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Thread: .22 handgun or rifle for shooting with son?

  1. #1
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    .22 handgun or rifle for shooting with son?

    Hey Now,

    I have been enjoying my .45 xd compact now and am getting pretty good at the range. I'd like to get something that I can use to teach my 11yo son about gun safety and shooting. He's shot a .22 rifle at camp before. I'm debating between getting a .22 handgun or a rifle. Any thoughts as to which would be better for someone his age? And while we are at it, what kind of each would you suggest?

    A rifle would be good to have if needed when the SHTF for hunting small game but a pistol would also be beneficial as a cheap alternative to the .45 for range practice.

    I don't want to sink a bunch of money into a .22 but would like something decent. I'm thinking under $300.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by spiderjohn; 09-05-2011 at 08:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    My dad taught me to shoot on a .22 bolt action when I was 7 or 8ish if I remember correctly. I didn't get to try out someone's Ruger MkII until much later.

    I'm kinda leaning towards rifle first, pistol second, but that's just because that's how I went through it. Plus with a pistol you have to teach the stance and how where to put your hands whereas with a rifle it's easy-butt in shoulder, arm at a comfortable distance, hold your breath for the shot. But honestly, I really don't think you can go wrong either way. If you decide to go with a pistol make sure you do it right and don't put him too far away from the target. Start him out close to let him build up his confidence. Once it seems like he's having fun pull him back and really get into it.
    "Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice." -Zeus

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  3. #3
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    My first choice for a boy's first gun is what I started with, that is a short stocked single shot .22 rifle, and it would be his alone. (not for you, ever, except maybe to help initially sight it in) He must clean it himself, show that he is safe with it, and knows what he can fire at, and what he should not fire at, and why....But then I lived in a different time and different place when I was 11.

    If you get a pistol, that you also want to shoot, you need to figure on the different sized hands between you and the boy. Can you find a pistol that he and you both can shoot comfortably and accurately. Probably not. I am not saying don't get a pistol, just remember, hand size means a lot, especially with a handgun.

    Maybe you could consider purchasing a boys .22 ss rifle for him (short stock, probably cost you >$100) Used is not a bad thing here either. With the money left over, find a .22 pistol for yourself, that fits your hands, and then when the boy is phyisically a bit larger, you can give it to him also.

    I know, I was very disapointed that my dad got me a single shot (I wanted a rifle), but now, decades later, I fully understand the why.

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    10/22 Ruger can be had for under $300. Very good and lots of fun.
    Pistols, I had a MKIII Ruger and hated it. The take down is a pain on a new one.
    Try a .22 revolver if anything. Sig Sauer's Mosquito is very nice.

  5. #5
    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    My first choice for a boy's first gun is what I started with, that is a short stocked single shot .22 rifle, and it would be his alone. (not for you, ever, except maybe to help initially sight it in) He must clean it himself, show that he is safe with it, and knows what he can fire at, and what he should not fire at, and why....But then I lived in a different time and different place when I was 11.

    If you get a pistol, that you also want to shoot, you need to figure on the different sized hands between you and the boy. Can you find a pistol that he and you both can shoot comfortably and accurately. Probably not. I am not saying don't get a pistol, just remember, hand size means a lot, especially with a handgun.

    Maybe you could consider purchasing a boys .22 ss rifle for him (short stock, probably cost you >$100) Used is not a bad thing here either. With the money left over, find a .22 pistol for yourself, that fits your hands, and then when the boy is phyisically a bit larger, you can give it to him also.

    I know, I was very disapointed that my dad got me a single shot (I wanted a rifle), but now, decades later, I fully understand the why.
    That is an excellent idea. My step brother has a short stock single shot .22 for his first rifle and I think it was a good starter gun.

    When I was a kid I always wished that I had my own gun. I was always able to shoot my dad's .22s but my first was my Ruger Blackhawk when I turned 18.
    "Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice." -Zeus

    "Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back!" - Malcolm Reynolds

    EDC = Walther PPQ 9mm

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Spiderjohn,

    In the rifle area are you looking for bolt-action or semi-auto? For bolt action I can recommend the Savage Mark 2. For semi-auto the Ruger 10/22 is a good choice. The are also several good Marlin models within your price range. You could also go lever action and go with a Henry .22. For pistols I have a Walther P22 which I recommend and a Sig Mosquito which I do not recommend. Be aware that most, if not all, .22 pistols are picky when it comes to ammo and cleanliness. Good luck in whatever you choose.
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    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    Rifle. A handgun is much more dangerous than a rifle, so as a first gun, I wouldn't.

    Ruger 10/22 is overrated and almost twice the cost of a Marlin 795. If you're looking at semi-autos, my first two choices would probably be either the Marlin 795 or the Model 60 if you want a tube and wood. Next question then would be if you put a scope on it. For me, shooting with a scope at "normal gun-range ranges" can be a bit boring since it's easier than without.

    And consider this: if you get a 795 for 100 bucks, you have 200 left over for a .22 pistol you and the son can shoot when he's 12. You could also get something like a Braztech-Rossi Single Shot Youth Rifle for $150(?). Shoots .22 and 20g.

    Btw, I think my $150 Phoenix Arms .22 handgun is the cat's meow. I haven't had any cracked frame problems like some people have had, though. Feels great and mine is reliable. ...so far!
    Last edited by DangerClose; 09-08-2011 at 04:11 AM.

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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    Add me to the list of guys who started with a short stock, single shot .22 rifle.

    Where to go from there depends on a lot of factors, but stepping up to a .22 semi auto pistol, a la Browning Buckmark or Beretta Neos, seems logical.

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    Rifle

    Ruger 10/22 Compact is excellent for teaching a youngster gun safety and marksmanship. You can add a recoil pad for length as he grows out of the short stock. It is something he will be proud to to own for years to come, and pride does matter. It is not over rated, not expensive, just under appreciated by some IMO. And yes it is his not yours as mentioned by hermannr above. Handgun training comes later.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    My first firearm was given to me by my grandfather when I was 10. It was an Ithica M-49 single-shot lever-action .22 rifle. It was reliable, good-looking, well balanced, rugged, and very accurate. I used it to shoot my qualifications for my "Marskmanship" merit badge in Boy Scouts.

    In fact, I still have it, and it still is a tack-driver. It is a great training gun, and I've used it to introduce several new shooters to firearms, including my stepdaughter.

    A .22 rifle (single-shot, bolt action, or semi-auto) is an excellent first gun--they are safer to handle than handguns, and their increased accuracy will give better results which translates to more enthusiasm for new shooters, because they will be hitting the bullseye the first day on the range!
    Last edited by Dreamer; 09-16-2011 at 01:35 AM.
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    My dad taught my how to shoot with a 13-14 round semi auto .22 rifle (the kind that holds the rounds under the barrel, I don't know what make/model it was). Personally I would say to start your kid off on a rifle. A rifle is a lot easier to get control of (aka grab the barrel) if your son starts to do something dangerous. I remember as a kid almost sweeping my dad a couple times and with the rifle he could simply grab the barrel to keep it pointed down range. It wasn't that I was trying to do it, but it took a bit to not turn my body when talking to someone and I was like 8 when I first started firing. I've also seen multiple people do this recently when I was teaching them the basics of handguns, and it's a lot harder to stop them from sweeping you with that handgun!

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    I started out with an Iver Johnson model X single shot , bolt action . Lost it when my home burned . It was a great little rifle.

    I think you should start the kid out with a rifle. He will be putting holes in the paper a lot faster and there is nothing like seeing that big grin spread across a youngsters face when it happens.

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    My son started with a Marlin 795. He is now (14 year old) ripping it up with a Hi-point 9mm carbine, and my Taurus 24/7 9mm pistol. Start small and work up. Oh, and shoot-n-see type targets are nice.
    Last edited by golddigger14s; 09-09-2011 at 01:32 AM.
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    I see the Henry survival rifles are gaining popularity again. A good 22 rifle and/or a Mark II or Mark III would be great companions.

    By the way, I have yet to see that a 22lr kit is available for the XD and that would be the best option.
    http://xdguys.com/shoppingcart/news.php?newsid=4
    Theirs hasn't happened and Advantage Arms has yet to make it happen either.
    Last edited by REALteach4u; 09-11-2011 at 12:33 AM.

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    Add me to the list of those who started out with a single-shot, bolt-action .22. In my case it was a J.C.Higgins from Sears, Roebuck & Co. (Does that date me?) the Christmas before I turned twelve.

    Also add me in with those who are telling you to make sure you remember it is his gun, not yours, and that he is totally responsible for taking care of it and for being safe with it. My uncles (Dad was a WWI vet and not too keen on guns) taught me for several years before they told Mom and Dad I was mature and responsible enough to have it.

    Many a squirrel gave up the ghost because of that rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    Add me to the list of those who started out with a single-shot, bolt-action .22. In my case it was a J.C.Higgins from Sears, Roebuck & Co. (Does that date me?) the Christmas before I turned twelve.
    I was going through some old boxes and found a long forgotten Springfield J. Stevens Arms Company Model 86 bolt action .22. It has some fairly heavy rust on the barrel and am missing the rod that goes in the tube where you load the ammo. I might try to get this going for him. Anyone know where I can find parts for it?

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    I stated my Boy on a Crickett Rifle made by Keystone Sporting Arms... It is really small and easy for a kid to shoot... Bolt action single shot... and only 100 bucks.. and it breaks into two pieces with just one screw.. and you can throw it in a pack.

    http://www.crickett.com/

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    I'd recommend a 22lr. In many states it is legal for those under 18 to own a shotgun or rifle, but not pistol. Thus the rifle is more... legally versatile. Also, skills with a rifle are the fundamental ones that built this nation. Rifles can also be used for hunting far more easily than a pistol.

    As to what sort of rifle, if the kid looses things easily I'd say a tube magazine otherwise a 10/22 because they have the most versatile accessories and can easily get great 25 round removable mags. At the farm I keep a 10/22 loaded half way with 12 rounds for quick grabs in case of varmints. This would be hard to do with most other 22s. Of course if you want the kid to learn about long shots with few bullets a bolt action would probably be best.
    Don't believe any facts that I say! This is the internet and it is filled with lies and untruth. I invite you to look up for yourself the basic facts that my arguments might be based upon. This way we can have a discussion where logic and hints on where to find information are what is brought to the forum and people look up and verify facts for themselves.

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    Many of the .22 inner magazine tube assemblies are interchangeable

    Quote Originally Posted by spiderjohn View Post
    I was going through some old boxes and found a long forgotten Springfield J. Stevens Arms Company Model 86 bolt action .22. It has some fairly heavy rust on the barrel and am missing the rod that goes in the tube where you load the ammo. I might try to get this going for him. Anyone know where I can find parts for it?
    Those bolt action Springfield/Steven .22s are wonderful rifles. I grew up with a model 84C. Wonderful trigger, just a great rifle. Here is a source for some reproduction inner magazine tube assemblies.

    http://www.chasjonesgunparts.com/a.html

    Here is a page for the assembly from Numrich/Gun Parts

    http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/...730A&filter=ni

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    I don't think you can go wrong either way. For me it depended on a place to shoot which I only had an indoor range. Most ranges will allow a 22LR rifle indoor though.

    I started out with the Walther P22 for my daughters who started shooting at 9 & 12. While it is a good gun and they like it they still have trouble with double action trigger pull. I had to put it into SA for them to start shooting. 22LR is dirty and ammo is sometimes crappy (Walmart bulk) so jams, stovepipes occur. While it is annoying it is actually good practice of clearing them. Unfortunately both my girls couldn't cycle the slide for a couple years. Their requirement was that I get one with a laser which they used for about the first or second shooting session. After that we rarely if ever use it. If there was a self defense situation around the house we may use it though. I moderately recommend the P22 but think the Ruger may be the better starter based on other threads.

    After a while I wanted to get them a 22LR rifle to train on and to hunt squirrel or rabbit if the SHTF. One of our complaints with the P22 is that a 10 round magazine doesn't last long. It takes longer to load the magazine than to empty it. So since I have a Sig556 I looked into the Sig522. It was one of the highest rated AR 22's and Nutnfancy reviewed it as the ONLY 22 AR that he had no jams. I have shot thousands of rounds through it and still have yet to have a single problem of any type. The magazines hold 25 rounds so that gives enough shooting time for each daughter before handing it over to the other for her turn. While it is more expensive ($4-500) than other starter 22's it has a second type of cool in that it looks just like my Sig556 with folding stock etc. So if we ever have to patrol the neighborhood during a crisis anyone coming against my daughter will think she is carrying an AR15 rather than a 22. :-) It has been accurate and I can't think of a single thing bad about it other than its higher price.

  22. #22
    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    The outcome of this thread is here: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...the-first-time

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    I don't think you can go wrong either way. For me it depended on a place to shoot which I only had an indoor range. Most ranges will allow a 22LR rifle indoor though.

    I started out with the Walther P22 for my daughters who started shooting at 9 & 12. While it is a good gun and they like it they still have trouble with double action trigger pull. I had to put it into SA for them to start shooting. 22LR is dirty and ammo is sometimes crappy (Walmart bulk) so jams, stovepipes occur. While it is annoying it is actually good practice of clearing them. Unfortunately both my girls couldn't cycle the slide for a couple years. Their requirement was that I get one with a laser which they used for about the first or second shooting session. After that we rarely if ever use it. If there was a self defense situation around the house we may use it though. I moderately recommend the P22 but think the Ruger may be the better starter based on other threads.

    After a while I wanted to get them a 22LR rifle to train on and to hunt squirrel or rabbit if the SHTF. One of our complaints with the P22 is that a 10 round magazine doesn't last long. It takes longer to load the magazine than to empty it. So since I have a Sig556 I looked into the Sig522. It was one of the highest rated AR 22's and Nutnfancy reviewed it as the ONLY 22 AR that he had no jams. I have shot thousands of rounds through it and still have yet to have a single problem of any type. The magazines hold 25 rounds so that gives enough shooting time for each daughter before handing it over to the other for her turn. While it is more expensive ($4-500) than other starter 22's it has a second type of cool in that it looks just like my Sig556 with folding stock etc. So if we ever have to patrol the neighborhood during a crisis anyone coming against my daughter will think she is carrying an AR15 rather than a 22. :-) It has been accurate and I can't think of a single thing bad about it other than its higher price.
    Quality and reliability are not free/cheap.

    The Sig522 is available on-line for as little as $370.00 NIB + shipping I presume and FFL fees. Still it is a remarkable deal. Wouldn't mind owning one myself.
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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Quality and reliability are not free/cheap.

    The Sig522 is available on-line for as little as $370.00 NIB + shipping I presume and FFL fees. Still it is a remarkable deal. Wouldn't mind owning one myself.
    MJ Tactical Outpost No rating New $369.99
    Yes I got mine for an incredible low price of $350 but by the time you add the shipping and FFL transfer fees it came in just over $400 for me. I said $400-$500 in case they couldn't find a good deal.

  25. #25
    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Go Marlin

    Get a Marlin 795. Light , inexpensive reliable and dead accurate. I help teach in the Appleseed Project and we see lots of .22LR. The Marlin is half the cost of a Ruger 10/22 and will be more accurate. Use the leftovers and buy a Browning Buckmark. It is a wonderful accurate shooter and is much lighter than the Ruger Mark series. The grips are smaller, too and your son will be able to fit it sooner. Her Buckmark is my wife's favorite pistol, sometimes I am allowed to borrow it.

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