Training children

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  • GM.Chief

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Hey all, as I'm new to guns in general, I obviously have lots of questions. I've exhausted myself looking for the best ways to safely secure a gun in the house while keeping it HD ready at the same time because I have four children ranging from ages 3-8. My wife and believe we have that figured out, but now the question next is how to teach our kids? We've heard a little about the NRA's Eddie Eagle program, but I'm curious to hear from people who have used it to teach their children. Also, what is the best type of gun to start teaching them on (i/e pistol, rifle, .22, etc.)? Any and all info you can give is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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    Feb 29, 2008
    DFW area.....Wylie.
    Our little one isn't big enough to hold a gun yet, so I have no experience in this.

    The only thing I can think of is to start with a pellet or BB rifle. I think a rifle is a safer start because it is easier for YOU to control if they begin to point it in the wrong direction. It is also easier for you to see exactly where they are pointing it, to help with aiming. Beginning with BB or pellet rifle should also be keep from startling them from the noise or recoil, since there is really none of either. From there, I would go to something like a .22 long rifle. I wouldn't let them move up until they learn the fundamentals and master each level.

    I really like the idea of the NRA's Eddie Eagle program or maybe the Appleseed project.

    The biggest issue I see with teaching your children how to shoot is that you are teaching them all your bad behaviors, habits, and mistakes. A good instructor should teach them proper technique, handling, and safety procedures in a professional manner and setting. They will have more patience and experience, plus the tools to help your children learn.


    TGT Addict
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    May 28, 2008
    Ft Worth, TX
    Even after teaching a kid safe gun habits you still should never trust them until they are older and more mature. You will have to judge that on an individual basis.

    I started my daughter shooting at age 7. We spent a lot of time at home on gun safety, the 4 cardinal safety rules, etc. When she started actually shooting at the range accuracy was secondary to her safe gun handling. We also shot water jugs and fruit with my .45. I wanted her to see the damage and destruction a bullet can do.

    She is now 13 and a pretty mature kid. However, unless my handgun is on my person it is in one of these;


    I can open it with zero light just as quickly as I can push 4 buttons.


    TGT Addict
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    Jul 16, 2008
    I am a firm believer in starting young kids out with a bolt-action .22 rifle. If it is not a single shot rifle, then use it as a single shot. If you think recoil and noise will be an issue...uh, there's not enough recoil to bother even the most diminutive of kids, and because they will be wearing ear protection, the noise issue is negated. Well, unless you bring them out to a public range with a bunch of big guns going off left and right. :eek:

    On the subject of the setting, I will add that a nice quiet place away from a bunch of other activity is a much more conducive learning environment, and even a modest "home made" shooting bench setup will go a long way towards an enjoyable outing.

    First and foremost, though, is proper education prior to the first outing, and that is best handled by someone qualified to do so (i.e., plenty of experience and/or a credentialed instructor).

    I also like TI's use of "reactionary" targets. My dad did that for us kids, as a warning of sorts about the potency and destruction that even a .22 is capable of.


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    Feb 2, 2009
    San Antonio
    my son was eight when i started him with my Ruger 3 screw 22 revolver...only of
    course after reading the riot act of handling, aiming, function, loading, and when to even think about touching the weapon much less the trigger...

    He performed excellent for the first time out with a shot group of about 4 inches at 10 yards...He got a Winchester 22 for Christmas from Grandpa and got the same speech from Him that I gave Him...

    We took Him out after Christmas and he performed with the same level of responsibility and awareness that he was taught...


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    Mar 16, 2009
    Thank you to all. I really appreciate the advice. It's really reassuring to hear from others who have children. I fully agree with keeping everything locked up, as well as the benefits of both reactionary targets and a certified instructor. As for the rifle over the pistol, I had heard that same advice from a co-worker, so thanks for confirming that as well.

    Gabe and April



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