Want to get my 12 year old into shooting - What Ruger rifle should I purchase?

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Dec 16, 2006
Hate to say it and not to rain on your parade but by the time your son is our age he will have already turned all his firearms in to the government. Looks like the way things are going and I don't see turning the ship around. There is a sad time coming for firearms lovers.

While I don't disagree, I have to ask. This has what to do with the original question? Getting another young person into shooting can only help.


Sep 4, 2008
Bolt action for sure . Nothing fancy, Marlin/Glenfield, Mossberg, Savage, or store brands. Don't be afraid of old. Most ANY old ,even worn .22 is still capable of brilliant accuracy, especially with 12year old eyes.
No time to be a model snob. get something cheap enough you could painlessly shorten if he needs that. Proper fit is most impotent when learning if a smaller stature.
Plenty of time for nice guns later and semi auto when he makes every shot count, and he is old enough to buy his own ammo.
Sounds grumpy and old but I believe ALL kids should learn a stick shift before the learn an auto too.
May 29, 2011
The foundation needs to start with SAFETY. If you have those 3-4 rules committed to every part of your memory you should be good for a lifetime of safe gun handling. Always start there. Also differentiate roles of any sort of "Weapon" even in play. My son and his friends had paintball and softair guns and were constantly having war games of one sort of another. As long as their targets were willing "combatants" they could be in their underwear as long as they had eye protection. If I caught them targeting anything/anyone for mischief I was like a ton of bricks. As a kid I had a range in the basement and a backstop for my BB guns. The NRA and other's have published safety materials that Father and kids can do together on their home range as well as basic/Hunter Safety classes. A Hunter Safety Certification is a state issued credential authorizing access to loaded firearms. My kids had theirs at 8. Classes and Competitions are perfect for developing skills. Sitting alone lobbing projectiles is ok but running a dueling tree is awesome. Shooting against the clock adds a level of stress that can push you way beyond just plinking. A few "target" pellet guns and some semi/full softairs are probably the best start even at this late age. Once he demonstrates safety and proficiency hook him up with an AR and a shotgun to make up for your years of neglect. There's a chance that you might discover that firearms might not be a good idea and better to discover that with bb/softair.
Funny you mentioned the NRA. My Dad was a Career Marine who taught me well, loved the outdoors. I still remember him insisting that my Brother and I attend the NRA safety Programs and Hunter Safety Program was a must. I still remember being in the class and thrilled to be there.

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