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Good Local News on Guns

A neighboring school district seems to be building an air rifle range:

Bensalem High School will soon have a marksmanship training site for the school’s Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

The Bensalem school board agreed Wednesday night to allow the site to be established in a vacant area above the high school pool.

Currently, officers’ training corps students go off-site to train with the air rifles, but transportation has been an issue because the kids had to get there on their own after school, district officials said.

The on-site training area will enable students to train with the 1.77-millimeter air rifles five days a week, Superintendent James Lombardo said. The more time they have to practice, the more competitive they can be during marksmanship competitions, he said.

Well, OK, they got 1.77mm wrong, it’s .177 caliber in English units, or 4.5mm in metrics.  You can’t expect too much of reporters on guns.  But I’m happy to hear the local high school will have an airgun range.  Hopefully they won’t have any people objecting like they did in San Diego.

Air guns are a great way to get people into the shooting sports.  The equipment to get started is inexpensive, ammunition is cheap, and you can easily practice in your basement if you have one (which I don’t, unfortunately).  I got my start on air guns as a kid.  I didn’t own my own firearm until I was 26, and that was only because I was pissed off at Bill Clinton trying to ban them.  Then I remembered I used to enjoy shooting, and it was trouble for my bank account from that point forward.

If we are to have a new generation of shooters, we should be working to help get airgun teams at our local schools.

6 Responses to “Good Local News on Guns”

  1. hsoi says:

    Don’t forget about other youth shooting opportunities, such as offered by Boy Scouts or 4-H.

  2. JJR says:

    Bensalem High School deserves a hearty Marine Corps OOHRAH for going to bat for their MCJROTC…how cool!

    My only question is, if they’re building an outdoor range for them, why not kick it up a notch and let them practice with .22s? Some nice bolt actions, maybe, or maybe a Ruger semiauto with external magazine.

    I was on my High School NJROTC pistol team for a few years, and we fired .177 lead pellets from a single-stroke air pistol. We would practice after school in the NJROTC room, placing a tarp up on one wall, and pellet traps to hang targets from, and the front door of the classroom would be locked. Rifle team would practice indoors, too.

    I know that for competition purposes, MCJROTC is going to only compete in air gun categories, so they need to keep their skills up with that particular platform, but if they can practice outside now, it’d be a shame not to push to use .22s out there. I got to shoot .22s at the Marine Military Academy summer camp down in Harlingen, Texas back in the 1980s. Nothing quite like learning the “4 rules” from a tough-as-nails retired Marine DI…

  3. FatWhiteMan says:

    My high school JROTC unit competed against other schools with .22s. When did everyone start using BB Guns? Good grief.

  4. Sebastian says:

    They aren’t BB guns, they are air rifles. They shoot pellets. BB guns are typically smooth bore, and not accurate beyond 10 yards. There are a lot of reasons for a high school to do air guns, as opposed to rifles. For one, you can get away with a much cheaper range using airguns. If you look at the requirements for firearms ranges, they are wild. I’ve set up an air gun range in my kitchen.

    The equipment and ammunition is much cheaper. But most importantly, you can teach the fundamentals of shooting with air guns just as well as you can with a firearm. Sure, you don’t learn recoil management as well, but the same can be said for a .22.

    And yes, parents are less likely to raise hell about the school putting in an air gun range. If we’re going to get the shooting sports back into schools, this is the way to do it.

  5. When I was a kid, we called them pellet rifles.

  6. teqjack says:

    Good.

    And JJR, it seems to be an indoor range (“… a vacant area above the high school pool.”), not outdoor.

    Pellet guns? Sounds like CO2 cartridge guns, the usual thing. A few German firms make actual air rifles, like the one Doyle described being usd in an attempt on Holmes’ life. Far from cheap, and useable for hunting.

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