Question of the Day: Is Your Kid a Better Shot Than You?


If I were hunting terrorists or transported to the world of The Walking Dead, I might be inclined to hang with the kid on the left rather than his dad. Kneepad Dad looks rock solid, but that boy’s got some serious ‘tude. I’m blessed with four girls. Only one of which lives with me – and she’s not the one who’s partial to firearms. In fact, the gun-ho girl lives in the firearms-free paradise known as Britain. Oh well. I get plenty of vicarious pleasure from watching other young boys and girls get to grips with guns…safe, smiling and serene. Talking to their moms and dads, I’ve learned that the majority of these young ‘uns . . .

are better shots than their parents. I think it has to do with the technology. Back in the day, before adjustable stocks were the norm and handguns were hardly handy, kids struggled with shooting. Not many children were fortunate enough to have access to “youth model” guns. These days, Crickets abound, there are compact shotguns aplenty and soft shooting ARs are everywhere. But what do I know? Are your kids better shots than you? If so, how great is that?


  1. avatar Dennis says:

    As a father of four (3 girls, 1 boy) very young children, oldest is only 7, I can’t say yet if they are better than dad. But as a firearms instructor I can tell you that many of my female students are better than the majority of my male students. The ladies just seem to listen better and dont think they can do it on their own.

    1. avatar YaDaddy says:

      I’ve seen the same thing when teaching the female gender to shoot for the first time. They just do what you tell them. Let’s face it, shooting ain’t that hard and if you just follow some simple principles…you’ll hit the target. Dudes muscle memory from playing Army all through childhood has them all screwed up and they assume they know what they’re doing.

    2. avatar justin_ga says:

      Same here! Instruct new shooters and women almost always are better shooters. Two reasons I think this happens. One they LISTEN!. Two they aren’t caught up in being “the best or an action star” which makes them ask way more questions and take way more advice. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a couple and the male walks away in a bad mood. I’ve tried different strategies over the years such as before we even shoot I flat out tell the male that his wife is going to be a better shooter. Though the same thing always happens….female is better shot which gets under the males skin and he become more stubborn.

  2. avatar DaveinLA says:

    Pistol – no
    Rifle – no

    .410 shotgun against flying clay pigeons – YES! She’s a consistent 90% or better hit ratio.

  3. avatar Another Robert says:

    My sons are–with long guns anyway, both were on championship 4-H shooting teams. My daughter–probably not. She’s not afraid of guns, she handled them fine on several social occasions that involved shooting (I mean like parties, we ran with a pretty interesting crowd), but she’s not really interested in them either.

  4. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    Kids, no.
    Wife, yes.

  5. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    NO-unless you count my ex-Army over 40 year old son. Video games do not count…

  6. avatar fishydude says:

    Yes. My daughter, on the first day she fired my new FNX45 shot what would have been a darn near perfect CH qual shoot. (She is not yet 21). 25 of 30 inside the 10. Of those 25, 10 with in the orange center. Only 1 was outside the 9.
    She has a very steady hand.

    1. avatar 2AMexican says:

      I hope you kept the target to show her prospective callers.

  7. avatar BobS says:

    Both my sons are Appleseed instructors, and I’m still struggling to make the qualifying score.

  8. avatar KingSarc48625 says:

    I can shoot handguns better than my father, but only because he bought his first handgun last year at 60 years old. I have a lot to learn with rifles and shotguns to get to his level. All the more reason to go shootin with dad.

    Hmm, I think my Sunday is no longer open. Its been a while.

  9. avatar John E> says:

    my 11 yr. old daughter is a far better shot with her 10/22.

  10. avatar AaronW says:

    Oh, you mean my daughter Colt Beretta? Or my son Barrett Winchester? Why of course they’re better shots than I am!

  11. avatar Grindstone says:

    No kids, but when I shot a gun for the first time as a kid (busting clays with a 20g single-shot) I did better than my dad, even though he taught me how to shoot.

  12. avatar Mark N. says:

    Depends. My son is my equal with handguns, not nearly as good with a rifle, but a crack shot with a twelve gauge. My daughter found she shoots handguns better left handed than right, and shoots decent groups, handles a .22 rifle well, but is a novice with a shotgun, as am I. And to top it off, she isn’t afraid to shoot any handgun you hand her; in fact, she would like to upgrade from her compact nine to a forty five.

  13. avatar notalima says:

    My shooting group of about 8 folks have nicknamed my eldest (pre-teen) boy “10K” after a character in a bad zombie TV show. The character is their marksman. His longer-range skills have really increased over the last two years. If he keeps it up he’ll be out shooting dad at 800 and 1K in a few years.

    And that will not make me unhappy. It means I’m doing my job right. heh. I am so proud of that boy. We’ll be building him his first ‘from scratch’ bench gun this Christmas (though he does not know that yet!)

  14. avatar Ned says:

    Not always…I have the excuse that my eyes are quitting on me. When he does best me I always smile behind my huff. I remember when he was very young and we first teamed up shooting clays, by the time we beat all the other men teams he could hardly lift the shotgun any longer and although he would not quit or stop, he choked back slight tears from the building bruise on his shoulder. Yes we beat them all that day.

  15. avatar Ralph says:


    But young Ralph with his 20/10 vision was a champion with rifle and pistol. Old Ralph with his 20/30 vision is not.

  16. avatar justin_ga says:

    Damn kids! Yes, open sight .22 pellet & .22LR daughter is better shot….On the bright side maybe she will get a NSSF or other gun organization scholarship that pays 100% of University.

  17. avatar Noah says:

    With pistols up through .45 LC and most rifles up through 5.56, I’ve got the edge on my parents. Anything bigger than that, they usually take the trophy.

  18. avatar lowell says:

    Thank video games for improved hand-eye co-ordination. Don’t believe me? Because they’ve done studies on surgeons and found that the video game players were better than non-gamers. In fact there is a sizable pool of anecdotal evidence that it even helps somewhat for the guys in the field – they’ve simulated puling the trigger on moving human-shaped targets so many times that their minds are already primed to do it, making it an easier line to cross. That was the conclusion of the Marine Corps, anyway, way back when a special version of DOOM was used to test training applications for first person shooters.

    The other thing is that guns are just set up better these days. The ergos are better, the triggers are better, barrels are better, ammo is better, everything is better.

  19. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Not a chance…

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Ready for a Ruger 6.5 Creedmoor vs Savage 110 BA accuracy showdown?

  20. avatar Cold Frog says:

    I am happy that the boy in the picture has his trigger finger in the right place. Fundamentals to include rifle safety are the bedrock of a of good shooting.

  21. avatar Ing says:

    Nope. I’m the best shot in our family unit by a long mile. (Though none of us do shotguns, so that one’s unproven.)

    I’d be proud and happy if the wife and kids could outdo me, but unfortunately for them, I’m their teacher…a handicap they haven’t been able to overcome.

  22. avatar JD says:

    My daughters no. My son yes with a rifle and iron sights. Doesn’t matter what it is from the Mosin, SKS, or AR15 he can flat out hit anything out to 150 yards. Shooting quart size containers of exploding targets he is about 98%.
    I used to be able to shoot like that but age caught up to my eyes. With optics and much longer distances I can still beat him but he is gaining on me.

  23. avatar tsbhoA.P.jr says:

    my kids are better at everything than i am.
    love that.

  24. avatar Spider Elliott says:

    My daughter would be, if she could overcome her discomfort of firearms. She’s already better at a recurve bow than I am.

    My sons, not so much. Their egos get in their way.

  25. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    My oldest daughter can at least group the bullets into the target better than I can.

  26. avatar JSF001 says:

    Well I am a better shot than my father, though to be fair he pretty much gave up shooting while we were kids. The way he puts it, “well I could go shooting or feed you kids, and I’d figured you kids would like to eat.” Now honestly I don’t think we were ever that poor, he just allocated him self very little money for personal hobbies and saved the rest for when emergencies occasionally popped up. So Instead he got into FPS computer games, which for the cost of one range trip, he can get months of entertainment out of (he has been on Fallout 3 at least a year now)

    Of course playing FPS dose not help maintain shooting skills, so I am now a better shot.

  27. avatar Mark Lee says:

    Combat simulation or training can’t be taken that seriously if anyone is wearing short pants. So much for the kid looking badass. Shorts are a little less embarrassing than diapers, I suppose.

  28. Keep up the good work.

  29. avatar Thatoneguy says:

    @robert Farago.

    Didn’t do your due diligence. That man on the right is not the kid’s father. He is a former Army Ranger Infantryman from 3rd batt. and someone who I call friend.

    1. Free advertising is free advertising. Though I am not the young boys father (and far from being a father myself), it is an interesting topic. I appreciate all parents who teach their children the respect firearms deserve. Would have appreciated some heads up on using my photo, but it’s all good.

      Please be sure to head over to our website and feel free to contact me directly regarding ammunition purchases. We cater to the American shooter.

      Rangers Lead the Way

      @stand1armory on FB/IG

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