Training Can Happen at Any Time

Kickin' back on the porch--the perfect opportunity for training.

Kickin’ back on the porch–the perfect opportunity for training.

I had a great weekend recently, spending some quality down-time with some of my much younger cousins.

First off, the Mossberg 715T 22LR is harder to take apart than any machine gun in the inventory. I spent the better part of 4 hours taking two apart to show them how to clean the guns.  Imagine a gun built by the nemesis of Mikhail Kalashnikov. These things require special tools, Chinese algebra, google, and voodoo to re-assemble. I was about 10 minutes short of looking for a virgin to sacrifice–no easy feat where we were. Farm girls get bored young.

After that madness we retired to the back yard so I could open the cooler for some refreshing GB approved electrolyte replenishment, and the boys started showing me their airsoft arsenal. A shovel happened to be sticking in the dirt about 10 yards away, so naturally I test fired each one at the handle. Eventually a Daisy Red Ryder Model 1938 was produced, and I made a comment about the Jeff Cooper cigarette at 10 challenge.

Could you shoot a match stick in half with a $39 BB gun?

Could you shoot a match stick in half with a $39 BB gun?

Not wanting to waste a perfectly good cancer stick, a match at 10 was agreed on as an acceptable target. I shot a few rounds and retired. I would have told you the target was outside the capability of a Red Ryder.

To keep things interesting, the boys’ dad put a bounty on the matches. $5 per hit, $10 for a lit match.

Sure enough, about an hour into into, we had our first hit. And the boys only got the one hit, as it was soon too dark to shoot. I would have chalked that up to law of averages, but the next day the challenge resumed. Inside 30 minutes they had another hit. 10 minutes later, another. Then another.

Given proper motivation and proof that it was possible, my lil bastard ( TM pending) cousins had made this an art. By the time the sun set, they were into their dad for a collective $80. This is not an easy shot, and a motley crew of 10-14 year olds had made it happen again and again. I was duly impressed, and it just goes to show. There is never an excuse not to train.

If kids can shoot matches at 10 yards with a BB gun, we can all find a cheap way to get our training in.

Put some real money on  the line, and even kids can find focus.

Give them something interesting to do and  kids show off attention spans that make pharmaceutical companies very nervous.

Teaching kids to shoot doesn't have to include shock-and-awe, and a Red Ryder is a better teaching tool than an XBox.

Teaching kids to shoot doesn’t have to include shock-and-awe, and a Red Ryder is a better teaching tool than an XBox.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • kelly martin September 11, 2014, 8:33 pm

    god dammit ed.

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