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shotgun for small youngster

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Unread 07-09-2008, 12:12 PM
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shotgun for small youngster

My son and I were going out to break som pigeons a while back. We stopped a wal mart for shells. They had several youth size shotguns. I'd like to get him one. He is eight and smaller than average.

My question is, which guage? I have no experience with anything but a 12. I was concerned the 20 would be too much recoil. I've was also concerned the 410 would be challenging to hit with.

His experience so far is limited to his 22. He is a great shot with it. But, has not shot anything larger yet. I would very much like it if he could participate next time we shoot clays or pheasant.

Any suggestions on make and model would be appreciated too.
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Unread 07-09-2008, 05:35 PM
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I have a Remington 1100 youth 20ga. I keep it so my daughters and and niece can shoot. I waited until they were about twelve before I let them shoot it (5' and 95+ pounds)

If your son is eight years old and small for his age, I would not go larger than .410 and try to limit his shooting to times and places where his success rate would be high - this will keep his confidence and desire to shoot high.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Unread 07-09-2008, 06:07 PM
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Location: N. Central Indiana
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If you reload for the shotgun, there are an unlimited amount of recipes out there, from 3/4 oz going 1100 fps all the way up to 1 5/8 oz (in 2 3/4" 12 ga).

If you reload, I would look at a auto, in 12 ga, and reload the 3/4 oz loads for him to shoot single-shot. The stock can be cut down for his small frame (with care) and you can get a shorter barrel to also help reduce the weight. It would be easy to upsize the gun as he grew up without having to spend a lot of $$.

A big thing to help with recoil is make sure that the gun fits him, and get a nice soft recoil pad. Simms, Trap Dude, etc. make nice ones.

If you don't reload, then I'd look at a 20 ga auto, or try and find some of the cowboy reduced power loads for 12 ga.

Auto's will have the least perceived recoil, then Over/unders (bottom barrel), followed by pumps and single shots.

Just like a rifle, the "bullet" weight and speed vs. the weight of the gun determine the recoil. The cheap shtogun shells at the big box stores might recoil more than the premium shells even tho they usually have less shot in them due to the fact that they are usually going faster than the premium light target loads.

There are other options to help with recoil, but they run into considerable $$ (i.e. Soft-Touch or G-squared recoil reduction systems)

I probably will be saying something that you already know, but make sure that he wears ear plugs/ear muffs and preferrably both. I bought my nephew an inexpensive set of electronic ear muffs, and he wore them turned all the way up over a set of ear plugs. He still wears the muffs 5 years later.

I have a Franchi AL-20 that weighs 5# 3 oz, and it recoils about the same as my Remington 1100. (7/8 oz vs. 1 1/8 oz). I wouldn't recommend the .410 due to the difficulty of hitting clay birds with it.
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Unread 07-09-2008, 07:29 PM
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Skeet ranges will allow you to shoot as you please during the off hours. The going away shots are pretty easy to master as long as you get his feet properly positioned so the shoulders are squared at the the correct time. You can shoot the low house for a while and then move over to the high house. Leave the crossing shots alone until he has the muscles and hand eye coordination to deal with them/

Check eye dominance and deal with it as you please but if he is opposed dominance then you will have to take extra steps to ensure a successful shooting experience. I use pirate eye patches until the child learns to control it themselves.

The 11-87 is nice in 20 gauge but perhaps more than an 8 year old can handle.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 07-09-2008, 10:38 PM
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Sooo, semiauto, 20 gauge, shooting reduced loads one at a time for a couple years?
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Unread 07-10-2008, 12:52 AM
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I bought my grandson a cheap ol' Rossi 410 w/22 bbl. He's quite the shot w/the 22 but hasn't caught on to the scatter gun part yet.

I shot about a 5" group @ 200 yds with the 22 bbl for 5 shots the other day.:eek: And that's with the cheapie open sights.

This thing may warrant a scope.
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Unread 07-10-2008, 01:27 AM
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I've looked at those. He already has a .22. I've also read and been told the 410 takes a lot of skill. Makes sense to me, but I don't have any experience. I'd hate for him to get frustrated.

What is your experience with the 410? Recoil aside, will it be more difficult for him to be succesful with?

Thanks for the tips. I have a reloader for shells. It's new in box. Been like that for three years. This'd be a good reason to break it out. I'll be sure the gun fits him and has a nice recoil pad. Thanks for the advice on the hearing protection.

Great advice. I wouldn't have thought to check eye dominance. Both my children have been shooting for a couple years. I'm a bit surprised I forgot to check. My son is a pretty darn good shot with his little 22. My daughter is not as good. I wonder if eye dominance could be a factor. I'll check. I was opposed dominant as a youngster. Funny I forgot.
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