My 1st range trip with my son


In the past I have written about Introducing your reluctant wife to shooting and self protection and it is something I have some experience with. My wife is a pediatrician that grew up in a gun free home.

My wife didn’t want guns in the home. She didn’t understand why I would get a concealed carry license. She didn’t understand why I started the blog.

Saying she is pro-gun would be a stretch… but now we have guns, a reloading room, she has a HD pistol, a concealed carry license, asks to make sure I am carrying, we have opened the store and the concept is no longer odd.  Still, this was a milestone Christmas in the Larimer household. My wife finally let my oldest fire a gun on a Christmas Eve range trip.

And as say uncle often says, these pictures are why we win.

Aiden’s First Shots

The thumbs up picture with the closed bolt is his response after firing the his 1st round.

The rifle is his Cooper Firearms Jackson Squirrel Rifle chambered in .17 Mach 2. With a 2.5-8X Leupold VX-II scope that has been re-paralaxed to 50yds. The gun was purchased for him by my father after he was born. It has a custom serial number of his birthday and the scope is engraved with his name.

In addition to being a really nice gun, it is important to our family because of the manufacturer. Cooper Firearms hosts a one-shot competition each year where competitor have one shot to hit a 0.25″ dot at 150 yrds and the closest to the dot wins. My father has won 3 paintings in the competition and a rifle.

When my dad presented the gun to Aiden (he was about 18mos old) we took a photo and as of the SHOT Show last year I was told it is still hanging in the company lobby… even though they have moved facilities.

aiden_10-22After a about 100 rounds through the bolt action I let him shoot my custom 10/22.

While it was the 1st time he was allowed to shoot, he isn’t a stranger to guns and it can be seen in his form. (Notice his finger.)

One thing that made me very proud was his awareness of the scope shadow. Because of his size he couldn’t get into position with the proper eye relief. So he asked to dial the magnification down until he had a clear picture.

I thought that was pretty mature.

aiden_targetBesides shooting 2 nice rimfires, we tried to make the trip fun with our choice of targets.

Even at 50 yards is can be difficult to see where the little .22 is hitting (and even more so for the .17). It can also be very discouraging for a new shooter to be aiming at a little 1″ dot and have trouble hitting it.

The MGM silhouette I use for pistols however makes a splatter that can be seen with the naked eye, a satisfying “ping” with each spot and doesn’t  have a small specific aiming point that can be discouraging.

Families Shooting

While my son and I had a great morning, it was also great to see the other 2 families on the range.

One father was shooting .308 bolt guns with his 14-15 year old son.

The other father was there with his 2 adult sons shooting AR’s and a variety of military surplus style guns.

I know I still enjoy shooting with my father and I hope this 1st trip shooting with my son will be the start of a lifetime  of future range trips.


  1. Dann in Ohio says

    What great memories you both will have… We started my daughter young… and continue to work with youth as we get ready to begin another year with 4H Shooting Sports in January… imagine if your wife had the experience your son had when she was growing up… what a change in the learning/comfort curve that might have made…

    Dann in Ohio

  2. John Reh says

    I totally agree with Dann in Ohio. We started our daughter young and got her involved in the county 4H Shooting Sports program at age 8. She now competes in the air rifle and small bore programs in 4H, I have become a rifle instructor for the program. I get to take kids for their 1st trip to the range every year now. It is an awesome situation.

  3. Ron says

    Wow, worked with your Dad, watched you grow up, and to read this brings a tear to my eye! Tell the family we here in G- town say Hi!
    Your neighbor Ron

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