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Old February 25, 2009, 03:52 PM   #1
sthrnfryedyankee
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My 7 year old wants a shotgun for deer hunting.

This is what he requested for his Bday and this is what id like to get him. I found a Rossi 410/22 combo but I really dont think the 410 even with slugs will be enough to hunt deer. My son is small framed and that Rossi would fit him perfectly but I seriously think a little more umph is gonna be needed, especially is we ever hunt back up north.
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Old February 25, 2009, 04:20 PM   #2
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Rossi has a "tri-fecta"... .22, .223 and a 20 gauge...
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Old February 25, 2009, 04:27 PM   #3
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What he ^ said. .
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Old February 25, 2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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^That sounds like a good one.

A couple years ago, I got my nephew a NEF 20ga & .243 combo that works nicely for him. I'm not sure if they still offer the combo, but it might be worth a look.
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Old February 25, 2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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If the NEF is still available, I would rather it as it is american made and of known quality...
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:07 PM   #6
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What they ^ said.......
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:11 PM   #7
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Or you can opt for the Mossberg Bantam 500 20 youth size... it comes with a non-expiring discount coupon for a full size stock for later...
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:22 PM   #8
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You can certainly buy him a shotgun or one of the combo's mentioned above / but letting a young man hunt deer with it - is another issue, in my opinion. I think 7 is way too young to hunt deer / regardless of what he wants - but that's your decision as a parent / not mine.

In terms of picking a gun for him / you said he's small framed - and I think that's the issue more than his age. Until he has upper body strength to point and shoulder a 7 lb gun or so with a 24 - 28" barrel / you'll have to stay with a light weight combo gun. As he develops his upper body strength - he can move up into a gague where you can get him a 7 or 7 1/2 lb gun that is adequate to kill an animal like a deer. It doesn't mean he can't come hunting with you, track, stalk, glass a hillside, etc. - and he can learn to shoot a .22 / shoot a .410 on clay targets, birds, etc - then move up into a 28ga / to a 20ga etc. - and he can start hunting deer at that point.

I sympathize - I have young grand kids - and they want to do everything at 6, 7 etc / but if they aren't strong enough to shoulder and fire at least a 7lb shotgun / in my view, hunting is out of the question. It depends on the kid - but even a big kid - needs to have the upper body strength to fire a weapon properly, work the action, make a followup shot before they have any business hunting, in my view. Some kids can do that at 9 or 10 - some can't do it until they're 15 or 16 .... just depends on the kid.

I sure would not shoot a deer, even at very close range, with a .410 / but you should consult the game laws in your state to make sure a .410 is legal for deer at all before you go down that path. The question of whether a .410 is lethal for deer / depends on the grain of the slug / distance, etc.

I encourage you to start with a comb gun / get him some practice - and work it out from there.
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:33 PM   #9
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my son has the rossi combo. bought it for his 8th birthday , he practiced with the .22 barrel then this past season at 9 yrs old he shot a deer the first time he carried it to the deer stand. he used the .243 barrel for the deer.
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:37 PM   #10
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.410 shotguns are for expert shooters not beginners. If you want to discourage a young shooter give them a sub-gauge gun. Yes the recoil is less but so is the shot mass. Jim is right if he cannot handle a bigger gun let some time pass. If he desires to shoot get a .22 and start him on a bench shooting open sights.
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:53 PM   #11
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Perrazzi, I kinda-sorta agree...
with a day or 10 of red ryder shooting my only projectile emissions aside from bow and "arra" before moving on to a Mossberg .410 bolt gun... No one told me it was a pro's round. They did however explain the lead for runnin/flyin game and some other principles... I proceeded to go knockin squirrels from the trees and pheasant from the fence rows and air.
Rabbits were too easy...
It was explained when I would miss that I was doing very well and perfection was not to be expected from a new shooter especially a kid way under 10...
By 12 I was getting 2 shots off at birds and bunnies as fast (or nearly so) as buddies with pumps. I was far more lethal than my friends and could easily smoke my bestest bud who had a real nice pretty Remington or possibly browning auto loader...
I feel that the .410 bolt action made me really work my tail off and I never had a clue how much I was growing into a formidable shooter/hunter due to it.
All I can say is "THANKS DAD" for not getting me a 20 gauge first...
Brent
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Old February 25, 2009, 06:33 PM   #12
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You guys are right - a .410 can make even an experienced shooter talk to themselves a little. I try to tell myself, shoot it like its a 12ga - but if I miss a Skeet target, it creeps into my brain a little - and the .410 pattern means you chip a lot more targets than you bust into dust balls - its the nature of the .410 pattern.

Balistically, a 28ga with 3/4 oz loads gives a really good pattern for a young or new shooter. I say new shooters - because I really don't differentiate based on sex or age - some young adults, especially young ladies, don't have a lot of upper body strength either - so you have to adapt and you have to manage and reduce the recoil to an absolute minimum for all new shooters.

In my family, we started hunting pretty young / but most of the boys in my family were 6'0" tall and weighed 150 lbs by the time they were 10 ... so shooting even a 12 ga with light loads at 11 or 12 wasn't a big deal to us / or hunting with 30-40's or 30-06's, etc at a pretty young age.

But even for big kids, I still started them out slow - I work with the grandkids on some .22's / and then move them into a 28ga when they're strong enough / or to a semi-auto in 20ga ( and I stay with real light loads ). Young kids are more mature for their age these days - so that's a plus / but you still need to spend some time on all this stuff.

The other issue on kids - they grow so fast - that getting them their own guns / vs having guns you own for them to shoot - is probably a better idea until they get older. When the kids and grandkids in my family turn 16, its been my practice to buy them a Browning 12ga pump shotgun / let them get some pride of ownership, take care of it, etc ( and keep it locked in their Dad's safe ). For the other guns - like a youth sized 20ga semi-auto, a .410 , a 28ga, a full sized 20ga semi-auto, etc - those remain my guns - and all the grandkids shoot them as they move up thru the years. I think it works out a lot better - than buying them guns they outgrow in a few years.
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Old February 25, 2009, 08:21 PM   #13
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Id probably agree with waiting a cpl of years for hunting. My choice would be for mine a 870 20 guage combo with field barrel and the rifled barrel.
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Old February 25, 2009, 08:31 PM   #14
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Go with the Rossi one or an H&R single barrel.

but then again you want a gun he can grow into. my first shotgun was a 20 gauge pump soo......

go with the Rossi.
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Old February 25, 2009, 08:52 PM   #15
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More Respect from a 20g

Had BB guns for "plinkin" at 8 yrs. Dad got me my first single shot 20g at 10. Never shot it but off we go dove hunting. He sat me down at a waterin hole and went off to the other side of the field (way off). Less than 5 minutes and about 20 birds lit straight above me in a dead oak. Sweat porin, I just sit the butt in the ground and fired straight up. Went back to "plinkin"..... Too much, too early, too dang loud.... LOL
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Old February 25, 2009, 08:57 PM   #16
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An NEF/H&R 243 works well. Cousins boy started with one at about that age. So did his sister.
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Old February 26, 2009, 12:26 AM   #17
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1st deer gun

a compact lever action Marlin or Winchester in .44mag will be a lot easier to handle.
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Old February 26, 2009, 06:58 AM   #18
sthrnfryedyankee
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Lots of interesting points and advice. I have guns that he could grow into. I just know he wanted something that he could hunt with this upcoming season. Some of the stands I hunt from have shooting rests that could help him get settled in and there will be plenty of range time in between. Its still up in the air and I appreciate all the responses.
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Old February 26, 2009, 08:38 AM   #19
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My first Shotgun was a savage .412/22lr over and under. got pretty good with it too, was able to knock barn swallows outta the air when I was 8-12. by the time I got a 12 gauge, I thought it was cheating. Let the boy start off on a .410 I say. If he gets pretty good with that , he's gonna be great when he gets a 20 or 12
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Old February 27, 2009, 01:20 PM   #20
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Free advice

I don't want to rain on the parade - but IMHO 10 is too young to be handling a shotgun, much less 7. But then I probably have a different perspective on this. A boyhood buddy was killed may years ago when his 10 year-old son fell over backwards with a shotgun and it discharged into my buddy's chest. It happens. Its free advice - but maybe worth something.
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Old February 27, 2009, 04:15 PM   #21
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I bought my son the Rossi 410/22 for hunting small game. Worked out well but it only took a year or so and I was back out buying him a 20 youth model. While I love the 410 for its challenges you would be better served getting into a 20 to start. The choice as to when to start hunting big game is yours but IMHO I would wait until he could handle a firearm large enough to get the job done effectively with a marginal shot placement. The 410's are great but require accurate shot placements that a yound hunter is more than likely not able to make.
Remeber it is the first experiences that will set the tone for the rest of his life, so make them enjoyable.
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Old February 28, 2009, 01:36 PM   #22
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I recently purchased the rossi tri-fecta, for $220 it is suprisingly good. The stock has an adjustable comb, this is a feature that you don't normally see in a youth model. It has a 20 ga. barrel, which in my opinion is the best youth ga. for the fact that all ammo is readily avail.. Try to find non-tox shot in 410 or 28 ga. The 243 barrel barks, but doesn't seem to bite. and who doesn't love to shoot 22. now the boy can shoot one gun, for everything. and his shooting has really improved , shot his deer at 60yds off hand, just behind the shoulder.
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Old February 28, 2009, 07:46 PM   #23
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Law?

I know that Nevada and California have a minimum age for big game hunting. It is over seven. Birand small game hunting is another story.
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Old February 28, 2009, 10:08 PM   #24
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My son wanted something that could kill a deer when he was 7 too.

We got him a cz .22 youth model rifle for christmas and put a 1x scope on it.

When he opened it up he said, "Can it kill a deer?"

I told him,"no."

He said, "What if I shoot it in the eye?"

I said, "Yeah, ok, if you shoot the deer in the eye then you'll kill it with your .22." He was happy.

He killed quite a few cans, but no deer.

When he was nine we got him a BPS in 28 gauge and had a youth stock placed on it. He killed his first duck when he was 10 (using my old beretta 12 gauge auto).

He's 13 now and really just growing into his guns. Now his .22 sports a leupold variable rimfire scope. He was really happy that he had his 'own' even if they are kept in my safe.
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Old February 28, 2009, 10:17 PM   #25
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Thank goodness no 7 YO can hunt deer here in Idaho. Under special circumstances they can hunt if they are 11 YO and their birthday comes right after hunting season before the end of the year.
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