FWIW, a Bearcat was my 1st gun and I still have it +30 years later. I started both of my kids on it as I really like the idea of forcing a slower, more concentrated focus with new shooters. The single action helps accomplish that and the Bearcat fits little hands well. I then moved them to a Single-Six with a 4 5/8" barrel which has a slightly larger grip and better sights. I'm confident someone will say I'm wrong but I don't think you can do much with the notch sights on the Bearcat so depending on the age, you might consider the SS as an alternative.
Thank you Dave. My two are 6 & 8 and physically on the small side. I've been trying different guns in the 8 yr old's grip and the Bearcat is the best fit I've found. I also like the single action and manual cocking required for safety. They both have fired my High Standard and a K-frame with Speer's plastic practice rounds and want to shoot something that daddy doesn't have to help hold. Living in a sub-division I can't copy my dad and hand them a bb gun after telling them not to shoot each other or toward a house. I really prefer adjustable sights but I guess I can settle for the fixed since the Bearcat is the smallest grip I can find.
Paul...Pick up a single-shot .22 rifle like a Chipmunk. The rules are the same, and it'll be easier for them to handle. It's easy for little ones to get discouraged, and the rifle will be better to begin on. Add the revolver soon and they can trade off.
here is my 2 cents
got my daughter a Henry's single shot , sorta like the chipmunk but stainless and sythetic, single shot , has the plunger and also a frame moutned safety , also got her one of those clip on bi pods, the guy at the indoor pistol range kicked everyone off when i told him it was my daughters first time shooting , they gave me 10 minutes all to myself and we squeezed off a few rounds , after the first few rounds i let her load it and go through the motions , it was great i highly recommend either of the little henry single shots . BTY she is 8 , the same age range as your boys .
I started my 1st daughter when she was 6 1/2, with CZ 452 youth rifle, iron sight, single loader at 15 yards. Last year I put a 4x20 scope on her rifle and right now she's constantly using 10 meter air rifle target at 50 yards. She just turned 9 a couple of months ago. The shooting is still on the bench though.
Earlier this year, I bought her a Ruger MKII and she loves that gun for falling plates. My second daughter just turned 6 last month and she already knows how to shoot and operate both guns. I guess it pays off to take her along with her older sister when visiting the range, as she learns very quick.
The keyword here is: Be patient with the kids, don't force them.
if you are wanting a SA revolver, then the bearcat is the way to go. rugers mkII is another good choice. fairly small grip, reliable, and you can teach the fundamentals by only loading 1-3 rds in the mag. personally, if i had the money, i would by one of each.
i learned on a 1911 when i was 7-8 (started off early). i wore "husky" clothes though (yeah, i was the fat kid in school). i have taught MANY small framed shooters on full size autos. just a few thoughts.
Bearcat should be a good one for pistol. And Chipmunk is a great rifle to use. Both will do well. I seen some of the new Bearcats, but for the life of me can not remember about the sights. But if the grip fits, it is not a bad thing to start with. Go slow and make it interesting.
I started my son out at 5 and now that he is 13 he tends out shoot me most of the time.
I do hope you sent the guy working the range a Christmas card. 10 mins of no one shooting and causing a distraction will pay dividends you can never count. I wished all ranges were like that.
I, too, still have the Bearcat from my youth. I shudder to think how many rounds have gone down that barrel! I started out with rifles, tho.... started my kids that way and my brother's kids too - then we moved to the hand guns. My 11-year old niece can outshoot my 14-year old nephiew with the rifle, but not the hand gun - point being it takes more training/practice to use a handgun. My guess is that someday she will prevail with both.... just my dos centavos.
First was the ubiquitous crossman pump bb gun, then a very accurate brno air rifle. From there he went to a hungerian military surplus training22 bolt action 5 shot rifle.Note these are very accurate for the money and very simple to break down and clean. He now owns a ruger 22/45 pistol. He has fired a hi-power, 45auto, mk 2 ar15 and my 454 srh, which he did surprisingly well with 2 in 3 sht grp at 25 yds benched. No more as I wanted no 'flinchies'. He has done fine, and has always been very safe in handling his firearms.