Son wants to shoot


March 17, 2005, 07:11 PM
My son has expressed an interest in coming to the range with me. He's 12 and has only shot his BB gun. My question is what gun to let him shoot. I don't have any .22's. Only an SP101, Glock 17 and Colt .45. I was thinking of letting him shoot the 101 with .38's in it, but not sure. Which of these guns, if any, do you think I should start him out on?

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March 17, 2005, 07:12 PM
The SP101 with .38 special. Simple, easy to shoot gun.

March 17, 2005, 07:15 PM
The SP101 with .38s will probably be fine. But c'mon, no .22 of any kind? Shame on you.

March 17, 2005, 07:40 PM
Those are some big guns for a first shoot. They're no fun for a kid. The grips are too big and the kick is too strong for him to have any fun. You need a .22 to really introduce him to shooting.

Start him off right. Teach him safety and proper technique. The habits he forms in the first few days on the range will be the ones he lives by. I just started my 12 y.o. son shooting. I was amazed at the subtle bad habits I had acquired shooting solo. We did some homework first about how to sight, trigger squeeze, etc. We talked a lot about gun safety in general and on the range. The range I belong to rents guns so I got him a P-22, which has a small frame and is a lot of fun for him.

Around here most of the indoor ranges will rent handguns to use on their range. If you cannot find one near you, consider a .22 revolver or rifle. They can be had new or used for under $200.

When I take him he prefers the .22 Auto. I let him shoot the bigger guns but he can have more fun with the .22.

Good luck and enjoy. It's one of those father/son moments that they remember.

March 17, 2005, 07:41 PM
sounds like a good excuse to buy a 22

besides, everyone should own a 22. it's like your civic duty.

Dave Markowitz
March 17, 2005, 07:47 PM
If you can swing it financially, this is the perfect opportunity to get a .22 rifle. If you cannot do that, then the SP-101 loaded with either .38 Special wadcutters or .38 Special 130 FMJ Ball, which is a light load.

That said, an SP-101 is would not be amongst my top choices for a gun to teach a newbie, especially a 12 y/o.

March 17, 2005, 07:50 PM
Quote: Good luck and enjoy. It's one of those father/son moments that they remember.

Absolutely. For me it was father/ daughter moment when Dad was teaching me to shoot pistol (oops--handgun). This was with a S&W .357 - around 28 years ago. He did not have any .22 handguns then. I'll have to admit, I was scared poopless at first. I was really young and that baby had a big boom. But, the scared feeling did not last long.....and I still love wheelguns.

March 17, 2005, 07:53 PM
:uhoh: you don't own a .22 rifle?? :uhoh:

i don't like what's going on here... :neener:

March 17, 2005, 07:56 PM
everyone should own a 22. it's like your civic duty.

Guess I need to go get one then cause I am zero balance here as well. :o

March 17, 2005, 08:00 PM
I have been wanting to get a .22, just never did. Not sure if I should get a handgun or rifle. Can't get both just yet.

March 17, 2005, 08:00 PM
With your options, I would choose the 101 with light 38 loads. But like others have said it would not be my first choice if a 22 was available. I have a friend whose 14 year old son was introduced to shooting with a 9mm Beretta and he loved it.

Can you borrow a 22 rifle or pistol from someone? Maybe a Ruger 22/45, or single six, a S&W model 22a or something similar. At my range, they usually keep a couple of 22 rifles for youths stashed for young shooters to borrow, maybe that's an option.

Larry Ashcraft
March 17, 2005, 08:28 PM
You should be able to get an old single shot .22 for less than $100 used, and they breed when you put them in the closet, if you have at least two. :D

My son was shooting my Gold Cup by the age of 12, but he had started shooting a .22 rifle at age 8 and .22 handguns at 9 or 10.

March 17, 2005, 08:37 PM
Those are some big guns for a first shoot. They're no fun for a kid. My eight and ten year old boys shoot my Kimber and they love it. From my experience the trigger pull seems to be the limiting factor for most kids (and some adults for that matter), not the size of the grips or the recoil. They REALLY love shooting our AK too.

If you decide to get a .22 for your son, let him pick one out. Pick a day after he gets good grades or behaves particularly well and surprise him with a trip to the gun store and the range. He'll always remember it.

Guess I need to go get one then cause I am zero balance here as well. Get a rope!

March 17, 2005, 08:55 PM
I have a 12 year old, but he's been shooting for four years.
Just remember at first it's fun to shoot but what's a lot more fun is to actually hit what you're aiming at. Nothing better for that than a 22 rifle off a bench rest.
I can remember trying to shoot my dad's K-38 at that age and I couldn't hit dirt.
12 year olds have very little hand strength.

Teach him well.

March 17, 2005, 08:56 PM
I got a 20 gauge break action single barrel shotgun for my 10th birthday. My dad paid 10 bucks for it. I still have it.

Got $109 plus tax get this (

March 17, 2005, 09:07 PM
Go to a used gun store that lets you handle the guns with out asking and a wide varty of .22s. Then let hime pick one out for less then $200.

I am biased and suggest a ruger 10/22, carbine model. I really LOVE mine. However if you are straped for cash Dunames have .22lr romaian bolt action trainers for easly less then $100. However kids LOVE rapid fire actoin. I know I did (still do)!

March 17, 2005, 09:07 PM
Get the young man a Ruger 10/22 rifle. They're inexpensive, fun to shoot, accurate, and reliable as all get out.

I guarantee that he'll love shooting it and think that you're the best Dad to ever walk the Earth (not that he doesn't think that already ;) ).

March 17, 2005, 09:11 PM
Time to get a .22 rifle, I think. semi-auto or bolt, doesn't really matter, just get one with a magazine (rather than single shot), IMO.

Standing Wolf
March 17, 2005, 09:12 PM
I don't have any .22's.

Buy your lad a .22 caliber rifle.

March 17, 2005, 09:13 PM
If your son can hold them properly and reach the controls, you might also look at a .22 conversion for either your Glock, or .45. This can also be a cheap, fun way for YOU to get more practice for your money as well. I am really jonesing for a .22 conversion for my Beretta 96.

N.M. Edmands
March 17, 2005, 09:27 PM
If you feel he can handle the SP, get some bunny fart cowboy loads. 1st time recoil issues can turn him off to shooting. Almost as good as a 22 :what:

March 17, 2005, 09:52 PM
bunny fart cowboy loads?? :confused: DO TELL

Yes, sir, I believe you and your son could both have a great time with a new .22!!! :D go shopping together! If not, the SP, IMHO, would be good if you feel he is ready.

March 17, 2005, 10:29 PM
Sounds like a good time to get him a .22

Also you can have him shoot all your handguns with light or mild loads, you never know he might like them.

March 17, 2005, 10:37 PM
Buy a .22 rifle. Money well spent.

Then again, the first handgun I ever shot was a .44 Mag out of a 629 when I was about 12 or so. Actually, younger. 10, maybe? I dunno. All I knew was that I wanted to shoot something bigger :D

March 17, 2005, 10:43 PM
Hi T4A,
Don't mean to sound melodramatic but firmly believe that parents should water safe and gun safe their children. Encourage your son's interest in shooting and TEACH HIM SAFE GUN HANDLING HABITS. Even if it means selling one of your pistols, would strongly encourage you to buy him a .22 rifle as his first gun and NOT A SEMIAUTOMATIC. It is much too easy to accidentally pull the trigger again when excited or confused. Save the semiauto's until he has progressed sufficiently to be safe with them.
Not only will you and your son share many unforgettable times together but you MAY SAVE HIS LIFE by teaching him gun safety. So-called "gun accidents" are more often correctly called "gun mishandling". He may someday find himself in a situation where "friends" are handling guns unsafely and knowing what to do and NOT to do could save his life or a friend's life.
Will get off my soap box now.

Good shooting and be safe.

March 17, 2005, 11:02 PM
Ok is what I think.

You can get a Savage/Stevens .22 for like 100.00 at Wal-Mart. I am in for the first 10.00 donation to T4A to go buy his son a .22

Who else wants to play?

March 17, 2005, 11:23 PM
my first rifle was a ruger 10/22, and look at me now! im caliber bableing freek :D i still have it and it was my sons first shooter. i just loaded up some light loads for him to shoot the AR for the first time. since the colasping stock has a 13" pull it is a natural for him :cool:

March 18, 2005, 12:56 AM
For a 12 year old I would recommend a .22 rifle. There are quite a few reasons, the least important being the caliber. A 12 year old could easily learn to shoot well with a .38 to a .45 with no real problems shooting wise. Yet, there could be some problems bone structure wise as the bones in the wrist and arms are still growing and developing. Lots of shooting with that stuff might cause a problem later on. Even if that problem is minimal, there are better reasons to start with a 22 rifle.

A .22 rifle, bolt action, is inherently much afer to handle for a new shooter than is a pistol or revolver. If the child starts to turn around and swing the handgun around as he/she does so, let's say when about to ask a question, well that gun is poinbted at you in no time. If you have to grab at it to keep it safe, well you picture which would be safer, the rifle or a handgun. There is no chance of having the knuckles ripped open as can happen from the slide of a semi-auto pistol if you grip it improperly. There is no chance of being bitten by the hammer either. Oh speaking of safety with new shooters, it is a whole lot harder for a kid to turn the gun around on himself and look down the barel of a loaded rifle than it would be with a loaded pistol. Don't think that can happen, I have seen trained LEOs do it at the range. And if he got the rifle turned around to look down the barrel it would be pretty hard to squeeze one off, where with a pistol the finger would never have to leave the trigger to do the point it at yourself thing.

The bolt action rifle is also easy to learn how to use properly. It has simple understandable mecahnisms. It can be had in a very simple single shot version, or you can get a bolt action repeater. A 22 rifle has little recoil, but enough to make a child realize that guns do recoil. The 22 rifle can be had in the proper size for the child, as opposed to handing a child a large framed revolver or pistol. For instance my son's first rifle was a Armscor 14Y. It is a youth model, rifle in .22LR, with a box magazine. Did you notice the real plus in what I just wrote - it was my son's first rifle. Yes that rifle was obviously for him to shoot - not for me except when he let me shoot it. Of course he could not handle it in any fashion unless I was there to supervise, and it stayed locvked up with my forearms when not in use, but it was understood that it was his. I can assure you he will never forget that.

You have your toys (so to speak) now get him one that he can think of as his own. More plusses for 22 bolt action rifles are: they can be had from reputable manufacturers from very inexpensive to the sky is the limit for pricing. Ammunition is cheap. They need very little maintenance. A bolt action is stronger than most other actions and less likely to ever need repair.

And as the Beatles once sang: Happiness is a warm gun, bang - bang, shoot -shoot... More so when it is your own gun! Of course dad would be the legal owner of the gun until which time it became legal to trannsfer it to your son and heir.

Good luck,
Glenn B

March 18, 2005, 01:07 AM
Classic Arms has the Romainian Training .22s for $69.99. Bolt action, 5 shot mag, and they are supposed to be very accurate If you can find a cheap ffl transfer it would be possible to get it for about $100.

Rabid Rabbit
March 18, 2005, 06:10 AM
The only thing I can add is missing the target is very discouraging to a kid. Unless the target is very close your son is very likely to miss with any pistol. With a rifle if he is a decent shot with his BB gun then he should do fine with a 22 rifle.

March 18, 2005, 06:55 AM
well if you dont wanna buy a .22, then let him shoot the .38 special

Kramer Krazy
March 18, 2005, 09:35 AM
I agree with the 22 rifle.......If he's done anything good, recently, gotten good grades, has a birthday coming up, or just want to do some father-son bonding and turn it into a memorable him a 22 rifle. As stated earlier, you can find cheap 22 rifles at Walmart. I think a Ruger 10/22 is only $164 for the basic carbine. Other model rifles are even cheaper than this......I still have my first "real" gun.....a Ruger 10/22, and I still shoot it often.....I've had it since 1982.

March 18, 2005, 09:41 AM
The first time or two to the range I would let him go ahead and take his BB gun. It's something he's comfortable with and it will allow you to observe his shooting (and safety) habits and comment as necessary.

Shooting the gun that he's used to will allow him to shoot comfortably and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the range. Have him see what other folks are shooting and encourage comments from him.

I do commend you on taking the time to spend with your boy. I don't need to tell you how fast the time goes by. My 14 year old son and I are truly friends and enjoy hunting and shooting every chance we get. Matter of fact, I just bought a paintball gun here from BearGulch to go out there with Ryan and his friends to get bruised and tore up. But at the end of the day, we're both smiling knowing we made another memory.

March 18, 2005, 09:45 AM

I just noticed you are in my neck of the bayou. I'm over in Lake Charles.

After reviewing the helpful tips from the guys here, decide what you want to get and let me know. I'll be happy to check the market in my area and help you find a gun for that boy.

March 18, 2005, 10:19 AM
The boy needs a .22 rifle. A Marlin model 60, Ruger 10/22, both for less then $100. I've even seen Romanian trainers for $30-$40 bucks. I think it's Henry that makes the bolt action Cricket, that's like $50-$60 bucks. I would recommend something NIB, rather then used. You want him to be able to hit the target and be instantly sucessful. Nothing ruins a day at the range faster then not being able to hit the target. Plus the best part about shooting .22 - The ammo is cheap, less then $.02 per shot. I can take the whole family and one of my kids' friend or two to our club and spend less then $30 for an whole afternoon of shooting .22's and a couple of rounds of trap.

First things first. Teach him The Four Rules. He not only has to be able to recite them, but also explain them.

At the range: Think reactive targets. Ballons, (50 for $.99 at Wallyworld), Clay pigeons, 4 bucks for a case of 135. If your range allows it: aluminum cans, water bottles, etc. Punching holes in paper gets boring for kids, but pushing a can down range is a lot of fun. Work on the fundamentals of good shooting, but don't get obsessive about it. Make sure he has fun, but is safe.

March 18, 2005, 10:19 AM
I took my 7 yr old out for the first time a couple of months ago. I was sighting in the CETME to take a deer, but took the ruger 10/22 and AR-15.

The stock on the 22 was a tad too long, but the evil "adjustable" stock was just right when fully retracted. He loved that. He was ready to put some through the 308, but the stock was just too long to fit in the pocket of his shoulder. (Point being, use this as an excuse to get an M-4..."but honey, its for junior!")

Brought tears to my eyes. :)

Anyhow, I'm looking for a 22 that I can shave the stock down on (the 10/22 i have is my first and don't want to carve it up).

(Its amazing how quickly they take to the safety lessons and respect of the firearm when you introduce them correctly at the younger ages.)

March 18, 2005, 10:25 AM
Of the guns you have, the SP101. That said, I'd try to get a .22 of some kind. Preferably a rifle, not a pistol, since he's used to his BB gun. It won't be too big a transition for him, and muzzle control/safety on a rifle is much easier for a 12 year old. So many to choose from, let him pick one out that he likes, and he'll love it forever. I bought my first .22 myself when I was 12, a Model 60, after mowing all the neighbors yards within a 2 mile radius to come up with the cash. Guns have come and gone, but that gun is my favorite.

March 18, 2005, 10:34 AM
If ya want to see a huge grin on his face,buy some LARGE shoot n' c targets and let him shoot them on paper in the beginnin.they light up like fireworks when hit,and come in all sizes as well as variety packs.Let him work from large to small ,and he can see how well he's progressing.
I also reccomend a bolt action .22 THAT FITS HIM.When/if he outgrows it it will always be sellable.
He will tire easily the first time out,so if there are rests there don'lt be afraid to let him use them..or lean against a post even.

someone mentioned helping buy the lad his first rifle.I'M IN.

March 18, 2005, 11:10 AM
Do not pass this chance up. Sell another gun if you must and get a .22 for him.

March 18, 2005, 11:55 AM
Forget the gun stuff. You are about to create a set of memories for you and your son that will never dim. Go slow and savor the time. You'll need it when you go stupid (meanin' he turns teenager) :D .

Back to the gun stuff. The basics are best learned with a .22LR rifle. They are cheap and readily available. When Junior grows up he will have the rifle to jog all the memories you are about to create.

My suggestion is to spring for a .22LR rifle. Then spring to good hearing protection and eye protection. Spend time going over the 4 rules and the basic mechanics of shooting then have at it.

A range report is full expected.

Redneck Revolver
March 18, 2005, 12:03 PM
i could very well be the youngest here (18) so as far as i can relate i started shooting around 8. i am also probably the only member who has not shot a .22.... i just dont like them for some reason. that being said i think your 12 y/o son should be able to handle to recoil fo the glock if you simply tell him what to expect. and always saftey first.

March 18, 2005, 12:48 PM
My girlfriend's son has a 10/22 I bought him a couple of years ago. He loves it and will pass it on to his son. Money very well spent. $10 worth of Wally World Federal makes for a very fun afternoon....add a Single Six and life is good.


March 18, 2005, 01:01 PM
A .22 is an ideal first gun. But don't wait to take your son shooting until you get one. (He's 12 years old and you haven't ALREADY? Shame on you! ;) )

Now . . . your son is 12? That's about 7th grade, isn't it? Hmmm . . . unless he's very slightly built or small for his age, he should have no difficulty handling a .38 or a 9mm. Check it out - if he can confortably wrap his hands around the Ruger or Glock, have at it. .38 loads for the SP101 and Winchester White Box 9mms are cheap, and both have minimal recoil.

Needless to say, supervise your son closely as you instill proper safety habits in him.

Have fun, and make sure it's HIS time to do something with Dad, not just tag along while Dad shoots. Some of my most treasured memories are those of my late father taking me shooting when I was a youngster.

March 18, 2005, 01:10 PM
I think the SP would be fine with some lightly loaded wadcutters , I have had several small statured females shoot mine for the first time with no worries .

I think the ideal first firearm is a .22 bolt action . From my experience , bolt guns tend to make one focus more on accuracy and technique than an auto ; 10/22's are a load of fun but often that fun just means dumping 25 rounds and I think new shooters are better served with focusing on sight alignment , posture and so on .

Redneck , I think the only reason you don't like .22's is because you've never shot one ! There's a reason .22 LR almost always comes up #1 on the " most fun to shoot " poll .

March 18, 2005, 01:22 PM
Every young man needs his own .22lr rifle.

We are expecting our first child later this year, not sure if it's going to be a boy or a girl, but I am planning on picking up a .22lr prior to the baby being born.


March 18, 2005, 07:03 PM
Next birthday, xmas, or good sale at Dicks get him a Ruger 10/22.

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