Pump guns are often slower - especially for young shooters...but if the shooter has good upper body strength - and arms long enough to cycle the pump action ( without dropping the gun away from their face and their shoulder ) ....a pump gun can be cycled virtually as quickly as a semi-auto.
Its also a drill you can practice dry firing at home ( with gun empty - maybe with a couple of snap caps in the gun ) ....in a room ...follow the seam between wall and ceiling....as you get to the corner...click the trigger...and add some follow thru....then cycle the pump - shift your eyes to the opposite direction ...and come back the other way ....as you pass the corner on other side of the room - click the trigger again.
The trick is to stay with the gun...as you execute the first shot ...cycle the gun - and then execute the 2nd shot.
My kids were pretty big kids at 12 yrs old ( so was I for that matter ) ....but they could easily do this drill with the BPS ...and in their 30's today, they can still do it because they drilled it into their muscle memory - even though today my boys and I all shoot Over Unders.
Kids grow so much - that a good solid pump gun / as a 12th birthday present, or 16 yr B'day present or whatever ...is a gun they're likely to have a long time....and a good pump gun is easier for them to grow into ( with comb pads/different recoil pads to adjust length of pull, etc )....and by shooting a 7/8 oz load ( a traditionial 20ga load ) ....at 1150 fps ...its a pretty soft shooting shell.
The other trick on young shooters...is invest in some shooting vests...clay target vests ...they can grow into / holds shells, built in recoil pads, etc....since I have a lot of grandkids ( 10 boys and girls now ) ..I've picked up good ambidextrous vests in small, med, large, XL ... and then someday when they're older give them a nice vest, maybe with their name on it or something, as a long term gift when they've quit growing ...at 25 or something....( but all this little stuff helps ). Another reason I like the Browning BPS - is because it ejects out of the bottom / its good for a Leftie or a Rightie ...and I have both in my family.
Kids are resilient ...but keep their hands warm too ...some rain golf gloves ( big box golf stores sell them in pairs - Foot Joy is the brand I use ) in the new poly fibre - keeps hands dry and pretty warm - but thin enough you can still pick up a dime ( easy to have 5 or 6 different sizes and keep them around in your shooting box ) / and some of those cheap chemical hand warmers...a few extra baseball hats - ( and snacks and water ) ...and the kids will go all day long. ( and I make them leave their cell phones in the car / and so do I ) ...we don't need to be "plugged in" when they're with their dad or grandpa on the course.../ they're with their dad or grandpa for goodness sakes...they're not going to die if they're unplugged for 3 hours..../ same rules apply in my shop when reloading or woodworking ....phones get left upstairs ! Focus on what you're doing ...and enjoy the day / and with some extra equipment for a few hundred bucks ...its as big a deal as the right gun.
Now in sporting clays ...only one shooter in the cage at a time / so you don't need 3 guns...
A safety note ....but if you have someone carrying a 20ga ( make them carry their own shells ) vs you carrying both 12ga and 20ga shells in your vest / its dangerous ...because you can load a 20ga shell into a 12ga...it will go down into the forcing cone ..and you can still load a 12ga shell behind it ( even in a 2 3/4" chamber ) ....and its a big time "Kaboom"... so everyone carry's their own shells..( another reason to have vests that fit them ).
I've been thru all this with my 2 adult kids ...and 6 of 10 grandkids now from 12 - 21 ...and at least 4 more coming along ( now 3 - 11 )....so trust me, I know the drill !!...
Last edited by BigJimP; October 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM.