Sunday, November 29, 2009

“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!” Part 1 – Air Rifles

…this doesn’t have to be true or even a threat this holiday season, if you’re considering getting your child or grandchild an air rifle. When I say “air rifle,” this also includes the whole family of pneumatic firearms, which also take in pellet and BB guns. The first and foremost safety rule is, Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction. If this were the only rule that people followed, there would never be an accident! Also see my blog, Oops, Sorry About Your Cat.

There are many companies out there that market and sell air rifles, the primary ones most advertized include Crosman , Daisy and Gamo. Within those companies, you have probably a hundred to choose from, ranging from $30 to well over $500, but be sure of this – all of these companies make fine equipment. Which one to buy? That’s a great question, but to answer it you need to ask yourself why you are buying the rifle for your youngster?

Air rifles are for competition, training, hunting, recreational plinking, and for potentially getting some kids in deep trouble. Adult supervision is always required for kids shooting air rifles, not just as a good precaution but in some cases, it is the law. Be Aware - modern air rifles, even the least expensive ones can easily kill a domestic pet or cause serious property damage.

Now to the point of really helping you to buy the right one for your young Olympian or hunter to be… 1) do your research before you buy. Each of the companies I mention have very informative web pages, and may give you a discount if your child belongs to a bona-fide youth shooting sports program. 2) Look around locally for youth programs such as scouts or 4-H. They can provide shooting opportunities for your child with air rifles and some of them may allow you to try some of their guns prior to purchase, or inform you of special purchasing options to save you money. In addition, they will more than likely host or attend competitive events which may require a specific gun, or one with special requirements. 3) I would consider this most important – consider this an opportunity to have a fun, safe, healthy outdoor hobby with your young family member so as to make memories and establish safe habits for a life time.

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