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 Post subject: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:20 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:24 pm
Posts: 158
Two weeks ago at a county trap field a man brings his 11 yr old daughter to shoot Trap for the first time with a youth 20 gauge pump gun. The girl was under 5ft . The father stood
behind her . She had some difficulty managing the shotgun . I was very uncomfortable with the situation. Should the Puller have allowed her to shoot?




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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:29 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:57 pm
Posts: 323
Good question, near impossible to answer without actually seeing it.

If ‘they’ were being unsafe because of her size/strength, then probably. If the kid was getting the snot knocked out of her, probably.

But other than that, if dad was keeping things under control, and she wasn’t begging to quit, then good for them both.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:38 pm 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 8:09 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Oklahoma
I ruined one of my kids for shooting sports by having him shoot guns too young. It was a horrible experience and now he refuses to go hunting with me still almost 20 years later.

One of my biggest regrets as a father.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:46 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:17 am
Posts: 609
Location: Deutschland, Deutschland über alles
it depends in the kid, time, and place. My grandfather was a Michigan Yooper born in 1910. His Scottish ancestors were trappers in Northwest Ontario for the North West Company. when the area was all trapped out, they moved way “south” to Grand Marais, Michigan. His grandfather and great uncles were all Civil War vets. When he was 6 years old, he got a Winchester .22 pump rifle. the local sheriff heard that he had just received a gun and called him into his office where he proposed a deal. For every rat my grandfather shot, the sheriff would pay him a bounty of 5 cents. The sheriff counseled him to use .22 shorts and for God’s sake, don’t shoot anybody! There was a picture of the sheriff with a derby hat and handlebar mustache standing behind my grandfather with his hands on the boy’s shoulders. MY grandfather had the gun in one hand and a handful of rats by the tail in the other. This was considered normal and not at all any cause for alarm back in 1916. My grandfather shot plenty of rats but never any people from the age of 6 onward. But as time goes by and testosterone levels in successive generations of American males decreases , you witness increasing levels of alarm at the prospect of children shooting.

My grandfather would take me and my brother up to his farm in the UP in the summer from the age of 6 for me and 5 for my brother and give us his .22 and a box of shells and turn us loose. the rules were not to point the gun in the direction of anything we didn’t want to kill, us included. We managed to survive.

there are testosterone patches readily available now for this kind of anxiety.

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I can only please one person a day but today is not your day and tomorrow ain't looking too good either.

NRA Life Member


Last edited by jerrys on Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:50 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 1187
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
nneweruser,

I have to admit I was never taken to a trap or skeet range when I was learning as a child, I learned in the Grouse woods with my Grandfather. I was big for my age and used my Grandmothers Parker DHE 28 gauge double gun, it fit me perfectly. I was big for may age and very strong, my education in the Grouse woods started when I was only 5 years old. I was 8 when I killed my 1st Grouse and Woodcock behind my Grandfathers Ryman Setter Grouse dog. If the young lady was strong enough to be safe, and wanted to learn how to shoot, nobody should have the right to stop her, especially with her father controlled the learning situation. If she was in our family she got started a little late, however we would have started her off in our Grouse woods, not the Trap or skeet range.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

My Potter County neighbor and her grandchildren learning at age 3 & 5.
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L.C. Smith Man
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:28 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:05 pm
Posts: 483
My son and daughter started around that age but with a Browning micro midas BPS .410. Almost no recoil. My daughter is now 14, 5'1" ~102lbs and shoots her own Mossberg 500 youth 20ga.

I think one error is when kids start with a light youth 20 that they have to lean back to handle. This combo just magnifies recoil....

Here in MN you can take hunter's ed/gun safety at 11 and it become valid at 12. You can hunt big game at ages 10-11 (with parent in immediate reach) and no min age for small game.


Last edited by MNGunner on Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:34 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:49 pm
Posts: 3821
Location: Mormon Mecca
nnewuser wrote:
Two weeks ago at a county trap field a man brings his 11 yr old daughter to shoot Trap for the first time with a youth 20 gauge pump gun. The girl was under 5ft . The father stood
behind her . She had some difficulty managing the shotgun . I was very uncomfortable with the situation. Should the Puller have allowed her to shoot?
As long as no safety rules were being broken, then Hell yes the puller should have allowed her to shoot. My dad started me in the woods with a 20 GA pump at the ripe old age of 9. Still doin' it at age 78. :D {hs# :lol:

_________________
Bob Hicks, from Mormon Mecca
I’m 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:04 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:01 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Central Florida
If the father was a shooter and knew what he was doing then I have no problem with it. Maybe a smaller framed gun that fit the young lady would have been better but if she managed to get through that first session and wanted to do it again than that's a good thing. In 1971 my father came home from work one evening and reached behind the seat of his old pickup and handed me a well used Ithaca model 37 20 gauge and said let me see how that fits you. I was 11 years old at the time and he saw the the stock was just to long for this at that time skinny kid. He put it back in his truck and looked at me and said well that's not going to work. Man was I heartbroken. A couple of weeks later he hands me the shotgun again and the stock had been cut down about an inch and a half and the barrel had been shorten and a Polychoke added. He had taken it two a family member who was a very good gunsmith! I shot my first quail with that gun that season and it still resides in my brothers gun safe as it was used to teach all four of his sons to shoot.

The old 37 is well worn and shows it's age but it still functions and hopefully it will be used to teach more young people to shoot in the years to come including a few of my brothers grandchildren


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:20 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:11 am
Posts: 1098
I started my girls with .22 rifles about age 9.
They started shooting a muzzle loading rifle off sandbags, with reduced loads at 10.
They competed as junior ML shooters until 16, or so.
They never got very interested in shotguns and I never pushed anything on them.
They are 41 and 50 years old now, and shooting is not a part of their lives.
They know how responsible families participate in shooting sports, however.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:36 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2745
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
Basically it boils down, for anyone, to a level of maturity and responsibility coupled with the developed physical ability to run a firearm.

Same for killing stuff like deer and turkeys.....younker needs to understand why they are there beyond spending time with loved parents.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:44 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 11:43 am
Posts: 419
Both ability and responsibility come at no set age. I have been around plenty of grown men that were totally enept around firearms. I received a sxs dart gun(with a wind up rabbit) at age two and training was imparted upon me. My own Air rifle at age 7. My own 12 gauge pump gun at age 11.
If only the "accomplished" are allowed, there soon won't be any "accomplished".

If you felt uncomfortable, you should have left.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:32 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 10:42 pm
Posts: 437
Location: In The Woods Of The SC Low Country
I killed my first deer on a stand by myself with a 20 ga & buck shot when I was 9 years old. Kids mature at different ages.....Guns should FIT THE KID when the parent starts them shooting.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:02 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 13249
This is sort of like asking what age is too old to drive a car? It depends on the individual. Some kids are bigger, stronger, more mature and much more athletics at any given age than others.

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They want to take your guns because they plan to do something to you that might cause you to shoot them.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:41 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:04 pm
Posts: 2910
I have a now 16 year old grandson being raised on a farm. He knew about cattle breeding since he was 5. He also knows about calves dying at birth and sometimes the cow. Its a not a pretty picture on the farm. He been taking deer since he was 8. There is a lot of difference in young kids and what they can handle.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:26 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:11 pm
Posts: 339
Location: Soldotna, Alaska
I do not remember the exact age I was when I shot my first gun, but when I turned 10, my father bought me a 20 gauge shotgun. This was in 1961. The following summer, I bought my first .22 rifle. I took the rifle out of the store and put it across the handlebars of my bicycle and rode home to show my parents the gun I bought. The next day I took it to school for show and tell. I used to take it to school and leave it in the cloak room so that I could go to a friend's house after school to go hunting. Back then it was normal to see kids my age with guns and nobody gave it a second thought.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:51 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:57 am
Posts: 23
Location: SW Ontario
I recall a ShotgunWorld thread on this subject from several years ago. Some respected, well known clay target shooting coaches/instructors stated that their criteria for accepting students was a minimum body weight. I think their number was 80 pounds.

The rational was that you needed muscle/body mass to handle the gun safely and the recoil without flinching. Age was not the deciding factor.

Do any of you recall this? It has always remained with me.

Bob.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:10 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:18 am
Posts: 80
That's a tough call, but as long as she was being safe, and kept safe by her father, let her go.
If she pulled the trigger more than once, Dad's a winner. ;)
Like everyone else, I started with .22's, pellet rifles, and pellet pistols, and eventually to a shotgun by probably the same age as that little girl. My dad and Uncle would set pine cones on top of old fence posts, and let us kind of figure it out ourselves. Eventually we moved up to hand thrown clay pigeons.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:30 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:58 pm
Posts: 3700
Location: Sag Harbor, New York
Size and maturity level is what I use for evaluation for my younger flight students. I have had 9 year olds that have taken lessons well and 15 year olds that have not.

Our club has a minimum age of 12, but it is probably due to insurance rules. I agree that it would be hard to have a Hard and Fast rule, just based on age and size.

Bob

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New York, New York & Sag Harbor, New York


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:57 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:33 pm
Posts: 6744
Location: Mascoutah IL
I've seen some adults have difficulty handling a gun. Unless she was being unsafe they should absolutely pull targets for her. Hopefully she enjoyed herself and we will have a new shooter.


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 Post subject: Re: At what age is too young?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:10 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:38 am
Posts: 135
Location: North Bay Area
I'm in my late 30s and my dad started me off with a .22 at 5 years old. I bought my first firearm when I was in middle school (11 I think). As long as they're being safe and the girl was enjoying herself, I see nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, I wish more young people were into shooting sports.




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