Shooting with the kids

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Lone_Sheep_Dog, Aug 4, 2011.

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  1. Lone_Sheep_Dog

    Lone_Sheep_Dog Member

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    I now have 2 sons under the age of 2. I have recently thought about buying them guns. I have been thinking about buying 3 of each gun so that we will each have one to own and shoot at the range. I plan for their first gun to be a S&W M&P 15-22 (.22 cal). I think the tactical .22 would be a good start because I'm afraid that they will get bored and lose interest in a single shot model that looks like a hunting rifle.
    Should I start buying or should I wait until they show interest in firearms?
     
  2. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    I would wait, and think about starting off with something a little simpler. Kids aren't going to be able to process something like an AR-type gun right off, and will be easier to instruct and keep safe on a single-shot. Have a look at Cricket rifles - they're cheap, and made for kids. And when/if they get bored with it or outgrow it, they have something to pass down to their kids.

    As for buying three of each - that's up to you, but IMHO, it's a huge waste of money. Kids can take turns. They don't each need their own rifle, especially when you have no idea whether they'll take to shooting or not.
     
  3. John_galt

    John_galt Member

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    Sounds like you have quite few years to consider.....
     
  4. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    My step son turns 8 soon. He has shot my Savage 64, which looks like a hunting rifle. For his birthday, he is getting a H&R Tamer .410 single shot.
    While he has a toy that looks like a lime green AR, I don't think he cares about having a real gun that looks like one of his toys. He'll be thrilled to death by just having a gun of his own.

    At the age of two, I wouldn't consider teaching them how to shoot for a few years yet. And when you do, I would not start with a hi-cap semi-auto. Start small, teach them the fundamentals, and buy one for them to share. Sharing and taking turns is another life lesson kids need to learn afterall, and I see too many parents who have failed there.
     
  5. Cal-gun Fan

    Cal-gun Fan Member

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    I was taught to shoot on a Ruger 10/22. I don't much care for the black rifle-style .22s (EXCEPT for something like the GSG-5, LOVE that one). I don't think that they would lose interest with something like a bolt action-I actually think that it might be better to teach them with. Precise and controlled, yet still fun.
    I would suggest getting a light rifle too, something that they will be able to carry easily. You could take them out into the woods with it as they get older, hunt some small varmints!

    Another thing I would suggest is to look into some junior .22 shooting leagues. That IMO is one of the best things you can do-I wish I had done that earlier, when I didn't have to worry about High School homework :D
     
  6. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    x2 on a Cricket....My nephen was shooting one just before he turned 4. At 3 yrs. 11 months he pulled the trigger on his first deer. His dad had been shooting with him on a .22 a couple of months before deer season. When the season rolled around, he let the boy pull the trigger on a centerfire on a doe on youth day. My brother said the difference in noise and recoil didn't bother his son a bit.
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Naah. The Cricket's aren't exactly heirloom guns, and there are much better options for teaching a little one.

    Look at the Savage Cub-T with the Accu-Trigger. Not much more money, but a whole lot better gun. (Same could be said of the Henry Micro-Bolt.)

    You can buy whatever you want, whenever you want, of course, but you want to start from the earliest exposure to firearms with very basic safety talks. That means, from the first time your children seem to notice your gun on your belt or in your gun safe, they're hearing a simple version of the four rules.

    Even a collapsible stock AR-variant in .22 is going to be quite a bit more gun than a young shooter can really handle and manipulate well. My daughter is 9 this year and has just developed to the point that she's really able to hold and shoot the Cub on her own -- and that's a much smaller, shorter, lighter rifle than any AR, with a length-of-pull and trigger reach that are designed for the very small-statured.

    Don't worry about what your kids might think "looks cool." That's really insignificant. They will be so excited to get to spend the time with you, one-on-one, and -- of course -- to actually fire a gun on their own that what the gun actually is won't matter much.

    Show them what that what they can do with the gun (their skills development) is what is interesting and exciting -- not what the gun looks like. Shooting isn't a game and it isn't the movies. Playing to their action-hero fan enthusiasm is heading in the wrong direction, and giving credence to the idea that a "hunting" rifle isn't as interesting as an AR-15 look-alike has you sending the wrong message as their mentor.
     
  8. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

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    +1 on the Ruger 10/22. I have a stainless with a laminated stock like this. Have the pistol to match. Great for teaching kids and you can have fun modifying it when they get older.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Sorry, but I don't see a semi-auto as being the best teaching tool for kids. Aside from being more complicated, a full sized gun it too for the average pre-schooler to shoot.
     
  10. Lone_Sheep_Dog

    Lone_Sheep_Dog Member

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    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.
    I already own one S&W 15-22. It is mostly polymer and weighs less than 6 pounds. It is a small gun because of the collapsible stock.
    I also have a ruger 10-22. I was thinking that since I'm not interested in the ruger 10-22, then the kids wouldn't be either. I want to make it fun for them so that maybe they will be a firearms enthusiast like I am. They will see guns in movies and video games, and they won't be single shot .22's or ruger 10-22's. I'm not a hunter, so I think that has something to do with my decisions.
     
  11. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    My kids learned to shoot on a 521 Remington - clip-fed bolt, loaded single shot. And God willing I'll teach my grandkids on it too.
     
  12. Cal-gun Fan

    Cal-gun Fan Member

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    This is my opinion, but I would not teach kids to shoot with something that looked like an assault rifle. That could really send the wrong message if they are very young. Something like a 10/22 or a small, lightweight bolt action will be great to teach them how to be save with firearms and how to take care of them. It will also be much easier for them to use than the MP 15-22. 6 pounds can be a lot for a 3-5 year old!

    Don't teach them that guns are just like they are in movies and video games! That is a very bad way to get people into shooting. Get them something that they can use well and that will be age-appropriate for them.
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, of course your kids will pick up and internalize your own preferences and prejudices -- at least when they're too young to have a wider range of influences.

    That's a good reason to evaluate your own notions and statements and attitudes to make sure they're the kinds of things you really want to pass on.

    That applies to all of life -- not just shooting.

    Nothing can (or should) make you grow into the person you should be faster and more comprehensively than looking at those little faces looking up to you and realizing the that what goes into their brains and psyches is in your hands.

    Good luck with them!

     
  14. Lone_Sheep_Dog

    Lone_Sheep_Dog Member

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    I think video games have done a lot to get more kids interested in firearms. That's a good thing in my opinion.
     
  15. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

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    I grew up shooting and I think my dad did a good job of teaching me and my siblings. He started me out with his single action 22 revolvers. He had several semi-autos and bigger handguns, but he wanted every one of my shots to be deliberate.

    There's nothing scarier than a novice wielding a firearm with a full magazine, nor does it promote marksmanship even in adults. (Why take the time to aim precisely if you have 9 more rounds to hit your target?) If you teach them to shoot at an early age, teach them to make every shot count and force feed them safe practices. But don't forget to keep it fun, too! :)

    -MW
     
  16. steven58

    steven58 Member

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    I bought my son the Henry Mini Bolt http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-minibolt.cfm when he was 5 years old. It's been the perfect training rifle for him and his younger sister. Buds has them for $191.00 & free shipping http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_107_979/products_id/36682

    I wanted to start my kids out as young as possible with single shot .22 rimfire for safety. I bought only one rifle because while one kid is learning to shoot the other is learning to spot and act as a range safety officer for the shooter.

    When teaching children to shoot I work only one on one. and I am never further than arms length from an active shooter. Too much can happen in a split second of inattention for me to feel comfortable with multiple shooters until they are much more mature and experienced.

    My advice is to start with a mini sized single shot rifle with iron sights. That will be plenty exiting especially with reactive targets (ice cubes, animal crackers, tennis balls etc). Later on, once they learn the basics of marksmanship and safety, you can introduce the semi autos and military style rifles. Otherwise they wont learn to shoot they will just learn to miss really fast.

    The size of this type of rifle allows very young/small shooters to use it from standing, prone, kneeling and sitting positions. They are not tied to a bench and rest as they are when it's a gun they will need to "grow into" in a few years.

    I picked the Henry because it was small, light, accurate, stainless steel/synthetic construction, fiber optic sights and most important of all it has a separate safety. Unlike the other single shot .22 rifles that rely on a cumbersome cocking piece as the only safety, the Mini Bolt has the ability to be carried chamber loaded cocked and safety on just like any other hunting rifle.

    Over the past 12 years that little gun has been shot at least ten thousand times by not just my 2 kids and their friends but by several scout troops as well. It has held up just fine.

    My son is now 17 and has graduated to a CZ 550 American as his .22 bolt action. He also has access to top end .22 rimfire ARs, and a customized 10/22. Every now and then he still asks to bring the Mini Bolt to the range as it is just so much fun to shoot that little rifle!
     
  17. Bentonville

    Bentonville Member

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    delete
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  18. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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    Well, whatever you do, don't star the kids off shooting by handing them 12 ga shotguns. Personally, I'd try to find a bolt gun in 223 or 22LR, or air rifle.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  19. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    If this were the case for everyone, I know a lot of shooters who wouldn't be.
     
  20. hermannr

    hermannr Member

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    My dad bought me a single shot 22. He said when I could show that I could handle it safely we could move up to a repeater. His attitude was a Single Shot makes you concentrate on technique and safety.

    55 years later, I think he was correct.
     
  21. Bentonville

    Bentonville Member

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    You didn't know my son back then.
     
  22. BearGriz

    BearGriz Member

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    What about a BB gun, or even an airsoft? At least at a very young age.

    You could use those less-than-lethal guns to teach and practice safety. Treat them like real guns, the kids could learn how to respect them, and then move up to (lethal) firearms.

    Plus airsoft is way cheap (both guns and ammo), and you don't have to travel to a range or BLM land (for most of us), you can just be in the yard, park, or field.

    Just a thought.
     
  23. vaupet

    vaupet Member

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    my kids learn to shoot with match grade air rifles, teaches concentration, proper sighting and trigger technique.
    They shoot standing, with a 10 lbs rifle supported at 10 metres, with open sights.
    Triggers are set at 300 grms (less then 1 lbs)
    ammo is very cheap to, even compared to 22 lr and they can shoot in the basement of my house, where I have a small 10 meter range, without disturbing anyone.
    In the pictures you can see my 11 year old daughter and 12 y old boy and a nice target of the daughter, shot in an official competition.
     

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  24. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    I have brought quite a few full-grown, adult shooting virgins to the range and some of them have had some issues with the semi-automatics, like letting loose a rapid fire burst completely by accident. It scared them a bit.

    With a little kid, try a single shot or, at least, a bolt action. My niece is visiting now and I took her shooting. She really enjoyed my Marlin bolt action. She was way less nervous once she found out that she had good control of the gun.

    A Cricket's ok, I guess, but, personally, it is a bit of a chore to use. A bolt action slows 'em down enough to give 'em time to think. At less than two years old, you've got some years yet. An AR-type rifle seems a bit much for their very first gun. The manual of arms is too much for a preschooler. As a matter of fact, it was a even bit much for some in my basic training platoon when they first got a hold of one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  25. Creade

    Creade Member

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    My daughter is less than a year, and I have 2 guns in the safe for her already.
    The first is a Remington No. 6.
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/remington_rollingblock_no6.htm

    The second is an early Colt Police Positive with pearl grips that her grandfather gave me to hang onto for her.


    It is tradition in my family that on your "hunting" birthday you receive a bird gun, so in 10 years or so I will be shopping for a new Shotgun.
     
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