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What age for a pellet gun?

Old 09-27-2010, 07:40 AM
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Default What age for a pellet gun?

For my sons birthday this month I bought him a Gamo pellet gun. He is turning 8 and wants to go squirrel hunting.
Well, when I told my wife what I got him, she flipped out. Ah, "he's too young", "he's gonna go to school and tell everybody", "it's too dangerous"......blah,blah,blah.

I tried to explain to her that here in PA, hunting before age 12 it's a mentor program and that I'll be with him all the time and actually he wouldn't be able to hunt by himself till age 16. I'm a little surprised by her reaction since she grew up with her father and brother hunting?

It's all about education and I know that 8 years old is not too young, but what are some opinons out there and should I even be concerned about easing her fears?
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:45 AM
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Maybe set up a range and bring the wife to the lessons?
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:48 AM
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depends on the boy-- how mature or how foolish is he -??-

teach him responsible gun handling -i see no prob.
as far as the school finding out - tell them to kiss your a-- none of there bisness
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:48 AM
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Hat off to you, sea nymph, for staying the course of fatherhood instead of caving into PC America.

My son also got mentored with shooting and got his marksmanship merit badge at age 10. It instills a lot of self-confidence in a young person when they can do something productive and see the results of their practicing.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:49 AM
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Sounds like a typical mother fretting over her first born child, its either that or you married my wife.
As for the question, the child has to know what the limits of its use are and what the punishment will be if they arn't followed. I have my guns locked up and the ammo in another place, also locked up, My children and grandchildren all knew enough not to touch them unless I was/am there. The reward is they get to go to the range with Papa and when old enough hunting.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:53 AM
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I don't think that he's too young. Explain it to her like this... If you can teach him at a young age to respect a weapon, and to treat them as deadly as they are, then you will feel more confident when he's old enough to have a real gun. Use the pellet gun to show him how to handle a weapon, and to teach him weapon safety. I got my first pellet gun when I was about 5. Loved guns ever since. Now that I'm 18 I have the confidence to carry real weapons with me because I was taught so young how to treat them.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sea nymph View Post
It's all about education and I know that 8 years old is not too young, but what are some opinons out there and should I even be concerned about easing her fears?
If you thought he was old enough then there is a pretty good chance other fathers have similar thoughts. He may not be old enough to have carte blanche with his pellet gun at 8 and needs adult supervision at least until he proves himself but teaching him about fire arms and how to safely handle and use them is a better option then he and one of his friends trying to figure it out on his own. Dad, this is one of your teachable moments unless your wife is more comfortable with little johnny down the street teaching him about firearms and firearm safety.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:59 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jCr8QSGYss
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cedarholm View Post
Maybe set up a range and bring the wife to the lessons?
If I do that, she may become the target!
I have actually been hunting for 33 years and of course safety is the number 1 priorty. I've had him at our cabin plinking with a .22 and he really enjoyed that! I too keep my ammo and guns seperate and in safe places. I also try to teach him that guns, knives, bows & arrows are not play toys and if he is at a friends house and they are brought out, he is to leave right away.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:05 AM
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I bought my son a BB gun last spring, he's 8. No hunting, just shooting cans and targets. Plus he thinks it "looks" cool to have it mounted on his quad. At 8yo , he's responsible enough. My wife tried the same thing but she got OVERRULLED!
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:08 AM
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As long as your there teaching him and not letting him go out and shoot the neighbors cats after school I think it's great. Guns can be a powerful tool in helping kids grow up and learn to take responsibility.

Just yesterday I took my 3 boys to my grandfathers where we can target shoot. We went 4-5 times last year but stopped when the weather got hot. The older 2 weren't as interested as usual (ages 11 and 14), but my 8 year old couldn't get enough. Carried a 30-06, 12ga, .410ga, 9mm, 38 revolver, and a 22 I bought just for them. The oldest has fired all of them. The 11 year old has fired a couple of them too. My 8 year old went through a box of .410 shooting at gallon jugs full of water before switching to the 22. I set up paper targets and metal plinkers at 25 yards. He was using the scope (sniper rifle to him) and hitting 9 for 10 out of most clips.....simply couldn't get enough. He even fired the 9mm but I had my hands on the gun too just in case. Of course I was standing right there with them making sure they understand gun safety.

As mentioned, I much rather they learn what guns are, and can do, from me then at a buddies house when the parents aren't home. My wife used to be like yours, now she encourages me to have a few guns around the house and teach them (she grew up where no-one around her ever hunted or fired guns).
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:14 AM
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Mine got started up at the lake where there's plenty of room and nobody calling the cops when hearing the sound of .22 fire. First thing I did after he dry-fired the gun to get aiming in line with sight picture was to get a few plastic milk jugs full of water. Had him thump them with his finger, then thump his head...felt about the same.

Then he shot them and saw what happened. A pretty good lesson to not shoot at anything you don't intend to destroy...
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:30 AM
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Better to learn to respect guns at 8 then to find one somewhere at 10 and never learned the respect one calls for. I plan to start my kids off with AIR soft guns, then paintball, and then either pellet guns or the real thing.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dead Horse View Post
depends on the boy-- how mature or how foolish is he -??-

teach him responsible gun handling -i see no prob.
as far as the school finding out - tell them to kiss your a-- none of there bisness
I agree, just need to teach him GUN SAFETY and put the gun and ammo separate and keep them away from his reach if you are not around.

Hunter Ed is required by most states now and might be a good time to check into that.

As for the school, NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS, tell them to kiss your ass.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:06 AM
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First, I would point out to your wife that it's easier to gun proof kids than it is to kid proof guns. YOU take very good care of your firearms and lock them up, but can your wife guarantee that everyone else will do the same?

Kids get frustrated nowadays when they try something for real and they aren't instantly good at it, despite their high scores on Nintendo. My daughter will soon be getting to the age to introduce her to some firearms, because I want her to be prepared for the day that she sees a gun where it doesn't belong and she does the right thing, as opposed to a boy who grew up playing Call of Duty and thinks he's an expert.

Second, show your wife the website "cornered cat". It's from a mom who has kids and firearms, and is written from a mom's perspective.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by GravyBoat View Post
. . . I plan to start my kids off with AIR soft guns . . .
That's how I got my kids started.

I used all the same rules as if they were handling a real gun. For instance. No going down range unless everyone else's gun is unloaded and on the ground. Must wear eye protection at all times and no firing the gun unless all others are wearing eye protection. All guns must be unloaded with safety on when bringing them into the house.

They are now ages 11 and 14. My older Son started hunting last year. Of course that was after he took the mandatory hunter safety course. I take both of my sons to the range. They handle guns in a very safe manner and seem to have a great deal of respect for them.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by GravyBoat View Post
Better to learn to respect guns at 8 then to find one somewhere at 10 and never learned the respect one calls for. I plan to start my kids off with AIR soft guns, then paintball, and then either pellet guns or the real thing.
Gravy Boat I don't think thats a good idea. Just personel opinion but teaching a young kid gun safety with air soft or paintball guns isn't the way to go. The idea that they are used for make believe war games and they are prominent on the web on tactics ect gives me the willies. Teaching a young kid to aim at another person isn't where its at and that what those two items are made for.
No disrespect meant Gravy Boat.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:55 AM
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My Dad gave me a BB gun pistol when I was 6...I was set free with it in the 'hood'. I had a bunch of exposure to guns prior to this, however.

I also had an older brother (2 yrs) that was usually with me.

The gun was so weak it would not break the skin - I can remember seeing the BB's arching out of the barrel.

For me, 6 was the appropriate age.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GerryRM3 View Post
Gravy Boat I don't think thats a good idea. Just personel opinion but teaching a young kid gun safety with air soft or paintball guns isn't the way to go. The idea that they are used for make believe war games and they are prominent on the web on tactics ect gives me the willies. Teaching a young kid to aim at another person isn't where its at and that what those two items are made for.
No disrespect meant Gravy Boat.
No disrespect taken. Just because they don't kill people doesn't mean they shouldn't be handled with the same respect as a real gun. When I used to play paintball I yelled at plenty of people who though just because it was a paintgun they didn't need to respect it. I mean people waving guns around in the get ready area. People would put thier hands in front of the barrel to see how hard the air was coming out (no paint in the gun), well one day there was paint in the gun, lets just say you would have though his hand was hit with a real gun. He had bones sticking out the back side of his hand. Another time a guy thought it would be fun to shoot people in the face with just air in the gun, guess what happened? The guy who got shot in the face had eye glasses on, but it looked like he was punched by Tyson. I used to get so pissed off at people who treated them like toys. Btw, all of these accidents happened when I took the day off, people used to look at me like I was a spaz when I would yell at them.

Your comment is exactly the kind of attitude that makes "accidents" like that happen. And if you (not you personally) don't respect and AIR soft gun or paint gun the same as a real gun then you shouldn't have a real gun.

Also, I when I say use them, I mean as in for target practice, not as in shooting people in a game. They wont be able to do that until they are atleast 14. So its more just the basic saftey handling rules that I am talking about.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad1 View Post
That's how I got my kids started.

I used all the same rules as if they were handling a real gun. For instance. No going down range unless everyone else's gun is unloaded and on the ground. Must wear eye protection at all times and no firing the gun unless all others are wearing eye protection. All guns must be unloaded with safety on when bringing them into the house.

They are now ages 11 and 14. My older Son started hunting last year. Of course that was after he took the mandatory hunter safety course. I take both of my sons to the range. They handle guns in a very safe manner and seem to have a great deal of respect for them.
Exactly!
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