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Young Calgunners This forum is for our younger members, the sons and daughters of Calgunners, younger guests and their parents.

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2011, 11:59 AM
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Default how old is old enough to start shooting?

so a good friend passed recently and my godson is now my responsibility. i want to get him into shooting but im not sure what age to start him at. he just turned 6. im gonna buy a 10/22 for him to start with but when should i start him shooting?

thank you much.
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2011, 12:05 PM
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in my opinion, it depends on the kid. My 8 year old niece is more than capable of following the safety guidelines and rules that I have laid out for her, however, my 10 year old nephew wants to go all call of duty on the world and isn't trustworthy enough for me to take him shooting yet. I continue to go over safety rules and precautions with all of my nieces and nephews, but a couple I wouldn't trust handling a loaded weapon.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:06 PM
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I started at 3 or 4 with an air rifle in the back yard. By 5 or 6 I was shooting my dad's 10/22 and any gun that I could hold in my hands.

It really depends on the kid, and to a larger extent, the adult teaching them. If the kid is big enough to hold a gun, and can handle the recoil both physically and mentally, then by all means start them out strong!

You have the right idea using a .22lr to start. Just make sure he knows and can respect the rules before he starts shooting. Also, you need to maintain 100% control of everything when you are starting out a young kid. Get a bench rest of some sort, hold up the gun for him and basically let him do nothing but pull the trigger the first few times. Then you can progress to letting him aim, load, and eventually handle the gun all on his own.

But yes, 6 is plenty old enough physically, but you are the only one that can decide if he's ready mentally (following rules and directions.)
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:08 PM
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Depends on the kid. Some take instruction well and show competency at 8. Some at 12. Then there are some that can't at 21...
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:11 PM
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Wow, sorry to hear about your friend. What a responsibility... You sound like you're on the right path, one which your friend could be proud of. Kudos.
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Old 08-12-2011, 1:08 PM
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+1 for mid quality BB rifle. Not the very expensive ones, just around $60-80 pump. Set up cardboard/newspaper backtop in garage or basement. Prone with rest, so concentration is on sight alignment and trigger squeeze at first. Do not progress until those, and safe handling, are consistent. My son could punch duplicate holes when he was 6 and then did same with every handgun he has picked up in the next 30 years.
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Old 08-12-2011, 1:13 PM
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The first time I let my little cousins shoot a real firearm they were probably around 7 (the same time I introduced them to BB guns). Just a round or two while I taught an older sibling how to shoot. Age 12 seemed to be the average age when I could trust them to show the appropriate level of responsibility - while I stood behind them watching them like a hawk for every second. Age 16-18 was the appropriate age to get into some defensive type training with me right by their side. Seems pretty late in life, but you have to remember I was not raising them. Their parents simply did not demand they be responsible young men. The discipline they have came from sports, and from my small influence on them. So I had to be patient with them and wait until they were ready.

I think you will find that YOU will need to force yourself to be considerably more responsible than you are used to as well. You won't be able to turn your back on them for a second. No shifting attention to something that seems important at the time, but in hind sight doesn't mean a damn a thing compared to their safety and the safety of others. I am sure that sounds nuts to you. Of course you would be totally focused? Right? But you would not believe how often I have seen parents not pay close enough attention to their kids on the range and something scary (thankfully no injuries to date) happens. Most parents are less responsible than their kids these days and do not realize it. You can't loose focus or shift your attention away from the kid for even a second. No matter how good things are going.

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Old 08-12-2011, 3:53 PM
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2011, 5:32 PM
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thanks guys. i do have some air rifles in the attic somewhere. ill start him on that.

my biggest concern is him being mature enough to observe safe handling procedures. but i will be sure to keep my attention 100% on him at all times.

im also gonna start him at paintball, and maybe thats a better start point as mistakes are more forgiving so long as masks are kept on.

when i agreed to be his godfather it never occured to me that my friend might pass away before his time. but its time to man up and raise his son to be the kind of stand up sob my friend was.

much obliged.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2011, 8:55 PM
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I started my grandson with a Crickett .22 bolt action rifle. He was 5 when I first took him out. He is eight now and a very good shooter. I have a 10/22 for him but the Crickett still fits him better and he prefers using it over the 10/22 because he hits what he's aiming at.

One thing about paintball........you are allowed to shoot people. Some habits can lead to problems.....

A lot depends on the child. My granddaughter turns 6 next month, but she isn't ready to go shooting yet. But, grandpa is prepared with a pink Crickett and a pink 10/22!

Kudos to you for doing the right thing!

Check out post 62 in this thread:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...30#post5392630
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Old 08-13-2011, 8:59 PM
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I started my boy at 5 with a bb gun. I taught him about muzzle control and sight picture.

He is now 8 and shoots his .22 with an accuracy that astounds me.
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Old 08-15-2011, 6:12 PM
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I was started at age 5 with a pellet gun and then started shooting .22's when I was 7, when I was 8 my parents bought me a pump .22 (still have it 33 years later). It was stressed from an early age that these were not toys and my stepdad made sure to teach my brothers and I the proper care and rules of using and owning firearms. To this day I hear his words everytime I pick up a gun. He sent us to a 2 day hunter safety course when we were 8 and we had to shoot shotguns. I started my son at around 6 years old shooting my .22 and the proper care of guns. He always asks me before he can handle a gun, even his BB gun. Start them early, keep your guns locked up but let them hold them and kindly show them proper usage and they will learn to respect them.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odysseus View Post
Depends on the kid. Some take instruction well and show competency at 8. Some at 12. Then there are some that can't at 21...
This is very true, I have 4 kids 15yo no interest, 14yo loves it and has for years, 12yo the thought of putting a gun in her hand scares the beejusus out of me, 8yo he will just sit and watch then collect brass and set up other targets for us to shoot between rounds.

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im also gonna start him at paintball, and maybe thats a better start point as mistakes are more forgiving so long as masks are kept on.
keep in mind 1 close shot and he will most likely not want to play ever again.
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2011, 6:03 PM
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make sure he is mature...I babysit my cousins all the time and when the older one was 5 almost 6 I let him shoot a bb gun he was and still is very responsible and listens well..the other one who is 5 now I wouldn't even T H I N K about letting him pick it up...at least not yet. Just make sure he knows the rules and when you say "stop" he must stop right then and there take his finger off the trigger and put the gun down always.

I'd start him out with unloaded just to see if he does follow all the safety rules then you can put pellets/bbs/bullets in the gun.


way to step up for your friend looks like he made the right choice with you!
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Old 08-20-2011, 9:12 PM
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NRA recommends 8 yrs old. The Nervous system has matured enough where the exposure to lead is not a threat.

BB gun? Go for it!

Bless You for stepping up. Sorry for your loss.
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  #16  
Old 08-24-2011, 9:04 PM
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I did not let my 9yo daughter pick up a firearm until she had four basic rules memorized:

1. Finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
2. Do not aim at something unless you intend to shoot it
3. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
4. Know your target and what is behind it.

We have been shooting together for about two months now and have not had any problems. We always clean the rifle when we get home and she is memorizing the different parts. She can do everything but the recoil spring-guide pin-bolt dance. LOL

It is an absolute joy to hang out with her and do this!

Last edited by sprucansailor; 08-25-2011 at 7:26 AM.. Reason: Edited to add she is 9.
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Old 09-02-2011, 4:18 PM
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I say 6 is still a little young for a 10/22
I would say around 10-11 or so and also see how mature and responsible he is to make sure he doesn't point it at anyone or thing or look down the barrel
"no way kid, you'll shoot you're eye out" lol
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Old 09-02-2011, 4:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceflinch View Post
NRA recommends 8 yrs old. The Nervous system has matured enough where the exposure to lead is not a threat.

BB gun? Go for it!

Bless You for stepping up. Sorry for your loss.
^^^ This. Of course depending on the child's maturity level.
YMMV
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Old 09-03-2011, 2:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprucansailor View Post
I did not let my 9yo daughter pick up a firearm until she had four basic rules memorized:

1. Finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
2. Do not aim at something unless you intend to shoot it
3. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
4. Know your target and what is behind it.

We have been shooting together for about two months now and have not had any problems. We always clean the rifle when we get home and she is memorizing the different parts. She can do everything but the recoil spring-guide pin-bolt dance. LOL

It is an absolute joy to hang out with her and do this!
Sounds like you are very proud of your daughter! Keep up the good work.
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Old 09-30-2011, 5:00 PM
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Depends on the child. I was 3 when my dad decided I understood the safety rules and let me use a BB gun to demonstrate that knowledge. I was 5 when he started letting me shoot single-shot .22, but that was because I had been consistent with the safety rules for almost 2 years with the BB's and could finally reach the trigger on his .22 he'd had as a boy. I was 6 when he bought me my first .410. 7 was my first 20 ga. semi-auto. At 9 replaced the single shot with a model 60 Marlin.
--One of my daughters was barely 4 when she could follow the rules and started with the BB's. Another was almost 6. Another is still a bit untrustworthy on safety at age 11, but we're working on it (very carefully). I now have two daughters who are too small to reach the trigger on almost any youth model bigger than a crickett, but both are competent shooters. I mounted a 10/22 into an axiom adjustable stock (9 1/2" - 13 1/2" LOP) and put a Harris bipod on the front to help them deal with the weight. The smallest one likes to shoot 1" diameter swinging plates until she obliterates the stickers. Then it's "time to get more stickers!" One note on very young shooters. Daddy handles all ammo, loading, reloading etc. to cut down on lead exposure. I have outdoor ranges. So, leap vapor isn't as much of a concern.
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  #21  
Old 10-24-2011, 9:41 PM
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Like BayouB,I started young.Both of my daughters,I started at 8.One of them is a 29 year old school teacher now and has always been responsible and good with a gun(any gun).Her sister is a 28 year old RN that I do not trust to this day turning my back on with a loaded gun.My grandson is turning 4 in 2 weeks and is going to get a BB gun to shoot with grandpa.He is crazy about plastic guns and bows now.Depending on what I see,it will be a couple years until he gets to shoot a 22.I like the control of a single shot,lever or a bolt action though,for teaching.Adults as well need to start with something that has to be worked between shots.Again like Bayou,figure out reactive targets for keeping the kids interest.I used balloons.My one daughter,wife and I all like popping them at 200 yds with a 22,204,223,22-250,308 etc etc
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:41 PM
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Although I cannot comment on what age is good to start someone young on shooting, I can comment on just introducing him to one of your handguns (Unloaded - of course) and show him that they aren't toys and just show him the in and outs of properly handling a gun. From all the stuff I've seen on the news, it seems curiosity is what gets the best of these kids that shoot themselves. Most haven't properly taught these kids how to handle a weapon and how serious they are if misused.

As it seems with most parents that tell their kids NOT to do it, the kids rebel and do it anyway. So if you advise him about guns and properly show him everything you can later gauge when he is ready to go shooting with you. Just a thought. Sorry for your loss of your friend, good luck on your new role as "Dad". I'm sure you'll do fine.
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  #23  
Old 10-25-2011, 8:31 AM
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As others here have already stated, it depends on the kids level of maturity and his attention span. I've seen 10yr olds I would trust implicitly with any firearm I own and 40 yr olds I wold give a water pistol to without adult supervision.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:38 AM
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My daughter started shooting at 3.
When they are young they follow directions well and learned lessons are learned.
But single shot only. Who wants to get shot in the butt by their kid.

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Old 10-25-2011, 11:57 AM
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My oldest son started shooting my 10/22 at 4 yrs old. I put a bipod on it and he would sit on the ground with the stock under his arm and I would lay on the ground behind him and help support the stock as well as make sure the gun pointed were it should. Now he is 14 and can out shoot me with a rifle or hand gun.
Now we are starting his friends shooting, they are all good kids that simply have parents that don't shoot or own any guns. It's All good clean fun.
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Old 10-25-2011, 7:30 PM
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My 6-year-old is up for it. Again, as many posters have said it varies. Could always start out with a Crosman and then graduate to the good stuff. Sorry for your loss, but you are building in some excellent life long therapy that no shrink could ever prescribe.
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Old 10-26-2011, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Hated View Post
so a good friend passed recently and my godson is now my responsibility. i want to get him into shooting but im not sure what age to start him at. he just turned 6. im gonna buy a 10/22 for him to start with but when should i start him shooting?

thank you much.
My boys started a little later (last year), only because we had to convince the misses that they could be taught safely. They are now 10 and 8 and will be getting a .22 (10 year old) and an air rifle (8 year old) for Christmas.

I would also like to commend you for stepping up and being a good Godfather. It is something that you never want to happen but if it does you have to be there. Good Job
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Old 10-29-2011, 9:32 PM
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I got my first gun at 6 it was a single shot .410. I still enjoy shooting that gun. My oldest is 3 now and i'll get him one around 5 or 6.
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Old 10-29-2011, 9:55 PM
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My 8 year old daughter informed me a couple weeks ago that it was time for her to start shooting. Since I only get her every other week, I asked her again today if she is still interested, she was VERY happy I remembered. I have a Marlin 60 which is a bit big for her, so I am looking around for a Cricket. Does anyone know how much they are going for?
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:59 PM
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brand new they are about 100 bucks... i'm looking at getting my kids one too as the other 22 rifles i have are full size and too big for them.
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Old 10-31-2011, 8:37 PM
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Started my daughter at 4.5 years old. She liked it since her dad did it. Got her a chimpmonk 22 then a shortened stock for my 10/22. Then got tired of loading mags and got her a Marlin60. Then a 257Roberts and a Browning buckmark 22 pistol before she was 10. Then a Ruger 9mm pistol and the girl laid claim to my mini14 and M1A. That is still in dispute and she is 20 now.

She also wanted to be a NRA life member after several years of Jr membership.

Each child is different. My ex-step-daughters are in their 30's now and still not ready to shoot.
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  #32  
Old 10-31-2011, 8:50 PM
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Quote:
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brand new they are about 100 bucks... i'm looking at getting my kids one too as the other 22 rifles i have are full size and too big for them.
Great! Any idea where I can pick one up in the San Diego area?
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Old 11-01-2011, 7:58 AM
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i haven't found any gun store that stocks the cricket or similar size kids single shot rifle. so i'll order one online and have it shipped to my closest ffl.
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Old 11-01-2011, 8:18 PM
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Well I shot a .44 Mag when I was 4yrs old and been shooting ever since

I suggest the cricket .22 though great SAFE starter gun.
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Old 11-01-2011, 8:36 PM
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I ordered a Cricket today through ASC. I'm sad to say she didn't want the pink one, so we went with the walnut. I thought for sure she would want the pink.
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Old 11-01-2011, 9:39 PM
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Age is not the determining factor for me. Maturity is king. I taught my kids at 8 but there are kids in their teens that I wouldn't allow to shoot. It all depends on the child. Hope that helps.
Cheers.
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Old 11-07-2011, 6:44 PM
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I saw a Crickett at Discount Gun mart in Santee. I did not check the price.
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Old 12-29-2011, 8:11 PM
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My son started at 5yrs but I would only allow a single shot bolt action rifle.
If there was a round in the gun, I had a hand on it. His ability to concentrate only lasted a short time and this limited the number of rounds he could shoot in a visit. The rules at the local ranges would not permit him to shoot and so this was a fun camping thing for him.

He had a blast.

I really like the CZ452 scout. Out of the box it has a loading platform that allows only one round in the gun. This platform can be replaced with a 5 or 10 round magazine at a later date and the CZ452's are way accurate.


All the best

Barry
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Old 12-29-2011, 8:52 PM
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Depends on the kid. Some take instruction well and show competency at 8. Some at 12. Then there are some that can't at 21...
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Old 12-30-2011, 7:00 AM
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Depends how well they follow instructions. My daughter started shooting at 4 years old. My son who is now 4 years old, will have to wait until he matures up a little more and learns to listen to instructions. Kids mature and grow on their own time, so each kid will be different.
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