View Full Version : Shotgun for 10 year old

Fred S
July 27, 2002, 08:25 AM

I took my 10 year old son trap shooting yesterday. All I have is a Rem 870 Express 12 Gauge. He shot very well, I was impressed. He was knocking them down but the gun is too long and heavy for him. Also it kind of beat him up after awhile. I'm thinking a 20 guage would be good for him. Any suggestions on an inexpensive gun that would fit him?

Now my wife doesn't like the 12 guage either and I'm thinking a 20 guage for her too, but the same one I get for my son might not work for her. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Dave McC
July 27, 2002, 09:41 AM
The Archives have a plethora of info on starting out both adult and juvenile shooters,Fred.

I started out with the same shotgun my father did, an H&R single bbl in 16 gauge. Light and handy, it was easy for me to carry and employ. And it's manual of arms was quite simple and easy to learn.

But, with the heavier loads of the time, it qualified as cruel and unusual punishment to a kid. All the drop in that padless stock plus the light weight meant lots of felt recoil. I never left a goose blind w/o a sore shoulder, and had a flinch by the time I could drive.

Same applies today. In a nutshell, get the heaviest shotgun the kid can handle and shoot the lightest load possible.

Last year, I got Son a single bbl 12 gauge NEF, the equivalent of my old learner gun. However, it got a pad and I worked down a load about like what a 28 gauge works best with. Kick is minimal. Non - reloaders could buy a set of those little Skeeters
adapters and use a 12 gauge with a 28 gauge insert to ease the introduction.

Other approaches, including a 20 gauge, have both up and downsides. A light 20 with a 1 oz load will thump a tyro pretty good, and the smaller butts of shorter stocks mean the kick is concentrated into a smaller area, thus feeling harder.


July 27, 2002, 09:59 AM
How bout a scaled down version of dads 870 Express.

Its an 870 Express youth 20 ga. pump.

Better recoil pads are out there if its a problem.

July 27, 2002, 02:49 PM
When I was about your kid's age, I started shooting trap seriously (with my dad of course.)

At first I used my old squirrel gun, which was (is) a Stevens single shot 20 gauge. My advice, stay away from those. They are cheap, but they are also murder on the shoulder. I swear that little 20 kicks harder than some magnum rifles I have fired, even to this day.

One Friday, when I came home from school, there was a green box in the middle of the floor. My father had bought me a Remington 1100 youth model 20 gauge with the English (straight) stock. The gun was a perfect fit. It was gas operated, so recoil was mild, and the short barrel ( 20 some odd inches I think) was the perfect length for me at the time. I was a happy little boy that day! Three weekends later, I shot my first perfect game.

You could probably find one of those for around $400, or maybe somewhat cheaper used. When he outgrows it, you can sell it for near what you paid for it, if you keep it well maintained. I sold mine a few years ago to a little lady that needed it more than I did. I think your wife would probably like this one if recoil is her primary concern.


July 27, 2002, 10:28 PM
Second the 870 youth express in 20ga. May work for your wife as well, did skeet today with a friend of mine, she shoots the 870 youth and loves it.

July 27, 2002, 11:53 PM
Might also consider the 28 Gauge.

July 28, 2002, 07:41 AM
28 is great! An 1100 in 28 would be perfect.

But if you are on a tight budget you might check at the local Clays course. Often shooters have 1100 or 870 youth models for sale. Many shooters start their younguns out with them and sell them when the kid gets bigger. Some guns have had several owners.

Ask or check the Bulletin Board most ranges have. You might consider posting your needs on the BB. Someone might have one in their safe they no longer need. And shotgunners are always buying and selling, especially those Trapshooters:D

Fred S
July 28, 2002, 08:11 AM
Guys, this is great advice. I'll root around for a Remington Youth 870 or 1100. I love my plain old 870, so's I can't go wrong with another one, eh? The boy can shoot! I want to keep him going in it and keep him practicing.

Thanks much,

Fred :)