10 year old daughter and first time at range

This is a discussion on 10 year old daughter and first time at range within the Basic Gun Handling & Safety forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; Have a ten year old daughter that has expressed interest in going to range with her dad. She saw youtube video of another daughter (11) ...

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Thread: 10 year old daughter and first time at range

  1. #1
    Member Array volfan's Avatar
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    10 year old daughter and first time at range

    Have a ten year old daughter that has expressed interest in going to range with her dad. She saw youtube video of another daughter (11) shooting with her dad and ask me if she could come. Thinking of letting her shoot my .22 to start small simple easy even has laser sight just put red dot on center of target and sqeeze gently. One suggestion from buddy was to only load one or two rounds in magazine first couple of times that we shoot. That we if she does something silly nothing else can happen.

    So when I do let her come first time tips suggestions etc...
    The gun fight you really win is the gunfight you avoided.

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    That's great. I would stick to one in the chamber and reload each time, until she has a feel for it, and is well versed in safety.

    Something you may wish to practice (after the first shot is fired, with one round only in the gun, or even empty is better), is to call her name from behind, and see if she turns with the gun. That's a bad habit of course, and now would be the time to break it, if it happens.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I learned to shoot my dads 20ga when I was about that age. One shell at a time. I know you'll be nervous, but have fun, and it could be the start of a life long father and daughter activity.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    First thing is teach her gun safety and to keep her finger off trigger until ready to fire,also to keep the gun pointed down range at all times,and one bullet at a time
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    She is certainly old enough to learn about gun safety which is important for both you and her. She my surprize you in how well she can shoot.
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  7. #6
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    First off CONGRATS!
    My daughter is 10 as well, but she's been shooting since she was 6 or so. Every kid's different in their age of readiness though.
    I've had my daughter learning about safety since she was old enough to barely understand. She also worked her way up to real guns through stages of toy guns to BB guns up to the real thing. All the while treating each and every one as a real gun with real dangers.

    She wasn't allowed to come shooting with Mom and Dad untill she was able to pass my safety test that I give to anyone considering shooting with me. She passed it the first try since she's been getting it drilled into her since she was old enough to understand.

    Sean's Gun Saftey Rules!
    There will be POP quizes!

    1: ALWAYS treat a gun as if it's LOADED!

    2: ALWAYS control the MUZZLE of the gun! IE: NEVER point it at something you're not willing to destroy! Loaded or unloaded!

    3: NEVER put your FINGER on the TRIGGER until you're ready to fire the gun! And ALWAYS know what's behind your target and where your bullet will end up!

    4: If you pull the trigger and the gun fails to fire hold the gun at the target for 10 to 30 seconds before trying to clear the round from the gun!

    Safety is priority #1 and with that comes all the fun of shooting!

    Other gun safety rules to go by:

    Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

    Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.

    Don't rely on your gun's safety.

    Be sure of your target and what's beyond it.

    Use proper ammunition.

    If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care.

    Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.

    Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.

    Don't alter or modify your gun and have it serviced regularly.

    Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using.
    Once she showed me how safe she was I bought her a real gun of her own. It was a Heritage Rough Rider Heritage Manufacturing - Heritage Manufacturing, Inc and I would highly reccomend it for first timers such as your daughter. A single action pistol in .22 with an external safety makes for an easy and safe gun to learn on. Plus they can step up their game to the mag wheel as they get better and ready for bigger and better.
    Her first rifle was a single shot Crickett from Keystone Sporting Arms Crickett Firearms - My First Rifle - Youth Model 22 Rifles - Proudly Made In The USA which is also a great first gun since it's a single shot with extra safety's built in.

    Basically what I'm saying is give her a healthy fear of guns and the power they can have and then let her get that big smile and giggle once she get's her first shot off. Once the safety and fun are combined with the irreplaceable memories you'll be making...... you'll wonder why you waited till she was 10.

  8. #7
    Member Array volfan's Avatar
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    Great advice from everyone.. Yes gun safety has to be key... as well as slow and simple I think she can do both.. but think she will now be passing a test/quiz first
    The gun fight you really win is the gunfight you avoided.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volfan View Post
    first time tips suggestions etc...
    Some things to consider, at least:

    • Single round loaded at a time.
    • Start with a simple-to-use rifle. Progress to pistols later. If you don't have a pint-sized .22LR (ie, Ruger 10/22 type), now might be the time to get one.
    • Practice gun safety, basic handling. IMO, this should be first done without ammo being anywhere near the gun. Do this until decent handling/safety is apparent.
    • Keep it fun, light. Once she realizes how great it can be to excel at something like this, as well as spending time with you, you can pump up the volume with the details beyond the basics, pistols, etc.
    • Check the NRA's Eddie The Eagle training materials. Decent, for young 'uns.


    Enjoy! She'll be in college (and gone) before you know it, so ... enjoy!
    Last edited by ccw9mm; November 8th, 2009 at 09:59 AM.
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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    You've gotten good advice, and let me add something: make it fun for her. If you do nothing but scare the holy jeepers out of her she will have a poor time and not want to come back. Keep reminding her that shooting is a lot of fun and in order to enjoy it we have to be safe. It can be dangerous but very rewarding. Then praise her for shooting and make it a fun day...maybe lunch afterward or something that she likes to do a lot.

    Enjoy the father-daughter time. It's precious.
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
    Christianity and Self Defense from a Biblical Perspective

  11. #10
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I agree with start with a rifle and the safety, then progress to pistols later. Bolt action or semi auto 22lr would be great. Pistols for the most part are more complex, and muzzle awareness needs to start with something longer than a five inch barrel, and something that's rather generically accurate with scope or open sights and few manipulations/parts/single safety device. Make the range trip fun and use reactionary targets such as 1 liter plastic pop bottles filled with water for targets, or some clays. You make the first outing the best learning experience and associate it with fun, and everything will be downhill from there. Best wishes on your first trip to the range with your child. It will be priceless I'm sure. Let her know you'll be the first to be proud of her, and that there's a rather extensive list of folks here that will be proud of her as well, and just waiting for that range report!

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Start at home with safety handling (finger, muzzle awarness, etc).

    Tape some ballons to the target and let her go at them at the 15, 25, 50 and 100 yard lines. You seem to be talking about a .22 pistol, be very carefull she doesn't swing around with a loaded gun to ask you a question - this is why rifles are better to start out a kid. Load up one round/shot at a time first - you load, she fires (she's just there to have fun). Bypass the 10/22 rifle, go for a cheap .223 AR15 and a 22LR conversion. Get a collapsible stock and a bipod so she can shoulder the rifle during her growth and concentrate on shooting (sight alingment and picture, trigger/breathing control, etc) instead of fiddling with the rifle to get a proper shooting position - a duostock works great to get a good cheek weld.

    Get some of the yellow earpugs and cut them in half, roll them up and place them on her ears - stay away from ear muffs that are too tight since they'll press the eye protection against her temple and give her a headache. Also, earmuffs will not let her get a good cheek weld, but you might need to have her use them if there are many shooters around you. Go to an outdoor range and make sure you go when there are no shooters around if possible (very early saturday or sunday).
    I can no longer keep track of threads as I used to. If you need to contact me, PM me instead of asking me something in the thread. Disclaimer - No legal advice issued anywhere. Take care.

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    Member Array ibesarcasm's Avatar
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    I think it has all been covered....... if she has a good time, get her a rifle of her own. Something she can be proud of and take care of!

    and as Ram said....... waiting for the range report! :)
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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    I have taught several adults to shoot. They all get the same training.

    1. Go over the safety rules
    2. Explanation of the gun and all the controls.
    3. Let them practice handling a blue gun
    4. Let them practice on a real UNLOADED gun. Trigger control, aiming, racking slide, etc, etc, etc.
    5. Let them shoot ONE round. This way, if they do freak out, nobody gets hurt.

    (I actually had a woman get so nervous that she almost passed out. She ultimately pulled the trigger and when she discovered it wasn't so bad, she actually became quite good at it)

    6. After a few times of one round, and when I feel confident that they could shoot say 2 or 3 rounds, I load the magazine with three round and let them shoot all three.

    Wash rinse repeat until she is Annie Oakley.

    Good luck. Using a .22 and laser sights will help with her accuracy and give her instant gratification that she can hit the target. Who knows, maybe she will be on the next generation of Glock posters.
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    Member Array ibesarcasm's Avatar
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    Its all about marksmanship!!
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    Ever wonder why massacres never happen at a gun range??
    You might find me dead in a ditch one day, but I'll be in a pile of brass. - Stolen from Zebra64

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I work at a shooting range and have seen a bunch of different approaches to this. Here are a few things that caught my attention.

    Before you go to the range, check her eye dominance - if there's an issue use scotch tape, a patch, or see if she's more comfortable shooting left handed (assuming she right handed). It's a lot easier to diagnose before you get started shooting.

    Spend a few minutes (like 5 - 10) each evening a week before dry firing so she can get comfortable with the gun and trigger before under the pressure of shooting.

    If she'll be shooting open sights, make up visual aids to show her what proper and improper sight pictures look like.

    Make it easy to succeed right off the bat - use very large targets. Like 2 ft square. She'll absolutely hit something and have a good time right from the git-go. Decide where to go from there (balloons, clays, candy, etc) after seeing how good she is. Keep her at a point where she succeeds and it's fun. The first time is not a time to challenge her abilities until you know she ready for that kind of fun.

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