Two of the characteristics that the Prescott Caliber Club embodies are Safety and Family. This weekend I was honored to be able to practice and hone both skills during a visit from some close family members. My nephew Braiden wanted to learn how to handle a real firearm. He’s a young kid, so we had a discussion with him about how serious firearm safety is and why. I explained to him that there’s no time for being cool or showboating. This is serious business and although firearms are just tools and can be a lot of fun, if they’re not respected someone can end up dead.
My brother-in-law Johnny contacted me a couple of months ago asking if I had a recommendation for him on a platform for young children. I knew immediately that the Crickett 22 “My First Rifle” was the perfect item. The rifle is a bolt-action, single shot, manually charging 22LR trainer for youth. The length of pull along with virtually all of the other features are modified to fit the ergonomics of a very small frame. The adjustments are so much that I cannot produce a cheek weld that allows me to see the sights. It worked perfectly for Braiden and in very short order he was ringing steel with iron sights at around 25 yards, standing.
Braiden then asked if he could move on to a handgun. I had the perfect model for him! I am a huge fan of the Browning 1911-22 platform for training new shooters. It’s a solid handgun referenced by popular culture and many are familiar with its looks and functions, even if they have never fired the weapon. Chambering the handgun in 22LR makes the platform even more friendly for new shooters of all types. With a bit more discussion about the inherent safety issues surrounding handguns (i.e. muzzling other shooters, malfunctions, etc…) we felt Braiden was ready.
Aside from a few “rookie” mistakes, like muzzling the line after experiencing a malfucniton and dropping a few magazines in the silty high-desert terrain, he took to the sport quite nicely. His father Johnny is a great teacher and always makes sure to explain things in a way that is engaging and informative for kids. We were able to teach Braiden how to load and unload each weapon, clear a malfunction, mind his muzzle and ring steel plates. He was very proud of himself and we were very proud of him as well.
In today’s world Conservative values are under severe attack, including the right to own and bear firearms. This becomes even more complicated when you’re stepping outside of the mainstream box and begin to include children in these types of sports. I hope that each of you can see this for what it is. A young boy who wanted to learn how to safely and effectively handle a firearm. I think if we had more children being taught the realities of firearms, the damage they can do and how to PROPERLY respond to them we could make a difference in curbing these youngsters from going down the wrong path.
Upon reaching the end of Braiden’s training and shooting sessions I made a decision to put him behind my semi-auto M249 SAW. This rifle is suppressed, but aside from that it embodies everything about the firepower truly involved with rifles. I’m under the belief that the results of gun violence have been completely desensitized out of our youngsters. I wanted to know if a young boy like my nephew could be influenced in a positive way by experiencing the sights and sounds of 556 Green Tip smacking steel at 100 yards. Would he respect the inherent dangers of firearms if he understood what that power looks and feels like? We had a small discussion after shooting that firearm about how hard the projectile was smacking the steel. Asking questions like, what do you think that would do if it hit a wall? A steel plate at close range? Or, God forbid, a living being? I cannot say that the point was completely driven home, but he did take the SAW very seriously and was originally taken back by its power. The three of us also had a very good discussion about ammunition. We broke down a round and showed Braiden each part of a rifle cartridge and explained to him what is occurring when the firearm is discharged. He took in a lot this weekend.
We finished up the day by letting Braiden dig through some of the Milsurp clothing gear at the Prescott Caliber Club where he picked out a US Mil issued hat with a few pins from my good friend Mike’s deployment to Afghani-land. Very proud Uncle right here and I hope Braiden can stick with it, be safe and continue to carry on the legacy of so many American’s through the world of shooting sports and 2A advocacy.
If you’d like to participate in one of our Shooting Experiences, or if you’d like to book a custom Family Experience to help familiarize you and/or your family with firearm and firearm safety, please contact us at the Prescott Caliber Club Today!