TargetShooting Canada

Re: young pistol shooter classification

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Posted by KeithS ( on June 19, 2007 at 01:49:57:

In Reply to: young pistol shooter classification posted by gordon on June 18, 2007 at 18:45:23:

I am assuming that you and your son are in Canada. I am not sure of the classification system in other countries.

sub-junior is ages up to 16 yrs of age
Junior is 16 to 18 inclusive
International-junior is 19 to 20
At age 21 they become adult shooters

At our club, and within our province (Sask) we have a variety of juniors shooting, from as young as 8 yrs old. We do not teach two-handed shooting. The juniors shoot one-handed with a rest up to the age of twelve. Depending on their physical development they may start shooting without the rest before that time.

The rest is actually a system that supports the main weight of the pistol. This prevents unwanted strain on the shoulder muscles that are still developing with young athletes. The shooter then still develops the stance and technique for one-handed shooting without placing any strain on the arm and shoulders.

We are currently re-designing the system we were using before to be similar to what they use in Europe for young shooters. Our provincial coach gained valuable information from some coaches about the system they use.

Essentially the first device we designed was a clamped post system with a light string/fishing line with a small metal loop that supported the barrel of the pistol. The disadvantage was that the young shooters started pushing down on the support with the pistol, and using it as a stabilizing mechanism for shooting, rather than as a weight support only.

The European system uses a counterweight/pully system that supports the bulk of the weight of the pistol. The advantage of this system is that the young shooter cannot "lean" the pistol on the device for extra support and leverage to gain stability. The counterweight value is approximately the weight of the pistol being used by the shooter.

I hope that I have explained it okay... it is hard to fully explain. However, once you see a system in action with a young shooter it is fully understandable.
It does not cost much to set up a shooting rest for a young shooter. In fact, they feel more comfortable shooting one handed using a rest as it is the "same as the other kids" rather than shooting two handed.
If they have trained properly with the rest, the change to shooting without one is not dramatic in consequence for their scores or mental attitude.

There are a number of good quality air pistols designed for young shooters. They are lighter in weight, slightly smaller in size, and have smaller grips, some that are also designed for both left & right handed shooters so the pistol can be shared.

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