Once each year, we move over to the Bullskin Trail Black Powder Club's shooting range for some instruction, training, and shooting fun with a lot of different black powder firearms. The kids get a chance to learn about the history and heritage of many firearms that helped build this country, also why the second amendment is as important today, as it was two-hundred-plus years ago.
There's even an original log cabin moved from a family's homestead here in the county. This is a primitive facility as the restroom is up a hill, then the third tree to the left. You can see some of our 4Her's learning about black powder guns including terms like flintlock, cap and ball, and ramrod. It's also a lot of fun for them to see where so many sayin's and phrases come from like "flash in the pan", "keep your powder dry", "don't go off half-cocked", "were taking everything... lock, stock, and barrel"... even "bury the hatchet".
All the folks had an opportunity to do some hatchet or tomahawk throwing 'cause in those pioneering days, once you shot your rifle... the slow reloading meant you better have a back-up plan.
The wife and I spent some time with our daughter shooting (above) and one of our club's first-year members whose mom is also in her first year as a certified instructor posed for a quick photo-op on the range (below). Start'em young and the apple won't fall far from the tree.
Gunpowder and lead with black powder firearms have real meaning for the kids. Talkin' about lead balls, powder horns, paper and cloth patches, smooth-bore muskets, rifled muskets, six-shooters... it was all there today.
Modern in-line black powder guns are pretty reliable, even high tech... but the accuracy and thumping boom of a Hawken or Kentucky Rifle is still pretty fierce. A .54 caliber ball isn't anything to laugh at, whether you're a buffalo, a grizzly bear, or even a two-legged adversary.
Some of those old smoke poles were longer than a few of our shooters were tall.
We even had a one gal's shooting experience turn out to be just a "flash in the pan".
It wasn't just all daughters on the range today, we had a good showing by the guys.
Trigger squeeze, sight alignment, sight picture, breathing... BANG! Safety and fundamentals still count and there was a lot of lead sent down range today at the targets for practice. It's always fun to watch the confidence of these kids build with each shot.
We have a lot of gals in our 4H Shooting Sports and I've had a lot of gals come through my NRA and Ohio CCW courses over the years... more so in the last few years. I hope interest from the gals keeps building.
We're very glad to have gone shooting with our daughter on the first National Take your Daughter to the Range day... but in many ways I hope that someday, gals going to the range is such a natural thing, we won't need a special day to remind folks to take our little gals shooting...
Until then, lets just keep using it as an occasion to remember our... Daughters and a Heritage of Gun Powder and Lead.