BB gun or .22 for my 6 year old daughter?


February 11, 2009, 06:14 PM
My six year old daughter keeps asking me if she can shoot too. (Thank the lord she ain't wimpy!) So I let her shoot my .22 Remington Nylon 66 one time, with a lot of daddy's help, about three weeks ago. Ever since then she hasn't stopped bugging me about getting her a gun she can hold and learn to shoot. She has 3 older brothers, so she is my little tomboy!

Which would be the best way to go? A Daisy BB gun from Wally World or a .22 youth rifle?

She is tall for her age, one of the tallest in her kindergarten class, but it would have to be really light. Do they make a .22 that you have to cock with a lever like the old cowboy guns in a youth model or is a bolt action single shot a better choice?



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February 11, 2009, 06:32 PM
glad you asked and yes they do. my love bug is almost seven now and she to wants a gun to call her own. so after weeks of pondering this is my thoughts. Henry youth 22 lever action is the winner. its a sweet looking gun its little but the main idea for me was that this gun wont loose its value over time it should increase. and when they out grow it she will have a good $ gun to trade in for something she can hunt with. they aint cheap $270 here in nebraska but i try to look at the long hall,and whos going to shot this gun 10 years from now. no one. in ten years she can trade up

February 11, 2009, 07:00 PM
Thanks Husker, I will have to look that one up and check it out.

It seems weird to me, to be even pondering this for her, at such a young age. I didn't get my first gun, a Crossman 760 Air rifle in.177 for BB's and pellets, until I was about 12 or 13. But then again, my dad's health was poor and he couldn't go shooting and do outdoorsy stuff with me. He died a few years later.

I want to teach her good gun ethics, and the proper way to handle a gun should she need to, and I can do this with all of the options above. All of my boys learned to shoot with a kit built caps lock muzzle loader rifle that my wife built when she was growing up. So, everyone so far, knows gun safety and etc... except for my daughter.

I don't want to sway the votes so I will give my opinion at the end, but I will say this... I will have to talk mom into the .22, so I need reasons why too, if this is truly the outcome you guys come to.

If there are any ladies here on the forum , please speak up and give your opinions too and specify that you are a lady, so my wife can relate to you.

I will be sharing this thread with her too!

Thanks again,


February 11, 2009, 07:14 PM
I think it would be very irresponcable to give a six year old a .22. It doesnt matter how mature anyone thinks their child is at 6 years old, accidents happen and a .22 is deadly compared to a bb gun. A bb gun will teach her to be a better hunter anyway when she has to sneak up close to get the kill due to the short range of a pellet gun. Everyone should start out with a plain old pellet gun, bb guns are also the best teachers of the concept of ricochet..............

February 11, 2009, 07:15 PM
I would go with both, My daughter has a winchester modle 68, She hell on pop cans with that shooter, She is 13 next week and she going to pass it down to her younger sister, I bought her a ruger 10/22 she loves it. I dont believe in the Airsoft rage, I have taught all my children that guns are not toys, When they turn 8 they get to shoot real firearms and learn all about safety and proper handling, My 13 old daughter handles my 1911 like a pro. Set good examples and watch what happens

February 11, 2009, 07:20 PM
I disagree with the above post (make that two posts up). Now if you were just going to turn her loose with it, than yes I would agree but with proper supervision I think a .22 is a better choice than a cheap BB gun that more than likely she will quickly loose interest in.

I grew up around guns and my parents and their friends shot all the time. I was always responsible and I was given my first .22 when I was eight years old and as long as my parents knew I was going outside with it, I was on my own.

I received my first pistol when I was 13 and the same rules applied to it.

I would recommend a single shot or a clip fed bolt action that fits her. I wouldn't think re-sale value should be a major concern as I would hope she wouldn't ever sell it.

February 11, 2009, 07:27 PM
When my father gave me a .22, he taught me that with proper cleaning and respect, it would last many lifetimes. He gave me a full-size Remington 581-S when I must have been 11 or 12 and was of the right size to handle it. I still shoot that gun today. This is why I'm not sure I'll get a "youth" size gun for any future children I have, since they will outgrow it, and then it will sit in a cabinet or safe for decades until it's passed down or sold.

Before that, I was given a Red Ryder. Lever action, spring air, and youth sized. I put many thousands of BBs through that thing. I could shoot it all day long every day and learned a lot before stepping up to that .22. I'd go with a Daisy spring air since it's not too hard to cock (I'd think a pump or break action "real" air rifle would require too much force). It's incredibly economical and aside from the "PHOMPH" sound when shooting it's not disturbing to anything.

February 11, 2009, 07:35 PM
Get her a nice little Cricket single shot 22.... great little starter guns...

February 11, 2009, 07:41 PM
I say bb/ air rifle. For 3 main reasons.

1 it does not go bang.

2 You can most likly do it in your back yard.

3 if something bad happends, the chances of it doing alot of damage is very slim.

February 11, 2009, 08:01 PM
Get her a nice little Cricket single shot 22.... great little starter guns...

I'm with the Crickett. About $110, single-shot .22LR bolt-action rifle. Comes with a built in lock that prevents the chamber from being loaded, much less closed. Teach her everything she needs to know about safe use and handling, only let her have the gun when you're with her and supervising.

February 11, 2009, 08:04 PM
If you are always going to supervise her then a 22. is great however if she is going to be allowed to roam around by herself shooting stuff then i would suggest none of the above

February 11, 2009, 08:10 PM
buy both, give the the .22 when she turns ten.

February 11, 2009, 09:05 PM
My daughter is 3 and she has a ruger 10/22 in waiting. Get her both

deputy tom
February 11, 2009, 09:16 PM
Red Ryder BB gun is a must.tom.:)

February 11, 2009, 09:23 PM
A BB gun might be better than an actual air rifle, because they are less dangerous and shoot steel instead of lead. Keep in mind, however, that BB's are even more likely to ricochet than pellets.

February 11, 2009, 09:30 PM
Some people (even as adults) are just not safe with guns. I know, I know. "Not my daughter!!" Figure this out with a BB gun, not a .22. I'm not saying she has to be a certain age to get a .22. It's all about maturity. If she shows (after handling a BB gun multiple times) that she is mature enough, then by all means, get her a .22.

The nice thing about a BB gun is:

1) Rarely lethal to humans
2) Can be used in the backyard (doesn't require a trip to the range)
3) Quiet. Doesn't require ear plugs/muffs, so you can actually talk to her in a calm/quiet manner

Heck, buy her both, and let her know that when she shows that she can handle the BB gun ok, she'll eventually get to have the .22.

Art Eatman
February 11, 2009, 10:03 PM
A Daisy Red Ryder, targets and a bullet trap for around the house or yard practice. And a Chipmunk for supervised range time. IOW, both.

And a lot of "we" and "us" time. Keep the older guys from being smartypants, too.

February 11, 2009, 10:23 PM
A .22 cal rifle. It will last her a lifetime ,and she will have it forever to remember you as having given it to her. As mentioned it needs to be secured in a safe when not in use and supervised when using it. B.B. guns and airsoft are nice, but toys. Buy a real rifle that she can treasure and possibly and down the her children.

Shytheed Dumas
February 11, 2009, 10:32 PM
buy both, give the the .22 when she turns ten.

That's exactly what I did for my 7 year old. He's perfectly happy with the bb gun when we're shooting pistols, but he does complain when we get the pigeons and shotguns out... :)

February 11, 2009, 10:42 PM
I would buy her a Cricket .22 and a cheap wally world BB gun. My father got both for me when I was 7. We used the bb gun on weekdays after he got of work in the backyard and the 22 on weekends at the range.

February 11, 2009, 11:15 PM
I say get her a cricket .22. I received my first gun at 7 yrs. Winchester model 67 to be exact. While times were different and my Father let it rest in my closet (He kept the ammo), You obviously need to take ownership of the firearm. I still have mine, and I hope to pass it down to one of the many younger ones who enrich my life. Hopefully, she will have the opportunity to do the same.

February 12, 2009, 12:05 AM
My father had a bb gun (spring type, with a peep sight) when I was a child, under close supervision I was allowed to decimate tin can, pop bottles, and other similar targets against our compost pile backstop... a very fond childhood memory I cherish. My parents were not particularly gun friendly though, and a .22 was never on the table for me much to my disappointment. I got exposure to shooting while in the Boy Scout program, and through other family... here I am in my 20s and still sadly with out my first .22, though I have other firearms.

A cousin of mine has a child who now at age 6 who has had a LOT of coaching has shot a lot of .22lr, and even some .223 (full sized rifle, but a bit too small for myself... I'm about six and a half foot with long arms.) When I visited him when he was around age 4 he was shooting impressive groups with his pellet rifle at deer-shaped silhouettes... all in the "engine box" at 10m+ in his backyard (again, plenty of supervision from dad and gramps.) The kid is exceptional, and has had a lot more opportunity to shoot and plenty of family with extensive wild game hunting experience. He has an amazingly serious attitude when it comes to shooting, and he loves it. It is definitely not typical age 6 maturity (age 6 I was still a little monster), but you know your kid better than any of us do... it sounds like she has a mother and father who are both very safety conscious, and raised with guns.

Bb guns seem like a logical place to start learning about shooting, but if it is one or the other and opportunity and family supervision are all there I don't see why a .22 would be out of the question for a mature and motivated child. It would be nice if you could find something that was full-sized, but still manageable for her though... if shes tallest in her class it might not take all that long to grow into it and she'll still be able to use when she is older.

February 12, 2009, 12:35 AM
Richocettes with steel fare are commonplace. .22 Long Rifle fare rarely richocettes wildly. Never let a six-year-old shoot without adult supervision, since that would be assine and rediculous and utterly careless. Fathers are meant to safe-guard their children! Remiss Fathers are poor role models, so I spit upon all of them. Fathers are the backbone of America, so proper shooting habits revolve around them. A Mother's role is to nurture a child in many aspects of society, while a Father's role is to TEACH a child to shoot straight, accurate, and safe. A family requires two active parents, doubt not! cliffy

February 12, 2009, 12:35 AM
See if you can find her a used (don't make 'em anymore) Winchester Model 67 single shot .22 rifle - extremely accurate, safe 1st gun to learn basic marksmanship as well as bunny/squirrel slayer whenever ready - maybe $50-$100 max & she can give it to her first born. Mine has been passed down through each of four generations from my dad to my grandson . . . so far! Better than a Timex . . . just keeps on keepin' on a shootin' !!!

February 12, 2009, 12:39 AM
a crickett or how ever you spell it

February 12, 2009, 12:41 AM
I got my boys BB guns at about 6 years old. I thank God it was BB's instead of .22's. Even with supervision, accidents can happen. Cell phones can ring, dogs can get out, it could be anything and it only takes a second. My younger boy has a scar between the eye brows from a BB that you can only see when it's real cold or he's been swimming. I can't even think about if it had been a .22. It scared the hell out of all of us and has made them pretty careful.

February 12, 2009, 12:44 AM
Get her a good CO2 rifle. A Crosman 2260 or a 2250 prepped by Mac1 airguns would be my choice, (he recrowns them, tunes the trigger and changes some of the seals out before he sells them and his prices are very reasonable). You can cut down the stock to fit her and then get a replacement for under $20 when she gets older. They're fairly accurate and can hit pennies or paintballs at 20 yards no problem.

They're also powerful enough to hunt small game with, but if a person were shot with one it would be extremely unlikely to cause a fatal wound. A kid can cock one too. A lot of BB guns are too much for a 6 year old.

February 12, 2009, 10:51 AM
I'd say get the .22. She can shoot CB's, longs, shorts, LR and gives hare something to grow into.

February 12, 2009, 03:06 PM
There sure is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom here on this site. My wife and I really appreciate your responses, because they were all very well thought out responses. Not only did you take into account that there may be an age issue, but you offered your concerns about safety for everyone, including my daughter, and those around her. I assure you, as responsible parents, we will keep safety as the utmost concern, while teaching our daughter the fundamentals, and throughout her life, in regards to marksmanship and firearms. We pride ourselves in being responsible parents who want to temper learning responsibilities with having fun.

With that in mind, we have made our decision. You have provided enough responses that we feel comfortable doing what we are about to do. We are going to get her a BB gun (Either a Red Rider or a Buck model Daisy) to learn the basics of handling and shooting a firearm, and when she gets older and more proficient, she is going to get the .22 Remington Nylon 66 that I inherited at age 16 from my dad when he died.

I can't stress to you enough how impressed we are with all of your responses. I think this would be a good thread to pass along to the anti-gun lobbyists who think we gun owners are a bunch of wild eyed terrorists in training. Maybe they would have a different view on firearms and those of us who enjoy exercising our 2nd amendment rights. Thank you again for your posts!

By the way... I was surprised that there were no women who posted. I know that there has to be some women on this site. Maybe not many but at least some. Or some of you guys could have asked your wives to post. I think that it would have had the same outcome, yet it would have made it easier for me to convince my wife, that this is a good idea. But that is OK no harm no foul! Keep up the awesome work and hopefully I can be helpful in some future way to some of you as well.

Thanks again!


February 12, 2009, 03:14 PM
I voted BB gun,..and I routinely have kids around that I use them with from 6-10 year olds,...have seen some teenagers I wouldn't trust a bb gun with though. I have a couple of .22 single shots and Bolt Actions that can be used as singles that I use for teaching guns. The Cricket is a good one. I have an old 1930's ish vintage .22 Remington Cadet Single Shot Trainer that I have used with all of my kids and grandkids,...and a whole bunch more over the years. Still shoots fine.

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