A New Shooter Joins Our Ranks

Casey writes …

I spent the weekend with a good friend doing some shooting on the range, and he took the opportunity to introduce his son to shooting for the first time (he’ll be two next month). I obtained permission from the parents to submit the photo, and for you to post if you would like. He can be seen in the picture firing my Ruger Mk I Standard.!

I bet the little man had the time of his life.

EDIT: Oops, no eye protection!

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Klavirni

    Eyes and ears. Always, eyes and ears.

    You get one set of each. There are no good replacements (yet).

    Don’t fuck it up.

  • Thatguy

    I’m a big fan of getting kids into the sport and shooting with your kids, but I also believe the kids needs to be old enough to understand what’s going on and that it’s not a toy. I don’t know this kid so I won’t comment on him specifically, but most two year olds I know aren’t that mature.

    • DaveDerrick

      As a shooter, I have to agree. I’m all for promoting interest in all groups & age ranges, but I think all thats been done here is stimulate the kids curiosity. I realise he’s supervised when your there, but his interest can be active when your not there, and he now knows how to hold & pull the trigger. At 1 year 11 months, I’m not even sure talking to him about it would be much good either.

  • KestrelBike

    Where is the eye-pro : (

  • patrickiv

    And I thought I was young at 3 years old! I would recommend a single-shot for the first time, though.

  • Zapp Brannigan

    That is way, way too young to let children use guns. There’s next to zero upside to letting kids younger than sixteen use firearms and potentially huge downsides.

    Pictures like this give the anti-gun side ammunition in their fight against all guns.

    • Tom – UK

      No shooting till sixteen! You must be joking, there are tens of thousands of children that age in the UK all of whom are well trained and often go hunting by themselves. The benefit to shooting at this age is familarisation and the entrenching of safety habits from a very young age.

      • FWIW

        Or the entrenching of poor safety habits, as seems to be the case here. Sorry to grumble, but no eye and/or ear pro is just one of those things I can’t get past.

        • Anton Gray Basson

          eye protection that fits small children is really hard to find. just putting that out there. I am not condoning it or anything like that, just saying

    • M.M.D.C.

      The time to teach children good habits is at a pretty young age, I’d say from 3 to 10. You’ve lost them if you wait until they’re sixteen to shoot.

      I waited until mine were 6 and 8 years old and only when they had both memorized all the safety rules. They both demonstrated proper respect for and proficiency with the gun they shot; a Crickett Rifle.

      And yes, they both had eye and ear pro. 🙂

      • orly?

        I find that hard to believe that training firearm proficiency after age 16 should be considered impossible.

        A good number of US servicemen never held a firearm until enlistment.

        I myself didn’t shoot until after my first year.

        • M.M.D.C.

          No, of course not. I was referring to the relationship between parents and children @ the age of sixteen or so.

          The time to instill good habits in children is at a younger age, well before the tempestuous teens.

    • West

      I was wandering the back fields zapping dove with my .22 Chipmunk by myself when I was 10. I would shoot until my fingers were too sore to cock the rifle.

    • st4

      If you’re concerned about conforming to what the antis consider normal, get ready to never see the light of day because that’s quite the rabbit hole…

  • noob

    cute kid 🙂 may he have many many happy and safe years of shooting ahead of him.

  • gunslinger

    i’m at a loss when to take my daughter out. she’s not even 1 though…

  • David Knuth

    Yep, i took my little nephew out shooting this past weekend. he loves his grandpa’s 1911.

    • crosshairnz

      I think airguns (.22) is best from 8 years onwards. My father bought me a BSA when I got straight A’s in grade 3 and he didn’t know how to use guns. I learned by myself. I used to ask people I met while walking around the compound ( looking for crows to snipe) to cock it for me ( break barrel ). My father gave me 3 pellets before going to work, I used to do a lot of dry firing and could appreciate its power. It cost a lot of money back then ( like 300 USD) so I was very careful with it, as I feared my father’s wrath if I broke it or whatever. When I was 16 he bought me a scope for it, so I’m still really good with iron sights, ballistics etc

  • Leonard

    It doesn’t seem right to let such a young kid shoot (what does he learn at all at that age anyways). In my country we have a minimum age of 12 for shooting (even with air guns), and that seems alright to me.

    • RocketScientist

      I agree that 2-3 is probably too young, but I don’t think 12 is the minimum. I think (depending on the kid) 7 or so is probably a good age to start. I don’t think a child should be exposed to using firearms until they can fully comprehend the danger involved, and understand/remember proper safety and handling techniques. I don’t think kids much younger than 6 or 7 can meet this standard (that young’n pictured probably just has some hazy idea that he held something in his hand that made a big noise when his dad/uncle pushed his finger on this doodad). I started teaching my niece/nephew basic gun safety as soon as they could talk (such as what to do if they see/find a gun, etc) as there are a lot of guns at both their uncle’s house and their grandparents’. While I don’t think there’s any problem with waiting till a child is older than 6 or 7, in most cases I don’t think that’s necessary and misses out on years of potential shooting fun and bonding time. Some of my fondest memories are shooting cans with my grandpa with my first gun (a Sears-Roebuck .22 that HIS grandpa gave him when HE was a kid) and taking my first squirrel while hunting with my dad, at around age 7 or 8.