Recently I finished a trade show in Harrisburg, PA and had some time to visit with nearby family. This included a beautiful morning spent at the range with three generations of the family. The youngest was my soon to be 11 year old niece, Bella.
Bella has been going to the range with her dad off and on for the past four years. She started out with a Cricket .22 single shot. Last year I won another Ruger 10/22 at a match and changed out the stock with a Boyd laminate with the some snazzy purple coloring for her. Bella was now upgraded to the ten shot magazine! This girl is now putting 1 inch groups at 100 yards from the bench! Her dad offered to take her for an evening at the sprint car races if she put the first shot in the bullseye….darned if she didn’t just edge it too! Races it is! Next to safety, the point is to keep it fun for them!
After convincing me of her prowess with the 10/22, we brought out her little 32 revolver. We went over safe loading and muzzle management from bench to shooting line. You could tell this was not her first time at the range, but it still gave opportunities for giving little lessons on range terminology such as not “sweeping” any part of your body, muzzle down range, “going hot” etc. I was impressed with her concentration.
We brought out the 20 GA Remington 870, www.remington.com, youth model for her next. This is still a bit intimidating for her. We made sure she had the light loads for the least recoil possible and set her up with dad to assist. With some Shoot ‘n See targets she shot twice and peppered it! Now the big grin was on. Along with this I’ve been sending her the occasional DoAll, www.doalloutdoors.com, self-healing fun targets to shoot at. She loves it and I will continue to encourage her whenever I have the opportunity.
Sharing family time and enjoying a sport together is time cherished.