We are having good teaching results with the Pistolero and 22 caliber insert prior to taking the Scouts to the range for live fire. I have used the shotgun wire you provided and have taped it to a .22 bolt rifle. The wire is the one with a microswitch and we clip it to the trigger. I prefer no more than 8 scouts to a class depending on age, the younger the fewer for more attention. The scouts show up at the first 1-1/2 hour session and must have the rifle merit badge book and have downloaded and printed the Rifle Merit Badge Worksheet from the National website.
At the second session I have one side of the scout room set up as a range and have four targets on the wall at the furthest distance I can get, up to 50 feet. I have four prone positions with empty rifles and one bench position with the Pistolero equipped rifle and a Pistolero red target in front of the bench position zeroed in. We start the second session with a quick review of all the worksheet requirements and explain so the scouts can fill in what they didn’t have or did not understand. Then we move over to the range and teach the boys the prone position and how to use the rest. We go through the five fundamentals and have them dry fire with an emphasis on aiming and hold control. We try to get the boys to really understand the sight picture which is difficult for many. As my dad helpers work the boys in the prone position, I take the scouts most ready to the bench position with the Pistolero equipped rifle. I instruct them on the bench position and have them cock the bolt and take aim. When they say they have a good sight picture with the front blade at six o’clock on the bull I have them bring their finger to the trigger and press the laser microswitch. Now we see if they do have a good sight picture. Many are surprised at how far off they are. I have them correct and remind them of their points of contact for hold have them do breath control and squeeze the trigger.
The scouts that do not have the rifle firmly to their shoulder or a good cheek weld and/or jerk the trigger now see a dancing red laser on the target. Now we can teach the proper aim, breath control, hold control, trigger control, and follow through without live ammo and actually see if the scout is doing it. The scouts can see their mistakes. We rotate the scouts through the 22 caliber Pistolero position and have those that show understanding practice prone position dry fire. We finish up the session with a little home work for those who need it.
We have scheduled live fire at a local range for the weekend to have each scout qualify with five three shot groups that all shots can be covered or touched with a quarter, and then five – five shot groups that can be covered or touched with a quarter. For the third session we meet at the range early and review the range rules, safety rules, and the five fundamentals of rifle shooting. We then have the scouts hang their targets and start qualifying. On the first group I ran using the 22 caliber Pistolero we had good shooting from five of the seven scouts as they finished both shooting requirements very quickly with minimum shots. Just outstanding results because of the Pistolero dry fire exercise during the second session! We could see and correct their errors with the Pistolero that we wouldn’t have seen until we were at the range during live fire. We were now able to give the two scouts having difficulty more time and got them qualified as well. We had two hours of donated time for two lanes at the range and got finished in that period of time. I am sure we would have had to schedule more live fire range time for the scouts to shoot qualifying scores if it were not for the use of the Pistolero.
Thank you for setting me up with the long wire and microswitch trigger clip. It works great!