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Thread: When should young boy be allow to shoot a pistol!

  1. #1
    Regular Member Onnie's Avatar
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    When should young boy be allow to shoot a pistol!

    so that's my question. My question is about my grandson. Now I am sure all those who don't have kids will want to chime in and while i appreciate your enthusiasm I am really looking for input from fathers/mothers/grandparent who have wrestled with the same question with their own kids.

    I have been teaching him gun safety and have only let him hold my pistol unloaded.

    My father started me using a gun when I was 12, but never a handgun to shoot always a rifle, and his training was just handing it to me and told me not to point it at any one. He never even showed me how to load it or any safety issues.

    I am looking for when others may have allowed their kids/grand-kids to shoot a pistol. I do plan on getting a 22 pistol for him to practice with but that wont be until next summer

    thanks in advance
    Last edited by Onnie; 12-04-2010 at 05:21 PM.
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    Regular Member NHCGRPR45's Avatar
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    its a personal decision of course, but my daughter fired her first handgun at 9. and her fer pellet gun at 8. she isn't into shooting right now but she has been taught the rules of gun safety from since she could understand whats dangerous and whats not.

    i fired my first gun at 6, but that was far to early to be shooting a .444 marlin lever action.
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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    First question is how mature is he and how well does he follow instructions.

    I was given my first firearm when I was twelve after having been thoroughly trained by my uncles and after they assured my parents that I was trustworthy enough to have a firearm.

    As a father and grandfather, I have to tell you that there is no one "right age" to allow a child to shoot any firearm. You have to answer that first question to determine whether or not he should even be allowed to touch a firearm.

    On the .22 pistol; be sure that it is one that fits his hand. I would also say go with a medium to long barreled revolver for his first pistol. My reasoning is that there are fewer operations involved in firing a revolver and, since they don't hold as many rounds, they are probably safer for a child to handle and fire.

    One other thing to consider is what the child's parents think about the whole idea. If they do not want him handling or shooting a pistol, you have to honor their wishes. If they're OK with it, have fun!!

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    I chose to allow my son to shoot pistols once he could show safe operation. For instance, a revolver once he could open the cylinder to unload or load, and actuate the hammer and/or trigger while maintaining muzzle control. For semis, once he could safely "show clear" using the slide, and work the safety and slide release.

    Once he showed safety of operation, HE chose which of my pistols to operate. First was at about 8 or 9, iirc. Now at 12, he prefers my 1911 frame .45's.
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    Regular Member sprinklerguy28's Avatar
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    The most important people you need to ask are his parents. It's a decision they need to make and feel comfortable with. Putting a number on it is almost impossible. Every child is different, and only the parents can make that final decision of if/when they are ready to shoot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinklerguy28 View Post
    The most important people you need to ask are his parents. It's a decision they need to make and feel comfortable with. Putting a number on it is almost impossible. Every child is different, and only the parents can make that final decision of if/when they are ready to shoot.
    In addition, be sure to stay in compliance with any statutes governing operation of firearms by youth. In Nevada, parental consent in writing is required (for handgun operation), unless the parent is in direct supervision.
    http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-2...l#NRS202Sec300
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    I had a co-worker tell me about his 2-3 year old son that saw his older siblings shooting and would not be still UNTIL his dad sat on the ground, holding the little guy on his lap. Dad stabilized the handgun and allowed the guy to grip the trigger with the index finger of each hand in order to pull the bang switch!

    As far as when-- Maturity matters! But whenever the child AND the parents... both of the parents, all come to an agreement!

    When do you allow a child to have unrestricted access to a firearm, either long gun or handgun all depends upon the maturity or the child, STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS, and the parents---- again both parents need to agree on this otherwise it just results in contention.... and we don't want contention in our homes, DO WE?

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    Don't try to play a "joke" on them by giving them something too big. It can turn them off, or develop a flinch that can be very hard to get rid of.

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I chose to allow my son to shoot pistols once he could show safe operation.
    Same with my 2 kids. Once they could safely operated the bolt, slide, cylinder, etc, I felt they were ready. Both were shooting pellet guns since they were 6 and they are 15/17 now.

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    The only answer that counts is: whenever the child can safely operate the mechanics of the gun in question, and can be trusted to follow safety procedures.

    Nothing else matters. Might be age 6, might be 36.

    For ease of operation, any of the single action .22 semiautos work well.

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    My older brother asked me to take his 12 yr old son shooting. I showed him basic firearm safety prior to going to the range later that week. Prior to going to the range, my brother called me and told me my nephew is too immature to go shooting and canceled the range time. Guess the boy said or did something stupid to cost himself an opportunity to learn to shoot.
    Last edited by scot623; 12-04-2010 at 11:11 PM.

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    I started taking my son at age 9 to the range. He did fine with a Glock 9 and 40. As others have said maturity plays a big part in the decision.

    Also, I started working with my son way before that on gun safety. Before we ever went to the range he was already trained to keep his finger off the trigger and never point a weapon at something unless he was ready to destroy it. I had started working on gun safety with him on his toy guns, and way before he ever went to the range he mastered keeping his finger off the trigger and the barrel pointed in a safe direction.

    Some people don't agree with me making him practice gun safety with his toy guns, but I felt it was the best way to teach him at a young age. My thought process was that if he had a bad habit with his toy guns, it would continue down the road and be harder to break as he grows up.

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    Regular Member bobn911's Avatar
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    After showing my granddaughter the basics of gun saftey, I took her to the small indoor range close to me to let her shoot. I had her stand on a chair, pick up the pistol, then I put my hands around hers to help hold it steady. She had complete control of the trigger. At the last second, she chickened out and did'nt want to shoot it. I told her that's okay and that we can try again later. Later came about 15 minutes later and she was able to hit the target about 25FT away. Made me a proud papa. She was 8 at the time. The pistol she shot is a High Standard Supermatic .22cal.
    On a side note, I bought for her, a one of 150, Special Factory Order, bubble gum pink bone handled Case brand Trapper pocket knife. She got that at age 6. I keep it in my inventory, but she knows where it is and when she wants to see it, I get it out for her. Later, Bob

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    Was shooting a .22 rifle today with the wife (her idea to go shooting today, gotta love that!).

    Our daughter clapped with delight everytime mommy shot.

    So the wife suggested that we let our daughter try (yes of course with ample safety precautions . . . and then some). The little one is not quite 4 but fairly mature for her age. Anyway, the daughter shook her head 'no' so we didn't push it.

    As anxious as I am to get Daddy's little girl into shooting, I can wait.

    I am in agreement that gun safety starts with the harmless toys. It is never too early to teach the proper way to handle a firearm whether fake or not.
    Last edited by OC4me; 12-05-2010 at 08:03 AM.

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    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    My fiancée's son is 10. He's shot both my Springfield XDm 9mm and his mother's mini Firestorm .380.
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    Regular Member Bailenforcer's Avatar
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    We can grapple about age for the next 4000 posts in this thread. But age is of no value here as there are many 55 year olds I wouldn't let touch an unloaded gun let alone shoot.
    In order this is your most important consideration, and I learned this back in the late 70's and the next couple of decades teaching people to shoot.

    1. Maturity despite age. Can they grasp concepts of safety and danger?
    2. Ability, strength to handle recoil. If they are 40 and can't handle recoil we have a dangerous situation.
    3. Obedience, and the ability to acquiesce to authority. How can anyone teach, or trust someone with a weapon if they are stiff necked and hard headed?

    Skills can be taught to anyone and depending on their intellectual prowess will learn. Attitude and stupidity is almost never changed with any amount of teaching.


    Quote Originally Posted by Onnie View Post
    so that's my question. My question is about my grandson. Now I am sure all those who don't have kids will want to chime in and while i appreciate your enthusiasm I am really looking for input from fathers/mothers/grandparent who have wrestled with the same question with their own kids.

    I have been teaching him gun safety and have only let him hold my pistol unloaded.

    My father started me using a gun when I was 12, but never a handgun to shoot always a rifle, and his training was just handing it to me and told me not to point it at any one. He never even showed me how to load it or any safety issues.

    I am looking for when others may have allowed their kids/grand-kids to shoot a pistol. I do plan on getting a 22 pistol for him to practice with but that wont be until next summer

    thanks in advance
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    Regular Member Onnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn911 View Post
    After showing my granddaughter the basics of gun saftey, I took her to the small indoor range close to me to let her shoot. I had her stand on a chair, pick up the pistol, then I put my hands around hers to help hold it steady. She had complete control of the trigger. At the last second, she chickened out and did'nt want to shoot it. I told her that's okay and that we can try again later. Later came about 15 minutes later and she was able to hit the target about 25FT away. Made me a proud papa. She was 8 at the time. The pistol she shot is a High Standard Supermatic .22cal.
    On a side note, I bought for her, a one of 150, Special Factory Order, bubble gum pink bone handled Case brand Trapper pocket knife. She got that at age 6. I keep it in my inventory, but she knows where it is and when she wants to see it, I get it out for her. Later, Bob
    Thanks Bob!
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    Bersa 380 Thunder Plus
    Hi point C9 9mm
    Chiappa 1911-22 Semi-Auto .22 LR

    Im not a lawyer, but I did play a Klingon once at Universal Studios

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    Quote Originally Posted by budlight View Post
    I started taking my son at age 9 to the range. He did fine with a Glock 9 and 40. As others have said maturity plays a big part in the decision.

    Also, I started working with my son way before that on gun safety. Before we ever went to the range he was already trained to keep his finger off the trigger and never point a weapon at something unless he was ready to destroy it. I had started working on gun safety with him on his toy guns, and way before he ever went to the range he mastered keeping his finger off the trigger and the barrel pointed in a safe direction.

    Some people don't agree with me making him practice gun safety with his toy guns, but I felt it was the best way to teach him at a young age. My thought process was that if he had a bad habit with his toy guns, it would continue down the road and be harder to break as he grows up.
    YES, YES!
    I also started my son like this with muzzle control and trigger finger discipline. while two examples do not a trend make, both show that such training procedure may well be VERY useful.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailenforcer View Post
    We can grapple about age for the next 4000 posts in this thread. But age is of no value here as there are many 55 year olds I wouldn't let touch an unloaded gun let alone shoot.
    In order this is your most important consideration, and I learned this back in the late 70's and the next couple of decades teaching people to shoot.

    1. Maturity despite age. Can they grasp concepts of safety and danger?
    2. Ability, strength to handle recoil. If they are 40 and can't handle recoil we have a dangerous situation.
    3. Obedience, and the ability to acquiesce to authority. How can anyone teach, or trust someone with a weapon if they are stiff necked and hard headed?

    Skills can be taught to anyone and depending on their intellectual prowess will learn. Attitude and stupidity is almost never changed with any amount of teaching.
    That one right there is easier to have in a youth than in some adults.
    Last edited by wrightme; 12-05-2010 at 10:46 AM.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

  21. #21
    Regular Member Onnie's Avatar
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    Thanks all,

    the question was just to find out the AGE you let your son/daughter shoot for the first time.

    as a former Marine Corps DI I have taught hundreds if not thousands of Marines the art of shooting. I am quite qualified on knowing when my grandson is ready to shoot a weapon and how to teach him all the safety aspects needed and how to proceed with his training.

    What I was looking for was a general idea of the AGE that parents/grandparents started allowing their sons/daughters to shoot.

    I have raised my grandson off and on from his first day of life and as the only man in his life it has fallen on me to "teach" him the ways of becoming a "Man".

    I believe understanding a weapon and learning how to shoot it, is such a passage he needs.

    Many of you know the trials and tribulations of me having a handgun in the house with my wife. While I have always had a arsenal of rifles, until recently I have not had a handgun in the house due to the wife's aversion against them.

    I believe he not only needs training for rifles but also handguns, she on the other hand is stomping her foot "no". While he is not ready to tote a handgun on his hip or even go hunting, i do believe learning gun and rifle safety and hands on training will keep him from hurting himself with my guns now and in the long run.

    Thanks again
    Last edited by Onnie; 12-05-2010 at 10:49 AM.
    When Guns are OUTLAWED, Ill be an OUTLAW
    American Tactical Imports C45 45 AP
    S&W sigma 40 Cal
    Bersa 380 Thunder Plus
    Hi point C9 9mm
    Chiappa 1911-22 Semi-Auto .22 LR

    Im not a lawyer, but I did play a Klingon once at Universal Studios

  22. #22
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    In 1968 my father started me at 6 yrs old 22 rifle
    8 ys old shooting revolver 38 cal.
    Then on to larger cal.

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