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starting young son shooting

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by carry24-7, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. carry24-7

    carry24-7 Active Member

    well, my son is 6 yrs. old now, and shows alot of intrest in shooting, and hunting.
    i just signed him up for cubscouts this week, and we have had our first meeting this week, and my son, and i are real excited about the upcomming events.
    one of the events is going to be learning to shoot a bb gun. i have always thought that teaching a youngster the proper way of handleing firearms,and learning their capabilities, and hazards, could posibibly save lives in the future.
    for instance, lets say he is at a party ata friends house, and one of the kids find a parents firearm in the house, and thinks it would be cool to play with it.. perhaps if theese kids are trained in the hazzards of loaded guns, they could be smart enough to run from the danger, and hopefully save some lives too.

    ok back on to my idea. i was thinking that being that he is going to be shooting a bb gun in cubscouts, that maybee it would be a good idea to get him (and myself) an air soft gun. that way we can practice indoors with bad weather, and also being that they are airsoft guns, a missplaced shot wouldn't be an issue as far as damage goes.

    please let me know what you folks think of this idea.
    meanwhile i think i will be making a trip to the locall sporting goods store too look at, and maybee even purchace an airsoft gun.

    thanks, me
  2. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

    www.corneredcat.com -- hit that link and find the articles under the chapter "Kids and Guns."

    Generally speaking, it's a good idea to teach youngsters about firearms.

    I'm kind of divided on the notion of a BB gun or an Airsoft gun being really good for training them how to act around real guns. The reason for this is that BBs and Airsoft pellets really aren't dangerous. Both kids and adults tend to treat these "guns" as the toys they really are. And that can lead to long-term problems with firearms respect.

    On the other hand, when you're working with a youngster, it's very handy to teach them to shoot on something that makes little noise (so you don't need to muffle the kid's ears) and produces little recoil (so the kid doesn't get afraid of the gun). On that level, BB guns are godsend.

    Contrary to popular mythology, most kids have a reasonably firm grasp of the difference between toys and tools. That's why most little boys would rather play with dad's hammer than with the silly plastic monstrosity from the dollar store. It's why little girls would rather play with mom's makeup than pretend to put makeup on using the lipstick-colored piece of plastic from the big box store. And it is, unfortunately, why even boys and girls who own BB guns are very likely to glom onto any opportunity to handle real firearms when mom and dad aren't around -- unless they are taught better.

    So look on the BB gun and the Airsoft gun as a slightly flawed way to teach your kid the basics of shooting, but don't consider those toys as good defuse-the-curiousity tools. And be very, very aware that you're probably going to teach your kid some bad (dangerous) habits with the BB gun and especially with the Airsoft gun unless you work very hard to avoid it.

  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, I think the BB gun idea is sound. You can head off the bad habits by introducing them to a 22 just a bit later. I personally am not in favor of little kids (and six is little) shooting real guns other than maybe the occasional shot with Dad or Mom at the range or during a plinking session. Just pay attention to their interest. It is a good interest with proper training and boundaries. The don't touch concept is okay for very small children, but doesn't work for older kids. So, some training is a good thing.
  4. Mannix

    Mannix Well-Known Member

    Under supervision I think a BB gun can be used effectively to teach good safety habits for later. I would, however, advise against an airsoft gun. My experience has been that kids tend to shoot each other with them(heck, I know we did). Though the same could be said about a BB gun, BB guns leave more than a welt if they hit bare skin.
  5. ace1001

    ace1001 Well-Known Member

    I have noticed that paintball produces many bad gunhandling habits. triggerjerking, unsafe pointing, ect. Airsoft would be similar. Ace
  6. YammyMonkey

    YammyMonkey Well-Known Member

    IMO it's all in how you train the kids. Even when I was running around with toy guns I always made sure I didn't muzzle my friends & kept the finger off the trigger. Kinda funny, but even as a kid I had a bit of the "every time you handle it it's a chance to train good (or bad) habits" mentality.

    That said, I'd go with the BB gun instead of the airsoft because he'll be more likely to take the BB gun seriously, especially when his friends start getting airsofts for neighborhood shoot-em-ups.
  7. ace1001

    ace1001 Well-Known Member

    Are you saying this was instinctive, not training?
  8. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    Yes, because paintball players usually learn from other paintball players and neither have probably ever used a real firearm. I used to play paintball. I learned the hard way to keep my finger off the trigger unless I am ready to fire. Shot myself in the foot with a paintball. I didn't learn about the four rules until after I bought my first firearm which was about 3 years after I bought my first paintball marker. Watch a professional paintball match on TV (some cable channels have them at odd hours once in a while) and you'll see the pros have generally good marker handling skills.

    Ever notice how dads with poor gun handling skills usually have kids that have poor gun handling skills?
  9. carry24-7

    carry24-7 Active Member

    well guys, i thank you once aain about the ideas, and beleifs you have spoke of.
    i realy never thought of the possible bad habbits that airsoft guns could bring about. i was thinking as them being more of a " just in case of" miss guided muzzle.

    i was ready to go to walleyworld tonite, and buy one, but now i think i might just think twice about that decision.
    i do however have an old red rider bb gun i was planning on giving him when he is a bit older. reguardless of having the bb gun and training him with it now or waiting till latter to give it to him, it will remain locked up like the other guns. after all it isn't a toy gun.

    i always know i can get some good answers from the folks here at THR.

    thanks again.
  10. Titan6

    Titan6 member

    I am glad you are keeping it secure. You really can shoot your eye out. One of my guys had that happen to his daughter by a cousin.

    I started my kids off at that age with BB guns. The hardest thing to teach is muzzle discipline. The cub scouts are great but they BB gun training is not always the best. I would suggest you volunteer to help out to make things run smoothly. The help will be appreciated and the kids can learn things right the first time.
  11. hamourkiller

    hamourkiller Well-Known Member

    I found that a colapsable stocked AR-15 fit the bill for my son to start shooting. He loved it and is still shooting @ 14.

  12. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    This was my first BB gun at 6 years old. Red Ryder.


    I shot the snot out of the thing, eventually moved up to one of those Crosman 760's. It was my best friend.

    Hard to say about firearms discipline. I don't think it really taught me any real safety lessons, but certainly helped with my shooting ability. The first time I handled an unloaded handgun as an adult I swept everybody in the room.:eek:

    Have you thought about one of those Crickets?

    They're *really* small and perfect for young kids being a single shot bolt action. Kids tend to seek approval from adults when they go shooting and swing the gun around by accident. When I was nine I went to a YMCA camp in Colorado that had 22's and I was in heaven. Alas we were only at the firing line for a half hour, but what a memory.
  13. rkh

    rkh member

    This is the best excuse you'll ever have to buy a suppressor for your 22! :evil:
  14. Tharg

    Tharg Well-Known Member

    Can't say my pops really gave me any firearms "training" ... i can say he drilled the basic four pretty damn hard... and then made it known that had i touched the Beretta on his table stand next to the bed I'd be whipped something fierce. My Dad was one of those no-nonsense dad's tho... may not work for every dad. (IE i really and truly believed he WOULD break me like a shotgun and kill my sorry butt... rofl) So most of my actual gun safety came from him in a less than "formal" method.

    the .30 .30 in 6th grade was way fun... the shotgun shootin dove over our land @ 14 was pretty cool too. (even the cleaning etc)

    I don't have any kids but been w/ enough women who do... seems like the younger they are the more seriously they take instruction... 6 could be the PERFECT time (i don't KNOW - just guessin) to drill the rules and what could happen if they are not followed in. (my guess is .22 LR, as said before, BB's and AirSofts tend to be viewed as toys....)

    just my opine tho... take it or leave it or what not :)

    Take care!

  15. CZ223

    CZ223 Well-Known Member

    My daughter started shooting

    when she was five years old. Yes she was young but I watched her like a hawk and was always close enough to grab the rifle should she have started to point it where she shouldn't. That first session was with her moms Marlin 25 bolt action 22 and the next session was with a 10-22 that I bought used and cut to fit her. I also had the trigger lightened so that she could actually hit something with it. I was shooting silhouette back then and she really enjoyed knocking down the chickens and pigs. When she was 9 she fired a handgun for the first time. Right after that she started shooting Cowboy Action Shooting with me. I must have done something right because "many" people have commented on how safe she is in her gun handling skills. She is also a pretty good Cowgirl shooter as well.:D One of the things I did to show her her how dangerous guns could be was to let her shoot pumpkins and water bottles with her 22 and I would shooth them as well. The destruction was pretty impressive and it got the point across. I never liked the BB gun idea because, as was said earlier, its easy to treat them as toys. The same can be said of the airsoft guns. It is only my opinion but I would start looking for a 22 rifle like the Henry bolt action or even the cricket. Just be be sure to drill the safety stuff into him and of course keep the guns locked up.
  16. MaterDei

    MaterDei Well-Known Member

    It really depends on the maturity of your kid. I started most of my kids on bb guns and 22s at 4 or 5 years old. They need to be old enough to memorize and be able to demonstrate that they can follow the 4 safety rules. They always shot under my supervision until they were mature enough to go on their own.

    To this day when we go shooting together we start by them telling me the 4 safety rules. My kids are 8, 9, 10, 12, 17, and 19 years old. In addition to the 4 rules I also require hearing and eye protection. Other than safety the only rule is to have fun.
  17. 357-8-times

    357-8-times Well-Known Member

    I have intentionally shot myself in the foot with a paintgun (wearing Timberlands) as a demonstration to reduce the fear in a younger player who was scared of getting shot.

    I wouldn't do it again though...:rolleyes:
  18. chipperi

    chipperi Well-Known Member

    I had a .22 long before I was really taught how to shoot, I was probably about 12-13 or so I really had a good instructor at a Boy Scout reservation summer camp. It was all fundamentals of safety, care and cleaning, and range time all iron sights. If I had kids I think I would teach them that way as scopes while learning dont teach good technique.
  19. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    My own experience.

    My son is too young yet, turns three the end of this month. So, I'll tell you about my experience growing up. My first gun was just that, a gun. 20ga single shot. Dad believed that kids do stupid things with BB guns they'd not do with a real firearm. I saw enough as a kid to think the same. I got my first BB gun about age 30. Yes, three-zero.

    My shotgun was mine, I paid for it by mowing lawns (nobody considered it cruel to make a gradeschooler cut grass back then) and could shoot as much as I could afford to. PROVIDED: I had to have an adult with me anytime I went shooting until I was about 13. I wasn't allowed to shoot animals unless they were in season and I planned on eating them or they were nuisance animals. I wasn't allowed to share my shotgun with friends or shoot it with them unless supervised. A bunch of kids is exponentially dumber than one kid.

    My dad drilled safety into me for years. Four Rules, wood and metal care, Four Rules and most importantly, The Four Rules. They weren't called the four rules then, they were called keeping your cranium out of your rectum. I plan on following the same strategy with my son. When he's old enough, there's a bolt action .22 in the cabinet, as well as a youth model 20ga. He'll use real guns to learn to handle real guns under close supervision. After a few years (hopefully, unless he's hard headed like me) he'll be trusted to use them on his own. He can have a BB gun when he's thirty.
  20. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Well-Known Member

    Somewhere I read something in which one of the posters mentioned that he let his children know that if they ever wanted to see/clean/fondle their 22 rifles outside of normal shooting time, to let him know and he'd get it out. He built up a trust with the child, and took all of the curiosity out, so they had little or no desire to sneak around.

    BB-guns are dangerous to some extent, so they are the preferable lead up to 22's, at least more-so than airsoft. Not to mention airsoft allows you to walk your shots, rather than use the sights. Ge the kid a Red Ryder and start the learning. Give him a Chipmunk for his 7th or 8th birthday after teaching him the 4 rules for a few years.

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