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Kids handgun recommendation #16518992 10/11/21
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Daughter is 8. Thumbing through magazines this weekend must have got her wheels spinning. She’s wrote her letter to Santa. She wants a Hellcat. Santa likely won’t deliver one but thinking a .22 of some variety.

I don’t want to buy cheap junk. But not opposed to buying cheap that is if a good value if that makes sense.

Like the idea of single action revolver for having a good (compared to a DAO) trigger, but thinking Ruger Wranglers just look cheap.

Ruger Bearcats might be in the cards, but upper spend limits.

Any of the Italian revolvers any good?

Polymer autos like a SR22?

I’ve got a Buckmark with the heavy, long barrel, forget the model, that is her pistol shooting experience and what led to her wanting her own.

Use will purely be highly supervised backyard plinking.

Throw out your recommendations….

BP-B2

Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16518998 10/11/21
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chlinstructor Online Content
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Ruger Bearcat would be hard to beat for a small kiddo with small hands.

I started my nieces & nephews out with .22 revolvers for training before I let them shoot any semi-autos.


"Allways speak the truth and you will never have to remember what you said before..." Sam Houston
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Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519018 10/11/21
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Do you have a 22 suppressor? I’ve got a Ruger 22/45 with a suppressor and it is the best for us. It is a little on the heavy side and I probably should have purchased a LITE model but they’re hard to come by in the last year. My seven year old can free hand shoot it but I like to give her a rest to shoot from. The bigger kids do just fine.

[Linked Image]
I should upload a video but here is a screen grab of the 7YO shooting out the back door.


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Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519020 10/11/21
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K1500 Offline
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Bearcats are small, expensive, and somewhat hard to find. Maybe a wrangler if funds are tight, as they are cheap and everywhere. It’s on the original grip frame and fits pretty small hands and it is much lighter than a single six. Use the money saved for a cool holster and belt. I have documented my misfortune with the Wrangler on another thread, but Ruger made it right and most folks have had good luck.

I looked at the Bearcat but went with a P22 when my kids were small, and it was only ok. Hard to shoot well and not very accurate or reliable. If I was going with an auto I would go back mark or lightweight Ruger.

Last edited by K1500; 10/11/21.
Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519450 10/12/21
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Ruger SR 22, load it single shot if you like. Ruger Wranglers I looked at were stiff to pull the hammer back and trigger were heavy. For a kid I'm I didn't care for them.

Last edited by Esox357; 10/12/21.
IC-A

Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519491 10/12/21
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My 8 year old grandson likes shooting my S&W snub nose .22....I since got him a 10/22 rifle.
He said pap paw I really like shooting the.22 pistol but I love shooting this rifle.

Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519542 10/12/21
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I started with a single-six at 7. Ended up shooting it out of time after a few hundred thousand rounds. I got a Bearcat for my son at 6. It didn’t function as well as a Single-Six. Sold it and got a Wrangler and we love it. It is accurate and everything a Single-Six is but a little lighter. Easy to load with cylinder spinning either way. At the price, I may buy one for myself.

My opinion for a kid is Wrangler all the way. I can’t think of anything else that even compares for that use.

Last edited by DesertMuleDeer; 10/12/21.
Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519628 10/12/21
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I think the perfect choice might be a 4" S&W M34/63. But those are costly and hard to come by.


Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519655 10/12/21
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I'd go Single Six.


Okie John

Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519682 10/12/21
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Ruger Bearcat was my first 22lr.

Bought it at age 10 with my "life savings"

GREAT little gun to learn with.

Virgil B.

IC-B

Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519693 10/12/21
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My son loves the Ruger SP101 in 22lr, but has since decided (at 13) that burning through 9mm with my carry gun is more fun......

Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519696 10/12/21
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All my kids loved shooting my High Standard Sentinel.


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Some people wait a lifetime to meet their favorite hunting and shooting buddy. Mine calls me dad
Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: whackem_stackem] #16519794 10/12/21
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Originally Posted by whackem_stackem
All my kids loved shooting my High Standard Sentinel.


Since the Sentinel is no more, it might be worth trying a Diamondback Arms "Sidekick" when they come out in November. They are a re-make of the High Standard Double Nine, which was a cowboy-ed version of the Sentinel, but with interchangeable cylinders, for about $300, if the roll-out is on time.

My Wrangler was/is a severe disappointment.


You can roll a turd in peanuts, dip it in chocolate, and it still ain't no damn Baby Ruth.
Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: ratsmacker] #16519877 10/12/21
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Originally Posted by ratsmacker
Originally Posted by whackem_stackem
All my kids loved shooting my High Standard Sentinel.


Since the Sentinel is no more, it might be worth trying a Diamondback Arms "Sidekick" when they come out in November. They are a re-make of the High Standard Double Nine, which was a cowboy-ed version of the Sentinel, but with interchangeable cylinders, for about $300, if the roll-out is on time.

My Wrangler was/is a severe disappointment.

You can find nice used Sentinels for $300-400.
I got mine well used back in '78. Traded a guy for a crappy Model 66 Nylon that wouldn't feed worth a chit. It's been my beater gun for over 40 years with nary a problem.


Music washes away the dust of everyday life
Some people wait a lifetime to meet their favorite hunting and shooting buddy. Mine calls me dad
Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519921 10/12/21
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memtb Online Content
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At around 8, I started my daughter with a S&W Model 19- 2 1/2”. Light load 38’s seemed to work good for her! I’m a little bit nervous about having a young shooter working with a semi-auto!

A good 22 RF revolver may be just what Santa should be delivering! memtb

Last edited by memtb; 10/12/21.

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Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: whackem_stackem] #16519967 10/12/21
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Originally Posted by whackem_stackem
Originally Posted by ratsmacker
Originally Posted by whackem_stackem
All my kids loved shooting my High Standard Sentinel.


Since the Sentinel is no more, it might be worth trying a Diamondback Arms "Sidekick" when they come out in November. They are a re-make of the High Standard Double Nine, which was a cowboy-ed version of the Sentinel, but with interchangeable cylinders, for about $300, if the roll-out is on time.

My Wrangler was/is a severe disappointment.

You can find nice used Sentinels for $300-400.
I got mine well used back in '78. Traded a guy for a crappy Model 66 Nylon that wouldn't feed worth a chit. It's been my beater gun for over 40 years with nary a problem.


Around here, a Sentinel will go for $500 at least, for whatever reasons, they are priced like gold. When I was a kid, I had a Double Nine variant (The Marshal), and it shot quite well, I really liked it. If it hadn't gotten stolen a few years ago, I'd still have it and use it, it was a pretty nice gun for what it was.


You can roll a turd in peanuts, dip it in chocolate, and it still ain't no damn Baby Ruth.
Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16519986 10/12/21
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I approach this issue from a different direction.

Rather than purchasing a handgun just for the kids to learn on, I load ammo for the kids to learn on.

My grandkids absolutely love the 4 inch SP 101 in 327 loaded with 78 gr cast to about 750 fps. It shoots like a 22 mag.

If they have the hand strength to support the 4 5/8" single seven, it is available as well with the same loads, or progressively stiffer loads up to 38 +P equivalent.

Sitting along side the magnums in the safe is a Ruger bisley 5.5 inch single six in 22 LR. But the kids actually prefer shooting the lighter revolvers.

If one handloads, it is easy to increase the versatility of the handguns you already own. It is tough to make that 22 lr ever be anything except a 22 lr.


My ideal as a conservative:

That each person may reap as he/she has sown.
Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16522980 10/13/21
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I have a SR22, which my kids use (ages 5, 8, 10 and 12). They have used it since the oldest was 9.
Sometimes they feel it has a little more recoil than they'd prefer, but they are quite accurate with it.
My son and daughter trieda 22LR revolver and they preferred that to the SR22, and I think it was the slide cycle + blowback that causes then to think it was harsher recoil. I don't recall the weight being that much different between both handguns.

All in all, as has been said above, it need to fit (the SR22 fits small hands, but still plenty of grip for mine), and they need to setup and hold it right.
Fun little guns.

Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16523142 10/13/21
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When my son turned 13 I got him a SP101 .357. It's much easier to make a .38 like a .22 than to get suitable power out of a .22. Given our supplies, .38 specials have been alot more available than .22 shells. He's learned more about reloading and has figured out an as of yet untested reduced velocity deer load with .357 180s. As he grows we'll increase velocities with .357s.

I changed out the factory springs before presenting it to him, which helped the double and single action pulls greatly.

Re: Kids handgun recommendation [Re: Cheesy] #16524772 10/13/21
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I'd get a quality revolver...so you could shoot 22 short, 22 LR or 22 shotshells. (Or 22L if you happen to see them).

A Ruger Single Ten; S&W 34, 617, or 63 are what we use for young/inexperienced people to shoot.

But, when my kids grew up and moved out....they picked the MKII's out of the safe for their adult .22's.

At the end of the day, I think it is more the time they spend with you learning than the platform you pick out.

YMMV


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