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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a six year old that has shown an interest in shooting and was wondering at what age you taught your kid or learned yourself? He has already been taught gun safety and is very responsible for his age. Also, what would be easier for them to learn on, a hangun or rifle?
 

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Someone once said to me "If you hunt with them, you won't have to hunt for them". If he already had gun safety, why not let him shoot. Make sure its always "Safety first" and that your with him when he shoots. Who knows maybe someday we'll see him as an Olympic shooter. I think a 22 rifle is a good gun to start with, not much kick.
 

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I have a six year old that has shown an interest in shooting and was wondering at what age you taught your kid or learned yourself? He has already been taught gun safety and is very responsible for his age. Also, what would be easier for them to learn on, a hangun or rifle?
Just my opinion...

I first put a gun in my kids hands at about the age of your child. I started them both on a ruger .22 pistol. I honestly believe the first rifle either shot was my mini 14. My son was shooting my .45 by the time he was nine and my daughter by 11 ( I let them decide). By early teens they could both shoot pretty much anything handed to them. They are both good shots and very gun safe to this day. They are now 23 and 27.

The key early on is keep the sessions short, low key/low stress and fun...no pressure. Let them shoot as much or as little as they want and try to come up with some fun targets...things that react in some way. (no...not the neighbor's cat)

And very close, careful, supervision is key.

Have fun,
Harold
 

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My wife and I don't have children yet, however, I was five when I got my first bolt action 22. I have been shooting ever since. I think I turned out alright, the misses might not always agree. :biglaugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I think he is ready to move up from the bb gun. Im leaning towards a .22 handgun because we don't get to the outdoor range as often, but I don't know if he could handle the weight of the gun yet.
 

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I began teaching my oldest (12yr old now) to shoot at age six.
We began with a Ruger 22/45 loaded with ratshot. One round at a time in the mag.
Balloons tied to dirt clods at a cousin's borrow pit.
Positive reinforcement early on will make them hungry for the next range trip.

This is the result a few years and many range trips later:
http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=45099&d=1255386320
http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=45100&d=1255386345
http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=45101&d=1255386366

30', g17, full power 9mm loads, 50 rounds. 48x's, 2 nines.

Work with your child. Safety,Positive reinforcement, Time together.

dan
 

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Personally 11 or 12. That's when I took my Grandaughter out. 22 Frontier Pistol..Single action. She was doing 6" circles at 15 yards no problem.
 

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I believe it varies from child to child. (Temperament, maturity, attention span)

I picked up a 22lr for my six year old. It is a bolt gun made for kids. Right now it is a single shot but I bought some ten round mags so when I am more comfortable with him I will let him remove the blank and use the mags.

I just wanted to share that with the young ones make it fun. Water balloons with food coloring in the water. eggs. shaken soda cans. milk jugs. exploding targets. They get bored shooting paper pretty quick. Also be aware that they may have a shorter attention span then you or I so the range trip may not be long. Keep it fun.

Just some observations I have had and people have shared with me. YMMV.

Todd
 

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Rifles are better to start with than handguns.

Yeah, I think he is ready to move up from the bb gun. Im leaning towards a .22 handgun because we don't get to the outdoor range as often, but I don't know if he could handle the weight of the gun yet.
I helped my dad put together a muzzle loader kit when I was 5. I got to shoot it after it was finished. If you think your child is ready to shoot, I'd start with a BB gun rifle. After that, a .22 rifle.

The reason I would choose a rifle over a handgun is that it's a lot easier to turn a handgun around and get sloppy with muzzle control than it is with a rifle. I bring a lot of new shooters out who are adults and many of them tend to slip up w/ muzzle control a lot more w/ a handgun than they will with a rifle.
 

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Only you know when. I started shooting at about your son's age but some of my brothers were much older when they started. Each child is different. My rule is the sooner the better.

Teach them to love and respect the weapon and you wont have the child that accidentally shoots someone playing with what they thought was an unloaded firearm.

Start him out with a 22 rifle for confidence. Maybe even one of the new air rifles. I say for confidence becasue he will no doubt shoot the rifle better than a handgun at first. Let him kill a bunch of tin cans for now and by the time he makes 8 he might just be bringing home rabbits with you.

I wish I would have started my son out shooting at that age. It is something you can both enjoy and it is definately a Father-Son experience.

My Baby boy is 29 now and we dont spend near enough time together. Enjoy things like shooting as long as you can.. :)
 

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No kids of my own but, observed others over the years. I think a rifle shot off a bench is the best place to start. It allows them to learn/concentrate on sight alignment and trigger control without the effort of holding the gun. It's also easier to be successful from a bench and "instant gratification" helps build enthusiasm for shooting. Start easy and build from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All very good points. I tend to agree with a 22 rifle off a bench to build confidence. There was nothing like it when my boy heard the thunk of a milkjug with his bb gun the first time he hit it!
 

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I began teaching my oldest (12yr old now) to shoot at age six.
We began with a Ruger 22/45 loaded with ratshot. One round at a time in the mag.
Balloons tied to dirt clods at a cousin's borrow pit.
Positive reinforcement early on will make them hungry for the next range trip.

This is the result a few years and many range trips later:
http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=45099&d=1255386320
http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=45100&d=1255386345
http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=45101&d=1255386366

30', g17, full power 9mm loads, 50 rounds. 48x's, 2 nines.

Work with your child. Safety,Positive reinforcement, Time together.

dan
Bet ya them bullet holes didn' do that frig door any good :biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh:
 

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A youth .22 bolt action cricket is a rifle made for the learning young and small statured.

Remember when the fear is gone so is some of the respect, keep the firearms locked up (if ya don't) @ all times. Over confidence/trust can end in horrific tragedy. Little people are naturally curious and teenagers can be dumb as a box of hammers at times.....Give some teens the added change so you get back a whole dollar:biglaugh:enjoy the next 5 min. of deer in the headlights.
 

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I bought my daughter (7) and my son (5 & 1/2) Crickett bolt action 22's last summer. Best thing I ever did. The guns are locked in the safe (obviously) and not a day goes by without them asking if we can shoot some.

If my son or daughter hands you a weapon and they don't see you check to see if it's loaded, you will hear about it.

It makes a dad proud.
 

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I'll add my vote for a .22 bolt-action rifle. Only you can determine the correct age, but if he's had safety training and is interested and capable of following his safety lessons, why not give him a shot? :biglaugh:

Even if he ends up not being into it, you'll have a little .22 rifle- and who doesn't like having fun with those from time to time!
 

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I have a six year old that has shown an interest in shooting and was wondering at what age you taught your kid or learned yourself? He has already been taught gun safety and is very responsible for his age. Also, what would be easier for them to learn on, a hangun or rifle?
4 kids and they all started right around 6 - 7. Mine started with a 22 rifle but quickly learned handgun also. Teach them early and they won't be so curious about them and expierment without your knowing.
 

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In my opinion, no younger than 10 (or so). I understand that children have different maturity levels but 10 is a fail safe age. If he's already been shooting a BB gun, then I would introduce a rifle to him. Preferably a 22. After a couple of range visits you should have a good understanding as to how much thought and concentration he is putting into safety which, in turn, should allow you to more accurately judge when to introduce him to a pistol.

The reason I suggest introducing a rifle first is because it's a good base for drilling safety knowledge into a child's head. It's very easy for a child to forget muzzle control tips and swing a pistol around at you while trying to ask a question. With a rifle, however, it's length (and thus it's lack of mobility) will make it quicker for you stop him when he forgets to keep the barrel pointed down range. Anyway, that's my two cents.
 

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I just skimmed the answers but as stated their maturity and responsiblness is a big influence.once that's established go for it.The best gun is a catch 22(no pun).Of course a 22 rifle is the greatest to teach and ingrain the fundamentals of trigger,sight and breathing but there's a flip side.Using a pistol is harder so it's going to seriously ingrain the basics to get results.Another option is hand them a small caliber rifle like a 223 at the bench and start (no Mini 14,jesh those things are loud and kick alot compared to the rest of the lot),focus on the basics and don't say squat about recoil or kick.If they don't know about it they think it's normal and only concentrate on the basics.I do believe rifles are better at first because they aren't as sensitive to grip like pistols so the reward comes quicker,then you throw the pistol in their hand and say do the same but teach the importance of an identical grip for each shot.I've seen it taught each way and each is very effective to make a great shooter,it's a matter of 'reading' them to figure out which way is the best approach.
 
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