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Buying a kid their first gun, ?'s...

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Joe13, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Joe13

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

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    I'm a couple years out from buying a relative a first gun and a thread lately had me thinking about a few things; so here are the questions:

    1. .22lr seems to be the obvious choice but is there another thought I should consider?

    2. 10-22's are very common so I would like to find a more unique rife, ideas?

    3. Bolt, lever or simi?

    4. Engraved or otherwise personalized or left stock?

    (4 is of the most interest to me. I often see first guns and heirlooms being sold, would an engraving help discourage that in a time of need?).

    Any other points to ponder?:rolleyes:
     
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  2. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    Bought my nephews bolt action clip fed marlins to teach them hunting. It made them great shots because they knew they had to hit the first time. I felt like a 10-22 or any other semi wouldn't work as well to teach them as they would just keep pumping the trigger with more shots.

    Plus as a clip fed bolt I took out the clip and then they just had a single shot. The boys turned out to be excellent hunters and great shots.
     
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  3. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I bought a chipmonk for my grandkids to shoot, but the chamber is so small it is really hard to insert a round, and the action is really pretty bad.

    The rifle that served me best from the time I was 8-yrs old is a little Mossberg bolt action with a magazine. I still have it in my safe 49-ish years later. So, IMO a smaller bolt action is great since the kids need to understand loading a magazine properly, inserting it properly, running a round in the chamber with the bolt action and then repeating the same process each time. It gives them pause to think and consider rather than being spoon fed with a semi-auto.

    My $0.02
     
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  4. huthuthike

    huthuthike Hillsboro OR Active Member

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    You say you are a couple years out but does that mean that the relative is going to be 5, 10, 18? Getting a gun that the kid is physically able to safely shoot is the most important criteria. At 5 I would stick with .22lr but at 10-18 I would open it up to any gun that is "fun" to shoot. Anyone under 21 may have a hard time getting "handgun" ammo or I might suggest a pistol caliber carbine.

    People knock the 10/22 as common, but there's a reason for that. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to modify and repair and good enough for 90+% of gun enthusiasts. So are the Marlin 60s, for what it's worth.

    Engraving can be really cool, I might suggest though (on a wooden stock) a place to put a medallion (or coin). The engraving is put on the coin and it can be removed/replaced if the gun is ever sold.
     
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  5. Joe13

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

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    Oops, good point - this gun would be for a young kid.
     
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thats the route I took, Jim. Being a machinist at the time I shortened the stock, barrel and re crowned the muzzle! It shot great and he became an excellent shot. Since it was magazine fed he used it for rodent shooting for several years.
     
  7. Vanillagerrilla

    Vanillagerrilla Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I just let my boys shoot my guns until they found one they liked. Then I bought one of that model/ caliber for them. My oldest loves his 1911 , my youngest still is on the 22 bandwagon.
    All kids / people are different. What feels good in your hand may not work for someone else. Even just holding them at a store is a good indicator of how the kids will be able aim and shoulder a small size rifle. If they are uncomfortable in the store, the range will be very uncomfortable.
     
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  8. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A tube fed bolt action .22 that shoots short/long/long rifle ammo would be my choice for a young novice shooter.
    No magazine to lose, you have to manually load each round and beside the manual safety, one can always lift up the bolt handle for added protection when hunting.
    I always see shorts and long rimfire ammo when LR is in short supply.

    I just picked up a really nice vintage Stevens tube fed rifle at an estate sale for only $50.00.
    I'm having a gunsmith member here thread the barrel for my Sparrow suppressor and work on the trigger a bit to smooth out the factory pull weight.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  9. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If you are going to have more kids to train, that is different than if you are going to have the gun grow-up with the kid.

    If you will have the firearm grow up, a Ruger 10/22 can be re-stocked with a child's size, then a youth's size.
    I am sure there are others which can do the same.

    For young children I recommend single shot - which some like Ruger 10/22 do not come that way. But magazines which are restricted to one cartridge are available.
    I like the idea of bolt guns, so you can control the ammo as a teaching moment. But putting in a magazine which is one round only is not a bad alternative.


    On the downrange side, I also recommend reactive targets. Something that "pings", moves, spins or shows that it has been hit. Food coloring added into mostly full 2oz (bathroom) dixie cups with christmas tree ornament hooks added, then frozen, are pretty reactive.


    Have fun!
     
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  10. curtismann

    curtismann Silverton Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I started my daughter on a Ruger Charger. With the bipod and a red dot, she could set on my lap at the bench, and learn trigger discipline and the cause and effect of firing a weapon, without trying to shoulder a rifle.
    A while back she graduated to a Savage Rascal. Chose the rascal for two reasons: it was available in a left hand bolt, and the action was much easier to operate than the Cricket or Chipmunk or what have ya...
    As far as targets go, soda cans or plastic bottles filled with colored water are fun, and are a great demonstration of the effect of even a little tiny .22lr.
     
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  11. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    My first was at 10 years old. A pump action 22lr. Still have it. Still works great.

    I would suggest a bolt action 22lr or pump.
    Semi auto just creates bad habits and laziness.
    Single shots just aren't any fun, but good to learn on.

    When thinking of something they will have for a long while the bolt or pump work great. They don't blow through ammo, learn precision, and will be fun into their adulthood.
     
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  12. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    Winchester 9422?
    Hard to find. But worth finding.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  13. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Finding one for yourself maybe, but at over $1,000.00 for a nice one to start out a new shooter, I don't have those deep of pockets.
     
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  14. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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  15. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Consider this rifle; .22 long rifle, tube fed, lever action and really a pretty cool looking weapon. Kids grow out of the Chipmunk rifle pretty quickly (I have one sitting in my safe that I took to the hospital the day my son was born). Henry makes a good rifle and this one goes for $289.99 right now at Northwest Armory and I'm sure many other places.

    Henry H001Y Lever 22 Youth Lever 22 LR 16.12" 12+1 American Walnut Stk Blued

    Henry.png
     
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  16. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    You can find them for $650 or less. We all have different finances.
    And that is a lot of money. But could be worth $2000 when he's 25.;)

    We were poor. So my dad bought me a model 67 Winchester [I was born in 1967] when I was six. I still have it. And it's priceless.

    It taught me iron sights. And helped stretch my meager 22 supply. The simple design also made training easy.

    When I got older. My dad dove tailed the barrel. And made a set of elevated scope blocks from a rail road spike. They were drilled so I could still use the iron sights.

    Still. It sure would have been cool to have a 9422. I had to wait until I was 40+ to get the one pictured above!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
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  17. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

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    a co worker gifted me a stevens 73y 22short/long/LR. its a single shot bolt action. every time the bolt is pushed into battery the thumb safety automatically goes on safe. my son is 16 months old so i have some time before he gets it but currently (today)i am in the process of refinishing the stock. its a cheap 'ol 22 but my favorite part of it is: its single shot and he will HAVE to think about the safety before it can be fired. i got my first gun when i was 5. a glenfield (marlin)bolt action magazine fed 22LR. my grandpa taught me how to shoot it. 5 years late he passed away. my grandma gave me his h&r 22/22mag revolver, a glenfield 30-30 (marlin336) and a US remington 1903-a3 that had been been sporterized. today marks 17 years since he passed and i remember every moment we had together 22 years ago when he was teaching me to shoot. point is, it doesnt matter what you get them. whether it be an old stevens 22 single single shot or a glenfield bolt action 22. it doesnt matter whether its pristine or a rusted POS that spent its life on top of the wood pile outside. it doesnt matter if the sights are true or half missing.what matters the most is that they always remember when grandpa/ dad/ uncle/ brother/cousin/ brother taught them how to shoot. taught them a skill that not every kid gets to know. taugh them responsibility. a value learned for the rest of their life.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  18. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    The Savage Rascal

    Single shot bolt action fosters the fundamentals for a 7 Y/O; going through the motions of loading, unloading, using the safety selector, muzzle-awareness, and being part of a group of people on a range.

    Walnut stocks @$200, synthetic @ $139.

    Safe, reliable, accurate.
     
  19. ocarolan

    ocarolan Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    A shotgun can be more practical if the kid grows up in a rural setting with lots of game. A single-shot .410 with tight choke, Pardner Compact for example.

    photo-pardner-compact.jpg
    Of course those outside hammers are prone to slip in rainy conditions, so decock with care.
     
  20. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I started with 10/22's for all my kids, then I moved to Remington 600's in .243, I bought them all their own M1 Garands. And so far they are all under 10 ;)
    Next up will be long range Elk rifles! All in time!
    Need to get them some kinda scatter guns.

    Everything has been customized by me, and I doubt they would ever be sold. But I did have their names laser engraved into them, under the stock.