Reactive targets are the best bet for shooting with kids

I finally got a chance to get my boys out to the shooting range over the weekend, and I wonder why it took us so long to get around to it. I guarantee we won’t wait so long to get back out there again.

My boys and I took the .22 out to the backyard shooting range on Sunday, but we’d planned to get out there long before we finally did. Part of what kept us from getting out there was the weather. I don’t particularly like going outside when the wind is breaking the speed limit on I-80, and that’s probably not the sort of experience that will make the boys want to go shooting again, anyway.

When the wind quit, the cold came. With a vengeance. Again, I didn’t want to spoil the boys’ enjoyment of shooting. It’s hard to have fun when you’re trying to pick up a tiny little .22 long rifle cartridge with mittens on, and it’s even worse if you frostbite your fingers when you take the gloves off to handle the rounds. It’s also hard to hit the target when you’re shivering hard enough that the neighbor a mile away can hear your teeth chattering.

But over the weekend, the weather was absolutely perfect. No wind at all, and temperatures in the low 50s. I didn’t expect that in January, but I wasn’t about to complain. Instead, we grabbed the rifle, a box of ammo, and a bucket full of cast-off pottery projects and headed to the range.

I like using pottery rejects as targets, because they explode when you hit them. The kids love that, and it keeps them interested. It’s a lot more fun than just poking holes in a piece of paper.

Other good options for shooting with kids are spinning targets, balls and other 3-D shapes that jump when you hit them. Think reactive when choosing targets for kids to shoot at.

It was a great day at the range, and it was even better as we were packing up when Colby asked me if we could do it again next weekend. I just hope the weather cooperates.



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