View Full Version : shotgun for 12 yr. old boy

October 10, 2002, 10:04 PM
Son is having his birthday soon. Planning on getting him his first shotgun. He already has a 22lr semi-auto (Henry survival rifle). His safety and skills warrant this decision. Have been thinking of something in 20 ga. and possibly 12 gauge if price is right. Just not sure if single shot, double barrel, or pump. Need something that is a youth model due to his small size. Has been shooting my side by side 12 gauge and does a good job although it seems to be somewhat heavy after 30 minutes or so at the range. Anyone have any suggestions as what to invest in. Going to stay away from 410. because I believe he won't be satisfied for very long and the ammo is somewhat pricey. Any suggestions from ya'll would be very much appreciated?

October 10, 2002, 11:09 PM
I bought my girlfriend an 870 20 gauge youth model, because she likes my 12 gauge 870, but it was just a little to much recoil and a little to long for her to shoot comfortably. She likes her new shotgun and it fits her great. I do think that one of the reasons that she likes it so much is because it is just like mine. This might be the case with your son too, so if you shoot a side by side most of the time it might be a good idea to see if you can find a smaller 20 gauge one for him. Hope this helps.

October 11, 2002, 12:48 AM
Mossberg makes a youth model that comes with a certificate for a discount on a full sized stock to put on after the kid grows up.
By the same token, full size 870 stocks are nearly always available on ebay.

Dave McC
October 11, 2002, 04:49 AM
There's several ways to approach this, and much depends on the kid.

The 870YE I bought for the kids was a little too heavy for Son,and with 1 oz loads kick is vicious. With 7/8 oz loads it's emphatic.

I got him a little NEF 12 gauge single bbl( A model noted for kick), cut the stock to size, and then worked down a load he could use w/o injury. It gives 28 gauge performance, 3/4 oz at 1100 FPS.

One could also use the Little Skeeter subgauge tubes.


October 11, 2002, 04:07 PM
My first gun ever...I still have it, and it's perfect for that age. Very economical as well. Get him an H&R single shot 20ga. you can't go wrong.

Oh yeah; you can pick 'em up for about $90 at Wally World.

October 11, 2002, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I believe that the 20ga. single shot is what I will look for first. However, if I run onto a side by side 20ga. I just might pick up that one. Again thanks for the input.

Tropical Z
October 12, 2002, 02:13 AM
CDNN has a Baikal 20 gauge side by side in 26" or 28" barrel with 3 chokes and 3" chamber for $259.99.

October 13, 2002, 11:43 PM
My 9 year old (5'1' 110 lbs) has been having a good small game season with his 870 Express Youth model in 20 gauge. My wife also picked it up, shot it and loved it, so we got one for her. I understand what Dave McC is saying about the 1 oz loads, but the boy has been making a lot of one shot kills with the 7/8 oz stuff. I also learned for myself that it's a lot more fun to pack around than the full size 12 gauge I carried afield for so many years. If he ever wants to give it back, I'll take it!

I don't think they make a 12 gauge youth, but the price of the 12 and 20 gauge Express models is basically the same.

Christopher II
October 14, 2002, 07:24 AM
I think I was 13 or 14 when my Dad got me my 20ga. 870 Youth Model. I had no problems with size or recoil, but then I had been shooting skeet pretty regular for about a year by then. Also, I was using light #9 loads, 7/8oz. I think. It was pretty tame.

I moved up to a full-size 20ga. 870, then to an 1100-LT20 within a few years. The 1100 was (and still is) my favorite. I still have the full-size 870, too, and I use it a lot. My 870YE was handed down to my little brother, who uses it as his defense shotgun (the short barrel and stock and light weight make for a dandy defense gun.)

Your son sounds like he has some shooting experience under his belt, so I'd lean towards an 870YE in 20ga. Stick to light loads, to start out. BTW, if you don't reload shotgun ammo, this is a wonderful excuse to start!

- Chris

October 14, 2002, 11:56 AM
Stoeger has some nice deals in SXS shotguns and I think they even have them with choke tubes now.

The Remington 870 is an excellent platform to start a boy out with, too, because you can always get the adult size butt stock as he grows into it.

October 14, 2002, 01:01 PM
I started with a Winchester 1300 youth model (120 ranger) in 20ga. It was a great gun, and I wish I hadn't gotten rid of it :(

October 16, 2002, 08:52 AM

Got two twin 11 yr old boys here. They both have the Red Rdyder BB gun lever action rifles and they both just got Crossman CO2 Air pistols. They will both get a new Topper .410 single shot when they turn 13 and maybe a pump or auto .410 when they are used to the singles. I will NOT give my sons a rifle that carries 1/4 mile or more until they are 18 and are responsible enough to handle such a weapon.

The both of them just completed their Hunters Safety Course that our state recommends for all newly licensed hunters.

That's the way I was raised and the ages I was given weapons by my father and that's the way my sons are gonna get their's too.