How young is too young?


Gun for Hire

New member
I wanted to ask everyones opinion on this issue. At what age do you think it is appropriate to take your son or daughter to the range for the first time. Everyone I have ever asked seem to have a different age in mind. I wanted to hear what you guys had to say about it.
 

STILLdKING

New member
I first received and started shooting my first .22 at age eight. Of course, I was only allowed to shoot with my father or mother present.
As an adult now, that seems like the age when maturity and impressions can be formed. IMHO.

John C.
 

HK4U

New member
I think it depends on the child but somewhere around 8 to 10 seems about right in most cases.
 

NDS

New member
I'm on the early end of the curve here. I bought my kids 'Chipmunk' mini-22s at 5 years old. Those are single-shot rifles that must be cocked manually and small kids aren't strong enough. They learned to shoot sitting in my lap. Good memories!
 

Brainchild

New member
I would have to say when they are ready.At first this may not seem like an answer at all,but it is the most correct one.All children are different and some are ready earlier than others.It depends on the child's level of maturity and how well they can comprehend the dangers of using a firearm and how responsible they are.And this is an individual thing that varies from one person to the next.
Did I complicate the issue enough for you?I didn't mean to.
I hope I helped.
 

Memphis

New member
Well if you guys looked at my photo album you would see my son on his first outing at age 12. I think 8 or so is fine but, he had no interest back then and now he can take down my M&P and clean a Mossy 500.

Soon as I get an AK he'll learn that one as well. Am I a freak? I don't think so. I just feel like he's as big and strong as a grown woman and if anything happened to me I would hope he has the ability to defend himself whether it be with a big stick or if needed, what ever firearm is available to him.
 

Hoplites1234

New member
I'd have to go with the 8-10 year old range depending on the child and only with adult supervision. Unless of course, you're one of those hillbillies (like my father), who went out hunting in the hollers for the family food at the age of 6 while granddaddy worked the coal mines. Glad I got me an eda ma kation an is an engineer.:03:
 

Samurai

New member
I was just a pocket knife...

Not yet a samurai, at the tender age of 10 when I had my first 22. My Dad didin't give me my .410 until I was twelve. But even then, I was practicing with a 30-30 at our deer camp. I let my sons fire their first rounds when they thought they were ready(but not without a safety lecture and my undivided supervision). My oldest was about fifteen when he shot my T/C 14" 45-70 handcaonnon for the first time. He said it hurt when it kicked, but he still fired again...
 

Gun for Hire

New member
Thank you all so much for all your feedback. You have been very helpful. I really appreciate all of your information. My son is 6 and I know he is not ready yet, however I was trying to get a feel for what age is normally a good one to start out. He seems a bit interested but I don't feel he is ready. I have talked to him about safety, but the attention span at 6 isn't the greatest. In time I think he will be ready for his first little .22lr Rifle.
 

PascalFleischman

New member
Thank you all so much for all your feedback. You have been very helpful. I really appreciate all of your information. My son is 6 and I know he is not ready yet, however I was trying to get a feel for what age is normally a good one to start out. He seems a bit interested but I don't feel he is ready. I have talked to him about safety, but the attention span at 6 isn't the greatest. In time I think he will be ready for his first little .22lr Rifle.
Not to question your parenting, by any means, but here's my input:

I don't know of many 6 year olds who's attention span is longer than their.....pinky finger when you talk to them. I think hands-on is the best way to go with them. Muscle memory is key on us as we train, but it's also important early on in developing patterns with cheelrins. Sit down with him at the house and teach him the operation of a .22. Repetition is key, and at each step, emphasize safety. Range time will be no different. He'll learn better if he's able to put his hands on it, and he'll enjoy it much more than just talking about guns. You might be selling him short by saying he's not ready. Try him out first, and I think he'll surprise you. Tiger Woods probably wouldn't be where he is now had his dad not taken him to the putting green at age 2.
 

kwo51

New member
Check with your local 4h. They may have a program that starts with pellet guns at 7 and goes to 22 and shotguns.
 

mom of 3 angels

New member
We got our kids started on the good ol' bb gun a couple of years ago (oldest were 4 and 6 then) They have learned safety (shooting with it is 100% supervised, just like with any "real" gun), how to line up the sights, and that shooting stuff is fun. We go to a mountain man event every year and the kids have shot black powder up there since they were 5 (with help and a light powder load). This past year my 8 year old out shot his dad, grandma and uncle at the competition up there. He has shot our .22 pistol and one shot from dad's .45 on a trip to the "range" (hill outside of town). He's also shot our .22 rifle, but doesn't have one of his own yet. I'm just not ready :)

Anyway, after all that rambling, I'm in the category of start them as soon as they can pull the trigger and be safe doing it. Of course don't force it, every kid has a different level of desire. Keep it safe and fun.
 

kejam

New member
starting young

My Father started me out with 22s and a SW 38special at 7-8 yrs old. I got my son a bb gun at 5yrs ( only used with supervision ) I ve got him practicing with a 22 rifle now that he is 7. I think I will introduce him to some handguns this yr also. Teach them about gun safety and handling early then they wont get in trouble being curious and get in trouble on there own. We've all been there.
 

Gun for Hire

New member
Thank You

Thank you guys so much. I think after reading what you all have posted I am going to talk to him about getting a bb gun. Maybe take him shopping this weekend. See how interested he is in getting one. I will probably have just as much fun as he will seeing as I can't shoot my toys in the back yard but I can shoot his :). Anyway thank you all for your advice.
 

PascalFleischman

New member
Thank you guys so much. I think after reading what you all have posted I am going to talk to him about getting a bb gun. Maybe take him shopping this weekend. See how interested he is in getting one. I will probably have just as much fun as he will seeing as I can't shoot my toys in the back yard but I can shoot his :). Anyway thank you all for your advice.
I still have my Red Ryder that I got when I turned 10.....and I have yet to shoot my eye out.
 

RDW

New member
I know that you don't want to hear a back in the old days story but here it comes..lol. At Christmas, age 7, I got my first 22 and a 50 count box of shells from my grandparents. It was an Ithaca mod 49 single shot. I was told " Don't shoot any songbirds, Grandmas chickens or Granddads cows, now go outside and play"

I started my kids out on the same Ithaca 49 at age 7, but only when I was with them.

I started my grandson out at age 6 with a BB gun. He is now 7 and when we go to the range he shoots the Ithaca 49.

You can see that in in my family, over the last five generations of hunters and fishermen, the magic number is seven years of age.
 

SubHntr

New member
Hands On Always!

I started at 5 with a .22 and a .410. I started all 3 of my daughters out at 5 with a single shot .22 with me helping maintain control of the rifle. my 8 yo does good on her own at the range or in the woods with me. My 7 yo still needs a lot of attention ensuring she keeps the shooting end pointed the right way. My 6 yo is doing well but still needs hands on attention. I take them with to the military range here in Norfolk and they absolutly love the attention they get from the range masters:icon_razz:. I agree with every that said each child is different and you would want to go at the speed of the child.:bier:
 

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