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Thread: Kids and shooting...

  1. #1
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    Default Kids and shooting...

    Last summer I bought my son a CZ 452 Scout. (He was 7.) I focused mainly on safety. He follows those rules 100% and for that I am very happy.

    The problem is that he has trouble closing one eye. I have noticed that he is like me, right handed, but left eye dominate.

    Currently the gun has a scope but I am wondering if I should try some peep sights. I have found I do much better with them.

    I got a late start and am still learning to shoot well my self. So I am looking for advice on teaching kids to shoot in general, and also hoping someone has some experience with the eye issue.

    I have 3 more after him. So I want to make sure I am am teaching well!

  2. #2
    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    I too am left eye dominant, but learned to shoot right handed. I first learned to shoot with peep sights. Over the years I learned to keep both eyes open with scopes. This may be, because my right eye stregthened over the years. I do not know if will happen with every left eyed person.

    In any event, I think he is young enough to switch him to left hand shooting. This is preferred, if he is truly left eye dominant.

    Test: have him make a 1" circle with both hands outstretched directly in front of him with his head straight forward. Tell him to look through the hole at a small object at least 15 feet away. As he is looking at it cover his left eye with your hand. If he cannot see it anymore he is left eye dominant. To confirm, do it again, this time cover the right eye, he should report that he can still see the object.

  3. #3
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default Don't fight eye dominance

    Teach him to shoot left handed. Especially with kids who are cross dominant, they will take to shooting rifles or shotguns with the "weak" hand very easily. Forcing him to use the non dominant eye will create more problems for you and he may never get very good accuracy. If needed, find another left-handed shooter to teach him how to hold and operate the gun properly in a left handed hold.
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  4. #4
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    I bought my son a Cricket .22 last summer when he turned 7 too. He's doing well, but the perplexing thing is it seems his dominate eye switches from left to right. He recently got glasses, so maybe that will correct "things" and allow us to determine which eye is truly dominate. I guess it's time to take him shooting again.

  5. #5
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    Default Try this:

    Have your son look at a small object across the room. Put his arms out and form a small circle with his hands, thumbs overlapped and fingers on top of each other. With both eyes open, keep the object in the center of the circle and move his hands towards his face until they touch his face. His dom. eye should be under his hands.

    I always suggest left handed, left eyed flolks shoot left handed. I have to shoot long guns left handed.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Sounds like you're doing a good job...

    You started with safety, and it sounds like he's getting it...good job dad.

    The next thing to do is BE SURE of your son's left or right eye dominance, which should be established by now (you said he is 7 or 8, right?). There are different ways to check dominance, here are a couple of methods that I've used with children in the clinic.

    http://www.archeryweb.com/archery/eyedom.htm

    IF he is left-eye dominant DON'T try to switch him, teach him to shoot left-handed. It's doable. My daughter is right-handed/left-eyed, and I taught her to shoot left-handed.

    Let your son shoot with both eyes open...it's actually better in the long run. If he grows up to be a competitive match shooter, he can wear an eye patch. Keeping both eyes open while shooting in the field is a plus when hunting...wish I could do it.

    Lastly, make sure you are having fun together. Don't spend too long at the range (time moves different for kids...an hour at the range is long enough). Also, targets aren't usually as much fun for kids as they are for adults. If you are shooting at a range, see if they have some "gong targets" (metal targets that make a gong sound and spin when hit), or see if it's ok to set up clays, which are fun for kids to hit. If you're shooting in a gravel pit in our state, then...well just be imaginative, safe, and pick-up the debris when finished.

    Scope, peep or open field sights is pretty much up to you. Stay with what you have for right now. If shooting is a big part of your life, and your son is enjoying the shooting time together, then I would have open field sights on the rifle and a scope with quick release rings/bases...that whay you can practice either way.

    Good for you for introducing your son to the shooting world.

  7. #7
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd get rid of the scope until he has mastered iron sights. My daughter has been bugging me to put a scope on her Henry mini-bolt for quite some time now.....actually, it started right after she shot my scoped 10-22! Once she can hit really well with the iron sights I will be considering a scope (which won't be long the way she is going...).

    Shooting open sights is a foundational skill kids need to learn IMO and it may help your son get his eye dominance figured out as well.
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  8. #8
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    AK mud has good advice. I taught both of our girls to shoot with open sights for the first two years with one of those small "chipmunk" or what ever. After they were proficient with the open sights, I put a fixed 4 power on it and things worked out. My older daughter was left eye dominent but seems to shoot ok closing her eye with the open sights and then with the scope. The youngest is on the high school rifle team so things are working out. Made a good 215 yard shot at a caribou too. (Sorry, had to throw that in)

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