It’s a big decision and an exciting one, for both you and your child, as you ponder that first gun. No doubt the passion for the outdoors has been lit from shared days afield and maybe even at the range, but now it’s time to extend the ultimate in trust and responsibility by purchasing a gun and giving it to your child as his or her designated gun to take afield with them.
I still remember my first gun, a used Remington Sportsman 58 that my dad gave me when I was 11 and that I used to down untold bushy tails with 2 ¾-inch loads of No. 6s—as well as my first whitetail, firing No. 1 buckshot, a year later. I grew up hunting deer in an area where shotguns—mostly buckshot—are still the firearm of choice, so when I received a brand new Remington 1100 for my 16th birthday, opening the box is a moment I will never forget. For a young, avid hunter, it would become one of my most prized possessions, alongside my first car and first home. The car and home are little more than good memories now. I still own, and use, that 1100.
So what are the critical considerations in buying that first gun for your son or daughter? There are several that are key as you want the gun to become an enjoyable tool to help them not only become better marksmen, but to maintain the enthusiasm for shooting and hunting for many years to come.