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