A Son's First Firearm
I know this is late... but you wouldn't believe how much I've had to wrestle with the horror of actually having to post this on the web.
I mean... have the manly arts been so desecrated and ignored that men actually have to search the internet for this? One day... will dads really go to yahoo answers and type "When should I get my kid his first gun?"
Maybe we're already there... I mean the subject certainly evidences the assumption... but its a hard one for a guy like me to come grips with. Ah well.. fact is... I've been asked... and cain't nobody be much blamed for the situation... least of all them what need to know. It ain't like they're the ones that neglected their responsibilities. They're trying to make up for some other no account good for nuthin's past sins.
Well... hell... its already late... I reckon I should get on with it and stop ramblin'.
First things first.. ain't no hard fast age where your boy will wake up and be ready for their first firearm. Its like respect. Its something that has to be earned. Once its been earned... it's given.
Your kid has to show responsibility. One thing I could ask is... could you give your kid 20 bucks.. tell them to walk to the store a get some milk? Would he give you the correct change when he got back?
If the answers are yes and yes then he's probably ready.
Personality is another thing to consider though. Do you have a dare devil on your hands? Does he understand actions and consequences? Can he reasonably access risk? I mean if you continually have to explain why he shouldn't ride his bike off the roof of the barn... it probly ain't quite time yet.
And does he have a mean streak? Does the kid take a little to much pleasure in causing harm? You have to watch this stuff.
But lets say in your mind you're confident that the boy is responsible and has earned the right to own his first firearm... He's probably 8 or 9... maybe 7... maybe 11. Ya never know... but regardless... ya want to start with something in 22lr. A ruger 10/22 is a great option... though semi-auto isn't the traditional choice. A Taurus Model 62 LAR in .22lr is a great choice to... especially if the boy already has a Red Rider BB gun. Still... tradition says single shot rifle.
Just remember... there are long talks that have to be had. Gun safety is perhaps the most cherished of the Manly Arts. Treat it as such. Teach him to clean and care for the weapon. Make sure every single time he fires it... he takes the time to clean it. Talk to him about how important it is to never put a weapon up dirty. Cherish that time together... cleaning the weapons you've just shot. There is no way to over-estimate how important those things are to a boy.