Introducing Your Child To Guns The Right Way: Part 1

child gun

When it comes time to get your child started in shooting, there are several things that need to be considered.

But, before we get into how to pick out a gun for a kid, let's first talk about firearms safety and why it is so very important to learn at the youngest age possible.

child gun

Photo Credit: Ruger

The Importance of Teaching Safety:

Not too long ago, I had a friend and his teenager come over to show me their small collection of .22s. If you haven't already heard, I'm one of those “gun nuts” the liberals have warned you so much about. So when I heard the word “gun” I invited them over.
Anyway, they came with a rifle and a few pistols. There were several times where the boy muzzled me—one of the pistols was actually loaded. Thankfully, I didn't bite the big one.
After an intense lesson on gun safety, we moved on. Somehow, my friend failed as a firearms safety instructor. We should all be safety experts when we handle a firearm, whether loaded or not. Safety is everyone's concern.

The safety lesson included the regular stuff, like the four rules of firearms safety. But, it also went a step further than that. I told the boy that, even though we must treat every weapon as if it were loaded, before you hand a weapon to someone you MUST clear the chamber first. And, don't just clear it, show it to whoever you're handing it to so they can see that it is, in fact, a cold weapon.
I told him that he must never hand someone a loaded firearm. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, like in an actual fire-fight. Other than that, I can't think of any other reasons why one person would hand another person a loaded gun. If I'm wrong on this, please feel free to let me know in the comments.
Let's move on.


I often hear, “what age should I buy my kid his/her first gun?”

Well, that's a tricky one, and doesn't necessarily have a cookie cutter response. Every kid is different, and I've heard of some kids getting their first .22 at six years old. The first gun I ever shot was a single shot 12 gauge. I was 10, and shooting it wasn't my favorite thing to do. At least, not at first.
More on that later, though. What you need to do is measure your kid's maturity level. How does he/she handle life. Do you feel as though they can handle the responsibility of the power that a gun affords the operator?
Is your child smart enough to be taught the safety rules? Disciplined enough to follow them? Does he roll his/her eyes each time you remind him of something—no matter how stupid? Have you already begun instructing on your own guns? What I mean, is what do you teach them about your guns? You are teaching them about your guns right?
I don't mean how to shoot them. But, what a gun does. Why it does it. How it does it. What to do if a gun is ever seen without an adult present. Ya know, common sense stuff. If you're not already teaching your kids, start. Now. Before you regret it.
If you answered favorably to those questions, then the age your kid is at right now could work. I have a daughter who is soon to be eight years old. She will likely be getting a small .22 rifle from her daddy on her birthday. She is mature and wise for her age, and she already knows the basics. 

What kind of gun?

Well, I'm a firm believer that people need to work up to things. Think about it like this, when you first got a driver's license, you didn't jump right into the biggest truck you could find. More often than not, you started out with a regular sized car, and then moved up to a truck. If that is what you drive today, anyway.
As I said above, the first gun I ever shot was a 12 gauge, and it wasn't the best experience.
Why? Well, because it hurt like hell. I didn't' have the butt-stock seated in my shoulder pocket properly, and the gun smashed into my body. I urge you to start your children off with a .22lr rifle, instead of a 12 gauge shotgun.
The reason for this, is if you want your kids to have an enjoyable experience in anything, don't hurt them. Sounds simple, right? Well, you'd be surprised at how many people start their kids off with a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun.

In reality, if you need to give your child a shotgun, it should be a .410, which provides the least amount of felt-recoil of the three. And, if anyone ever tells you that a 20 gauge recoils less than a 12 gauge, they're smoking something funky because the difference is negligible, at best.
To a little kid, the kick from a 20 or 12 gauge will feel the same. When he/she gets older and masters the fundamentals of shooting, like: stance, breathing techniques, aiming, target acquisition, etc—moving him/her up to a shotgun is easier. At this point, they'll be comfortable with, and know how to properly hold, a gun.
There are a few different guns that I recommend for people wanting to get their kids into shooting. A single shot is beneficial for obvious reasons. It limits the amount of shooting that can be done at one time because there is only one round.
Then again, so does only loading one round into a magazine in a semi-auto. Stay tuned for part two.

Sound Off Gun Carriers! At what age did you start shooting, and what was your first gun? Let us know in the comments below. Then, make sure you head over to the Gun Carrier Facebook page and hit the like button. 

4 Responses to :
Introducing Your Child To Guns The Right Way: Part 1

  1. George Ellison says:

    I started with a BB rifle at about 8 and a real firearm (.22 LR) at age 10. I currently teach completely new shooters fairly often at the gun club I belong to, and it becomes necessary to frequently take control of a firearm from a new shooter when they run into a situation when their gun jams or fails to fire and they have no idea what to do. Once the new student understands how to properly and safely clear malfunctions etc., this is no longer an issue, so at that time your rule about never handing a loaded firearm to someone is right on.

  2. Jim says:

    My feelings are you should start with a 22lr bolt wit open sights. Require they can shoot open sights b/4 they earn a scope/ a lessen they will always thank you for.. A 1022 is not a starter gun sorry fans ..

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