being a military guy I can only say why Soldiers rifles are slung nose down from what I have read or heard from army mates.
    A nose down slung rifle can be brought to bear quicker than a nose up rifle and when travelling in helicopters a muzzle down weapon is safer because the engine and blades are above your head.
    When you look at old film footage of troops marching most have rifles slung over the shoulder.In comparison,modern troops carry their rifle unslung virtually all the time now.

    C-S:
    The piston seal on my rifle is still functioning OK C-S,it is just not in peak condition compared to what I have seen elsewhere.
    The funny thing about the B-3 is that I bet a new piston seal wouldn’t make a darn bit of difference.
    A stubborn little rifle that refuses to get better but a tough little bugger that won’t break either.
    ‘Consistent’ is how best to describe it.
    Just in case though,do you have any links to how to make a leather Piston seal?
    You are after all,king of the links C-S 🙂

    Ryan:
    It would be great to hear if you got them ‘Coppa Points’ and what you thought of them.
    DaveUK


  3. Dave i cant help you more then this now http:/www.pyramydair.com/blog/2007/12/how-to-make-a-leather-piston-seal/ .I ll keep in touch with you if I find something useful 😉




    • C-S:
      Many thanks for that research C-S.
      Next time I have the rifle apart I will do the measuring and make the template/former.
      As it happens,I have an old leather,glass workers wrist guard which could be just the job for making the seals with.
      Also thanks to BB for writing a very useful and easily understood post.

      ‘Big Log’ ahh those were the days.
      Health,wealth and happiness.How things change.
      Did I ever tell you I was married C-S? lol
      DaveUK



  4. BB,

    Teaching children (or anybody) to shoot safely is one of my favorite subjects. I think when setting up the range that it is important to make the targets easy to hit to build both confidence and interest. Then make it harder and harder to force the shooter to concentrate and focus on each individual shoot. Also on a safety issue seems to me that new shooters will creep farther back off the line with each shot to the point where the muzzle is behind the line (not to bad from a bench position but when they start trying different positions ), a very serious condition I think you would agree.

    Caveman


    • Caveman,

      That is why we have them sitting down. Until they know how to use the sights and how the range runs, we aren’t going to let them hold the rifle.

      These kids will be able to place five shots inside a quarter when this training session is completed. And they will be shooting at regulation 10-meter rifle targets placed between 25′ and 33′ away.

      B.B.


  5. Hi,

    I was wondering about the skenco poly match pellets. As I have little room to shoot, and little kids wandering about (not while im shooting, of course!) I would rather not use lead. Plus, plastic-ish pellets would seem to me to be a little bit safer, (i.e. less penetration, less ‘air-time’)

    So my questions is (Drum-roll) Are these pellets liable not to just work in some guns? Specifically, a powerline 901 with 2-5 pumps in it.

    Thanks


    • Malcolm,

      Those Skenco plastic pellets will work fine in your 901. They are just not as accurate as lead pellets. But as long as that is acceptable, they will work fine. Maybe I will blog them for you?

      B.B.


      • Thanks B.B. I haven’t been able to find any specific info about skencos up till now.

        “Maybe I will blog them for you?”

        If you have the time and inclination, i’d be much obliged.

        Thanks again,
        Malcolm


        • Malcolm,

          Okay, I will do it. Just so we are on the same page, I am talking about the Skenco Pointed Poly Match pellets that are 40 percent metal and weigh 4 grains.

          B.B.


  6. Malcolm,

    Okay, I will do it. Just so we are on the same page, I am talking about the Skenco Pointed Poly Match pellets that are 40 percent metal and weigh 4 grains.

    B.B.


  7. As always, an excellent blog b.b.
    I taught my boys these basics at home and I can attest to your statement that it is nearly impossible to teach two children at once if there is only one of you. I tried and after the first couple of times of concentrating on the boy who was shooting and noticing out of the corner of my eye that his brother would be doing something he shouldn’t with his gun (at that time a Red Ryder)…or even just farting around and distracting his brother…I made the rule that the boy who was not shooting had to ammuse himself upstairs until it was his turn to shoot.
    But the proof was in the pudding, so to speak.
    Last week when we were at the shooting range we recently joined. We met a friend who had brought a guest. At one point when the range was hot the guest picked up the friends Cooey, and was looking at it with the barrel pointed 90 degrees from the range (though the bolt was open and the safety on).
    My 6 year old told him he had to put it down till it was his turn to shoot.
    He started to tell my son that it was okay, but by then the other adults noticed what he was doing and told him the kid was right…he needed to put the gun down and never point it anywhere but downrange.
    I’m getting to be one proud papa.


    • CSD,

      What a story! I have seen similar things happen when kids are taught the right way.

      Our NRA has the Eddie Eagle program– a firearm safety program for young children. Eddie teaches kids to always leave the room when they see a gun, if no adult is present. They are then to report the gun to the nearest adult. They are not to touch the gun at any time.

      At the NRA Annual show, Eddie Eagle will not set foot inside the huge exhibit hall because there are guns on display.

      So the program teaches kids to avoid firearms! You would think the school system would embrace this program, but they avoid it like the plague.

      B.B.


    • Hi Cowboystar Dad!

      I am not sure if you read the answer to the question you had for me 2 days ago.

      In case you didn’t return to the comments of that day, I send the info again.
      Please just reply that you got it.

      Thanks.

      Pistol Pete
      *****************

      Yes, I have the Daisy 853C Legend and I am very happy with its accuracy. It seems that short rifle works best for me.

      I remember that I was really impressed when I received it. To confirm how close the Daisy and the CZ are, I would have to try them side by side but from what I remember they would be very close.

      Because I just received the CZ 200 T, this is the one that I am using right now. After adjusting the peep sight included with it and using a rifle rest, at 10 yards (length of my basement) the rifle can put 20 shots in a ragged hole easily covered by a penny. I normally use Crosman Premier all the time because they are easy to buy locally.

      Freehand I can shoot a hanging penny most of the time at about 25 feet (length of my garage).

      It is far from an olympic score by I am happy with that.

      The CZ would be about 2 inches shorter than the 853C. This is probably why it works well for me.

      You will need a pump which is available from the same site as the rifle (if you said Langley Canada, it is probably DL). A DIN 200 adaptor (item HIL-AC-006) will also be required.

      The rifle is shipped with an empty reservoir. To fill it to 170 bars (its max) it took me about 150 pumps. The last 30 were a bit hard for me as I weight only 140 pounds. The second time I filled it, I tried to put some weight (about 15 pounds) on the handle bar to help me but it was still hard. If you weight more than 140, it should be easy for you.

      The working range is from 170 to 70 bars, which give you about 140 shots. This rifle is a bit expensive, with the pump it will set you back a good $1000.

      Another interesting rifle available also from DL is an Industry Brand CO2 model AR 2078A (IND-AR-10) in caliber .22. It works on 2 cartridges of CO2 or it could be bulk filled with a Paintball tank. It comes with the accessories but a connector for Paintball tank will have to be bought separately. Nevertheless for $215 it is hard to beat (+ another $15-20 for the extra connector). Overall length is close to 1 inch longer than the 853C but the stock is right handed only.

      Grouping for the AR2078 is very good too (with Premier). In fact even with the cheap chinese pellets sold under the Daisy brand (.22 x 500 for under $8 at Walmart) the grouping is still good. It seems that chinese pellets go well with chinese rifle.

      Ha! So many choices!!!

      I hope it gives you enough info.

      Good luck.

      Pistol Pete


  8. So I’m still here unfortunately. At least I have oxy, adderall and clonazepam. Can anyone say party sigh… OH AND MY roommate is kinda, or really,dumb. FML.


  9. Pistol Pete,

    You have good taste in airguns. The cz 200 t and its brother the aa s200 are very underrated airguns in my book. The R7’s of the pcp world.

    Ryan,

    Good to see you’re back. As my grandmother used to say, “And this to shall pass.”

    B.B.,

    Great article. Occasional reminders about gun safety. Speaking of the aa s200, I’m looking forward to part 3 on your series that was to address accuracy and even hinted at adjusting power in the gun you were testing.

    kevin


  10. BB,
    Another great posting to go with yesterdays on gun selection. What you covered today is, also, a terrific guide for anyone developing a gun range/club program. Really, it should be printed out and handed to all “Scouts” to read.
    -CJr


  11. Thanks pistolpete. I gotta admit I am very happy with the 853c at this point.
    But I appear to have hit a wall. I shoot 4 nights out of the week, 20 practice rounds followed by 20 scored shots. Over the course of the last couple of years (when I started air rifel…years ago I used to compete in .22) I have brought my average up to 192/200. But it has sat there for 6 months now. I’ve gotten to feel that the only way to improve is either to get some serious coaching or up the equipment ante.
    Being that I only shoot in an informal local group there is no way I’m going to spend the money on a coach.
    Or a $3000 Anschutz or FWB. When I saw the CZ200 at D&L I figured that may be the route. In yours (or anyone else’s) opinion would I see a marked difference between it and the Avanti?
    Thanks.


    • Hi Cowboystar Dad!

      I am not an expert marksman and my average is probably lower than yours but after comparison between both rifles shot by the same guy I would say they are very close.

      I was able to setup a temporary 50 feet range from one end of the house to the other.

      I shot both the Daisy 853C Legend and the CZ 200T and the results were very similar. For some reason the Daisy gave me a score just a tad better but I should shoot a bit more to see if there is a tendency.

      So if you are happy with your 853C, I don’t see any rush to switch to something else. The advantage I found with the CZ 200T is that once the reservoir is full it only needs to have a pellet loaded and you are in business, with the Daisy it is a 2 stage operation, the shot has to be indexed and the rifle needs to be pumped.

      For me it was mostly a question of having a sample of a type of mechanism but I am also very happy with the accuracy that came with my purchase.

      Continue to explore the options.

      Have a nice day.

      Pistol Pete


      • Thanks pete…I’ll maybe spend my money on a different ‘toy’.
        As well, now that I have a bonafide range to shoot at i’m going to try the Quigley experiment.
        I figure that with the velocity (510fps) and accruacy of the Slavia 630 that a reasonable facsimile of the Quigley shot would be a photo of a pail about 2.5 inches high at 40-45 yards, with the stock open sights.


        • Hi Cowboystardad,

          Have you considered older 10m match rifles like the FWB600? IMHO, it is a far more enjoyable rifle to shoot vs. the 853. Easier pump, adjustable fit, great sights, weight and balance, fantastic trigger… I found a good used one for $600 – far less than the latest Anschutz or FWB. I agree with Pistol Pete – I don’t think the S200 would be a worthwhile upgrade (as much as I like mine).

          Jay


          • Jay, I think I will start trying to find the FWB600. I’ve heard great things about it. The only reason I haven’t considered this up to now is that where I live (Edmonton, Canada) it is a wasteland for the most part for air-rifles. The two local shops I mentioned that handle some Diana’s and Weihrauchs are very overpriced, so much of what I buy is mail order in from a dealer in the next province. (oh, to have something like Pyramyd close by).
            So buying a used FWB would entail buying online (not always bad) but with no knowledgeable repair/service people within 500mi.
            And I’m not the guy you want trying to tune your prize air rifle. Once I start to get frustrated the really big hammers come out 😉


            • Cowboystar Dad – Here in Appalachia, I have to rely on mail order and service as well. While used match rifles seem scarce on this side of the Atlantic, a good number pass through eGun.de each week. The dealer I found there provided excellent references in the US. BTW, do you have a copy of Air Rifle Shooting by Reinkemeier, Buhlmann, et al?



      • CJr, I don’t have a lot of experience with the 753C (I did try it though)or the 853CM (unless it is on a tactical style weapon I don’t like synthetic stocks).
        I would imagine accuracy would be the same. However I really found the chunkier stock to be uncomfortable for me…however that is stricly subjective.


  12. B.B.,
    Fantastic series of articles, I’m just thinking of introducing my 7yo son to air rifles as well.
    Got a range safety question – if the rifle’s on the bench (unloaded, breech empty, bolt open) and the range is ‘cold’, it still feels strange to wander downrange and reset targets with the muzzle pointed at me – even if everyone knows not to touch the gun while I’m there – is that standard range practice, or are the guns usually racked when someone’s downrange?
    Thanks
    Chris


  13. Morning B.B.,

    Range safety. Always a good topic and a reminder to each of us. I’ll have a couple of new shooters the end of this month on the range back home. We’ll spend alot of time discussing said topic on the 6-7 hour ride heading to the cabin.

    kevin,

    Always enjoy your posts and the way you say things.

    Ryan,

    Easy for me to say now, but Kevin’s grandmother is right–took me many years to learn that one though.

    Mr B.



      • I’m still here, Kevin. Just getting over being chastised for saying something really dumb in a critical situation but that’s all water under the bridge. I hope to pick up my brandy new Marauder tomorrow and maybe even get a chance to shoot it Saturday. Sunday is out due to personal commitments (meaning that if I don’t go along with the whole family, my wife will shoot me!) and next Tuesday, the family is off to Germany on vacation. Actually, I just had an epiphany. I had contacted FWB and Weihrauch about touring their factories. Both asnwered negatively but if I come back to them and offer to write a Blog, they might re-consider. I’ll re-contact them later this evening.

        Fred PRoNJ (People’s Republik of NJ)


        • Hey Fred!

          I’m slow. Didn’t realize you changed your name to CYCLEALLEYRIDERS. Anxious to hear your take on the new marauder. Hope you’re successful in getting to tour the fwb and weihrauch factories. Those would be very interesting stories to hear about.

          kevin


        • I hope you have some luck on the factory tours.
          A few years back I had a chance to go to Germany, and being that I use Leica cameras I contacted them about a tour (Wetzlar). A really nice young lady spent an afternoon showing myself and a couple of others the whole facility, barring a room that was making optics for military applications.
          Afterwords she and another Leica employee took us to a local pub so we could sample the local beer.
          A very enjoyable afternoon. I’m surprised FWB/Weihrauch said no.


      • kevin,

        Re, what happened to Frank B., JTinAL, ajvenom, FRED and Vince? Frank B shows up every once and awhile. Last time we talked he was doing alot of big bore shooting. Vince said that he was very busy, not alot of time to post, but that he was reading the blog when he could. I cann’t speak for ajvenom, but I seem to remember seeing him on TalonAirgun.com.

        However, I’m not one to talk because I’ve not been posting near as much lately.

        Mr B.




  14. Ryan

    Hang in there buddy. More than once I have been lied to, stolen from, cheated on, and dumped. Nothing else will shake your self confidence so severely. Makes you question everything about yourself.

    Kevin’s grandmother’s wisdom is sage.

    You may feel alone but are not alone. Lotta folks here pulling for ya.


    • Being lied to, cheated upon and dumped sucks. Had all three by people I trusted, but man I feel totally violated when I find out I’ve been robbed. I had one of my tool trailers broken into in Central California a few years back. For some reason that seems to be the worst. I’m still finding out things that I no longer have! They got me for over $6000 in one night.

      Being dumped is a VERY CLOSE second, as at least you know who the other party involved was.


  15. Hi, BB!
    Just wanted to Let you know I figured out how to use the4 blog and I’ve gotten a wealth of information already. You will probably be hearing from me here more in the future, as I have decided to stay with springers over PCP’s.
    Thanks Again.



      • Will do, BB. I just finished a plinking session with my Shadow Supreme .22 yesterday and I am amazed at its accuracy. I am willing to concede that the build quality on my 34 Panther in .177 is better, but the Shadow will hold its own with it regarding accuracy any day. Any thoughts on why the Shadow Supreme in .22 was discontinued? I would have liked to see you do a review on that rifle. For that matter, I think Gamo should resurrect the original Shadow 1000 line. Bet their sales would increase! What do you think?
        Walton


        • Walton,

          I have tested the Gamo Shadows so many times that I really don’t have to do it again. Yes, they are accurate. So are the Big Cats.

          The reason Gamo cancels .22 caliber guns is the brand is managed from Spain, where the .22 caliber isn’t popular. They don’t understand the attraction to it the way we do.

          B.B.


  16. Kevin and all
    I’m still here,kinda.I’m lurking as often as I can but time and personal
    issues have limited my posting.I pop in occasionally to wish BB and all
    my other AG friends here the best.I’ve traded e-mails with FrankB
    but haven’t heard from him in a while(hope all is well)still hope to
    get together with him in the future to shoot the breeze and some pellets:)
    I still feel at home here and have enjoyed the posts from the newer
    members.After an upcoming move(local but still a PITA)I hope to have more
    opportunity’s to interact and intro myself to the newer folks.
    I know it doesn’t take much to post a few lines but my typing stinks,
    I use the 1 fingered hunt peck and cuss method,and lately it’s just 1 more
    thing that I keep putting off.
    My best to all here from your redneck buddy in Bama.

    JTinAL


  17. I have a question about Ballistol and using it in conjunction with JB bore paste. Is it safe to use a small amount of Ballistol first than JB to clean the bore of a PCP?


    • Jack,

      Ballistol is of very limited benefit for cleaning an airgun barrel. The “dirt” is lead in the rifling grooves, and only something like JB paste can remove it.

      B.B.



  18. And Dave on the same blog better try this Benjamin 312 Leather Seal Shenanigans or something like that it i worth to look 😉 for your gun it is the same principle


  19. Am I the only one not getting a July 9th blog ?
    I don’t have the blog and haven’t received any comments regarding it (it’s not easy when Rikib is not here as he’s always the first one to post on the new blogs).

    J-F


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