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Thread: Need opinions for youth shotgun

  1. #21
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
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    Pawn shop mossberg 500e 410 would be my choice. I started hunting squirrels just before my 6th birthday with an old savage 24, 22/410. That savage felt like it weighed more than I did.

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  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy Cast_outlaw's Avatar
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    I had a cut down 870 20g and found it recoiled harder than my 12g as you are shooting 90% of the payload at 100% of the Velocity of a 12g out of a gun that weighing 50% less something to consider but a 410 would be effective on squirrels if you want to go that small

  3. #23
    Boolit Man
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    I started squirrel hunting with an old Stevens .410 single shot when I was big enough to keep both ends of it off the ground at the same time. It did a fine job and recoil wasn't too much for me. Then as now, I never remember the recoil when making a shot at game. Believe at the time the shells were 2 1/2" or 2 3/4".
    NRA Life 1992
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  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    A .22cal air rifle might be in order. Personally if I was looking for a youth shotgun it would be a 20ga semi-auto youth gun. It can be loaded one at a time for now & would have much less felt recoil. Those single shots might be a little much with game loads. A .410 would be ok but I got rid of mine because the shells were much more money & harder to come by than 12 or 20ga.

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  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 762 shooter View Post
    Agreed.

    As slim as he is any kind of shotgun recoil would be detrimental.

    I'll see if we can use 22LR. Walking and Hunting is the important part. I think as long as he can carry a gun he will be happy.

    762

    I think you're on the right track here /\

    I commend you for wanting to get your grandson interested in that activity.
    The safety, ethics and responsibility of that activity is the important part and the foundation the later years will be built on.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master



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    IMHO if you are going to hunt flying game a .410 is doing a disservice to the kid. It is an experts gun not a novice.

    If recoil is the problem get a 28 gauge they hit way better than a .410 for about the same perceived recoil.

    Think I am wrong shoot some skeet with the 410 and then try the 28. .410 is hard where I found I shot as good with the 28 as I do with the 20.

    28 costs more than 20 or .410 but so what.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Me being 6'3" shoot mostly 20's. A friend with bad shoulders tried all my 20's and ended up buying an 870. An easy choice. He especially hated a Benelli Raffaello and a light O/U Beretta 57 was painful,too.

    But just like everything else,a 20 can be tamed down with light loads. They are available. Magnum 20/76 makes no sense because you only get five more pellets in the target area but 30-50% more recoil. (I have tested and chronoed and patterned an insane amount of 20 gauge ammo).

    And now we have tungsten to make 20 even better.

    (By the way : My friend got his left shoulder operated and after a year he shot second prize in finnish national moving moose target competition. That competition has many sub-competitions,lots of shooting.)

  8. #28
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    I recommend just taking him with you.

    I would not give a 7 year old any firearm while hiking around.

    They just do not have the attention span.

    The kid will be just super happy being with you. More then upset that he is not carrying a gun.

    Safety first. And formost.



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  9. #29
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    I have to agree with the Flying Monkey here. I had the attention span of a gnat at 7 years old and very seldom do I see kids that age that are any different. Just taking him with you so he could experience actually sitting still and not making any noise should eb challenge enough.

    After he has gone with you a few times, graduate him up to a simple Bolt Action Single Shot .22 like one of the Little Savage Cricket rifles. Much easier to teach him "Gun Handling" and "Muzzle Awareness" with a simple lightweight gun.

    Another approach for basic learning might be a BB gun? I started with a Daisy Pop Gun at 6 then a Daisy BB gun at 8 and then a real Single Shot .22 at 13. I was never allowed to use the BB Gun at 8 unsupervised. I was not allowed to use my BB gun which was left in Michigan until I finally got it back when I was 12. But at 8 my Mother bought me a Whamo Slingshot thinking it was harmless and I became quite proficient with. I killed more birds with that slingshot and marbles than I ever killed with my BB gun and I still have both.

    Learning the responsibility that comes along with Launching Projectiles of any kind is kind of what is going on here. Many ways to go about it. See which one works best for you. I personally don't think anything above a BB gun is appropriate in this case.

    My .02

    Randy
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  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    not to be a downer but id agree with hitting the brakes on all that. a full caliber single shot shotgun would knock a 7 year old to the ground and he'd never want to shoot again. I used a single shot 16ga 12-16yrs and shooting it was basically a pain challenge even with the thickest recoil pad I could buy. I wouldn't give a 7 yr old anything with gunpowder other than monitored benched 22 shooting

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks to all.

    Just having him along for the first few times should be great for all of us.

    762
    Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
    My amendment can beat up your amendment.

  12. #32
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Don't get a .410, I was a little guy, and I cussed mine, and cussed it, and cussed it. I think the only thing it killed was a pigeon at too close range.

    Then I got a Rem 870 wingmaster in 20 ga and the gunshop owner cut it down to fit me. Suddenly everything I aimed at fell.

    But 7 is too young for a 20 ga pump.

    Air rifle or .22lr sure, under constant supervision, with some long hard talks.
    Wait until they've passed their firearm safety classes. By then they have more maturity, size, and the desire. Don't push it. But don't be afraid to teach them to shoot either. Keep your eyes open for a good single shot .22lr. And the 20 ga down the road.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Been a while but the son wanted a shotgun. So Remington had the 870 20 gauge youth model. He was 8 tall and lanky for his age. Bought the shotgun and stocked up on several cases of ammo. Forward less than a year. He told me he had disliked the 20 from day one. In the meantime he had snatched my 1100 and 870 12 gauge. Found a stock a trap shooting buddy had for an 870 he had cut down for his wife.
    Fit the young man well and he a scratched out his share of 25 straight with it. Never complained once about recoil.
    Sold the 20 gauge and ammo took that and bought him an 1100 trap 12 gauge.

    I had listened to guys talk about fitting a shotgun, always thought it was a bunch of blow. I ended up with a model 12 duck bill trap and had the stock fitted to me. I was shocked at how much my scores went up.
    Fit is a fair bit of shotgun shooting.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master

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    870 youth 20ga & 1/2 oz handloads ,it can be done .I loaded 25 shells & scored as good as 7/8 oz loads. these had what felt like 0 recoil in my 6.3 lb o/u & my oldest girl which doesn't like recoil at all says they didn't kik

    You can load em real cheap on a load all to start .A little time consuming but well worth the rewards!!!

    1 last word , I had my girls shooting a cricket at 5 yr old , they listened & paid attention.
    Rule 1 barrel in safe direction always & 2 keep booger picker off the trigger.3 action stays open until told to make ready.
    My baby girl embraced firearms whole heartedly & I love it when we shoot clays together to this day!!

    GP

    Ifin ya need data pm me
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  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy
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    For squirrel or rabbits I vote for a 410. Maybe a pump or side-by-side. For anything winged a beginner will need something with more shot. A pump 20 or 16 would be my choice.
    “You’ve got to slow down to be fast” - Dad

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    It's true single shots are a recoil concern. I am currently teaching my nephew to shoot at 7 years old. I've got him on an H&R single shot 20 gauge with powder puff reloads, and my Henry big boy 327 federal rifle. I forget the exact load, but it was a 3/4 oz load at likely 1000 fps. I've heard of some guys loading 3/4 oz loads in 12 gauge, but I feel that may be pushing it a bit. No need to risk a stuck wad. The 327 federal loaded down sounds just like a 22 lr. We were even shooting blackpowder one day, which some kids love the boom better than the crack of a full power smokeless load.

    Now I had plenty of guns to choose from, but two things became crystal clear to me right away. One, he is too small to handle heavier guns. He can hold up the H&R ok, but a pump is out of the question. A Mossberg 500 with 20" barrel is the lightest pump I own, and there's no way he could swing on a target. The second is no matter how much you drill it before hand, there is going to be fingers in the trigger guard. Now is the time to get it into their heads. For this reason both the shotgun and rifle are hammer guns. I remind him every time, finger off the trigger. We are getting to about 90% success on that. This way I cock the hammer, only when he is safe. Thankfully he is good with muzzle control, many kids are sweepers. As bad as it is, I know 100% a hammer that is down will not go off. Safetys can fail. At first I thought a shorter barrel might be good, but a long one helps keeping down range.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master



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    My Dad started me out with a Winchester Model 42 when I was around 9 or 10 years old. I used nothing but 3" shells. Hunted mainly ducks, pigeons and on the rare occasion pheasant. Granted a 410 is a demanding load to hit flying birds but I found that after hunting with a 410 for a number of years and graduating to a larger gauge (20ga) later on, my hit ratio was quite high. The 410 will make a better you a better shot! At 11 he bought me a Winchester 22 lr pump. I could hit rabbits on the run with no problems. I attribute that to training with the 410. As a kid I was a determined hunter so the the slower learning curve with the 410 did not deter me. All kids are different and what worked for me might discourage a more timid youth.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Personally I think .410 is a shotgun that should just ride off into the sunset. It serves no good purpose. It's an experts gun, not because it makes you a better shot, but it makes you a better hunter. It's still shot coming out at a similar velocity. Great shots aren't going to be consistently crushing long targets with a .410. Even if you center the bird, the holes in a 1/2 oz load pattern are huge.

    28 gauge make a lot more sense for an expert, however, I maintain 20 gauge is the best overall gauge for many people. I'd say 16, but the choices in shotguns aren't what they used to me.

  19. #39
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Mossberg makes a nice 20 gauge jr. model of the 500. A decent choice for a child near or in their early teens. One can load mild shells. The 20's are useful for sporting clays which can be very enjoyable but not super involved competitive activity. The 20 is a pretty good home defense round, and the jr model with shorter barrel and stock is easier for smaller people to handle. It is also a bit more maneuverable in the close quarters of a home.

    So I agree with those that said probably too soon for him to be hunting with a shotgun. Good to take him along and maybe include some range time with a single shot or bolt action .22 to make it extra special and educational.
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  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    When I was eight I received an H&R single barrel 12 with a 32”full choke barrel . An el cheapo trap gun LOL’s . I was a pretty decent sized kid at eight . I shot the heck out of that gun with skeet,trap,dove loads and yeah it bruised the crap out of me but I loved it . AND BY NO MEANS am I saying give an eight year old one now . Get him a single , semi auto or O/U 28 gauge . I shot skeet for what seems like a 100 years so don’t let anyone tell you that a 28 won’t do a good job on birds . My 28 gauge skeet averages were always slightly higher then my 12 and 20 averages . Matter of fact the 28 was the first gauge I went 100 straight on the skeet field . To be honest I’m
    Not much in getting a 28 single , you might find a decent used H&R . Don’t much care for any pump , but a used Remington 11-48 , 48 or 1100 in 28 would be an excellent choice , just only load one shell until he gets comfortable with it . To be honest I’d rather see you get him a nice used Browning Citori or older Winchester 101 in 28 . At the moment I only have a pair of 28’s a Browning Belgian made Superposed of 1970 vintage with 28” S&S barrels and a circa 1904 Parker VH 28 with 26”F&F barrels I just acquired three weeks ago . I’ve already worked up buckshot loads for the Parker with #1 , #2 and #3 buckshot using W572 , SR7625 and Universal Clays . I have a Rooskie made Lyman style slug mold for the 28 on the way as well as several boxes of Brenneke slugs back ordered . If I live long enough I’ll eventually kill deer with the Parker 28 . One atleast with buckshot , one with the Lyman style slug and one with the Brenneke factory stuff . Now as to the 410 I’ve shot thousands of 410 at skeet targets as well as some sporting clays and done very well on the skeet field and serviceable at sporting the 410 has also done very well for me in the dove field the few times I used it their . HOWEVER the 410 isn’t for an inexperienced shooter all it’ll do for a person learning is get them discouraged . Start with the 28 !!!!
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