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shotgun for small youngster

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Unread 07-10-2008, 12:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,474
Yes, it's more difficult to hit a target with a .410 than it is a 20guage - there are simply fewer pellets. So make the game as easy as possible. Rather than have him shooting at a skeet or trap range, get a small ground thrower ( ALLEN Claymaster Target Thrower at Outdoor Super Store). You can adjust the angle and they throw the target pretty slowly. Your son could stand right next to the thrower. This way the target is moving straight away from him and relatively slowly. Then as he gets more proficient he can begin to step farther and farther away from the thrower which introduces more angle and difficulty.

Although I think somebody else mentioned it in a previous post, one of the most important things to managing recoil is that the gun fit. If you're son is that small, you might even have to have a youth stock cut down.

As an aside, when I take the kids out to shoot pistols or rifles, I have them shoot at things that "pop" - eggs, baloons, clay targets, cans or have them build something or stack up - anything that reacts when hit. I find that kids get pretty bored shooting at paper, but if the target will explode, they love it. That's one of the reasons they like shooting shotguns - they love blowing up targets in the air.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!

Last edited by trebark; 07-10-2008 at 12:09 PM.
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Unread 07-10-2008, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: N. Central Indiana
Posts: 608
There are clay birds that have powder in the dome - they REALLY make a cloud of dust when they are hit!

An easy way to check shotgun fit is to shoot at a whitewashed 4' square board or steel that is say 20 Yds away with a full choke. Put a dot in the center, and have him shoulder the gun and shoot at the dot without looking at the sights - both eyes open. Do this a couple of times to verify that he's shouldering the gun the same time every shot. If the center of the pattern is low, the comb of the stock needs to be raised. High, lower the comb. Right, of center, then the comb needs to be thicker on the left side for a right handed shooter. For muscle memory practice, put a small mag light(AA for 12 ga, AAA for 20 ga double and check to make sure the gun is unloaded too) in the muzzle. Inside the house, have him look at a corner of a room, then shoulder the gun with the light pointed at the corner. Keep the light pointed at the corner the whole time that he is shouldering the gun. Once he's getting proficient at that, have him follow the seam between the wall and ceiling as he's mounting the gun. Again, both eyes open and looking at the light, not the sights.

Heck, for that matter, if the gun is fitted properly, then he doesn't need sights. You don't have sights on your index finger, and you point at things, right? I had a shotgun fitted by having the sights removed, then shooting rubber .38 cal bullets from a rifled insert, propelled by a .209 primer. Once the gun was fitted, I could hit an aspirin @ 20 feet 8 out of 10 times without any sights on the gun. Clays were easy after that once I figured out how much I had to lead them at different distances!

If you decide to reload, PM me and I can send you information on light loads, and where to buy the components. Ballistic Products and Precision Reloading were the 2 that I used for wads and info., besides the reloading info that is published by Federal and Winchester.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 11:49 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sagauache County, Co...3170 sq miles, not a single stop light!
Posts: 693
good advice all....

i would go with the rem 1100 youth model 20 ga....shoot reduced power loads until he is comfortable with higher ones. my boys both had rem 870 youth models and they were very small framed.i still have one of theirs. its a great little gun also but the semi auto will have less recoil. you might go to a trap range nearby and see if they have any loaner guns he could try. trap clubs are more than willing to help new shooters out....didnt notice where you are from.. i will check and then see if i can find a range to reccomend...AJ
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Unread 07-18-2008, 11:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sagauache County, Co...3170 sq miles, not a single stop light!
Posts: 693
there is a great club....

...just up the road a bit in spanish fork, ut. try to get up that way and see what they have....bet they can help you out. the trap shooters in utah are great folks....say hi to joe roach for me if you run into him..AJ
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Unread 07-25-2008, 01:12 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23
I grew up on a .410 shotgun and always hold a spot in my heart for the smallest shotgun. Recoil is tolerable for pretty much any kid, and it takes actual skill to be effective with one.

I got my 8 year old daughter a Rossi matched pair for xmas last year. Hers came with a 20 gauge barrel because of a mix up at the store, I had wanted the .410 barrel. Easier to just keep it though and she can grow into the 20 gauge. I also have a vintage 1950's Savage model 24 (that was the first gun I ever shot) that to this day still gets taken afield.

The Rossi matched sets are inexpensive and the barrel is easily swapped. The stocks are plastic, but good quality, the fiber op sights provide good sight picture. It has the key lock safety and comes with carry bag.
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Unread 07-26-2008, 12:23 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,871

I'm starting this kid off slow. The 3" shell is a bit too much so we are playing with the shorter version. He isn't in to moving targets yet so we swing the clay on a long string so that he has some success right off. Kids seem to be more interested in real action/dusting etc. than follow through etc. We'er just having fun at the moment.

He'll grow into flying birds soon enough.
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Unread 07-26-2008, 06:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,855
I'm building my boy (4yrs old) his first gun now ,its on an Encore frame the stock has to be cut still I'll wait till hes 5 for that for a better fit and it willuse a spacer system to ad length as he grows to the full size youth stock.

Anyway , I got him a 24" barrel in 410 for it and its a real pleasure to shoot especialy with a Sims recoil pad.
Granted if you buy an encore Frame for $250 thenanother $75 for stocks and another $250 for the barrel your into a bit of money BUT , you will be able to buy him other barrels as he grows including a 20ga and a 12ga that will fit the frame as well as just about any rifle caliber you want.

I personaly have a custom over and under (that was handed down to me from the father of a fallen Marine that was about the closest thing I'll have to a brother) chambered in 28ga , thats a hard to find shell but this thing seesm like you can't miss with it , We make a quail hunt with it once a year on his birthday and I can honestly say that I shoot it better than a Browning Citori that was fitted for me.

so the 28 ga is another option
Si Vis Pacem Parabellum
Molon Labe
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