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How old should a child be before learning to shoot
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
How old do you think a child should be before going shooting?

I think somewhere around 6-8y/o. Old enough to follow directions and big enough to hold whatever they are shooting.
 

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I learned to shoot when I was 6, but I was always jealous of my older brother. He had his own .22 when he was five, and he could strip and clean it, Or so they tell me as I wouldn't come along for another 15 years.

Tarzan
 

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Old enough to be safe and to understand what he/she is doing.
 

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My boys have both started shooting at 4 or 5 years old. Obviously not my 30.06 but at that age they can shoot a .22 rifle without any problem. It does also obviously require you standing right there and helping. My oldest who will be 8 next month can 100% by himself operate my Walther P22 (.22) semi auto pistol. I won't let the 5 year old shoot any of my pistols expect the .22 because the others are still just too big for him and the trigger pull on several is more than he can pull also. My 7 yearold has shot almost all of my pistols. He can handle my AR-15 without any problem and loves it. He shoots it from the bench because it is still just a bit heavy to hold up and shoot standing. I say start them as early as they can handle the gun. My 7 year old also impressed my at Christmas time by dusting 3 of 4 clay pigeons with a single shot .410. It was the first time he had ever shot at clay pigeons. I couldn't believe it. He has also shot my 20 gauge but it was a bit much for him. Both of them have shot and seen my guns enough to know what kind of damage they can do. The biggest benefit of letting them shoot young IMO is that they won't be tempted to play with the guns when you aren't around. If Dad lets them shoot the gun for real I don't think they will be as tempted to try to mess with one when they shouldn't. I tell my boys they can handle my guns anytime the ever want to as long as they ask me and I am there to help them follow the rules. My 7 year old is getting his first gun (An Airsoft) for his 8th birthday in February so we will see how that goes.
 

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I generally teach them to shoot around age 5. However, they learn about firearm safety somewhere shortly after birth. :D
 

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I said between 3 - 6 yrs of age. Of course this all depends on the temperament, responsibility , understanding and ability to follow instructions.
The actual age for starting a child may vary significantly between children, even in the same family. As the parent it is our responsibility to know and understand our children, and to gage when the time may be right to instruct them.
 

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First gun I ever fired was a Colt gold cup (obviously with help) and I was five. I think that is about the right age however my four year old has done the same thing and I thing I created a monster. He loves to go hunting with me now and can recite the four rules. All of my firearms are available for inspection at anytime all you have to do is ask and then we have a short gun safety class and some one on one time.
 

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I was 4 when my grandfather shocked my mom and taught me to shoot. Most of my children have started around that age, except for my youngest daughter who has some learning and physical disabilities.

 

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I got my 7 yr old a Marlin bolt action 22 for Christams, I took him to the range the other day for the first time, he did very well shooting it, had a hard time holding it steady, and I had to keep reminding him to keep his fingur of the trigger untill he was ready to shoot.
 

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XD Dude said:
I got my 7 yr old a Marlin bolt action 22 for Christams, I took him to the range the other day for the first time, he did very well shooting it, had a hard time holding it steady, and I had to keep reminding him to keep his fingur of the trigger untill he was ready to shoot.
You will find that your kids learn fast. Faster than adults. I was working on my AR last night and both my 7 and 5 year old were "helping me." In all the times they wanted to look through the scope and hold the gun (must have been 50) I never once saw them put their finger on the trigger. Doesn't take kids long to learn that rule. In fact, my 7 year old has scolded me for putting my finger on the trigger....
 

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I don't have kids.

BUT, my impression is that those who are raised playing with toy guns and watching movies BUT who don't have the opportunity to handle guns at a young age (even smaller stuff like BB guns and .22s) are the ones who typically have a harder time learning gun safety and keeping their finger off the trigger. In the Navy it was always the "country" kids who learned these aspects quicker than the "city" kids.

[EDIT]: I realized that my point in the above might have been "missed" and could be seen to be a little off-topic. What I am arguing is that even if an individual feels their child should wait until a bit of a later age to start shooting REAL guns, I think it would greatly behoove the child to receive not only education but hands-on instruction with AT LEAST smaller guns (such as a BB gun) at as young an age as possible. When I was about 7 my step-father gave me a BB gun, but I know he would've given me one probably around 5 had he been married to my mother at that time.

Guns are a lot like sex. Our kids are absolutely GOING to learn about both at some point in their lives... be it friends, movies, or you. You might as well cut the BAD teachers off as early as possible... if they are old enough to ask or show interest in either, they are old enough to start learning about it.

Taboos always lead to the same result: Destroy the human mind and cripple an individual for life.
 

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I feel that the 9-12 range is about right for normal children. Mine ain't normal but he got his start at this age anyway and he did alright. It wasn't until last year that we really started shooting again but he is 18 now and I really need to take him more often or have him take me.

ian
 

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bane said:
Guns are a lot like sex.
So many things I could say about this, but I'll just agree and add, I'm a fan of both!! :lol:
 

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T-Man said:
bane said:
Guns are a lot like sex.
So many things I could say about this, but I'll just agree and add, I'm a fan of both!! :lol:
Hahaha! :lol:
 

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Perhaps this is a bit off topic but PW I would suggest against getting your son an Airsoft gun. I have played Airsoft for several years. Airsoft is great as a training tool (at least for close range pistol) and will greatly improve your reaction times as you get to go through situations again and again and no one gets hurt, but the instant you hand a kid (no offense intended I understand you son may be mature for his age) a replica firearm intended to shoot humans with the lines become blurred in their minds and this may lead to improper gun handling habits. With that being said if you still plan on getting an Airsoft gun for your son you can’t go wrong with a “Classic Army” brand.
 

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Lucky Head Shot said:
Perhaps this is a bit off topic but PW I would suggest against getting your son an Airsoft gun. I have played Airsoft for several years. Airsoft is great as a training tool (at least for close range pistol) and will greatly improve your reaction times as you get to go through situations again and again and no one gets hurt, but the instant you hand a kid (no offense intended I understand you son may be mature for his age) a replica firearm intended to shoot humans with the lines become blurred in their minds and this may lead to improper gun handling habits. With that being said if you still plan on getting an Airsoft gun for your son you can’t go wrong with a “Classic Army” brand.
No offense taken. Good point. I don't feel like I am handing him a gun intended to "shoot humans". We have guns in our house for fun. When my kids get older, there will be a discussion about self defense. There has already been a discussion about self defense, but not a serious one. My kids look at my guns as serious things that are there to enjoy, not kill people with. They do understand that guns kill people, but I don't think it has really clicked with them that that is the main purpose of guns. They are still young enough to just think that they are really fun cool things that they love shooting with dad. The whole idea of giving him an airsoft is to encourage and imprint safe gun handlilng habits.

My oldest already knows how serious his dad takes gun safety. Several years ago, we had an old broken rusted BB gun that came from somewhere that couldn't fire BB's that somehow found its way into my kids outdoor toy box. After repeated warnings (maybe 3-4 warnings is all) to my oldest who at the time was probably about 5 years old, about not pointing it at anyone (specifically his 3 year old brother) he pointed it at his brother again. I snapped. My oldest got to watch me physically remove it from his hands and literally smash it into bits on our cement porch then throw it in the garbage. That left an impression on him that hasn't been forgotten. In hindsight that broken BB gun should have never been treated like a toy... but hey we both learned a lesson. BTW you should have seen the look on my wifes face as I repeately smashed the gun into the concrete... not sure that was really my best moment either...

BTW, the airsoft gun will not be used to have airsoft wars that seem to be popular among teenagers. The second I see him shoot that gun at anything he is not supposed to it will disappear. My son knows that and I believe will follow the rules. He also won't have free rein to take his airsoft and shoot it anytime he wants. It will be a while I'm sure before he gets to just shoot it whenever he wants without supervision.
 

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PW that is exactly what I wanted to hear. BTW if you setup a target in your garage and get yourself a nice all steel gas Airsoft pistol perhaps one that matches your carry gun as close as possible it really helps with snap shot accuracy and drawing from your holster, plus its just fun.
 

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Lucky Head Shot said:
PW that is exactly what I wanted to hear. BTW if you setup a target in your garage and get yourself a nice all steel gas Airsoft pistol perhaps one that matches your carry gun as close as possible it really helps with snap shot accuracy and drawing from your holster, plus its just fun.
Hey, I like that idea. Is anyone making airsoft replica XDs?
 
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