The 4-H S.A.F.E. Rifle program includes BB gun, air rifle, and smallbore rifle (.22 rimfire only). Centerfire rifles are not endorsed in a 4-H setting. Since youth development is the foundation of 4-H, our coaches keep positive youth development in mind at all times. Safety is always a primary consideration.
Alabama 4-H S.A.F.E. coaches are trained to maintain the highest standards of safety at all times for participants and all assistants. The rifle is a piece of sports equipment that is always treated with respect. 4-H members coached by a trained 4-H S.A.F.E. rifle coach can be shooting fairly well within a short time. Youth are matched to equipment that is best for them, to reduce recoil, and improve their performance. 4-H S.A.F.E. coaches diligently teach youth critical knowledge and awareness of firearms handling practices and teamwork, so that everyone learns, participates, and has fun in a safe setting.
Competition has a place in 4-H S.A.F.E. as a celebration of the life skills (teamwork and communication) and essential elements (mastery, independence, belonging and generosity) that have occurred within the context of a 4-H S.A.F.E. club setting. Education and positive youth development, not competition, should drive 4-H S.A.F.E. clubs. Each shooting sports discipline offers a state championship event, and the first place senior team may be eligible to attend the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship. Alabama 4-H also offers a summer invitational tournament series as part of the Buckmasters Expo in Montgomery.