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A kid and a .22
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

My wife and I come from two different backrounds, but we live in a community that is very hunter friendly. My son just turned 9 years old and even though he has not really shown any interest in other sports, he has always been the first one in the truck to go hunting since he was 4 or 5. Some guys want their kids to be pro ball players, some want their kids to be lawyers or doctors etc....I want my son to be the safest shooter/hunter that I know. I began preparing my sales pitch to the wife a couple years ago to buy my son a .22 and get him started, my wife was not raised around weapons and really has no interest in anything weapon related, so we battled back and forth and finally agreed on 9 years old as a compromised age to begin his journey. So my son is now the proud new owner of a lever action .22 and I am pleased to announce that he has taken to it like honey and cornbread. I have found that by giving him certain goals to achieve, I use a simple certificate creator on the computer and reward him with certificates of achievement when he hits bullseyes, or hits certain targets - seems to keep him on the competitive edge - anything is better than X-Box.

We are having a great time bonding on the range. My problem is that I used to be a drill sergeant in the Army and I sometimes have to stop and remember to be a dad. My point in writing this forum is that even though I spend a lot of time with my kids, this one little purchase of a .22 for my son has been one of the best investments on spending honest quality time with my son that only he and I can appreciate. On another note, my daughter is 5, she brought all her barbies to me in a box one afternoon and asked if we could put these in the garage, because she wanted to go fishing.....I guess now all I need to do is get the wife into ATV's and I will be all set for the football off-season.

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DallanC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

Great story!

I'm slowly getting my boy into it as well. Hes deathly afraid of messing up in front of others so we are slowly dealing with it. Hes getting to be a better marksman with a bb gun under dads close supervision. It finally clicked for him the whole eye/scope/crosshair alignment thing.

Such a fun age when they are learning all of this stuff.



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Arizona Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

I learned on a BB gun, then one year asked my dad if I could use the .22 for squirrel. Dad always took me along and I always wanted to go. But I must have been 11 before I actually wanted to shoot some squirrels myself. Untill then i was just happy to be along and help spot then clean the critters.

Next month I'll give my grandson a BB gun and then maybe next year a Henry mini bolt .22, he has a keen interest in firearms and I always let him see me cleaning mine so that he does not get some notion that guns are mysterious and investigate on his own without supervision.
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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

Thats the biggest reason accidents happen Arizona Hunter, people hide their guns and kids are naturaly curieouse, I have always believed in not hideing anything from a child "Firearm wise". I also take them to the range with mellons and head lettuce and show them what fire arms are capeable of if mishandled.
TV has totaly misrepresented our sport and what fire arms are capabal of and what they are not capeable of doing.....Its so frustrateing.

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

You guys nailed it! I also like to have open communication with the kids and let them watch me reload, clean the weapons, and sometimes I will remove the bolt and let them hold the weapon and talk them through safe handling. It will take a lot more of it to make sure I am comfortable with their actions, but you have to start somewhere. I would have started my son out on a BB gun earlier, but my work had us living out of the country and the laws there were not as friendly, I won't mention the country as I do not want to offend - I still want to go back and visit!! But we are back home now and I am just really stoked to be able to pass this on to my son. There is a pretty strong 4H shooting group here, I think something like that will be great for him, as he will see that others share in the teachings of safety and encouragement. Good luck to you guys and I hope your ventures are equally satisfying.

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ripper007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

what kind of lever action .22 is it ?

I dont know of too many lever action .22, only one I can think of is a Marlin lever action .22.

if you got him one of those, I am sure he will love it. it is a heavy gun for a 22 rifle. my boy was 10 years old when I let him shoot it, he had a realy hard time holding it up becuase it was heavy.

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

Teach you children well….. so goes the song by CSN

My son is 37, a man to be proud of as a father and as a country. I was a coach for the pistol and rifle team while in the 101st. I decided that age 9 was a good age to start formal training for my son. He and I worked before that time on BB guns and 22 rifles. The son is left handed, so I taught him to shoot right and left-handed. He wanted to hunt every year starting at about 5 years of age. However, I put him off saying he had to have hunter’s safety before going out with a gun. I went to the state hunter safety instructor in our area and got him to interview my son, he allowed the son to start the safety course at age 9, two years before the regular start time for kids. He passed with a perfect score. The son and I hunted squirrels, coons and deer together. He got a raccoon his first year, we skinned it, scraped the hide, tanned the hide and an old man that traveled the gun show circuit with me made him a “head on” coon skin cap, which he wore out. He wore that hat everywhere. Shot his first deer with my 444 Marlin.

I pinned his jump wings on a Benning, he was the oldest student and I was the oldest trooper.

Today he is a USAF Capt., a CRO, Combat Recovery Officer, his next trip to the desert will be number fourteen (14). He is on tap to be crew recovery team leader for the next shuttle launch; it will be his 5th crew recovery mission, as team leader. There is one person that appreciates just how well my son can shoot, the lone surviving US Navy Seal that was trapped in the Tora Bora Mountains. They went on R & R together, in Dubi, 10 days after the rescue.
Ed

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

Ripper - it is a Henry lever action .22

Swamp Fox - I am damn glad your boy is on our side!!! And you got to pin his jump wings on to boot, my dad wasn't there for my jumps, but he was the first person I called when I made my first - when I got out I had close to 200 jumps - but the first one was the best and my last one was the saddest (they were all night jumps because I kept my eyes closed!)

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:09 am    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

Wiley,
I was impressed by our graduation ceremony at Jump School in 1965 when the old paratroop fathers pinned the wings on their sons. I would not have missed the son's graduation for anything. Besides I got to go to their party that night with the young USAF PJs, Marine Scout Snipers and Navy Seals. Then I hosted 12 of the guys for a weekend at the house. We had wall-to-wall operators.

Teaching your children to hunt, shoot, fish and to know the forests, the water and the animals is a great time for a father. It is not a chore, at all; it is a very real blessing. These are things you know, teachers at school teach from a book, they for the most part, know nothing except what they read. Kids crave real experience; just remember back to the hunting and fishing stories you heard, as a kid, from the adults.

My grandfather taught me using a model 510 Remington. The little single shot is a great trainer. When bolted it returns to safe automatically, is accurate and fairly light. I have 4 grandchildren and have acquired and restored a 510 for each child. I started when I was 5.

Oh, do not worry too much about being a hard ass. Just make sure the lesson is fun, so the student wants to return every time. I always end my lesson with free time, once the kids are big enough and safe, give the student a few shells and go off at a distance, let them shoot without the teacher peering over them. I normally put the gear up and pretend not to be watching. Smile
Ed

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Spacedone
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

9 is a little old to teach shooting and gun safety.

i was started under super strict supervision shooting when i was 4 years old. plinking at targets with a kids 22 at 60 yards.

what i remember.

i remember learning how dangerous a gun was and how if i played with it i could kill someone i loved. it made me respect my 22 and people i might harm witrh it at range gramps showed me it killing a spuirel at 150 yards one shot dead

kids who are taught about guns at a young age dont kill themselves or friends with guns.

in my opinion it is a crime for any kid not to be taught about guns at ther earliest age they can understand.

not teaching about guns is a sure fire way to have kids kill kids.

"you cant touch that shiney toy until your older" is a sure fire way to get kids improperly handling guns when your not there.

the forbidden fruit.

i learned to shoot at 5

i killed my first spiked buck at 8.

ive been hunting 43 years and have never had a gun accident. i was already a expert shot the day i started basic training in the army at 17 and could outshoot my instructors.

under proper supervision a kid is never to young to learn about guns. waiting until you feel the kid is old enough is a recipe for trouble.

if you have guns in the house every one should know how to handle them safely. loaded or unloaded.
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

Spacedone wrote:
9 is a little old to teach shooting and gun safety.

Guess I was too old when I learnt. I didn't even get to shoot a pellet gun till I was 13. And didnt get to shoot shotguns and rifles up untill more resently Sad Still I am as safe as a person can be with firearms. Cool

Spacedone wrote:
under proper supervision a kid is never to young to learn about guns. waiting until you feel the kid is old enough is a recipe for trouble.

Thats my general thought too. If your child can hold a pellet gun there shouldnt be any reason why they shouldnt be able to learn shooting it especially because of the low recoil the kid can shoot thousands of rounds to get used to using iron sights to the point they are confidant. Smile With proper supervision and the parent making sure its a good backdrop when the kids are shooting so there isnt any ricotches I cant see a problem Smile

Thouse Marksman or most other break action pellet rifles make good starter rifles for kids IMHO if they ingage the safety everytime after you cock the rifle so you need to think things through before shooting. Very Happy Made me really careful about shooting. Wink

My Personal Rules for firearms I will teach my kids (Once I have them Shocked ):
1) The Firearm is always loaded even if you just checked to make sure it isnt properly
2) Dont point the gun at something unless you want to kill/distory it and that its safe if the bullet goes past it.
3) Dont Disengage the safety till just before you are going to fire and you double checked Rule 2.
4) Always wear Safety Glasses and Hearing Protection.

Dimitri

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DallanC
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

Whats interesting is my dad wouldnt let me have a bb gun when I was growing up as he said they were too dangerous. He said it would be safer to buy me a shotgun... which he did when I was 11.

I being a dumb kid at the time didnt understand how a shotgun could be less dangerous than a bb gun but in retrospect that old fart was right. Kids think bb guns arent that powerful so they are always plinking at junk, objects, critters etc etc. Thats how accidents happen from riccocets etc etc.

The shotgun you KNOW is more powerful so you respect it more and are much more careful about it. My first gun was a double barrel .410 ... for the first 2 years of hunting with my dad he would only let me use a single shell at a time... man I got good with that shotgun.


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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

Funny about a single shooter and how you learn to hit things on the first go-round. I have hunted over the years with just about every type of student, those tought on a single shot are pretty obvious by how the shoot and when they shoot. I really do not like teaching any other way, but each to his own.

One thing to remember, every child is different and develops at a different rate. The parent is in the best position to know when a child is ready. Also, the parent must be ready, as well.
Ed

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

"One thing to remember, every child is different and develops at a different rate. The parent is in the best position to know when a child is ready. Also, the parent must be ready, as well."

Well put Swamp Fox - I really have struggled out of my own hopes to pin point when I felt he was ready to comprehend. I have always taught gun safety and have never hidden my weapons from the kids, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have always had open communications with them. Just because I didn't start him shooting until he was 9, doesn't mean that he or my 5 yr old have not been exposed to weapons or the safe handling of them for a few years now. I choose to lead by example, kids really pick up what you do or other adults that either they, or you look up to do. It is so important as adults to be on extra special behavior when young ones are around, because they will do EXACTLY what you do! I know I am preaching to the choir, but I am having a blast with my son right now - I hope there are others out there doing the same thing. Thanks for everyone's posts! - Keep your powder dry (and pass the ammunition)!

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george20042007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: A kid and a .22 Reply with quote

When kids show an interest in shooting, i.e., can I go too grandpa?, that's when you say, sure, let's teach you how to shoot. Depending on their size, I'm not opposed to introducing them to larger calibers. I let them know up front what to expect and not to worry if they are uncomfortable with it. We often go plinking, & I got them all Ruger 10/22s. When bird hunting, I have a variety of 12 ga shotguns. Since I do all my own reloading, the young ones get the light loads. I also take them to shoot trap & skeet. They have never embarrassed me when shooting trap or skeet, & I'm not referring to scores, but gun handling. Most often they have pointed out the poor safety handling others practice.
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