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Posted: 11/19/2001 1:20:18 PM EDT
I'm looking to get my 11 year old boy a shotgun.
He shoots already but hasn't shot a shotgun yet.
I'm thinking about a 870 in 20ga.
He can't properly shoulder my shotgun so I was thinking about cutting down the stock on a new 20ga or getting him a youth model.
If any of you could offer me some advice on getting him outfitted I would appreciate it
Link Posted: 11/19/2001 1:31:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/19/2001 1:44:38 PM EDT
I vote for the 870. Nothing wrong with the Mossie, I just think the 870 is a better rig.

And thankfully you aren't giving him a 410. Absolute worst choice for first shotgun.

Link Posted: 11/21/2001 5:59:36 PM EDT
Go for the 870, the Remington 870 Super Express
Magnum, go for the 12 ga. start him out with
target loads, i.e Federal 2 3/4 rounds,
there nicknamed cowboy rounds, they have about the same kick as a 20 ga. at least this way he can move up later to a hotter load of ammo
with out having to buy a new gun, the 870 SEM
goes for about $320, and there is loads of after
market goodies for it. I also have a 11 year
old son and he has no problem shooting mine,
good hunting !
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 7:32:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2001 7:25:34 PM EDT by Garmentless]
An H&R (or NEF or whatever they are today) single-shot, break-action shotgun is perfect for beginners. Nice and light and simple to operate. A very fast shotgun to get into action too. When he's good he'll be able to cock it as he throws it to his shoulder and get off a shot. I was able to break birds thrown from behind without warning before they got 10 ft in front of me from a low ready. Let him prove himself with one shot before you move on to the repeaters.
BTW, get it in 20ga.
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 7:32:29 PM EDT
A mossberg 500 series, 12Ga., 7-8 shot, 20" bbl. would do the trick. Give him some target loads like said above. Plus you get to add a nice little tactical shotgun to the collection.
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 8:03:00 PM EDT
I bought my son an 870 last year. One of the 12 gauge Express models (26") for about $200. I then added one of the Hogue recoil compensating stocks. He has shot a couple of boxes of the Winchester AA "Featherlight" shells (7/8 oz at 950 fps) at one time without being sore.

I bought the 12 so he would be able to keep it for awhile. My kid is big for a 12 year old (5'7" at 175 lbs), and I wanted a firearm that he wouldn't outgrow quickly. However, I believe it is still too long for him to handle well. I am looking for a short barrel (18-20"), but can't find anything that short with replaceable chokes.

I have started reloading shells for him (and me) that duplicate the low recoil loads of the AAs.

He can also successfully shoot my Mossberg 500 with the short barrel (18"), but I don't want to cut the stock on it. I have given thought to buying a youth stock for it, several new products have hit the market lately. I just like the 870 better.

I chose the 12 gauge because of the less expensive price and less expensive ammo. I don't think there is that much difference between the recoil of budget ammo between the 12 and 20. Now that I am reloading the difference in price is negligible.

You might ask among your friends that hunt/shoot and ask if any of them have suggestions. This might lead to an offer to let your son shoot a loaner to help make the decision.

Good luck,

Link Posted: 11/21/2001 8:30:54 PM EDT
I was about 11-ish when I first shot a shotgun. My dad borrowed his late father's old single-shot 20-gauge from my uncle. It was the first shotgun my dad ever shot, and he wanted it to be my first too.

Anyway, it hurt like hell. I shot it twice, and my dad's semi-auto Franchi once. That was it; I was done. Sore as hell. He even put a slip-over recoil pad on it. Of course, it was the first gun of any kind I'd ever fired that wasn't a .22 or a BB gun. That might have made a difference. My dad didn't have anything in between. If he'd had an AR, that would have been a nice step up. About all he had otherwise was a 12-gauge and a .30-06. Neither of those would have been pretty.

But hey, on the first shot I blasted the hell out of that Pepsi can at about 15 yards.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 4:21:37 AM EDT
I just purchased a benelli nova 20 gauge for my boy. he loves it. i have an 870, moss 500 and 590 . I am very impressed with this shotgun, my next pump shotgun will be a nova.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 4:50:36 AM EDT
Last spring I had the pleasure of watching a group of young shooters from Texas 4-H Clubs compete. Ages ranged from 11 to 19 years; boys and girls.

Skeet, 5-stand and clays were the course.

The youngest, a boy from Houston, shot an 1100 12 ga. He was GOOD! The 1100 may have been a youth model; it had a stock shortened to fit.

My kids will start shotgun next year with either an 1100 or a Beretta 391 Youth chambered in 12 ga.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 5:11:57 AM EDT
I bought my nine year old daughter a Remington 1100 20 ga Youth LT. This was our first year dove hunting where she carried a shotgun.

It's all black with the synthetic stock and built-in recoil pad. It's short and light, easy to operate, and has relatively soft recoil (even for a 20) because of the gas-operated mechanism.

It carries a pretty hefty price tag for a "kid's gun", but this will be one of the two or three guns now in the house that she will have the option of taking with her when she grows up and moves away. So I'm thinking long-term. (Grandkids?)

If she loses interest and doesn't want it around, that's ok, my Wife just LOVES it!

Now if I can just find an extended magazine tube for 3 gun matches.....
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 5:24:39 AM EDT
A New England Firearms crack barrel 20 gauge is the very best choice for a kid's first gun. They make light weight youth models and are available at Wal-Mart for $80-$90. Let him really learn firearms safety with a gun like this and then when he's physically able to use a heavy pump at around age 13-14, then get him the Remington. As a game warden, I can definetly tell you this is the ticket.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 5:58:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2001 5:54:30 AM EDT by Arock]
Winchester has a 12 ga. load I just discovered that's great for women and kids.

It's a AA Low Noise Low Recoil Target Load (AA12FL8) that uses 7/8 oz. of #8 at about 1200 ft/sec. Advertised as 50 percent less noise and recoil.

I shot a couple last week and it's the easiest shooting 12 ga. load I ever tried. The Lovely Bride made me buy her a case.

*Edited to mention this load is for break-open and pump actions only. It may not function in semi-automatics. Works fine in the Bride's Beretta 682.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 6:09:44 AM EDT
What a good father. I had to wait till I was 18 before I could get a gun. I also had to beg and plead with my parents to let me get it because I still lived in their house.
But enough about me. Go with the 870. It will last him a lifetime.
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