Firearms for my little girl


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au_prospector
January 17, 2012, 11:34 AM
Hey you guys,

I had the best experience yesterday. My 8 year old daughter has grown up watching me depart the house 'to go to the range' many times. A few months ago she asked me when I was going to take her along with me. I checked with my wife to see if she had put her up to it and she had not, and then herself stated 'so when are you going to take her?'

Well yesterday was the day and it was great. We tried three different firearms and had size problems with each.

1) H&R 904 .22LR revolver. Her hand was too small and the trigger pull too long and heavy for her in double action. For safety reasons as I was trying to teach her not to touch the trigger until she was ready to shoot, I did not try this in single action. Not to worry, we can try handguns later when she is older/larger.

2) Huglu double barrel .410. This is a full size adult .410 with a length of pull a full 15 inches (Yeow!) It is much lighter than my Remington 870 so I thought it might work. She was having to wrap her arm around the stock with the butt behind her body. She only fired it 3 times and the back of the barrels were banging into her eye protection at recoil. She did hit a stationary clay on the third try at about 25 feet.

3) Remington 550-1. Full size .22LR with a standard LOP of 13.5 inches. This by far was her favorite firearm, but the LOP is still too long and her cheek was closer to the receiver than resting properly on the stock. This was throwing her shot off by about 8-10 inches at 25 yards. She was shooting high and right I believe because of the sizing problem.

So now I have an itch to purchase a size appropriate .410 shotgun and a .22 rifle. I did some homework and came up with the following modern firearms. I would also consider gently used older firearms if you guys want to give me some recommendations. I dont know what to look for in an older firearm but would buy a quality one if the size/price was right.

1) Mossberg 510 Mini Super Bantam in .410. I like the idea that the LOP is adjustable. I also think my wife could use this. My 870 20GA is too much gun for her small frame, it is awkwardly long and heavy for her. I think this shotgun may be the answer for both my ladies. LOP 10.5 - 11.5 inches, but pricey.

2) New England H&R Pardner Youth/Compact .410. Light weight, but still .5 pound heavier than the Mossberg Pump. LOP 12.5 inches which may be too long, but @ half the cost of the Mossy, I have to consider it. This was the first shotgun that came to mind until I found the Mossberg 510 which looks better on paper.

3) Mossberg .22LR 702 Plinkster Bantam. LOP 12.25 inches
4) Ruger 10/22 compact LOP 12.75 inches
5) Henry Lever Action Youth .22 LOP 13 inches Not sure she could safely handle the lever action.
All the .22 seem a bit long on the LOP and I really not sure I want to buy a 'Cricket' :cuss: or a single shot rifle.

When she gets home from school, I will take time to measure her actual LOP but I suspect it is in the 10-11 inch range. If there are some older 'classic' firearms out there I should look for let me know...

Thanks!
~GP

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The Sarge
January 17, 2012, 11:42 AM
I fully understand where you are having raised two daughters myself.
Both stubborn like their Mother.
So we started out on full size .22's resting on sandbags until they could hold them up.
I also tried the Cricket route....only to be criticized by little pig tailed girls that "that gun is for babies."
Pistols came at a later date.

MtnCreek
January 17, 2012, 11:46 AM
Cricket or Chipmunk .22. Made by the same Co. My girl has a Cricket and my son has a Chipmunk; the Chipmunk has much nicer wood. The last one I bought was around $150 new at a local shop.

My first shotgun was a NEF 20ga youth. Kicks like a 12 ga! I don't know if they've improved the design, but it is possible for the thing to shoot w/o being completly closed/locked. My first shot on Christmas morning (fifth grade), boom, shotgun opened and the hull smacked me in the forehead. Glad mom didn't see that or it would have been the end of it....

au_prospector
January 17, 2012, 11:53 AM
My first shotgun was a NEF 20ga youth. Kicks like a 12 ga! I don't know if they've improved the design, but it is possible for the thing to shoot w/o being completly closed/locked. My first shot on Christmas morning (fifth grade), boom, shotgun opened and the hull smacked me in the forehead. Glad mom didn't see that or it would have been the end of it....

MtnCreek, this was the exact same shotgun I first shot as well, I was 12. I remember once my thumb slipped off the hammer as I was cocking it. Had the shell gone off it would have taken out my father's foot (he was standing next to me). My mom still has this gun in her closet along with a box of #3 Buck. I think at this point the recoil of a 20GA would at least discourage my little girl.

Sam1911
January 17, 2012, 12:06 PM
All the .22 seem a bit long on the LOP and I really not sure I want to buy a 'Cricket' or a single shot rifle.

I couldn't quite go with the Cricket rifles either. The quality just wasn't there and some of the "features" (separate bolt cocking knob? C'mon...) seemed more like drawbacks.

I found a Savage Cub-T for about $170 (though they're usually more like $220) and it's easily more than twice as good a rifle. Real feed ramp so you don't have to fit your fingers into the action to chamber a round. Really good sights. Fantastic "Accu-Trigger" -- safe yet light and crisp. "Real" cock-on-closing bolt just like a normal rifle.

I shoot ours more than the kids do. It's become my "go-to" gun for groundhogs in the yard! :)

Geneseo1911
January 17, 2012, 12:08 PM
I recently saw a review of smaller firearms for children on the Iraqveteran8888 youtube page. Here's a link to the video: Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhgagh4yz7g&feature=plcp&context=C312e8dbUDOEgsToPDskLw6E-KZgTo7hd6c_LfF5B_)

The two that jumped out at me were the Savage Cub, which is a single shot with an accu-trigger. They also make the same gun magazine fed for a few bucks more (although not in Pink). The Savage's are are around the $200 mark. I also liked the CZ Scout, which is closing in on the $300 mark. In my opinion, these are "real" guns which will last several generations.

I was considering the cricket as well, until I found out that it must be manually cocked for each shot, which would drive me crazy.

MtnCreek
January 17, 2012, 12:14 PM
I agree 100% on the recoil. I started mine off w/ the little 22 using subsonic ammo and good earpro. The rifle fit her well, so she was comfortable with it and not intimidated. Very low blast with the subsonic ammo and very limited recoil really helped her focus on hitting the target. I focused on the rifle shooting and left off the shotgun because of recoil and blast. She has shot a 28ga a couple of times while dove hunting and she didn’t really like it.

My son has only shot rifles at this point, but I guess that’s going to change pretty soon. He’s six and has requested I take him ‘duck hunting’ (by duck hunting, he means going to a pay-to-play like he saw in a hunting mag advertisement and blasting what would otherwise be pet ducks). We made a deal that he would further refine his gun handling and I would then teach him to shoot a shotgun. When he can hit 20 of 25 clay birds, I’m going to be posting a nice gun here in the ‘sale’ section to fund his duck outing.:)

Good thing about the NEF shotgun is you can drop the hammer, but unless the trigger is pulled, the piece that makes the hammer reach the firing pin should be in the lowered position, not allowing the gun to shoot.

MtnCreek
January 17, 2012, 12:18 PM
separate bolt cocking knob? C'mon...
I thought that was how all bolt actions worked until I got a Marlin 25n at 12 years old...:)

Kristensdaddy
January 17, 2012, 12:19 PM
From personal experience. For now, skip the shotgun. The 410 is too expensive to shoot and the light guns do nothing to absorb the recoil of even the 410. Wait till she can hold a full sized gun that can be cut to fit her. Save up for a Rem 1100 in 20 ga or even a Beretta AL variant in 20 ga. You will both be glad you did.

For the .22, get a basic Ruger 10/22. Take a saw to the stock and make it fit. There are dozens of aftermarket stocks you can buy later to make it fit her as she grows.

Ruger Mk III or Browning Buckmark in 22lr for the pistol. Negligible recoil. Can be fired from sitting at a bench. Load one at a time till you both are comfortable.

hq
January 17, 2012, 12:22 PM
My kids have really liked two of my .22:s - 10/22 and GSG-5. LOP of regular (not target) stock 10/22 is very manageable for an 8 year old and the GSG is even shorter. I'd probably go with 10/22 because the cocking handle is in the receiver and the gun itself has plenty of aftermarket support in case you want to improve trigger or change the barrel at a later time.

I don't have much experience with .410 shotguns, my kids have been quite happy with short stock 12ga and light 24-28g loads.

Sam1911
January 17, 2012, 12:23 PM
I can also wholeheartedly endorse the Ruger Bearcat revolver as just perfect for teaching the young ones. There could hardly be a firearm more perfectly scaled down to fit small hands. And, as a single-action, it would be hard to pick design more attuned to range safety.

It's a great starting point. By the time she was 7 she had moved up to my 629 shooting .44 Special. :)

(Though in truth, she actually started with a Ruger Mk II, and a 1911, at 3 years old.)

Geneseo1911
January 17, 2012, 12:27 PM
Kristensdaddy made me think of two more comments:

1) There is a 10/22 youth model. I think they even have a variety of wood types/colors. A 10/22 is also a lifetime gun, and the stock is SO easy to replace, with hundreds of options available.

2) I still prefer a bolt action for kids. I spent some time last summer shooting with (teaching) a couple of my wife's teen & pre-teen second cousins. They live in St. Louis suburbs and only get to shoot when they come up to visit the farm. All we had was a single shot bolt action, (Win 101?) and their favorite game eventually became seeing how fast they could load and fire the little gun. I can only imagine what they would have done with a semi-auto. At least the bolt action slows them down and makes them think about what they're doing.

AethelstanAegen
January 17, 2012, 12:30 PM
If you change your mind on the single shots, Rossi makes a Youth "Matched Pair" (the typical break action single shot with 2 interchangeable barrels) in .22lr and .410. I have the full size version in .22lr and 12ga and I've been very happy with it. I find it useful for teaching new shooters some basics as it's very simple to operate and the operation is the same be it .22lr or the shotgun. Just something else you might consider.

Dean1818
January 17, 2012, 12:32 PM
Great dad!

My daughter started early on 9mm and now does great with a 45.

(she is now 14.........)

btg3
January 17, 2012, 12:41 PM
Also agree on recoil. There's really no need for her to experience a wide variety of firearms at this stage. 1 or 2 guns that she prefers will do nicely.

Recognize that for your daughter it may well be less about the guns and more about time with dad. Guns are tools -- even for daughters that may use them in ways we might not expect. ;)

FIWI, my daughter started early and won some local BB and pellet gun competitions. Now, as a young adult, she posts range outing photos on facebook. She's competent with any gun we have.

fpgt72
January 17, 2012, 01:00 PM
Personally I started my son at 8 with my rifles....when it came time for his own he picked it out. I don't like the "youth" rifles....get him something that will last him a lifetime.

allaroundhunter
January 17, 2012, 01:19 PM
My first shotgun was a NEF 20ga youth. Kicks like a 12 ga! I don't know if they've improved the design, but it is possible for the thing to shoot w/o being completly closed/locked. My first shot on Christmas morning (fifth grade), boom, shotgun opened and the hull smacked me in the forehead. Glad mom didn't see that or it would have been the end of it....

I received the same gun for my 8th birthday (~10 yrs ago) and it hasn't changed. Still kicks like a mule, and I would never recommend it to a small statured shooter.

Sam1911
January 17, 2012, 01:34 PM
Whenever she's ready for shotguns, consider a nice youth-sized gas operated semi-auto 20 ga. She'll need to be a certain stature just to be able to handle that much gun (my 9 year-old isn't big enough) but giving a small, light shotgun to a kid and letting it beat them up is the opposite of good training or good parenting.

The Lone Haranguer
January 17, 2012, 01:39 PM
CZ makes a youth-sized version of their .22 bolt action called the "Scout." Other than being smaller, it has the same quality and features (the best open sights in the business, as well as a scope mount rail) as the full sized rifle. (The first time I saw one I thought, "Wow, what a cute little carbine!") It also has a dummy magazine that, when inserted into the mag well, makes it a single-shot.

MtnCreek
January 17, 2012, 01:40 PM
8th birthday (~10 yrs ago)
How does that work??? Got a couple of Leapyears in there (Froggy)?:D

Nevermind. I'm a dumby and read it wrong!

Strykervet
January 17, 2012, 02:03 PM
I'm not a big Ruger fan, but I love their rimfires, the 10/22 and MkIII in particular. I've always had a 10/22 (since I was 8) and remember that if she doesn't fit it today, she'll grow into it FAST. Girls hit that growth spurt quicker too, stretch out faster, don't they?

Also, can't you get a smaller youth stock for the 10/22 if needed? The upside to this is when she does grow into it, she'll be able to use the regular stock and then she'll have that thing for life and always think of you and have good memories shooting with dad.

For a shotgun, my first was a youth H&R 20ga. single shot. I hated it, but I used it for the first year, then at 9 I started carrying other stuff. You can cut the stock to fit yourself at home, and if you fill the stock with lead shot, it'll reduce the recoil, and you can add a pad to get a little more time, another season out of it. They are cheap and they are used for exactly this: introducing young shooters to shooting and safety.

Ramone
January 17, 2012, 02:27 PM
8 YO is a tough spot- in two years, she'll likely be lots bigger, so what fits now, won't for long.

Do teach her to shoot prone on a rest- at 8, I learned to shoot an 03 springfield that way, resting the foreend on the lowest strand of barbwire.

In the case of my nephews, we noticed that a PLR16 was great for them, firing with a bipod- of course the ammo was pricy, but my brother came up with a ruger charger (pistol with a 10/22 action) and we put a bipod on that, and all was swell.

Fred in Wisc
January 17, 2012, 02:30 PM
Regarding the NEF and Rossi single shots: I have several and really like them for inexpensive, durable beginner guns. However, some smaller kids will have a very hard time cocking the hammer to shoot them. Usually the ones under 10 have smaller hands and less strength in their thumb, especially the young ladies. They may find them difficult and frustrating to use.

Just something to be aware of.

Sam1911
January 17, 2012, 02:39 PM
Prone and benched shooting can be a lot easier for a youngster. It also helps to have an Assistant Gunner to load, and to holler out which way that golf ball went after each hit!

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc184/sam1911/Shooting%20June%2018/061911003.jpg

:)

hq
January 17, 2012, 02:58 PM
All we had was a single shot bolt action, (Win 101?) and their favorite game eventually became seeing how fast they could load and fire the little gun. I can only imagine what they would have done with a semi-auto. At least the bolt action slows them down and makes them think about what they're doing.

My only .22 bolt guns are CZ-derivatives with LOP more suitable for adults; the "game" I invented to keep the kids' round count in check was not to count hits but misses. They adapted that pretty quickly... "Daddy! Daddy! Zero misses!" (10, 22 and 30rd mags & Do All self resetting steel targets - cheap fun) :)

jojo200517
January 17, 2012, 04:01 PM
Personally if shes small and only 8 i'd wait a while on the shotguns and anything but a rimfire pistol or rifle.

What are you willing to spend, and how long are you expecting it to last her? She is gonna grow up and probably want something bigger. Are you wanting semi auto or bolt action rifles?

I'm not an AR guy really by any means but if you have one you could get one of the 22 rimfire conversion things for it. The recoil will be pretty light to nonexsistant, the ammo will be cheap, all sorts of adjustable after market stocks (not sure how short of a LOP ya can get tho), and of course later when she gets bigger and can handle it you can swap to a whole variety of calibers for the upper.

MtnCreek
January 17, 2012, 04:24 PM
Adjustable AR Stocks work great for kids, the only problem is the weight.

Edit: Five Year Old w/ 14.5" Gov Profile. Shooting prone was so-so; shooting off a bench w/ a front bag worked great. (Boy's got a good beard for 5!:D)

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/MtnCreek/05-19-11488-1.jpg

c1ogden
January 18, 2012, 06:14 PM
I have a suggestion for a handgun. My daughters have used a Llama .22 since they were about that age. Its a 1911 clone scaled down to the size of a PPK. I don't know if they're still made as I bought mine used in the 70s. Not the most accurate but good enough for the ranges they were shooting at. They both liked it better than any of the .22 revolvers that I had.

KodeFore
January 20, 2012, 04:27 PM
Several 22 come to mind. First and foremost if you want to give her a classic rim fire she can cherish the rest of her life consider the Marlin 39. If you can find an older "mountie" version that may fit her a little better. If small size & light weight are critical, take a look at the marlin 70P "Papoose". Its really a backpack gun that's a magazine fed take down version of the classic Marlin 60. Ya, I like marlins. If you are interested in something "tacticool" then look at the Sig 522. It comes with 2 sizes of butt pad and a 3 position telescopeing stock. Bear in made it does not come with any sights at all. These guns are also well suited to older kids as well.

Elm Creek Smith
January 20, 2012, 05:01 PM
I started my girls with a Marlin 15Y singleshot bolt action. They both became great shots, and I kept the Marlin with a Weaver K2.5 on it for a truck/survival gun. Then the grandkids came along, and I put the Marlin back into service. My grandson has outgrown it, and my granddaughter thinks it's hers. (She's wrong.) It's wearing a red dot sight nowadays.

When my girls were big enough, I started them on K-Frame .38s with target wadcutters.

ECS

Dnaltrop
January 20, 2012, 05:58 PM
My nearly-10 year old has been shooting (non BB) for nearly 3 years now if my dates are correct.

She too looks at the pink crickets and then makes teasing comments about her auntie's one. Started on a nearly 100 year old Marlin 101, and moved to an AR-7 explorer. Now we're hunting for her first .22 pistol. (Bersa one looking to be the frontrunner).

Once she can manipulate the hammer and slide safely on the .22, I'll put the Victory Model 10 in her hands. We'll see how she progresses.

Enjoy every minute of it, they're growing too fast already.

hermannr
January 20, 2012, 08:08 PM
One nice small pistol is the Ruger Bearcat. Only firearm I ever sold/traded. Just too small for my hands, or my wifes...but probably just right for an 8/10 year old though. Try one, you might like it. pretty little pistol.

Other than that, all of our 5 girls started on an old Marlin 60, .22 cal bolt.

mo841
January 20, 2012, 10:01 PM
My son got a rossi 410 tuffy. ou of all of the youth guns that were avaliable, this one fit him the best and it has the pistol grip cut out in the stock for better control. the stocks on the other guns were still a little long. He really enjoys it.

AABEN
January 20, 2012, 11:23 PM
Starter her on 22 till she is bigger so the kick will not make her shy away from you. Good luck with her.

jdgreen
January 20, 2012, 11:43 PM
The Marlin 795 is a very lightweight .22 semi-auto rifle. Since it is a composite stock, you can even paint it pink if you want. About $129.

Onward Allusion
January 21, 2012, 11:56 AM
Ruger 10/22 in a Blackhawk Axiom collapsible stock. LOP 9.75 to 13.5 and drops weight to just a hair over 4 lbs.

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