Shotgun for 11-12 year old, rabbit +

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

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  1. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    My sons first long gun was a Rossi 22/20 gauge combo. My dad gave it him too soon. It knocked the heck out of him. We went and found him a 410 sears and Roebuck bolt action. He ran it a few years. About 11-12 was when he got back to the 20 gauge. Maybe buy both. But single shots make them work harder at making them count. And harder to hit is no loss in learning. Lots of squirrel action. Tree rats are good for training.
     
  2. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    My first shotgun was a beautiful Italian single barrel .410 folder at age 15. I actually loved that gun. But when you are young, you really want to, and do love your first gun. I soon realized it's limitations, and traded it in for a beat up Baikal single barrel 12. I hated that gun. It kicked hard, and used to batter my middle finger with the trigger guard, and hitting anything with it was not fun at all. I traded that in for a nice used Zabala Hermanos (Spain) double side by side 12. It had 28" barrels, checkered solid rib with brass bead front sight, double triggers, modified and full choke, really nice wood - beavertail forend, silvered engraved receiver - nice fit and finish (was probably a 1960s manufacture), manual ejectors. I could hit almost anything with that gun even a long way out. At close ranges I was careful to allow rabbits and ducks to make a little distance before pulling the trigger. It was a pleasure to shoot. However, it weighed about 8 pounds IIRC, and over time I grew weary of lugging it around on long outings.

    I traded in the Zabala for another brand new Spanish gun - I do not recall the make - a light double 20 side by side, 28" barrels. It had plain wood, blued receiver, noticeably poorer fit and finish. And what a mistake, tthings were just not the same. While it was an easier carry, it was a little sharper on the shoulder; not uncomfortable, but it did buck noticeably sharper. But more importantly hitting bunnies and birds became a challenging proposition. The weight and balance of the Zabala 12 had been conducive to a prefect swing when needed, and steadied it on quartering or rising birds etc.Combined with the denser patterns the 12 was a far better game getter.

    Because of your child's age I would not recommend a 12 gauge, or a 20 gauge. I would go with a .410. One of the important things the .410 taught me was the need for some precision even with a shotgun. Used within it's pattern density for shot size limitations it works fine for rabbits etc and wingshooting. It is a good learning tool. When you feel the boy has the skills aquired, and the physical stature to wield a 12 gauge he can make the jump. I would highly recommend a side by side on the heavy side with 28" or 30" barrels, double triggers, and chokes to suit the distances game is to be taken. Improved cylinder and modified, or modified and full.
     
  3. Mr. T

    Mr. T Member

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    upload_2017-7-6_6-34-22.jpg
     
  4. Mr. T

    Mr. T Member

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    Remington 870 Youth Model in 20 gauge.
     
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  5. TreeDoc

    TreeDoc Member

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    H&R single 410 to start get the 20 later. He may miss shots for sure, but this a learning shotgun that he can handle. The 410 is very good at bunnies and tree rat, birds are tougher but it can and has been done before.
     
  6. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    IMHO, A 20ga Semi Auto would be the best bet. Reduced recoil being the major benefit. Franchi Affinity comes in a compact version with adjustable length of pull between 12-3/8” up to a 13-3/8” in ¼” increments for a comfortable fit. and can accommodate him as he grows. It is a little more $$ @799 (Dick's Sporting goods) but considering he will be able to shoot it for 6-8 years its a good option and a well made shotgun. If you don't mind searching gun broker or guns international you might find a good deal for substantially less
     
  7. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I have two Affinity's and really like them. I wouldn't start a kid on one though because they are inertia operated and I firmly believe gas guns have less felt recoil.

    9MgDa1e.jpg
     
  8. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    If they can manage the weight of the gun, a Remington 1100 youth 20ga is a great balance between shot load and recoil. Very manageable recoil. But, it's heavy for a 20. Otherwise, another 20ga gas gun is best. Stick to 7/8oz loads if possible for any volume shooting. 410 recoil is fine, but the 3" 11/16ths loads aren't much lighter or less kicky than most 20 ga loads, the guns are generally much lighter, and the 1/2 oz to 5/8ths oz loads are hard to hit with so can be frustrating for the kids.
     
  9. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    At 58, my favorite go-to gun for rabbit is an old L.C. Smith 20GA. They don't tear up the rabbit, or the shoulder.
     
  10. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    A gas operated might have a little less actual recoil but doesn't fit, will have more perceived recoil. Fit is the MOST important consideration on any shotgun, and the compact Affinity allows the best fit possible for the young shooter. He'll shoot it better and build confidence.[/QUOTE]
     
  11. expat_alaska

    expat_alaska Member

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    FWIW, my first shotgun was a Springfield Arms, Chicopee Falls, Mass (bought out by Savage/Stevens) 20 gauge mod choke single shot in 1964 when I was 12. No recoil pad. I was a skinny kid back then and never had a problem with it. This was in SE Michigan and pheasants were somewhat scarce. My first year out I was not allowed to have any ammunition so the adults could observe my gun etiquette, and I was basically the "bird dog" to flush out and retrieve birds from the cedar swamps (pheasants, ruffed grouse, woodcock). I had to wear knee high rubber boots then! I would do anything to go out hunting with them. I'm sure my Dad and his cronies had a few good laughs about that. The next trip I was allowed one shell, #6 shot. No pheasants, but I shot a crow. They made me carry it around all day in my game vest rear pouch and taunted me all afternoon that I would find out what crow tasted like. Never, ever shot another bird that I would not eat.

    Sorry to ramble. I think a 20 gauge single would suffice well. I have shot a 2-1/2" .410 Rem 870 at skeet and it is like shooting a rifle to me.Good luck in your decision, OP.

    Jim
     
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  12. WhiteFoot

    WhiteFoot Member

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    I have a weatherby pa-08 in 20 gauge. It's the pump version of the sa-08. Good gun! I started out bird hunting on a 12 gauge when I was 11, but that's because my dad only had 12 gauges, and I wanted to hunt/shoot so bad. I shot it multiple times before I was 11. It was all I knew. When I was 13 I bought a Mossberg Maverick in 12 gauge. I didn't shoot a 20 gauge until recently when I bought my weatherby. I think it depends on the kid. I've also only ever hunted big game with a 30-06 until last winter I used a 223.

    I would recommend using the most gun he can handle. If you think that he can only handle a 20, use it. If you think he can handle a 12, use that. I would just want to have him have the most fun possible when shooting. A 410 would be easier recoil wise, but it would be so hard for him to hit anything, so I doubt he would have as much fun. A 12 gauge is ideal imo (especially with bigger birds, like geese) but if the recoil is too much, he won't have fun with it either.

    Recently my dad inherited my grandpa's Remington 1100 28 gauge. Fun gun, but the shells are expensive, it is more challenging, and I'm not convinced that the recoil is much less than a 20 gauge.

    Personally, I would pick between 20 and 12. Both guns can handle any bird hunting you plan on doing.
     
  13. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    You are correct about fit being the most important aspect. Since the shotgun is for a young shooter I figured it was tacit that recommendations would be youth/compact models. In that regard an Affinity is not as good of a choice as a gas model. In the picture posted above is a SA-08 Youth Model 20 gauge. If it and an Affinity fit equally well then IMO the Weatherby is better for a young shooter because there is less recoil.

    There are a number of semi auto youth/compact shotguns available. The best option of course would be to have the shooter try as many models possible.
     
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