What to get my 9 year old daughter?


full metal
July 27, 2008, 01:18 PM
I, for a while now have been thinking of getting my 9 year old doughter a 22 rifle, but then it hit me, I think I would rather get her a hand gun first. I want something that she can learn on and keep as her first gun that her daddy gave her. I want something that if she had to shoot a animal, or a man, it would get the job done. I figure she should be able to load and reload a revolver easyer than a magazine on a semi auto, and the trigger on a revolver would be more easy for her to pull. I will load up my 357 mag with some 38 special and see how she can handle it, if its to much for her, then maybe a 32. I want something that she can use today and use when she is married some day to protect her self and her kids, and still have long after I am gone. What kind, brand, and caliber do you guys recomend, any suggestions well taken, and remember it has to be special, becouse its from daddy, not a saterday special.

If you enjoyed reading about "What to get my 9 year old daughter?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 27, 2008, 01:28 PM
For a starter gun for me it would have to be a 22.......easy to shoot, and cheap to practice with.its hard to beat a Ruger 22......they wil run about $400 new..... Buckmarks were $279 at academy sports...... here is one just for her http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=content&target=products/outdoors/hunting/firearms/pistols_rimfire&start=0&selectedSKU=0355-00449-4490

I might wait untill she got a tad bit older and a little more proficient before I looked for her a carry gun. But if I bought one now for target shooting and something that eventually could be a home defense gun it would be probably a S&W model 66 w/4" barrel

July 27, 2008, 01:36 PM
I think a 22 rifle, be it a Ruger 22, a "Cricket" with the pink stalk, or an old single shot 22 will be better than a handgun, certinly better than a 38. Please start her off with a small caliber.

My girls love to go to the range and I still have them shooting 22lr.


The important thing is they learn safety (My girls have to recite the 4 safety rules before I even take them to the range). The other thing that is important to me is that they leave with a smile like this....


July 27, 2008, 01:36 PM
heritage rough rider with .22lr and .22mag cylinders

July 27, 2008, 01:50 PM
I agree with the small caliber recommendation.

Personally, I think the Ruger Bearcat is a great choice for small hands, and isn't bad for big hands either.

July 27, 2008, 02:25 PM
...and still have long after I am gone.

Your sense of heritage is to be applauded. Now, at 9yrs of age, is a good opportunity to give your daughter a .22 rifle that down the road she may use to teach your grandchildren and continue the legacy.

And hopefully, you will have the opportunity to give her a defense weapon, perhaps of her own choosing, at a time when she is older and less dependent on adults for protection.

July 27, 2008, 02:25 PM
I hear the Ruger Bearcat and Ruger Single Six revolvers are nice for youngins.

The Bushmaster
July 27, 2008, 03:30 PM
You NEVER start a kid on a handgun...Always start them on a rifle in .22 calibre. The Cricket or the the 10/22 are the best. the Cricket for the younger ones and the 10/22 when they get a bit older. When they have mastered the rifle then move them to a handgun. Just for starters it's harder for them to hold and sight a hangun not to mention the safety factor between a rifle and a handgun.

July 27, 2008, 07:18 PM
Sorry I have to agree with the crowd on this one, I was started with a 22 and so were my 2 sons, Longer sight radius means better shooting and more fun for the childeren.

July 27, 2008, 07:34 PM
While I don't think that you should 'NEVER' start a child on a handgun I do think that a 22 rifle is a better choice. The Cricket is too small for a growing 9 year old.

You mentioned getting something that she'll have long after you're gone. If you're serious about that then get her something nice. Cooper, Anshutz, Thompson Center & Kimber all make very nice 22s. If they are a bit expensive you can't beat a CZ452, IMO.

Once she gets older you can buy her a good defensive revolver/centerfire auto.

pps, your girls are precious. You're a lucky man and a good dad.

July 27, 2008, 10:13 PM
The handgun is too dangerous for a child....sit down, hold a handgun, and with a flick of your wrist you have swept the entire room with the muzzle....with a mounted rifle, you have to swing your entire upper body....and it's much harder to accidentally shoot yourself with a rifle....buy the handgun now, perhaps let her shoot it occasionally, but save it for giving until she gets into the early teen years, meanwhile work on safety and accuracy fundamentals with the rifle....for safety lesson #1, let her shoot a can of tomato soup at close range, and after she wipes the gook off herself, plainly inform her that could be her foot or a best friend she's wiping off....makes for a much safer child shooter....I've raised 5 children with guns, not one accident, not one episode of guns being drug out for show/tell with friends without adult supervision....the kids KNEW what a gun could do, and KNEW they couldn't trust their friends with them....

July 27, 2008, 10:49 PM
All guns can be dangerous, whether they be rifles or handguns. The four safety rules must be obeyed by either. I respect where you're coming from mtngunr but saying 'The handgun is too dangerous for a child' is painting with a very broad brush.

The Bushmaster
July 28, 2008, 09:24 AM
mtngunr...I can do you one better. I had my 4 sons (I also raised 5 kids. One was a daughter) camping in the mountains and I wanted to impress upon them with the power of the .357 magnum and picked out a dead stump and blew a big hole in it and a hornets nest in the stump...You can amagin the mad rush to the river...

July 28, 2008, 09:43 AM
mtngunr...I can do you one better. I had my 4 sons (I also raised 5 kids. One was a daughter) camping in the mountains and I wanted to impress upon them with the power of the .357 magnum and picked out a dead stump and blew a big hole in it and a hornets nest in the stump...You can amagin the mad rush to the river...

I've been on other end.... I was golfing with my dad and I was not having a good game at due to my form so my dad says, "watch me I'll show you how to do it", he cracks it a good one (trying to show off for is 10 year-old son like any good parent would) well the ball when about 100 feet then took a left towards a house and almost broke one of its windows

get her a .22 rifle or pistol I am leaning towards rifle but only because a pistol is easier to "sweep" causing unnecessary danger

Master Blaster
July 28, 2008, 09:48 AM
Start her on a .22lr bolt action rifle teach her about the safety rules till they are second nature.

Then after a year or so start her on the handgun, My kids 10 and twelve were started with a savage cub .22lr at age 6.

A handgun is much harder for them to shoot, They now like to shoot the 5" barreled buckmark plus, but the taurus 94 9 shot revolver is a close second followed by the K22.

They have both shot centerfire guns, my Gold cup .45 and my 627 with mild loads, but after a couple shots they want the .22 back, its much more fun to shoot.

My son and daughter now really like the Ruger 10/22 rifle, and they can hit the sillouhettes at 50 yards with it.
My son loves to shoot my Anschutz 17 HMR at 100 yards as well, last week we went out and he was able to keep all 50 shots inside the 9 ring of the NRA 100 yard small bore rifle target, with about 30 of them in the 10 ring or bullseye.

July 28, 2008, 09:56 AM
I think the rifle is the way to go, but if you insist on a handgun, then I suggest a 22. The Ruger Bearcat would be a reasonable choice. If you want something a little larger, go with the Ruger Single Six. These will last her a lifetime and still be fun to shoot when she is old and gray. In a semi-auto, probably the Ruger Mark III which will be a little heavy for her. The other Ruger 22 with the composite grip is okay too, I just prefer the Mark II or III.

I'm not much for giving children access to handguns until they are a bit older than 9, but that is me. Oh, they will think it a blast to shoot, but they also will love the rifle and hit what they aim at. If they can't hit anything, they may tire of the handgun until they are a bit older.

Which rifle? CZ 452 Trainer (bolt action) probably, or the Marlin Model 60 if you want a semi-auto. The lever actions are great too; the Henry's are good so I read, and the Marlin 39A is great (but large), and the Browning BL-22. Yes, the Browning would be a very good choice as it is a smallish rifle, easy to load, pretty, and easy to shoot well. My brother had one and absolutely loved that rifle.

July 28, 2008, 10:06 AM
I have had my son out shooting since he was five. He will be seven next month. His favorite (today) is a S&W M-14 with a Ultradot scope.
He has shot (his) M-34 kitgun, (our) Highstandard Citatian with a Ultradot and my Marvel conversion unit with a Ultra dot. Loading magazines is not a problem, working the slides and clearing the weapons can be a problem.
If your area has any type of shooting sports that you two can both participate in, buy anything that will work for that sport.
Firearms are constantly changing and kids change what they want to play with.

July 28, 2008, 10:08 AM
Sheesh....I never did answer the question.....sorry....an old model "flattop" SingleSix is a bunch smaller/lighter than current later Super's, and if you can get one with the original XR3 grip vs. XR3-RED larger grip, so much the better. While you're living dangerously, you may as well teach her the fundamentals of true single-action loading with an empty under the hammer.... the pre-.22mag barrels have tighter bores and will suprise you with their 50yd plinking accuracy....and her kids will still be shooting that one.

July 28, 2008, 10:14 AM
I let my kids shoot handguns and big long guns from an early age.

Nothing wrong with aquainting a kid with handguns.

I would reccomend training with a .22 rifle first.

My kids can fire a Mosin Nagant M44 or a Jungle carbine without a flinch. They can run a .45 auto dry, and empty a .357 mag and beg for more! 9mm is just a pop-gun for my children.

July 28, 2008, 10:25 AM
Maybe even start with a pellet gun. I started my three kids with a Benjamin Sheridan .20 caliber rifle.

July 28, 2008, 11:10 AM
May daughter loves her Bearcat.


July 28, 2008, 12:20 PM
I have to agree that a single-shot, youth-sized .22 BA rifle is the ideal tool for introducing youngsters to our sport and passion and instilling the basics rules of safe handling and use.

IME, one big key to sparking and sustaining a lasting interest in lots of kids is grabbing their interest fast by making sure to provide them with the opportunities for as large a dose of success as possible in the form of immediate, positive feedback when they follow instructions correctly right from the git-go.

I try to arrange this with the use of reactive targets at short ranges and lots of praise and encouragement when they make a hit. Long term philosophical nuances aside, there's a good deal to be said in favor of instant gratification in this context, IMO.

Once they've made the mental decision that they really do want to learn how to "do that better", paper targets and longer ranges can be introduced to develop and refine technique.

Try to keep the progression of challenge levels incremental and attainable until they've developed enough self confidence to believe that they can overcome any momentary frustration and succeed if they'll just listen to instruction and try a bit harder.

I've used the little Ruger Bearcat when a child's progress in the basic rules and techniques and their expressed interest indicate that it's time.

My only gripe is that Ruger has never seen fit to make adjustable sights at least an option in the line. The tiny revolver is capable of fine accuracy and it'd be a whole lot easier for novices to access that successfully if an easy way to regulate POA and POI with various loads was there. Nothing seems to discourage a kid's interest in acquiring a new skill set like "failure".

IMO, the best and most enjoyable thing that we can do to help assure that shooting stays a part of the American culture is to work to pass our enthusiasm along to the next generation. Kudos to the OP for his contribution.

July 28, 2008, 01:12 PM
I vote no on the Cricket. She'll outgrow it almost immediately. A 10/22 would be about perfect and she'll grow into it.

There's an instructor at one of the ranges I go to whose 9 year old daughter had a Smith and Wesson 22A and a Red Dot scope who i'd put up against anyone shooting a rifle or pistol at the same range. Of the bench, one hole groups until she got bored.

July 28, 2008, 01:27 PM
I wonder if the Ruger Charger would be just the ticket here?

July 28, 2008, 03:39 PM
My grand daughter is 16 months so it will be a while before
she gets the S&W Model 60 3" bBL. 357 Mag. - I limit it to
.38 Spcl. +P. It has the Adjustable rear sight. I am going
to shop for an older no lock 63 - stainless steel
or a Model 34 carbon steel either comes in .22 LR as a
starter handgun with approx. the same weight/handling. So,
she'll have a pair passed on to her.

Now, 2 days ago, I have my first grand son - he'll get my
.45s a S&W 625 with a 617 10 shot cyl. in .22 lr as his pair.


July 28, 2008, 03:48 PM
I also think a CO2 pellet rifle is a good idea. Or a very lightweight, single shot, bolt action .22. She would outgrow the cricket very fast.

If she's strong, what about a CZ Scout?

I think the photos the pps posted are super. What a great way to start?

July 28, 2008, 03:58 PM
My girls love to go to the range and I still have them shooting 22lr.

PPS - isn't that a Winchester Model 67? I have one of those, and it's hard to find a more perfect gun to start kids out on. I started out on mine, and my kids started out on the same one.

July 28, 2008, 04:13 PM
"Go big or go home" Get a 460 XVR, "I swear honey, its for our daughter" but in all seriousness, the first gun I ever shot was my uncles tube fed marlin .22, Model 60 if I believe, used to make poor man's swinging targets out of pop cans hanging by a string. After that it was Mini-14's, 6.5 Carcano, and a 45-70govt revolver.

I know a guy who's 12 year old son used to shoot a boye's (sp?) rifle until he got a 20mm Lathi for his 14th. has a home movie of him carrying it in a little red wagon. and yes it did move him back about 6" each shot.

but seriously, wait a while on handguns and start with a .22, or maybe a Nagant, at least then if she dosent like it you arent out much.

July 28, 2008, 05:11 PM
My daughters first gun at the age of 9 (16 now) was a Ruger Bearcat and I'll be teaching her kids with the very same one. She's welcome to it once she's an adult if she still wants to shoot, if not, I'll be happy to hang on to it and shoot the heck out of it. :D

full metal
July 28, 2008, 06:09 PM
Yeah!, I kinda knew a 22 was the best way to go but, I guess I wanted something she could still use when she was older. Well I guess tomorrow I will take her to the gun store and look at that Henry single shot 22's. You guys made a lot of sense, I'll have her try that Ruger Bearcat, that will probably be her second gun. Hey GrandmasterB wear did you get those nice grips from they look real nice. Well thanks guys, again, any more tips welcomed, I will continue to check this page for any more advice.

July 28, 2008, 06:51 PM
I agree to start a child with a 22 rifle. I started my daughter on one and then bought her one. I myself started on a Ruger Single Six. At 6 years old.

July 28, 2008, 09:45 PM
My girls love to go to the range and I still have them shooting 22lr.
PPS - isn't that a Winchester Model 67? I have one of those, and it's hard to find a more perfect gun to start kids out on. I started out on mine, and my kids started out on the same one.

Zip7 Yes it is a model 67. It was my great grandfathers, which has been passed down. It's in rough shape (truck gun out on the farm) but functions flawlessly and is accurate for old iron sights.

July 28, 2008, 10:01 PM
When my girls were this age I bought a Henry .22 lever rifle. We still go out with it and have a great time.
Regards, Mark

July 28, 2008, 10:13 PM
i'd say go with a bolt action 22. Marlin makes some great ones. i would personally not give a young child a pistol. Let them shoot one of yours under tight supervision, and learn gun safety with a rifle. (now, you could buy the pistol now while they are not so high priceds as they will be in 10 years, but 9 is too young to own a pistol

July 28, 2008, 10:20 PM
I still shoot the Ithaca 49 my dad bought for me 45 years ago. I just recently looked at a Savage Model 30G Stevens "Favorite". It gave me severe gun itch. It's a gun a kid will keep for a lifetime.

If you get her a Ruger Single Six, put a spring kit in it and she will shoot it well from the beginning.

Your choice in guns doesn't matter as much as just giving her the time to take her shooting.

July 29, 2008, 04:01 AM
I also strongly agree that a rifle is a better choice to teach the basics of shooting and safety, and it's easier to shoot accurately as well. If it must be a handgun, a Bearcat, Single Six, Heritage Rough Rider or other .22LR revolver would be a good starter, I think the single action revolver design is safer than an autopistol given the typical attention span for that age because it requires the deliberate step of cocking the hammer before it's ready to fire.

My 10YO daughter really enjoyed learning to shoot. Last trip we took to the range she wanted to shoot something bigger, so I let her run a couple of cylinders through the Gaucho .45 Colt - she was quite impressed with that. Shot it pretty well, too! And she spotted the pink Cricket at the gun store, so we looked at it but she's a lefty, and it would also be too small for her within a year. I'll probably get her a Savage MKII lefty pretty soon, I bought one for her older brother a couple of years ago and she's good with it. Feels much better made than the cricket, too.

JB Books
July 29, 2008, 04:29 AM
I got my first rifle at 8. I got my first handgun (a S&W Model 18 22 LR) at 12.

I asked my grampa if I could keep it loaded. He replied, "Well son, it doesn't make a very good club. Just keep it somewhere where your friends won't find it."

It may help the story to tell you all he looked just like James Arness from Gunsmoke.

He passed away at 88 earlier this year.

Get her a rifle and then start her with a pistol when she gets older.

July 29, 2008, 02:27 PM
I bought a .22 Chipmunk when my daughter was around 6. She shot it for about 3 years and then she got an H&R 20 ga. single shot. The last gun I gave her was a blued Colt Government Model. She is 16 now and the .45 is her favorite and she handles it well. She is 16 now. At 9 , I agree that the Chipmunk or Cricket will soon be too small. A decent .22, maybe a bolt rifle, is a good first gun and good for learning safety and marksmanship. Good luck!

July 29, 2008, 03:20 PM
I saw a pink 10/22 the other day at bass pro and little girls were going crazy over it. I wouldn't start her with a hangun, esp not .38spl at her age. Start her with somethin along the lines of a 10/22, or if she's not into pink (???) then you could look at rem. 597's.
#1 gun rule thrust upon me as a child: every gun is loaded, be EXTREMELY CAREFUL where it's pointed.
then you get to: carry w/ breech open...
If she must start with a firearm, go with a 22 of some sort. I'd get her a red rider to start off. My parents bought me a buck bb gun (step down from red rider) and my cousin had his other grandpa's pellet/bb gun and we shot up the soda cans every time we were at my grandparents. We got so consistent we could shoot one handed, right handed, wrong handed, etc... Then we got 22's... :D

July 30, 2008, 02:55 AM
There are a lot of great .22 rifles out there.

The Mossberg 801 Half Pint Plinkster (http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?ID=38&section=products) single shot .22 wouldn't be a bad choice.

Here's another single shot .22, the Savage Model CUB (http://www.savagearms.com/cub.htm) which is a very nice rifle.

The Marlin Model 915Y (http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/BoltAction22/915y.asp) is a top rate rifle too. I think I like this one best. They also have a Model 915YS (http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/BoltAction22/915ys.asp) which is the Stainless Steel version of the Model 915y.

There's also the CZ 452 Scout (http://www.danwessonfirearms.com/product_detail.php?id=5). That rifle is know for it's accuracy and is also a great choice IMO.

There are more out there too and most are good choices. I would suggest going to a well stocked gun store like Cabela's and look at them for yourself. If the gun isn't a gift which is a surprise bring your daughter along and let her pick the one she likes best.

Good luck finding something she likes and well done starting her out right when it comes to shooting.

July 30, 2008, 09:23 AM
In light of the concern expressed about her outgrowing one of the mini-sized bolt guns too quickly, another option occured to me. I think it's something worth looking into, as it offers some real advantages in several respects.

I started all of my nephews and nieces out with a Chipmunk ss BA when they were quite young. It worked beautifully and was one of the very few "kid-sized" .22's made back then.

When my youngest nephew was getting discouraged because his smaller stature made it extremely difficult for him to make the transition to full-sized repeaters with his older brother, I feared that he would lose the enthusiasm he'd always shown when a range foray was mentioned and drift out of the sport.

The LOP on all of my other rifles made taking a solid position, sighting and even some action manipulations too awkward for him to be able to stay "competitive" with his brother in his skills, and that became a real issue motivationally. Anyone who's ever had a sibling will understand.

Being stuck by default with the little ss and watching his brother demolish the majority of the cans and clay targets with a repeater made him feel like he was at such a disadvantage that he couldn't 'win' no matter how hard he tried. Not good.

I found out about Rossi/Taurus' optional 'Youth'-sized butt stock for the excellent little M-62 gallery pump. As I have two, and one of them was playing a prominent role in our little drama, I ordered one and installed it before their next visit.

With both of them identically equipped he was soon pushing his older sibling to match his scores, which turned out to be good for both of them.

I really think that the gallery-style pump action with an exposed hammer makes a truly great first rifle for kids.

It's easily single-loaded, offers positive visual verification of firing status, has a relatively simple manual of arms for both firing and administrative handling and is just as rugged and dependable now as they were when they were the mainstay at arcades and midways all over the country.

Even though the boys have many other options now when we go out to the range, some with scopes or Red Dots and more high-tech looks and features, the old Rossi pumps remain the most requested items to take along.

Heck, their old uncle hasn't even outgrown them yet and he shot his first one over 50 years ago.

Wayne D
July 30, 2008, 11:42 AM
Everybody says .22 and I agree. The last thing you want a to do is have her develop a flinch from shooting a loud handgun. I learned to shoot when people were too stupid to use hearing protection and I have been fighting a flinching problem my whole life.

July 30, 2008, 12:23 PM
The S&W 'J' frame 22 are ideal for people with small hands. Look for a used 34 or 63.

July 30, 2008, 12:58 PM
Ruger Redhawk Alaskan in .454 Casull/.45Colt.... :evil: :D :evil: :D

Oh, you meant a handgun for your children...my bad :o :o :o

Ruger Bearcat or Single-Six if you are leaning toward a single-action revolver. If you can find one used, the SP-101 in .22LR is another dandy choice...Ruger no longer makes that one in .22LR.

I taught my kids with a Smith & Wesson "Kit Gun" DA .22LR revolver...oldest son now owns that one and has taught his 3 girls to shoot with it.

July 30, 2008, 01:44 PM
My daughter tried ALL of my .22 rifles, revolvers, and pistols before she got one of her own. That was a fair number as .22 is my first love in the shooting sports. Her training included three action types of rifles, SA and DA revolvers, and three semi-auto pistols. That way I knew to buy something she liked after she was familar with every action type and had lots of safety lessons and experience in safe shooting. Safety training was started on the rifle, then we moved to the revolver, and finally to the pistol. Took me several range trips over the course of months to get it all done. Very much worth the time.

Her favorite thing to shoot was a Ruger Mark II, and her second favorite was my 1948-vintage K-22 revolver. She liked the Mark II with the Tactical Solutions upper the best, so I got her a Mark II with a Tactical Solutions upper. Just like mine except her upper is PURPLE. She loves that pistol and is always asking for me to take her shooting. I am glad she found one she likes and that it was not my M41. Her mother took to my first M41, and it is now hers. So I had to get another M41 for myself. The price tag doubled on the second one compared to the first. My daughter later got a Marlin 39A as her first rifle and now is asking for a .22 AR.

Seriously let her shoot as many .22s as she can before you decide on what to buy.

July 31, 2008, 02:58 PM
Hey GrandmasterB wear did you get those nice grips from they look real nice.

Got 'em from Sid Ryan. www.sidryan.com You'll probably have to call him for details. They are just stag looking ivory polymer. (pretty and fairly inexpensive)

When I first took my daughter to the range to shoot the Bearcat, I loaded it with .22 Super Colibri rounds - no powder, just primer. VERY soft shooting and very quiet. This helped her get a feel for the gun before graduating to the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.

If you enjoyed reading about "What to get my 9 year old daughter?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!