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At what age should I start my kids shooting?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by 9mm guy, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. 9mm guy

    9mm guy Tualatin Active Member

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    I'm a relative newcomer to the world of firearms, but I am hooked. I have a 3 and a 1 year old who are obviously way too young to start. But that got me thinking; what is a good age to start my kids shooting? I'll get them started on either a Crickett or a Rascal 22LR (if I can find any) single fire bolt action with lots of safety training. Any guidance would be welcome. Thank you for your comments in advance.
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Airsoft guns and bb to start. I started on 22's at age 4 but every kid is different.
  3. nextgenar

    nextgenar roseburg Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I purchased a cricket 22 for my daughters 3 rd birthday. She really didn't shoot it all that much until she was about 5. I would highly recomend the rascal over the cricket, due to its manual safety. My daughter is now 17, she has killed 5 deer, a bunch of grouse and she has quite a few guns of her own, a 7mm-08, several 22s an AR 15, 2 shotguns, and a king cobra 357, all of which she shoots incredibly well. So, safety first, teach them well when they are young, and when they are old they will not depart from it.
    40calruler, ron, Joe13 and 1 other person like this.
  4. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Personally, I think 5 is a good age to introduce them to releasing some projectiles. It will depend on the kid whether it's a BB/Air Soft gun, or a .22LR. Regardless, drill the safety rules into them regularly until that time. ;)
    Caveman Jim, Ant and Joe13 like this.
  5. thewhitebuffalo83

    thewhitebuffalo83 Gresham/Boring Well-Known Member

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    It depends a lot on you and your kids maturity/interest. I started my kids at four with Daisy bb guns and airsoft pistols, I had to pump the daisys for each of them at that age but we had tons of fun it the backyard. They are now 6, 8, and 11 and they are all about the same level mostly due to interest more then anything else. My youngest is the most interested and asks for gun/safety lessons the most frequent and she also gets the most range time as of late.

    I also told each of my kids individually and as a family that my guns will someday be their guns and that anytime they want to see/handle/learn about them, all the have to do is ask and so far that has satisfied all curiosity, especially when range trips are few and far between at times.

    "few and far between" Maybe I should dig those daisys back out of storage and hit the backyard shooting gallery. That sounds awesome!!!!
    brokenarrow, frauhunter and orygun like this.
  6. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My grandson turned 5 in January. We started with a Red Ryder last summer. I cut the stock down on one so it fits him and he shoots very well with it.
    Just last weekend he shot 10 rounds thru my 10-22 while we were sitting with him in front of me and me controlling the muzzle. This is how my dad taught me. Just like when I was a kid, he had to put the stock under the armpit. He didn't shoot very well because he had a hard time getting his eye down to sight level.
    The next time he shoots a 22 I will have one of the smaller 22 bolt actions for him.
    Gun fit is even more important when they are small.
    CoastRange57 likes this.
  7. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Slightly right of center Well-Known Member

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    Take them to an NRA Home Firearm Safety class. Then take the 11 year old to the Basic Rifle or Basic Pistol class. These are great classes and usually cost way less than you'd expect.
  8. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Seattle area, Washington state Member

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    I started with a BB gun, then a pellet gun, at age 7 a 22 rifle, age 11 a single shot 410 scattergun. I think I was 5 when I got the Red Ryder! :D Awesome !!
    My dad was USMC and all his friends (my fake uncle's) were military also, it was great growing up!!
  9. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    My dad wouldn't let me shoot until I'd memorized the 10 rules of safe gun handling.
    He relented when I kinda got close. I don't recommend it.

    I bought two crossman pump BB-Pellet .177 cal rifles for my 10 and 7 yo girls.
    I set tin can lid swingers out in the back grass. We shot at them from the back deck.
    Started with safety, pump, load, etc. They became real proficient.
    Didn't need to nag, they caught the important lessons. Didn't lecture (they would zone-out).
    My kids wanted to do stuff with me, To this day, they have fond memories of those moments.
    orygun, Ant and Sgt Nambu like this.
  10. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I started at four but we lived in a real remote location. I started my son at five with a BB gun and an array of targets in the basement. Safety, weapons handleing etc. A .22 at six and rodent shooting at seven!
    I think around five/six is a good age, but look, you really need to assess the maturity and responsibility of your child. We started my grandson at a later age when it was a better fit for him. Good luck to you and your kids! I'm sure that with patience you'll do great! SRG
    Ant likes this.
  11. Ant

    Ant Eugene, Oregon Member

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    I'm the only firearms enthusiast in my entire family, so I started w a pellet gun when I was old enough to buy. Prior to that I remember reading everything I could to educate myself until I was 21 and old enough to buy. It's great to see ppl eager to educate their little ones!
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  12. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Excellent. You have done a good job Dad.
    IronMonster likes this.
  13. BroncoFan

    BroncoFan Eastern Oregon Active Member

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    I think patience is key here. Starting them too early could be disastrous, so I had my wife wait until the second trimester to shoot her .22. :)
  14. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Start them on gun safety first. Shooting should come later.
    orygun likes this.
  15. RLS

    RLS milwaukie Active Member

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    Both of my girls learned firearm safety and shot .22s at 4 years old.
    They also did not have toy guns. Anytime that they wanted to shoot we would go over the safety rules and if at home would go out back with the bb gun, if in the woods they would shoot whatever they chose to for as long as they wanted to, Glad ammo was so cheap back then.
    Ant likes this.
  16. parsons_12b

    parsons_12b LaPine Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I started my son on a single shot 22 as soon as he was old enough to communicate well and follow safety directions. For him that was about 4. Every kid is different though.
    brokenarrow and Cogs like this.
  17. 9mm guy

    9mm guy Tualatin Active Member

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    Thank you to everyone who replied! I learned a lot from all your responses. I just posted a new thread asking specifics on what many people recommended: would you recommend a BB, Air Soft, or something else for the kids to start off with? And if you recommend one over the other, then any specific brand? And rifle or pistol? I've seen them at Walmart and I don't know much about them since I didn't grow up with them. Any response would be appreciated, whether you answer here or in the new thread I posted. Thank you again. I am finding the firearm community to be a welcoming, friendly, enthusiastic, and a helpful group of people.
  18. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I started my son off at about 3,with very close guidance. YMMV
    But he learned at a very young age the safety rules and how much fun it is to shoot.And became very good.
    It all depends on your child. Are they strong enough to hold and aim the gun? Or just bench shoot?
    Does your child listen to you or pretty much ignore you as white noise?
    Gotta have your kid listening to you at any age before you want to teach them about guns
    brokenarrow and Sgt Nambu like this.
  19. 808hondacrguy

    808hondacrguy Eugene,OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My girl showed interest at a very early age. made her wait until 5 before we trained her on brothers airsoft, then to the bb guns. When she proved to me that she became proficient with proper safety and gun handling, she moved on to a 10/22 at age 7. She now does not need me to scare her soon to be boyfriends with the threat about dad's guns, she will scare them herself. At age 10, she outshoots me a lot of the time. DSCN2101.JPG
    tac, IronMonster, RLS and 4 others like this.
  20. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator Staff Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Great conversations and a lot of value posted in this thread!

    I would not recommend BB or pellet guns to start. Go right for the 22 and 410 shot gun. Kids tend to see BB & pellet guns as toys, (air soft certainly is, in my book), and not as serious as the real thing. I think they need to start with, what they would think is, a real gun. I just feel they would have a greater respect and have a more serious attitude about the 'grown up' responsibility of shooting a real gun.

    Never trust the child. What? Yes, never trust that, just because you taught them muzzle control & safety lock, and/or they've been through safety classes, they will do it. Even at 12 and 13 years old, with several years of shooting, they still seem to 'wander off into space some where' and temporarily point that thing in the wrong direction. Always keep an eye on them and oversee their every move. You will know when they are truly responsible and you can ease up on the Eagle Eye.

    The Right Brother Billy P Cogs is now done preaching! :D Choir is adjourned.