Teaching a child to shoot

Teaching a child to shoot

This is a discussion on Teaching a child to shoot within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a six year old son that is six and shows an interest in shooting. I was wondering when everyone learned to shoot or ...

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Thread: Teaching a child to shoot

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    Member Array Bowdenknxvll's Avatar
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    Teaching a child to shoot

    I have a six year old son that is six and shows an interest in shooting. I was wondering when everyone learned to shoot or taught your kid to shoot. I was also wondering if a rifle or handgun would be easiest?


  2. #2
    Member Array ajgranda's Avatar
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    6 year old? Hmmm, I personally would start with an air gun.
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    Member Array tpurdin's Avatar
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    I have a 6 year old daughter who has shown interest in shooting and honestly I started her off with a BB gun, she does not have the arm length to hold a rifle the correct way by herself yet. I would definetly not give a 6 year old a rifle or handgun right now. I would start off with a BB gun rifle just to see if his interest is still there. With kids there attention may be a bit short and It would not be good to spend money on something that he may not be interested in doing in a month.

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    Member Array Bowdenknxvll's Avatar
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    Actually, I got him a BB gun last Christmas and he enjoys his weekly time with Dad in the backyard shooting at cans. I agree with the arm length comment. I figure it would be easier to shoot a rifle at his age than trying to hold a hangun steady.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowdenknxvll View Post
    Actually, I got him a BB gun last Christmas and he enjoys his weekly time with Dad in the backyard shooting at cans. I agree with the arm length comment. I figure it would be easier to shoot a rifle at his age than trying to hold a hangun steady.
    If he has the interest and he can handle it, I might allow him to shoot a single shot .22 rifle.
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    Member Array tpurdin's Avatar
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    I would imagine when the time comes that it will be safer using a rifle than a handgun, but the problem still lies in a 6 year old not being developed enough to hold a rifle the correct way. Give it a couple years let his arms grow and let him mature and realize how dangerous firearms can be and I think he will love it. But if you let him shoot now it may even discourage him later on from shooting. I can imagine if there is any recoil that he may not be interested when he is old enough to shoot safely.

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    Member Array dam294's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    If he has the interest and he can handle it, I might allow him to shoot a single shot .22 rifle.
    I agree. If you're willing to spend a little cash, find a youth model .22 rifle. I'd go with either a bolt, lever or pump, not a semi-auto.
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    Member Array gglass's Avatar
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    My oldest son received his first .22 rifle when he was 7... He is now 25 and has a larger gun collection than dear old dad.

    My youngest son received his first .22 rifle when he was 7... He is now 20 and is an MP in the Marines (He shot expert with pistols and rifles in boot camp). His personal gun collection is growing... a couple of 1911's, and M&P9 and some rifles.

    My oldest daughter received her first .22 rifle when she was 9... She never really got into firearms in a big way. She is now 18 and has her LTCH and a SD handgun. I feel for the guy who meets up her with bad intentions. She may not be into firearms, but that girl can really shoot.

    My youngest daughter received her first pink .22 rifle when she was 5... She is almost 6 now, and loves to go shooting with daddy.

    My primary criteria for allowing my kids to shoot is first and foremost... Do they have a grasp on the concepts of firearm safety as it is taught to them? The second criteria is knowing their level of maturity. Can they listen, concentrate and behave when they are around dangerous firearms? My third criteria is gauging their level of interest in firearms. Firearms are not something that any child should be forced into if they have no interest.

    In short... There is no right age. Just use your own criteria for deciding when they are mature enough to be safe. Also know that some kids may never get there at any age.

    My youngest on her 5th birthday:


    I will be the odd man out and say that I don't agree with any sort of air gun for a child's firearm training. I have always had a no toy gun and no air gun rule in the house. I never wanted my kids to have any confusion as to which one is deadly serious and which one is a toy.

    Teach them well and be safe!
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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    If he has the interest and he can handle it, I might allow him to shoot a single shot .22 rifle.
    BIL is having his 3 yr old shoot a single shot .22 with assistance and she LOVES it.
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    VIP Member Array cmdrdredd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gglass View Post
    I will be the odd man out and say that I don't agree with any sort of air gun for a child's firearm training. I have always had a no toy gun and no air gun rule in the house. I never wanted my kids to have any confusion as to which one is deadly serious and which one is a toy.

    Teach them well and be safe!
    Well, it gives a first introduction to the basics of sight picture, breathing, stance, and how a trigger functions. Then a .22lr is the next logical choice.

    While I see what you're saying, I think it instills some basic techniques for a shooter.
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I would go with a single shot or bolt action rifle and in a year or two with a single action revolver.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Member Array BaserRonin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowdenknxvll View Post
    I have a six year old son that is six and shows an interest in shooting. I was wondering when everyone learned to shoot or taught your kid to shoot. I was also wondering if a rifle or handgun would be easiest?
    I was 2 when my dad bought me my first rifle actually. He started me with a small breach action (single shot) .22 rifle. I spent more time learning safety then I can remember before we went out. learning to "Never touch this when dad isn't home", then practicing lining up the sites and never touching the trigger until dad told me to, that sort of thing. After everything was said and done though, as a child I had zero interest in playing with them when dad wasn't there. I guess he just took the mystery out of them by forcing me to learn safety and such.

    As soon as I was able to do so, I was making range trips. Dad would stand behind me and help me load the single shot and help me shoot it.



    As for the more specific questions, definitely a rifle as he may not have the coordination to really be able to use a pistol yet, and the longer site picture of a rifle will help build confidence.

    I would not recommend an air rifle, as I firmly believe they are too dangerous. You are essentially handing him something that has the perception of being a toy, but has the potential to cause serious damage. I would get him started on a .22 instead. He doesn't even have to shoot it for a while, but for teaching about hands on gun safety, it is never to early I think.

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    Member Array blckout's Avatar
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    With my dad being a State Trooper, I learned weapon safety at a very early age.

    I received my first .22 when i was 8 years old
    I had a .22 revolver at the age of 7

    I dont think 5 is too old. Teach them now, and let them build on their skills over the years.
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    Protect Their Hearing

    Don't forget to get them some quality hearing protection. This site has some you may consider...Peltor Kid Earmuffs - hearing protection for infants and children

    (I have no connection whatsoever with the company in the liink above.)
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