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When to start kids trap shooting

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by mikescaggs, May 21, 2008.

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  1. mikescaggs

    mikescaggs TS Member

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    Hello folks,

    I am new to the forum and new to trap shooting. I enjoy reading all the posts here.

    My question is this, I have a 7 year old son who is a very bright young man and is interested in shooting with his Dad (me). I am a little concerned about his age, size, etc. I want to make sure that we have a great first experience so he continues to have interest.

    I am looking for good advice guys.

    Mike Scaggs
    Nashville
     
  2. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    In my opinion, TOO young...way too young. Wait a couple more years at least, he'll have far better mental capacity and motor skills.

    Tron
     
  3. mikescaggs

    mikescaggs TS Member

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    I do agree for sure. I was thinking 9 or 10 but I didn't know how young is too young...
     
  4. squirrelkiller

    squirrelkiller TS Member

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    First, teach safety, and then teach some more safety. Enroll them in your States hunter education program. I started my two boys about that age. We shot at home off a hand pull trap for about two years, and then started going to a few "Turkey" shoots when they turned around nine. They now shoot in a league and we also have a trap field at our place. Make it fun. Make the targets easy. Nothing will discourage a young one than not being able to break a target. Nice slow straight aways with them standing close to the thrower. A .410 is good if recoil sensitive. Can't beat a 20 gas operated for a little kid. I think they need to shoot at home, or isolated, until you can trust them with safety issues. Take a young kid to a big shoot and watch how people look at them when the kid is walking around with their gun. Safety is the most important issue. My boys are 10 and 14 and I trust them with their safety issues because I know they were taught. I applaud you for taking the time and effort to enter your son into the shooting sports.
     
  5. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    OH, Mike, you ARE going to hear from people on here that will tell you "go ahead, start em' young". Not me, not until he's at least 9. I would start him off by introducing him to the love of firearms by getting a .22 and let him plink away. That way you can instill the safety aspects of all of the shooting games with no recoil and it would be something that you could do together!
     
  6. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    As you noted, it depends on his physical and mental development. If you haven't started him on an air rifle, do so before considering the trap range. Evaluate his ability to handle the gun as instructed and whether he has the strength to operate the gun. Work on the air gun with him until he demonstrates proficiency. Being able to hit a swinging pop can at 30 feet is a realistic goal for the shooting part of it.

    I think 7 years age is too young for what is involved with the shotgun sports but I don't know your son. I'm going through the same thing right now with my 8 year old daughter. She wants to play the game and is demonstrating good gun handling skills with a Daisy but lacks the physical strength to handle a shotgun. Maybe next year.
     
  7. colobiggun

    colobiggun Active Member

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    I agree with squirrelkiller. Safety first, then making it fun. I started my daughter off with a BB gun. There is obviously a huge difference in shooting a rifle and shooting a shotgun, but it is possible (and cheaper)to teach them shotgun principles using a BB gun. Teach him good basics and mechanics, how to shoulder the gun, fitting it into the pocket, bringing the gun to his face (not vice versa), shooting with both eyes open, etc. etc. Give him large enough targets to experience success, then slowly shrink them as he gets better. Success breeds confidence. Time will fly and the next thing you know, he will be shooting a 12 gauge and making you proud how easy he makes it look. You've got him at the right age, because he will still listen. Have fun with this and keep us posted how everything progresses.
     
  8. unioncracker

    unioncracker Member

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    Tron pegged it. To young still. Teach him safety, safety and then some more. If he is big for his age. Let him plink a little to keep his interest with a 22. On a good day let him take a pop with the 410. Let him practice all of the right things then when strong and motor skills let him have at it. Make it easy then progres. You will have him hooked for life good luck.
     
  9. primed

    primed Well-Known Member

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    If I remember correctly, Harlan Campbell Jr. says he started when he was 7. It seems to have worked out OK for him.

    Bob
     
  10. WesleyB

    WesleyB Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Tron mostly. But all depends on the Child. .22 or a 410 cal and plink away with you at arms reach. Teach safety, safety, and Safety. You and you alone will know when the time is right and what cal or gauge to get him. It will change as time goes on. It is a joy to see a young person start shooting. So be safe.. teach safety and enjoy your children!!

    WesleyB
     
  11. leadspreader

    leadspreader TS Member

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    I agree with tron. A bb gun not an air rifle a bbgun is a great tool for learning the basics of shotgun shooting. start them off with teaching them to point and shoot not aim. a great exercise for this is to tie a wiffle softball to a string on a tree limb or something with a safe background. stand about ten feet away shoulder, point and shoot. it is lots of fun and as he/she improves shrink the ball size down. before you know it you will be shooting ping pong balls from 20 feet away! having fun and being safe are the two most important factors to a child learning the shooting sports.
     
  12. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    When they can pay for their shooting.
     
  13. Browning Man

    Browning Man TS Member

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    You have to be 9 to shoot in the 4-H, if that helps.
     
  14. Post  2

    Post 2 TS Member

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    My two sons started with BB guns and cases of BB's. They started pointing at shot gun shells in front of a wood fence backstop. This was around age 7 or 8. Ten years old they got to shoot registered birds after a year of practice and turkey shoots. I know of some that started at 8 shooting low recoil 2 1/2 dram 1 oz. loads. Depends on the maturity and size of the child. Post-2
     
  15. mikescaggs

    mikescaggs TS Member

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    Thanks to all of you who posted. I have read them all and agree with what I have read. I like the idea of starting on a BB gun, then to the .22 and so on. And above all, safety is king...

    Mike
     
  16. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    Youth Program at local club, shooting .22s. Best bet!
     
  17. nipper

    nipper TS Member

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    i dont have the age answer, but i know for sure--dont start him out on 1 1/8 oz. 12 guage cannon loads.

    bill
     
  18. steele

    steele TS Member

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    Mike,
    At our club several years ago, we had people bringing their kids to the shoots we had. As most kids, they got bored & started to annoy a few of the shooters. I had an old Chipmonk 22 that I brought to the club & loaded it with 22 birdshot & let the kids shot at balloons lying the the ground. As the kids got better, the stationary balloons were fun. I rigged up an 8' 2x4 to the front of a traphouse & attached springloaded clothes pins to it. I drilled a hole thru the clothespin, thru the 2x4, & ran a string thru it with a knot. I then put helium balloons in the clothespins. I ran the string back to the 16 yard, where the kids stood with the chipmonk. They call "Pull", I pulled a string, & the balloons float up & away. The kids loved it. We set it up to hold 10 balloons, so they shot 2 from each position. We ended up buying 5 Chipmonks & our local gunsmith took off the sights & installed ribs. The kids started their own league & even designed a handicap system. We ended up with about 20 kids. The local welding shop even donated the helium we needed. In the end, we started tying a string to the balloons, to retrieve missed balloons.
    This is a supervised instruction with a real gun & real ammunition. I've found that air rifles are thought of as toys by most kids. I think the noise might add the realism they need for them to take it seriously. Out of all the kids that started with us, there are 3 that made the 27 yard line in the ATA.
    Butch
     
  19. berettaman7

    berettaman7 TS Member

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    I started my oldest daughter at 10, now she is 11 and taller, longer arms, she is shooting a Beretta A303 20 gauge with a 26" barrel, she still gets a little arm tired due to the gun weight but she will eventually get stronger and used to it.

    Berettaman7
     
  20. FormerMarine

    FormerMarine Member

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    I started my boy last year at the ripe old age of 6. He started with a single shot H&R .410 and regularly broke 8's and 9's from the 16 and 4's and 5's from the 19.

    Half way thru the year we transitioned to a Stoeger Youth Model O/U and have not looked back since. He now regularly shoots in the high teens with his personal best of a 20. Mid to high teens from the 19.

    He and I have done Kaye's clinic and anybody that see's him shoot and is with him on the line has nothing but praise for his safety otherwise I would not let him out there.

    We practiced in the house for hours, on the line with an empty gun for hours and now he is as safe, if not safer than any other shooter out there. Granted, he is very mature for his age but he is very safe nonetheless.

    He is in the average book as Ryan Yost so anybody who thinks I am full of it can check for yourselves. All those accomplishments he made before his 7th birthday.

    The point I am trying to make is he wanted to try it and I never tell him that he CAN'T do things. I always made sure he was safe and would not hurt himself or others but I have never told him he was unable to do something.

    Teach him right, take him off the line is he messes up even one time but never tell him he "CAN'T" do something.

    My boy hopes to shoot his first 25 this year at the age of 7.........I say LET HIM SHOOT!

    Bill Yost
     
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