New Shooter Report

And I’m happy to say it’s my daughter, who just celebrated her 9th birthday.

She’s had a BB gun for a few years now, but this is her first real firearm, a pink Cricket .22, delivered on her birthday, Friday. She squeed.


Saturday after her party we headed over to the closest range which is an indoor facility, but they allow .22 rifles on the pistol lanes. Equipped with new ears, eyes and a cammo rifle case with pink trim, she walked into the range like she owned the place.

Since she’s been shooting a BB gun for years she already knew about sight alignment and we’d practiced operating the rifle at home so other than the noise which she wasn’t used to at all, she was ready.

Outside the range, they have a sign listing the four rules, she turned to me and said, “Daddy! The four rules!” (Woohoo!)

At our lane she insisted on doing everything herself, including hanging the targets. She was fascinated with the target trolly.


The noise bothered her and she was a bit nervous but after her first shot hit inside the 10 ring she was all smiles. She frequently rushed her shot and missed the red circle, but all her shots were on the paper so I consider it a complete success.


She was having so much fun she didn’t want to leave.

When we were in the local Academy buying her rifle case she saw a pink 10/22 and said, “That’s the one I want next!” Also, she REALLY wanted to try my .40 XD, but her hands are still too small to hold it well and still reach the trigger.

Go ahead and cry Sarah Brady, here’s another generation of shooter you won’t be able to stop.

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0 Responses to New Shooter Report

  1. Yuri Orlov says:

    That’s great! i still need to get up to the range with my oldest daughter (8 y/o). Nice rifle! How much are they now days?

  2. Tarb says:

    Alan, thats awesome to see you’ve got a real shooter there! I love that big grin you see on someone that’s having a wonderful first time. Is the Cricket a single shot? I’m keeping my grandfather’s old lithgow (single shot .22) to maybe teach my own new shooter someday. Keep up the good work, I hope it leads to bigger and better things (next a 10/22, then an AR, then your Remington…hope you’ve put aside a future guns fund!)

  3. Breda says:

    Best thing ever!

  4. Rignerd says:

    The only thing cooler than the excitement of a new shooter is a father and daughter having a fun day at the range.

  5. Bob S. says:

    Absolutely Awesome Alan.

    The smile on her face seems to indicate that she actually enjoyed it tremendously

  6. Stan says:

    I think my cold black heart just got a few degrees warmer, thanks.

  7. julie says:

    Fantastic … great to see kids on the range having fun!

  8. TD says:

    Well done, sir!

  9. pdb says:

    If this was any more awesome, it would need a warning label.

  10. Pingback: SayUncle » Range Pics

  11. Ride Fast says:

    Love that new shooter smile. Good work, Dad!

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  13. Rio Arriba says:

    Excellent. You are to be commended. And doesn’t she look HAPPY!

    Bonus points for you, sir.

  14. KCSteve says:

    One tip for new shooters – and especially for female new shooters who tend to be more sensitive is to double-plug.

    Put in earplugs, then put muffs on over them. This drops the noise of the shot significantly.

    Big ‘ol manly man me, on rare occasions I’ll find my shots going off in ways that make me think I might be flinching. When that happens, I double-plug. Generally it turns out I was, and reducing the noise takes care of it.

    Oh, and well the XD-40 is too big for her to hold (and might have too strong a recoil for her wrists – a 9mm or .45 would be better) the Kel-Tec P-32 & P-3AT used to have pink grips available…

  15. KCSteve says:

    Sorry – ‘well’ should be ‘while’

  16. Packetman says:

    A much more satisfying report than another wonky OC post!

    Can’t wait for my young ‘un to get bigger.

  17. Mike says:

    Took my six year old girl to the range with her 8yr old brothers Cricket. She had a great time.
    I’m going to get a pink one for her next summer.

  18. Mitch G says:

    Took my ten year old girl to the range last summer and had a similar story. She has an excellent knowledge of gun safety (which I demand) but was conflicted about her feelings towards firearms.

    Her experiences at the range (spectating) have been very boring, but I asked if she would be willing to go to the range, make everything safe- Fire a few shots and go home. She agreed.

    I took my Kimber 1911 with a Kimber .22lr conversion kit, bag rested on a table and put a single round in a magazine. Went over everything and told her that if she really didn’t want to shoot, it was okay. BLAM, one shot fired- I cleared the gun, and the range and we walked to see that she hit the paper. I applauded her effort and her safety.

    We tried a 2nd time with 3 in the magazine and she put three shots in a row above the black of the target. I took a few seconds to explain the sight picture and she put 3 holes in the black. She was proud of her accomplishments and her Dad was very proud of her.

    I’m not going to say that she has 100% made up her mind about how she feels about guns, but whenever she sees my 1911, she states “Hey, isn’t that MY gun?”