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Shotgun for 11-12 year old, rabbit +

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Ohio Gun Guy, Dec 20, 2016.

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  1. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Member

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    I rate myself as proficient in guns......BUT it's been a long time since I've hunted something other than paper. My oldest is 11 and would like to go rabbit (Maybe Grouse / Pheasant, etc.) hunting this or next season. I've been searching and reading old posts, but I think I'd like a current bit of advice from you all, if you can help. (He's a reasonably good shot with .22 rifles & can shoulder a full size stock)

    1. I have several 12 ga. Mossberg 500's with the different barrels.
    2. I'm considering getting a decent side by side .410 or 20 gauge for kid/s to hunt with.

    The knock on .410 seems to be it's harder to hit with due to the smaller shot pattern.
    I'm worried from personal experience a light 20ga will kick just as hard (Or harder) as a 12 ga.

    Should I look at a .410?
    Get a 20 ga and use reduced recoil?
    Or are 12 ga reduced recoil okay for a fairly big 11 year old? - IF yes, what commercial loads have you used?

    Thanks! OGG
     
  2. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    I took my Son hunting for the first time when he was about your's age. I had a .410 single barrel which I had him use. At mid day we went to visit the farmer we were hunting on. Seeing the gun my son was carrying he said "Why don't you give that boy something he can kill something with?". The .410 is long gone. My son now in his 50s still has the Ithaca 37 12 gauge I gave him for our next hunt.
     
  3. sappyg

    sappyg Member

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    I think there are lotts of suitable guns to consider. But 1st, do you have a budget? That will narrow things down a bit.
    A lightweight 20 gage can get a little sometimes. A good recoil pad will solve that. I'm a big fan of the Weatherby SA08 IN 20 gage if a semi is preferred. Practically no recoil. If the budget is a little tight for that then the 870 youth model from Remington is a real winner.
    Not sure what a 'decent' SxS means but to me they are the top end of most people's budget and start around 2k new.
    Leave the 410 to others. That said, I do have a yildiz SxS in 410 that I think is a decent gun for the money. I wouldn't hunt pheasant with it though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  4. kudu
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    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    He may be able to shoulder a full size stock, but to actually use it and fit, he will probably need a cut down youth stock. Shooting a rifle and shooting a shotgun are two different things, aim a rifle point a shotgun. Shotgun needs to fit so it is pointing where you are looking. Possibly buy another Mossberg stock and cut it down 2-2.5" and add a 1" recoil pad. Or get his own shotgun in 20 gauge, I don't keep up if Mossberg has youth guns, but Remington has youth 870 express guns. Reduced recoil birdshot is available, but a bit more price in both 12 and 20 gauge. If you reload then it is simple to make your own.

    A decent hunting SxS is gonna be at least $800 for a cheap one.

    Do you have any shotgun clubs in your area that has youth teams, many people are extremely willing to help out a young shooter with gun fit. You might ask around to see.
     
  5. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Member

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    Thanks for the responses.

    Budget 500 +/- (More if I do a little safe cleaning).

    Seems to me the consensus is 20 ga but in a youth / shortened stock with a good recoil pad. With reduced recoil shells.

    I've got some time, but I'll look into the weatherby / other semi autos (I assumed those were more expensive). I like the wood / classic look and simple function of a side by side or an over under but that's probably more on the aesthetics for me, not function for him....
     
  6. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    There is nothing wrong with starting a kid with a single shot. A 20 gauge with a cut down stock and recoil pad might be the ticket.
     
  7. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    My oldest son was started out with a SXS .410 shotgun while shooting dove over 35 years ago, and then went up to a Mossberg 500 in the 20ga. BTW he did really well with the .410 SXS as he limited out (10 was the limit). We did a lot of practice with that little shotgun using the 3" #8 shot reloads using an inexpensive trap thrower before he and I felt ready to try it on game. Now quail was a quite a bit different matter. I believe he only got about 5-6 quail the whole year he used that gun, however when he graduated up to the 20ga that all improved. My other three sons also started out using the .410 with similar results. I still have a .410 that I use for dove and quail during the early season.
     
  8. PabloJ

    PabloJ member

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    Assuming kid can handle one safely I would say 20ga gas-operated self-loader would be top pick. Berettas and mahogany stocked Remington 1100s are especially nice.
     
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  9. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    My son loved his mossberg 500 gave it to him when he was 11 year's old
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  10. red rick

    red rick Member

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    IMO if they can't handle 20ga. #6 shot they are to young to shoot . A gas semi of equal weight will kick less than a single shot or pump and will cost more . I was shooting a 12ga. Browning with that hard butt pad and with buckshot when I was 13. I just really wanted to hunt and shoot .
     
  11. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

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    i would not even consider a 410 of any kind. 2 reasons,cost of ammo and they can be frustrating for a new wing shooter. they are good for rabbits and squirrels but still the cost of ammo is rediculous.

    a lot of the 20 ga single shots have bad stock ergos and are very light and can kick hard. if you can find a good one that fits him and add a quality recoil pad you may be in business.

    a good sxs double or a o/u double would be the best in 20 ga with a youth size pump following close behind.

    i was lucky with my son. at 8 years old he was just a solid chunk of muscle and recoil or anything else didnt scare him the slightest bit.. your son may surprise you.my sons first shotgun was a 12 ga. at about 12 he stopped using my 243 for deer hunting and went to a 3006 that he inherited from his grandfather..he shot very well with it and killed one of the biggest deer ive ever seen when he was 15.
     
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  12. Browning

    Browning Member

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    I'd vote for a 20 gauge semi auto gas gun. Something like the Remington 1100 youth, the Winchester X3 20 gauge of the Beretta A400 20 gauge (be prepared for some sticker shock on the Beretta).

    Wouldn't look at a .410 at all.
     
  13. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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    It depends on the kid, really. I was shooting a lightweight H&R at 12...not really enjoying it, but personally I would have shot a 10-gauge before going back to the 410 I was shooting as a "kid" of 6. Mostly my big brother's fault.

    I would buy and try some of these with the Mossberg:
    http://www.ammofast.com/collections...ge-minishell-1-3-4-inch-7-5-shot-20-round-box


    I bought some at a gunshow. My Ithaca 37 pump was very finicky about cycling them. My friend's pump (might have been a Mossberg) fed them just as well as full length shells. Recoil is much more manageable, and you can move him straight to a 12 gauge and not buy a gun he will put in the back of the safe in a couple years. Oh, and they are fun too.
     
  14. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    If it were me, I'd attend a nice gun show (maybe with the kid in tow) and look for a single-shot shotgun in better than average condition, chambered in 20 gauge ( although a 12 or 16 wouldn't be out of the question-but no .410s). A Winchester Model 37, an Iver Johnson "Champion" or a Harrington and Richardson "Topper" in good condition shouldn't run more than a couple of hundred dollars or so and are "hand-me-down" classics in their own right.
     
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  15. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Usable shotgun bores start at 28 gauge. The .410 is two things: a shotgun for excellent wingshooters or entertainment for those who want see how many clays they can break with that tiny pattern. Neither of those are suitable for a kid learning to hunt. Upland hunting with a .410 is like deer hunting with a .22 rimfire. Yes, it can be done. It has been done. But if conditions aren't exactly right, you'll just make a mess of things. To quote DDDWho: "Why don't you give that boy something he can kill something with?".
     
  16. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Incidentally my Dad started me off with a Iver Johnson 20ga single shot shotgun, to which I progressed up to a Browning Auto 5 etc. etc. The difference was my Dad was quite busy all the time and did not have the time to teach me the basics of shot gunning which because of my occupation, I found time to teach my boys the proper shooting techniques. JMHO BTW Merry Christmas. Therefore the .410, not to mention I reloaded for the .410 and it was actually cheaper than the 20 or 12ga to shoot.
     
  17. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Started my first child on a Mossberg Bantam 500 20 gauge. Started my second child on a Weatherby SA-08 Youth/Compact 20 gauge. I wish I'd have started my first child on the Weatherby. They can be had for under $500.00.

    First place I checked:
    https://grabagun.com/wby-sa-08-20-24-3-bl-syn-youth.html
     
  18. zb338

    zb338 Member

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    A lot depends on the size of the young fellow. My best friend's kid who later was an offensive
    lineman in college football started out with a 12 gauge and it never bothered him. I have seen
    small kids that don't take to the recoil and length of the gun. If he or she is small you might try
    to find a used 28 gauge somewhere. It's more useful than a .410. If the kid is larger, a 20 gauge
    with light loads should work.
    Zeke
     
  19. ih772

    ih772 Member

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    Start out with a 20ga gas operated semi-auto. A Remington 11-87 compact in 20ga is great for starting a youth hunting. A .410 is an expert shotgunners gun, it will frustrate the heck out of a beginner.
     
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  20. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    This is good advice. If you want to spend lots more money, try a Benelli Legacy 20 Ga. I have one and it is beautiful, light, fast, with low recoil and excellent quality. He can keep it the rest of his life. It'll cost closer to $1500. The cheaper equivalent is the Benelli Montefeltro(sp?). It can be had for around $800...same as the Legacy, just not as fancy.
     
  21. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I started out with a .410 and also started my boys with the same. I've plenty of rabbits,squirrels, quail, and doves with my Mossberg 500 .410, I've even used it successfully on turkeys. I don't hunt turkey or waterfowl anymore so the .410 is all I use these days.

    With that being said, a 28 or 20 will be a better choice for a new wing shooter (unless they are a natural or you plan on plenty of practice)
     
  22. CaptTripps

    CaptTripps Member

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    I started with a NEF .410 single shot. A couple years into hunting I was given a 20 gauge 870. I still have both guns. I use the 20G every year, for squirrels and grouse. The .410, I haven;t shot in 10 years.I'd look for a good semi-auto 20, or a pump with a good recoil pad, and either gun should have a good recoil pad. That would be a gun your son can use all the rest of his life.
     
  23. chanroc

    chanroc Member

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    I got my first rabbit with an old H&R single shot .410 shotgun. I remember enjoying it as a kid and used it a few more times, but was upgraded with 20 gauge single shot (which kicks just as much as a 12 gauge) the following Christmas. Two years later, I got a Mossberg 500 in 12 gauge and still use it today. I was going to suggest a Mossberg Bantam 500 in 20 gauge, but if you can find a decent semi-auto in 20 gauge within your price range, go for that. With that said, I still have a some affinity for the .410, mostly sentimental than practical reasons. Good luck!
     
  24. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    20 gauge Rem 870 turkey youth. As the boy gets bigger you can put an adult stock on it.
     
  25. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    Depends on the kid, for my brother in law (he's 13) I would and did start him on a 12 gauge Mossberg, he was proficient with .44 Magnum handguns and my .45-70 lever action so I wasnt about to "dumb" it down for him he can handle the big boys so no reason for a .410 or 20 GA. Nephew is a year ago older he is as skinny as a twig, he is recoil sensitive a 410 bore would make more sense for him.
     
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