Sharing - no better way to get youngsters involved.

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Griz44Mag, Feb 12, 2020.

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  1. Feb 12, 2020 #1

    Griz44Mag

    Griz44Mag

    Griz44Mag

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    Since retiring and moving back to North Texas I have settled into a routine where most Tuesdays are spent at the range.
    I have made an effort to get others involved, and anytime someone shows an interest, I invite them to shoot whatever I have taken to the range that day. Most of the time I encourage them to go through the loading process as well.
    Now I have noticed that some of the persons whom have taken me up on that are showing up on a regular basis on Tuesday to see what I have brought, and of course, an opportunity to shoot it. This seems especially true since those persons show up with their kids now.
    This absolutely thrills me. For the smaller kids, I load a light charge so recoil is minimal. For the very young ones, I load powder only, they only want to hear the boom and see a lot of smoke, and it's a lot safer for the rest of us...
    I also try and make sure they get a little dose of history about the period of the gun they are shooting.
    For me at least, this greatly enhances my range time. So if you get the opportunity, share what you know, and share your time at the range- especially with the young ones. They will be the future of our sport - if there is to be one...
     
  2. Feb 12, 2020 #2

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    Too bad none of the muzzleloader manufacturers make youth models any more, heck even finding a 32, 36, 40, or 45 caliber is near impossible. When was the last time you saw some kids go squirrel hunting ?
     
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  3. Feb 12, 2020 #3

    sawyer04

    sawyer04

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    Excellent Grizz44mag you are making a difference, and I bet you are having fun doing it.
     
  4. Feb 12, 2020 #4

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    Have a light weight CVA (forget the model, maybe a Frontier) with a cut down stock (less than 12” LOP) on loan to buddy for shooting with his kids. It’s a 50 caliber, but with a 30 grain charge is deadly at squirrel ranges.
     
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  5. Feb 12, 2020 #5

    Crow-Feather

    Crow-Feather

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    Our club has a Jr. Rendezvous every year. Fourth grade students study the fur trappers in class. So in the spring, we spend 3-4 days teaching the 4th grade students all about the 1840 fur trappers and their equipment.
    We have about 8 different stations in a wooded area where we teach: fire starting, weapons of the fur trapper, black smithing, trapping, clothing, Indian food preperation, and we have a story teller that tells true stories about the fur trappers. Since we have over 2,000 children visiting, we even have a medic tent staffed by our local county hospital. Living near Fort Henry in Idaho helps as there are many historical sites in our area.
    In the evenings, we eat, have shooting contests, our kids have their own contests, and then we enjoy the company of friends. With set up, and take down, it takes about a week of time. We have been doing this for over 20 years.
     
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  6. Feb 12, 2020 #6

    1950DAVE

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    Good for you!
    Dave
     
  7. Feb 12, 2020 #7

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    Ya sure, but it misses the point I was trying to make. The industry isn't geared towards younger shooters or small game hunting like it once was. It is only geared towards adults and large game hunting. Both of these factors write youngsters out of the equation, as well as a lot of fun and life long interest in the sport.
     
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  8. Feb 12, 2020 #8

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

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    Good for you for perpetuating BP with youth. I often find they are more interested in shooting than all the trappings the accompany BP though.

    So, when I take kids to the range, I always bring a .22 rifle along too, just so they don't get too bored. Though kids seem to love trombone-actions, I 'd rather have them shoot a single shot, or, a bolt action repeater.
     
  9. Feb 12, 2020 #9

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    I’m not sure the ‘traditional’ ML manufactures ever really made any youth sized guns, although that could just be me not remembering. Some of the lighter weight models were touted as being sized for youths, but all, at least to me, are sized for adults with their 13-1/2" or so length of pull. They just don't fit the smaller shooter, even if lighter.

    Considered shortening the length of pull on a TC Cherokee a while back, but thought better of it. At just over 5 pounds would make an ideal youth gun. I've seen the Pedersoli Scout Carbine advertised 'for young shooters', but with the 13-1/2' LOP it doesn't really work for them. I have one and the smaller shooter just cant shoulder it and reach the trigger.

    The industry is geared towards what they can sell and make money with. Not as many hunters out there any more. Most kids today are taught to stay away from guns. Muzzleloaders are but a percentage of shooters and hunters. Traditional muzzleloaders are but a small fraction of the overall muzzleloader group.....
     
  10. Feb 13, 2020 #10

    Griz44Mag

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    The little Navy Arms mule ear I have is a perfect youth gun.
    It's short (24" barrel) and weighs almost nothing (5#2oz). That one I can hold and shoot almost like a pistol.
    The young ones are already at the range shooting the 22's and and other small stuff.
    When they hear the boom and see the clouds of smoke they are instantly attracted to it. Kids are like that.
    However, that said, the guns that seem to attract them the most are the long arms and the fire and smoke of the flint.
    Propped on a bag and pointed downrange it's no big deal for them to sight down the barrel and pull the trigger.
    I had one fine strapping strong young man ask if he could shoot it standing. For the next hour or so the three of us (me, him and his MOTHER) made smoke. His dad seemed to really appreciate them being distracted so he could get some serious tuning tuning done on his deer rifle.
     
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  11. Feb 13, 2020 #11

    smo

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    Here’s a great little rifle for the young ones .

    Hopkins Allen .36 cal under hammer tack driver.....

    B270668D-9B2C-4FF0-9E9C-1098511E0D87.jpeg

    The TC Renegade is another good one for the younger shooter, although it is considerably heavier than the HA.

    Both are great off the bench for a first experience into the World of Black Powder.

    I always enjoyed my time with the kids at public shooting ranges while shooting my bp guns.

    Those are the only memories that I miss from not shooting at public ranges anymore.

    Congrats too you for what you’re doing, Hopefully some will follow in our foot steps.
     
  12. Feb 13, 2020 #12

    Crow-Feather

    Crow-Feather

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    When my grandchildren were 12 years old, I gave each of them a black powder rifle and taught them how to shoot it. They don't shoot much but they have never forgotten. At our Jr. Rendezvous, I tell the kids to come to our regular Rendezvous with a parent and they can shoot my rifle. I keep a T/C 45 Seneca just for the occasion. When I see children with parents come up to the range, I ask them if they want to try a shot. Most children agree and their parents are quite happy about it. Now I know that most children will shoot once and never shoot again. But some will remember and even if they don't shoot as youngsters, the itch has been put under the skin. I saw El Campus Vitus shooting their muzzleloaders when I was about 12 years old. When I was 27, I bought my first kit, a CVA Kentucky, and I met a knowledgeable muzzleloader shooter. Thus the next 46 years, I have been burning black whenever I could. I believe that the trick is to make shooting fun and easy for the children. If the rifle is heavy, use cross sticks. If the recoil is hard, shoot a 45 with 25 grains of 2F. The stock will be too long for some, but with you and the youngster together, they can sight and pull the trigger. Have a target board at 10 yards. If you can, place it where you can post and retrieve targets while others are shooting. You are right in that the industry isn't geared towards younger shooters as many people cannot afford a rifle that is good for only a few years. Give them a moment to remember.
     
  13. Feb 13, 2020 #13

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    They/we need more than just a "moment". If all we give them is a passing memory, then that is all Muzzleloading will be.
     
  14. Feb 14, 2020 #14

    Crow-Feather

    Crow-Feather

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    As you must know, Carbon, traditional muzzle loading is declining in popularity. Cost of caps and flints alone have increased tremendously in the past few years along with the cost of rifles. Traditions has kept the 32 alive, but the 36 and 40 and 45 are mostly used rifles, kit rifles, or customs. I certainly wish that all would remain the same but in the late 1860's, the muzzleloader was a wall hanger, Grandpa's rifle. I think the pendulum is swinging.
     
  15. Feb 14, 2020 #15

    Crow-Feather

    Crow-Feather

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  16. Feb 14, 2020 #16

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    I have placed traditional muzzleloaders in five nephew’s hands. Plus one niece. Not sure how it will work out long term, but real seeds have been sowed.
     
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  17. Feb 14, 2020 #17

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    Planting seeds isn't enough. The ground must be fertile, you have to cultivate often and provide lots of sunshine.
     
  18. Feb 14, 2020 #18

    dave951

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    That's part of our motivation to push forward with our efforts to expand muzzleloading instruction with youth although we will work with adults. Far to many kids are couch taters whose only knowledge of guns is through a video game or the internet.
     
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  19. Feb 15, 2020 #19

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    Agree, but if you don’t plant the seed..... doesn’t matter how often you cultivate or how much sunshine there is. But putting THEIR gun it in their hands (with parental permission and supervision), is in my opinion an effective way of getting their attention. Now they can ask when they can go shoot THEIR gun. This isn’t a here you go kid, now leave me alone proposition.
     
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