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I'll go with SFK on the pellet gun issue. BB's ricochet and bounce off everything. Pellets (although made of lead) are the safer way to go.

Make sure the kids are aware of the dangers of lead and to wash their hands thoroughly after any shooting.
Scott
 

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Howdy-
Both my kids (Emily, 11 and Connor, 7) will be getting their first guns (B-B) this Christmas. Mom is not too happy about it, but Dad feels it is better to teach the kids proper use and safety now, rather than have them get curious and try to play with Dad's guns...Project for my Christmas will be to put together a basement shooting range.
Les
 

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If the kid is big enough to aim and squeeze the trigger, then let them go for it.

Of course adult training and supervision is the most important.

A .22 is nice for them to start off with but I BB or pelt gun is much safer and has less chance for errors.
 

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This may sound morbid, And I am sorry if I offend anyone, But until your child is old enough and mature enough to understand what dead is then all of the safety teaching in the world may not help. I am 47 years old and I have been in emergency medicine since age 17, First as a medic in the army, then as a Paramedic working in Detroit, I left the field 10 years ago but in those 20 years I cannot tell you how many times I have responded to calls where a child has been involved in a shooting. And many,many of those children lived in homes that had hunters. Granted most were from homes where the child found the gun in an unlocked drawer, or under the bed. Or something just as stupid. But more than a few parents told us that they have taught their children gun safety. It was just that the child did not understand that once you shoot something and kill it, It will never live again. Sounds silly I know, But I have heard a child tell the person they have just shot to 'wake up" enough times that I am convinced that they had no grasp of the meaning of death. Yes I taught all of my children how to respect firearms, How to safely handle them, And they are all pretty proficient at them, My son is so good it is awe inspiering, But they never touched a weapon until the had a full understanding of what death was, My way to teach that was to take them small game hunting with me. Let them see the rabbit or squirrel alive, and after death, let them watch as you clean the animal. It may turn some kids off to hunting oir the shooting sports, But that is o.k. too it is their decision, But They have to know before they take up the sport what the reality of what a firearm can do and will do if not handled properly. Trust me on this you do not want to see the alternative.
Sounds like you had some pretty solid training it's like you said if your kids don't understand what death means then there is no point in teaching about
a gun
 

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BB guns are only fun until somebody's eye gets poked out. :D

My 5 year-old son has (3) guns: A shotgun, rifle, and muzzleloader. Of course, all three are plastic toys BUT they are locked in the gun safe with mine until we go hunting or shooting. And when his guns are in the truck, they are enclosed in a little camo case my mother sewed for him. He knows to keep his guns in the case until we are out of the truck, because otherwise "it's against the law."

I've also been working on gun safety things, particularly like not pointing a gun at another person.

He did shoot my Ruger 10/22 this past summer.
Hell yes! I believe that's the way to teach responsibility in life also. My boys "5" were not all ready at the same age. But the training was started long before they were.
 

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my daughter goes with me once in a while and will take a few shoots with her 22 since she was three.
I never push her to shoot it, but every time we take any gun out, she goes threw all the safety operations with me.
she can check and notices on every gun if it's unloaded and if I have checked it.
she will not even hold her gun until I have first checked it and than she will check it.
once we are done she makes sure it is unloaded before handing it to me, and than I must recheck it before we can put the lock on it.
I think age is dependent on the child.
at 6 I still don't believe she is ready to hunt and in no hurry to have her out shooting.
I'll enjoy the time that she just wants to tag along and warn all the game that we are in the woods.


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IDK, maybe this terrible advice, b/c I definitely played "Cops 'n Robbers" and "Space Alien hunter" with my pals with this device - both games involved shooting at each other...

But, I was thinking the other day about trigger control, and how much I now value the early muscle memory this toy helped me develop for handling a pistol and feeling the trigger.

Turns out these toys fire in a way that provides a lot of feedback at the trigger - it loads up spring tension and then has a very tactile response when it fires a disc.

It also has a fixed magazine with a follower mechanism, that was like early training for loading.

I was allowed lots if gun time beginning at age 5. My gramps, whom I respected more than anyone hammered me with the ethics and handling at the moment I started playing with toy guns.
Wood Trigger Finger Gun barrel Material property
 
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