Age To Start Shooting?
This is a discussion on Age To Start Shooting? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My child turns 7 in a couple of months, legal age for him to start shooting under my supervision where I currently live. I plan ...
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Under age 5
Would not teach at all
July 29th, 2006 10:08 PM
Age To Start Shooting?
My child turns 7 in a couple of months, legal age for him to start shooting under my supervision where I currently live. I plan to take him to the range and let him shoot a collapsible stock M4 w/ bipod from the prone position. The weapon will be “dummy corded” to 50lbs weights at the muzzle/stock so he only has enough T&E to shoot down range towards the impact area.
Provided it is legal where you live, at what age will you actually start taking your child(ren) to the range so he/she/they can shoot under your supervision/guidance?
Feel free to post comments/suggestions.
July 29th, 2006 10:20 PM
VIP Member (Retired Staff)
Well - IMO some form of supervized shooting as early as possible.
This may well mean real early - some experience with a Daisy for instance - learning the craft of shooting and ALL aspects of safety. This I feel is invaluable for getting basics instilled with ease.
My two started pretty much this way - actually on our own land with pellet guns. My son was more interested early on but my daughter caught up a bit.
I started taking them with me on day trips to my range and they watched for some time and eventually i got them both into .22 rifle - followed later by .22 revo. Progression then really was what one might expect, until when they approx 8 and 10 they were handling target 38 loads thru my M27.
Neither did much heavy rifle shooting - but did progress to sample bigger handgun cals. My son now of course has his hunting rifle and enjoys long arms - uses a 7mm mag - and not too long ago at last got his CCW for a 637.
My dear daughter sadly lives in UK - and bemoans her lack of ability to enjoy shooting there - only when she and hubby visit here can she catch up a bit.
So - short answer - early as can be safely manage - and reiterate too - the huge importance of safety drills - it stands kids in good stead later.
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July 29th, 2006 10:31 PM
I got my oldest son a Cricket this past April for his 7th birthday. It mostly depends on the child's maturity level.
July 29th, 2006 10:52 PM
It depends on the kid. My oldest daughter would have been mature enough, had she been interested, at four. Ditto with my other daughter, who was very enthusiastic about it. I held off for a while anyway.
My son wasn't mature enough for a while longer.
July 29th, 2006 10:58 PM
My dad started me with S&W J frame .38s, and an old Browning semi-auto .22 at age 5 and I plan to do the same, I'll probally start with pellet guns first though....
July 29th, 2006 11:28 PM
My daughter is now seven, I think she took her first shot on my ported XD 9mm when she was 6. She loves going to the range with me, but does not want to fire the gun for now, but says she will in the future. I don't push it anymore, but the first shots I did, I wanted her to see that firing a gun was serious and if done properly safe, but only when I am there.
July 29th, 2006 11:31 PM
I started mine at 5 with a 22
July 29th, 2006 11:47 PM
I started shooting at 8, with my father handing me a .22 and saying "see those cans, shoot 'em." NOT a good way too learn. Formally instructed by Grandfather starting at age 9. Definately would have liked better training earlier in life.
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July 30th, 2006 12:38 AM
I had a Red Ryder around age 5 or 6. My Dad taught me safety and technique but then he lost interest in shooting. I was hooked though.
I didn't start shooting until around age 10 when my Grandfather let me shoot his shotgun from time to time but that was infrequent until I was 16. I was then taken under the wing of an avid shooter, hunter, and reloader who invested alot of time and money into my firearm education. In fact, I got my first gun from him, an 870 12 ga. Man was I king of the world!
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July 30th, 2006 04:59 AM
I get nasty comments, and judgemental crap on this a lot, but, here goes.
I am a proud father of 3. 2 girls, and 1 boy.
My oldest, whom is presently 5, has been shooting (if you include air rifles) since she was 3.
At 5, here's the group she can pull off, with the .22 (scoped) @ 50yds...
She follows the safety rules perfectly, and, she can recite the 4 rules, from memory (mostly, she simplifies them a bit)....
She can't fire the rifle standing (it's too heavy), but, she prefers bench-rest, to prone (although, she doesen't do too bad w/ prone...)
She's also fired some of the smaller handguns (HOWEVER, I only give her 1 in the magazine.)
She DESPISES the .25, but, she likes my .380...
Says the hi-point .380 is too heavy for her....
I wonder if I'me the only dad, who's pre-k girl demands to go shooting...
ATM, my 2- y/o son, is going to start with the air rifle here soon...
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July 30th, 2006 08:23 AM
My dad started me shooting at 6 years old.
I started my son at 6 years old.
My son started his son at 6 years old.
IMHO- Get them started as young as you can.
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July 30th, 2006 09:36 AM
My Dad was a bit of a contradiction. He survived 5 amphib assaults in the South Pacific and later shot marksmanship w/pistol during his career. He did not seem very keen on his son shooting though he figured it was inevitable. It started with my capgun in first grade. I could make all the noise with it but I was not allowed to point it at anyone, period. He also seemed to have an issue with me putting my finger on the trigger unless ready to let go in a safe direction. His rule was if it looks like a gun, it gets treated like a gun. Next came the pellet rifle followed by a 410/22 Savage. At each step of the game I was watched to be sure I followed the rules. I was only allowed single shot arms because if I couldn't hit it the first time what good was a second in his opinion. At 16 I finally got my first high powered rifle and by 21 I was already in the military and got my first pistol. He sort of gave in to each step reluctantly but was stuck with a country boy son who lived to shoot. Thank God in all those years I've yet to have an accident, may that trend continue.
Sometimes I think there was great value in the rules he laid down with that capgun. I grew up with a very serious attitude about the rules and anything that looked like a gun. Today with airsoft and all we seem to have to do alot of re-education about safety and in many younger shooters I sometimes see a sort of relaxed attitude about it at times. I applaud anyone who raises their kids to be able to respect and know how to use a firearm safely. I also think that, depending on the child, the younger the better!
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July 30th, 2006 09:42 AM
I started shooting mossberg model 36 at age 7.I still have rifle 43 years later.
July 30th, 2006 01:58 PM
I started my grandson on a 10-22 at age eight after seven years of gun safety training. His favorite target was a baloon blown up to the size of a baseball and pinned to a target. I got a lot of exercise blowing up the baloons and walking down range to pin them up for him. His favorite handgun turned out to be a 9mm Browning High Power. His mother went through the same process when she was eight. I have some fond memories of the process. The important thing in the procedure is the understanding and practice of the safety requirements.
July 30th, 2006 05:14 PM
Since I was given a single shot bb gun at 3 and a 22 at 5. I have always felt that as soon as a child shows they are responsible enough then start. I started teaching my son about guns when he was 4 and we had our first Family outing with guns when he was 5.
I gave him a pocket knife on his fifth birthday and a pellet pistol on his sixth birthday. He was supposed to get his own single shot 22 on his 7th birthday but his mother and I were getting a divorce and she sent him to spain to live with his Grandparents. It really depends on the child, and the interest they show. Some children just don't care. However, If you have guns they should still be given gun saftey training such as Eddie Eagle as soon as they can understand.
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