Buying your Child a BB Gun,Is he to young?


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CobraF100
October 2, 2006, 11:39 PM
I was wanting to know what ya'll think is an OK age to get your Child His/Her first Gun?

My Son is now 5 1/2 and will be 6 in March and I was thinking that I mite buy him a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun (lever action) for Christmas.

He is starting to ask us questions about our Gun's and wants to see them.He's been into all the Toy Guns for about 2 yrs and we teach him "The Not to do's" even though it is a Toy Gun we teach him like it is a real Gun.

I wanted to ask all of you to see if you thought that I'm pushing it "He's to Young" or if you think it is ok at this age?

If Not at this age then what is the consensus of the appropriate age?





When and how I did it with our oldest:

When I moved in with my Wife her Daughter was 9 (17 now) and because I caired a Weapon for my Job there would be a Gun in the House for the first time,so I thought her how to take them apart and put them back together (Beretta 92 SF and SigPro 2340) then about 3 months later I took her to the Range to teach her how to shoot.....She is a Damn Good Shot,it's natural for her :eek:



(( I tryed the search before posting this but didn't find what I was looking for....:confused: ))

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Ditchtiger
October 3, 2006, 12:03 AM
I remember one of my kids sitting on my lap at a shooting bench pulling the trigger on my SKS before they were 3 years old. I held the gun and watched that fingers didn't get into the wrong place. They knew they were the one making the gun go off and that's all they cared at the time. A child's first gun should be something really special, like a brand new DPMS in .308, or a S&W 44 magnum, they just can't shoot it for a while. Has your boy gone shooting with you? He's more than old enough for a BB gun, give him your undivided attention when he is learning how to hold and shoot his gun. I've 4 grand kids, the oldest just turned 2 1/2 and can shoot air soft guns. She's due to go out anytime soon with grampa and pull the trigger on a .22. I'll let you know how it went.

14YEAROLDGUNADDICT
October 3, 2006, 12:03 AM
I got my first bb gun when i was 6 :)

Geronimo45
October 3, 2006, 12:06 AM
Five is plenty old enough. If he knows the handling rules, no problem. And the Red Ryder is a great choice. Accurate and it holds a lot of ammo.

Gord
October 3, 2006, 12:07 AM
Get him one of those Daisy Powerline pump guns or something. I can tell you from experience, a five-year-old kid doesn't have the strength to cock a Red Ryder, them springs are stiff. At least with a pump he'll be able to get four or five pumps off before he starts getting too much resistance.

I started off on my great-grandfather's knee with this tiny little Crosman something-or-other when I was four years old. 5-6 is plenty old enough. :)

Get the kid some tin cans or string up some of the lids on fishing line - reactive targets are much more fun (true for young kids and still true now) than punching holes you can barely see in paper. Even better - buy some cheap cases of Sam's Cola, shake them up and tell him to stand back... :D

Take him along to help pick out the gun - he deserves to be able to decide which one looks "coolest" and make sure it fits him. Do give him your undivided attention and teach him how to keep his finger off the trigger and line up the sights - even "squeeze", don't "pull". Maybe you can get one for yourself, he won't want to share ;) and you can shoot them together.

telomerase
October 3, 2006, 12:10 AM
BBs ricochet off almost anything, even wood. Watch the backstop or use pellets.

7-8 was the standard age back in 1960s America. In 2006 Homeland, though, better start him out before they're illegal...

CobraF100
October 3, 2006, 12:10 AM
Ditchtiger
Has your boy gone shooting with you?

Not yet,I'm new to Colorado and the only Range I've been to so far is the one on Base (Fort Carson) and they do not allow kids under the age of 14 yrs I believe,it mite be older...

Dave R
October 3, 2006, 12:14 AM
I don't think its an age thing. Its a responsibility thing. If you're comfortable that he can handle the responsibility...

That said, I got my first BB gun at 6, and had it taken away again for a month after a few weeks. I broke the rules. By hindsight, I could've waited a year and done better.

wuchak
October 3, 2006, 12:21 AM
I think he's old enough for a bb gun, to be used under careful supervision of course, and the Red Rider is an excellent and classic choice. It's a wonderful way to teach him about responsibilty, safety, and marksmanship. I'll bet you'll have fun shooting it too. A cardboard box with a couple of additional layers of cardboard added inside makes a safe bb trap for shooting in the basement.

I was about 8 when I got my first bb gun after begging for one for a couple of years. It was a lever action Daisy with wood stock and plastic forearm. It's still in my cabinet along with the Marlin 39a and 336 in 35 Rem I added for some grown-up lever action fun. Next is the 1894 in .357. That little Daisy gave me an incurable case of lever-gun-itis.

pax
October 3, 2006, 12:23 AM
Cobra ~

A heartwarming picture for you: http://www.corneredcat.com/KidsAndGuns/1932.htm

As a mom to five very active boys, I never went by the calendar when trying to decide whether it was time to introduce one of the kids to something. Instead, I went by their maturity level, and sometimes by external limits like the laws.

For trips to the range, I think there are some questions that need to be asked and answered. Those questions are


Is your child old enough to learn and intelligently follow the Four Universal Rules of Gun Safety?
Does your child have a healthy level of respect for adult authority? Will he immediately stop when you say "STOP"?
Do you have adequate safety gear for your child? If so, is he willing to wear it?
Is she old enough to keep his fingers out of his mouth and off his face?
What are your state laws about children at the range?
Is your range child-friendly?


I know you're not (yet) asking about the range, but about getting a BB gun. But if you intend to use the BB gun as a training tool with the idea that you'll be taking your child to the range later on, you will want to watch each of these areas and see when they develop for your child.

All of mine were ready to take to the range before they were 7 years old; one began shooting when he was 4. Now ages 16, 14, 13, 12, and 10, they are all extremely safe shooters who are very conscientious about following the rules when they are on the range.

pax

DoubleTapDrew
October 3, 2006, 12:32 AM
+1, it's not age, it's maturity level.
I started when I was probably 5 or 6 using grandpa's crossman (i think) pump air rifle. I got a red ryder later but Tactical Ninja might be right about the fact those spring action lever guns might be too much for a younger kid to work.
Definitely watch him whenever he shoots. BBs do ricochet and shooting pop cans or targets get boring eventually and you start looking for other things to shoot. It doesn't mean someone is a bad kid, it's just human nature. I went from pop cans to power poles to birds when I was left alone with the air gun and a tin of pellets (I felt bad when I finally killed a sparrow). Make sure he treats it as if he was handling a 30-06, never let either of you think "it's just a BB gun" and slip on the rules. The more proficient and safe he gets the sooner he can start on a .22 :)

USMCRotrHed
October 3, 2006, 02:59 AM
My daughter is 5 and she got a Red Rider for Christmas last year. The spring is stiff enough that she can not cock the gun by herself. That's just an added safety feature IMHO.

I bought the gun for her in order to use it as a tool to teach her to be safe around the firearms we have in the house and to be able to judge her maturity in other ways based upon how seriously she pays attention to the rules she has been taught. So far I am very satisfied. She's learning the 4 rules and she won't touch the gun unless I'm there with her.

So basically I guess I would say 5 is old enough to start if the focus is on education and not just punching holes in paper.

Go for it.

gunsmith
October 3, 2006, 11:17 AM
It's part of the growing up process.
He understands the difference between toys and the real thing.
Countless expert shooters played cowboy/indian and pointed toys at each other without any problem.....here is an article on the subject.

http://www.christianaction.org.za/firearmnews/2003-3_Boyswillbeboys.htm


'Boys will be boys, so let them play war games with toy guns'
by Tony Halpin

FOR more than three decades earnest staff in nurseries and primary schools have banned boys from acting out war games and superhero fantasies in the playground wielding pretend guns and swords. But experts at a conference in London today will be told that that approach is a mistake. Boys and girls should be allowed to play their violent games and may even suffer harm if they cannot. Penny Holland, senior lecturer in early childhood studies at London Metropolitan University, says that boys have fallen victim to a politically correct dogma that is ignoring their need for boisterous rough-and-tumble play.

Some become disruptive and live up to a "bad boy" image because they have been told off constantly for playing in a way that nursery staff and teachers, most of whom are female, regard as unacceptable.

A new book by Ms Holland, We Don't Play with Guns Here, urges early-years centres to reconsider the ban on "war, weapon, and superhero play", arguing that boys will be boys.

There is said to be no evidence of a decline in their desire to play violent games despite 30 years of official disapproval. Boys continued to play behind the backs of staff, even when they had been told it was wrong.

"It is very much part of them making sense of the world. It relates to timeless themes of the struggle between good and evil," she told The Times.

"It seems to represent a developmental need to play with these things and my feeling is that it is counter-productive to work against that. You can see in some situations, where there has been rigorous enforcement of zero tolerance, that it marginalises these children because their interests are so squarely rejected. If they are constantly receiving negative responses to their play interests, with people saying 'No, we don't play with guns here', they absorb the sense that they are bad boys. They seek negative attention and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle."

Ms Holland said that the zero-tolerance approach had emerged from pacifist and feminist movements in the 1960s and 1970s that assumed that "the spiral of male violence" could be broken by preventing boys from playing aggressive games. But there was no evidence that boys were more or less likely to grow into aggressive men because of the games they played.

Her book observes that nurseries that had relaxed their ban on guns, swords, and violent games had reported that boys had more fun together, made closer friendships, and became more creative in other areas of play, such as dressing up as princes in fairy tales. Most such nurseries found that levels of real fighting between boys declined.

Staff who stood back and watched children play-fighting, instead of intervening, discovered that they were much more careful to avoid injuries than had been believed, the book says. The children often agreed rules of the game between themselves to ensure that nobody got hurt. "This has particularly been observed in episodes of sword fighting and superhero, karate-style fight scenarios," Ms Holland writes.

Yet because of their prejudices, staff in many centres felt uncomfortable about allowing boys to make guns and swords out of toy bricks and other materials. "At best, do we respond to their energy and exuberance as irritatingly alien and male? At worst, do we see them as wife-beaters, armed robbers and rapists in the making?" Ms Holland writes. "Do our sincere desires to eradicate violence cloud our ability to interpret their behaviour as play?"

A refusal to accept war games meant nursery staff were missing opportunities to talk to children about events they witnessed on television. Many nurseries reported seeing children pretending to be aircraft and knocking down tower blocks made of bricks after the September 11 terrorist attack in New York.

Ms Holland told The Times: "The idea that they can leave these things behind at the nursery gate has to be changed, and that is one reason why practitioners are challenging zero tolerance."

knuckles
October 3, 2006, 11:21 AM
Didn't you a see a Chrismas Story? He'll shoot his eye out! ;)

Starter52
October 3, 2006, 11:23 AM
BB guns were great for our generation and are still a good choice for kids today, BUT

Before you choose, check out the airsoft guns now available. Airsoft guns have come a long way in the last decade. They are fast becoming the 21st Century choice for young shooters.

American By Blood
October 3, 2006, 11:32 AM
Remember, just because you bought the thing doesn't mean it (or its ammo) has to live in his room. A BB gun is a great way to introduce him to shooting and many six year olds are ready to learn the basics, but only you can gauge his responsibility and decide whether or not he has free access to it. If you like, you can use a gradual introduction to full owership of the rifle as a way of showing that you recognize and respect his growing maturity (i.e. does well with chores, gets to keep gun in room--keeps up with homework, gets to keep gun and BBs in room, etc).

Consider that a comfortable middle-ground.

Smokey Joe
October 3, 2006, 11:33 AM
First off, CobraF100, THANK YOU for your service!

As to the eternal "how old is old enough" question, Dave R has it right:I don't think its an age thing. Its a responsibility thing. If you're comfortable that he can handle the responsibility...

That said, I got my first BB gun at 6, and had it taken away again for a month after a few weeks. I broke the rules.And all the posters who are saying that you need to supervise and teach The Right Way have it right too. Parental oversight is a great thing.

Aggie's Revenge
October 3, 2006, 11:40 AM
Got my first Daisy Red Rider when I was 8. And I never put my eye out.

MDHunter
October 3, 2006, 11:59 AM
+2 to the it's a responsibility, rather than age, issue.

I got a single shot .22 when I was 4. To earn the right to carry it on hunts, I had to carry a toy gun in the field, and treat it like a real gun, when I was 4 and 5. You better believe I paid attention, AND listened to my parents at home to boot - I wanted to get a chance to shoot my .22!

Of course, the fact that I lived in Alaska then, and both of my parents loved wild game meat, probably didn't hurt my chances... :)

Good luck with your training and learning!

Michael

Hoppy590
October 3, 2006, 12:00 PM
i got my first bb gun probibly around 8 and was not allowed to use it unless my father was with me, and though i may have occasionaly used it with out him present. i was darn sure i never did anything stupid like shooting out windows. cause if he found out
A i took it with out him there
and
B used it to do something bad
i woulda been killed. end of story haha.

i think my kids will get the same health fear of " i brought you into this world, and i can take you out!"

bakert
October 3, 2006, 12:12 PM
I think it may be a bit young but that just me. All kids are different but a BB gun is not a toy. With adult supervision at all times it might be fine. A boy I went to grade school with(a lot of years ago) lost an eye when we were in either the 4th or 5th grade and a few weeks ago a neighboring teenager was shot in edge of his ear and the BB went in and slid under the skin and did some nerve damage to his face that required a bit of surgery.

one-shot-one
October 3, 2006, 12:41 PM
it is not about how old the child is, it is about how ready you are to put in the time and effort to make sure that the child learns correctly.
i still have the daisy bb gun with real wood stock cut down 2" by my dad so i could shoot it. i sure do miss him!:)

Keeper
October 3, 2006, 12:53 PM
I bought a BB gun for my oldest when he was 6. Now all my kids are learning on it. It is great for teaching the saftey basics and also basic care and storage.

trainwreck100
October 3, 2006, 01:16 PM
I'm sure I've said this in posts before, and I still think it's the best I've seen for determining age of doing anything. When I was about 7 Dad and I went out in the pasture after checking cattle and he gave me the .22 to shoot into the side of the lease road dike. It was a single shot Marlin Glenfield 10 with manual cock, and when I was big enough to cock it, I was big enough to shoot it...that would probably be a good method with the Red Ryder too, when he's big enough to work the action, he's big enough to shoot it. I'm thinking about buying one for my nephew...he just turned 1, but since they're reasonably cheap right now and there's no guarantee that they'll still be open purchases by the time he's big enough to shoot, I'm thinking now might be a good time.

Greg

DF357
October 3, 2006, 01:25 PM
http://dfandkf.com/emilyshoot.jpg

My six year old granddaughter shooting her .22 Cricket.

She was able to handle it better than the Red Ryder I got her.

The LOP of the Daisy is longer than the Cricket and she couldn't shoulder it properly.

Try getting the kid to shoulder the BB gun and see if it's too long...it might be.

Note: the Red Ryder also now has a plastic cocking lever. It's not the gun it used to be.

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