First rifle for a 7 year old?

Newboomer

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I don't like semis for kids to start out with unless you load it single shot. Too easy for them to forget there are more rounds in there and forget where the muzzle is with finger still on the trigger.
 

Inline6

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We bought my son a cricket when he was 5. He had trouble with eye relief with a scope so we put a red dot on it. That made all the difference. He is now eight and has moved up. I will say the trigger sucks on them. He enjoys shooting my MPR 64 with an 8oz trigger on it.

We have hunted a lot together and he has done well. Teach them right when they are young and you will have many fond memories for a long time. He is now constantly trying to one up his older brothers. Already wants to go to Africa to shoot " what's the biggest animal I can shoot that's not dangerous" my reply probably an Eland. " that's what I want to hunt".

Good luck on your quest. Like other have said a CZ is a little more money but you will probably get more mileage out of it.
 

Inline6

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I must be getting old, because 7 years old seems very young for a 22lr. More like a BB gun
Not old just difference of opinion or exposure. My son at 6 had harvested a doe and a buck. He was not in the blind by himself but he lined up the shot and pulled the trigger. Doe was at 107 yards Buck was 163.
 

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The Savage Rascal has a great trigger and the bolt lift is light enough that a kid can work the bolt. You can get the stock in his favorite color too. A small pic rail is available from EGW, in order to mount a small red dot. We have one rascal that we left in the peep configuration and one with a red dot. Each kid would swap back and forth at the range. The cheap steel animal targets really caught their interest once we starting using them over paper. That instant gratification from the “gong” or knocking it over was a game changer.

The cricket cocks a little odd and it’s hard for the kid to do it on their own. I’d cock one in person before a purchase.
 

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I think the idea of a bolt action with a single shot adapter (CZ) would be the best choice for a beginner. BUT ..... You did ask the question, so I hope you aren't offended by my answer. 6 turning 7 is too young in my opinion. I feel that we are often so excited at the idea of getting our kids (/grandkids/nieces/nephews/etc.) interested in our own passions, that we do it far too soon. Let them be kids. They will be grown up far too soon as it is. My thoughts are that it should be the kid that is showing an interest and asking first, without it ever being suggested to them. That way at least you know the interest is genuine. But even then, I think age needs to be taken into consideration. A rifle is not a toy, and is not for little kids. That's my opinion.
 

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Just to comment on the age, I was given a 30-06 when I was 5 years old, and I bugged my dad enough that we went up into the canyon so that I could shoot it. Well, I shot it but I have no idea of what happened after that. After that time I didn't shoot it until I was ready to hunt big game in Utah at 16.

My dad also had a 22 Lr pump rifle that he let me shoot all the time under his supervision. After which I was allowed to clean it and it was then put away until the next excursion out into the wilds. I always knew where the rifles were kept in a wardrobe. But I also knew that I would not see my next birthday if I was to ever touch one of them without his permission.

The big thing here is that a 7 year old is old enough for a firearm, but rules and regulations need to be set down in stone and they need to know that it isn't just going to be a "time out" if said rules are broken.
 

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Greetings - I'm looking for a rifle for my son's 7th birthday. Two questions, is this too young? He has very good judgment for a kid his age, and we constantly preach gun safety in our home. Of course, the weapon would be stored in our safe unless he's out with me. Second question, I've decided on a .22LR for obvious reasons - anyone have a recommendation for a make/model? Thanks!

@flat8 my kids were shooting large rifles at 7 so I don’t think that’s too young. I might suggest you think about a .243 for him and let him borrow a .22lr.

Every family has different rules but over here we were adamant no child may touch, hold, or shoot a weapon until they pass hunter safety. It created obsession. All three kids passed hunter safety at age 6 or 7. It was very hard, they studied every night for months. Two of them learned to read while learning hunter safety. At the end of the journey, they finally got to hold and shoot guns and we immediately went to hunting.

they are all older now (8-10-12)but I’d like to think that the rules we had when they were 6 yielded dividends. They’ve all had great hunting experiences and more than a few record book animals now.

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rookhawk

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I don't like semis for kids to start out with unless you load it single shot. Too easy for them to forget there are more rounds in there and forget where the muzzle is with finger still on the trigger.

@Newboomer your sentiments are out of fashion. I share your sentiments. I hate semis and I think a 10/22 encourages waste and reckless shooting.

A 77/22 is a much more responsible weapon. In general, I’m not a fan of toy guns. I’m not a fan of slightly lethal guns either. Pellets. BBs. .22LRs. We don’t even let kids play with nerf guns. Guns are tools and they are deadly. When the trigger is pulled, something dies. My kids shot at the range a few times each with a 77/17 as it makes a hell of a loud bang and has no recoil, a great shooting aid. Then it was off to .243s with reduced recoil hornady loads for target and hunting. Some still use the custom .243 we built, others moved on to 7x64 brenneke and 7x65r double rifles for more lethality with limited recoil. We’re about two years away from 375s and 404s now.

But anyway, we live in a fake, video game, violent world. We shy away from anything rapid fire or toy over here. Society has blurred lines between real and fake so we are extra extreme about making that line black and white. They shot it, it died, we eat it. Nothing we own is less than lethal and they remember that as they check it as unloaded every time they grab it from the rack. They help me lock all the ammo in a separate room with a passcode lock as they understand why we need to protect tools from people that have bad judgment that may visit.
 

Inline6

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I think the idea of a bolt action with a single shot adapter (CZ) would be the best choice for a beginner. BUT ..... You did ask the question, so I hope you aren't offended by my answer. 6 turning 7 is too young in my opinion. I feel that we are often so excited at the idea of getting our kids (/grandkids/nieces/nephews/etc.) interested in our own passions, that we do it far too soon. Let them be kids. They will be grown up far too soon as it is. My thoughts are that it should be the kid that is showing an interest and asking first, without it ever being suggested to them. That way at least you know the interest is genuine. But even then, I think age needs to be taken into consideration. A rifle is not a toy, and is not for little kids. That's my opinion.

I think maturity needs to be considered more than age. My son who is 8, I trust him more than some people in their 30s I have met at the range. Could I put him in a stand and let him hunt himself, I feel like I could. Would I, no. Two reasons, one I enjoy hunting with him and I would rather him shoot the game we are after than myself. Two no reason to take an unnecessary risk and apply unnecessary pressure.

As far as someone thinking a rifle is, or is not a toy. The first animal that they take, I am not sure words can replace that reaction. When they experience the taking of a life with which ever tool, it is obvious the power it holds and the responsibility and respect it demands.

JMHO
 

AZDAVE

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I would seriously look at one of the CZ457 in the boyds AT-one stock, It is adjustable in the LOP and has an adjustable comb also. 5 shot bolt action that is very accurate. Will give him a platform that he wont outgrow and be able to pass on to his kids.

in centerfire, 22 hornet, 243, 7-08 would also be a progression you might consider.
 

rookhawk

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I would seriously look at one of the CZ457 in the boyds AT-one stock, It is adjustable in the LOP and has an adjustable comb also.

@AZDAVE I went down this path. I cannot recommend it. Two AT-one stocks I purchased broke and they have a lot of flex. They also don't really get that small for little people, nor do they get very big for big people.

It's more complicated and more custom, but what I've done is a four-step process. I buy TWO pads from New England Custom Gun. One is 1/2", the other is 1-1/4". They make a fixture that allows you to slide off these "orange silvers pads" for a quick swap. I then get the pads fitted with the stock cut as short as is necessary and no more. This makes a gun that is suitable for little people and still functional as you only chopped off as much wood as absolutely necessary. It will probably still fit an adult with the 1-1/4" pad. I then buy a leather padded cheap piece so the child can get to the scope correctly. I then use Ultra-Low rings and a 24mm-32mm scope so there is minimal recoil. The last thing you want is a child taking their face off the comb to see through the scope. Use quick detach rings so you can swap them out at a later date if necessary or use multiple optics.
 

Newboomer

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@Newboomer your sentiments are out of fashion. I share your sentiments. I hate semis and I think a 10/22 encourages waste and reckless shooting.

A 77/22 is a much more responsible weapon. In general, I’m not a fan of toy guns. I’m not a fan of slightly lethal guns either. Pellets. BBs. .22LRs. We don’t even let kids play with nerf guns. Guns are tools and they are deadly. When the trigger is pulled, something dies. My kids shot at the range a few times each with a 77/17 as it makes a hell of a loud bang and has no recoil, a great shooting aid. Then it was off to .243s with reduced recoil hornady loads for target and hunting. Some still use the custom .243 we built, others moved on to 7x64 brenneke and 7x65r double rifles for more lethality with limited recoil. We’re about two years away from 375s and 404s now.

But anyway, we live in a fake, video game, violent world. We shy away from anything rapid fire or toy over here. Society has blurred lines between real and fake so we are extra extreme about making that line black and white. They shot it, it died, we eat it. Nothing we own is less than lethal and they remember that as they check it as unloaded every time they grab it from the rack. They help me lock all the ammo in a separate room with a passcode lock as they understand why we need to protect tools from people that have bad judgment that may visit.
Exactly. I grew up in a rural area in the 1940s and 50s. Everyone hunted for sustenance as much as anything. We ( myself and 4 brothers) started handling guns and shooting by age 6. We were allowed to hunt on our own on the farm, most of which was sitting under an apple tree with a 22lr and ambushing what game came along. I shot my first deer that way at age 10.

It was a totally different world back then. We played cowboys and indians with cap guns and rubber band guns. Safety rules were stricktly enforced by ourselves as much as by parents. Target practice was a regular occurance and we all shot and hunted together.

It was common to pretty much have a gun with us most of the time. I used to hunt my way to High School, lean my rifle in the corner of the classroom with other rifles, and hunt my way home after school. Guns on the schoolbus were an every day occurance during hunting seasons.

Sadly, we can't do that now. Can't even mention it and people look at me like I'm some kind of trained killer for doing so. A lot of them have a fit if they just see a gun case in my rig.
 

rookhawk

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Exactly. I grew up in a rural area in the 1940s and 50s. Everyone hunted for sustenance as much as anything. We ( myself and 4 brothers) started handling guns and shooting by age 6. We were allowed to hunt on our own on the farm, most of which was sitting under an apple tree with a 22lr and ambushing what game came along. I shot my first deer that way at age 10.

It was a totally different world back then. We played cowboys and indians with cap guns and rubber band guns. Safety rules were stricktly enforced by ourselves as much as by parents. Target practice was a regular occurance and we all shot and hunted together.

It was common to pretty much have a gun with us most of the time. I used to hunt my way to High School, lean my rifle in the corner of the classroom with other rifles, and hunt my way home after school. Guns on the schoolbus were an every day occurance during hunting seasons.

Sadly, we can't do that now. Can't even mention it and people look at me like I'm some kind of trained killer for doing so. A lot of them have a fit if they just see a gun case in my rig.


Not to derail the thread but it aligns with your "old timey" sentiments of responsibility. If your kids or grandkids are white and male, the world is a very, very difficult place for them today. Children are very soft and very weak just like adults are today. People that never grew up now raising children that never grow up.

You listen to what it was like for our grandparents and great grandparents and they truly had it hard. Kids had jobs. Everyone chipped in. Responsibility was required at young ages. Some cultures still have this but American and European cultures do not. We're culturally weak.

Our job as parents is to give guideance, moral guidance, and sense of duty to children. That's why I demanded my 6 year olds pass hunter safety rather than waiting until they were 12. That's why they butcher meat and cook food over here. It's why they play competitive team sports. It's why they do civic duties. As strong as they are, they are a hell of a lot weaker than a kid born in 1950 that got shipped off to Vietnam to fight and die for our nation at the age of 17. Lets not forget how immature children are today and how low the expectations truly are. If you have to lock your guns and ammo up to keep them out of the reach of your children, you have failed as a parent. THEY lock them up to keep them out of the reach of irresponsible visitors to your home.

Every outdoor experience with my kids has been a barely winnable game. Every time they get a taste of success, things get harder for them. Just like life. Just like duty. Just like service and obligation in the real world. Hard things are supposed to be fun. Difficulty is supposed to be its own reward. 6 year olds were killing deer and turkey with crossbows. 7 year olds were hunting big game with rifles. 8 year olds were sitting in tree stands with compound bows. 9 year olds were stalking game in Africa and America. 8 year olds are most definitely helping make dinner, and not just slop, gourmet 4-hour recipe dinners. They are doing their own gunsmithing. They are doing carpentry. They are doing P&L calculations on whether to buy or sell a gun of theirs, or join me at a yard sale figuring out if they should buy something to own or flip. They understand the value of labor.

Guns are an important allegory for a lot of other things in life. When people think children are too young for guns it is a telling sign that the children are not ready for many other critical elements of life. That's failed parenting. An Indian-American kid will be the CEO of the company that child works at in a junior position twenty years later if you do not keep up with the expectations of maturity first-generation Americans have or the expectations our grandparents had upon them.
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Greetings - I'm looking for a rifle for my son's 7th birthday. Two questions, is this too young? He has very good judgment for a kid his age, and we constantly preach gun safety in our home. Of course, the weapon would be stored in our safe unless he's out with me. Second question, I've decided on a .22LR for obvious reasons - anyone have a recommendation for a make/model? Thanks!
@flat8
Never to young. My son started coming bush with me at 4 and a half and started to learn about things and tracking. He started shooting (plinking) at 5 and a half when he could hold the 22lr.
A good rifle to start with would be the Savage youth as it comes with different inserts for lenght of pull and check risers for iron or scope sights.
This would allow him to use irons and graduate to scopes and the rifle can grow with him.
Bob
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Exactly. I grew up in a rural area in the 1940s and 50s. Everyone hunted for sustenance as much as anything. We ( myself and 4 brothers) started handling guns and shooting by age 6. We were allowed to hunt on our own on the farm, most of which was sitting under an apple tree with a 22lr and ambushing what game came along. I shot my first deer that way at age 10.

It was a totally different world back then. We played cowboys and indians with cap guns and rubber band guns. Safety rules were stricktly enforced by ourselves as much as by parents. Target practice was a regular occurance and we all shot and hunted together.

It was common to pretty much have a gun with us most of the time. I used to hunt my way to High School, lean my rifle in the corner of the classroom with other rifles, and hunt my way home after school. Guns on the schoolbus were an every day occurance during hunting seasons.

Sadly, we can't do that now. Can't even mention it and people look at me like I'm some kind of trained killer for doing so. A lot of them have a fit if they just see a gun case in my rig.
@Newboomer
Oh for the simple things in life once again and the joys of growing up FREE without the modern day bullshit.
Bob
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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I still have the rifle I learnt to shoot with 55 years ago at the age of 7. It's an old Anschutz single shot manual cooking. The old eyes aren't what they used to be hence the red dot. I still use it at the range and my son learnt with it before I put the red d ot on it.
I don't know how old it is my dad got it second hand in the early 60s
Bob

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Newboomer

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I still have the rifle I learnt to shoot with 55 years ago at the age of 7. It's an old Anschutz single shot manual cooking. The old eyes aren't what they used to be hence the red dot. I still use it at the range and my son learnt with it before I put the red d ot on it.
I don't know how old it is my dad got it second hand in the early 60s
Bob View attachment 426432
My first was a Mossberg 152 semi 22lr my Dad gave me in 1953(?). I'd been shooting for several years before and he thought it was time for me to have a gun I could call my very own. I was one proud young fella. I worked in the woods one Christmas vacation for $1.00 a day. I sent the whole $14.00 to Sears and Roebuck for a J. C. Higgins 4 power scope (3/4" tube) and dovetail mount. That was before the days of sales tax and shipping charges. I shot more game with it than any other gun I've had. Still have it and shoot it today.
 

KiwiHunter

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Greetings - I'm looking for a rifle for my son's 7th birthday. Two questions, is this too young? He has very good judgment for a kid his age, and we constantly preach gun safety in our home. Of course, the weapon would be stored in our safe unless he's out with me. Second question, I've decided on a .22LR for obvious reasons - anyone have a recommendation for a make/model? Thanks!
Correct age depends on kid and how much exposure they have had to shooting and hunting till then.
My oldest son accompanied me in his first hunting trip at age 4, you just need to slow your stalking speed down which is usualy a good thing, keep their interest up, carry more snacks and be prepared to miss the odd opportunity to collect something.
Cant go wrong with CZ 22lr or 17hmr
 

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