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Son want's to visit firing range, thoughts?

Tom-my gunTom-my gun New MemberPosts: 6 New Member
Hello Gun's and Ammo forum

it's great to be here and I am really looking forward to speaking with you guys.

As you guys can see from the title I am looking for some of your guy's opinions on getting my son down the firing range with me. This is where I might get roasted. He is only 13years of age and the other day he approached me when I was cleaning my pistol in my bedroom, he walked in then asked if he could "try it out", obviously I had to say no and the fact he's interested at such a young age scares me a little.

what do you guys think?? What would your reaction be? Do you think it's a good idea to take you 13year old son to the firing range? is it even legal? What kind of age did your children start getting into firearms? Sorry about all the questions it's just what is rushing through my head right now.

Let's say the law says it's fine and everyone else thinks it's not a major problem. What kind of pistol would I get for him/rent for him? Everything I can think of has a decent amount of recoil, wouoldn't he fimnd it hard to hold?

Really looking forward to some replies from you guys. If there is anything else you need to know please comment below and I will get it added on ASAP.
All suggestions and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Replies

  • North ForestNorth Forest Member Posts: 354 Member
    I think its a fine idea as long as the young one is responsible enough. Starting with gun safety and proper gun handling is a must. Smaller caliber guns like a .22 are a good way to start. I always drill our kids (now 29 and 17) even now with "What's the first things you do when you pick up a firearm?" Correct response: "Muzzle in safe direction, finger OFF the trigger, check to make sure the action is clear."
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,677 Senior Member
    First and foremost You know better than anyone if your child is mature enough and has the capability to learn and understand how important safe gun handling is. Teach safety, how the gun works and then dry handling and dry fire. When that is done a well supervised range trip. Hope you and your boy have fun together.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    Many of us started shooting long before our 13th birthday, though mostly with .22 rifles and .410 or 20 gauge shotguns. I don't recommend handguns the first time out, if you haven't already been working with him on safety and correct operation, but that's your call. I always let my grandsons handle any of my guns they want, under my supervision. It is their reward for listening to my safety instructions and being able to repeat it all back to me.
  • wizard78wizard78 Senior Member Posts: 1,004 Senior Member
    Welcome to the forum.
    A 22 a is a great way to start a youngster in shooting but take time to explain safe handling and reality of danger when a gun is handled carelessly, to your son.

    I've took my Grandson to the range, two times in 2016. He just turned 6, in January of 2017. The first time was to orient him with gun safety and handling of handguns. At that session, I also explained what he should do (do NOT touch and tell an adult) incase he ever comes across a handgun when an adult isn't around. The second session, I showed him what a gun shot can actually do and not what he has seen on TV or games. I did the same with my daughter when she was young, by shooting a water filled gallon plastic bottle. Explained that is what can happen inside someone's body if they are shot and re-enforced that you never point a gun at anyone. For his birthday in January of 2017, (with parents permission) I gave him a Ruger American in 22 and also re-enforced safe handling. Have only taken him to range once since then but plan to do more when he comes to stay for a weekend.

    “When guns are outlawed, only patriots will have guns.”
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    My granddaughter has been shooting since she was 7. Just have to drill the safety rules into them. I actually started her with an air soft gun and when I was convinced she could be safe, moved her up to .22s. She now competes a couple time a month.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    As stated above ...

    You know him better than us ...

    Teach SAFETY and RESPECT of firearms ...

    In my neck of the woods we start kids out early for those reasons and I also believe to take the mystery and awe out of firearms. To me it seems the more you tell a kid not to do something, how dangerous it is, etc many want to do it more and will go behind parent's backs ... which can lead to bad things. My kid was about 4 when I started him with a BB gun because he wanted to do things with Dad. He moved up quickly because he was attentive and listened ... a trait many kids or adult lack when it comes to firearms ... but at a pace I felt he was able to SAFE at. I will strongly suggest that you need to be comfortable with him doing this or even better find a kids program ... ranges around in my state have day classes with BB guns up to .22s for kids around his age and not being a parent takes away a factor that can hinder teaching/learning firearms safety and marksmanship.

    Again, he has asked so you have a curious kid ... best to teach him safe and respectful handling of firearms than him go out somewhere and try it in an environment that can end in a bad way.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,156 Senior Member
    As has been said, you know your kid best - his level of focus, maturity, etc..., so we can't make that call for you.

    I freely admit to sailing on creeks that aren't the mainstream, but to me, it seems he's starting painfully late and that the notion of 13 being early is a product of this era of helicopter parenting, where the focus has shifted away from TEACHING kids about things that can harm them to ISOLATING them away from those things. I first shot at .22 pistol and started shooting BB guns and rifles off and on at about age 5, and got hard core about it around age 8. 12 or 13 was when I started on handguns, and only so late because the only thing available to that point was a .45. There's really no "too young" if they're supervised and can comprehend the potential consequences. Some of them grasp that earlier than others, and yeah, I'll grant that these days, it seems to come pretty hard.

    I'd start him with a manually-operated .22 rifle, simply because the relation of eyeball to sights to target is easier to figure out when the gun is solidly anchored in your shoulder. Once he's got that down, I'd suggest a 4" barreled .22LR double action revolver, like Ruger's SP-101 or S&W model 63. No kick to speak of, little noise takes fairly deliberate act to fire, and in the double action mode, really good at teaching the combination of trigger control with proper use of sights. Plus, it's also a GREAT gun just to have around for maintaining basic skills, even after he moves on to other things.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,760 Senior Member
    First, welcome aboard.

    Second, 13 is not too young in my opinion. I first fired a .22 rim fire when I was 8 (with my dad standing close by), and a .410 shotgun when I was 9. By the time I was 13, I owned a .22, 20 gauge shotgun and 30-30, all of which I had shot and hunted with.

    Of course, everyone is different, and it's your call as to whether or not your son is ready to start shooting. I started my own boys at an earlier age, and am pretty sure it didn't lead them down a path to bad behavior. There's plenty of worse things they encountered that takes the credit for that. :jester:

    You might consider finding an NRA or other organization sponsored training course for kids. Personally, though, as long as YOU provide proper supervision and instruction, I don't see a problem with taking a 13 year old boy to the shooting range.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,887 Senior Member
    Well, I let my 9 year old Grandson fire his first round from a "real" firearm this past weekend. Only fired one shot from my AMT (10/22 clone) but he enjoyed it.
    Spent a LOT more time discussing safety, how guns work and more about safety.

    we weren't worried about hitting a particular target. LUCKILY, my back yard is a large hill, so we just shot into it. I pointed out to him that the target was dirt, and behind it was a LOT more dirt.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I started shooting at age 5, thanks to a bunch of older cousins in a large rural family we visited several times a year. By age 13, I had already owned a pellet pistol, a Daisy BB gun, a Crosman pellet rifle, and had my own .22 rifle and a 16 gauge shotgun. Your young man should have been fully versed in firearms safety by the time he started walking and talking, so you're way behind the power curve already.

    It's up to your judgement to decide when he's mature enough to actually put in some trigger time, but gun safety training needs to begin about the same time as potty training. Taking the mystery out of anything makes it much less likely that kids will make life-altering mistakes, whether it's drugs, sex, guns, or any other situation where "knowledge is power". Range time is also fun! My kids and grandkids grew up shooting, and they love it!
    Jerry
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,021 Senior Member
    I made a decision to make sure my kid was gun-proofed before my wife and I even decided to have kids. The kiddo is turning nine next month, has been shooting since he was five, and is incredibly safe with firearms and blades. He knows the four rules. He also knows the Eddie Eagle "Stop, Don't Touch, Tell a trusted adult" program.

    I'll echo Bigslug and say that 13 years old is a bit old to be introduced to firearms if you have a gun in the house. He may have already formed some bad opinions and habits by only being exposed to guns through popular media and video games. Heck, my kid still looks at guns and compares them to blasters in StarWars... and he has fired the real things!

    As for going to the range, I would call them and see if they have a special "newbie hour" or something where there is maybe a bit more safety monitoring, and try to keep the big boomer guns out so that the new shooters don't get scared off or develop a flinch just from the noise. Go over the basics at home, (make sure the gun is unloaded, safe, and always pointed in a safe direction) including dry firing and weapon manipulation so you don't have to do that while yelling through ear plugs and over the background noise.

    I would also see if you can buy, borrow or rent a .22 rifle to start. It will be much easier to teach the basics with it than with a handgun.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 6,423 Senior Member
    Good for you for teaching him about guns! Most of us, as you see started early, never too late to teach someone something new. Remember it's not about what makes you comfortable it's about what will benifit him in the long run. Guns are a fact of life, they are out there. Better he learn from you that his idiot jackass friends, or worse the TV.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,290 Senior Member
    You asked for thoughts, so like them or not.....

    IMHO, you are behind the 8 ball about 6 years on this. 13 y/o's that live with a firearm in the house and have been kept away from it are WHY there are kids shooting kids. You never took away the mystique and he is interested with knowledge gained from Call of Duty. The first thing is you NEED to get your crap in one bag and learn enough to teach the subject.

    You need to go the the NRA page https://gunsafetyrules.nra.org/ that has the rules and copy them and go over them with your kid. Let him handle your firearm AFTER he reads the rules. Call the range and ask if they have a bolt action 22 rifle and if not, ask if you can shoot one there. Then get thee hence to a gun shop and buy one if they dont have one. If that indoor range wont let rifles be fired, then find a outdoor one that does. Join a club, a range, or find a safe place to shoot, ask at the LGS. Do it NOW.

    I have 3 kids and they got to look at and touch my firearms since they were old enough to ask. They learned the rules while they were checking them out. They all went hunting at 12, and two were competition shooting at 14. Shooting is a sport that can be shared across the generations. You can take him to the range where he will have fun practicing control and discipline, so get on the ball there Dad.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,650 Senior Member
    To begin with, up to you to decide "when"; I'd say that a child mature enough to understand and follow his parents' orders regarding safety issues and to behave as expected regarding to the place/moment is ready. Usually a 13 years old kid is mature enough to obey and learn the basic gun handling principles.

    In MY case, the "ladder" to reach shooting and firearms handling began with the basic #1 step: Airguns. With them the kid can learn basic gun handling and safety principles, while getting them used to things like noise, recoil, trigger control, proper positions, etc.
    Then, when he's able to master the use of this basic tool, a non-semiauto .22LR rifle is the next natural upgrade. Only after managing to use it and understand the potential damage possibilities of a firearm and show responsibility holding them, I'd consider proper to expose a youngster to a handgun suitable to his abilities (A .22LR to begin with of course).

    For those not able to teach using rifles, you can do the same with BB handguns as "101" for a young beginner.
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,543 Senior Member
    I agree that 13 is later for a kid to start learning, but better late than never. And you know your son better than any of us, so I also agree that it's your call.

    That being said, this subject came up on the board years ago, not long after I first joined, and Wambli (one of the moderators) offered his policy that he used with his children, which I thought was sound and decided to adopt myself.

    I taught my kids (daughter & son) the first 3 NRA rules of gun safety, and then let them handle my guns. I took them to shoot, and let them shoot whatever they wanted, and after, they helped me clean them. Thereafter, the rule of the house was that they could ask me to see or handle my guns anytime I'm home and I'll stop what I'm doing and help them do so. Each time, they have to give me the 3 rules first, to which I added that they are not allowed to touch my guns when I'm not home. This all has served me well.

    My daughter is now 25, and has safely continued the tradition of keeping guns in the house around my grandchildren, as well as being a licensed carrier.

    Teaching my kids helped me to decide that I could do more, so I got certified as rifle instructor for the NRA. I've been a rifle shooting merit badge counselor (instructor) for the Boy Scouts of America for 8 years, and that has helped me learn a lot about teaching kids about guns. I wholeheartedly recommend the NRA's Eddie Eagle program.

    I've recently started teaching my 5 year-old grandson, my niece (9), and my nephew (11). We're heading out to the hills next weekend for some outdoor shooting.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Everybody pretty well covered the kid and shooting thing but I'm curious about the picture that you posted of an indoor range. Was that some file photo that you grabbed from the internet or was it a picture of the range that you use? I've never seen an indoor range with a flat brick backstop. Even BB guns would put pockmarks in a painted brick wall.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    ................... but I'm curious about the picture that you posted of an indoor range. Was that some file photo that you grabbed from the internet or was it a picture of the range that you use?.............

    The shadows and lighting do not quite gel also.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 2,037 Senior Member
    Welcome aboard, ask away! Your first post is a solid question. Different times/era when folks started shooting. Growing up on a ranch in the 60's we started shooting at an early age I'd say 5 or 6. Got my first Model 94 Win 30-30 when I was 12. If you feel your son is mature enough 13 is great age to start. Take him and let him experience some fun. Most public ranges at least where I am require first time members to go through their short safety class. This can be a huge plus for someone who hasn't been around guns and shooting much.

    One of the things my grandpap and dad did when I was around 6 or 7 was give me a lesson on guns and shooting and consequences of pulling the trigge . My dad said grandpap gave him this same shooting lesson when he was a boy. I gave all of my boys the exact same shooting experience to my boyswhen they were around 8ish. I kept begging to go hunting with them. My grandpap had me go into the grandma's garden and find a pumpkin the size of my head and as hard as my head. I found what I thought was a close match and brought it in. They had me draw a face on it and put it on the fence post 30 or so yards away. They asked me what was going to happen when I pulled the trigger, what would the bullet do to a person's head if I accidentally shot someone? My reply was put a hole in it. Pops did the shooting with his Win Model 94 .32 Win Special. As soon as he touched the trigger and the gun went boom, so did the pumpkin head. It was a lasting impression I can still remember as if it were yesterday. I suspect my boys reaction was exactly like mine.

    My oldest gave me my 1st grand baby (son) this year. Gavin is only 6 months old. A few weeks back they were out at the ranch and my son said in a few years you're gonna have to start growing pumpkins. I said why would you want me to grow pumpkins? Gavin's gonna need his first shooting lesson! Made me smile, I guess this family tradition on shooting has been passed down from generation to generation and will continue to be passed down.

    Have a great time and let us know how he liked it. Usually only takes one time at the range to be hooked for life!:applause:
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    Are you still with us, Tom?
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,290 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    Everybody pretty well covered the kid and shooting thing but I'm curious about the picture that you posted of an indoor range. Was that some file photo that you grabbed from the internet or was it a picture of the range that you use? I've never seen an indoor range with a flat brick backstop. Even BB guns would put pockmarks in a painted brick wall.

    not to mention chips flying.

    Drive by anti?
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    not to mention chips flying.

    Drive by anti?

    I suspect a writer fishing for material. They were probably hoping for less practical replies.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,290 Senior Member
    Or ones that fit the narrative.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Are you still with us, Tom?

    You recon we lost him, that is if we ever really had him. Maybe he was an anti. No telling.

    But my suggestion, especially if he himself is inexperienced with guns and safety, is call NRA and see if there's an active NRA Certified Trainer in his area. That's a great way for an inexperienced parent to get their kids the proper safety training. No matter your opinion of NRA, it's safety training is the best.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,052 Senior Member
    The same photo comes up when you google 'pistol range pics'.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    That "range" photo is phony as a 3 dollar bill. Sort of makes me wonder about the sincerity of the rest of the post. I guess we're supposed to be a bunch of ignorant rednecks who can't spot a photoshop job!
    Jerry
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    That "range" photo is phony as a 3 dollar bill. Sort of makes me wonder about the sincerity of the rest of the post. I guess we're supposed to be a bunch of ignorant rednecks who can't spot a photoshop job!
    Jerry

    For someone who was "really looking forward to speaking with you guys", he isn't doing much speaking. Maybe he was expecting everyone to suggest some EBR and for the boy to go out and kill animals and eat raw meat?
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    Photo's from Pinterest.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,801 Senior Member
    Likely not the only forum this is posted on. I'm guessing one of the....less refined forums, will likely give answers they're looking for
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Likely not the only forum this is posted on. I'm guessing one of the....less refined forums, will likely give answers they're looking for

    Less refined? I can't speak for others here but ain't never been close to being thought of as refined ... so my wife says :tooth:
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Tom-my gun wrote: »
    - - - - he approached me when I was cleaning my pistol in my bedroom, he walked in then asked if he could "try it out", obviously I had to say no- - - - - - Sorry about all the questions it's just what is rushing through my head right now.

    Who cleans a pistol in a bedroom? That's what a kitchen table is for. Why did you "obviously have to say "No"? What is rushing through your head right now is an overdose of liberal anti-gun bullsqueeze!

    You're not just a snowflake- - - - -you're a whole blizzard!
    :angry:
    Jerry
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