Mathews Inc.
First rifle for an 8 year old
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
John in MO / KY 09-Nov-20
LBshooter 09-Nov-20
Buskill 09-Nov-20
T Mac 09-Nov-20
Treeline 09-Nov-20
drycreek 09-Nov-20
Ucsdryder 09-Nov-20
Swampbuck 09-Nov-20
lewis 09-Nov-20
LINK 09-Nov-20
huntabsarokee 09-Nov-20
BigOzzie 09-Nov-20
wildwilderness 09-Nov-20
KY EyeBow 09-Nov-20
BOWNUT 09-Nov-20
Bake 09-Nov-20
WVFarrier 09-Nov-20
Glunt@work 09-Nov-20
cnelk 09-Nov-20
greenmountain 09-Nov-20
MA-PAdeerslayer 09-Nov-20
PeteO 09-Nov-20
SIP 09-Nov-20
Huntiam 09-Nov-20
keepemsharp 09-Nov-20
bigdog21 09-Nov-20
RK 09-Nov-20
RK 09-Nov-20
RW 09-Nov-20
DMTJAGER 16-Nov-20
Candor 20-Nov-20
WVFarrier 21-Nov-20
Pat Lefemine 21-Nov-20
Drahthaar 21-Nov-20
BULELK1 22-Nov-20
spike78 22-Nov-20
spike78 22-Nov-20
John in MO / KY 22-Nov-20
RK 22-Nov-20
Scooby-doo 22-Nov-20
09-Nov-20
I know this is Bowsite, but there's so much good knowledge here. My son is 8 and I finally feel like he's mature enough for his own rifle, and I'd like to get him one for Christmas. I'm leaning towards the Savage rascal .22. I've also considered a high-end child sized air rifle with enough power to kill squirrels, but don't really have an idea what air-rifle might fit that bill. I'd appreciate any input and experiences you have had with your kids.

From: LBshooter
09-Nov-20
My first was also a red Ryder. Enough to take down starlings etc... He let me loose in the neighborhood and that probably wasn't the state rest idea lol. 8 yr old I'd start with the smallest , least powerful gun possible and work your way up from there.

From: Buskill
09-Nov-20
When we moved beyond air guns, I got my kids .22 mags. Ammo is still cheap and you can have just a tad more punch. My kids really liked em.

From: T Mac
09-Nov-20
My son ran the gamut of BB guns and air rifles. At 16 he still loves to shoot the red Ryder I should’ve bought that first but felt he needed a bit more powerful! Looking back I should’ve bought him the red Ryder first......

From: Treeline
09-Nov-20
Hell, at 8 I got my boy a .243 and he killed a doe and a buck with it that fall.

I didn’t let him shoot or hunt on his own with a gun till he was 15 or so.

Got him a 7-08 when he was 16.

Locked everything up when he was 18-20 because he went totally stupid. He’s slowly coming out of it and hopefully will decide to grow up.

From: drycreek
09-Nov-20
A good pellet gun might be the answer, or a .22, each with strict supervision. Eight year olds don’t have what it takes to be unsupervised IMO. That said, I bought my boy a youth bolt action .22 at about that age but never let it (and him) out of my sight until he was shooting a centerfire at about 12 years of age. The brand was a CZ I believe and a more accurate .22 I’ve never seen. Good luck !

From: Ucsdryder
09-Nov-20
I graduated from a red Ryder at around 8 years old. The tweety bird population still hasn’t recovered. Then I went to a ruger 10/22.

From: Swampbuck
09-Nov-20
I got my son a red rider at 6. For his 8th he got a Rossi single shot .22lr/.410/.243 combo. $300 for 3 long guns

From: lewis
09-Nov-20
Watch out “you’ll put your eye out” with a red Ryder BB gun couldn’t help it Christmas is just around the corner.My wife has a gamo pellet rifle that is fun to shoot.Do not underestimate them I’ve killed several coyotes in traps with one shot.Good luck Lewis

From: LINK
09-Nov-20
Red Ryder and a diamond infinite edge if he doesn’t all ready have a bow. It’s actually easier to fit a kid to a bow than it is to a gun and at 8 my oldest daughter was pulling hunting weight.

09-Nov-20
I have no problem asking gun questions like this here. What are friends for?

Anyway I have a Rascal 22 but it may be much too small for an 8 year old or at least he will outgrow it relatively soon unless he is smaller in length. I just had my 5 year old shooting it Sunday but it’s too short for my 8 year old. I would look for a female model 22 or 22 mag. I picked up a Savage .17 hmr made for women and that is small enough for most 8 to 12 year olds. I have even shot it. I think they make other rimfire calibers too. The Rascal is a good gun and I take it to our club when they have youth shoots and many kids have shot it.

From: BigOzzie
09-Nov-20
red ryder at 6th birthday 22 rifle 410 combo gun for 9th birthday 243 rifle at 12th birthday .17 hmr H.S. graduation is how we did it for our kids.

Grandpa supplemented the boy with some other guns along the way. The girl not so much. I think she got his 38 and a 22 pistol, and maybe a 357.

40 s&w in high school 280 in high school traded the 40 with grandpa for a 10 mm at college graduation. 45 long colt rifle 20 gauge in h.s. 12 gauge recently.

all of grandpa's additions were results of an outing they took and grandpa said just keep the gun when the trip was over, all were used, from his safe.

Wow didn't think of my kid as white privilege until partway through that list the I went wow crap the kid has alot.

oz

09-Nov-20
I would get a Daisy Powerline 880, there is a big advantage to an air rifle since you can shoot it pretty much anywhere- including inside. with the pump you can lighten the shot or pump it to max to kill birds. Can shoot pellets or BB. I have had more expensive GAMO break action and didn't like it as much, though more power. I also got the boys a more "expensive" Weihrauch 22 cal pellet gun that takes care of collared doves pretty well.

Some day I would like to get a PCP but now you are looking at custom rifle prices!! $2-4k!

From: KY EyeBow
09-Nov-20
Look at the CZ 457 scout

From: BOWNUT
09-Nov-20
I don't think you could go wrong with a normal Ruger 10/22. There very compact. I begged and begged for a BB gun when I was eight years old and my parents thought they were to dangerous. They got me one of those Bear fiberglass bows instead. The next year I got this Daisy BB gun. I had hours of fun with both.

From: Bake
09-Nov-20

Bake's embedded Photo
Bake's embedded Photo
I just got my 7 year old daughter a new Mossberg SA-410. It’s a sweet little auto. Little big for her yet, but I’d rather her grow into it than grow out of it

She loves it and really enjoys shooting it. She likes watching it blow stuff up ;)

From: WVFarrier
09-Nov-20
I got both my girls Henry Lever Action 22 LRs. They love them

From: Glunt@work
09-Nov-20
The Ruger American .22 buttstock has section that can be quickly switched for a compact length one. That was my son's first real gun. Always great to learn with a bb gun first. I hunted grasshoppers in the back yard for hours.

From: cnelk
09-Nov-20

cnelk's Link
When my son was 8, I got him a Lil Henry .22 Mini Bolt Youth single shot. Man that thing is a tack driver - fiber optic sights, composite stock, stainless barrel. See link

That gun taught him to make every shot count.

09-Nov-20
I have been teaching hunter safety for many years . What I tell parents that I like them to wait until they understand that death is final. Kids with parents who take them out at a young age have a greater chance of having an eight year old who is ready. At that age I think a light weight air rifle with a safety is a good choice. I would expect the youngster to obey all of the handling rules but a wise adult will keep it fun. Short hunting trips with balloons or clay birds to shoot at close range are a great way to end a hunt. When my daughter was ten she passed the hunter safety test. She used my .243 and was deadly accurate at fifty yards. The next step was visiting a landowner and SHE asked permission. Sorry to expand on your firearms question . I have taken eight year olds out on a field test and they did fine and fifteen year olds out and failed them due to lack of maturity.

09-Nov-20
I got my son and daughter model 42 take downs. 22LR over .410

From: PeteO
09-Nov-20
I agree with CNELK that henry 22 mini bolt is a great rifle. Kid sized and very safe. I bought 2, my oldest daughter has a cricket but I prefer the henry.

From: SIP
09-Nov-20

SIP's embedded Photo
6 years old, better shot than her poppa
SIP's embedded Photo
6 years old, better shot than her poppa
SIP's embedded Photo
SIP's embedded Photo
Rascal 22 is a great little gun. My daughters love shooting it.

From: Huntiam
09-Nov-20
BB gun...:22...410 ...25-06 how mine went

From: keepemsharp
09-Nov-20
I got a 22 at eight but could not take it hunting without my older brother or an adult till 13. I gave it to my son when he turned eight.

From: bigdog21
09-Nov-20
no auto.. one bullet one shoot it will make him a better shot knowing only one chance. and a lot safer if he gets excited

From: RK
09-Nov-20

From: RK
09-Nov-20
My parents gave me a Winchester 62 when I turned 10. Before then red Ryder

Still have both. Love the 62 but really fell for Remington Model 12 when I was 15. I love 22 rifles Just bought a Remington 24 a week ago. 22 short gallery gun!

But whatever you get him he will love it and always remember where it came from which is priceless

From: RW
09-Nov-20
Started my son with red ryder at 5 , cricket 22 with scope at 6. Cut up the stock on my rem 788 ,223 cal. He shot WT,mule deer and antelope at 7. By 10 he was shooting 270 , about 12 took over my 308, repeated the process with my daughter, but she stuck with the 270, my poor old 788 stock looks like Swiss cheese after shorten and lengthen so many times. Just be sure to teach him it will kill, my kids went hunting with me when they were tiny and saw what guns could do. They are 27 and 20 and very safe , but I taught them you can't take a shot back.

From: DMTJAGER
16-Nov-20
What every kid should have as a first rifle: https://www.hinterlandoutfitters.com/barrett-m107a1-rifle-system-14085-fluted-chrome-lined-semi-auto-bipodmonopod-back-sights-suppressor-ready-muzzle-brake-black-cerakote-finish-p-44992.html But seriously I started my sons out with Air soft bb rifle and HG's guns, then progressed to single shot pellet rifles and pistols. Once I was 100% confident in their abilities I bought them their first 22lr rifles. Savage MK11 22lr bolt guns. Once they mastered them I bought them 22lr H&K G36's and man they smile now when I say its time to go to the range.

From: Candor
20-Nov-20
So much depends on the personality of the kid.

But I think almost all of them are well off with a BB gun they can go plinking with on their own, once they learn some handling safety.

Once you move on to something that burns powder my first concern would be recoil. I don't necessarily subscribe to the less recoil the better. I think they should learn to endure recoil. Starting light and working their way up. .22 is great, then a .410. They both offer different feedback besides recoil.

When my son was 8 he was shooting a .260 at deer but candidly I don't think he had reached the emotional maturity to be deer hunting. he just did it because dad did it. It has worked out well but could have gone the wrong direction.

He still shoots that little Remington model 7 with a muzzle break occasionally. It is loud as hell. Funny watching him at 6'1"@ 17 yrs old shooting a gun that isn't much bigger than a red ryder.

Just remember your goal is to not push him. Make him want it and ask to go along.

From: WVFarrier
21-Nov-20
How about a Rossi 92 in 357 mag? Kids can hunt pretty much anything up to black bear with it. Virtually no recoil when using 38s.

From: Pat Lefemine
21-Nov-20
SIP, those pics are priceless. Congrats!

From: Drahthaar
21-Nov-20
I started my daughters a lot younger @ 4 they had a BB gun , 5 had a 22, @ 7 had a Remington Youth model 700 243 and killed deer, they are still shooting the youth 243 @ 26 years old. Forrest

From: BULELK1
22-Nov-20
I've got a single shot .20 gauge shotgun I will Gift to her, if we can figure out how to legally ship it ect.

Good luck, Robb

From: spike78
22-Nov-20
I didn’t see the .17hmr mentioned that’s a good caliber as well.

From: spike78
22-Nov-20
You can also buy a rifle with interchangeable barrels that way you just add a barrel over the years. I believe CVA, Rossi, and TC all make them with the CVA being very affordable.

22-Nov-20
Thanks for the input everyone! I've decided to go with the Henry Mini-Bolt 22. He's on the small side for his age and ought to be able to use it for at least a few years. I'll post a pic when he gets it on Christmas and again when he gets his first squirrel.

From: RK
22-Nov-20
Great job. He will LOVE it!!

From: Scooby-doo
22-Nov-20
depends on the kid. I was 5 and got my first BB Gun, a Red Ryder. Than at 7 got my first .22 a single shot and also a 4/10 single shot Ithaca. I was tuaght safety very well and I actually started hunting by myself at 8. I shot pigeons and woodchucks and most any bird that was legal. Times were different than. I can remember walking home at 10 years old after woodchuck hunting and a local cop pullinh up. I thought I was in big trouble, no license til 12 and I was 10. He pulled up and asked me if I had gotten anything, yup 3 chucks I said. Nice he says ya want a ride home. Hopped in and he droive me home!! I say a little BB Gun anf teach all the safety stuff, see how he does than move on frtom there. Shawn

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