Skip to comments.Need help deciding on a Christmas gift (gun) for my son
Posted on 12/12/2012 5:38:05 PM PST by RightFighter
I'm looking for a recommendation for a gun for my son for Christmas. Just to lay out the basics - he just turned 15 and is about 6'3" and weighs 235. Yes, he plays high school football. His mother and I have been divorced for many years, and she absolutely forbids him to have anything to do with guns in or near her home. His cousin recently received a .22 pistol, and my son's mom wouldn't let him hold it. I don't know whether she knows (but I assume she does) that he has shot my HK .40 USP along with some rifles at a friend's house a few times.
I think it's important that he learn to respect guns and use them properly, so I'm considering getting something for him for Christmas.
So, the first question - should I start him out with a .22? I have looked at several possibilities. One is a Smith & Wesson M&P .22 pistol, seen here:
It's supposed to be a 1:1 copy of their larger caliber pistols. I played with it a bit and it's a really smooth pistol. Feels very nice in the hand. The other one that I have been gravitating towards is a little more "fun," I think. It's an H&K .22 AR-15 clone. This one is really well built, with metal parts where you expect metal parts on a "real" AR-15. As you can see, it's got all the rails that one would need to feel like they were building a true AR-15, and one day if he decided he wanted one, he could just sell this gun and move to a true AR platform gun.
Or, should I just go ahead and spend a few hundred more and get a "real" AR-15 or a larger pistol for him? I figure with a .22, he can shoot as much ammo as he wants and it's not going to cost much.
Either one works for me. Good choices.
Go with a 22 rifle. 22’s are vastly under rated as guns. I started my son off with mine when he was 8 and he did just fine. I’d stay away from pistols.
I meant to say that if he sold this .22 AR-15 clone, he could keep all his accessories for the piccatinny rails and use them on a full AR-15.
Go with the AR-15 and get a .22LR conversion kits.
Can plink all day for a few dollars and can move up with the same platform.
I am not opposed in agreeing your son should know how to use and own a gun but in just three years he will be 18, there is no point is causing additional angst with your ex-wife which will effect your son (and other children).
Sorry, not sure its worth it, there are many other items you could get him.
You mean a real AR-15 with a conversion kit to shoot .22 ammo? I didn’t know there was such a thing.
Over-protective mothers are going to be death of manhood in America.
I love that .22 AR. Useful and fun!
Way to go, Dad!
Post #3 is good advice.
Most of us that grew up learning, knowing and using guns responsibly started on .22 rifle.
The semi-handgun can be fun to shoot but not good to learn with (IMO).
Talk to your son and send him through the local hunter safety program first, then select according to his interest.
Good choices as is a Ruger MK III. It’s a fairly traditional pistol but damned accurate for the dollar and very good quality
Get him a relic weapon like a Mosin-Nagant
I’d stay away from the pistola as well. My father bought me a Browning .22 lever action rifle. I love it. Does your boy have any interest in hunting? Maybe a shotgun?
I think they are easier to teach and learn the fundamentals of marksmanship. .22 ammo is cheap and you can get a whole lot more trigger time than you can get with a center fire. Starting with a bolt rifle and a SA revolver, he'll also learn the evolution of modern firearms, and the respective advantages and disadvantages of other weapons he tries and ultimately graduates to.
You are being a jerk. His mother doesn’t want him to have one. It is one thing for you to take him to the range and let him shoot yours or theirs. You do not need to push her buttons by getting him one. When he is 18 he can get his own and meanwhile you need to respect her wishes and not push her buttons. No freakin wonder you are divorced. Your second sentence is “his mother and I have been divorced”... what is your problem? Get over yourself.
My honest opinion is to buy him reputable martial arts course rather than a gun — particularly a hand gun.
In the meantime, get a good plinking rifle and go out plinking with him. Take him to the range for pistol training. The time you spend with him will be more valuable than any gun you can buy — except for maybe a 50 caliber sniper rifle.
Why not start with a stainless steel, composite stock, bolt action .22 rifle. It will last a lifetime.
You are wrong dipsh8
Beginners should start with NRA Certified training
I would recommend training
from an NRA Certified Instructor
NRA Gun Safety Rules
Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction
Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use
Annoy your ex. Get him an AR with one of those .22 conversion kits. And tell the weenies on this thead to go stuff themselves.
He is your son, too.
I ask not because I care about your house rules versus hers, but it appears she is the primary custodial parent.
If you want to give your son a gun as a gift, one that stays at your house for him to hone his skills,under your supervision, that's up to you.
If you think giving a teenager a gun you know he must hide from his mother is a good idea, I think you need to ask for help as to why you would consider doing that, not what type it should be.
I also like the Ruger .22LR semi-automatic that I think is a great gun as well.
Ummmm....I’m his FATHER. I don’t rent him for the weekends.
It can also be a lifetime possession. I still break out my first .22 from time to time, a 46-year-old Mossberg single-shot that I got at just a little less than his age. Still shoots as sweet as the day I took it home. Best of luck, and may the spirit of the season include ammo in the stocking!
You can buy a real AR-15 and get the conversion kits.
Replace the bolt carrier group with the one in the kit, and you’re ready to go.
Is but one example of these conversions that apply to the entire platform.
You are supposed to teach him to respect his mother. I am not the only one that said quit waving a red flag in front of a bull. You are just trying to get his mother’s goat and it is plainly obvious.
Funny that I’m being attacked for doing something that my ex-wife might not like. At least I said what the circumstances were. I was perfectly open to feedback from people saying “I really think that you shouldn’t get him a gun now” as one poster said. I’m not sure how I’m being a jerk by wanting my son who is growing up in a very dangerous world to learn to shoot and be responsible with guns. It’s not like I’m going to send him back to mom’s house with it. If she doesn’t want a gun in her house, that’s fine with me, as long as she doesn’t try to tell me what I can have in my house.
My recommendation is to get him a .22 rifle. If you can find one, get an old Winchester bolt action with a magazine. This will teach him marksmanship, gun safety, and responsability. Get him a cleaning kit along with the rifle. I would use the NRA commands when he shoots. Especially the rule that no one goes down range when the range is hot.
I would stay away from pistols until he learns to always keep track of where the muzzle is pointing. Kids wave pistols around too much.
My kids love shooting a .22 and the .30 M 1 carbine. I would stay away from semiautomatic rifles for a couple of years. You might take him hunting starting with a single barreled 16 gauge shotgun.
The Ruger 10-22 is a well made firearm and dead nuts dependable. It would likely be a rifle your son could use till he has grandchildren.
Learning sight picture, breath control and trigger control is important to a foundation in marksmanship. It will carry over from 22s to literally anything he would ever shoot, hand gun, long gun, shotty, etc. And it is much easier to learn with a bolt action, but can be taught using something like a 10-22, or even a BB gun (I learned with a BB gun, 50,000 BBs and a basement “range”).
Handguns are fun, but difficult to use for learning the fundamentals. Plus the 22 rifle is a legal small game hunting weapon in most states.
As to your EX wife, let her teach tree hugging and sensitivity when she has custody, but you have every bit as much right to raise YOUR son as you see fit, and teach him your values.
Just WOW. The OP asked about recommendation about a gun. He wasn’t asking about how to handle his ex-wife or his relationship with his son or anything else in his life for that matter. You are way off base.
It is hard to believe from your comments that you are prior military. Attorney, yes military not so much.
I bought both of my kids AR’s for gifts at the ripe old age of 12. Had their names engraved on the stripped lower recievers adn we built them up together.
Their mother went crazy about it because she hated guns. My position was that they were my kids too, and what I did with them while they were with me was none of her concern.
FWIW I didn’t appreciate her serial shacking up with her new boyfriend(s) either, so what’s the difference here?
I started my oldest son out with a Marlin 22 cal. rifle at 8 yo. He took the Ca. hunter safety course at 8yo and passed it the first time and has hunted ever since.
I just gave my oldest grandson a 22 cal. Marlin, for his 10th birthday.
You are awesome. Don’t let the troll bother you. It’s attacked several people on the thread and has added nothing to the argument. Good luck.
One of my chief issues with her side of the family has always been that they cuss like sailors. They talked to him like that when he was a baby, and I complained about it. Her mother really got on my case about that and told me that he was just a baby and they would never talk to him like that when he could understand. Today, they’re worse than ever (his mom included).
So, I should just take that, I guess, because she’s his mother, but I have to be worried that I don’t offend her sensibilities by getting him a gun and teaching him to use it safely.
Since there is no way that your ex-wife would allow him to keep the gun there is no reason to not get a real AR-15. Get a 22 LR conversion kit for it, too.
what, because I am prior military I would put getting a gun in front of preservation of the family relationship? You must never have gotten past PV1.
Yeah, I was an Army officer on active duty. Yeah I am also a mother. I can tell a manipulative narcissistic move when I see it and that is what this “father” is doing, under the pretext of getting his kid a gun.
If I posted this question on Facebook, I would expect these kinds of responses, but here on FR, I expected simple advice about the gun, nothing more. What has happened to this place?
yeah well I guess because I am FEMALE I can tell when he is trying to get his wife’s goat better than you can, nabab
I do have a personal recommendation. Get him into Boy Scout. They have ranges with 22s at every BSA camp that I have visited thus far. Some of them even have shotgun practice. The range area is very popular activity with the campers.
Our troop goes to the range at least once a year to shoot their 22s. I plan on taking my 9ml with me for that trip. I may let some of the other moms try out my new toy.
Thanks for putting “father” in quotes. That tells us more about what kind of person you are than anything else you could say.
Hey bud I have been on here longer than you I’ll wager, and I am not saying anything that is not plainly obvious.
no, evil people are going to be the death of Amerca
He was in Cub Scouts for several years (I was his Cubmaster one year) and he was in Boy Scouts for a year, before sports became more important than Scouting. I really wanted him to stick with it, but he plays three sports, so it was a big time commitment on top of sports.
I spent 6 years in the military. I outranked my hubby when we got married. So, yes I am a female also. I don’t see this situation as you describe, but then I have only been married for 34 years and raised two sons.
We had a great time building AR’s. They got to choose what stock, forearm, barrel, bolt, Bolt Carrier, barrel, sights/scopes, trigger type, furniture colors, slings. The mix-n-match and swapping between the two boy was great.
We had many days of fun out at the range shooting them. The competition of targets, then they moved into sporting clays. And we still shoot together all these years later and my oldest brought is brother in law to our outings and it has grown into a “dad’s family” pastime.
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