A few months ago, Amybear suddenly started to get interest in firearms. Not a lot of interest mind you, but enough that I was able to convince her to hit the range with me this weekend with only a trip to Hibachi as a bribe. This is especially impressive considering it was hot as a crotch out this weekend. Unless you live in Florida or something. Then 96 with 100% humidity is probably a brisk day requiring a sweater.
Things went ok and we had a good time. We both double bagged with both plugs and muffs on the range. I did it because I would like to keep my hearing as long as possible. Amy did it because it helps avoid flinching from the sound of your own shots and alleviates problems with range noise from other shooters. It worked well.
We also started slow. Amy shot my .22 and did well. She only put a round or two through my hipower. The 9mm was a little much for her. I never realized how small her hands were until I saw her hold the grips of my guns. If she enjoys shooting enough, we may have to buy her some guns of her own just to get something that fits well. Then she can work on her grip and form. Until then we'll just use the .22 which barely recoils at all.
Amybear used shoot-n-c targets, while I stuck to standard paper bullseyes. Shoot-n-c are black and leave a fluoresence ring (green or orange) around the bullet holes. It helps the individual holes to stand out and adds a real sense of accomplishment. You can buy these at any good sporting goods store (like Dick's). As you get more experienced you will get a feel for where you are shooting and won't need them as much. This is good because they are a bit on the expensive side compared to standard paper bullseyes or, for the truly cheap, discount paper plates.
While Amy was shooting, I stood behind her telling her where each shot went and generally told her what a good job she was doing. Her first group was a little rough, but then she got the hang of things and improved a lot. I'm very proud of her. She might become a better shot than me eventually, especially considering that she has more patience at the shooting line than I do. Right now I can show off a bit because I have a couple years more shooting experience than she does.
Towards the end of our session, her arms started getting tired and that meant it was time to go home. She had a good time and we kept the targets. Amybear may have a picture of hers on Flickr when she gets back to her parents place later today. We shot for about an hour and by the end the heat was getting to us. For those not in the know, having drinking water (or food) on a range is a bad idea. Many of the toxic chemicals in a cartridge are hygroscopic lead and mercury salts. Hygroscopic means they are attracted to water, so any open container is contaminated with them and any closed one is still probably covered with them. We hurried home and washed our hands and faces before we tanked back up on fluids.
Hibachi was very yummy and I went 1 for 2 on catching shrimp in my mouth. Mom would be proud.
UPDATE: Instapundit is linking to Kenneth Anderson teaching his daughter to shoot. They were using a Ruger 10/22 rifle and another 22lr pistol. There are pictures.