Getting your child or youth their first gun is a right of passage, one that often happens on a milestone birthday or for a major holiday such as Christmas.
There is no lower limit for teaching gun safety, making it important to begin showing children guns and familiarizing them with the safety procedures from a very young age. There is no single age that is accepted for this introduction — instead, it should be based on the individual child, their personality and ability to understand and obey commands. Many parents start their younger pre-teens out with a BB rifle or air gun, while others wait a bit longer and introduce a youth hunting rifle or shotgun.
Whatever your decision, here are some suggestions to get your child started on the road to responsible gun ownership.
BB’s to Airguns
While they are often viewed as an introduction to “real” guns, children and even adults can be injured by BB guns and air rifles. The power behind these weapons is significant at shorter distances, and while not generally lethal to human unless the shot hits an artery, they can be extremely painful. The Daisy 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun is the classic BB gun for many youth, while an air gun may be a step up that comes after a few years of successful (and safe) usage of the Daisy.
First “Real” Rifle or Shotgun
Buying the first rifle or handgun for your young shooter, and much of it depends on how they plan to be using their new weapon as well as where it will be used. If you are mostly aiming at target practice, you’ll want a rifle that will work effectively both in the field and on the range. Here are a few options that will work for most youth:
- Keystone .22 Rifle comes in a variety of colors and styles for younger shooters, including a pink Crickett that includes a lifetime warranty with a very low entry point.
- Remington 870 Express Compact Jr. Shotgun is a slightly higher entry point in terms of cost, but includes “grow with me” features such as an adjustable pull system.
- Winchester SXP Compact Field Pump-Action Shotgun includes advanced tech that helps reduce the recoil and keep it from hitting your child’s cheek when shot.
- Henry Mini-Bolt Youth Rifle is a .22 that is ideally sized for younger children aged 6-10 years. This single shot rifle is perfect for that age range.
Teaching your child to use firearms takes time, but the payoff is definitely worth the wait! You’ll enjoy a lifetime of knowing that they learned respect for weapons and how to use them properly in any situation.
~ Firearm Daily