Readers of this blog probably have seen posts about my daughter, Leadchuckerette. This one is about my other young shooter.
Last Tuesday while my wife and daughter were at a play rehearsal, my 6 year old, Leadchucker Jr. wanted me to take him to the range. I was feeling a bit shot out after my weekend at the Missouri Appleseed, but who am I to deny a youngster the joys of shooting.
When I started looking for a small .22 for them to shoot, I thought about getting either a Henry Mini Bolt, or a Cricket. My uncle ran across a Marlin 915Y in a pawn shop which we picked it up for about $85. I’m a huge fan of this rifle.
Now with Leadchuckerette, there was no doubt that she was going to be a left handed shooter and left eye dominate. I had no idea with my son. I’ve taken him shooting several times and I just couldn’t get him figured out. I’ve tried having him shoot left handed, right handed, no handed (kidding…), and nothing seemed to fit. He would try sighting with his left eye, and right eye, and just seemed very very awkward. Mind you, He’s 6 and I wasn’t expecting him to be a bulls eye shooter out of the gate, I was just looking to find a position which seemed comfortable and that would allow him to consistently hit a target. A young shooter is going to frustrate very quickly and not have fun when they aren’t getting on the paper.
Last Tuesday he found it. He figured out where to position his cheek on the stock so that he could see through the scope, and figured out how to steady the rifle on a rest with his hands, and that he needed to put the cross hairs on the red dot. On his own. I just kept cycling the bolt, feeding ammo, and making a huge deal about every shot that found the target.
Here’s what he did on a 7 yard target.
He had about 4 flyer’s not shown on this target. Not bad for a six year old. I was proud of him, not that he was shooting well, but that HE figured it out.
More importantly, Little Dude was proud of himself, and what he figured out how to do.
I just have this feeling that I’m going to need to continue to hoard stock up on .22LR.
One of these days when they are older, they will each get their own rifle. That little Marlin will always remain in MY safe. Too many good memories tied to it.
Updated: Apparently I don’t know how old my son is…. He’s five…… I was only off by a couple months..