What age did you introduce your kids to firearms and how?


Friendliest Faggot
May 17, 2006
As far as their size goes, my boys take after their mother and are big for their age. Thank God for that because as much as they love rimfire shooting, they like shotguns more and they can easily handle a 12 gauge with 2 3/4" target loads. Way easier on the wallet than .410 shells.


Online Training Member
Online Training Access
Jul 2, 2019
Just curious especially if any of you decided to introduce firearms to your kids at preschool age and younger. If so, what was your method?

A friend of mine years ago would give his M1A, unloaded, to his 4 year old grandson to play with. The kid would be running around the yard with grandpas rifle pretend shooting everything, including me. Didn't think much of it at the time but looking back now that I have kids, at no point would I want my kid to think a firearm is a toy. Thoughts?
We didn’t give them any toy guns for a while. Feeding my two boys (2yo) and my wife turns around and they had each taken a slice of cheese, bit a piece out in the shape of a pistol and where gesturing at each other yelling pee-eww.

No realistic looking toy guns ever. They learned from when they could talk that they could not touch a gun unless I gave it to them. It became a privilege when they passed a written test showing the parts of a gun and the safety rules. They all respect but do not fear them.

We started with a BB gun in the back yard shooting water bottles. You saw the light come on when the first one to empty his water bottle was the winner. One shot the same hole in the middle and the other shifted his point of aim to the bottom of the bottle. We upgraded to a cut down 22LR on iron sights. We would put a golf ball on the ground and use a 25rd clip and see whose ball got the farthest. More lights come on. Sight picture, adjustment for increasing range, watching the impact, and choosing where to aim(top=fwd spin, bottom=backspin). Graduated from there to the fixed power scope. They liked the 44 special pistol but never the auto. My bride on the other hand... makes one hole targets with the 1911.
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Jan 19, 2019
Once all this virus crap blows over I’ll be able to get my oldest back in small bore 3P. Its important to me that he learns and understands how to shoot well in all positions. He has graduated up to my 22 mag from a 22LR for killing critters around here. I figured he would as it shoots well.

Guess he’s going to be killing all the ground hogs around here this summer
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Jan 19, 2011
Tulsa, OK
What started as sharing my enjoyment with simple range trips with the boy quickly turned into pistol/rifle comps and hunting trips. The good - he maintained interest through the years and is always game for the range or a comp, the bad, of course he needs all of his own gear, for pistol, shotgun, rifle, bigger rifle, and it goes on and on......

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Jan 27, 2011
Just curious especially if any of you decided to introduce firearms to your kids at preschool age and younger. If so, what was your method?

A friend of mine years ago would give his M1A, unloaded, to his 4 year old grandson to play with. The kid would be running around the yard with grandpas rifle pretend shooting everything, including me. Didn't think much of it at the time but looking back now that I have kids, at no point would I want my kid to think a firearm is a toy. Thoughts?
At five years of age, Dad started teaching me to shoot a Stevens rolling block single shot .22 in the basement on Saturday mornings while Mom went grocery shopping. (Taught my son at five to shoot the same rifle. Still have it today.) Shot .22 BB caps at business card on a pine board back stop. Dad said it was way past time for me to learn. Quickly graduated to Saturday outings hunting squirrels and rabbits with that iron sight .22....only head shots permitted. Never heard "You'll shoot your eye out"......only "You better shoot that squirrel"s eye out." Took many years to really appreciate the "head shots only; don't waste meat" rule. Years later, I learned why Dad thought it was past time for me to learn to shoot and hunt for meat at 5. His perspective was that he was hunting meat for his family at age five with a single shot .22. Grandpa left home way before sunrise returning long after sunset from a CCC construction job. Oldest male of 5 kids, Dad was given three .22 short shells to hunt squirrels and rabbits by himself in the woods around their log cabin. If he failed, the family had nothing to enhance their potato and cornbread meals. Grandma confirmed they always ate meat. Hell of a lot of pressure for a 5 year old kid. Kids grew up fast during The Great Depression....nothing akin to Obummer's slump, or Trump's virus bump. Necessity was a great teacher. Dad used to tell of his best Christmas ever. Grandpa somehow obtained and divided three oranges and three apples between the five kids......and, Dad got a FULL box of .22 shorts...a gift for the whole family. Dad said he had never seen shells in a box, let alone a whole box. Dad is gone now. Many of the best memories I have are hunting for meat with Dad....head shots only. We took turns. I lost many turns. Don't ever remember Dad losing a turn. Decades after meat was a non-issue, He never quit chastising me for a head miss. But, I am still amazed at how much smarter Dad gets every year. Yeah, The Greatest Generation EVER!!! I enjoy telling his shooting story just to watch today's Liberal heads explode. :) :) :) Love the pics above of kids and parents together shooting. Teach your kid to shoot and hunt, and you'll never have to hunt your kid. Wish I had pics of me and my Dad at that age shooting. But, back then pics were only made on very special occasions. Today, I would classify each shooting trip with Dad,,,,a VERY special occasion. Old too soon; smart too late. Enjoy that shooting time together.
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Nov 9, 2017
I'm 66 now and started my son and daughter on a BB rifle in the backyard. Age, we'll I think about 5 yrs old. I spent time with them which is the most important "thing" you can give them. Now my son is teaching his son to shoot rifle and bow. My daughter isn't into it as much but she knows how to handle a pistol and teach her kids firearms safety.



Jan 11, 2018
Ha. Me too. Started my three kiddos w a Red Ryder BB gun, then a 22 rifle, then when they were young teens .243, .270, .and 7-08. My oldest son tried my 12 gauge when he was about 8. It went off and scared the bejesus out of him and he dropped it ?. It put a small ding on the barrel. That one will be his someday ?. Now he’s 5’11” 185#s And we still laugh at how much that scared the crap out of him ?. He’s a better shot than I am. My daughter loves the 7-08 for elk hunting. All my kiddos shoot out to 600yds, and can put up sub MOA 100 yd group. More like 1/2“ actually with my 270. Best part of it is that we spend time together creating memories. Shooting and hunting are one of the things we do And it’s a blast.


Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 14, 2020
Winchester, VA
Thank you all for sharing. I'm 28 and don't have kids, but would definitely like to have them in the future (if I can find a woman worth pursuing... long story full of a lot of hard times, unfortunately). What age to introduce kids to firearms is a question that I asked my own father, and he didn't really give me a very usable answer. I always wondered what age was appropriate to introduce kids to firearms and I really appreciate all the various viewpoints shared on this thread.


Jan 11, 2014
My daughter is almost 4, when she was 3.5 she got her first 22 lr. I haven’t got her out to shoot it yet. I am waiting until this self isolation bs lifts then to the range. She has been bugging the hell out of me to go shoot it. She was shooting my air rifle this week and she loved it. Can’t wait unit I get her out to shot her first rifle.

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Apr 4, 2020
Both of my boys have always loved to be around guns with me. Going out in the yard to shoot has always been hard to do without them. Even in the reloading room they love to be involved. Gun saftey started young with them. I bought my oldest son his first rifle for Christmas when he was 3.5 years old. A little single shot .22 lr Cricket. Started him on iron sights but he never really got it. We would just go out and shoot at cans and small targets. At age 5 I put a 4x scope on it for him and look out!! He is deadly now. Shoots steel reactive targets at 15 yards, cans and a 10" plate at 40 yards. He even has a a few goffer kills under his belt. He loves goffer hunting and is wound up they they are starting to come out now. He turns 6 This month and has started to shoot my savage 10 .223 precision carbine with suppressor. Prone is kinda tough for him but he's getting it figured out. He feels he's a big kid now ready for elk haha. I foresee lots of .223 reloading This summer

This last fall my youngest got his .22 for his 3rd birthday. A Savage rascal. He likes to pull the trigger too but isn't at the stage yet where it has all clicked on what exactly is going on. I would highly recommend the savage rascal over the cricket. The savage is much easier to operate and load. The cricket you have to cock the bolt before the shot, while another level of safety the dam thing springs forward and can pinch the thumb and the trigger sucks.

Tons of fun teaching them and shooting with them.
20190425_173354.jpg9/10 on the target with the new scope 20190425_173148.jpg20190419_135415.jpgFirst kills
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Feb 7, 2014
North Branford, CT
Daughter Sarah started iron sights with a borrowed youth rifle at 7 years. A club NRA instructor took her and a friend and other interested youth for several years of training, casual competing. In high school she transitioned to full competition as co captain then captain of the school rifle team. At the same time, participating in Camp Perry small bore competition and paired up with
AMU Sgt 1st Class Shane Barnhart for one of the matches! On the left, she still bites!1586091283539.png


Mar 5, 2019
I began teaching my 3 boys about firearms at about the age of 4 yrs old. The lessons were to talk about safety, but never touch a firearm unless I let them and to call for an adult should they come across one unattended. During this period I never tested their willpower by leaving a firearm (loaded or unloaded) in the open. Kids are curious and may very well pick one up, regardless of what you say. But I still never presented that opportunity. My firearms were always locked in the safe when not in use. I drilled the "NEVER TOUCH" into their heads until about the age of 7 or 8 when I introduced them to shooting a .22 lr rifle. When I felt comfortable they were ready (at about 10 or 11 yrs old) I introduced them to a 30-30 lever action. From about 12 yrs old on, I slowly introduced larger calibers.

Thank God we never had a close call to speak of and today two of my boys are deputy sheriffs in large metropolitan areas. I believe introducing children to firearms is a good thing if done properly and safely. For those who are afraid of firearms, it may be the result of never having an opportunity to learn that although firearms are deadly, safe and proper handling is the key to comfort. However, this is a personal decision and I respect parental choice. But from my perspective, teaching children about firearms is one of the most fundamental survival tools there is; not to mention the fun side of it all. Just my thoughts.


Apr 13, 2008
North NJ USA
As an NRA certified instructor and Primary Marksmanship Instructor (PMI) in the Marine Corps, I started my kids with .22 (Rifle and Pistol). I then worked my way up in caliber. I have made errors on occasion. One example was one day my eldest wanted to shoot my Garand. I then strongly encouraged my middle son to shoot the Garand, big mistake. The length of pull was obviously too long for him and of course the recoil. It scared the s*** out of him. At the time, I didn't have any empathy for him,(I know, I'm a bad daddy). Lesson learned though, on my part. It didn't scar him though. Today all of my boys love shooting all calibers. Most importantly, they have a healthy respect for safety with firearms.


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Dec 31, 2011
Norman, OK
My kids all started on the single shot 22s at about 2 or 3. I’d staple balloons to the corral fence and they’d shoot them. They’ve moved up from there. They’re practicing movements now. Oldest is ten now.


Major Hide Member
Oct 11, 2017
Madison, WI
I introduced my daughter to scopes first when she was 1.5 yrs old. Now every new scope that arrives she has to play with and spin the turrets. First scope she looked through was a 7-35 ATACR so I hope that first boyfriend doesn't bring any cheap shit around and expect to go shooting. :) (granted the first boyfriend WILL not happen until atleast age 30 so we've got time.)

Lots of cool stories above, its nice to see the next few generations learning to appreciate and operate firearms, well done!


Betty Ford Center
Feb 13, 2012
Betty Ford Clinic
8 months old and I got a nice Steyer 22LR (still have it)

Red Ryder spring gun
Crossman pump
Sheridan Bluestreak (still have it)

He took me to the range shooting the 22 off of sandbags

mom got me a recurve bow- fiberglass one when I was in 3rd grade and a bail of straw as a backstop...

Dad also went hunting with friends. I enjoyed hearing all the stories...

E. Bryant

Oct 25, 2010
I learned this weekend to never, ever let a child shoot with my Vudoo .22LR...


... because he will ignore the lovely 10/22s that happily digest the cheap ammo, and will instead blow through a few boxes of expensive Lapua Center-X. Oh well, at least he had fun clearing the KYL rack a few times, and was running the bolt fast enough that several of the target's paddles were in motion at once. Definitely worth the cost of ammo.


My youngest son decided that my buddy's Cricket bolt-action .22LR pistol is fun, despite being clunky and generally difficult to manipulate (although that might get better after another few thousand rounds). Yeah, the bipod is on backwards. Not my gun 🤷‍♂️

I spent some time with my buddy's son getting him comfortable behind a 10/22 supported by a PIG saddle and RRS tripod. He was a bit shaky at first, but settled down and was ringing steel quite nicely by the 2nd or 3rd magazine.


Trying to get past 100m
Mar 1, 2009
I’ve got four, every one of them is different. They need to have the maturity to understand the firearm and it’s abilities and have an interest. The youngest one was four and one wasn’t ready until about seven.

All of them started on a .22. I dislike BB guns as a first gun because they don’t lead ammo handling or how to clear other than point in safe direction and pull the trigger.

The D

Resident anarchist
Apr 11, 2020
If nerf guns count I started both my boys a few months ago, they’re 3 and 1.5. Not long after that though I got out my .22 mag bolt gun and let the older one try to look through the scope and pull the trigger. It won’t be long before they’re ready to go camping so I can start a little more in earnest

Mike Casselton

Trunk Monkey
Nov 25, 2007
Lithia, FL
My oldest daughter is 25.
On the day she was born my Dad was late to come see his new granddaughter.
The reason was he wanted to go to First Stop Guns and buy the first gun for her.
He showed up carrying a Chipmunk 22lr.

From the time she was old enough to talk, she showed interest in firearms.
I would let her touch them and even dry fire at animals on the TV.

Safe handling was taught from day one.

I remember one time when she was about 6yrs old she asked to handle a rifle that I had put away like 20 seconds ago. I pulled it out of the cabinet and handed it to her.

Her response was, "Dad, you forgot to check if it was loaded".

I knew it wasn't because I had just checked it, but she was absolutely correct in calling me out on it.
Apparently I taught her well.

My youngest daughter always liked fishing better, but lately she's taken to shooting also.
She wants to shoot steel next time she visits. 🙂🙂🙂
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