We do have a junior membership at Shanklin Rifle and Pistol Club for those under the age of 18 (full adult membership starts at the age of 18). The usual age that juniors can start shooting is around 12 or 13. However this is all dependant upon both their physical ability and their ability to understand the safety rules and be safe when using a rifle or pistol. If someone is under the age of 12, and they can handle a rifle or pistol safely, then their is no reason why they cannot take part in the sport and join the club.
These notes are here to help you decide if our kind of shooting is for you and/or your child.
The first point to understand is that being under 18 you will probably have to be brought by an adult who will have to stay with you and return you home at the end of a session. Most juniors come with their parents because their parents are shooting members of the club, it is rare for a junior to find a willing adult to fetch and carry them if they are not an active shooter themselves. Do you have a suitable volunteer? Remember that your adult will have to stay at the club the whole time that you are shooting.
The second point is that precision target shooting can seem quite boring from a spectator's point of view. Some juniors are desperate to get into shooting, but then lose all interest within half an hour of seeing what is actually involved.
The third point is that we are a private members club; we do not employ people to run the range and ensure the safety of specific individuals. In this respect we are quite different say, to a public swimming bath, which has resident attendants to safeguard users. Nor are we a municipal training facility like an athletics track which is funded from taxation and which by definition is open to all.
We do not shoot at moving targets, we only use fixed paper targets. We do not dress-up in combat clothing, or have badges of rank etc.
Admittance to the club is on a case-by-case basis, so the best advice is to make an appointment by getting in contact with the club and arrange a date for a visit. It is much better to come along and see for yourselves than it is to read an article on this website.
Visitors are not expected to assist in the operation of the range and there is no obligation, or expectation that they will be required to undertake any tasks during their first visit. On the other hand both Members and Probationary members are required to help in the running of the club, and this also applies to juniors. Just because you are under 18 does not mean that you excused from any tasks; if you are old enough to shoot, you are old enough to help out.