youth shotgun recommendations

youth shotgun recommendations

This is a discussion on youth shotgun recommendations within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My 15-year-old is looking forward to his first pheasant season later this fall. Years back, I promised that I'd buy him his first shotty. The ...

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Thread: youth shotgun recommendations

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    VIP Member Array Brass63's Avatar
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    youth shotgun recommendations

    My 15-year-old is looking forward to his first pheasant season later this fall.
    Years back, I promised that I'd buy him his first shotty.
    The problem is that he's still tiny...he hasn't hit the teen growth spurt yet.
    So do I buy another cheapy Mossberg youth model...or are there better options?
    (I'd like to a least buy a gun that he'd want to hang on to, even if he outgrew it.)
    It'll be a 20 gauge.
    Thanks for any suggestions
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    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    My son is about 80 lbs and I got him the H&R Pardner pump, 20 ga youth model. It is solidly built and has had no issues in approx 300 rounds. For full disclosure it is made in China - sorry guys, but the price is very reasonable ($159 @ Walmart).
    He does well with it shooting clays, and we're going quail hunting soon, so he'll get some live targets.
    I'm 6', 220 lb and enjoy shooting it. I don't expect he'll outgrow it for quite a while.
    It has a black synthetic stock and we're planning on painting it desert camo soon.
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    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    I "cut my teeth" so to speak on a cheap Spainish made side by side double. One modified and one full. Twin triggers. Light, fast, easy to operate and safe.
    Just my $.02 cent opinion.
    Of course that was in the late sixties, and if I remember correctly, my Dad bought it NIB fo $79.00. Really don't know what they run now?
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    Distinguished Member Array DontTreadOnI's Avatar
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    I started out with an old Mossy .410 and took a few deer with it. I would recommend a 20ga pump of sorts. I have a 20ga Mossberg 500 and have had it out shooting clays for years and have also taken deer with it. I would highly recommend that gun.
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

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    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass63 View Post
    My 15-year-old is looking forward to his first pheasant season later this fall.
    Years back, I promised that I'd buy him his first shotty.
    The problem is that he's still tiny...he hasn't hit the teen growth spurt yet.
    So do I buy another cheapy Mossberg youth model...or are there better options?
    (I'd like to a least buy a gun that he'd want to hang on to, even if he outgrew it.)
    It'll be a 20 gauge.
    Thanks for any suggestions

    well, I did just that... for myself last fall (after dove season). Even though I'm only 5'8" x 185 lbs, I don't have short arms. I do have some mobility problems with my right shoulder and neck and wondered if trying a "short stock" would help. For years I have shot double guns or Beretta auto, but nothing really had the proper "fit" and I knew it was probably due to the stock length conflicting with my mild physical limitations. I picked up a Mossy 500 Bantam in 20 ga with 22" barrel (and choke tubes) last fall and shot clays a couple of times during the 10 months prior to this year's dove hunt. Intent on proving to myself, even with a pump gun, that the shorter lop would make a huge difference, I left the Beretta in the truck all six outings during the hunt. Surprisingly when I tallied up the numbers, my kill ratio was up by at least 30% with that short "cheap" gun.

    If it's reliable, and especially if it fits the shooter properly, low price shouldn't be an issue with a shotgun.

    jmo

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    My 14 yr old granddaughter .... likes the Mossberg youth shotgun. I tried to talk her into others, but she keeps going back to it. So, that's the one I'll be getting her.
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    My suggestion is the Remington 870 Youth model... you can refit it later with a full-size stock.

    Just beware - skip over the single-shot, break-action types and the ultra-light offerings. I've seen these leave beginning shooters with bruised cheeks... really kills the fun. 20 gauge is fine; .410 bore is for experts, not beginners.
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    Distinguished Member Array DontTreadOnI's Avatar
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    Why do you say .410 bore is not for beginners?
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

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    VIP Member Array Brass63's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I'll take take another look at the Mossbergs and Rem.870.
    In my reading and researching, people tell beginners to stay clear of .410 because it's much more difficult to hit birds with them...clay and feathered alike.
    I personally have no hands-on experience with .410s.
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    Distinguished Member Array DontTreadOnI's Avatar
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    I would definitely agree that your 15 year old can handle at least a 20 gauge, I was just curious because I had never heard anyone say that about .410s before, makes sense though.
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    A 20 gauge pump would be my choice since it was the first and only shotgun my parents bought for me many years ago. Mine will shoot the 3 3/4 in. magnum shells and even as an adult, I like the 20 gauge. However, the first shotgun I fired was a single shot .410.

    Just my .02 cents.
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    Senior Member Array beni's Avatar
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    I was fifteen when I got my first shotgun (first ever gun). It is a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge with a 3" inch chamber full size with a 28" barrel. I originally wanted a 20 gauge as well as I was also pretty short. I was probably about 5'3" ~ 5'4" 130 lbs. I still have my 870 and I'm glad that I went with the 12 gauge instead of the 20 as the 12 gauge is much more versatile in terms of ammo offerings and availability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DontTreadOnI View Post
    Why do you say .410 bore is not for beginners?
    The .410 is not for beginners because it's so damned hard to hit anything with it! The primary intent of a shotgun is to hit moving targets with a cloud of pellets, but the practical part of it is that you need enough pellet density in the pattern to assure multiple hits on the target. If you run a tight choke, you can get good pattern density but it's in a small diameter with a lot of shot stringing. If you run a more open choke, the pattern gets wider but the pellet density is only effective for a short range.

    Lots of folks pick a .410 for beginning shooters for the sake of low recoil, which is understandable. But the minute you try to train your young nimrod to hit a moving target, you've handed him or her a huge handicap with that .410. The 28 gauge isn't much better, but you don't find many econo-guns in that bore.

    I have yet to see a 10- or 12-year old shooter who could not manage the recoil from a 20 gauge. The 20 has a lot going for it; the lightest load you can buy is 7/8 ounce which coincidentally is the standard target load for skeet. But even with a standard 2-3/4 inch chamber, you can get up to 1-1/8 oz in the larger shot sizes (like #4 and #6) which is fine for pheasant (and even for ducks until lead shot was banned for waterfowl). Compared to the .410 bore, shot stringing is significantly reduced, which results in more bagged game.

    Bottom line is that the small bores are for experts, not beginners.
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    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontTreadOnI View Post
    Why do you say .410 bore is not for beginners?
    Yep, he not only said it, he repeated it in depth.... LOL.

    My grandfather handed me a .410 single shot, and told me that I didn't deserve to hunt until I could shoot anything I was aiming at with that gun. I wanted more shots, and he said.... this is so I would learn to make every shot count.

    It worked. I definitely learned well with it and could hit anything I aimed at.

    When hunting, I outshot the 6 yr Champion skeet shooter of that county. I walked to the house with a lot of quail and never got thru a box of shells. My brother, had been thru 2 1/2boxes and didn't have half the quail I did, nor did he.

    I have a .410 that my grandkids shoot now. Now, it's time for my oldest to go to a 20 ga. because she hits everything with the .410 that she shoots at .... including moving one's.

    Takes an expert ?? No, it just teaches one to shoot more than holes in the air.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    The .410 is not for beginners because it's so damned hard to hit anything with it! The primary intent of a shotgun is to hit moving targets with a cloud of pellets, but the practical part of it is that you need enough pellet density in the pattern to assure multiple hits on the target. If you run a tight choke, you can get good pattern density but it's in a small diameter with a lot of shot stringing. If you run a more open choke, the pattern gets wider but the pellet density is only effective for a short range.

    Lots of folks pick a .410 for beginning shooters for the sake of low recoil, which is understandable. But the minute you try to train your young nimrod to hit a moving target, you've handed him or her a huge handicap with that .410. The 28 gauge isn't much better, but you don't find many econo-guns in that bore.

    I have yet to see a 10- or 12-year old shooter who could not manage the recoil from a 20 gauge. The 20 has a lot going for it; the lightest load you can buy is 7/8 ounce which coincidentally is the standard target load for skeet. But even with a standard 2-3/4 inch chamber, you can get up to 1-1/8 oz in the larger shot sizes (like #4 and #6) which is fine for pheasant (and even for ducks until lead shot was banned for waterfowl). Compared to the .410 bore, shot stringing is significantly reduced, which results in more bagged game.

    Bottom line is that the small bores are for experts, not beginners.
    The only factor I have to add is the fact that the smaller bore shotguns are also built on thinner, lighter chassis's, which negates the recoil factor. So, a lightweight .410 an recoil just as hard as a 12 gauge. That is even more prevalent when comparing a 20 to a 12. I choose a 20 for quail smaller upland game birds because it is thinner and lighter. The gun swings faster, and its lighter because you carry the gun a whole lot more than shoot it when upland hunting.

    If I were going to buy a youth shotgun today, it would be an 870 or 1187 compact.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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