Parents have always loved to pass their hobbies onto their children. One particular type of hobby that has been passed on from generation to generation is Shooting sports. From hunting, to target shooting, to competitive shooting, the use of firearms has been one of America’s favorite pastimes for generations. Even from the beginning of the use of firearms, the task of using a gun for protection or for the betterment of your family has been a source of pride for centuries. Nowadays hobbies involving firearms are not only accessible to adults but to the younger generation as well.
Here is a list of some of the most popular types of shooting sports/activities for Youth today:
Trap Shooting – The act of shooting at Clay Targets that are thrown into the air by a trap machine. Shooters are faced with a number of different flight patterns, angles, and positions but only one target at a time. The goal is to hit as many clay targets as possible in the fewest shots.
Skeet – Using the same devices as trap shooting, skeet shooting uses two or more trap machines to project clay targets providing shooters with an additional challenge.
Sporting Clays – This is the most complex of the shotgun sports. Designed to simulate a variety of sporting situations, trap machines are set up in various positions and project clay targets in a way that simulates real world birth flight. Shooters shoot from a variety of stations.
Bench Rest – This is a form of precision marksmanship where the rests he front and rear of the rifle on solid objects in order to create as tight a cluster of 5-10 shots as he/she possibly can. Distances can vary, and the cluster is measured in minus the diameter of the round to create a shooter’s score.
Silhouette – This is where paper targets of various sizes and shapes are placed at different distances to be shot at. Markings are combined to create a shooters score.
Position – A competition that has shooters fire from different position throughout the match, collecting a score.
Action Shooting – Various targets placed throughout a course and the shooter must fire as quickly as possible starting with the gun holstered.
Silhouette – Shoot to hit targets off of stands placed at different distances.
Precision – Shooters must shoot with only one hand while firing at targets at 10-50 meters.
There are other forms of competitive shooting as well, including Air rifle/BB Gun, Muzzleloaders, and Archery.
How to stay safe:
As the saying goes, “Safety first!” This is just as important of a guideline for youth as it is for an adult. The first step in keeping youth safe while enjoying shooting sports is to take a firearm safety class, and one of the other keys to staying safe is keeping your hearing from being damaged. Damage to hearing is the most common harm that users of firearms suffer, and the use of hearing protection should be one of the first safety habits to be formed for any sportsman.
In order to keep your hearing from being damaged you must find the right set of hearing protection. Between disposable earplugs, earmuffs, or higher quality in-ear hearing protection do whatever you can to keep youth safe while behind the barrel of a gun.
How to get involved:
The key to getting youth involved in shooting sports is first allowing them to be the one to get excited about the sport, and then finding organized groups in your area to get involve with. Two great resources are the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance (YSSA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Both of the resourcing will allow youth to enter into shooting sports from whatever level they are at and improve while staying safe and having fun.