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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to teach my kids slowly to shoot...they have seen real guns shot at a historical reenactment where different weapons were fired and they know I have guns and we have had many discussions about them. I have always talked to them about safety with any type of gun even my sons Nerf gun.

My daughter is 9 and my son is 6, he had more interest than she did....she actually expressed a mild fear of guns which I think came from school. I explained how they are objects and only bad if used by a bad person.

My kids gave me a couple of gift cards for my birthday, so I took them to WalMart where the gift card my daughter bought came from and bought an airsoft and some ammo. I had targets already so home we went to set up a range in the garage.....and the lessons began. They are doing well, getting the hang of keeping the muzzle pointed the right way and the use of the safety and how to hod and aim properly.

Both kids had a ball, I am much happier as they both have an interest in learning to shoot real guns when Dad says they are ready! Pics to follow once I transfer them off my phone.

Does anyone have a simple easy to remember list of rules for gun safety that I can print and have them learn.....maybe something from a Eddie Eagle program or similar?
 

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MATTE

M - Muzzle, always keep it pointed in a safe direction.
A - Action, always keep it open until ready to fire
T - Trigger, always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire
T - Target, know your target and what's beyond it
E - Ears and Eyes, always wear ear and eye protection when shooting

This is what we use in 4-H Shooting Sports. It's drilled into the kids at every meeting, whether we shoot or not. You can expound on each letter, but this is the simple way, and I think it covers all bases. If your rules become to complicated, kids will forget them or get bored and tune you (and the rules out).

An example of expounding on the rules: "M - Muzzle, always keep it pointed in a safe direction. This will vary depending upon where you are. Down range should always be safe. Sometimes pointed down is safe, sometimes not - example, concrete floor."

But if you have your kids memorize MATTE and what each letter stands for, and insist they observe the rules, you'll have safe shooters.
 

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I have a 24/7 G2 Airsoft that I used to teach my son and daughter. I have also used it to weed out their stupid friends that want to go shooting with us. I hand them the airsoft to see how they act. If they are goofy with it, I don't let them ago to the range. Airsoft is an excellent tool.
 

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I have a 24/7 G2 Airsoft that I used to teach my son and daughter. I have also used it to weed out their stupid friend that want to go shooting with us. I hand them the airsoft to see how they act. If they are goofy with it, I don't let them ago to the range. Airsoft is an excellent tool.
My kids grew up before airsoft, although it would have been a neat thing to have! (And we used the same rules ---- any fooling around and you stay home!)

I did have one trick I used, which is still of value as a transition tool. After both boys had gotten comfortable shooting a .22 revolver, I wanted to let them "move up" to a .38. Before allowing them go to the range and just pop away, I wanted them to get comfortable with the difference in weight. For this, I bought some wax bullets. (Local lead guy also cast them as a spare item.) Loaded them into sized .38 brass with a small pistol primer. The noise isn't so bad it and it can be used in garage, and the bullets -- although dangerous up close -- only go the length of an average garage. It was more for the feel of the weight and the trigger pull.

I think I've seen re-usable plastic ones around, also.
 

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I have bought an airsoft 1911 that I sometimes shoot in the garage. It's loads of fun, moderately accurate, and is a blowback, so the feel of shooting it is 90% of shooting a real firearm. I've been tearing some soda cans to shreds with the thing. Bad this is the little BBs get everywhere.
 

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I also went ahead and got an air soft; I shoot into a large cardboard box that has a heavy towel hanging in it to stop the BB’s. All the BB’s collect nicely in the bottom of the box. Mine is spring powered and with the heavier BB’s is right on target. The lighter BB’s that came with it shoot high. I was surprised to see that it would easily go through 2 layers of card board. I had no clue they were that powerful.
 

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I was pre air soft and grew up with bb pistols. It looked like 1911 pull the slide back cocked spring and fires bb 1 at a time. This is probally why i love 1911s to date. My dad lost his dad when he was 3 and was raised by missionarys so he was never taught how to shoot so i learned all mine by trail and error and had many painful welts from the bb gun to prove it. So any time spent with your kids they will always remember

jhp
 

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I have used a full metal airsoft AR15 for training in the past and it has gone a long way to get someone who was totally un-familiar with the AR platform into shooting the real rifle. It was complete with the functional charging handle, bolt catch, mag release, safety selector, iron sights, adjustable stock, and forward assist.
 

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I want to +1 what illixir and others have said. I grew up shooting pistols many times over my childhood. Dad always taught me about safety, but the range trips were few and far between enough that when I did have a loaded pistol in my hand, I felt awkward. I think learning how to properly draw, hold, and carry a loaded weapon in the presence of others can be more important than hitting the bullseye at ten yards.

It wasn't until I got into airsoft after college that I really started becoming familiar with how to handle a weapon. I had a full metal AR-15 replica and a full metal 1911 replica that I used at games. It was at those first few games that I saw how a lot of ex-military guys carried themselves and how professional they looked. So between games I decided to get better at looking like I knew what I was doing. Walking around my apartment in full gear, doing ordinary things mixed with draw and reholster drills really went a long way to satisfy the kid in me. But it also gave me a much better feel for my *replica* weapons.

Airsoft guns are great backyard training tools, so long as they're not treated like toys at any point. And if there's ever a slip up in safety as you get used to proper handling, while you might get a good welp or (at absolute worst) a chipped tooth (saw a guy accidentally discharge his rifle at his mouth; go figure) your not going to get your finger blown off or send a round through your thigh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone, all great tips. I really appreciate it. I had my wife out there shooting tonight and my son can't wait til the next shooting session! I printed the MATTE for them to learn. I didn't learn to shoot til I was in Civil Air Patrol in High School, glad I can introduce it to them and make it a family sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
IMG_20130612_061916_zpse1bf5777.jpg IMG_20130606_202745_zps541ce0ec.jpg IMG_20130604_204718_zps4a05475b.jpg IMG_20130604_202938_zpsf98aece3.jpg Couple of pics, first is a sign my daughter made about gun rules..I thought it was pretty cool for her to think it up. Second is proud target shooters. Next two are my son and daughter shooting. They are really enjoying it...my daughter fell in love with a pink 22 rifle she saw in one of the local sporting goods stores. This is from a girl who didn't even like to talk about guns last year!
 

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View attachment 57814 View attachment 57815 View attachment 57816 View attachment 57817 Couple of pics, first is a sign my daughter made about gun rules..I thought it was pretty cool for her to think it up. Second is proud target shooters. Next two are my son and daughter shooting. They are really enjoying it...my daughter fell in love with a pink 22 rifle she saw in one of the local sporting goods stores. This is from a girl who didn't even like to talk about guns last year!
Great pics! It looks like they were having a ball and learning great fundamentals at the same time. After seeing this thread, I think I may have to get an airsoft of some sort for teaching my kids when they get a little older. Seems like a great stepping stone toward shooting firearms when they eventually become ready. Thanks for sharing.
 
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