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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/4/2005 7:17:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 7:27:20 PM EDT by StealthyBlagga]
OK, so what do we think is the right age for a boy to be taken to the range for the first time to fire a real gun (e.g. .22RF rifle or .410SG... NOT a BB gun in your back yard) ? I know that maturity etc. has a lot to do with it, and of course you have to do the "4 rules of gun safety" thing, but assuming you have an "average kid" (whatever that is), at what age is this an appropriate father-son activity ?

PS: Not intended to be sexist, as I'm sure many girls enjoy shooting too, but I only have sons so have decided not to complicate the matter. If you have daughters, feel free to start a similar poll for girls.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:21:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 7:22:08 PM EDT by afman91201]
Grew up in Alabama with guns here. Dad never had to stress anything to me. I knew if they would kill an animal they would hurt me so I respected them. I knew he had his and didn't even think about buying my own gun until I moved out. It wasn't a big deal to me. Had he waited until I was 10-12 I probably would have gotten in trouble for investigating while he was gone what I didn't learn when I was young.

Oh yeah, I went coon hunting before I was in school. You know my vote.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:22:34 PM EDT
My children each began shooting when they were three.

Yes, they had assistance.

They had to show me certain traits.

Respect, interest, obediance, interest, seriousness, and interest. They also had to be able to express, in their own words, what the top three safety rules are.

YMMV

SRM
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:22:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 7:23:56 PM EDT by BenDover]
My brother-in-law and I had my nephew out on the range at age 4.

He got his first real BB gun when he turned 6. After watching him with that for a year, we decided to get him and daddy a together present for Christmas at age 8 -- a Ruger 10/22.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:23:36 PM EDT
i was taught on a .22 colt woodsman when i was 5 years old. i was facinated with guns and pestered my dad until he took me out. he took the clip out, would put one round in, release the slide, make sure it was kept pointed in the right direction (a big dirt bank about 15 feet away).
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:26:22 PM EDT
my eight yr old shot his first handgun the just other day.
He's been shooting rifles at the range for about a year now.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:26:58 PM EDT
I got my first .22 when I was 4 and look how well I turned out
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:27:11 PM EDT
This is our little girl and her AR...



I'm working on getting a Suppressor for it and painting it Pink.

I cant wait to get her shooting it ASAP!
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:29:25 PM EDT
I let my 7yr old son pull the trigger on his great grandfathers Ithaca DB 12 that i cleaned up for my father in law. I shouldered it, and he stood behind me and fired. He absolutely loved it. He helped in the cleanup project ( basically alot of surface rust to be cleaned off due to neglect) so it was only fitting to let him give'r a go.

He also knows that when he can show me proper safety practices with an air rifle he will get a small cal. rifle of his own. It may sound odd, but i try to get him to treat his plastic toy guns as if they were loaded as well. I'm not as strict with his toys though. He's only 7. Gotta let hin have some fun in his youth right?
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:36:08 PM EDT
My son pulled the trigger on a 30 rnd mag in my 10/22 when he was a bout 1.5. It's on video somewhere. He shot 10 rnds through my .45 Baby Eagle when he was 4.5, & several times since. He got a .22 for Christmas when he was 6. I hope some day he is an expert & a crack shot.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:40:04 PM EDT
My dad taught me to shoot when i was 5. I still have that little chipmunk 22 at his house. We use to go down to a land field and shoot bottles. Great times and I'll give my son or daughter a crack at that same rifle when they are that age.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:42:02 PM EDT
As soon as they can pull the trigger.

I have been toting a gun around the woods since I was old enough to walk practically.
This is an advantage to growing up a country boy on a farm.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:44:12 PM EDT
There are sometimes unforeseen safety issues that present themselves when children shoot.

One instance I heard of was an incident where an adolescent was allowed to shoot a powerful handgun, .44 mag iirc. The recoil put the barrel into his forehead killing him.

Another was a dad standing over his five or six yo shooting a 1911 for the first time. The child fired, the gun recoiled vertical and the child tried to control the recoil by clenching the grip. The next bullet went into dads head killing him.

Be careful.

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:51:36 PM EDT
My cousins 10 yr old son got his first dove today. But then his granddad's a gunsmith and his dad builds his own BP rifles(not kits) and teaches hunter's ed.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:53:47 PM EDT
Each child is different and is ready at a different time. I would say 6 to 12 years.
Why do you say "boys"? My daughter is 10, went hunting with me since she was 4.
She started shooting 10-22's when she was about 6, 410's at about 6 1/2.
She has had her own 10-22 for about 4 years (with a nicer scope (Leupold) than mine)
She has had her own 20 gauge (still has not shot it but it is hers) for about 3 years.

We are going out target shooting tomorrow and she is taking a girlfriend who is 11.
This girl has never shot and is against hunting. We have been explaining for a couple years where chicken strips, cheeseburgers, leather belts and shoes etccc come from.

Her dad is a city boy who has never been aroung guns at all and was against it at first. (He is the Dad so it was not going to happen) After she asked somemore and spoke with the Mom, Dad was convinced. Mom grew up in Michigan shooting and hunting and explained it is very safe and fun.

I will start her on a 22 rifle and take it slow with a lot of safety talk first and then one round in the firearm at a time. If she does well we will shoot a .410.

I say again each child is different, but exposing them to firearms at an early age is a good thing!
Some are ready at 6 ot 7 some are not. My daughter is still too small to shoot offhand with the heavy barell 10-22, but she could do it all by herself (line up sights, and pull trigger) several years ago as long as it was on a 5 gallon bucket with a backpack or jacket.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:02:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Arlis:
There are sometimes unforeseen safety issues that present themselves when children shoot.

One instance I heard of was an incident where an adolescent was allowed to shoot a powerful handgun, .44 mag iirc. The recoil put the barrel into his forehead killing him.

Another was a dad standing over his five or six yo shooting a 1911 for the first time. The child fired, the gun recoiled vertical and the child tried to control the recoil by clenching the grip. The next bullet went into dads head killing him.

Be careful.




Thanks for the heads up, I would be so MESSED UP if our little girl was killed while I was trying to teach her something that could end up saving her life some day.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:08:57 PM EDT
i think each child is different - here's a rule of thumb - if you have to tell him twice to put his toys away, wait a year. If you have to beat his ass to get him to put his toys away, giving him a gun will result in his death, or yours. you will be on the news, discussed on the DU, and we here will talk about how stupid you were
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:12:00 PM EDT
They should begin to learn when they can truly grasp and understand the consequences of a mistake or tomfoolery.

Probably age 8-10.

Great topic, BTW.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:18:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By giacutter:
They should begin to learn when they can truly grasp and understand the consequences of a mistake or tomfoolery.

Probably age 8-10.

Great topic, BTW.



and what better way to teach it than blasting rabbits
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:25:19 PM EDT
Thanks guys... good info.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:27:13 PM EDT
I was 5 when I shot my first gun....
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:28:30 PM EDT
i got my son to the range just after he turned 8. Unfortunately, i've created a monster. he won't shup up about going and tells everyone about "his" .22 rifle.
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