First handgun for a child???

This is a discussion on First handgun for a child??? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm new to the forum and have been using it to pick up a lot of useful information from those that know a lot more ...

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Thread: First handgun for a child???

  1. #1
    New Member Array ILuvGT's Avatar
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    First handgun for a child???

    I'm new to the forum and have been using it to pick up a lot of useful information from those that know a lot more about guns than I do (as you know, it's great for that).

    I was wondering what you guys thought was a good handgun to introduce my 11 year old son to self defense. I currently have a Bersa 380 and Taurus PT-111 Mil Pro. I was looking to start him off with a 22, but something that had a similar look and operating mechanisms to something he would use when he's ready to try a higher caliber. (Does this make sense or not?)

    I was leaning towards a Walther P22 but have seen many unfavorable reports on this site. I will sign us up for a safety course soon so maybe I could get some suggestions from the instructor. I just wanted to check forum opinions first.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    The Bersa certainly shouldn't be too snappy for an 11 year old. If you need to buy him a .22, however,, I would go for a Ruger MkII heavy barrel.

    If he's really interested, and you can afford to go either way, let him pick (assuming you're looking at the MkII) tapered or HB. My dad bought me a 6" tapered when I was around 11-12, and while it was fun, I never "loved" it. The HBars, now.. I fulfilled my childhood, and bought two, last year! Oh, yeah, they're for my daughter to shoot....

    Edit to add: if you can get a P22 for $100, not much more, it might not be bad. My experience was miserable- I ended up parting out the gun. I would have been much better off using the $250 for a MkII or Buckmark. The Mosquito looks good, but I would call Sig and ask if they are using aluminum billets, or cast-metal. If cast, its junk (ala, P22 and Hotwheels cars).

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    Member Array FknRa's Avatar
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    The p22 sounds like a great choice as it has single/double capabilities (I belive) I would also look at the Sig "Mosquito".

    NOTE both of these have a tendancy to need to run PREMIUM ammo or they foul/feed incorrectly.

    If you have the cash get a 22 adaptor for a 1911. Fun with a fullsize. (if his hands are big enough)

    If you can find one a model 72 Baretta would be Ideal for a young shooter.
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    Member Array MD_Willington's Avatar
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    Bersa makes a .22 that looks just like the .380 IIRC...

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    Senior Member Array rabywk's Avatar
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    I bought my 10 year old a Walter P22. He loves it
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    I do think as a starter gun a simple revo like the single action Ruger Single Six is good.

    No worries about auto function and mags etc ... just slow and deliberate ... good training IMO for getting sight, trigger and grip basics under way.

    Follow that with maybe P22 or Ruger semi.
    Chris - P95
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    Senior Member Array gddyup's Avatar
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    The Ruger or Browning .22s I think would make a great first gun for a child. I bought the Ruger 22/45 MKIII and it's a great little shooter that I intend to use for training my sons when they get old enough to understand what we are doing. It'll be a couple of years till then but I am 100% positive that that little number will be shooting just as good then as it does now.

    A lot of good ideas thrown in here so far and this is just my little addition to an already good list!
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    I'm with P95 on this....I'd start with a single-action .22lr revolver. Get the trigger control & sight alignment skills going first, rather than blazing away with a semi-auto.
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  10. #9
    Member Array Randal16-1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    I do think as a starter gun a simple revo like the single action Ruger Single Six is good.

    No worries about auto function and mags etc ... just slow and deliberate ... good training IMO for getting sight, trigger and grip basics under way.

    Follow that with maybe P22 or Ruger semi.
    I have to agree.

    I bought my son a Ruger bearcat. He loves it. I also let him shoot my Ruger MK II which he likes alot.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I was looking to get my 10 yr old a .22 (same position you are in now)...and was leaning towards a Buckmark...but when push came to shove, my son picked the P22. Why? It fit his hands better.

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    Senior Member Array gddyup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goawayfarm View Post
    I'm with P95 on this....I'd start with a single-action .22lr revolver. Get the trigger control & sight alignment skills going first, rather than blazing away with a semi-auto.

    Easy way to have both. Load one round at a time in that semi magazine. You can have the best of both worlds until you feel that he/she is comfortable enough and safe enough to start building up from that 1 round. Any time I bring a new person to the range I always start with the .22 and 1 round in the magazine. It keeps them from going "cowboy" on you and firing rounds off that could possibly go anywhere, while at the same time keeping the "WOW, DID YOU SEE THAT! I HIT THE TARGET..." statement whilst the gun is being pointed at you out of excitement.

    I haven't left the range yet with more holes than I came with. This practice should hopefully preserve that streak! :)
    Firefighter/EMT
    "You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know" - T.R.

    <----My LT was unhappy that I did not have my PASS-Tag at that fire. But I found the body so he said he would overlook it. :)

  13. #12
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    Load one round at a time in that semi magazine
    Very true and I had all but forgotten that option - equally applicable of course later when introducing kids to larger calibers in semi's.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  14. #13
    Member Array phoneguy's Avatar
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    Before I got my boy a hand gun I got him a 22 Marlin semi auto riffle. He enjoyed it he saved his money for a scope. This is went he was a young teenager) Later on I gave him my 9 mm Springfield XD. That was his present for coming home in one piece from Iraq!. He can out shoot me. They grow up fast!!
    To close for missiles, switching to guns.

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    First handgun for a child???

    Get a quality .22 revolver with a 6 in. barrel and bulk pac ammo.
    The p-22 is too short a sight plain and too easy to thus miss a lot.
    However, at that age rifles and shotguns are better than handguns.

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    Distinguished Member Array Ghettokracker71's Avatar
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    When I was much much younger, my dad got us a smith 10 shot .22 revolver. I forgot the frame,but its the full-sized frame,has awsome rubber grips, stainless finish, 4" barrel. I still absolutely <3 plinking with that thing. He also picked up an Amscor Ak-22 and a Saiga .410....I personally wouldn't reccomend the saiga, but I definitely support the smith large frame revolver.


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