How to Teach Your Kids | Whittaker Guns

Gun Safety | How to Teach Your Kids

Introducing Your Children to Guns 

With all the media hype today about gun control and children, our world needs a reality check. Guns are not the problem, as many claim them to be. Misinformation and lack of education are the root causes behind these tragic incidents we hear about on the news. So how can we help solve this issue? It begins with introducing our children to guns and teaching them from a young age the importance of gun safety. Here are the basic steps you can take now to help your kids down the road.

First, be open and transparent about guns around your kids. The second you hide firearms from them and don’t talk about them, the more they will be drawn to them. Kids are naturally very curious about new things, so take advantage of that fact by speaking with them about it. Show them how to safely handle a firearm, let them hold it (empty and open chamber, of course) in a seated position, and answer any questions they have about it. Show them the wild game you bring home and the damage that guns can do so they will have no confusion in their minds between toys and the real deal. Let them know that a parent should always be present when guns are around. If they see a gun at a friend’s house, let them know the familiar NRA phrase, “Stop! Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up.”

After they’re familiar with guns a bit, you’ll probably want to give them a BB gun to instill basic firearm skills. I know there’s sensitivity about an official “Red Ryder, carbine-action, two-hundred-shot range model air rifle” and how kids will shoot their eye out (if you don’t know what we’re talking about, you owe it to yourself to look it up). That’s why you need to only let them handle it when you are present. Show them how to aim, how to re-load, how to always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and let them know they should only ever touch the trigger when they are ready to shoot. Allow them to carry their BB gun along on fall walks in the woods, empty of course. Observe them and be hyper-vigilant about your own gun safety. There’s no better reminder to yourself than taking a kid out hunting, since they will mimic what you do.

Next, enroll them in a hunter safety course. They will not only learn about best hunting practices, but also about basic gun safety on the range. Instructors will accompany you and your child to show them shooting range safety and etiquette. They will likely start out shooting .22 caliber rifles since they have very little kick and offer a good primer on the world of larger guns. The Sportster rimfire rifle, available in .22 long rifle and .22 Winchester Mag., is a great first choice for kids. It is a single shot, break-open rifle to teach them the ropes before moving onto multiple shots.

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After they’ve completed their safety course and are comfortable using a firearm at the range (and you’re comfortable with their safety practices), you can take them on their first real hunt. The first hunt is best if it’s a stationary hunt, such as sitting in a blind or tree stand waiting for a deer or turkey to come along. That way, they don’t have to carry around a loaded weapon, as you would chasing something like upland birds. Sit with them in the stand or blind and whisper tips to them as the hunt occurs. You may want to start their first hunt with a smaller gauge shotgun or lower caliber rifle, such as a .410, 20-gauge, or .243, depending on the hunt type. This assumes they’ve practiced with these guns at the range and are comfortable with their use. Whittaker Guns has several options in these styles, including the Mossberg 500 Bantam combo pump 20-gauge. This shotgun offers a 13” pull length that will be comfortable for children.

Introducing Your Children to Gun Safety | Whittaker Guns

Introducing Your Children to Guns | Whittaker GunsIf you’ve gone through these steps with your children, they should have a respect for guns that will last a lifetime. The key is to nurture their curiosity and de-mystify firearms. After that, just focus on your own gun safety around them, because you’re the best example they have. If you’re careless with your firearm, you’ll likely raise a child who is careless with them. But if you take the responsibility seriously, you’ll have created a sportsman or woman for life.

Cleaning Guns | Whittaker Guns

Cleaning Guns | Some Commonly Overlooked Steps You Should Be Doing

Gun Cleaning | Advanced Tips

Guns are one of those few items you can buy that may actually outlast you. After all, many of us proudly use our parent’s or grandparent’s guns and plan to pass them on to our children after us. It becomes a family heirloom and a tradition. But the only way they will last that long is if you treat them with respect. We’re talking about a little tender loving care for your firearms here, folks.

Sure, we all probably give our guns a quick wipe down at the end of each hunting season, but we may not be giving them the full treatment that they deserve. If you want your shotgun, rifle, or muzzleloader to work its way down the genealogical chain, you need to take these gun cleaning tips into consideration. But first realize that every gun is different. Some models will require more frequent cleaning, while others might actually need less care. Consult a knowledgeable gunsmith or your owner’s manual for best cleaning advice.

Field Wear and Tear

It doesn’t matter if you’re hunting in the woods or target shooting at the range, simply having your firearm outdoors will put environmental stress on it. You’ll occasionally experience an uncalled-for rain shower, or some sand or dust may work its way on the wind into places it ought not be. In addition, you may accidentally bump or rattle your gun or work some dings and chips into it. It’s all bound to happen. The scratches and dents can build the gun’s character over time, but the other factors will wreak havoc on it, especially if you don’t address them promptly. Rust and corrosion will slowly ruin your new gun if you’re not careful.

Field Care

To prolong your firearm’s useful lifetime, keep it away from excess moisture, debris, and hot or cold conditions. Realizing this isn’t possible when you’re hunting, simply try to keep it covered and protected as best as you can. Wipe away any obvious dampness, grit, or mud as soon as you can, taking special care to keep it from entering the action, chamber, or muzzle. At the end of a rough field day, wipe your gun down with a light layer of gun oil to clean and protect it.

Basic Gun Cleaning

When you’re back home, it’s time to give your gun a more thorough cleaning that you couldn’t easily do in the field. Clean and wipe the exterior of your gun with oil again, as above. Use a lint-free cotton cloth, such as an old t-shirt to wipe it down. For cleaning the inside of your barrel, you’ll want a good quality patch that is highly absorbent and tightly knitted, which will hold together well and remove any oil, carbon, and lead fouling when you pull it through the barrel. Most average hunters stop at this point. But if you really want your gun to last, you’ll need to kick it up a notch.

Advanced Gun Cleaning Tips

Always clean your gun from breech to muzzle, or in other words, in the direction of projectile travel. Otherwise, you will push gritty residue from the dirtiest portion (muzzle) to the cleanest portion (breech). Apply enough solvent that the patch can absorb without dripping, which will loosen the debris and clean the barrel without making a mess and compromising other features on the gun. Solvent that drips into the action can get gummy over time if it’s not removed, as it collects dust and dirt. After running the solvent patch through, let the gun rest a few minutes to let the solvent work. Pull dry patches through the barrel until they come out clean. Use a fresh patch each time you run it through the barrel or you will spread the fouling and residue throughout.

You generally won’t have to use a gun brush as often as you might think – only when it is fairly dirty from multiple shots, perhaps dozens. Most hunters have a few old aluminum rods in their gun cleaning kits, but you need to stay away from them. The soft metal can actually pick up sand and grit over time and start to scratch the inside of your barrel or even leave small aluminum shavings behind, causing your gun to shoot inaccurately. When you do use a brush, use a bronze version that won’t be as aggressive as steel, but will still clean better than nylon brushes. Always push the brush all the way through the barrel and do not reverse direction mid-stroke. Try out the Outers 28-piece universal gun care kit, and you’ll be able to clean your handgun, rifle, or shotgun with the same kit. It comes with an assortment of brass gun rods and multiple sized tips, loops, mops, and bronze and nylon brushes.

Some Commonly Overlooked Gun Cleaning Steps | Whittaker Guns

Once you’re done with scrubbing the barrel, run a few fresh patches through it with more solvent to remove dislodged residue. Finish the bore cleaning process with a patch containing a light coating of lubricating oil to prevent rusting. Then use an old toothbrush or some cotton swabs to scrub a small amount of solvent around the chamber and action area, again following with a light layer of lubricating oil.

Using these tips, you’ll prolong the life of your firearm by many years and create a legacy for your kids and grandkids.

At the Shooting Range | Whittaker Guns

At the Shooting Range | Sighting in Your Guns

Tips for Making the Process Smoother at the Shooting Range This Fall

Fall is rapidly approaching, folks. It might not feel like it with the hot and humid dog days of summer beating us down right now. But rest assured, those cool and crisp fall mornings that energize us and sustain us throughout the year are on their way. Fortunately, that also means hunting season is coming with it. It will soon be time to head to the shooting range to sight in your rifles, shotguns, or muzzleloaders.

Many people approach sighting in their guns the wrong way. They show up at the shooting range, pop off several shots, maybe make a slight adjustment, and then go on their way. There are likely a few things you’re doing wrong that, if corrected, could make a real difference in your accuracy.

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First, let’s look at some of the common mistakes most hunters make at the shooting range, and see how we can correct them. Always sight your rifle in with the same ammunition you plan to use while hunting. This may seem like an obvious one, but we still hear about people switching out different brands or even different weight bullets between the range and the field! If you have the time and money to spare, try shooting a couple different brands and weights from your zeroed-in gun, and see how variable the accuracy is. It will shock you.

Always use a quality rest or shooting bench to sight in your guns initially. Doing so will take the human error element out of the equation, so you can focus on getting the most dialed-in accuracy possible. Soft sandbags work well as the rest, as they absorb some of the shock to keep your barrel from rising too much. If you have to fire more than five rounds, take some time to let the barrel cool down. As the metal in the barrel heats up, it can warp slightly, which changes the flight of your bullet. I’m pretty sure you won’t be shooting at a deer with a hot barrel – it will be cold! To best simulate that experience, give your gun time to cool down between shots.

Sighting in Your Guns | Whittaker Guns


If you’re not able to use your property as a shooting range, make sure you know the rules at the range you do go to. Nothing will anger the owners, workers, and other gun enthusiasts faster than someone who’s blatantly disobeying the rules of the range. You’ll likely even be kicked out if you’re being unsafe. Obviously, you should always practice good gun safety techniques (i.e., keep the muzzle pointed down and away from anyone), but it’s especially true at the shooting range. On that note, bring along any required safety equipment you’ll need (e.g., ear plugs/earmuffs, safety glasses, etc.). Even if it’s not required, it’s a good idea to wear it as it’s meant to protect you.

Try to zero in your gun at 100 yards. Obviously you can adjust that distance if you’re hunting in a dense area where you’ll only have a 50 yard shot at mos,t or increase it if you’ll be hunting out west. Why 100 yards, you ask? It’s a good general distance because you can always adjust your aim if your target is further away or closer.

Now that these common mistakes are out of the way, let’s talk about what you should do. If you have access to a bore sight, this process will be much easier. A bore sight is basically a laser that slips into your barrel, so you can quickly line up your scope with the general area of the laser. However, even if you don’t have one, if you start at a distance of 25 yards with a clean target, you should be able to quickly tell where your gun is shooting versus where you were aiming.

Sighting in at the gun range | Whittaker Guns


Adjust your scope per its specific instructions. Generally, the elevation turret (up and down) is located on the top of the scope, and the windage turret (right to left) is located on the side. Typically, each click represents 1/4” change per 100 yards. So if you’re high by about 1 inch at 100 yards, you’ll need to turn it down four clicks to get it zeroed in. Adjust whatever turret is further off before adjusting the other. It might take a little adjustment to get there, but you’ll reach zero shortly.

Hopefully these tips will help you at the shooting range this fall as you prepare for hunting season. There’s always more that can be learned about guns, which is what makes them so challenging…and addicting. Have fun out there!

Gun Hunting | Whittaker Guns

Gun Hunting | Kentucky: Top State for Gun Hunting Whitetails

Kentucky Is a Whitetail Gun Hunter’s Paradise

Kentucky, known for thoroughbreds, bourbon, and bluegrass is now commonly thought of as the top gun hunting and whitetail hunting destination. With giant whitetails, rich land, and plenty of guns in hand, Kentucky can quite possibly take the name of the whitetail hunter’s paradise. But Kentucky has much more to offer than even giant whitetails.

Yes, if you compare Boone and Crocket entries to estimated deer population Kentucky is listed as the top place for you to find and kill a booner buck (0.082%). Add the generous season dates, a September 5th opener and Jan 18th close out date can get you in the stand before velvet sheds, and in rare cases after antlers drop. This is still not even mentioning low hunter density and over 1.5 million acres of public land and wildlife management areas. This gives the healthy and balanced herd less pressure, making for even better hunting.

Firearm restrictions give Kentucky hunters a big advantage over neighboring states like Indiana, giving them the ability to reach a little farther, and enjoy a wider variety of guns to choose from. From shotguns, pistols, and rifles your gun choices are almost limitless. Again combine this with the long season, plenty of land to hunt on, and giant whitetails and you starting to create one pretty picture.

Still this is not to mention the rich land and wildlife in all four cardinal directions. Kentucky’s has everything to offer, including magnificent elk in the east, long bearded turkeys in the south, and both rivers and lakes teeming with fish in the west. Throw in some of the best and largest gun shops in the country such as Whittaker Guns, and you have not just a whitetail hunter’s paradise but a place to call heaven for all outdoorsmen and gun enthusiasts.