My son Logan is working on getting his Distinguished Expert qualification through the NRA’s Youth Shooting Program. He’s progressing nicely through the many levels with air rifles provided by the American Legion Post Six in Cheyenne. It’s a fantastic program that helps kids learn to shoot well, and they provide all the equipment the kids will need.
It’s also a long, difficult journey. The kids are required to make progressively higher scores as they move up the levels, and they shoot from prone, kneeling and standing positions. When they get to the top levels, they progress to precision air rifles, even though the lower-tier rifles are way more accurate than anything I used to plink around with.
Watching Logan get better every week has me thinking there’s nothing keeping me from doing the same. I can’t take part in Logan’s program, because I don’t think I’d be able to convince them that I’m only 15 years old. But I can get some targets, go out to my backyard range, and work on my marksmanship.
There wouldn’t be any cool patches or pins for leveling up, but that’s not the important thing. For me, the point would be to be able to put a bullet where I want it, no matter what position I’m shooting from. And I wouldn’t have to do it with an air rifle – I could use my own hunting rifle in order to be well practiced by hunting season.
Granted, it would be a lot more expensive sending 20 rounds of .270 downrange each week than what Logan spends on pellets. I might start with my .22 in order to keep the costs down.
Maybe within a few weeks, I can catch up to Logan, but he’s pretty good. I’ll have my work cut out for me.