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Posted: 12/19/2002 10:50:54 AM EDT
Not to shoot, just to come along? We have a little boy who probably wouldn't be scared by the sound of gunshots (he's not afraid of a 130 pound rottweiler's bark, so I think he's pretty tough!) but I don't want to do anything that might hurt him or make others uncomfortable. How old were your children before you brought them along?
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 10:53:39 AM EDT
My brother-in-law and I have been taking my nephew to the gun range since he was 6. He's 8 now and has never once had a problem.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 10:53:41 AM EDT
Whenever they ask to go or age 12 whichever comes 1st.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 10:56:02 AM EDT
As long as he can comprehend your commands, and understand that it is NOT a place to "play" then it should be OK. If he still has issues where he will run off even after you have told him not to, he is too young. My guess is 4 or 5. I see 5 year olds sometimes at open ranges and there are no issues. They are also shooting BTW. Again, as long as it is enforced "STRONGLY" that this is a no play zone. Ed
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 10:57:00 AM EDT
Well if he's still in a stroller make sure he's bundled up.... it's cold out this time of year! Don't forget the ear protection.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 11:04:57 AM EDT
First range trip for my daughter was when she was 10, not to shoot, just watch. Still made her jump everytime the rifle went off, but she really enjoyed it - now wants to go whenever I do. Spent most of her time picking up spent brass (strange how kids are fascinated by that sort of thing). This year, shes 12, and getting to the point where shes telling me she wants to get her own rifle...gee, makin' her dad wanna cry tears of joy. I'm sure you'll know best when it comes right down to it based upon his preception of whats happening when that loud report is heard for the first time. If he bugs out, no biggie, just call it a day early and try again some other time. And Im sure you know, kiddies love to wander, so its important to stress the rules of being at the range - ie. stand well behind the shooter, no meandering past the firing line etc. If they are old enough to comprehend the seriousness of what we do and safely, you shouldnt have a problem.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 11:34:15 AM EDT
My boy started tagging along with me when he was 4. I was 3 when I got my first rifle, a minature .22 Hamilton single shot.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 11:48:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 11:53:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2002 11:54:19 AM EDT by 7_62___for_me]
3 and 4 years old, at that age this year my boys have fired a M1A, and USP 40S&W. [size=5]YES![/size=5]
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 12:08:59 PM EDT
If they are going to shoot, consider their emotional development and their physical strength. At 12, my daughter was completely ready. She is very serious minded and follows instructions. She had enough hand strength to shoot a .38 revolver and a .410 shotgun. At that same age my son was less mature emotionally and more easily distracted. Also, he was not as strong. I took him to the range anyway because it was very difficult for him to accept that his sister had been taken shooting and he had not. He had no problem firing a Glock and my AR, but I kept right behind him, within arm's length, out of a concern he might lose concentration and do something unsafe.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 12:11:16 PM EDT
I took my son when he was 12 and my daughter at 9. Each recieved hours of safety lessons even before they touched a gun, then both started with the .22LR. Guns are interesting and dangerous. If you don't teach the kids how to use them safely they will become curious anyways. Sgtar15
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 12:15:57 PM EDT
My son started going with me to the range at about 4. He is 11 now and shoots in the IDPA and Tac Carbine matchs I put on. He shoots a .22 in both and really enjoys himself.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 12:25:58 PM EDT
Most kids are ready by the time they're six. Some are ready before that, and some need more time. I started shooting at the range when I was six, as did both my brothers. Play it by ear. CJ
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 12:27:14 PM EDT
Age has nothing to do with this decision. It's all about maturity, responsibility and following instruction.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 12:28:36 PM EDT
I took each of my 3 kids shooting as soon as they started visiting their friends' houses. I control how my guns are stored, but I don't how others store their guns. The idea was to eliminate any curosity about guns, so that nothing bad would happen if they "found" their friend's daddy's gun. Make sure your kid has his/her own eye and ear protection. Mine have had theirs since they were 4 years old.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 12:53:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bvmjethead: Age has nothing to do with this decision. It's all about maturity, responsibility and following instruction.
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Bingo. My younger brother was able to demonstrate consistently proper muzzle and trigger finger control at 6 when our stepfather taught us. I was 10.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 1:05:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 1:35:25 PM EDT
I'll say 5 or 6. Worked for me and my daughter. MM419
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 1:56:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2002 1:57:45 PM EDT by gus]
Originally Posted By bvmjethead: Age has nothing to do with this decision. It's all about maturity, responsibility and following instruction.
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Just had to ditto this one again. bvmjethead nailed it. I was 6 when I was given my first gun, and had been shooting a year or so before that. My nephew started shooting at 5 and has his own .22 and a 410ga shotty at age 9. As it was with my brothers and me, his guns stay in the safe, coming out only when the appropriate adults are present. Then again, I know kids who are into their teens that I wouldn't let touch a firearm. It really is an individual thing. No matter what though, they have to know how serious it is and know it isn't play time.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 2:08:05 PM EDT
I don't think it matters much if they are just a spectator, of course it depends on the child, some children cry when a thunderstorm hits so loud noises such as gun shots might trigger the same reaction. As far as firing a weapon, I think between ages 8-10 is a good average to start with, however I strongly believe and support the idea that firearm safety and familiarity should begin at a much earlier age than that. I see some members have started thier children shooting a little sooner with great sucess, but my son was not ready until age 9. I took him to the range twice this year with a few NY members and he loved it. Like W-W posted he was very interested and he asked if I would teach him to shoot a real gun.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 2:20:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 2:56:29 PM EDT
My daughter Jessie was 7 when I took this pic. We were at an AR15.com get-together at Buffalo Range in Illinois. I bought her the Bushmaster shorty when she was 6. She started shooting BB guns when she was 3, with a scope. She now does quite well with iron sights, although she would rather use a scope, especially red dots. [:D] [img]http://photos.ar15.com/ImageGallery/IG_LoadImage.asp?iImageUnq=2374[/img] ColtShorty© "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 3:40:06 PM EDT
Howdy Colt Shorty that is a great pic!! Very cute kid. I decided to not let my son shoot anything with optics until he mastered iron sights. My theory being that if you can shoot with irons you can shoot anything. After that a scope or a red dot should be a piece of cake. Good Luck and congrats on having a great kid!
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 3:43:31 PM EDT
I would also like to 2nd..3rd or 4th......it has very little to do with age its all about maturity.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 5:37:35 PM EDT
Hey, once their head is out of the womb they should have a rifle in their hands.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 5:44:55 PM EDT
I wouldnt do it too young, cuz these are BIG guns to little kids, they are mostly afraid of the 'kick'. You dont want them to get gun shy.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 8:31:44 PM EDT
They're probably old enough when they can pick brass and sort it by caliber and manufacturer on the headstamp. [:D] Chris
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 8:56:00 PM EDT
I have 4 boys 14, 11, 8 and 6 and they have all been going to the range for about 2 years now. My kids listen to me though so if I tell them to stay by me and behave then they do so. I have seen other children out at the range much older that caused lots of problems and safety violations.
Link Posted: 12/19/2002 8:57:23 PM EDT
When the child demonstrates enought self control for the shooting situation. For example, will an adult ALWAYS be watching and near? By the way, passing hunter's safety course is a solid milestone.
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 5:17:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By texastactical: Howdy Colt Shorty that is a great pic!! Very cute kid. I decided to not let my son shoot anything with optics until he mastered iron sights. My theory being that if you can shoot with irons you can shoot anything. After that a scope or a red dot should be a piece of cake. Good Luck and congrats on having a great kid!
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Thank you very much!! I'm rather fond of my little [0:)] myself!!! ColtShorty© "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 5:35:25 AM EDT
I took my daughter with me last month. I even shaved down some foam earplugs for her.[:D] here's a pic of us cleaning our guns that evening- [img]http://www.hunting-pictures.com/members/uhlek/cjgun.jpg[/img] BTW- She's 4 months old in a week. [:P]
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 5:38:45 AM EDT
My son was 2 when he first enjoyed watching dad and friends on the shotgun range... fwiw Scott
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 5:42:27 AM EDT
I was thinking 4-6 months, but I am not sure how to do infant ear protection. GunLvr
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 5:55:23 AM EDT
I took my son at birth minus 3 months. Does it count if my wife went with me to a steel plate shoot while 6 months pregnant? [:)] Kent
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 6:16:05 AM EDT
I think ColtShorty should get a presidential citation for raising his daughter correctly. Sorta like those presidential citations for fitness.
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 6:46:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2002 6:54:35 AM EDT by Sheldon]
Originally Posted By Green_Canoe: I took my son at birth minus 3 months. Does it count if my wife went with me to a steel plate shoot while 6 months pregnant? [:)] Kent
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Hey gotta be careful with that. I wanted to go to the range when my wife was pregnant too, but felt it was a bad idea....we ended up calling her doctor to ask if it was ok or not........nurse flagging that call had never encountered that question before and actually had to ask the doctor. He told us not to do it as the loud sounds may affect the unborn child.....kinda hard to get earplugs on that guy inside there. Something to consider anyway especially when considering what a good conductor of sound fluids are.
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 7:42:30 AM EDT
My boy is 3 1/2, knows daddy go shoot his gun. Daughter is 4 month the 15th, can wait to see what happens there.
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 10:03:11 AM EDT
The first Trimester. -HS
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 3:37:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JThompson: Hey, once their head is out of the womb they should have a rifle in their hands.
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Dad? Is that you?
Link Posted: 12/21/2002 5:54:33 AM EDT
lol You guys are great! Thanks for all of your answers. UHLEK -- were you serious about taking your little one w/special earplugs? That's a darling picture.
Link Posted: 12/21/2002 7:53:01 AM EDT
I started to bring my daughters to the range at about 6 and 5. Based on maturity level, and how quickly they get bored. I have trouble shooting because the older one wants to shoot "her" gun--a Chipmunk .22 and the younger one wants to try but is afraid to shoot on occasion, and then she doesn't want to shoot the little guns but the bigger guns (Steyr AUG). I need to get/pickup my 10/22 so they have something to shoot semi-auto, and complete the M-1 Carbine I have apart. One STRONG suggestion--until they are able to KEEP THE HEARING PROTECTION ON AT ALL TIMES, they should not go to the range. I use foam plugs AND ear muffs to protect them--Wal-Mart has some kid sized hearing protectors. The last thing you want to do is damage their hearing that young. If they cannot keep the hearing protection on (and the foam plugs help make a good backup) because they "hurt" or they're "itchy", etc. then they should not go. AFARR
Link Posted: 12/21/2002 4:39:05 PM EDT
My eight year old girl shoots with the juniors every week. I take my 3 year old boy along. I'd rather not take him, but it's out of neccessity. I have to watch him like a hawk. He does well with the hearing protection. I take some toys to keep him occupied. He usually ends up playing with the brass. His hands get filthy, no big deal, I just have to make sure that he keeps his hands out of his mouth. I don't take food along for this reason. He usually has to go the the bathroom. It's an outhouse (temps have been about 30*). This means that the 8yr old is inside with the instructors and other parents, while I'm outside messing with the boy. Fortunately I know these people. Overall, it's a pain taking him, but it's worth it. My daughter gets to shoot every week, and my son is getting better. I wouldn't take him until he's old enough to tell you whether his hearing protection is working. The stuff doesn't fit kids that well to begin with, their input is critical, I think. Take along some wetwipes for the hands.
Link Posted: 12/21/2002 5:07:03 PM EDT
My two have never been to a range with me. We live in the desert. My girl was shooting a .58 Zouave (replica) and several of my .45-70s at around 6 0r 7. Never had a problem with recoil or noise, but wasn't really interested in them either once she'd tried them all. My boy started with a Ruger Bearcat at maybe 5. By the time he started grade school he was going thru up to maybe a hundred rounds of medium hot .44M handloads in my shortened, small grip frame Ruger SBs, under very close supervision of course, every time we went out. Which was about once a week. Both kids were very responsible and obedient (at least at that age :), and had been around my wife and I shooting since shortly after birth. Pat
Link Posted: 12/21/2002 7:14:05 PM EDT
i took my twins out this summer. they turned four in march[:E] only shot .22's with them it was kind of cool. i shot a couple of ground squirells to show them what this little gun could do to send the little critters up to the angles. they have bb guns that they shoot but they really liked the .22s..
Link Posted: 12/21/2002 7:47:08 PM EDT
kids should be indoctrinated in firearms safety from the moment they are old enough to understand your spoken words. Whether they go to a range is irrelevant. however, it is a good place to teach, although, so is a basement witha trap or a backyard witha bb gun.
Link Posted: 12/23/2002 5:22:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Sheldon:
Originally Posted By Green_Canoe: I took my son at birth minus 3 months. Does it count if my wife went with me to a steel plate shoot while 6 months pregnant? [:)] Kent
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Hey gotta be careful with that. I wanted to go to the range when my wife was pregnant too, but felt it was a bad idea....we ended up calling her doctor to ask if it was ok or not........nurse flagging that call had never encountered that question before and actually had to ask the doctor. He told us not to do it as the loud sounds may affect the unborn child.....kinda hard to get earplugs on that guy inside there. Something to consider anyway especially when considering what a good conductor of sound fluids are.
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We had the same issue with our doctor, he had never received that question before. Our doctor was of the opinion that at 6 months the baby would let her know if he objected to the sound. If the baby was bothered my wife would have hung out at the hot dog hut. (Quiet enough there no ear protection is required.) My wife stayed in the spectator area about 20 yards behind the firing line and the baby appeared to sleep throught the expirience. That, or he was staying perfectly still so as to not attract incoming fire. [:)]
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