A 13-year old at the range

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Dec 28, 2002
My 13-year old nephew is coming to town for a few days from California. My parents bring one grandchild along with them for their annual trip to the Rockies and bragging rights are very important when the grandchild returns home.

I'm taking him shooting and to the Little Big Horn. His homework is to bone up on the battle beforehand.

This raises an interesting question. What firearm would provide the best bragging when he returned home to his four brothers?

I'm willing to make one REASONABLE purchase to help (my) urr.. HIS cause. Right now I can furnish hand guns in .357, 9mm, 45acp, .22, and rifles in .22 and .270. Only one is illegal in CA though some magazines are over sized for that state.
I would stick to long guns or .22 cal pistols. I started shooting around the age of 13 and I think starting out with a .45 or .357 would have been too much. The most fun I had shooting, however, was with a big blackpowder rifle...A big boom and lots of smoke:D
EBR like an AK clone in 7.62X39. Cheap, reliable and not available in Cali. It also teaches him that the EBR is just another self loading rifle in wolves clothing.
Seems like a 45 would give him the best bragging rights, but a 22 would be the most practical, from both a cost and use perspective. My 8 year old tells everyone he meets that he owns a pistol. He thinks it's totally cool. I bought a Walther P22, and he loves to shoot it, so I "gave" it to him.
I personally think an AR15 would be the perfect gun for him to shoot.

Its not available in California, and its in many movies, so he'll recognize it. And its loud too :)

Low recoil too so he can shoot a lot through one day.
A Trapdoor Carbine, of course! Recoil is stout,but a good recoil pad and light cowboy loads shoot make it bearable and fun.
Why not pick up an inexpensive cap and ball revolver? Shooting a black powder handgun is a heck of a lot of fun and historic to boot. Or maybe a used Uberti in colt 45, very similar to the side arms the army carried at the Little Big Horn. For historic effect you can buy 45 colt loaded with black powder. Lots of fun!!!

Either a P22 with a fake can (fake is fastest to get) or an AR with a .22 upper. (and maybe said fake can 'just for the looks')

The AR was a big hit on a recent educational jaunt for me.
"Learning Trip"
For braggin' rights in the PRK, definitely something banned there ... some sort of EBR (AR, FAL or AK).

And get plenty of pictures ... braggin' is much more fun with pictures :D
I'd say that a lever action .22 might be a good choice. Lever action ties in for a historical link and .22 being economical.
What firearm would provide the best bragging when he returned home to his four brothers?
Your state permits Class III, right? :evil:

I'd suggest an EBR, a FAL or tricked out M4gery.

And there's nothing wrong with a 13-year old shooting a .45 or .357 . . . I was only a year older when I bought my first .45 (which I still have ;) ) and I've been handloading .357s since I was that age . . .
While a full-on AR-15 would certainly give him California bragging rights (he can't touch one in California), and handguns of any sort fit the TV culture out here, I would suggest that he have a chance to shoot the guns of Little Big Horn. Nothing like a little education with his bragging.

Besides, just imagine the look on his teacher's face during the discussion of Little Big Horn when he gets to US History.
i 2nd the AK. its illegal in california, so it'll be an experience he probably won't be able to have again until (if) he moves away. the 7.62x39 is definitely manageable for a 13 year old.
buy him something fun in .223, just for fun, maybe an AK-47 or something similar cos they are cool. dunno if they are legal
Being the evil cuss I am, I would have to try planting the seeds of a future CA gun rights activist here.

Subtley, of course.

If you added an AR pattern rifle to your collection, you could point out how silly it is that the rifle that makes such small little holes (particularly if it's an innocuous .22 upper) isn't allowed were he lives but the .45 that makes such gloriously grand holes in the paper is.

Just be sure to drop it there. No preaching, no sermons, no righteous indignation, just a simple statement of fact and continue on to the next thing with a smile on your face. You're planting a seed, not driving a post. :D

With a little forethought, you can do this with most anything. A 10/22 with a folding pistolgrip stock compared to the .270, etc.

Now, from the bragging rights point of view, I have to see one of the common banned guns as being king of the hill. Maybe an AR, maybe an AK... gona guess a .50 is right out of the realm of posibility.. :evil:
I was going to say ask him what his favorite movie is, and if it something western or military try to find something that fits. If he likes a shoot'em up movie, and he can say to his buddies when he gets home, "I shot that same gun," whoo hooo bragging rights, especially when his whips out his pictures.

That said, I would definitely buy something banned in CA. One thing, If you take any pics, and i am sure you will, make sure in all of them there are adults visible. No need having his parents called into the school office because someone sees a picture of him holding a gun by his lonesome. Adults can be loading mags etc but just let it be seen that an adult was with him.
The thought that struck me immediately was see if you can borrow some other firearms for the boy to try as well.

Surely there is some other THR member(s) in your area that would be willing to come along and let you shoot their .50 BMG or AR15 or black powder muzzle loader or whatever (you pay for ammo of course) ..... that way both you and the boy get to experience a whole lot of different firearms for minimal cost and everyone gets to have fun.

Personally I would think that similar firearms to those used at Little Big Horn would be great for the boy to experience ..... as well as whatever else you can find.

See if you can find someone who shoots cannons!! That'd be great bragging rights for the kid!!!

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