Skip to comments.Need Help Buying Gun
Posted on 04/17/2002 1:32:29 PM PDT by PaulJ
My fellow Freepers have always been able to help me and I need your help again.
I have an 11 year old who is in the Boy Scouts and had his first experience with target shooting (air rifle)about 3 years ago. Two years ago we bought him his own air rifle and he saved up and bought a CO2 pistol.He loves it and seems to be a natural and is a great shot. I am now considering buying him a 22 but know nothing about them. I looked around the internet but couldn't find any helpful information.
I have never owned a gun but think it would be a great father & son thing to get into. He has only done target shooting but has shown some interest in hunting small game.
Here's where I need your help. What should I look for in a rifle? How much should I plan on spending? Are there any good web sites that are informative? What else do I need to know?
Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Ignore the prices on the website, you can get one at Wal-Mart for about $150.
advantage of a single shot is it teaches concentration, and lends itself to focusing on each shot. Wait until you both have some experience before going to a semi-auto and hsoing down the tin cans. Also, make sure and get some training in gun safety from an NRA certified trainer.
Well, I like you're idea of a single shot for the concentration aspect over a semi-auto, but I would still make it a repeater. My first .22 was a Marlin lever action model for .22 short/long.
You still get the concentration aspect of a single shot, but not the hassels of having to reload all the time. Such a rifle is longer than the Ruger 10/22 of which I also have one, and a little heavier. Still, it was a good first firearm for me.
I remember many times of going out to the junkyard to shoot rats. I killed many more rats with my single shot than I ever did with my semi automatic. It's all about the discipline of picking your shot carefully to make it count.
Speaking of first rifles, my 4 month old daughter already has her first rifle in the safe at home, a single shot Remington 22.
Many a charging rat fell, stopped in the very nick as they attacked, with their blood-chilling squeals, as they burst out of the undergrowth...
We got our youngest a Keystone Cricket single shot when he was six. It is a small framed .22 and still fits him at nine years old (a big nine). The Ruger 10/22 is the best .22 for the money, and if the reach to the trigger is too long you can find a youth sized, after-market stock for it in the Shotgun News (a periodical which can be picked up at your local WalMart or gun shop).
The only disadvantage that I would see with starting your son or any child off with 10/22 is that it is a semiauto. I like the disciplined procedure that a single-shot forces a kid to go through.
Just my two centavos on the subject. I hope you find a good deal on a firearm and that you and your son enjoy many hours of safe shooting.
I'm with these guys - the discipline of a single shot is very important to learn as young as possible. Otherwise a young shooter gets the idea that "If I miss the first shot - no big deal, I've got plenty more."
He'll "grow into" a semi-auto soon enough!
You can load one round at a time and use it like a single shot if you want or load it with 10 rounds and fire it semi-auto.
The Ruger 10-22 is tough to beat and will be something he'll never outgrow. Used bolt action .22's about and are cheap.
Also, consider a handgun in .22 as well. The Ruger Mark II is another reasonably priced .22 that will last a lifetime. With either of the two, buy extra magazines so that when you go shooting someone can be loading while waiting their turn to shoot. I've got 4 mags for the 10-22 and 5 for the Mark II and that keeps everyone occupied when we go out shooting.
This may be one of the few threads where people aren't shouting out recommendations for Kimbers.
Get him a cannon.
Tight budget? Try a bazooka.
A bolt action, either single shot or repeater (I personally like a repeater, but my first was a single shot). Depending on the size of the kid, you should consider a "youth" model. If the kid is large for his age, then a standard model would be logical.
Would be a good starter rifle. I have developed an affection for Savage rifles. My most recent aquisition is a model 93 in .22 Magnum. The thing shoots so well, I really want a .22 LR.
Save the Ruger 10/22 for after you both have gained experience. Although a reliable (and fun to customize) gun, it is not for beginners.......
Also, big dittos for the safety course (NRA does some really great courses).
Loads of fun for kids from eight to eighty!
My personal favorite is a Remington 571 (I think) pump action, that my grandfather gave me when I was 16. Terrific rifle, and quite accurate. It's got a tube magazine and can fire .22 short, long, and long rifle. If you like pumps, you might also check out the little pump action 22 Taurus, which I believe is based on the old Browning arcade .22.
If someone wanted to argue that a revolver would be better, I'd not argue that, but I put guns in my kids' hands as soon as I could do so safely, and 11 is certainly old enough.
A Wincheter 9422 [or other tube fed, bolt action] will fire all .22 cartridges, save the .22 magnum. .22 CB shorts, and .22 CB longs are inexpensive and very...........quiet.
Don't have one, but have shot one and they are a lot of fun.
Now, as to brands, Ruger makes excellent .22's. There is a political issue with Ruger, however, that you may want to take into account. Bill Ruger testified before Congress in favor of the 1994 Federal Firearms Act (the "assault weapons ban"). To this day, many gun enthusiasts refuse to buy Ruger products for that reason. At least, to buy new ones. Me included. That legislation didn't affect the bad guys in the least; it simply made life more difficult for the rest of us.
I would not hesitate to go with Marlin, Remington, or Winchester. All have websites that are easily located.
If you find yourself considering a pump-action rifle, Taurus recently started manufacturing a replica of the venerable Winchester model 62. They call it their model 62. External hammer. This is a seriously cool rifle that neither he nor you will ever outgrow. Get the stainless carbine. It goes new-in-box for about $235 on discount (I saw one for that last weekend at a local gunshow).
Involve your son in the shopping process. Take him to a show or two. Shopping / anticipation is part of the fun, and an important part of the interaction between the two of you.
Don't forget to get him a cleaning kit and to show him how to use it. Any dealer will help you with that. There are also websites. Caring for, cleaning the rifle is an integral part of the responsibility of owning one. "Look after it. it will look after you."
For a ton of more information, you might do a Google search on ".22" and "rifle" on the rec.guns newsgroup. If you don't know how do do that, I'd be happy to help.
Do not forget the hunter's safety class. You go too. Make sure he understands that if he uses the rifle carelessly or irresponsibly, you will take it away for him. He needs to get the idea that a weapon is to always be treated as if it's loaded, even when he is absolutely, positively certain that is not loaded. .22's may be small in terms of their bore, but they can kill.
Be real careful when his friends are around. Us boys do love to show off our toys -- and that's when the sh*t typically happens.
The above rants, by the way, are one or the reasons to stick with a rifle that is either bolt-, pump-, or lever-action. The action can easily be opened to insure the rifle is clear and inoperable. This is always done when it is passed from one person to another. At other times also.
Teach him never, ever to put his finger on the trigger unless and until he intends to fire it at whatever he's pointing it at.
The list goes on...
Good luck! Have fun!! Be careful!!!
Think that would be better than the Armalite AR-50?
With proper supervision.
IMHO, the longer barrel of a rifle is not only more accurate for target shooting, it helps reinforce the concept of always being sure the weapon is pointed in a safe direction. That is a little more difficult to monitor with a handgun, especially when held by a young child who could become easily distracted.
Parents need to objectively evaluate the maturity of their own children, of course. But I'll stick with my advice to start-off with a rifle and master safe handling one weapon at a time. There's plenty of time to graduate to pistols as the child grows older and displays maturity, competence and responsibility.
Respectfully, I'd say that depends on the training they receive. Why bother with racking the bolt if you can have a semi-auto with pinpoint accuracy? Although I agree with you at the top of the sport, you won't see a semi-auto winning the accuracy championships when it gets down to it. 6mm PPC, 1 hole at 200 yards.
This link should take you to Savage Arms' -Stevens Favorite
Very nice gun for target shooting, plinking, and hunting. Not heavy and well balanced.
We've had one of these in my family before I was hatched, and it'll be here long after I'm gone.
There was a time when that meant that I simply alerted the neighbors that I was going to be shooting in our basement. I shot modified .38 rounds indoors as a teen home alone. But those days are gone, aren't they?
There is soundness to your advice, but it isn't the only approach to teaching kids to shoot.
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