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Age To Start Young Shooters

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by whatzhizname, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. whatzhizname

    whatzhizname Southern Oregon and occasionally PDX Member

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    Hey,
    In the poll for peoples' ages someone mentioned they started shooting at age 4 (a Red Ryder bbgun that is). It got me wondering, what is a good age to start a child shooting say a bbgun and then moving up to a .22, etc.? I have a couple young'uns and I want to be smart and safe. I started when I was probably 5 and was always comfortable and cautious with firearms because of it. I'm curious what others' experiences have been and welcome advise.
     
  2. whatzhizname

    whatzhizname Southern Oregon and occasionally PDX Member

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    "Advise" should be "advice" in my last post. Although I welcome you to "advise" me with your "advice". :)
     
  3. techieguy

    techieguy Well-Known Member

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    When to teach a child really depends on the child him/herself! Some children are just more mature than other. Of my three boys, the first two where very responsible with firearms, my youngest son I still have to have to watch like a hawk... So I would say it depends on each child.
     
  4. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    I agree with teckieguy, age has very little to do with it. I think it is up to the parent to reconize 'when the time is right'.

    This goes for other things also. Like teaching them to drive a car or ride a motorcycle, water ski, snow ski. You get the idea.

    Frog.
     
  5. swwjeff

    swwjeff Fort Vancouver, USA Active Member

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    5 or 6, I think. Safety being the #1 point.
     
  6. whatzhizname

    whatzhizname Southern Oregon and occasionally PDX Member

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    Thanks for the insight. I assumed the "when they're ready" I just wanted an idea of when that typically is for kids. For me with older brothers and cousins who were shooters it was easy to learn, but things are a little different these days.
     
  7. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    Yup, if ya did a good job with the first one, the ones that follow should be a lot easier.

    Letting the older ones guide the younger ones (under your supervision) is good for them too.

    Gee, maybe I should have been a parent. :D

    I really don't know anything. I've been faking it with opinion. ;)

    Frog.
     
  8. finch6013

    finch6013 Oregon City Active Member

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    I think I was about 5 when I started
     
  9. wakejoe

    wakejoe Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    I let my three year old "play" (Pull the trigger while I hold it) with an unloaded airsoft gun. :)

    Start young!
     
  10. finch6013

    finch6013 Oregon City Active Member

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    I think the first time I shot a "big gun" something other than a bb gun was when I was five. My dad let me pull the trigger on his shotgun while he held it against his shoulder. I remember thinking that was pretty cool. You might try that with a gun that wont scare them so that they can get a feel for what happens when they pull the trigger.
     
  11. NK777

    NK777 West of Portland Member

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    BBguns are excellent training tools. Each of my kids have cheap CO2 BB handguns. They have safeties, magazines, etc. and should they get stupid with them nobodies gonna die but if they shoot themselves with them it's going to hurt too. I keep them in the gun safe with the rest of the guns I'm not actually wearing or shooting. Teach them all the safety and operation of guns. They will respect them as you do.

    On the flip side I do not like airsoft. I think it makes a poor training tool because they were designed to be toys. GUNS AREN'T TOYS! and should not be treated as such ever.

    Oh and back to the original question. 5 years old is about right if you supervise them strictly. It's a bit young but that's the age I started mine at. 6-7 years old is a better time because they have a longer attention span.
     
  12. jason97496

    jason97496 Cottage Grove, Oregon Member

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    I remember the first time I shot a real gun. I was 6. My dad was letting me shoot his .25 caliber boot pistol. That little thing fit in my hand like my Glock does now. The most vivid memory I have of the moment is being terrified that the bullet was going to ricochet on the walls in the wood shed, like my BB gun did.

    My youngest son shot for the first time yesterday. He is 5 and was shooting a little Savage .22 single shot rifle. He was very excited. I kept repeating the safety rules to him and stressing the point that it was not a toy and that I needed to be with him anytime he touched a gun. He seemed to get it. When we go shooting again I will continue to reenfource those safety rules.
     
  13. wakejoe

    wakejoe Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes:
    We should talk sometime.
     
  14. RallySoob

    RallySoob Salem, OR Active Member

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    I'm with NK777 on that... It seems like you would aquire more bad habits than earn good. I see it only be useful for extreme cqb type of stuff like entry
     
  15. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    one of my earliest childhood memories is when my Dad took me to the range i was 5 he sat behind me and helped hold the sportorized jap 7.7 rifle and i pulled the trigger .

    it all depends on the kids ability to hold the weapon and maturity , even some adults should not handle a rifle
     
  16. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    The very first firearm I ever shot was my dad's Colt .45 M1911. I was six years old.

    I sat down on the shingle beach and he sat behind me with his arms around me and his hands over mine - I could barely reach the trigger.

    He asked me if I was ready and we touched it off, and I was totally hooked - I had hit a garbage can lid from ten yards and the bullet went off into the Atlantic.

    I hope nobody on the other side got hit.

    The gun has long gone, and so has my beloved dad, but I've never stopped shooting since then - Lord above, it's fifty-seven years ago.....

    tac
     
  17. solowars

    solowars Lake oswego New Member

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    If they can walk then give them a gun. I got my first pellet rifle from my great grandma at the age of 3 and ever sense then ive either had a fishing rod or a rifle in my hands. Theres more respect in the gun community for someone that has had a gun in their hands from the time they could walk then someone thats a newbie ground shooter:) I know i have more respect for the true shooter and would be more willing to let them tag along then a newbie unless its a kid. Just my 2 cents.

    Plus im one heck of a shot, hands down the best i know and i own that all to my old man Starting me young(May he rest in Peace).

    AIFSOFT gives us true gun owners a bad name. I hate paintballing too, Your never suppose to point a gun at a person and you must know and pay attention to what your muzzle is pointing at. Even if its a toy it still gives me a funny feeling inside when i point it at a person, Like im really not suposed to do it. I guess its the 20+ years of gun saftey
     
  18. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    I personally started with an Ithaca .22lr single shot lever just before my 5th birthday. I still have it, it is immaculate, and I look forward to passing it on if my son is ready at that time.

    Bob
     
  19. NK777

    NK777 West of Portland Member

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    Agreed!
    I can't speak for or against paint ball because I've no experience with it. I think paint ball in a controlled environment with responsible players is probably just fine and probably a whole lot of fun but like I said I have no experience with it either.

    Oh and I'm not sure what age I was but the first gun I remember shooting was my dad's 357 mag (Max Load!) My dad thought it was going to be funny until his gun nearly landed behind me in the mud. He quickly apologized and I asked him immediately if I could shoot it again. He grinned and said "Well yeah!". :D
     
  20. NK777

    NK777 West of Portland Member

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    Well I just made a 7 1/2 year old girl very happy yesterday... I let her (My middle daughter) shoot my 1911 high-cap with me. She got a real kick out of it and was actually hitting her target. :D

    Of course my 5 nearly 6 year old daughter had to have her turn but only shot two rounds. She thought it was a little scary so she decided that was enough. I actually like that about her. Always willing to try something but always cautious in the process and not afraid to tell you when she's had enough.