A good age to let your kids start shooting?

Thinking about getting the kids ready to start taking self defense serious and start handling firearms…( under my supervision of course )…maybe hit em’ with a 1hr safety pep talk first…suggestions and/or tips appreciated.


@Ben_Blanc. My father started me at age 11-12 back in the 1950’s; but we have a couple people who actually teach kids here in the Community @45IPAC teaches kids here in IL he teaches 4H Kids here in IL Downstate in the Southern part of our state, maybe PM him or @Michael7 as well ybe he is going to see your posting here later on today.


I really think it depends on each individual child. I started my son at around 5 or 6, learning to shoot a bb pistol (very closely supervised, of course). By around 8, we were finally able to get a bb rifle that he could shoulder, and then transitioned him into shooting a .22. My daughter is 11, and really has no interest, so I haven’t worked much with her yet, but I will be doing so pretty soon. In my opinion, it’s good to decide individually for each child when the appropriate time is.


I started mine at 5. I held the rifle, and he stood in front of me and pulled the trigger. Then we moved up to a youth rifle. Now, he’s on to a full size .22, which he uses for 4 H. For small kids, I recommend a single shot, bolt action. If you already have a semi auto, see if you can get single shot magazines for it.


I started my kids on BB guns when they started to show an interest, which was at different ages for each kid (4 -8 years old). They learned gun safety and accuracy with the BB guns under close supervision. For hunting we used a Edison double barrel cap gun, that we treated as a real gun… it was not to be played with or kept with their toy guns. Once they could walk through the fields without covering anyone with the muzzle, cross fences safely etc, the BB gun replaced the cap gun… nothing more dangerous than a wounded pheasant :slight_smile: Once they could handle a 20 ga I would hunt with them alone for a year to make sure everything was done safetley and they would take their Hunter’s Ed course. Some hunting experience would show me when they could react under pressure and that was the time to start going into self defense/home defense type shooting with them.


It depends on the child (is there an echo in here :wink: )

There are some great tips in this thread that you might find helpful, @Ben_Blanc:


Depends. 5 or 6 is good, but it depends on both you and the children. Are they ready, are you ready.
I grew up in the country, and had my first firearm at 9 and was hunting. I was shooting by 6.

Always start with discussions. Teach them.


I’ll repeat the same as each opinion above me…It all depends on the child!

I would name ways to identify if a child is mature mentally enough to comprehend instruction as well as full understanding of death, but each person here is capable of doing that. In addition, more so than me being that I never experienced raising a child.

Hope all here is having a wonderful day!


My 2nt wife had a son who was 4 1/2 when we were married. He was curious about my guns so I started him out at 5yrs. old with a Ruger 1022 with a single round and worked up to 10 rounds, at first he was more interested in the empty round ejecting then the lead impacting into the backstop. As he progressed I let him shoot a 12 ga. resting against my bicep with him standing in front of me. Later I let him shoot my Ruger GP100 with 38. Spcls. When he was a teen we went crow hunting and he shot as well as I did on moving targets we were 8 and 8 that day. He still shoots to this day.


My great grandbaby asked to shoot this year, she’s 6.

We’ve started her on:

  1. Reading the 4 gun safety rules
  2. Stanta brought her a Pink BB rifle (yay Daisy!) which she can just shoulder and reach the trigger on
  3. Her BFF (who’s 7) wants to shoot too, so she’s teaching the BFF the 4 safety rules (best day ever!)

this sounds like an outstanding plan :smiley:


There was not a hunter safety course when I was kid, but the rest of it was how my Dad taught me. His pre-hunt “safety talk” was “Now you stay in front of me so you don’t shoot me in the ass” :rofl: It made a good running joke up to his last hunt in 2001.

I saw the picture you posted with your grand-daughter. You were thinking ahead by having her wear hearing protection from the start. I waited to introduce ear muffs until the kids were shooting .22 and they didn’t like the stock hitting the plastic when they shouldered the gun.


My hubby: "you know she doesn’t need hearing protection for the BB gun… "
I’m all “Building Good Habits ya’know” :laughing: … eyes and ears, eyes and ears :wink:


It depends on the kid.
Our youngest daughter started firing a ruger 10/22 and lcr22 when she was about 7.
She was in the 4h shooting project and I was the RSO and instructor. Another dad organized it and started but he knew ZERO about firearms. To this day I have no idea why he started it. But without me there it would have been a nightmare, as far as instructional goes, maybe safety as well?

At about 9 she shot the Remington 1185 shotgun and decided she was never shooting that again.

She is now a junior in high school and has her own firearms. We have a ranch and she carries either a side arm, or tactical knife when out in the fields or woods and of course there is always a 22 mounted to the underside roof of the mule.

I’m not sure all kids could handle this? It’s on an individual basis. If he starts and learns young he could go far. There are college scholarships awarded for marksmanship and such. A fun, exciting hobby/sport at a young age should help to keep them out of trouble.

I played soccer from the age of 4 to the age of 48. There is no doubt that my enthusiasm for the sport during highschool kept me out of trouble and from doing drugs.


It’s so sad a mule is a vehicle and the rimfire is in a mount under the roof and not a worked leather scabbard on a real mule aside the saddle.

…times, they are a change’in…


I got my first weapon a about 6yrs old, and my 3 girls started to know weapons at about 7/8 yrs old,but did not fire them until they could break down and put back together with no problems,then they had to dry fire to control the flinch am talking about all of my weapons,the had to know all and how they broke dawn and how to clean them,and most of all drill into them that a weapon is a toll,it [quote=“Ben_Blanc, post:1, topic:19124, full:true”]
Thinking about getting the kids ready to start taking self defense serious and start handling firearms…( under my supervision of course )…maybe hit em’ with a 1hr safety pep talk first…suggestions and/or tips appreciated.