Training the next generation


I did not grow up with guns. Due to a life situation, I was not able to bring my kids up with guns. Now that I have the freedom to carry, I am beginning to train my grandson. He turned 10 last year, and I introduced him to my Crosman 10" pellet gun. Whenever he comes over, we set up our little range and have fun. I have taught him all about safety. We can’t cross the line until “Cease Fire” is called. We must declare “All Clear” before we can touch the pellet gun. Eye protection. Always engaging the crossbolt safety and leaving the bolt locked back with an empty chamber facing up. He’s starting to form good groups at 5 yards. I even let him join in a real gun cleaning party. Don’t worry, all the ammunition was locked in the safe. Showed him all the parts, how to safety check, etc. My granddaughter turns ten in July, and it will be her turn. My daughter has no interest at all in guns. I’m not trying to push the idea on anyone, but I want to give them the option to choose.

Are you training any young ones? Do your methods differ? Am I missing anything?


I started with my son last winter when he turned 6… i would say your off to a great start, one thing my dad did with me was to use a 8inch pizza pan, and have me shoot that at 8 yrds. Then dessert plate with poker chips following. When you start on real weapons, single shots are great to get accuracy up as we found out…


i started my little guy off with a nerf though… so accidents can be accidents and non life threatening


A suggestion for those that are training youngsters, the commands while shooting are very important, in competition, they are all very similar, we tell the shooter to “load and make ready”, they can then load the gun, then we ask, “is the shooter ready?” Then comes the beep from the timer. Then we say, “if the shooter is done, unload and show clear,” this is where they unload the gun, open the action and show it to you for cleared chamber inspection. If your going to get involved with a club and any kind of junior events, this could help to familiarize the kids with what happens during a competition. I’m not saying that you have to do this every time you shoot, it’s great to incorporate this with shooting, kids seem to love the structure. A lot of clubs have junior programs and they’re a great tool to give kids the chance to shoot with other kids their age. I feel that you advance in this sport by shooting with people that are better at it than yourself, this is how you learn. Hope this helps a little and God bless.



I started my kids off with nerf guns too! They’re now adults (not sure how that could be since I’m still in my 20’s :laughing: - my body keeps reminding me I’m not), and enjoy shooting with me.

Glad to hear your using eye protection, @AAlan. Being outside with a pellet gun you probably don’t need ear protection yet. But that’s something to consider for the future. Also, be sure to have him check what is beyond his target. That’s huge when you carry a gun and it’s a great thing to be aware of early on.

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I’ve never competed, so those commands are beyond my training. I’ll keep that in mind. @Dawn, our range is in a very controlled location, so the need to check behind was never an issue. I’ll remember that for when we go elsewhere.


Controlled locations are awesome, @AAlan, and that lends itself well to the know your target and what’s beyond discussion. I’d still have that discussion frequently. I’d rather have my kids be able to finish my sentences when it comes to safety topics. (Even if there is an eye-roll involved because I’ve said it so often. :wink: )


Alan, use the same commands as when you were in the service…

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If I’m ever shooting with kids I tell them they cannot shoot or touch the gun until I ask “is there anything behind or around the target that you don’t want to kill?” When they take a good look, and say “no” I’ll tell them they can pick up the gun, find their target, then put their finger on the trigger and fire. I find a lot of kids get flustered and even more nervous when more commands than that are given, and it gets them to pay attention.

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@Tankrachet86 after 30 years, the ideas are mostly there, but the words fail. @James I will incorporate a version of that into our next practice time.


You can go onto YouTube and watch some IDPA, USPSA videos, watch what the RSOs do and say, a timer is pretty reasonable, most gun clubs use these commands, there are some slight differences between the two, point being, if you ever join a club, or get into competitive shooting with your kids, these commands won’t be a new thing for them to get use to. I wish I could post some of my videos but I don’t know how to make them into a Jpeg.

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I won’t count the nerf guns as I think that’s funny. But I did start my boys off with a BB gun lever cocked type. Also bought them bows but couldn’t find a range to go to so they set up in our back yard in a safe way. We live on the side of a hill. Then when they were a bit older (10 or 12) I bought them air rifles and taught more gun safety. . I never had the money to buy real guns for them until recently. But I bought my middle child a Ruger 10-22 for Christmas 2017 because I realized I let my oldest son slip through the crack. When my oldest bought a gun at age 22 I realized I felt the need to fix it. And I finally bought myself a handgun November 2017. I had a shotgun but never took my boys to shoot it. I didn’t know where to go. Now I do.

My daughter is 13. I’m going to bring her up to par during Spring break. She’s not interested but I’m gonna teach her anyway.


Its easy to push daughters away. I hope it works out. If she’s not interested in guns, maybe another form of self-defense? Anything to catch an interest. My granddaughter will be 10 in July. I’ll introduce her to the subject, and see if it leads anywhere.


@mdstanzel - you’d be surprised how many girls say they’re not interested and then end up loving shooting! And they’re usually a really good shot.

@AAlan - very true. I took my twins boys to tae kwon do when they were 8 because they needed to get energy out constructively. My then 9 yo daughter went too. She got the most out of it! She’s the highest rank in the family and has won Grand Champion at tournament. All three got a lot out of martial arts and it was a great thing to do with my kids!


My oldest was in the Young Marines as a kid and learned weapon safety and use initially there. My Daughter in JROTC then ROTC in college. She found out she’s a better as a lefty than a righty. They had her shooting an M4 and she couldn’t hit crap. The RSO told her to switch shoulders because he saw her form was good. She did and qualed marksman left handed even though everything else she does righty. Her twin hates loud noises so wouldn’t do firearms until he had to in Navy boot.


Sorry Dawn but I can’t resist.

You know what the best ten years of a woman’s life are?

The ten between 29 and 30.


Im working with my 15 yr old daughter she has a fear of guns cause of movies. Just today we was at the range and she will sit by but not shoot. I was gonna ask for pointers with her ? We go over safety with her and my 14 yr old son and they are ok with that but beyond that its a no go especially with my son he will flat tell ya nope dont want nothing to do with em. They havnt been around or seen nothing in person to turn em just movies. Any ideas im willn to try anything ?


Its tough to force teenagers into anything. At that age, they have to want it. If you sense any resentment from them, its probably time to let them make up their own mind. Would they be interested in a non-lethal form of self defense, like martial arts?


There’s only 10 years there. @DBrogue?

I won’t tell you want anniversary of my 29th birthday I’m celebrating this year. :grin:

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