What age to start children shooting? - Kimber Forum

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Old 03-11-2015, 05:30 PM   #1
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What age to start children shooting?

We all have children, grandchildren, friends with children. The subject came up the other day that me my wife and my stepson disagree with what is a safe age to start teaching our children to shoot guns? Chuck commented that this could be a good topic for a tread, So here we are. I do think theres enough smart, responsible people on here that we all can get some good advice from them . Please don't let what any one member has to say, or has done ,lead you to make your final decision, My child may not be ready for what yours is. Lets use everyones elses experience just to help us make the right decision. No one knows your child better than you do. Please keep them safe, and thank you for your comments



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Old 03-11-2015, 06:07 PM   #2
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Had a big long commentary typed up, then computer burped and it went away.

So, I'll say between 10 and 12.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:07 PM   #3
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I started them pulling the trigger on a cut down old Rem 514 at about 3-4 years old. The rifle is a single shot bolt action and was braced in for them. They were going to be around shooting so they needed to get used to the bang. I made it easy and fun on 10" steel plate at 10 yards for a very long time. Bang and ding. No pressure of groups etc. instant gratification and lots of success. Never pushed them.

At 13 my son out shot 68% of the cops in the state police Olympics in combat pistol with a Glock 22!
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:08 PM   #4
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It all depends on the child, I started mine at age 5/6 we began learning the safety rules and handling real unloaded guns. The rule was if you wanted to see a gun just ask and if we weren't in the middle of doing something or had company over the the guns came out. Aside from squirt guns my kids never owned a toy gun, they had BB guns (rifles and later pistols) that were kept locked up in the safe. I set up a range for them to shoot in the basement and after dinner they we would go down to the range and they'd shoot against each other to see who washed the dishes. At about 8/9 they got .22's and started shooting a 20 ga. at 10 I started taking them bird hunting. By age 12 they aced their hunter safety education classes and got new Remington 870's as graduation presents.

My son is now raising and teaching his 3 boys the same way he learned, I bought the twins their first BB guns for their 6th birthday and this year their getting .22's. One of their favorite things to do here at my house it to play with my Laserlyte target & plinking cans. We put the laser cartridges in my SIG P938, P238 and Kimber CDP and turn the kids loose in the family room under supervision and all safety rules are strictly enforced.


People think that sheltering children from guns is going to keep them safe and that may work as long as they're at home but what about when they go to that friends house that has a gun in it? Teaching children about guns is the way to keep them safe. JMHO
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chuck43 View Post
It all depends on the child, I started mine at age 5/6 we began learning the safety rules and handling real unloaded guns. The rule was if you wanted to see a gun just ask and if we weren't in the middle of doing something or had company over the the guns came out. Aside from squirt guns my kids never owned a toy gun, they had BB guns (rifles and later pistols) that were kept locked up in the safe. I set up a range for them to shoot in the basement and after dinner they we would go down to the range and they'd shoot against each other to see who washed the dishes. At about 8/9 they got .22's and started shooting a 20 ga. at 10 I started taking them bird hunting. By age 12 they aced their hunter safety education classes and got new Remington 870's as graduation presents.

My son is now raising and teaching his 3 boys the same way he learned, I bought the twins their first BB guns for their 6th birthday and this year their getting .22's. One of their favorite things to do here at my house it to play with my Laserlyte target & plinking cans. We put the laser cartridges in my SIG P938, P238 and Kimber CDP and turn the kids loose in the family room under supervision and all safety rules are strictly enforced.


People think that sheltering children from guns is going to keep them safe and that may work as long as they're at home but what about when they go to that friends house that has a gun in it? Teaching children about guns is the way to keep them safe. JMHO
Used almost exact same strategy with our two sons (now in college). I wouldn't even let them have BB guns because I thought they were too akin to toy guns (which (save the super soakers) they never had). At 8/9 gave them 410 or 20g REAL shotguns for Christmas. In fact, from then on firearms were an occasional Christmas gift - sometimes new...sometimes handed down. But the idea that "guns are not toys" was embedded early and fortunately they have a healthy respectful approach to firearms as young adults.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:41 PM   #6
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I bought my 9 year old his first Kimber when he was 4. His older brother started when he was 6.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:42 PM   #7
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Great thread. I personally do not have any children, but have a nephew who has started shooting. His first go at it was last summer at age 7. He has/had limited toy guns, which are never ever utilized as a toy. They are treated in the same manner as real guns, but he's able to practice aiming when he wants in his room. The real guns are like what everybody else has described, ask and you can see and handle them if appropriate. Just went to the local indoor range 3 weeks ago with him and felt safer around him than some of the folks there. The kid knows and respects what is going on.
With all that, I do believe that every kid is going to be ready at a different age. And a responsible parent knows when that is.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:48 PM   #8
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No set age carved in stone. I say as soon as possible. I remember at a very young age (maybe 4,5) my grandpa (mom's side) me, my dad, my cousin and his dad, we were shooting a bolt action .22lr with a sandbag rest at tin cans on the farm. Great fun. I ended up being on the R.O.T.C. rifle team in high school and college.
If my grand kids are ever around long enough I am going to let them shoot if they want to. One boy and three girls they are all old enough in my opinion the youngest will be 4 in December.

Oh I was never allowed to have a BB gun of any kind. But could shoot the .22 with his supervision.
I was never allowed to have a mini bike or motorcycle either but that's a different topic.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:13 PM   #9
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It depends on the maturity of the child. I let my kids start shooting 2 years ago when my daughter was 7 and son was 9. The biggest problem my son has is that he is small. Last month, I bought him a Mossberg 500 Super Bantam 20GA for his 11th birthday. He's just not ready for it yet. It's heavy for him. I'm working on his arm strength and hoping he'll grow this summer. He's small for his age. I'm normal height, and have a monster arm spread that is 7" wider than I am tall. That's not going to be him with the way things are going. If he was a normal size, we'd be shooting clays now.

I've been thinking of getting him a pistol in the meantime. Something like that little Browning 1911 .22 I keep seeing around. He really liked my S&W Model 48 .22 Mag. His 9 year old sister asked me for a pink .22 she saw at Academy earlier this week. His .22 rifle is light enough that he doesn't have problems with it. I found some orange breakable targets for BB guns that I'm going to have him start shooting to get him ready for clays. I've also thought about using the BB gun and a slowly tossed Frisbee to teach him how to track a flying target.

I had a 30/30 at 10 and loved to shoot it, pain and all. He's got a ways to go.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:04 PM   #10
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Both my kids were shooting by 6, I can't remember when I started shooting. Used to build muzzle loaders with my father

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