Kids and three gun
Since joining the great guys at Texas Multigun I have decided to make the family sport 3 Gun. I have bought all the gear they need. And we set up a long stage in the backyard to cycle them through all the appropriate challenges that they might experience in a real match. With the caveat to attending and participating in a real three gun match being that they must be able to execute the entire “home” stage without missing targets or committing any major no no’s along the way.
Many people have asked me many times why I would want my kids (all six of them) to have anything to do with three gun. There are many reasons.
Why three gun with your kids
First and foremost the logistics of taking this kid to football, and that kid to soccer, and the other kid to dance, and so on is a nightmare with a family of this size. If we all go to a three gun event once or twice a month we have time to manage all the other activities that having a full production farm in your backyard throws at you.
Second, I have been looking for an option for quite some time that would allow the entire family to participate (parents included) and truly enjoy the time being spent together. Also, three gun has the very nice ability of allowing every person, regardless of age, gender, physical make up, etc. to compete on near fair terms. They all use the same weapons and rig. They have the same training facility in the back yard. He/she who puts in the most time at home will most likely win in their mini-competition out on the range. Also, mama and papa bear can compete too! I can’t imagine how I am going to live down the day that one of my kids beats me out on the course though. A happy/sad day!
Third, whether you believe in the zombie apocalypse, end of the world, government melt downs, what have you – knowing how to shoot, move, and communicate – is going to be far more superior than how to catch a ball or twirl on your toes.
Fourth, and probably more important to me than any other, if you live in a house full of guns (as my kids are) I am a firm believer that everyone should know how to operate each and every weapon, know how to enjoy it, and know how to be safe around it. Respect is built out of knowledge and use of the weapon. Not hiding it in the gun safe only to be accidentally found one day while the parents are out at the store…that is how bad things happen.
Fifth, a family that plays together stays together!
Our path to three gun
Ever since moving to Texas we have always had a small range out back. We shot from the top of the hill down into one of our pond embankments (a sort of berm). We set up some paper targets there. We also have some 1/4” steel targets that swing when hit…upside down lollipops. This was quite fun initially but faded pretty fast.
Then we migrated to shooting clays. We started with a plastic hand thrower. Then we went to a mechanical thrower. Then we went to a car powered automated thrower that is on a wobbler. That is still fun during a bbq type event. But the kids never beg to go shoot clays. So for the most part that toy stays in storage.
Then we started to look into mounted shooting. This had too many barriers to entry though. Not all the kids ride our horses quite well enough yet…to also shoot from them. I only have a couple of horses that I would trust the kids on which means that some horses wouldn’t get enough attention and others would be ridden too much on play day. And then there is a matter of buying all the gear that goes with cowboy style events. I thought this was going to be way to costly to really get the whole family involved (I hadn’t met three gun yet).
And then we went to a three gun match with TXMG. From my Ranger days I already knew that I loved to shoot and be around things that go boom. What boy doesn’t? Given that all my kids love to play Call of Duty I knew we would also have a good match with the kids. So we expanded the paper target range a bit. We built a medium distance long range course. I put up a wall to give us windows and covered firing scenarios. Then we put out some paper targets and clays for shot guns in the forest. And there is a path in and around the two ponds we have for run and gun fun with the pistol. This ends with shooting over our last pond with the pistol for some longer range pistol practice.
The wall prior to going out to the stage.
We now make our ‘paper’ targets out of 1/4” foam board. These last quite a while!
Here is my youngest (9) with her 22lr M4 and a 22lr M&P. The M4 is still a bit heavy for her off the wall.
We use balloons for quite a few targets. Perhaps a mounted shooting carry over?
How do you get a little girl to fire a shot gun at 9? Remove the scary kick part that her big brothers complain about all the time.
Middle sister helping little sister. There is a lot of this in three gun. Its like for the kids and the adults.
We love the M&P for kids. We tried a lot of 22’s. This one is easy to operate for the kids. And it shoots just about any crappy bullet you throw at it.
My shooter! I think that my oldest twin is by far my most talented shooter. He can just pick it up and hit the targets. I can’t wait to see him on a real stage.
They all like the run and gun part of the range the best. This part of the course turns left at the hostage and continues on to a few more running targets.
I have them finish by shooting over the pond at targets on the far bank. Not shooting hostages at this range is quite fun after running hard.
With any luck you will meet my monsters at a TXMG match one day very soon.