At just six years of age, Miko Andres from the Philippines is believed to be the world's youngest practical shooter.
Published: 11:27AM BST 11 Aug 2009
Miko Andres: World's youngest sharp shooter - aged six
Miko Andres: Practical shooting is one of the fastest growing sports in the Philippines and Miko took up the sport in January this year Photo: BARCROFT
Pictured here at the Armscor Shooting Club, Miko loads, aims and fires his semiautomatic weapon at moving targets.
Complete with a gun belt, shades and a tailored shirt, Miko travels across the country participating in national junior competitions.
Competing against children ten years his senior (in the 9-17 age group), Miko is now looking to travel to America to test his talents.
For Miko's father, Cresencio "Mike" Pascua Andres JR, the boy's passion and natural ability for practical shooting has been carefully monitored by his family and shooting community.
"It is within the family and friends that Miko was influenced to love and enjoy the practical shooting sport," says Mike. "Because of his interest, we took turns in teaching, training and coaching him on the basics of the sport."
Practical shooting is one of the fastest growing sports in the Philippines and Miko took up the sport in January this year.
Seven months later, Miko is fully versed in the strict laws of the sport.
Despite the obvious dangers and concerns raised over a boy of six handling such a weapon, Mike is eager to stress that safety is always at the forefront of his mind.
"Safety is of the utmost importance," he says, adding his son was having guidance and help from a range of shooting institutions to try and prevent accidents.
"As a parent, I too am worried about the dangers of the sport. Accidents and injuries might happen in the course of the sport and that is always a concern.
He added: "Here he is, the youngest practical shooter the world has ever known.
"As a growing, normal kid, Miko is also into other children's games. He enjoys the company of his schoolmates.
"Miko is very young but is determined to excel in the practical shooting sport," says Mike.
"He has been taught a lot of discipline and respect.
"Miko, I and his team coach, constantly talk about the dangers of the sport and we are always reminding him that he is in a 'big boys' game and that safety of of the utmost importance."
Marlo Gonzales, an International Range Officer (IROA) who has trained Miko for the past three months, says Miko has great natural talent for the sport.
"Miko has a natural ability for practical shooting," he said.
"His grand father is a retired Police general and so firearms have been in the family .
"So far he has competed in competitions for levels one to three.
"We have lots of kids here at the shooting club who take part in competitions. As long as the kids shoot safely and have special training in handling a firearm then there should be no problem."
Mike is now hoping to take Miko to the USA to participate in an international competition.
"Miko will keep on practising," revealed Mike.
"Hopefully he will travel to the USA this September to take part in the USPSA 2009 national competition.
"Then in October he will compete in the PPSA national competition in the Philippines.
"For the time being we are all very, very happy for Miko."