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What age did you learn to shoot or teach someone to shoot?

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This question stems from a discussion that I'm having with my wife. I would take my parents advice, but they can't remember whether I was 4 or 10!

I'm kind of making this a general question because I realize that it has to do with fit to gun, listening ability, ability to follow directions, etc. Age seems to be reflective of these, but not perfectly.

So. . .What age did you learn to shoot? . . .or what age have you taught someone to shoot?
 

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My uncle took me to his range when I was 10. I was hooked immediately!!! I have taught many to shoot over the years, beginning when I was 21 after getting my CCW.
 

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I never was taught as a kid. I had to wait until I was 18 to buy my first rifle and learn on my own (I'm sill trying to over come some bad habits I taught myself). I have since went through the NRA instructor's courses and many other resources.

I started my son at 8 because he showed an interest. My daughter 10 shows no interest but it may be time to bring her along anyway. I think I brought my wife shooting for the first time around 25.
 

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I learned how to shoot when I was about 26 or 27. When I was growing up we didn't have any guns around my mom hates them and my dad didn't see any need for them.He did have a sweet Remington .22 that he passed on to me when I did start shooting. He bought it back in 58 for squirrel hunting on the farm. I am now starting to teach my eight year old son how to shoot.

Steve
 

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I do not remember the first time I shot a gun

First, maturity levels vary greatly with kids. So no flaming me for my ideas below.

I first took my kids when they were 6 and 12. My twelve year old girl liked the .22 rifles (benchrest), but the center-fire handguns were a bit much for her. My six year old son loved the .22 rifle, but his arms were too short to adequately aim it while benchresting.

Now that I am an NRA Certified Instructor and have been teaching kids for a while, I see that most 8 or 9 year olds can handle a rifle well enough bench resting. I believe the earliest to give a FIRST Steps NRA pistol course is 10. That covers handguns using the benchrest position only. At about 12 they are normally strong enough to start standing with a handgun.

I would still take them earlier to the range, but under heavy supervision. This is the rough timeline I use, but should be modified depending on the maturity level and physical abilities of the student.

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Begin taking to the range and letting them shoot while you hold and aim the firearm and let them look down the sights and pull the trigger while benchresting. Constatntly remind him of the basic safety rules, and ask him to repeat them frequently.

8 or 9
Lightly supervised (you doing your thing at your bench while he is doing his thing at his bench) .22 long arms while benchresting.

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Lightly supervised (you doing your thing at your bench while he is doing his thing at his bench) .22 handguns while benchresting.

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Lightly supervised (you doing your thing at your bench while he is doing his thing at his bench) .22 handguns while standing. I would also allow .38 special and other light calibers at this point.

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Lightly supervised (you doing your thing at your bench while he is doing his thing at his bench) .22 long arms while standing. I would also allow other rifle calibers at this point. Most 14 year olds today are pretty big kids.

Good luck.
 

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Abramovich, that's good advice. My little girl's only 2, but I'm already starting to think about the day when I can take her out to shoot for the first time (still a few years off, I suspect.) Every time I hit a show or a store, I take a quick peek at the little .22 rifles they have, and I've seen a couple "cute" ones and one of these days I may pick one up to keep around for her when the time comes (or add a little custom something to it in the mean time.)

However, I've already started instilling good values and beliefs about firearms. I explain to her that they're not toys and if I'm working on one when she's around (she says "hammoo" in the cutest way!), I'll explain what each part does. Obviously, she's only 2 and may only understand a minimal amount of what I'm telling her, but my hopes are that as she gets older, she'll see them as a tool and something that we have around us, and not as some great big secret thing that she's got to get into when I'm not around. And if she doesn't show interest in it, I'm not going to push her, either. I am still debating on whether or not she should play with toy guns when she's little. On one hand, I did and always had squirguns and whatnot, and never had problems with it. My ex-wife, on the other hand, does have a point that her parents never let her have any sort of toy guns at all, because they didn't want her to think that guns were toys. I suppose that makes sense to me, although I don't think I necessarily agree with it.
 
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