Here’s the update as promised. Please feel free to post as you see fit, including the pictures. We feel that the shooting glasses, shooting cap and silly face sufficiently hides her identity from weirdos. Not that weirdos would be reading your blog, or anything.
Thanks again for all your help. And if you’re ever passing through between DC and Richmond, let us know.
You better believe it, Nancy.
Goal: Daughter wanted “a handgun like Mommy’s that puts holes in paper” for her 4th birthday. We want Daughter to have fun, and to build a good foundation by learning/practicing/reinforcing The 4 Rules, firearm safety, maintenance, and all the other stuff that goes with “putting holes in paper”.
We wanted to buy a Cricket, we really did. Even if we had shortened the stock, or – had money been no object – come up with an SBR Cricket (thanks, Caleb!), we would have had to drive somewhere every time she wanted to shoot. The same goes for the suggestions of the Ruger 10/22 charger and the JB custom mare's leg "pistol" in .45 colt “sporting powder-puff loads”. (Although the idea of a 4-year-old in a t-shirt that says “I shoot a .45 because they don’t make a .46” both cracks me up and horrifies me.)
We figured that since her attention span is that of a 4-year-old (read: longer than a goldfish, shorter than a border collie), we should have something that worked in the back yard where it only takes a few minutes to get set up, and where we can practice whenever the mood strikes. So we went with a Crosman 1377 pellet pistol. Small enough for her to hold, but big enough for an adult to grab when control starts to waiver. This also has the added bonus of not needing hearing protection. Clearly understood instructions are important. No, it won’t make Sarah Brady cry. Not this year. But we’re hoping that by keeping this fun, she’ll develop a love for things that
go “boom”, and we can make Sarah Brady cry for years to come.
(longer than a goldfish - BWAHAHAHAHA! Nancy, you really need your own blog!)
Daughter was thrilled when she opened her birthday presents and she got her own custom painted Crosman pistol! (I used Krylon Fusion spray paint for plastics and I have nothing but good things to say about it so far). We waited until the next day to try it out. She unpacked her range bag with her pistol, pellets, eye protection, targets, and her cleaning supplies. The backstop was a fuzzy East German surplus army blanket (because Commies make good backstops) draped over the fence in the direction of no other houses When the pellets hit the blanket they either stick into the fuzz (nothing has penetrated through the first layer yet) or fall to the ground. The target was her nemesis: The Big Bad Wolf. He’s in her nightmares, blowing down the house. Now it’s her turn to blow *him* away.
She put on her safety glasses. Her Dad pumped and loaded the pistol and took the first shot to show her what to expect. Then he pumped and loaded it again and showed her how to hold it. She pulled the trigger and hit her adversary in the neck. And again. And again. I think all but one shot went on the paper. The four rules were addressed as they came up. Then she said “I’m going to hit him in the eye!” Behold the shot ½” to the right of his eye. Proof that she has her mother’s beginner’s luck at hitting what she points at.
Her only real issue that she sometimes she has problems pulling the trigger. We figure it’s because she’s left-handed for most things, and we’re teaching her to shoot right-handed because she’s right-eye dominant. Any advice on this? Are we doing the right thing? We certainly don’t care that she’s left-handed, we just figured that shooting right-handed was the easiest fix for being cross-eye dominant. After all, she’s only four. She’ll just think that this is how it’s done.
And daughter aiming:
Interestingly enough, I'm right-handed but left-eye dominant (many years of vision research where my right eye focused through the IR lens and the left eye stared off in the darkness, I guess). I shoot with my right hand and aim with my left, although lately I've been trying to keep both eyes open. This doesn't work anywhere near as well for rifles (shooting right and aiming left). Any suggestions would be appreciated...
And I just loooove the "big bad wolf" as a target - she'll be collecting PUFFs before you know it, just load the Crosman with silver BBs...
Anyhow, she had a great time. We all had a great time. When asked what part she likes best, she said she liked the “boom!” noise. She looks forward to shooting and putting holes in targets. One hole-riddled wolf is taped to her bedroom door as a warning to other wolves who might try to give her nightmares. (This was a compromise because we wouldn’t let her actually sleep with her pistol.) We’re glad she has an interest in firearms, but if that changes some day, that’s fine. This isn’t about feeding our egos – this is about teaching her life skills. And we can always repaint the pistol something other than purple.Oh hell no. Buy another pistol if you have to - that one just HAS to stay purple.
Thanks for the report, Nancy. We have one last picture, of what may just be the happiest little girl on the planet. Get ready to exceed your US RDA of cute:
Happy Dance. We haz it.
That is all.