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Discussion Starter #1
All,

I have a 5 year old that is very interested in Dad's hunting and target shooting. What is the best way to get him started correctly? He has shot my air rifle with me holding it and allowing him to sight it and pull the trigger. Here is what I was thinking:

Step 1

Get a small bb rifle (i.e., red rider) and start teaching him how to be safe with it. Maybe even blow up some balloons and let him try and shoot them with it. He would only be allowed to use the gun under my supervision. (age 5 - 6)

Step 2

Get a youth size 22 rifle (i.e., Marlin 915Y) and start teaching him how to be safe with it. Target practice, and maybe mount a scope on it also. (age 6-7)

Step 3

Get a youth size centerfire hunting rifle (i.e., Rem Model 7 youth, or T/C contender carbine) in a light recoiling caliber. Maybe load up some light loads and allow him to shoot it some. Once he proves he can hit a 4 " circle consistently at 25-50 yards, we would start hunting some.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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I think I would hold off on the centerfire for a while, noise not just recoil can cause a flinch thats hard to overcome. I like the way you're working in steps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jeff,

Yep, I was thinking at least 8 years old before we start with the centerfires.

Thanks for your reply.
 

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nixsrs93 said:
All,

I have a 5 year old that is very interested in Dad's hunting and target shooting. What is the best way to get him started correctly? He has shot my air rifle with me holding it and allowing him to sight it and pull the trigger. Here is what I was thinking:

Step 1

Get a small bb rifle (i.e., red rider) and start teaching him how to be safe with it. Maybe even blow up some balloons and let him try and shoot them with it. He would only be allowed to use the gun under my supervision. (age 5 - 6)

Step 2

Get a youth size 22 rifle (i.e., Marlin 915Y) and start teaching him how to be safe with it. Target practice, and maybe mount a scope on it also. (age 6-7)

Step 3

Get a youth size centerfire hunting rifle (i.e., Rem Model 7 youth, or T/C contender carbine) in a light recoiling caliber. Maybe load up some light loads and allow him to shoot it some. Once he proves he can hit a 4 " circle consistently at 25-50 yards, we would start hunting some.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Little background about me 4-H rifle shooting instructor and a NRA small-bore appointed coach for our county 4-H small-bore shooting club.
These are just my thoughts and suggestions on the subject. Starting with a bb is fine, the main idea is to keep the shooting fun while stressing firearm safety even using a bb gun. Using the red rider will be just fine for this. I would continue with this for a couple or three years and slowly introduce an air rifle into the shooting regimen. During all this it is of utmost importance to have the gun properly fitted to the shooter, have him use proper form and technique at all times and to continually instruct the importance of firearm safety. Teach him to master the use of open sights before going on the optics. Around age 10 the proper fitting .22 rimfire rifle can be introduced again using open sights for range work. By this point he should have a good understanding of using proper shooting form, using proper trigger control, sight picture, breath control and using proper follow through to call his shot. The idea is to fundamentally teach him the proper steps to precision shooting using that one perfectly placed shot to do what is needed whether it is target shooting or in a hunting situation instead of using the hail mary broadcast method used by so many today. Developing into a skilled marksman should be the goal of every shooter and hunter, something that is in short supply of today. As far as the use of shotguns and centerfire rifles, be careful as to how early of an age you allow your son to shoot these guns. Recoil and muzzle blast can and do hinder developing youth into becoming proficient marksman. Bad habits,often done unknowingly, can and do cause frustration to young shooters and these habits a most of the time very difficult to correct. May I suggest that once your son becomes 9-10 years of age, look at getting him involved with your local 4-H shooting club and who knows maybe you will also want to get involved with helping other youth learn a life long sport. Remember: M.A.T. muzzle-always pointed in a safe direction, action-always open until ready to fire, trigger- finger off of trigger until target is aquired and you are ready to fire.
 

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startin kids right

:D When my son turned 4 I bought him a CRICKETT 22, these are awesome and pretty accurate as well. They have the peep sight style back sight and this seems to me is a lot easier to pick up on when you are first startingout. These are extremely short and work real well on kids starting out. When they graduate to a scope mine also came with mounts.

The RED RYDER is a reat starter gun, but mine would much rather be shooting a REAL GUN any day than a 22. BUt definitely start out with open sights this teaches them how to aim the proper way and it also learns them eye control, mine is left eye dominant and right handed, man did we have a time, finally made a patch to put over his left eye, this worked great and he wiened himself from it, by first shooting with both eyes open then going to the left eye closing FYI STARTED MY 6 YEAR OLD GIRL SHOOTING THIS YEAR GUESS WHAT? YEP LEHT EYE DOMINANT , RIGHT HANDED!!

The balloon idea is great or DAISY HAS a target out that is approx 10 inches wide and gives sound effects when it hits the bullseye and different ones when it hits any other part of the target.

When they master the open sights (if and when you graduate them to a 22) ask them if the want a scope and if they do go for it.

The biggest thing is to use a gun that fits them, and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS USE HEARING PROTECTION, THE EAR PLUGS ARE OKAY BUT I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND A SET OF MUFFS SIZED FOR KIDS!!!


AND THEN BURN POWDER BURN, Always have plenty of ammo when you fgo shooting or they will never let you forget it, and besides the looks on their faces break my heart when they have to quit, so when I think it is time to quit and they have shot enough, play a little game and tell them as long a sthey keep hitting whatever they are aiming at, you will stay and shoot, word of caution sometimes this can be a while and this is when they will do some of their best shooting, but that is OKAY.

Also regardless of whether it is a bb gun or rifle, let them help you in the cleaning process of retiring the guns for the day and they love this trust me and it will start a great lifelong habit, ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK THE GUN MAKING SURE IT IS UNLOADED, AND MAKE THEM DO IT EVEN AFTER YOU HAVE CHECKED IT EXPLAINIG TO THEM UN LESS THEY CHECK A GUN THEMSELVES THAT VERY MINUTE NOT 2 MINUTES AGO, THAT A FIREARM INCLUDING A BB GUN IS TO BE TREATED AS A LOADED FIREARM :D :-D
 

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My first gun was a airgun the look like a Mauser 98K and shot well. I think little kids should not be shooting real gun before 12. Airgun are less powerful then a gun and the can hunt small bird and rat with it.
 

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BB guns??????????????

My father refused to buy me or my sister a BB gun, because he didn't EVER want us to think for even one moment that any kind of gun is a toy![/color]

My dad grew up in southwest Wyoming, got to be a Navy Commander while flying helicopters for 21 years, including three tours in the Nam.

I got a .22 lever M250 Winchester for my 8th birthday - with the express understanding that I could shoot it ONLY WHEN DAD WAS PRESENT TO WATCH AND SUPERVISE ME!!! And my dad was indeed "strict" about that point.

Nothing wrong with letting a munchkin shoot a .22, even with shorts in necessary (I sorta like the idea of the Cricket rifles, altho I'd probably go with a CZ 'Scout' instead).

As I recall, first time I remember EVER shooting a .22 was when a grand-uncle had me with him when we went to the landfill. I was 4yo.

Didn't hit anything, but I still had fun. :) That was 43 years ago.

I should have added previously, when I turned 13 my 'big' birthday present was a Sheridan Blue Streak pneumatic pellet rifle. Killed MANY squirrels, quail and doves. Even a couple stray cats. I also shot out the sliding glass door to the house when foolishly 'pointing' it that direction. Lost all my 'gun privilages' for several months! Was my dad disappointed? Yup!

"Son, guns ARE NOT toys ......."
 

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kids and guns

jamaldog87 said:
My first gun was a airgun the look like a Mauser 98K and shot well. I think little kids should not be shooting real gun before 12. Airgun are less powerful then a gun and the can hunt small bird and rat with it.
Well JAMALDOG87 You need to wake up and smell the coffee, most states allow kids to hunt by themselves (after completing a hunters safety course successfully) at age 12, it odes in my home state of VIRGINIA.

My son is 11 and he won't be hunting alone till 16 at least, but he is very mature and has killed deer every year since he was 7, not counting the turkey, squirrels, rabbits and groundhogs. And NO I DIDN'T HOLD THE GUN WHILE HE PULLED THE TRIGGER, if he can't get the shot off , he lets the deer walk. He had to let a 6 pointer walk last year because of no shot. He about cried becasue he wanted that buck so bad, but he ended up getting it a week later, and he said he was glad he passed up a SO-SO shot the first time.

JAMALDOG I think if you wait till they are 12 or so it is too late as something else probably has caught their fancy by then

I think that is why a lot of kids get shot or take guns to school because of curiousity, they don't know what they will do, let them earn a little respect for them by being able to find out firsthand what they will do.

When we were that young and our parents told us not to do something, WHAT DID WE DO???? Yeah I bet everybody smiled a little at that one.

Every kid is different and may not be mature enough to shoot a gun at 4!

But regardless, let them be around it and let them shoot if they want, DON'T FORCE IT ON THEM

TAKE A CHILD HUNTING TODAY, YOU WON'T HAVE TO HUNT FOR THEM TOMORROW. :D
 

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I started my son on guns as soon as he could hold the lighest one. I never got him a BB gun. He started sort of shooting as soon as he could pull the trigger. I'ed hold a 22 and point it at a big backstop. That early hitting something didn't matter, he just liked to hear it go off and make it go off. Always always I stressed safe gun handling. I don't recall when I let him hold it himself to shoot the first time. He was only two when he started sitting on my lap reloading. By the time he was three, he could catch any process out of order, seat primers, work the powder measure, knew how to trickle powder onto the scale and he seated the bullets.

It is not important that kids learn the fine points of shooting, that bores most of them! Kids just want to have fun and respond best when something is fun. They also pick up and retain gun safety early on and getting to touch a real gun makes up for having to do it safely.

There is no age to young to start, but it must be fun.
 

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yes kids can in a lot of state go hunting by themself. But their is a lot of people that can and will call the cops or some thing shoot at them when they see kids with guns. I don't know how many thing some pull a gun on me or the cops have been call cuz's the saw a teen what look like a gun in the woods. I was at a WMA when one time when i was 13 when some on a cell call the cops on me when i was rabbit hunt with my airgun. If you want to show kids what a gun can do take you gun and show them kill some can or a rat with a 22.
 

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the low fps bb guns are a great way to learn because the risk is much lower, the ammo much cheaper, and the shooting much faster. the daisy red rider is the classic in the field but there are certainly others. all guns are dangerous, but to say all guns are equally dangerous is ignorant. the low fps bb guns don't carry any of the down range risk of a .22. depending on age kids can take an air gun and shoot on their own while i'd be worried about the safety of giving them a .22 or even a high fps air gun.
 

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When I was 4 I started shooting a bb gun. 4-5 :blaster: When I was 6-7 i shot a 22 cricket. when im was 7-9 i shot a 20 gage shotgun, SINGLE SHOT and i shot a 30-30 w\ a golden trigger. Right now i am 10 but i dont shoot guns anymore. Its to easy. So i shoot bows and crossbows.
I am shooting a black crossbow and today i will go hunting and try to kill a pig w\ it. I am gunna use my dads Muzzy Broadheads the he uses for his Mathhews StrikeBack Bow. As I get older i am hoping to tech my sisters kids and my own kids hunting. :lol:

If i ever have kids...

Jasmine Smith
10 yrs old
 
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