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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone, I would like to ask for some input on this situation.

Last year, When going to the range for the first time with my little brothers ( 11yr old and 13 yr old )
We decided to take them with us so they can get out and shoot some. See if they like it and so on. We had brought a CZ Phantom in 9mm, My Taurus PT145 MIil Pro, A Mini NAA .22 and.

We decided to try out the 22. I had thought being a .22 it shouldn't have to much recoil if any at all. This is before I really new to much about positioning my fingers and hands to not get cylinder burn or hammer bite and such. After the 19 yr old, the 13 yr old and I went, Welet our 11 yr old brother try it out. We loaded it for him, and explained to him a bit on how to aim and such.

This was my mistake here, I didn't explain to him how to hold it because I thought he would have done it by instinct. I was wrong.
He placed his finger in front of the cylinder and when he shot it, He got burned. He started to cry about it and said it hurt him. Mind you, He is a sensitive kid and the baby of the four brothers.

After he got burned and started to cry, The R.O helped him get a bandaid and such on it. Now, I can't recall if he shot the 9mm or the .45 that day because it was a year ago. But all I know is after this incident, He will not fire anything bigger than a .22 LR. Not even a 9mm. This is why I also had bought the AK22. A AK variant rifle by Armscor. He will shoot that all day long. But will not shoot anything bigger in a handgun, Rifle or shot gun.

I am not looking for sympathy when I say it is my fault. I feel it is because I should have payed more attention and helped him place his hands correctly. This year, I'm looking to get him his own .22 when money allows ( thread in other firearms )


My question how ever is, What can I do to help him get over it? I think that maybe he will grow out of it but everytime we go to the range, He won't shoot unless there is a .22 to shoot. We keep offering him to shoot everything we have and try to explain to him it's not as bad as you think it is. Even a full size 9mm which is the CZ which has little recoil, He won't shoot. The 1911 .45, Won't shoot it either.

Do I just leave it alone or is there something I can do to help him get over this recoil dilemma? I even tried some seriously reduced loads in the 30-30 lever gun for him to shoot and he didn't even try them. We even thought about getting one of the new gun's we have and tricking him into shooting a bigger caliber but I feel that's wrong and he won't trust us anymore after that and then never really go shooting again. He is no anti by any means....he plays Call Of Duty as much as possible....If that means anything.

Im lost....Help?
 

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I would just let him be. I would almost guarantee that eventually he will decide to shoot something a little bigger on his own, and even if he doesn't, that's his choice. I think your instinct not to trick him into it is right on. He may not trust you anymore and might quit going with you altogether. My 10 year old nephew is still pretty small. His 13 year old brother has hit a growth spurt and is quite a bit bigger now. I'm sure once your brother gets a little bigger and stronger, he will get his confidence up to shoot something with a little more thump. It probably won't be long either. They grow like weeds when they're 12 or 13.

You shouldn't be too hard on yourself for him getting burned. It sucks, but I'm sure that he won't let it happen again, and that's good because the cylinder burn from a .357 or .44 could really do a lot of damage. I've seen pics of a guy turning the end of his thumb into hamburger with a .357 from hot cylinder gasses. These gasses are enough to cut into the top strap of the frame above the cylinder/barrel gap over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I meant cylinder! Sorry about that! I fixed it in my post! And your right, he is lucky had he only got burned had he done that.
I guessed as much to just let him be. We do push him a bit but he won't budge. So I am hoping he will grow out of it but like you said, It is his choice either way.
 

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Leave him be. Lead by example, keep shooting the bigger weapons and when he is ready he will make the jump, but if you push he will resist.

Also have you apologized for your inexperience that caused him to get hurt? If not apologize away from the shooting experience and then drop it.
Do not apologize then ask "will you shoot a bigger gun now?" just say sorry and leave it alone.

He will most likely come around on his own, when he is ready.
 

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Agree with the above posts, he will grow out of it in his own time.

If he goes to the range to shoot with his pals he may change his mind when he sees them shooting larger calibres.

As a side note is he aware of how and why he got burned, and how to avoid it?
 

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I think he'll grow out of it, my 9 year old loved going to the range with me, even though all he shot was about 200 .22's out of my Marlin. He can't shoulder the weapon, but is pretty good going off sandbags. He wanted to shoot my Mosin-Nagant, but when i told him it would hurt more than the Hi-Point carbine, he said he'll stick with the Marlin.

Now i still have to get my 7 year old daughter out there, which she reminds me of every time i'm cleaning guns. I have a feeling she'll be better than her brother because she's the rough neck of the family.
 

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I'm sure you are relieved that his injury was not more severe. Experience is a hard teacher sometimes and everyone concerned learned a lesson from this mishap.

Don't "crowd" the little fellow and, perhaps, he will overcome this temporary setback in his firearm "education".
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, He is aware of how and why it happen and has never shot that revolver again because of that. Even tho he knows how to deal with it now, He still shy's away from them.
Hopefully soon enough.
 

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Are you certain it's potential recoil that bothers him? In his mind, he may be equating bigger caliber with more severe burns.

I'd sit him down at a table - very casually - and explain how and why a revolver can burn you but an autoloader will not.

I realize you go to the range with the guns you've got, and that it makes intellectual sense to start a new shooter with a small caliber weapon - but those little EAA revolvers are highly specialized weapons and probably not the best choice for a newby.

Were I you, I think at the first opportunity I'd invest some money in a S&W 22A or a Beretta NEOS - should be able to aquire either for about $250.00 and with their longer barrels and lighter recoil, your sons will put more rounds on paper and greatly enhance their shooting experience.
 

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I'm of a little different style. If the little guy doesn't want to shoot anything but a .22 and won't even go unless he can shoot the .22. Leave him at home, pack up your stuff and just leave. Make no reference of asking him if he wants to go at all.

When he asks if he can go, sooner or later he will I can almost guarantee that, ask him if he's ready to be a big guy. Let it be known that the range is what the guys in the family do, not the kids. It'll kill him inside and he'll put on his tough guy face or get pissy, either way you'll have your answer on whether he's ready or not.

I have a hard time with this, cuz I don't let kids shoot my firearms unless I've seen them handle a little .22 or a similar small weapon. To me there's no point in hurting a kid with the recoil of some centerfire cartridges if they're not worth it. This is why I normally use my dad or brothers S&W .22 target pistol when taking my younger cousins.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Are you certain it's potential recoil that bothers him? In his mind, he may be equating bigger caliber with more severe burns.

I'd sit him down at a table - very casually - and explain how and why a revolver can burn you but an autoloader will not.


Those are his words about the recoil. I still think it is the burning aspect of it. And yes, I have explained this to him quite a few times that an autoloader will not do such things. He is willing to get a .22 revolver to shoot like the heritage Rough Riders. So....I'm not 100% with him I guess? he got burned by a revolver but willing to use this .22 revolver as long as it is a .22.

Shokr,

We tried that approach as well. He just stood home some times. Sometimes he said he would shoot the bigger guns and when he got to the range, He backed down. Did this a few times.

I know this has no reference but for someone who likes to play that Call Of Duty game a lot, He really backs down when shooting a real firearm of any caliber other than a .22. yet he want's the guns that are in the game. Which we explained to him those guns are not .22 and he just doesn't say anything more about them.....

And yes, I did apologize for my ignorance that caused him to get burned. I guess it's kinda why I'm looking to get him a .22 to shoot. Other than trying to get trigger control and such it's also a present to him to show I really meant it you know?
 

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Well maybe the best thing is to just let him shoot the .22 and let him see others his age handle the larger calibers successfully.

I wouldn't pressure him too much, each their own and some develop their firearm taste a little slower than others. Let him shoot what he's comfortable with and don't add pressure to shoot centerfire until he's ready to do so.
 

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Well, my 21 yo son, who had shot my Marlin .44MAG rifle many times before while plinking, was a little lackadasical with it at a recent range session (~ 4-5 months ago). He wasn't holding it tightly against his shoulder and the scope popped him on his right eyebrow drawing a little blood. He has shied away from it since then even though he knows what happened. I figure he'll fire it again when he is ready and the memory of the scope incident fades..... His 17 yo younger brother, noting this, held off on shooting it for about . . . . . . . 10 minutes. He overcompensated to start (holding it so tightly against the shoulder that his fingers blanched white) and seeing no problems has gone on to shoot quite accurately and is very comfortable with it now. I think that all shooters progress at their own comfortable pace as to what they will shoot and learn their own nuances of what to avoid. I would look upon it as a teaching moment - better for him to get a minor injury while you were there to support him and learn from the incident rather than having a major mishap when no one else was around
 

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Just let him be, if he only shoots 22s the rest of his life, whats the big deal. I figure when he gets older he will change his mind. Big brothers try to bully there younger ones into doing what they think they should do, I know mine did. If you keep pushing him he could get to the point he will hate guns all together, and I don't think that is what you want.
 

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How about buying him an AR-15 lower with a dedicated .22 tacticool upper, this way he gets a "Call Of Duty" style weapon and when he is ready, you can get him a .556 upper.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
LWB,

I'm not trying to pressure it on to him but I am concerned for him. I'm only trying to teach him now so he can get use to it and have a better idea of what to look for in the future should he ever need it. For what ever reason, Especially self defense. Yes, i know a lot of people carry .22 for self defense but if he shoot's the other caliber's then he might warm up to them become better with them and have a better over all around caliber for such things.

I'm not looking into making him do what I WANT. Just thinking to help him understand that if he does it now, It won't be such an issue later.

He would love the AR thing, I know for sure he would.
 

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This is why I never let a new shooter shoot anything with less than a 5 or 6 inch barell. He could have gotten the end of his finger in front of the barell using the NAA Mini revolver and that would have been much worse! I have allowed someone with small hands to shoot my Ruger Bearcat, but it still has enough room that they are not likely to get their hands in a position where they could be injured.

Give him time, and since he has shown an intrest in the Heritage revolver make your amends and buy one for him they are inexpensive and fairly reliable and safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm planning to. I talk to him a little bit and just tried to get a straight answer out of him and after a bit, He has agreed to try the 9mm at least. Which has a 4.75 BBL on it. So who knows....Maybe he will like it....If not, Then I will just stop trying and let him stick with the .22 for a while and let him warm up to it as he goes.
 

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He's 11 years old, he has plenty of time to learn.
 

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Leave 'im alone and let him shoot the .22. It takes just as much skill to shoot a .22 well as it does to shoot a 30.06 well. Let him be. Teach him safety, teach him technique. Let him shoot his .22 and develop skills.

Some of the world's finest shooters, shoot the "lowly" .22. Think Olympics.
 
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