Friday, May 29, 2015

It begins.

After all the crazy that has been happening around here of late, I sniffed a chance to do something meaningful with the girls in the short space between naps and making dinner.  So I rounded up the Air Venturi Bronco, the girls got their safety glasses, and we went out onto the porch for a bit of "chicken-and-sheep".  That's the game in which one of the girls calls a target, and from Standard Ready I mount and hit it.  (It started with two rimfire spinners at 10m, one a chicken, the other a sheep...and now it has expanded to include a second spinner sheep at 25y, self-sealing Newbold targets at 10, 25, and about 40, a paint can lid and a few soup can lids hanging in the spruce trees.)

Both girls got chances to load and call, and then we wound up with a variation in which each girl called which target they wanted me to hit at the same time, and if they didn't call the same one, I had to hit the target closest to the midpoint between them.  A good mental processing exercise, with that many targets available!

After a bit, the 3yo decided to go back inside, and the 6yo then got her first chance with a manual stopwatch, timing my shots from her call to the hit, which she seemed to enjoy.  And then I offered her the chance to take her first shot.  She got a bit wide eyed and said sure.

Conditions were good.  Vibe was good.  We rested the Bronco's fore-end on the railing of the front porch/deck in my right hand, and she got pretty comfortably behind the rifle without having to lift it. We went through exactly what she was going to do with sight alignment, safety, and trigger, and I provided whatever elevation adjustment she needed with my right hand as she figured out how to look through the aperture and hold the post on the big yellow disk.  Okay, ready?  Breathe.  Safety to Fire position. Back on post.  Find trigger blade without pressing.  Still on post.  Okay, now start slowly pressing while staying on post, a little wobble is okay, slowly more press, slowly until--POP-THWAP--the trigger breaks.  An obvious hit at the 10m line.

Finger straight.  Smiles.  She even asks me if we should put the safety back on before opening the action.  (You do neither with this spring-piston breakbarrel design, but still, "A" for attitude!)  We conclude and she goes in to tell Mom.

And so it begins.



MamaLiberty said...

Wonderful! Congratulations all around. My first husband actually started firearms training with my two sons about that age. I wish he had had your attitude and experience, but he did a pretty good job. They started with my old .410 shotgun, and both of them LOVED to shoot from the start. We bought a bolt action .22 rifle then, and the boys shot that for a lot of years, until they each had one of their own. Never had any ND or "accidents" with any of the guns, but we did have a disgruntled neighbor (A Mrs. Grundy type who evidently hated everything) who called the cops and accused the boys of shooting "songbirds." The sheriff's deputy came out and was suitably impressed with the pile of crows next to the garden... Never heard another word about it.

Anonymous said...

You seriously have your pre-K kids shooting off your porch? Bet your neighbors LOVE you! Holy FUCK.

Kevin Wilmeth said...

Well, Anon, not everyone startles so easily. If such a thing really causes you that sort of consternation, you really need to learn more. (I've also got a strong suspicion you need as well to reconsider the veracity of your educational sources.)

One of the benefits of living where we do is that we have a setup that works--and our porch airgunnery is far more polite than the rimfire and centerfire sounds of several of the other neighbors. (And when we first moved here, and I went around asking if a little airgunnery would bother anyone? They all laughed.)

And hey, if the threshold really matters to you that much--I suspect it does not--S. just finished her kindergarten year. The nearly-four-year-old does not yet shoot--and she probably will not shoot as early as the six-and-a-half-year-old, just as a matter of personality and maturity. I won't start her until she is mentally ready. Actually, I won't start anyone until he or she is mentally ready, no matter how old the calendar says they are. I've turned down more than one "grown-up" for just that reason; like most folks I run with, I've got absolutely no interest in taking chances with irresponsible people.

Troll some more if you want, but seriously: learn something. It'll help with the paranoia.

Kevin Wilmeth said...

And ML: don't know if you yet know, but we now have us a third: a feral son was born on May 18th, and is doing great so far. Once I get the story written up, I'll forward it on to you. Yet another astonishing experience. :-)