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Old 11-28-2005, 07:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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First firearm for my son, suggestions?

This will be for his 8th birthday, coming up in April. He's been shooting a BB gun for about a year and a half. He's pretty good with it and follows the safety rules to the letter. He does not shoot unsupervised and that will continue for the forseeable future.

In the last couple of weeks I've let him run a box of shells through an old single shot 20ga I've got and he really likes it which is what got me thinking about this in the first place. Well, that and his level of maturity and safety consciousness. If I didn't think he was ready I wouldn't be asking.

Right now I'm 90% sure I'm going to get him one of these



http://www.rossiusa.com/products/pro...ry=MATCHEDPAIR

in the .22lr/20ga configuration for the following reasons:

I like that it's single shot both for safety and I think it makes the shooter put more emphasis and concentration on every shot which is what a new shooter needs. Espescially next fall when we are hunting squirrels and rabbits. I know it's not as much fun as spewing lead as fast as you can pull the trigger like on my 10/22 but that will come later. Now is the time to learn the basics and build a solid foundation of skills like controlling your breathing, squeezing the trigger, follow through etc...

The second reason is the changeable barrels. Besides the .22/20ga you can get others from .243 to .50 muzzleloader. He might grow out of this before I think he's old enough to hunt deer, but the option is there if I want it. As it is, it will allow me to teach him the different skills associated with both the rifle and shotgun.

I think the size/weight is a pretty good match for him. He's pretty big for his age and the while a typical adult size 20ga single is a little awkward for him due to the overall length (he shoots mine from a rest) a rifle the size of the Chipmunk or something similar is so small I think it would be outgrown in a year or so.

The .22 barrel has good open sights. Teaching someone to shoot with a scope is stupid. Hell, I don't even use a scope on my .30-'06 bolt action. I've got it fitted with a Williams peep. If he wants a scope, he can save his allowance and buy his own. But only after he's mastered the open sights.

Safety again. Rossi has addressed the issue inherent with exposed hammer firearms of letting the hammer down to half cock with a live round in the chamber by designing this firearm with several safeties including a transfer bar. Safeties don't fix unsafe gun handling but I don't relish the thought of him letting the hammer down on a live round. One slip of the thumb and BANG!BTW I'm usually opposed the addition of "safeties" to a firearm, I think people trust them too much. I guess it's different when it's my kid and he's just learning though.

Price. MSRP for the package above is $170.00 and I've seen it for less than $150.00. For what you get I think it's a really good deal.

Anyway, after all that I'm still open to suggestions. Maybe a similar setup from another manufacturer or even something completely different. Conditions are: sized for a kid and $200.00 or less out the door.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Last edited by 90WAG; 11-28-2005 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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For inexpensive firearms, I think Rossi does a nice job. I have a similar combo in .30-30 and 16ga that's a nice truck gun
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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22lr is the way to go, it's a fun gun to plink with. and it's painless to him (both on weight and recoil. I think it's also good as it's enjoyable to shoot and ammo is dirt cheap. Also it's a firearm which requires responsibility like all others. and due to it's ease of control unintentional accidents maybe less likely.
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks like you've made a very good choice. A person will better learn to make every shot count when they only have one at a time.
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The long term standby that every young boy gets. Ruger 10/22
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KWTMECH
The long term standby that every young boy gets. Ruger 10/22

Either that or a Marlin Model 60...
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with your choice.
I do worry that 8 is a bit young for anything beyond a BB gun. But I don't know the child or the environment
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would have no problems with that rifle as a first.

definatly a good choice
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with your choice.
I do worry that 8 is a bit young for anything beyond a BB gun. But I don't know the child or the environment
Feh.

Unless the kid is a complete goof, they'll be best with a good 4 years practice before their first year of hunting.
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KWTMECH
The long term standby that every young boy gets. Ruger 10/22
+11ty. Awesome starter gun.
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aloharover
I agree with your choice.
I do worry that 8 is a bit young for anything beyond a BB gun. But I don't know the child or the environment

I asked for a bb gun as a kid. Got a model 60 because "a BB gun is a toy, a rifle is a tool."
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I got my son that rifle when he turned 7 except in the 22 .410 combo. It is a pile of junk and sits in the back of the safe. The hammer is very difficult for him to cock. It does not go on safe easily all the time and has many light primer stikes or the hammer does not fall at all. It may be this particular one but I would not waste the money. The single shot gets old fast and once he started shooting trap with me the shotgun barrel was to short and the range would not allow it and only being .410 he could not hit the clays. He now has a Ruger 10/22 and a Beretta AL591 youth in 20 guage. He is a happy camper. 2 guns are way better than one. You can go way cheaper on the shotgun I also have a Remington 870 youth in 20 guage.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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agreed here on the ruger 10/22... that was my first gun at 8... didn't get a BB gun till about 2 months ago when I bought one for my 7 y/o son...

after my first magazine through the .22, my dad only gave me one bullet at a time so the one shot thing made a big difference...


I won a new custom stock for one at auction back in july and am planning on building up a tricked out one for myself and handing my old one down to the boy in March....

of course, my 6 year old daughter got her jr. deer gun at 4 from her grandad and it beats the snot out of my gun... can't remember what it is, but it's all pink and girly and fits her great
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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What kind of hunting will you be doing? I would have LOVED an over/under gun when I was a kid squirrel hunting. I got stuck with the trusty 410 since we were dirt poor.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I bought both of my sons a New England Firearms breach action single shot 20ga shot gun. We needed something for deer/squirel hunting. Shotguns only in Illinois, no rifles. Single shot, one shot one kill. They will be forced to learn to aim, and cannot count on a second shot. I hear too many idiots empty 3 rounds at every deer they see, and more times then not miss all three times.

I like the fact that you have to cock the hammer in order to pull the trigger and fire a round. That is the safety feature. I don't have to look for a safety button, I just need to look at the hammer.

I highly suggest you take a Hunters Safety coarse with your son. Some states require it to get a hunting liscense.

http://huntersdirect.dealerease.net/...epicsb1020.jpg
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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are you kidding?


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outside that, a youth 20ga is a great start because he could hunt about anything and shoot skeet/trap with you.
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I started my son with the .22/.410 version when he was 10. Great starter gun, the single shot will teach them to make each shot count. A box of .22's will last all day, unlike a semi auto. The factory sights suck and the barrels can be a PIA to switch, but not bad for a ~$100.00 gun. The gun is pretty light so the .20ga version may kick a little.
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:45 AM   #18 (permalink)
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A 10/22 is a great rifle there is no doubt about it. I think it will be a great choice for his second .22, the one he will keep through his adulthood. Besides, I already have one and it would be hard to justify another of the same make and model to my wife This way I get to buy a new gun! That, and I can't get my 10/22 to chamber a 20ga shell no matter how hard I try.

MD91Yj, thanks for the warning. Believe me, I will now examine it very closely before I make any purchase. In my opinion, the problems you relate directly affect the safety of the firearm, especially with a begining shooter.

As for hunting, I anticipate a good deal of paper/plinking before he is actually allowed to shoot at animals. When the time comes it will most likely be squirrels and rabbits with the odd coon thrown in. It's going to be a while before he hunts anything bigger than that despite all the pictures of the 6 year old boys (and girls) with their deer kills that get posted in the local paper.

11 is the youngest that can take the hunter safety course in MO. He will be attending as soon as he can. But rest assured, if I can't teach him in three years what they teach at the course in two days, neither one of us should be in the woods with a firearm of any type!

As for the .410, in my opinion it should be the gun of the ultra expert, and not the beginner. He has already shown me that he does not mind the recoil of the 20ga, I think it would be a handicap to try to learn shotgunning with a
.410. It's important for him to be challenged to keep things interesting, but he also needs a measure of success as the payoff.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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How about an older Savage with 22lr over 20 guage. A bit more expensive than the Rossi, but a great gun that will retain its value as well.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Start him out right!!!


J/K . Last christmas my best friend bought one of those chambered in .17 HMR and 410 shotty and gave it to his Dad, under the gise they would get some "history" with the gun and then give it to his nephew. I was really surprised at the quality, it's been a good little gun, but expensive to shoot. I think it's a great idea!
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullygruntled
Feh.

Unless the kid is a complete goof, they'll be best with a good 4 years practice before their first year of hunting.
I agree. I was started at age 4 on a .22lr by my mom and she gave me a little .22lr semi auto for Christmas when I was 11. From that day I was considered an adult because I had the responsibility of a gun. It didn't mean I got to run around with it without adult supervision, but I got to carry MY gun when I went to the firing range with mom and dad.

So giving an 8 year old a .22lr is dependant on the child and his maturity level. Some 8 year olds are more together than some 16 year olds.
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Old 11-28-2005, 02:06 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My dad started us out with a 22lr CHIPMUNK RIFLE Still got it and plan to teach my son with it when the day arrives.
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Old 11-28-2005, 02:21 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 11-28-2005, 02:39 PM   #24 (permalink)
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My son's been shooting this since he was 8 and has been trying to steal it from me since he was nine*:

http://www.rocketcityrockcrawlers.co...4341.JPG_s.htm

Al


* His "take" so far is one Ruger 10/22 and a Mark II pistol. This doesn't include the Remington Model 7 I got him for his first birthday nor the Chipmunk that he shot from 4 years old until he shot my (now his) Ruger 10/22 the first time at 5.
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:14 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albin
My son's been shooting this since he was 8 and has been trying to steal it from me since he was nine*:

http://www.rocketcityrockcrawlers.co...4341.JPG_s.htm

Al


* His "take" so far is one Ruger 10/22 and a Mark II pistol. This doesn't include the Remington Model 7 I got him for his first birthday nor the Chipmunk that he shot from 4 years old until he shot my (now his) Ruger 10/22 the first time at 5.
And where are the safety glasses
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