What iffing; NRA Basic Rifle loaner EQ

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by lklawson, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    OK, let me preface this by saying, this question is 100% hypothetical! It does not currently apply to me and probably never will.

    As most of you know (and many of you helped achieve), I've become an NRA certified instructor in Basic Rifle specifically with the intention of teaching Boy Scouts in my son's troop (and possibly other nearby troops). Up until recently the BSA required Merit Badge Counselors to teach to their Rifle Shooting Merit Badge curriculum but accepted the NRA Basic Rifle Instructor certification as acceptable credential for Range Instructors for the merit badge. Recently, they've allowed for the substitution of the actual NRA Basic Rifle course, which I think is a fine idea.

    However, through it all, BSA has specified that the rifles to be used are to be in .22LR or some other small-bore rimfire and that the rifles must, further, be either single shot or bolt-action, providing that a magazine fed bolt-action be fired with the magazine removed. Semi-auto rifles and tube-fed rifles are prohibited from the BSA course.

    That said, there has been completely unconfirmed gossip that the BSA might allow for more flexibility in following the NRA Basic Rifle options and allowances may be made for semi-autos and/or certain center-fire cartridges. The gist of it being that someone at BSA may be daydreaming of including semi-auto .22's, lever-action .22's, and/or PCC's. Whatever the case, I don't really expect it to happen. There's significant inertia on the single-shot .22LR rifle requirement and that is what is in the armory of every BSA scout camp rifle range.

    So, on to the what-iffing. If a hypothetical (and quite unlikely) policy change were to occur which would allow for the inclusion of semi-autos, lever-guns, and pistol calibers, what firearms would you prefer were you to teach or if it were your son taking the Rifle Shooting Merit Badge? The 995TS or another PCC? Maybe .38SPL lever guns? .22LR lever guns? .22LR simi-autos? Or just stick with .22LR single-shots?

    Again, let me state that this is 100% hypothetical. I am firmly on the .22LR single/boltie path. This is merely a mental exercise. But if you were designing it ground-up for 10yo-17yo boys, remembering that they usually don't wait too long before wanting to get the Rifle Shooting Merit Badge, what would be your specifications for the rifles used?

    Peace favor your sword,
  2. I am all about the single/ Bolt gun. 22LR. it makes it easy to teach, and when the kid shoots, and turns around with the barrel pointing in EVERY direction, i don't have to actually sh*t my pants.

    Just correct him like i did.

    I also think it helps take away the anxious feelings. I know teaching young kids, and my wife. They get anxious when there is a round chambered unless they are about to pull the trigger. Then they Fumble all over looking for the safety, the magazine release, or just put it back on the table. If there is only 1 shot, they shoot, see how they did. then load another.

    And i don't think it is too much of a restriction. Bolts and Single's are cheap and plentiful.

  3. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    What he said. Bolt gun or break action is still the best way to go, at least until you have had some time with the kids.

    If not a bolt gun, I want 2-3 mags, the spotter can load one per mag, and keep things under control.

    Tube guns...love 'em, but not for this purpose.
  4. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    I would go with the Ruger 10/22. To start their training you can use single round magazines, and as they progress you can switch to a magazine that allows more rounds. You then have your single shot as well as your semi-auto benefits in one rifle. You also have no worries of a kid putting more then one round into a magazine.


  5. That is true, but i don't see the point in ever giving them semi's in the BSA program. It is all about accuracy, slow paced shots. and safety. things that breaks/ Bolts. historically do best. If a kid wants to blast away, he needs to talk mommy and daddy into it. not the BSA
  6. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    True, and you can teach that just as well with a 10/22 using a single round magazine in a semi-auto. From an instructional stand point, the 10/22 also makes sense because of the fact that it is semi-auto. While I have seen no studies on it, I would make an assumption that many of the youths who get their merit badge and go on to become firearm owners will purchase and use semi-auto's. So why not train them in advance on them? If the instruction is done properly, I don't think they will be "blasting away".

  7. Johnny_B_Goode

    Johnny_B_Goode Member

    There are plenty of 10 to 17 year old kids who I would send out in the woods with a semi auto rifle. But I am able to spend time with each kids to be sure hunter safety is a priority for that kid.

    The biy scouts have to deal with kids of varying levels of experience and maturity. Given that the Boy scouts are not able to evaluate each kid I would stick to bolt action rifles. They jury is still out on tube fed rifles. The tube fed bolt actions maybe a necessity. Most of your tube fed bolt actions eat 22LR, 22L and 22S ammo. Right now the boy scouts have plenty of time to find enough ammo for everyone at a reasonable cost.

    But in the future we do not know if 22 ammo will be so easy to get. Manufacturers are more than willing to buy machinery to make more guns. Manufacturers don't say we don't know if current demand is just temporary. But despite all the guns that have been sold recently more machinery to manufacture more ammo is not being rolled out.
  8. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    So you are going to get one of the most expensive .22 guns around...then buy extra odd mags for it...to shoot paper??

    See, it's just a very brief intro. And often, you don't have one kid, you have twelve.

    Here's the ONLY shooting that needs to be done, this is the .22 option, you can also use BB guns, or muzzle loaders.

    "Using a .22 caliber rimfire rifle and shooting from a benchrest or supported prone position at 50 feet, fire five groups (three shots per group) that can be covered by a quarter. Using these targets, explain how to adjust sights to zero a rifle.

    Adjust sights to center the group on the target* and fire five groups (five shots per group). According to the target used, each shot in the group must meet the following minimum score: (1) A-32 targets—9; (2) A-17 or TQ-1 targets—7; (3) A-36 targets—5."

    There's just no need to get a $200+ (normal price) gun to do this. Even used 10/22's are more expensive than new guns by other makers, in my AO.

    Edited to add the other gun qualifying.

    "Using a muzzleloading rifle of .45 or .50 caliber and shooting from a benchrest or supported prone position, fire three groups (three shots per group) at 50 feet that can be covered by the base of a standard-size soft drink can.
    Center the group on the target and fire three groups (five shots per group). According to the target used, each shot in the group must meet the following minimum score: (1) at 25 yards using NRA A-23 or NMLRA 50-yard targets—7; (2) at 50 yards using NRA A-25 or NMLRA 100-yard targets—7."

    "Using a BB gun or pellet air rifle and shooting from a benchrest or supported prone position at 15 feet for BB guns or 33 feet for air rifles, fire five groups (three shots per group) that can be covered by a quarter.
    Adjust sights to center the group on the target and fire five groups (five shots per group). According to the target used, each shot in the group must meet the following minimum score: (1) BB rifle at 15 feet or 5 meters using TQ-5 targets—8; (2) pellet air rifle at 25 feet using TQ-5 targets—8, at 33 feet or 10 meters using AR-1 targets—6.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  9. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    Go back and read Kirks OP. The question was what would "your" rifle be, not what is the current training and/or rifle allowed. He asked, I answered. Get over it. I stand by my selection of the 10/22. You are entitled to your opinion as I am to mine.

    " This is merely a mental exercise. But if you were designing it ground-up for 10yo-17yo boys, remembering that they usually don't wait too long before wanting to get the Rifle Shooting Merit Badge, what would be your specifications for the rifles used?"

  10. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    From a safety standpoint limit to single shot. I have taught 7 nieces and nephews to shoot, all started with a single shot and once they showed me the responsibility to keep it pointed in a safe direction we moved on. So for beginners single shot, more advanced could move into a tube or mag fed semi or bolt action.
  11. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    Umm...yeah. I get that. :cool:

    Maybe I didn't word it right, it was a question, but I didn't ask it directly.

    What I was asking is...why is that your opinion, seeing as you can spend less, get better accuracy, probably teach the skills better with a non-semi, and possibly be safer in the bargain?

    Notice I'm not totally against the idea, I even suggested a semi gun with multiple mags loaded with 1 round.

    I'm just wondering...why 10/22?
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Member

    I don't see how putting one round mags in a 10/22 would teach anything more than a bolt or break action single shot. If I understand this correctly, the BSA program is intended to teach a fairly specific set of basic skills. It isn't intended to "train" the kids, beyond those basics, for other shooting experiences.
  13. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    That's true.

    However, I admit that I was inviting speculation. I could teach the NRA Basic Rifle class straight up with the only restriction to it being to use single shot rimfire rifles. Basic Rifle is a little bit different than what has been the standard BSA Rifle Shooting MB. The skills taught between the two are mostly the same, but there are some variations. With that in mind, how much variation is acceptable for the general philosophical goal of a scouts riflery merit badge and, therefore, what rifles would be acceptable for those philosophical goals and still fit well with boys of scout age?

    Peace favor your sword,
  14. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    I think the ONLY reason for the BSA limitation to single shots is control of the firing line, and safety.

    Though there COULD be some of the old timer idea that a bolt gun is the only way to train a crack shot, as limiting bullets forces them to be more careful and work harder for precision.

    If I have only a few kids...say two or three per adult instructor...I feel like the mag fed semi gun would be no issue at all, I can keep the kid(s) under control so he/they are not just blowing off ammo, and with that few things to observe, I can catch bad situations quickly enough.

    I've even done it, I just tell each kid that we are taking turns, they can't shoot until I call the shot for them, as if I am their spotter, They think its a sniper thing, so it's cool.;)

    Sadly, the best/easiest way to earn the merit badge is probably the BB gun option. Even a cheap BB gun can usually keep a group at 15 feet, ammo is certainly cheap, and safety is relatively a non-issue as long as eye pro and no hard back stops are used.
  15. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Actually, the Baden-Powell Council has allowed us to switch over to semi-auto at the discretion of the instructor for the Merit Badge. The only requirement that added was instead of a single instructor for a dozen kids, they upped it two 2 instructors and an RSO when a semi-auto(s) is on the line.

    Also, The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia that my Troop went to this summer is running pilot programs specifically for semi-auto and large bore rifle shooting courses. My kids were one of the first groups to take part in it. Their Lead Instructor and Chief RSO is a former Left-Coast Marine Recon bubba who chewed some of the same mud I did and we got along from the jump.

    The big thing they are testing is, how young is too young, and what is the proper span of control. Right now, you have to be 16 or older to set foot on the range with a semi-auto or a large bore rifle, and a single instructor can have no more than 3 students at a time without adding an RSO or second instructor. They also have a pistol course that requires you to be 18 years of age to participate in.

    I'm not opposed to allowing semi-auto rifles in to the program. I like the fact that they are considering moving in to large bore rifles and pistols as well. I think a certain level of progression should be created and followed allowing the kids to advance to more complicated platforms as they exhibit proficiency. I had a kid on the line at the troop shoot that I was almost forced to physically haul off the line for refusing to follow my commands. He had no muzzle awareness, no trigger discipline, and no concept of safety. He wasn't one of my kids, but he ended up in my group. I wouldn't have given this kid a clothespin rubber band gun as bad as he was. As long as they can create the right program allowing for a transition through from BB guns to big bore center fires, I see it as a potentially fantastic idea that gives the kids a chance to step it up and stay interested. I made ALL my kids start out with pellet/BB guns.

    You could potentially create new merit badges with basic, intermediate, and advanced level marksman badges. Create an "Expert" Marksman Badge for the kids who manage to get through all of the rifle, pistol, and shotgun badges.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  16. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member


    I was aware of the possibility of a handgun program but the last I had heard of it they were kicking around the age of 16 as the minimum.

    Venture Scouts already do handgunning at 18, ims.

    Peace favor your sword,
  17. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    You are correct about the Venture Scouts and the current age requirement for pistols. When we were talking about it, they mentioned they wanted to be 100% sure it was legal for them to have 16 year olds with pistols. You know how insurance companies and the government work when it comes to clearing red tape.

    I will admit that the Scout Reserve showed me how out of shape I am though. We did a bit of a scoot and shoot competition between myself, two of my older boys, and Dave (the Instructor). I had the shoot part down, but I didn't have very much scoot. After too much scooting, the shooting went to sh*t as well. My boys didn't talk any trash about it, but Dave sure as hell did.
  18. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Tell em youre the designated marksman for the squad.....
  19. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I want a single shot, either a bolt with a manually operated striker or a break barrel with a hammer. Either way you can tell at a glance if it is safe or not. Just can't do that with any other action.
  20. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    I am firmly on the .22LR single/boltie path