When/ how do you start your kids shooting?
This is a discussion on When/ how do you start your kids shooting? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I hope I've posted in the correct forum.
I have a almost 3y/o and a 4.5 y/o and want to start them "down the road". ...
February 25th, 2008 01:58 AM
When/ how do you start your kids shooting?
I hope I've posted in the correct forum.
I have a almost 3y/o and a 4.5 y/o and want to start them "down the road". When/ how do you start? We have been working on the safety issues using the NRA and Cornered Cat's ideas. When do you take them to the "range"? I can shoot in the back 40, but is it better to take them to the local range? I have .22 handguns but no rifles, any suggestions on what we need for them to shoot. My wife and I were "3P" shooters in college and thought the kids might like that eventually, and use it to help pay for school, like his parents.
Any suggestions from experienced parents/ instructors would be esp. helpful.
"The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775
Vegetarian: Indian for inept hunter.
February 25th, 2008 02:15 AM
Here's what I did.
Before they are old enough to shoot, let them help you clean the guns after a trip to the range. This gives them a chance to handle the guns and you to teach them about pointing the muzzle in the right direction, keeping finger off the trigger, etc. Talk to them about the sight picture.
When they are old/magture enough to concentrate well enough to keep focused long enough to be safe, I started mine on a .22 rifle. Single shot was my preference. Allows them to focus on each shot. Sandbag he front if they aren't strong enough to hold it up without shaking. Sitting at a bench or prone worked best.
Progress to .22 handguns next. Lightweight is key. They have to be able to hold it steady.
Talk to them ahead of time about what will happen when they pull the trigger. Any recoil or loud noises should not be a surprise. Nothing should scare them.
Progress after some time to a larger rifle as they can handle it. I started mine out at 5 or 6 years old and stepped them up to a .22 hornet and a .410 shotgun after 7 years old.
Always have fun cleaning the guns together afterwards.
The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD
February 25th, 2008 09:05 AM
+1 CopperKnight--what he said....
February 25th, 2008 09:13 AM
yup, agree with copperknight...I wouldn't start them on a pistol...I would start with a bolt action .22. When you do move into repeating, it would be a .22 revolver(age would depend on how they do with rifle, and how often they shoot the rifle...I would say a minimum of 6 range trips). On the revolver, I would have them load, or me load, 1 round at a time. Then move up to 2, 3, and fully loaded. Sometimes after inexperienced shooters shoot, they have a habit of turning to look and unfortunately, humans normally point where they look...which is why I would say 1 shot at a time until fully comfortable. Same thing when you get to semi-automatic. 1 round and then 2 rounds, until they fully understand, that after the first shot, the gun is instantly ready for a second shot.
Happy and safe shooting. By the way, the above is how I taught my wife, who had never shot before. We did it all in one day, but for several weeks before the range trip, we had discussed and practiced loading, clearing the gun, how to cock, and everything else. She had a very enjoyable time because of all the dry runs we had done. We eased her into it, so that she would not feel (and I would not feel) uncomfortable at any time. I have noticed that when you are not completely comfortable and are teaching a new shooter, your anxiety will carry over to them, and make for a not so pleasant experience for either one of you.
February 25th, 2008 10:22 AM
My father started me with a BB gun at a very young age. I was taught everything about guns on that platform. I was taught gun safety, accuracy and how to clean it. When I was a little older, I got a .410 single shotgun. The foundation had already been laid and I used that shotgun until I was big enough to handle larger guns. Small steps and progression are the key.
‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’
— Abraham Lincoln
February 25th, 2008 10:34 AM
BB/pellet guns are a great start.....that's where I started.....then .22's and 20 gauges.....etc.
CopperKnight's take is good, letting them help w/ cleaning, etc. That method works with auto maintience, home repair, wood working, etc. Life lessons are best started early like that IMHO.
February 25th, 2008 10:38 AM
Also agree with CopperKnight.
Especially his idea about letting the kids help with the cleaning first.
That's how my Dad did it with me. It was a great introduction to safety with a firearm.
February 25th, 2008 11:03 AM
I don't know if I can be of much help, since we are essentially in the same boat. Our kids are 4 and 2.5. Our 4yo has one of those nerf over and under shot guns. That has been a great tool to help her watch where her muzzle is. Every time she and dad play with it, she is becoming more and more careful with it, and in turn instructing her little brother.
The biggest thing we have done is demystify the guns. We continually teach her what to do if she finds one, or sees mommy's showing, etc. She is doing well, and making progress. I think in the next few months she should start helping dad clean the guns as well. Guns are a regular fixture at our house and it is something we talk about often so that she and her brother will know how to handle them.
Not sure when she'll take a few shots herself. We have a .22 long rifle that they will start on.
I shot a .380 when I was 8.
My husband had a co-worker who's 8 year old son would consistently out shoot, many of the men in the club. I say if you have teachable kids, the sky's the limit!
"Let me control the textbooks, and I will control the state." - Adolf Hitler
February 25th, 2008 11:39 AM
first make sure they know the ins and outs of safety and gun handling 100%.
a .22 rifle is always a good place to start, but if you only have handguns, thats fine too. might also consider getting a cheap pellet gun to start out.
and have fun!
Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
(Murder begins where self-defense ends)
February 25th, 2008 11:44 AM
For me, I first have to convince my wife, who isn't particularly fond of handguns, to let my daughter get involved.
However, the missus doesn't have a problem with rifles or shotguns, so I hope to get my daughter started with a .22 rifle, maybe. I may start letting her help clean the pistola, too...maybe when the wifey isn't home, at first :)
February 25th, 2008 11:59 AM
I started out with BB guns and pellet guns when I was around 10 or so. I also started my twins on BB guns as well as my son at both around 8 yrs.. Took them to the range and taught them myself about safety and the proper way to handle. As they have gotten older, now 14 for the twins and 10 for the boy, they are shooting .22 rifles at the range as well as .22 pistols. Safety is now engrained in them and they are enjoying shooting at the range quite often. One of my twins has expressed a desire to shoot competitively, so this summer we will look into doing that. I will probably start them this summer in some NRA safety classes also. The best thing about this is, they are getting to spend time with dad at the range and I'm lovin' it.
The most exhilarating thing in life is getting shot at with no results.
- Winston Churchill
Endowment Life Member - NRA
Life Member - GOA
Member - Oath Keepers, SAF, CCRKBA
U.S. Army (72G) 1975-1980
February 25th, 2008 12:07 PM
My son started shooting at age 5 with bb gun and 22 rifle.He quickly moved up to 410 and 243.By the time he was 12 he shot a tommy gun .When he reached high school he joined rifle team and qualified expert. Start them young
and they are hooked for life.Nothing more enjoyable then going to range with my son.
February 25th, 2008 09:14 PM
Chipmunk Target Model
I started my kids with a customized Marlin 22 single shot -- reworked the stock.
I have a Chipmunk TM for my grand-kids, now. They are getting dang good with it on paper.
See: Rogue Rifle Company, Inc.
Those that were interested, generally started around 5.
I let them join in on their own, at their on speed, etc.
One still hasn't, at 37.
I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.
I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro
February 25th, 2008 09:49 PM
I started teaching gun safety at 3-4 yrs of age. Basics of safety handling, pointing. I let my kids shoot at 6 yrs old , if they wanted to. I started them on rifles and will not teach them to shoot pistols till they are teenagers. I personally feel pistols are easier to make a mistake with due to the shorter barrel /pointability factor.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
February 26th, 2008 07:34 AM
MY dad started my brother and I with air guns in the hallway
sight picture and trigger control
Its not hard to do
we were 6 and 8 years old
Im 56 now and remember it like yesterday
this queston btought back my dad ,if just for a moment
When outnumbered 2 to 1.
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