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My daughter is 12 years old, and I am going to let her start shooting next year. She is exited about hunting and learning to shoot (should've seen her face when I brought home her gun). However, due to an abusive parent in her childhood (she is adopted), she is a bit paranoid about guns in general. She is sure that a rifle is deafeningly loud, and is fearful of seeing a gun go off.

I am planning on starting her with a .22 to get her used to a rifle and comfortable with the fact that its not really noisy or frightful. Once she learns to shoot well enough with the .22, I am planning to introduce her to shooting with the deer rifle (a 6.5 x 55 Swedish mauser). Of course she will do dry fire first to get the feel of aiming and pulling the trigger, and we will use ear plugs during the course of training to minimize noise.

I've had a couple of folks suggest that I first let her shoot a more powerful rifle (like my .270), and then step down to the 6.5 x 55. I'm afraid to try that, because I think it will reinforce her fear rather than help her overcome it. However, it is logical to think that she might better see the relative lightness of the 6.5 that way. Does anyone else have any experience or an opinion that might help me decide what to do here?
 

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My guess is more people can't shoot well now because of a flinch caused by an adult(usually finding it funny) getting a kid to shoot a gun that kicks like a mule. My advice is use a pellet gun until she masters it, then a 22lr with CeeBee's, then regular 22 ammo, then downloaded 6.5X55. A flinch is hard to cure the best thing to do is avoid developing one.
 

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The thing that my dad did for me was he would shoot the gun first and then he would hold the gun with me to help me shoot it. After a while I wasn't afraid anymore.
 

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Use ear plugs & earmuffs at first , that will help overcome the fear. Think I'll submit an article on kids & shooting.
 

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Jose's right

My units qualifies about 2500 folks a year on their weapons. I've also shot some fair sized guns and my kids both shoot. Best thing is just what you're doing -- starting with a 22. I'd also suggest both ear plugs and a headset. Loud noises cause at least as much flinching and "gun-shy" behavior as recoil.
 

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I've written an article in Helpful Hints about kids & shooting. You might read that. A Daisey 853 pellet rifle is one heck of a traing tool for kids with no experiance.
 

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I am 15 now (almost 16), but I shot my first deer with a .243. It was a 60yards shot, but I hit it a little high, so I hit the spine, and the deer dropped like a rock. I now know I did something completely wrong when learning..........

I had NEVER shot a gun other than my pellet gun, and I was borrowing a guys Browning .243 for my first deer. I never even shot it at the range!! Well, I now know I should have started small, but since I shot a 20 gauge (i think) at the Hunters Ed. before I shot the rifle, I was good to go. But I probably should have shoot it a few times before taking it into the woods.

I in a family of 4, and no one else in my family likes to hunt, so I go with my uncle (he is like another dad to me now).........I finally got my first gun LAST YEAR!! (My dad wouldn't let me get one until then). It was not nearly a ".22", it was a 30-06. I guess not the way to start off again, but I didnt want to waste my money on a .22 (p'rants money). Maybe it was because I wa older, but I have not developed a flinch. Like I said, maybe I am lucky, b/c I always hear of people that have flinches, even p'rants.

I will say that the first time I shot the gun, I was anxious. I didnt know how my Remington 700 ADL 30-06 was going to kick. But I think the main thing is to be calm. Let the kid just sit there with their cheek up to the scope, and just let them look through it to get the feel. They need to become comfortable, and know they can make the shot. Make sure they have some ear protection, and let them shoot whenever they are ready.....

I will admit I still get "buck fever" even when I am about to shoot a doe. I have shot 7 does. I shot five (5) last year. I hunt on food plots, so once the deer is there "it ain't moving". Sometimes I decide that I am going to shoot a deer, but I takes me 10 min. before I actually take the shot. Yes if it is about to walk off I will shoot, but most of the time I just shoulder the rifle, look through it a few times, and wait for it to move into the right position. At that point most adults will just take the shot........but for me......I lift up my head from the scope and take about 3 deep breaths. Once I put my cheek back down it is time for business!! :lol: I take one final breathe let out a little of it and sqqqqqqqquuuuuueeeeeeeezzzzzzzeeeeee the trigger. I will also admit that I don't know exactly when the gun is going to fire. But just hold steady and trust yourself. I like to hunt by myslef alot more now, b/c it always seemed my uncle was rushing me. Let your kid get inot a rythem. That allows them to become comfortable. Just because you shoot right when the deer takes one step out onto the field doesn't mean a kid should.........right?? As I said, I think shooting is all about having the confidence and to be COMFORTABLE!!!

What does everyone think about my advice on shooting?? I think a kid can shoot almost any gun (that applies to their species) but they just have to have confidence.......its just like dating........if you like a girl and you have confidence and know you'll succeed then you will it is mind over matter.......same thing applies to shooting.......if you tell yourself your going to hit the target right in the spot where you want......it will happen (hopefully :) )

Just my 2 cents........you can disagree with me if you want.....but being 15 and since I have been through those kids shoes VERY recently........I think that info should help out your kids tremdously!!
 

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Hi Huntsman

You might also want to consider a medium priced air rifle. Noise and recoild are virtually non existant and you can practice at home. Like any sport practice is required and unless you live next door to a shooting range even the .22 will not get a lot of use. 15 minutes a day is better than 4 hours once in a while. Also the youth do much better with shorter more frequent sessions. Careful though cause you will find it fun as well and then you two might start shooting together and having more fun than people are supposed to shooting ;~)

Good luck no matter which route you choose! quote="huntsman"]My daughter is 12 years old, and I am going to let her start shooting next year. She is exited about hunting and learning to shoot (should've seen her face when I brought home her gun). However, due to an abusive parent in her childhood (she is adopted), she is a bit paranoid about guns in general. She is sure that a rifle is deafeningly loud, and is fearful of seeing a gun go off.

I am planning on starting her with a .22 to get her used to a rifle and comfortable with the fact that its not really noisy or frightful. Once she learns to shoot well enough with the .22, I am planning to introduce her to shooting with the deer rifle (a 6.5 x 55 Swedish mauser). Of course she will do dry fire first to get the feel of aiming and pulling the trigger, and we will use ear plugs during the course of training to minimize noise.

I've had a couple of folks suggest that I first let her shoot a more powerful rifle (like my .270), and then step down to the 6.5 x 55. I'm afraid to try that, because I think it will reinforce her fear rather than help her overcome it. However, it is logical to think that she might better see the relative lightness of the 6.5 that way. Does anyone else have any experience or an opinion that might help me decide what to do here?[/quote]
 
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