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10 Year Old: 1st Shotgun

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Groover, Feb 28, 2015.

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  1. Groover

    Groover Member

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    Hello everyone:

    My soon to be 10 year old wants to hunt in the worst way.

    I grew up around benchrest and have killed a lot of paper but getting him to field will be a learning curve for me also. His 10th is next month. My thought was to pick him up an 11-87 Compact.

    We belong to a gun club with pretty good skeet and trap fields so I figure we could get him some trigger time this summer with light loads and then work towards joining a bird hunt this Fall. The 20g would be a good bird gun, a good skeet/trap starter gun and could bridge to a slug gun with a barrel change should his interest in hunting grow...while he is still growing. Reloading 20g would also keep him involved with cold winter downtime.

    Single shots, pumps seem like a waste of money and he's not ready for a O/U. Seems like most bird hunts limit to a 20g...and the 11-87 compact has a rifled slug barrel with cantilever scope mount already in the catalog. He's pretty strong and motivated seems like the 11-87 is a gun he'd keep forever even as he moves to full size guns later in life.

    Thoughts?
    Groover
     
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    IF it fits him (or can be altered to fit), then you will have a winning situation. I reload 3/4 oz for both 12 and 20 and they do a great job crushing clays and they even work in my 3.5" Beretta gas gun
     
  3. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    I started my grandson on a H&R 28 ga youth single shot break action, I had plants of 28 ga ammo, the gun fit I think he was 8 or 9 then shot skeet all singles of course but soon was in the high teens and a 20 once and a while, gun had a modified choke as he got bigger he shot my 28 O/U and with skeet chokes did real well got to where I harded hard to beat him. When he moved into a 20 was a toss up.
    He's 29 now more than holds his own when we can get out.
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The gas operated auto will significantly attenuate felt recoil. As mentioned, FIT is most important.
     
  5. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    My first shotgun (at around the age you're considering) was a single shot break action .410 which I still have today. With my oldest grandson just turning 8 it will be heading his way in a few years.... No, it's not the best possible but a very good start to teach the basics with and pretty darned good for rabbit and squirrel as well.
     
  6. Groover

    Groover Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully the adjustable stock lets me get it short enough for him and the shorter barrel allows him to control it. If he outgrows it I can get him an upgrade and trade his gun down to his 8 and 4 year old brothers. His sister, also 4, will probably want something in pink when she is ready to show her brothers how to shoot skeet. I hear they give scholarships for shotgun...what a way to pay for college. :)

    Sorry, additional questions. Before I start reloading what are some good light loads for skeet you'd recommend. 8 shot? AA skeet loads? And are the MEC Jr. reloaders still the best bet?

    Thanks.
    Eddie
     
  7. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Get the Lyman shotshell reloading manual, and yes Mec JR still good to go.
    I duplicate as near possible Winchester AA loads, also Clybuster wads are cheaper and good to go also.
    Also for cases try and stick to one brand then the components are easier to control.
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    For low volume, a MEC Jr will do well. For nothing but skeet, load 3/4oz (8s or 9s) running 1200 fps or a touch more. It will all depend on how your gun likes them. Claybuster wad in any 20 gauge Remington hull like the Gun Club with any basic 209-style primer (not the hotter magnum ones) and you'll get 533 rounds from a bag of expensive shot. I still have Universal left from before the panics but Green Dot, Unique and others will work. If you have trouble finding recipes, take a good 7/8 load and just load it down to 3/4 using the green 3/4 wad from Claybuster
     
  9. short barrel

    short barrel Member

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    Of course you know your child better than anyone else, but I'm not sure 10 is old enough for him to handle a gun. If you think it's okay, then my advice would definitely be a single-shot break open .410 with light loads. I'm sure you will put safety foremost in his young mind.
     
  10. drcook

    drcook Member

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    this discussion appears at least once a month.

    a .410 is actually a chambering for a more experienced shooter. a right sized 20ga gun is better. you don't have to shoot heavy loads in it.

    there is no better way to turn a child off from shooting, than giving them a gun they can't hit anything with.

    one of the better guns for size is an 870 ultra youth. a 12" LOP and either a 18.5 ro 21 in barrel. has choke tubes and you can get longer stocks for it. we bought one for our daughter.

    as far as 10 being too young ? I had my daughter behind a BPCR rifle at that age and she was shooting the center of the target at 100 and 150 yards with iron sights. it is just the parent's responsibility to help promote safety and keep an eye on their child.
     
  11. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Absolutely, and in a single shot, even better way to turn him off.
     
  12. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    20 ga by far the better choice, a young shooter with a 410 will get him discouraged because of all the misses. I have always been partial to single shot or sxs for a new shooter, teaches them to make good shots. It's too easy for a young shooter to allow a 5 shot semi to make up for poor shooting skills than it is to correct the problems in the first place. That said, I don't know your son, and don't want to come off as criticizing him. I am speaking in generalities based on what I have seen , not just in young shooters, but many adults as well, especially those that don't shoot enough to improve their skills. It sounds as though you have a lot of experience with a shotgun, and I am sure your son will benefit from this.
     
  13. Groover

    Groover Member

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    TomADC and Oneounceload I'll pick up the Lyman manual and a MEC. Thanks.

    Short barrel, yes safety is always my #1 concern. He is a regular with BB's, 22s, range rules and is on the archery team at school. Next year he will be on the range and skeet field using youth shotguns with Boy Scouts. His cousins and many of his friends have already claimed their first deer, turkey, birds, etc. He will only get one shell at a time from me till he is ready for more. But, compared to my upbringing I kind of feel like I am late to the show.

    He is enthusiastic and hopefully that means he is receptive to the safety and the responsibility that are required of a gun owner. If not we'll put it in the safe till he finds the right attitude and maturity. Our youth have to be familiar with firearms from an early age so they aren't mislead by Hollywood, street violence, and video games.

    Drcook, I strongly considered the 870 but I worried that the pump would be a frustration especially when we try to move to the field and that recoil might be less with the semi.

    Thanks ALL!
     
  14. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    With a young kid, starting him with one shot at a time will allow him (and you) to get a feel for how he handles it.
     
  15. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Groover when I started my grandson at skeet that little H&R worked out great, if I did it again I'd start with a H&R in 20 ga youth stock and have the choke opened up to IC or Skeet maybe even add screw ins if I had more kids coming behind him. By the time he was 11-12 I think he was a size 12 shoe and my other guns fit him well. I also keep the loads mild 1200 or less.
     
  16. drcook

    drcook Member

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    I started my wife with just one in the chamber on her youth sized 1100. It is much easier to get the trigger going with a semi than with a pump, unless you just put one in. I understand about wondering about the recoil, but the wrong size semi-auto will seem to recoil more than a right sized pump. Plus if he is hunting, shooting close to you, with 1 in the magazine, it is much easier to hear your child rack the slide and know the gun is loaded.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  17. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    When I was a kid, it seemed like nearly every boy started with a single shot. I remember the day I got my brand new H & R single for my 12th birthday. It cost 40 bucks. I hunted and shot it all with that gun until I was an adult. I have little use for it now, but I still have it.
     
  18. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    I have taught quite a number of 12 year old boys ( and a few Girls and women) to shoot trap on a 12 gauge 1100 or 11-87. The local boy scout camps use the 1100 or 11-87 as their main shotguns for the shotgun merit badge at summer camp. Most of these boys are ages 12-13 and have only ever shot a .22lr rifle before this. The way you start them off is with one round at a time dropped in the ejection port. Eventually we move on to doubles once they get the hang of singles. For a 10 year old you would want the youth model with the smaller stock, or the stock could be shortened but that depends on how tall he is and the length of his arms. The Boyscouts use the NRA basic shotgun course as a basis for teaching shotgun skills.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  19. rbernie

    rbernie Member

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    Having done this path in the recent path, I will advise you that the Rem 1100/11-87 guns are way too front heavy for most small shooters to be comfortable holding up and shooting. Fitting smaller shooters isn't just about LOP - it's also about being able to hold the shotgun to the shoulder long enough to be able to acquire and swing on a moving target. The Benelli Montefeltro is a much better choice in semiauto, based on its lighter weight for each gauge compared to a similar 1100/11-87, and I'd actually suggest that you bypass a semiauto altogether and stick with a lightweight 20ga pump. A Mossberg 500 Bantam in 20ga is a very good choice.
     
  20. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Member

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    Another vote for either a 20ga pump or a 12ga pump with light loads of whatever model floats your boat. You can easily either only give him 1 round at a time or plug the magazine tube all the way until he is ready for multiple rounds. Make that transition something he has to earn.

    That's how my Dad started me, on a little Winchester Model 120 ranger youth at 11 years old. Still have the shotgun and use it for kids. I'm really glad I didn't start with a 410. After some clays we went straight into duck and pheasant hunting which would be super frustrating for a new shooter and a .410.
     
  21. jogar80

    jogar80 Member

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    I still remember the night I got my first shotgun. I was an 11 yr old sitting on the floor in my livingroom watching TV when my dad comes through the kitchen door and says "look what I got for you son!" He's holding a winchester box and when he opens it, there's a 12ga. model 120 ranger inside. We went into the backyard and he put a couple shells in it for me. I remember it feeling way too long and heavy, and it kicked the snot out of me.... but I LOVED it!!!

    Lookin back, I agree with others that fit is important, but like me, if it doesn't fit him quite right, i'm sure he will love it either way!
     
  22. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    My 9 year old son will be getting a new H&R Youth .410 this spring. Don't worry- it's already purchased.
     
  23. jogar80

    jogar80 Member

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    Just read your post.... amazing, same age and shotgun!
     
  24. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    I started with a .410. My boys started with the same .410. Yes, he will "out grow" it. But I rediscovered the joy of the .410 when I got on the far side of 50.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Maybe so, but I shot my first doves with a JC Higgins .410 pump. :D
     
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