Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 1 decade ago

My 15 year old son wants to learn to shoot guns?

I am very nervous about my son shooting guns. He would like to learn and is a very responsible young man. He has shot a bb gun and pellet gun. What is the best gun for a beginner and where is a safe place to learn. He doesn't want to hunt, just shoot targets. Should we go to a shooting range? Where would he take safety classes? What equipment/gear does he need? Safety glasses? Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.


My son is a good kid and is not one of these kids that wants to learn to get into trouble with it. He actually wants to be on the swat team and he mentioned being a police officer, but I am trying to discourage him from that. I know it is a very honorable job, but way to dangerous. I'm hoping he just does it as a hobby.

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A .22 rifle is a great beginner's gun. There is almost no kick, the ammunition is very inexpensive, and he can learn the basics before moving up to a more powerful gun.)

    Go to a nearby gun shop and see if they can tell you where a range is. You can also check out for a range in your area. I would also recommend signing your son up for a youth firearms safety program. (It would be a good idea for you to take a safety class, too, so you're comfortable with his shooting.)

    As far as equipment goes, he will need ear plugs or earmuffs, safety glasses, and a gun cleaning kit. All of these are available from either a gun shop or a department store like Wal-Mart.

    I hope your son enjoys shooting. It's a fun pastime, teaches concentration and patience, and is a much better way to spend an afternoon than playing video games.

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  • blah
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    people already said it. .22

    i still use one for practice b/c cheap ammo, fun to plink with.

    a .22 rimfire rifle is the best place to start, this is where technique comes in, You get used to the proper way to squeeze the trigger and not pull it. Plus the low recoil and noise allow you to shoot all day with no problems. People have a tendency to tense up with bigger guns, trying to compensate for the power. This is not necessary, as long as you have a firm grip on the rifle. You don't need a death grip as this will only screw everything up. The number one rule is to always relax, and steady your breathing. Don't be afraid of the gun you shooting whether its a .22 or 7mm or 300 mag.

    Always be safe, patient, calm, and use the same technique over and over. Practice is the best.

    Safety gear you'll need are glasses and ear muffs. You'll also need some sand bags or other shooting rest.

    You've got the right idea with a safety program. That is the best and only place to start.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The first gun should probably be a 22 rimfire rifle, though an argument can be made for choosing a shotgun for "busting clay."

    These things tend to be very local. I'm afraid where you are is going to have everything to do with how to get him started, but a trip to the local shooting range might be a good place to start. You might also talk to the folks at your local gun shops.

    To start, he won't need much extra gear: glasses and hearing protection are about it.

    You should also be a bit less nervous. The shooting sports are among the safest sports out there. Bicycling, for instance, results in more deaths and injuries.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would recommend getting him a .22 cal rifle like a bolt action along with ear plugs and safety glasses/ goggles. His dad or a responsible male from the family could then take him to a range (due to all the safety regulations at them) to give him the basics on shooting. You could also sign him up for a gun safety class available at most gun shops or check on-line for your area. Yea, shooting can be dangerous but only as dangerous as the person shooting the gun and their experience.

    Source(s): Gun owner
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't doubt that your boy is a good kid. Years ago, I was a 15 year old who was interested in guns with a single mom that was nervous around them. From personal experience I can tell you that If your boy wants to be around guns, he will, whether there's adequate supervision around or not.

    I suggest that you go with him to a local shooting range that offers classes. Take the classes with him. You will both be more informed. You will be less nervous and may find that you actually like it. He will be surrounded by knowledgable supervision and will learn the right way with no bad habits. (Which will also make you less nervous.)

    You could also check out the NRA's website. They have training programs for youths and adults. Also appropriate since it's summertime, they have youth shooting summer camps.

    Whatever you do, get involved because he will with or without you.

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  • Irv S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You are to be congratulated on your open mindedness.

    Do get your son some training.

    The N.R.A. offers local training programs.

    Check their website for one near you.

    Does his High School have a rifle team?

    A good light bolt action .22 R.F. target rifle is a good starting point.

    If there's a local gun club, they probably have a program,

    or people at their range who will be glad to take him in hand.

    Most target shooters are only too happy to help along a new shooter.

    It's a very careful and polite community, and the sport has a

    far better safety record than most High School sports.

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  • 1 decade ago

    My first gun was a ruger 10/22 which is a .22 caliber rifle. it shoots very inexpensive ammo, no kick, and you can get a feel for how a rifle is and how dangerous it could possibly. It costs about 180 bucks. and is EXTREMELY reliable. If you allow him to pursue this great hobby, make sure he does it right. Send him to hunters safety, and or a responsible relative or friend who you trust and is intelligent. Dont let him leave his gun out, LOCK IT UP so he cant just show his friends it or pull it out. I think its great he wants to learn just make him a safe future hunter/ marksman. Best of luck

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  • ohgerr
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Hopefully you live near an indoor shooting range. If you have several to choose from, pick the cleanest one with the best lighting.

    The gunshop/proshop should have several firearms for you to choose from for rental, as well as shooting safety glasses and hearing protection (ear muffs)...all this you can rent by the half hour or longer. You can purchase the practice targets and ammunition as well as your range time out in the shooting rannge. You will have a booth assigned to you. You will have to be present with him out inside the shooting range. Both of you will have to have eye and hearing protection on at all times while out in the range.

    Ask the owner/manager if you can schedule your first visit when they have ample time to explain the shooting range rules and safety procedures. I've always found Saturday or Sunday mornings...right when they be the slowest times...when they should be able to spend ample time with you and your son.

    There are many shooting ranges that offer structured classes...but most are geared for self defense and concealed carry permit requirements. Ask what they have available. Ask if they have a "Bullseye" shooting club, or a league night. It's kind of like a bowling league for target shooters. You will find most of the folks (and/or the rangemaster for the club) there on league night would be honored to assist a young person (and yourself) in firearm safety, range ettiquite (sp?), and marksmanship training.

    I suggest he starts with a revolver (six shots) .22 caliber long rifle (.22lr) target pistol. Just a big old plain revolver with standard "iron sights". Most everyone did I.

    This way you can try it out a few times to see if you both enjoy it. You don't have to normally buy a membership to shoot at an indoor shooting range..but it may be worth while for any discounts..if they aren't being extravagant with the membership fee.

    A .22lr caliber firearm is very acurate as a rule. The felt recoil in minimal, and compared to others calibers...very inexpensive to shoot.

    You may wish to purchase the following over time:

    Safety glasses:

    I prefer yellow high contrast leses, really helps indoors.

    Ear muffs & ear plugs:

    Wear both if indoors and it's too loud for you.

    Range bag:

    Holds all you gear, get one with a zipper you can lock.

    Target pistol:

    Anything made by Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Taurus...stay away from inexpensive semi-automatic pistols (other than Ruger)...Simple is better when first learning. You can always trade up. I'd get a revolver..but that's just me. Most folks keep thier first firearm their whole life....

    My father took me to the shooting range every other weekend or so...starting at about age 10. It was incentive to keep good grades...and to keep out of trouble. I learned a lot. From social skills with firearm safety. Lessons I have kept all my life...and share when I can.

    Above all ....have fun!!

    It's more fun than bowling!

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  • 1 decade ago

    By the time all of my kids were 15 they all knew how to shoot a shotgun and a 22. They learned hunting with their dad. They were brought up learning the safety rules. Only one of them got good with a pistol. If you let him learn go to lessons with him. Make sure they teach all of the safety stuff over and over and over. My kids 2 boys 1 girl all learned on a single shot 22 rifle. We are from the Texas panhandle so their dad took them to the junk yard to shoot rats for target practice. Only you can decide but if you let him you can be involved with his learning. and he will learn correctly.

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  • 1 decade ago

    First things first please get him into a hunters Ed class even though he is not going to hunt. They deal mostly with safe gun handling practices. Go to the NRA web site and your state fish and game web site to find classes. Print out the NRA Gun Safety Rules and have him learn them very first thing even before going to a Hunters Ed class. Also find a friend of yours that shoots and see if he will take your son to the range once or twice. Ask him to please keep your son shooting a 22lr only as some people like to place a 12ga shotgun into a beginners hand and laugh when it hurts them. This will ruin your son on shooting and turn him off real fast. You may want to go the first time but pick someone you trust and you stay at home a little less pressure is good and moms can make a boy nervous.

    You can get them here.

    See if there is an IWLA around you from As they always offer hunters ed courses.

    Some Hunters Ed courses also offer hands on Range time. This would be very good for him to do.

    The best starter gun would be an inexpensive 22lr rifle with OPEN SIGHTS. You have to learn to crawl before you run.

    Look at Savage, Marlin and a few others.

    Savage Mark II good gun with open sights.

    Remington Model 5 good gun with open sights.

    Marlin 22 lr rifles.

    He is also going to need hearing protection for a kid plugs and muffs are a good thing to start with, as even the tiny little 22lr can cause hearing loss in a child. Eye protection is a must as well you only get one set or eyes and ears. Eye protection does not have to be a $200 of Oakley M-Frame sunglasses. Just a set of ANSI rated safety gasses. Clear would be the best color to get a beginner. Also make sure he washes his hands as soon as possible after handling 22lr ammo and shooting. Just about all 22lr ammo is plain old lead bullets.

    Also you need to invest in a small cleaning kit with some solvent (Hoppes #9 is the bench standard) Cotton patches cleaning rod and gun oil. You can get Eyes, Ears and the cleaning kit at Wal-Mart for around $20 to $40. You are also going to need to get something to store the rifle in and secure it. I am not talking about going and buying a Gun safe that cost thousands and thousands of dollars. A simple hard case (Not the best choice) or a small Stack-On metal gun cabinet would be the best thing to get as you can put it in your closet and have more control over access to the rifle. I am not much on trigger locks but you can get one of them as well. Most Police or sheriff departments offer them for FREE along with cable locks.

    Mr. B Gun Nut 3rd class.

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