Teaching kids to shoot

This is a discussion on Teaching kids to shoot within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; At what age do ya'll think it's appropriate to introduce guns to kids? I was around twelve when i got my first BB gun. 14 ...

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Thread: Teaching kids to shoot

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Teaching kids to shoot

    At what age do ya'll think it's appropriate to introduce guns to kids?

    I was around twelve when i got my first BB gun.
    14 for my first .22.
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    Depends on the kid
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    I concur, it depends entirely on the child, and their maturity level.
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    Distinguished Member Array squid86's Avatar
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    Maturity level for sure, not as much age. We taught my nephew to shoot a 22 on thanksgiving. He is 7. He shot BB gun before in scouts. He is mature when it comes to guns and is very curious about them. When they start asking questions about them you need to go further in training them about weapon safety. When they are mature enough around them I would let them start holding and familiarising. Then comes shooting. I do it in stages and will do it for my daughter too.

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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    It's hard for me to imagine an age too young to start teaching a kid about firearms. My daughter had her first .22 when she was 6 but of course during all of that time I was right there with her, watching like a hawk to make sure she was doing everything right and taking every opportunity to teach her when she wasn't. When I say right there with her I mean not even a foot away.

    So as far as teaching I think that kids are better off the sooner they start learning good habits. I started teaching my kids at a pretty young age but it was how each one was able to grasp good habits added to that maturity level that is what determined my decision to allow them to shoot on their own.
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    Member Array fredg53's Avatar
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    I agree depends on the kid I have a 7 year old nephew who will be shooting after he gets his Christmas give single shot 22lr and then I have another one who is 21 and I will NEVER shoot with or even try to educate
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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Yep all about the maturtity I have met some kids that I think could be safe around a gun some that I dont ever want to see have one ..

    Perosnal if they are old enough to a. understand what a gun can do. b. undersand the 4 rules and fireram saftey c. be trusted to not do anything stupie ( ie shoot somthing they should not like say the next door dog ) then I think it would be good to start out with say a bb gun / airsoft gun what have you then move on to kidde 22lr bolt training gun then maybe a 10/22 or such.

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    I agree with most all of the above. Notice not one poster (so far) suggests starting young'ns with handguns. The people we have shot with who have had children didn't start them on handguns until age 10 - 12, depending on the child. By that time they were very familiar with firearms and safety rules and practices. Then they were ready for a .38 revolver. Then in a couple years it was on to "all the other stuff". By age 16 these kids were very competent and responsible shooters. Also by age 16 they were not showing up at the range with Dad and our group so often because ---- well, because they were 16! (Includes both boys and girls)
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    A gun barrel works great as a teething ring! J/K

    There is no set age. It will depend on each individual child, as to when they will be able to understand the responsibility involved. Some may grasp it as early as 6 or 7, others may never grasp it. It also depends on the parent. If the parent doesn't fully understand the basics behind shooting, they're really in no position to try and teach another, especially a child.
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    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    I grew up with guns in the house but didn't get my own .22 rifle until I was about 11. That was the minimum age required for the course I took in hunter Safety at the sheriff's range.

    I think it's more important to get kids started earlier though in familiarization and handling to inculcate the proper attitude about firearms as just another tool, albeit a dangerous one. Teach them how it works, Safety, assembly & dis-assembly, and the basics of sight alignment. Learning how to help disassemble and clean the guns at an earlier age serves this purpose very well.

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    Member Array grbr's Avatar
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    The age at which they can listen, take directions and follow them reliably, you can start the process. For some that's 4. For some it's 17.

    For kids I say (once they hit said age mentioned above) you can take them out with a .22 rifle. Bring 1 gun (I guess other than your CCW that's on your body somewhere, that doesn't count). That way, no matter what happens you have exactly 1 gun to affix your focus to. Never get more than 12 inches from that gun the whole time, and focus on it and the firing lane. That way you're in control of that 1 gun and that 1 firing lane and all is safe with as few variables as possible. Then, even if quite young, they can safely fire it while you hover 6 inches away from them.
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    Both my daughters started shooting .177 BB guns at around 7 years of age, learnt all the correct safety/handling procedures and then started firing real firearms at about 9 years of age. As stated it depends on the maturity of the child, I think girls have less issues with testosterone so I feel comfortable letting them start at an earlier age than a boy, but it's all down to the individual kid. I love that at 13 & 15 they walk around our gun club with AR's and shotguns and no-one has any concern that they will do something dumb!! Makes me proud to be their dad.. The fact that they also enjoy shooting and regularly come with me is just the icing on the cake.. Start them young and they will be safe for life, good habits taught at a young age are hard to forget or overcome, same is true for bad habits, so teach them good habits from the start!!

    Gary

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    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    As soon as they are old enough to ask, you begin teaching gun safety. Let them sit in your lap and explore. Show them that the gun is made safe. Show them that you still respect the safety rules. Let them satisfy their curiosity. They will bore soon, as an unloaded gun in the living room that you aren't strong enough to operate isn't very fun. They will probably ask again and again at first. Indulge them and be patient. It wears off as they become familiar with the concept (this means it is working).

    You will know when it is time to introduce BB guns.

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    I think our son was 8 when we got him a BB gun for Christmas.....after watching A Christmas Story. The kids used to shoot cans in the yard from Grandma's deck. So much fun. We had to go see the house in Cleveland when we were in the area on vacation. It's a museum now.


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    Quote Originally Posted by 88keys View Post
    We had to go see the house in Cleveland when we were in the area on vacation. [
    WOW - when I glanced at that house I immediately thought of the house where I grew up in Cleveland! Even though it doesn't really look the exactly same, "a house in Cleveland" brings back lots of great memories.
    Getting old was not on my list of "things to do" in the Golden Years!

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