Follow up on Scouts shooting muskets

poorjack

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Jul 17, 2015
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NC
Cross posted from another forum cause I'm a bit tired and this says it all.-



Well the last week of camp is done.

We worked with over 250 Scouts through the 7 total days we visited camp. The number could have been well north of 300 had we not gotten rained out on 2 of the scheduled open troop shoots.

About 1600+ rounds were fired during the sessions. The donated Zouave muskets ran fine. A properly balanced minie round can be shot without wiping many times. My record was 53 with no fall off in accuracy. How do I know about the accuracy, read the next to last paragraph about the kid shooting the gongs off the chains at 50yds.

Some observations-
Teaching kids to shoot well is fun and rewarding. I personally worked with about 80+ kids during the sessions and there were only 3 that I wasn't able to be successful with. I had most nailing crackers offhand on the wire in about 30min. The cracker presents the same aspect as an 8in black at 100yds. Of the three I wasn't able to get figured out, one was severely cross dominant. He insisted he wasn't and after about an hour with him, I convinced him that he was cross dominant and to live with it and shoot left handed. He tried as we were running out of time and started hitting the target. Maybe not exactly a fail but I noticed his cross dominance early but didn't insist he try something different. Lesson learned. One kid just shouldn't have been on the range. I'm sure he was there because his friends were and he seemed terrified the whole time. He fired a few shots, didn't hit and insisted on sitting well back from the line. Last kid, not sure why. His form was great, follow through and steadiness was great, he just couldn't connect. He did wear glasses though and we were out of time before I could explore that with him.

Kids of all ages love to shoot reactive targets. The standard stuff was just ho hum. When we switched to "puff boards" (drywall squares) they really knuckled down and general marksmanship improved. The "Cracker Challenge" was a great hit. After 2nd week, we started to get lots of leaders from troops in the main camp coming to visit the primitive range and watch kids busting crackers with Civil War muskets. Some kids decided shooting the wires and clothespins holding the targets was even more fun, even though they swore with angelic innocence that it wasn't on purpose, yeah, about that. Good shootin guys! Mustard packs make interesting targets. A hit from a 58 minie makes for a very Jackson Pollock type of mess and it can be smelled from 25yds away over the black powder smoke and the jokes about Col Mustard's demise at the hands of Professor Plum with the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch were hilarious (this is Scout camp remember!). There was one kid in one open shoot where the target was steel gongs at 50yds and I swear he was shooting at a spot that would dislodge the gongs from the chains. Three gongs were almost completely knocked to the ground and he was the one shooting each time.

My conclusion- this was an extremely worthwhile effort and I sincerely hope the board of the NSSA is game to expand it. Without support from the folks at Schutzen, S&S and Lodgewood and PJ Kelly, we would never have been able to put this on for the kids. We have a dedicated Merit Badge session scheduled and two troop shoot requests.
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Robert E Lee 1

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Jul 3, 2019
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I'm a lefty shooter but I'm trying to break out of the habit however is it safe to shoot a musket left
 

3rdTennCo.C

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Oct 9, 2018
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As a staffman of the Owassippe scout reservation I say keep it up! Kids love muzzleloaders and love the history with it if they are something like antiques or military arms, I let scouts fire my personal muskets and shotguns and they love it, keep it up!
 

Rogue

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Thanks for sharing and great work with the scouts. Definitely something they will always remeber. My son's favorite thing at Boy Scout summer camp was always the shooting. He won best shot one year, even beat the adults! Keep up the great work.
 

poorjack

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This young lady was the daughter of one of the Scoutmasters. Turns out, she was one of the best shots over the summer. The muskets were a bit large for her to hold offhand so she started out with my Thompson White Mountain Carbine. She moved over to muskets on a benchrest where she proceeded to shoot off the wires holding her dad's target. Not that she had any encouragement to do so................

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Another Scout from the same session. He's shooting one of the craptastic plastic guns the camp owned. He he hit some stuff, but that gun is really not very good. Switched to musket and he did great.
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poorjack

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NC
So who had more fun, you or the youngsters?
I'd say probably equal proportions:D

It really is quite satisfying to work with a kid who, at the start, couldn't hit a paper plate at 25yds and get him to the point where he's smacking ritz crackers off the line at the same distance, and all in about an hour, using a Civil War musket no less.
 


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