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New Shotgun instructor here, any tips?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by GK Chesteron, Jun 26, 2010.

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  1. GK Chesteron

    GK Chesteron TS Member

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    Our local BSA Council was given 15 new Beretta 20 ga. semi autos for thier shotgun merit badge program and I am being trained as one of the new instructors/merit badge councelor/RSO.
    I was wondering if any experienced folks here might have some additional tips for training young scouts I might use?
    Thank you!
     
  2. k1200ltc509

    k1200ltc509 Member

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    #1, safety! #2, Safety! #3, safety! After that to have fun, and break targets. For the youngsters I fill a gallon milk jug with water as a demo and then I shoot the Jug and explain the jug like the human body is made up primarily of water. Gets them to focus. But since kids have the attention span of a gnat, refer to "# 1, 2, and 3. After that you must have the patience of a saint. But nothing will replace the look on their face when they hit their first targets.

    Good Luck, Rick Gibbs
     
  3. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    Safety has already been mentioned, but lets do it again:

    1. Safety

    2. Etiquette

    3. Learn how to break gun down, clean and lube, put back together.

    Always clean and lube new guns.....

    Wayne
     
  4. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    You've received advice above from some great guys that's in the priceless category for teaching new shotgunners! All that before ever firing a shot too!

    Once the above rituals have been ingrained in all the new shooters, it's time for another very important aspect to be considered. New shooters will come in all sizes and shapes with very different measurements in order to begin the "shooting" part successfully! How to adapt your supply of shotguns stocks to each individual for the best fit? Id guess these stocks aren't adjustable, my next project would be to have that ability with each and every shotgun at my disposal!! Starting new shooters off with a better fitting gun will have better long term results!!

    For most of us, how many thousands of targets did we shoot before we knew the importance and benefit of a fitted stock? During that process we lose many, many potential shooters because that crap hurts!! That and they can't hit very many at all and out and out quit! I'd do everything in my bag of tricks to prevent that from happening as much as possible, from the start! Then again, I'm not a certified coach either?

    Hap
     
  5. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Visit a local gun club and see if you can find someone of "experience" who might assist you. Someone the kids could look up to and who could demostrate the correct way.

    Thank you for stepping up to help these kids.

    Don
     
  6. primed

    primed Well-Known Member

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    NRA basic shotgun and 4-H shooting sports manuals might be of help to you on some basics. There are likely some available from folks on this sight.

    Good luck in your new role. I think you will enjoy it.

    Bob
     
  7. shotgunpeople

    shotgunpeople Active Member

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    Ditto all above !!!

    Safety, all the way to gun fit...Most of the kids have never shot a gun before their merit badge training, so I never worried about a perfect score to start...The requirements to qualify are a little out of wack to me...50 shots and the kid has to get 48% never having shot before...Nothing like giving a kid a bruised shoulder with an ill fitting gun, shooting 50 shells in a row...nice way to turn them off from ever wanting to shoot again...I have written to the BSA about this, with other suggestions for qualifying, and have never received a reply...

    I look for the safe practice the boy has. I have the trap set on straight aways from 3rd post and most of the time with the new shooters I turn down the spring so they get a real nice soft target...Some kids will get their 48% with no problem but I work hard with the ones that struggle..You will find that all the kids will support each other.

    You are so furtunate to have this offer of guns and maybe they will let you take a couple and modify the stocks so they come close to fitting the different size youths you will encounter..

    From an old merit badge councelor for many years, Dave in SC
     
  8. TomB

    TomB Member

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    GK....I'm not a professional teacher but the ones above have not started from the beginning (after SAFETY): 1) Determine dominant eye. 2) stress shooting with both eyes open. If their dominant eye is opposit of their normal left or right handedness, have them switch NOW. I'd recommend getting a BB gun without peep sights and have them shoot at cans or such with both eyes open so they can SEE the BB and learn to POINT --not aim. Then they can switch to shotguns and stationary claybirds. When they become proficient at breaking them with both eyes open---THEN they can try from a trap. All too many new shooters have shot rifle first and try to aim instead of POINTING. TomB
     
  9. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    Muzzle awareness and discipline. Beat it into their heads. Nothing creeps me out faster that having a bunch of newbies on the line with the muzzles pointing everywhere (most generally UP!) between shots.
     
  10. fish and teach

    fish and teach TS Member

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    I started instructing for the 4-H last October. If you can find an NRA instructor class it's a great start. So far you've gotten good advice from these guys. Let the guys practice a lot before they "shoot for the merit badge. Games like Annie Oakley, Chips, and sliders mixed in occasionally at the end of practice keep my guys having fun. If the kids can afford it, take them to a trap, skeet, 5-stand club. If you can't get the trap manager to give you fixed straight aways to start with, go to station 7 on a skeet course and shot 5 or 10 low house clays, then go to station 1 and shoot 5 or 10 high house straight aways. After that shot low house incomers followed by high house incomers from station 7. You can shoot 25 birds fairly quick and almost all of the guys will have some success the first practice. After that, if you have enough boys squad them by age or ability and let them shoot trap. At the next practice have some fun with 5-stand. By this time most of the boys will be hitting at 48% or better. Don't try to earn the badge at the first practice and don't have the boys shoot too much the first practice. Also, don't buy hot loads. 20 ga or 12 ga low recoil loads cost more, but many stores will work with BSA and you can probably get AA lites or Rem STS low recoil for close to the price of cheap off-the-shelf promo loads. Your local gun club might also be able to help you procure shells for the boys that are low recoil.

    Best of luck to you
    Brian Robert
     
  11. fish and teach

    fish and teach TS Member

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    ttt for more folks to offer advice
     
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