Snuck another opportunity to have not-quite-four-year-old Sabre call snapshot targets for me out on the porch this weekend. The snow and cold arrived here with a wham! and suddenly there was a good 8" on the ground; the little chicken spinner I've been using got covered with snow and fell-over grass until you could barely see the frame it hangs from. So, I had a unique opportunity to try and hit a small target through foliage--not a bad thing to test yourself on from time to time.
The extra bonus was that she wanted to learn more, and in addition to calling, she actually loaded for me. She figured out all by herself which way the pellet goes into the breech, and did a fine job. For grins, I also tried the old instructor's trigger trick, but backwards: after watching me a few times, I'd have her wait for me to settle into a position and then press the trigger for me. She delighted in pressing, feeling the gun recoil (yes, spring-piston air rifles do have perceptible recoil--it's from the piston, not the pellet), and then hearing the ping! sound of her hit. She'd quickly bore of this if we did it a lot, but the novelty value was there and she enjoyed it, so I'll call it a win.
Also brought out the Scout, just to do some dry fire on the same targets. Sabre asked "are you going to load that one too, Daddy?" and I had some fun with the response. I put a 7.5 grain .177" pellet on the railing, and said "you know what this sounds like, and it's not loud at all." Then I popped a round out of the Scout's spare magazine, and put it next to the tiny pellet. "That, however, is really loud...way too loud for the neighborhood, and way too loud for our ears without earmuffs." Her eyes got suitably big, and she nodded. We agreed I'd just do dry-fire with "the gray one".
And that was interesting in and of itself. Even without the feedback of the hits pinging on the spinners, she seemed quite fascinated just watching me mount, press, and snap the bolt on the "real" rifle. She'd call her preferred target ("Chicken!" or "Sheep!") and I'd dry-hit that one, snap the bolt, hit the second one, run the bolt again, and then on-safe and go to Standard Ready. Great practice for me, especially right after running the pellet gun...and just priceless to be doing "serious" work with my little girl.
I may have to take her up to the counter the next time we're in Soldotna (don't get me started about gunshops in Homer; I'll do business with people that obviously want my business, thanks) and see just how far she has to go to fit the Chipmunk / Crickett stock honorably...
And now I can't wait to try out an Airsoft 1911. :-)