Just the other day a young man and his mother stopped by the shop to buy his first real rifle. This young man walked in and asked for a Ruger America in .17 HMR with a stainless steel barrel polymer stock and threaded for a muzzle brake. I told him that I didn't have one in stock and one would be ordered if he liked. At this point I picked up almost the same firearm but in 22 magnum. I opened the action and show clear and safe as I showed him the
rifle. I asked his mother if it was OK to let him handle the rifle and she agreed with a smile and thanks. This is where
the magic happened…
The young man (whom we will call Brock) reached over as I placed the rifle in his hands. Finger high and tight
along the stock (so everyone could see it was not on the trigger) he looked at the chamber making sure it was
clear with no ammo in the chamber or action. Keeping the muzzle l pointed in a safe direction he said in a clear
voice "Clear." He then asked if he could shoulder the rifle and I agreed. Once again checking the action and leaving
the bolt open he raised the gun looked down the sights and said he liked it. I told Brock about the goods and the
bad of the .17 vs .22 and told him to do some research. A few days later he once again showed up with his mother and said after doing some reading, the .17 HMR was the gun for him. He asked if I would order one for him.
The point I am trying to make is a young man of 12 years of age could have such great firearms handling skills, knowledge of calibers and capabilities of the cartridge. If so, why do older shooters have a tendency to flag people,
put their finger on the trigger never check the chamber and the list goes on.
The answer is complacency. We older shooters could learn something from the kids we teach. For Brock it's still fresh in his mind, and the older shooters that's what they except. Let us, the older shooter, teach the young all of our good habits and none of the bad.
Be safe, and shoot straight.
1121 NE DIVISION ST.
GRESHAM, OR 97030