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Posted: 5/10/2003 5:12:20 PM EDT
Alright, almost had to call a lawyer over this at home tonight. I wanted to take my nephew and his mom out to the range this evening and do a little shooting of the AR and the 10-22. My wife had a full blown apoplectic seizure over the very idea that I would take an 8 year old to the range, stating that he has "no conception that when you shoot someone they are dead and aren't coming back." I of course told her that we don't shoot people at the range, just paper, but she started screaming that if I pursued the issue that she would sell my guns while I was away at AT with the Guard this summer or she would seek divorce. I think she's nuts of course. When I asked her what age she thought was appropriate she said 12 or 13, hell I was thinking about buying my son who is 2 his first .22 for his 5th or 6th birthday, I guess that's not going to happen! I love my wife dearly and will continue to try to wear her down on the issue for the next four years and maybe I'll succeed but probably I won't. I just wanted to open it up to my shooting brethren: How old should a kid be before you take him out to the range? Thanks
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:18:12 PM EDT
I was 8 IIRC, maybe 9. Got my first .22LR, a Nylon 66. Also went to my first hunters safety course & got to fire a shotgun! Tell your wife that MY son is 12 & he is the most responible person with a gun I know (because I taught him thoroughly) & knows how to field strip an AR. By the time the boy is 12 or 13 he should be graduating to higher powered rifles and learning how to fire handguns.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:18:57 PM EDT
WTF??? I rec'd my first Ruger 10/22 when I was 5y/o and was able to shoot w/ Dad's supervision. I learned to hunt w/ a break action .30-.30...had to carry the bullet in my pocket until I got to a stand. That method taught me muzzle discipline at a young age ;) 8 is MORE than old enough IMHO.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:20:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 5:21:07 PM EDT by N_Viejo]
I remember being 4 or 5 years old running around my back yard blasting things with a BB gun as my parents watched from the porch. They never bought me a "real" gun though, and I wish I would have asked for one. Your wife may have a point that he doesn't really "get" the idea of gun safety. If I were in your shoes, I'd take him out with the 10/22 and kill a squirrel or rabbit with it and then have him help you butcher the animal so you can eat it. And explain to your son that you would hate to have to do the same to your son so he better be careful when you take him to the range next week! -Nick (Can't Wait Until I have kids) Viejo.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:25:14 PM EDT
I vote for 4 or 5.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:26:59 PM EDT
As far as I'm concerned, if your household has guns in it, and you have children, they should be educated about safe handling, storage, and use of firearms from the very day they can understand what you're telling them. It's called being a responsible parent. If your wife disagrees with that, then to some extent she's placing your son in danger. Who does she think she's going to blame if the kid gets his hands on a gun someday and hurts himself or somebody else because he didn't know any better?
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:28:20 PM EDT
Its not the CHRONOLOGICAL age that decides... Its the MENTAL age that matters. I know a 7 year old that is more disciplined than a 16 year old. It is the mental state of readiness. Use your best judgement. OH and BTW if you are taking this child shooting for the first time. Please keep in mind that it is the "CHILD's Day" for shooting. Not your typical day at the range for you because they are going to need 100% attention. I have seen a lot of first timers at the range MESMORIZED by the noises and the cool different sizes of brass on the floor, that they wander off. Heaven forbid they cross the line at the bench. UGH! I shiver to think that thought.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:32:01 PM EDT
I recieved a JC Higgins .22 at the age of 10.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:35:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 5:36:21 PM EDT by Cougar8045]
I think I was 5 or 6 my first time. I was out hunting on my own by the time I was 8. Have him recite the rules of firearms safety to your wife and demonstrate the proper handling of a firearm. This may make your wife feel better and it's something you should teach them anyway before they ever take their first shot.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:40:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:44:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 5:47:32 PM EDT by DnPRK]
The child should be trained to respect firearms as soon as he is exposed to them. If the boy is going to his friend's houses then he needs training. While guns may be locked up and inaccessible at your house, [b]you cannot be assured they are inaccessible at his friend's house[/b]. My 3 kids were trained by age 6.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:52:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 5:58:05 PM EDT by nwatson99]
I was 7 when my Father started the training and teaching of Firearms. My first Rifle was a Browning 22 Automatic which I received when I was 9. I shot My Father's 22 every chance I got while under his supervision. Started shooting 20 gauge shotguns when I was 12, started hunting in the Mountains by myself in the neighborhood when I was 13. Never got into any trouble, shot anything I was not supposed to nor was I punished for any mis-use of a Firearm. I guess Dad did alright.[:D]
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 6:01:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 6:02:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 6:10:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 6:16:08 PM EDT by QUIB]
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 6:22:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By QUIB: I've been taking my son along shooting since I can remember. He just turned 11 last month and last summer I rebuilt this Westernfield .22 for him. If your wife feels ok about guns in the house then she should feel ok about teaching the kids gun safety as early as possible. Getting them trained early and getting the curiosity over with is what needs to be done. My kids don't even bat an eye when they see me with a firearm. On the other hand my nephews who come from a "gun free", "guns are bad" upbringing, they stare like they're in a trance when they see me out in my shop cleaning a firearm! Those to me are the dangerous kids, the ones with no training! [url]http://www.gunsnet.net/album/data/500/6201KenvinWesternfield-med.jpg[/url]
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Good looking kid (and a nice group), it does my heart good to see them raised right! If I ever get a photo hosting source I'll post shots of mine with one of my AR's.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 6:28:26 PM EDT
Both my boys were 7 the first time I took them to the range, and they both got their first rifle at 8 (a Marlin single-shot .22). Dr Fridge is spot-on on two counts--the kids must be mature enough to follow the rules, and the first day at the range is their day. I left all of my stuff at home, didn't bring a single firearm for Daddy to shoot--range session only lasted an hour, but I brought home two boys without any extra holes in them, and I was able to constantly watch for safety violations. Well worth it.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 6:41:09 PM EDT
I received at 4 1/2 or 5. A single-shot .410 shotgun or some sort. Started hunting squirrels then. Guns were always accessable at my parents house. All the guns, except my dad's .38 S&W, were in the gun cabinet, no locks. My brother and I knew what they were capable of doing to animals, people and property. Got my first M-1 carbine at twelve, quickly followed by a Ruger MK I pistol. Then a Remington 1100 28 ga. 13 1/2 Mini-14....(the A-team was big at that time [:D]) Anyway, as soon as possible and/or as soon as he's able to understand what you do and don't do with a weapon, of any sort. TS
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 6:52:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:04:58 PM EDT
when they start playing cowboys and indians using their fingures as guns. thats when you start the gun safety.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:22:30 PM EDT
DeFrige is right on this one - it depends on how well they listen and take direction. I started my daughter off at 3-1/2 with a 1911 with a 22 conversion resting on a sand bag. I put a red dot on it because at that age she couldn't quite line up the sights. She is seven now and also shoots a bolt action 22 with peep sights. She has always listened well and is very responsible. I have some great pictures of her then and now, but I am unable to post them. My son on the other hand is 3-1/2 but I don't think he'll be going to the range anytime soon. He just doesn't have the attention span. As for myself, I started at 8 with a heavey framed 357 loaded with 38 special wadcutters. Pop got me a 22 Marlin model 60 when I was 10, and by the time I was 13 I was shooting 9mm, 45 acp, and 44 mag.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:30:35 PM EDT
I started my son out with a single shot bolt action at the age of 6. Now at age 10 he is up to a 300 WM sendaro... We are currently building him an AR of his own.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:42:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 7:48:22 PM EDT by BusMaster007]
Sir, If your wife can agree to a conversation regarding firearms without screaming...[;)] I think one of the best statements made on this thread was:
Demordrah 5/10/2003 9:26:59 PM As far as I'm concerned, if your household has guns in it, and you have children, they should be educated about safe handling, storage, and use of firearms from the very day they can understand what you're telling them. [b][red]It's called being a responsible parent. If your wife disagrees with that, then to some extent she's placing your son in danger. Who does she think she's going to blame if the kid gets his hands on a gun someday and hurts himself or somebody else because he didn't know any better?[red][/b]
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Stressing the EDUCATION & SAFETY, not only will your child(ren) be safe around your house, they will know what to do at someone else's house should a gun magically appear. Your child's responsible actions in a bad situation may be the difference in whether the results are good or bad. I know it takes a lot of convincing to get someone with an unreasonably emotional fear or hatred of firearms to see things our way, but, if it's "FOR THE CHILDREN", they may come around a bit faster. Please show your wife this thread and the many reactions to the story that our AR15.com family has shown. Maybe your wife will see some good things here. I wish you good luck. [:D] Edited for: I bought my 7 year-old 'her' first .22, a Marlin 15YS single-shot bolt-action rifle. Her little sister is now wanting to 'shoot her first rifle'...she's 5. We are going to go to our favorite little shooting place and make sure the curiosity is satiated and a bit of respect is instilled for what guns are and can do. Both girls WILL and DO recite the Safety Rules before they get to load the firearm and shoot. EDUCATION & SAFETY.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:43:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 7:46:23 PM EDT by VA-gunnut]
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:48:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:49:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Sparsky: I vote for 4 or 5.
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My son was pulling the trigger on a Chipmunk .22 at the age of three. I bought it for him the day he was born. By age 5, he had grasped the concept of open sight alignment. By 7 he can now hit anything he can see, within reason, and likes to shoot my M4 under very close supervision.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:57:46 PM EDT
They are ready as soon as they can be trusted to obey the "Stop" command immediately and without question.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:02:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bigdb1: They are ready as soon as they can be trusted to obey the "Stop" command immediately and without question.
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This is something else that applies not only to guns, but in general. I've tried to get across to my kids that if I say "STOP!!", they'd better do it. I used the video of the girl getting hit by a train for example. It sunk in pretty well after that.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:20:17 PM EDT
Started my son with a .22 LR pistol at 8. He's 9 now and last time out he shot my AR15. I agree it's not how old you are it's how old you act.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:48:39 PM EDT
My dad was never big into guns, but he had the basic .22 pistol and 20 gauge shotgun. When he saw that I expressed interest in them, he took me shooting. This was at about 9 or 10 I think. I can still remember the first time we went. We put some cans up on a 2x4, which was on cement blocks, and we shot those with the .22 for hours. Then we started shooting clay pegions with his 20 gauge. I got my first gun at age 12, which was a 12 gauge Browning BPS, to shoot pegions with. An 8 year old is plenty old enough to take to the range, in my opinon.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:56:11 PM EDT
Another thought on this, I think being educated about firearms and seeing first hand the effects they have on targets, like water melons and such, lets a young kid know exactly what he is dealing with. Most of my friends have no idea what the effect a single 12 gauge round would have on a human. Persoanlly, I wouldn't ever want to shot someone, knowing what the damage a few rounds can would cause to a human.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 10:38:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 11:13:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 11:17:15 PM EDT by 610]
I noticed this was your Nephew and his Mom. Maybe this was part of your wifes apprehension (not to take her side, believe me I'm on yours). With my kids firearms saftey is an everyday thing. We all know the basic rules and they can NOT BE SAID ENOUGH. And practicing them teaches them. Guns are everywhere and if the day comes when your Nephew or my kids "find" one at some friends house I want them to treat it as a dangerous tool and act accordingling (Dont touch, get all the kids out of the room and tell an adult). Anyway hats off to you for teaching your nephew safe gun handling.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 11:26:19 PM EDT
I was 5 years old and it was a .410
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 11:44:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 12:09:00 AM EDT
i started with a marlin lever .22 at age 5. i was a late bloomer.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 12:57:04 AM EDT
I was ten. I took my son when he was eight only because he finally showed an intrest in it.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 2:52:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 3:17:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 3:51:55 AM EDT
I can't remember how old J. was when I had to hold the barrel of the 1022 up so he could shoot.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 5:12:42 AM EDT
I will be taking my oldest daughter, who is age 6 1/2, to the range for her first experience in just a few weeks when school is out. She'll start with a CZ 452 Youth Model bolt action .22.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 5:21:00 AM EDT
My 5 year old son and I am are going shooting at my range today. It is not his first time. He has fired a Ruger .22LR Extractor pistol, my M4, and a Glock 19.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:29:04 AM EDT
I started my daughter out when she was 4. I bought her an Ithaca lever action single shot 22. In the first pic, she was 6 at the time, she's shooting [b]her[/b] Bushmaster shorty & quite proficient at that. [:D] The second pic she was 9 at the time, blasting a 100rd belt with a BIG grin on her face!! [:D][:D] [img]http://photos.ar15.com/WS_Content/ImageGallery/IG_LoadImage.asp?iImageUnq=11826[/img] [img]http://photos.ar15.com/WS_Content/ImageGallery/IG_LoadImage.asp?iImageUnq=11827[/img] ____________________________________ The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you are already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function, without mercy, without compassion, without remorse.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 8:14:45 AM EDT
I have 4 boys and have started them as young as 4 y/o and they are now 14, 11, 8 and 6 and all of them respect and understand that you don't touch guns unless dad or mom tells them to. The older 3 all can hit 3 inch swingers with the 10/22 at 77m and the oldest one can hit the 8 inch shoot n see at 100m and 200m nearly 100% witht he Ar and or 10/22 and they have shot .40 and 9mm and .22 handguns as well. BUT I do have to admit that I have seen plenty of children on the range who DID NOT belong there as they did not mind or have any prior training or understanding of anything let alone the dangers involved and the respect and attention needed to be on the firing line.
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