It was a pretty awesome day. I got to take my oldest son out shooting for the first time. My son is 12 and lives with his mother in another state. They’re not really a gun/hunting family there. I, on the other hand am always looking for a reason to go shooting. Well, my son flew out for a visit and I thought that this would be when I teach him how to shoot. His mother knows how important this is to me and had no problem with it (you always have to clear these things with the mother, even after you’ve split up haha).
Anyways, I gave my son a class on weapon safety, taught him what he needed to know about the weapons, had some practical application of what he learned, and we headed out to the desert. This kid was beyond excited about what was about to happen.
Weapons of Choice
I only own two guns right now. I have a Remington 870 and a SIG P229 .40 handgun. This might seem like a lot of firepower for a 12 year old. You’re right, however, I was confident that my kid could handle it or I wouldn’t have gone through with it.
Sequence of Events
So, we get to the range, unpack everything and I loaded both weapons. I went out and shot off a few rounds first. Once I was done, it was his turn. I asked him what he wanted to shoot first and he said the pistol. He was scared of the shotgun. I gave him one round, talked him through it and next thing you know, BOOM! I can only imagine how amazing he was feeling at that moment.
Now it’s time to move on to the shotgun. This one took some convincing but we got through it and he fired off a shell. It knocked him back pretty good but he handled it well. After that he went back and shot the pistol again. Once he finished that, he surprised me by asking to shoot the shotgun again. I couldn’t help but say yes!
How I Made This Successful
I definitely planned this all out. I didn’t just say, “hey let’s go shoot,” hand him a gun and have him go for it. Here’s what we did.
- Established safety rules
- Proper weapon handling
- Practical drills and dry firing
- More safety talk
- Demonstrated before he actually shot so he could see what the recoil looked like and hear how loud the weapons are
- For his first shot, I put one round in the magazine. This was just to be safe in the event he freaked out and either dropped the weapon due to recoil or pointed it somewhere he shouldn’t. He did everything right.
- Talked about what he did right and wrong when it was all over
All in all it was a very successful day. My son had a great time and he definitely made me proud.
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