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Old January 13, 2019, 05:17 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: March 20, 2014
Location: Kinda near Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,144
As everyone else has already stated, as far as age goes, it depends.

I don't have kids of my own, but I have 9 godchildren (I know, sounds ridiculous), and have to this point taught 4 of them to shoot. The youngest was 6. With all of them I started them from the bench, off a bag or bags. Always started them with a .22 rifle, my Henry lever H001L, which at first was never allowed to leave the bags. They'd shoot a round, then I'd pick up the rifle and lever a new round and put the gun back on the bags, and they'd shoot again.

Eventually, they'd graduate to the .22 pistol (Ruger, or now my Victory), again strictly from the bag with each mag containing only one round.

Kids are pretty quick, so it doesn't take all that long before they learn the basics of manipulation and safety procedures, so within a few sessions I let them run the lever on their own and drop/insert mags on their own. However, it was usually a dozen or more sessions before I'd let them shoot off-hand with either.

With my oldest godson I think he was 9 or 10 before I let him shoot one of my AR-15s, and again I started him off the bags only one round at a time. Which didn't matter much to him as he probably still wasn't strong enough to hold and shoot the gun off-hand yet anyway. But he'd shown by that time a solid understanding of safety protocols so I felt comfortable letting him shoot the AR. As I recall he put 20 rounds into a 6 inch bullseye at 50 yds using the irons right off the bat, and he's turned into a pretty good shot now.

My point here is to have a solid plan for safety when it comes to kids and things should work out fine. And be fun for you and them.

P.S. Something I should've mentioned near the top: when I take kids to learn to shoot or just to shoot in general, I go with the understanding that I'm probably not going to do a lot of shooting myself, if at all. My main priority is their/everyone's safety, which requires me to spend 100% of my attention and focus on them while they are hands-on a firearm.

Last edited by Rangerrich99; January 13, 2019 at 05:23 PM.
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