Childs first trip to the range

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AngelDeville, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    While on a visit to my local money pit (gun shop), an encounter with a youth sized drop-block Stevens got me thinking....

    My son already knows enough about firearms not to touch them and to tell me if he finds one.

    But at what age should his first shooting experience be?

    What have you all done with your children?

    Of course he will learn to clean/dissassemble the firearm before the first shot is ever taken....
  2. rosierita

    rosierita New Member

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    ah man, that's like grooming a horse for a few wks before getting to ride them! how old is he? if he's able to comfortably handle a 22 (jr rifle or cricket), i'd take him on out & let him shoot!

    after he's had some fun w/ those paper targets, then show him how to clean that gun...
  3. That's a very pertinent question, Angel. I think it depends largely on the personality of the child involved. By that I mean, has the child shown any interest in firearms up to this point? Some kids do so from a very early age (me, for example, about age 7 or 8 ;)), and others not until a few years later. I started shooting .22s at 7, and was shooting large caliber rifles, pistols, and 12 gauge shotguns at 10. With my own kids, I started my son shooting at 8 with .22s, and had him shooting large caliber rifles, pistols, and shotguns regularly at 12. My daughters though, really didn't show much more than a passing interest in firearms until their early teens, at which point I gladly taught them how to shoot. With them, the interest focused mostly on handguns, and that is true to this day.
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    My Dad started me with a small .22 calibre at the age of five.

    I've been shooting and hunting ever since. [presently 72 years young!]
  5. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    My parents and grandparents always had firearms around, so I did my sons/grandsons the same way. I took a disabled/non-functional pistol and rifle and left them out in plain sight. Before long, a question was posed and I answered it. When the questions stopped, I didn't push it, and eventually, more questions surfaced until the questions evolved into a range outing. It's worked out well. One son likes to hunt and shoot, and the other one could care less. All three grandsons (12, 12, and 5years old) like to shoot, and do very well. I'm of the opinion that it's easier if the kids let you know when they're ready, rather than if you decide that today's the day, and start a class they're not ready for. All they need is something safe to ask about. ;)
  6. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    I like to start kids shooting .22 rifles at age eight. Kids younger than that should start with airsoft guns.
  7. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    Good advice Thanks.

    His 5th Birthday is in a few days, and he has a marked interest in all things that make noise and can be taken apart.

    The Stevens was gone when I went back to the shop, but a new Marlin single shot bolt action is reasonably priced, and that and a couple boxes of .22 shorts might make a good b-day present, if not this year then next.
  8. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

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    For me personally I agree with Jay and also Marlin. I developed an interest in firearms at a very early age and my Dad was more than willing to teach me how to handle the weapons he had. I did my four children the same way,the oldest daughter started shooting when she was five and the middle daughter didn't start until she was 16, my son started when he was five also the other daughter didn't develop a fondness for firearms until she was about 19 or so, just goes to show that not all children are the same. catfish
  9. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

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    It.s been the tradition in my family start shooting around 7-8 years and if the child is still interested at age 10, they get their own bolt 22 and are taught to clean & maintain and keep it safe.
  10. Only way to fly, Berto. The cleaning and maintenance is just as important as the shooting IMHO.
  11. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    I bought my little brother his first gun for his 5th christmas, I bought him a 22/410 combo. That was the age I learned to shoot at.
  12. blackhawkkid308

    blackhawkkid308 Member

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    at the age of 5 i had my own pistol that i was responsible for in my room in my care. have been shooting since i was 4. again it really has to do with the state of mind of the youngster.
    bhk308
  13. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

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    My son started shooting at 6 years old (the same year he took his Florida Hunter's Education Course). By 7 years old he shot his first wild boar... with a .22 no less (moving target at 30 yards). That's my boy! :)
  14. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    I think he's ready, but now what to buy?

    The Marlin is nice and simple, but a few other Stevens are around and they are a little "cooler", but the Marlin is more practical

    and then .243, or 22/250 for the next one...

    maybe he'd like an officers 1911, or a '87 Winchester....

    Ohh wait those last two are me....
  15. rosierita

    rosierita New Member

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    ha! ha! any excuse will do.;):p
  16. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

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    That is the way to do it I buy my guns for the boys and their sons BUT they don't get them till I die or have my back turned and they take them home with them, has happened more than once.:eek::rolleyes:;)
  17. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    He already knows that if he wants my 1911 after I'm gone he's gonna need a shovel....

    [​IMG]
  18. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    I don't think I can wait until Christmas....

    Stevens Little Scout .22

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  19. noslolo

    noslolo New Member

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    My duaghter was four and my son was five when I took them to the range to show them the damage that a .22lr can do, to a couple pieces of fruit and some cans of coke. I then set them up on the bench rest and let them shoot a couple of rounds off. Both my kids (now 6&8 years old) will tell you a gun is a tool, not a toy, and you don't play with tools, some one always gets hurt.
  20. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    So he is getting the Scout?
    Post a pic of the target. (if it's ok)

    My son was 6 when he first shot, now he shoots competition with me. One of these days he is going to show the old man up.

    Hasn't yet. ;):D:D
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