View Full Version : Kids first real gun

June 27, 2008, 09:55 PM
I have a question that i'm hoping to get some closer on.I have a 9 year old son that has wanted to go hunting with me for the last 3 years.Last year i bought him a .22 rifle for squirrels and such,well this year he wants something bigger,this is where my question come in.Do i buy him a 410 youth model, 20 gauge youth model or stick with what he has now.He suprised me with his .22 and was able to hit his mark about 80% of the time.

June 27, 2008, 10:44 PM
If he can do well with a .22, a shotgun at close range(30yds and under) will be easy for him. I would get him a .410 for now. But if hes big enough to handle the recoil, get him the 20. I had to get my 10 yr old daughter a .410 because a 20 beat her up too much and she didnt want it. Dont push him into too big of a gun. Borrow a friends and see if he can shoot it a few times without hurting him. My son started with a 20ga. youth model and he is up to an adult 870. He went from a 20 gauge youth model to a 12 gauge in a couple months and suprised me. We do alot of shooting and I gradually got heavier loads for them. My daughter still loves her .410 and its gonna be hard to get her to give it up. She said she will give up her beat up bolt action .410 for a new OU like mine.(Browning Citori):eek:lol Shes already spending dads money like her mother.:D (Mabe Santa will bring her one this year)

June 27, 2008, 11:13 PM
I was ten when dad got me my first shotgun. It was a bolt action 20ga. (not sure the brand) I remember the stock was a little long at first but he cut it to fit. I used it turkey hunting with him back then alot with good results. Man the good'ol days...I had a blast. I'd say go ahead and get the youth model 20ga., put a good Limbsavers recoil pad on it and take him out hunting.

June 28, 2008, 05:03 AM
Obviously, you'll have to be the judge, but I go with the 20g. Might have to alter the stock depending on wingspan, and consider a shoulder-saver and possible some reduced coil ammo...if you're shooting anything heaver than say 6 shot....

They'll get use to it - get em something they can keep using....

June 30, 2008, 07:03 AM
a 410 is an expert's caliber

I would go with a youth model 20 gauge semi automatic - he'll actually be able to hit with it, and as he grows, you can put a regular stock on it so it fits better.

June 30, 2008, 08:32 AM
"a .410 is an expert's round"
That is the exact reason to get one... It MAKES experts too! I had no clue I had a deficit using a 3 shot .410 bolt action at 9 (the gun was "my gun" and in my room at 7 or so) years old! I dropped my share of squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, deer and vermin with that gun. Many required a second shot but man I could run that bolt! Heck I shot that ol' gun until I was 16 before I had a .22 and my folks thought I owned all I needed until I was a married man at 18 buying bigger guns. Now I am a confident food shooting home protecting redneck feller...

June 30, 2008, 09:49 AM
a .410 is an expert's round"
That is the exact reason to get one... It MAKES experts too!
+1 He'll become a much better shot with a 410 than a 20 b/c of the much smaller pattern. I would reccommend a single shot 410. He'll be a great shot after he gets used to it.

June 30, 2008, 01:20 PM
a .410 is an expert's round"
That is the exact reason to get one... It MAKES experts too!

+1 He'll become a much better shot with a 410 than a 20 b/c of the much smaller pattern. I would reccommend a single shot 410. He'll be a great shot after he gets used to it.

+1 on that, AND he'll be bringing home the bacon for you when he's out winning trap shoots with that little 410, hehe. :D

No, I use 6 shot in my 20 and that still kicks. Get a limbsaver and reduced recoil... it'll save his arm.

June 30, 2008, 02:11 PM
ONEOUNCE, My Daughter is NOT an expert but is becoming one quickly and loves her .410 and kills just as much game as her brother and I with a 20 or 12 gauge. She always makes sure with the .410 that she has a clean shot that she needs and just dont start shooting because she has a big gun that can shoot further. My son and her fight over who gets to shoot it first. And they have their choice of 5 different guns at our range. Sometimes I even fight over it with them because I want to shoot it first.LOL:D But I always win!

June 30, 2008, 02:35 PM
Glad that's working for your daughter! very cool - just speaking from my experience at a club I used to belong - too many new/young kids starting out had a hard time hitting the clays and were quickly getting bummed out, so we switched them to 1100 28 gauges and then to 1100 20 gauges - once they started hitting the targets, their enthusiasm returned....

as long as they keep shooting, whatever works....

June 30, 2008, 06:44 PM
The .410 is more difficult to shoot because the pattern is much smaller at 21 yards ( maybe 18" ) vs a 20 or 28ga that will give you a 30" pattern. It can be frustrating to shoot a .410 vs a 28 or 20ga.

But picking a first gun depends on the upper body strength and desire of the kid. You have to make it comfortable for them to shoot - and generally the more shot in the pattern ( or the heavier the gague, the better ). If you have access to a 28ga I would start them there/if not then go with a .410.

A semi-auto is always a good choice for a new or young shooter / .410 , 28ga, 20ga etc are available in Remington 1100's etc. Kids transition very quickly, especially if they like shooting, 2 years ago a grandson handled a 28ga Over Under very well / now at 16 he's handling a 12ga semi-auto very well. 9 yoa is pretty young / unless he has a lot of upper body strength - and I think a 20ga is way too much gun unless its a semi-auto and then it just depends on the kid.

June 30, 2008, 06:59 PM
The 410 thoughts are very good IMHO. My first real gun (about 40 years ago) was a single shot 20 gauge hammer gun. having to cock the hammer to make the shot slowed me down some at first. But I believe it made me a better shot than if I had a semi-auto or pump gun.

June 30, 2008, 09:10 PM
I am not a big .410 fan, primarily because of ammunition cost. The 20 ga will cost much less to shoot, and shooting is the key to learning. A good friend of mine has a 9 year old and he is pretty small for his age. He shoots a 20 ga almost every weekend on the sporting clays course with his dad and I. Usually about 150 rounds or so. The gun is a youth model and is sized to fit him. He shot 44 out of 100 Sunday morning. I only shot a 49. He'll be beating me soon.

His dad started him on a youth model Mossberg 500, and has now moved him to a reduced length 1100 20 ga. He won 2nd place in his first tournament last weekend.

June 30, 2008, 09:51 PM
GEEEEEZ, Yes, Its harder to hit moving targets but in the long run, it pays off.
I am stating that its a great kids gun for small game hunting and not shooting trap or skeet. I dont know of any kids that shoot trap with a .410 either. But for squirrels and rabbits and other small game their great for a kid to use. BIGJIMP, A .410 will give you a 30" pattern also but with fewer pellets. And ammo price shouldnt be a concern because their not gonna shoot up 10 boxes of shells shooting tree rats. If they do, Break out the crock pot. lol

July 2, 2008, 01:44 PM
My wife and i just got back from vacation on the river,where my son got to do some shooting with both 20ga and .410 in youth models.He really like the 410 the best and so did my wife:eek:.Now i'll have to buy both of them a new 410 in the youth model.I'm still going to keep up with him and his .22 cal,even though he said he wanted to retire it to keep it in good condition for our 9 month old when he starts shooting.Thanks again for all your responses.

July 3, 2008, 03:50 PM
Mikenbarb ....... I think you'll find the experts will tell you a .410 will pattern 90% of its shot in about an 18" circle vs a typical 30" circle for a 12, 20 or 28ga - so when I say its a little more difficult for a young shooter to be sucessful with it, that's what I mean. That's why I think its a little tougher gun to shoot for a young kid ( and for me, for that matter ) because I just can't convince myself to shoot it as if it were a 12ga (even though I try, when I miss a target, I know its a .410 ...)and it creeps into my mind.

I like shooting a .410 / its fun and its challenging - but when I need to get my confidence back to where I want it on a skeet field, I still reach for a 12ga and pour buckets of shot out there ......just in case. Then going back to the sub-gagues is no problem.

Teaching young shooters is interesting these days - even the best of them that are "coachable" - still come from this video game culture, and instand gratification culture .....and even the 16 year old, I was working with for the last 2 weeks was pouting a little when he couldn't break 23 - 25 on a skeet field. He's only got about 15 rounds of skeet under him / maybe 5 hours of instruction on top of that / averaging 15 - 18 was the goal I set for him this week - and I was pleased with the results when he accomplished it / but I had a heck of a time getting him to recognize that he set and accomplished a solid goal - and that it was well done. He's a good "coachable" kid / but 20years ago kids were a little different ( in my experience ) - so I try to get these kids into a 12 or 20ga semi-auto as soon as they can hold the gun and keep it level on the birds flight path on follow thru - and worst case go with a 28ga ( but I never use a .410 to start these kids ) or a young woman that is afraid of recoil for that matter. But every kid is a little different too / If this gentleman decides to go with a .410, I hope it works for him.

July 3, 2008, 08:17 PM
We have to take into consideration that the young hunters are using them for exactly that, Hunting. Everyone starts talking about them on the skeet range but the question was for hunting and not skeet shooting. dabiguns357 stated that his son is good with his .22 with squirrels and was looking for a gun for hunting. Im assuming its going to be for tree rats and if the kid can hit 80% with a .22, A .410 will be a piece of cake for him to dump a few bushytails with his dad.
dabig, Good luck with the .410's. I think you made a great choice if thats what they felt comfortable shooting. My daughter loves hers and I cant pry it out of her hands.:D And I know if she shoots 5 times, we have 5 more squirrels for the pot.