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.410 single shot too much for a 6 yr old?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Reyn, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Reyn

    Reyn Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    I'm thinking about getting a youth 410 single shot for my 6 yr old son. We like to squirrel hunt together and he has a .22 but cannot hold steady for squirrel. Obviously i will be with him but i figured a 410 at 15-20 yds he could manage.

    One thing i don't wanna do is make him gun shy or start him flinching. Think i should wait a couple more years?
  2. timberwolf204

    timberwolf204 New Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    North east Pennsylvania
    depends on the weight of the gun, i had a savage that i started with and it did not kick a bit... but have seen some of the new ones that are real light like the rossi ones and they kick i have heard. I would see if you can try one yourself and maybe stick to the 22 for another year or two.
  3. ms6852

    ms6852 Participating Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    What kind of 22 does he have? Maybe a crickett would suit him better since he is so young.
  4. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home of Heroes, Pueblo, CO, USA
    Bad idea, in my opinion. Wait until he's 10 or 11 and let him start with a 28 ga. With a .410, he'll just miss a lot and get discouraged. If he's missing with a 22, he'll miss with a .410.

    A .410 is an expert's gun, not a kid's gun.
  5. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Participating Member

    May 11, 2006
    Deep East Texas
    I suppose it depends on the individual, but I tried the .410 thing with my daughter at age 7.

    It was clearly "too much", so we didn't try again until she was 9...at which time she could easily handle the shotgun and recoil.

    Most small single shot....shotguns, are lightweight and pack a considerable amount of felt recoil. My advice would be to stay with the .22 for now.

    Just my .02

  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Elder

    Jun 11, 2005
    I sort of think along the lines of Larry Ashcroft with the .410 gauge shotgun. It may not be an "expert's" gun, but it approaches it with a kid that has trouble bringing the shotgun to his shoulder.

    I would practice with shooting sticks and put a 4x scope on the 22 rifle. He should be able to be somewhat steady.

    I know many here start their kids shooting at a very young age. Personally, I don't think they're ready for a real gun in most cases unless under very close supervision at 6-8 age area. At 8, if they are a fairly good sized kid, I suspect with desire, they could handle the shotgun or the 22 rifle successfully. At 9-10, they are probably big enough with desire.

    If you have a 20 ga shotgun, letting them shoot that with low brass would give you a pretty good idea of their abilities with a smaller ga shotgun in general. The 20 ga would certainly work when they get older too, so even if you bought it special, it would not go to waste.
  7. rondog

    rondog Mentor

    Jun 29, 2007
    Depends on the shotgun. Wood stock for sure, to absorb recoil. One of my brothers has a Garcia Bronco .410 single, and it'll make a grown man cry with its recoil.

  8. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Participating Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    central texas
    He'll be twice as shakey with the 410 due to weight but it would be safer for neighbors if your worried about stray shots. I wouldn't think a 410 is precise as a 22 and the recoil ain't gonna break him. I went from a 22 to a 50 year old h & r single shot 12 ga and didn't get recoil shy due to the fun of shooting birds and the 12 ga was my only option. I think it would depend on his enthusiasm and build. Also weight of the gun is gonna be the biggest problem.
  9. -eaux-

    -eaux- Member

    Nov 4, 2009
    I have to agree with Larry, a .410 bore shotgun is most effective in the hands of an ol' man who doesn't care for the recoil of a big neck shotgun and knows how to sneak up on a squirrel.
    Learn your lil'un on a youth-sized, single-shot .22 with iron sights.
    My $.02

    that being said, i walked the woods with a "crack-barrel" .410 when i was 8, and skinned many squirrels and rabbits because of it. But I'm raising my boys on .22's
    I'm just a huge fan of the headshot. And if you can aim and squeeze, you can surely point and pull. With my boys, we started with Red Ryder BBguns, and are progressing. My 12 year old is learning to like the 20ga, my 9 year old LOVES the 12ga.
    everybody is different.
    they both love hitting the woods looking for supper.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  10. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Participating Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    N. CA.
    Another consideration is how well the kid is trained in handling guns and how close the adult supervision is. Bad things happen when little kids are given firearms and adult supervision is lax.
  11. oldfool

    oldfool Senior Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Thomasville, Georgia
    agree w/ others, 410 is a bit much for age 6
    for most, age 9-10 is about right

    learning to hunt w/ Dad is great, just "being there" w/ Dad is great, but not the best way to teach them to shoot. Better done methinks, with a right sized 22 at the range, real close attention and total focus on the child, not adults shooting.

    but obliged to respectfully disagree w/ those who say 410 not enough gun to 1st learn with, re: they will "miss too much".

    Not true for us, always started ours with a 410. The "trick" is, presuming child of age and temperament to be ready, a gun which fits them well, and shoulders naturally (same as for any adult).

    I was real lucky a few decades ago, to find a "matched pair" of nicely made single shots truly built to "kid size" and "little lady size" not chopped down, but built right size. Not pricey guns, either, just built right sized, a bit unusual. Start 'em with light clay loads, don't tell them they are expected to miss, don't overdo the instruction, just let them shoot, safety supervised. They will miss the first 10 or so, virtually certain, but once they find their own swing, get a hit or two, it can be pretty stunning how quickly their hit ratio picks up.

    may have something to do with learning that a close miss is not a hit, only a hit is a hit, I dunno, but they figure out pretty quickly what being on target is, if you are patient and do not burden them with too much daddy expertise.
    Nothing beats that "instant feedback" factor in any learning process, not even expert training.

    then again, most people say "not so".. and there are a lot more of them then there are of me, so....

    if he has a suitable 22 single shot right sized, and you are choosing his shots for him (assumed) from a appropriate position with safe backdrop
    put a red dot on it for him... hard to tell if li'l guys are really looking at 'sight picture' you think they are, red dot makes it unmistakable
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  12. Pete D.

    Pete D. Senior Member

    Sep 13, 2010
    Recoil with a light single shot .410 can be daunting to a new shooter.
    As to the "expert" idea...he not shooting at birds nor at clays. Squirrels are going to be sitting or he shouldn't be shooting at them. At 15-20 yards, you can expect a 15-20 inch pattern, depending on the gun.
    The big factor will be the absence of a rear sight.
    Can you teach him to deal with that? A few sessions firing at clays on a berm will tell.
  13. danez71

    danez71 Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2009
    IMO, if he's not strong enough to hold the 22 steady you should not bump up the weight of the gun.

    Is it practical to teach him to use something to help steady himself such as useing a tree or maybe kneeling to steady the aim before taking the shot?
  14. sansone

    sansone Senior Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    north florida USA
    my son had a real light pellet gun at age 6. Taught him well and even got a few squirrels with it.
  15. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Active Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Some opinions I agree with, some I don't. I will probably repeat lots that's been said. My first thought is a 22 says range 1 mile & means it. Shotgun is much safer in anyone's hands. Second is the 410 does take more than average skill, because it is low recoil doesn't mean it is a child's shotgun. Normally you will shoot up at a squirrel and what goes up comes down. I started my son older with a single shot 20ga under close supervision, when he was older still no 22 to hunt with. At 14 we had a problem with ferrell dogs and he wasn't allowed in the woods without a 20ga. A 20 with low brass will be best and you alone know his maturity level, can't advise on that. All this to say NO 22, YES 20ga low brass. My personal opinion.
  16. Onmilo

    Onmilo Mentor

    Jul 26, 2004
    Depends on the 6 year old.
    I was shooting a 12 guage at 9 years old.
  17. goon

    goon Mentor

    Jan 20, 2003
    I agree with those who say to avoid the .410 for this purpose.
    My first gun was a .410 (at age 11). It wasn't too much gun for me at that time, but as I grew I realized its limitations. I like to shoot a lot and the .410 isn't cheap to do that with. It also doesn't carry the same amount of lead as a 20 gauge. Overall, I think your kid should stick with the .22, then get him a 20 gauge when he gets big enougn.
  18. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Participating Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    I started on a Marlin 101 (long before cricketts) around age 5.

    I was allowed multiple shot rifles and my first (22) pistols around 8.

    My own Elder sprout is going to find a Henry Ar-7 explorer in her 9th birthday pile. It collapses into the stock, assembles in seconds, It's a featherweight gun, IT FLOATS. and the new versions have added a rail for a red dot or scope.

    High velocity ammo only though, it needs a stout .22 to cycle properly

    I grew up on the first generations of the AR-7, and it was a great gun once I could be trusted with more than single shots.

    I was allowed the Savage .410/22 rarely from about age 11 on. . but I've always been better with handguns.
  19. hotajax

    hotajax member

    Aug 21, 2010
    Eastern PA
    Sage advice. I remember as a kid getting all frustrated that I couldn't hit anything. If he likes to shoot, when he's big enough he'll ask for the heavier gauges.
  20. goon

    goon Mentor

    Jan 20, 2003
    Really, it depends on what you hunt. If it's squirrels and rabbits I've found the .410 to be fine, even when I was a kid I rarely missed them. I just kind of used it like a rifle that had a pattern.
    If you're hunting birds though the .410 is an experts gun.
    If you must go .410 I'd suggest hitting up the classifieds and shops for a used NEF or H&R youth model single shot. Should be less than $75. But I still can say from my own experience that I wish my shotgun had been a 20 gauge - it's just a much better all around choice than the .410 or 28 gauge from the standpoint that it throws more lead and ammo is cheaper.

    FWIW, when I was 12 I could have handled low brass 12 gauge without trouble. I was afraid of it from a psychological standpoint but even my little sister and petite female friends have handled 12 gauge low brass without trouble.

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