View Full Version : Youth Shotguns

March 4, 2001, 03:31 PM
Is there a shotgun equivalent to the Chipmunk boys rifle?



Dave McC
March 4, 2001, 08:31 PM
A single shot, break action 410 like those made by H&R, Iver Johnson, etc, in days of old would come pretty close, Jamie.

Second choice, same gun in 20 ga.

Chop Farwood
March 5, 2001, 11:32 AM
A local gunshop has a Brazilian single shot .22LR with a matching .410 barrel, youth stock, auto ejector, exposed hammer. Also available in a .22/20 gauge combo with youth stock. It's small, light, and the one I test fired was very accurate and consistent. Excellent quality for the money, though the finish on the stock is a bit crude. Sold under the Rossi name, dealer's cost on the combo is $99.95, I have no idea what suggested retail is. Nice dual purpose gun. Most of the large distributors such as Ellet Brothers & Jerry's carry them, so a local dealer should be able to acquire them fairly easily, although they are hot sellers and may be on back order from time to time.

Doc Hudson
March 5, 2001, 11:38 AM
Do your kid a favor.

Let his first shotgun be a twenty guage.

My first shotgun was a .410. It took me over twenty years to unlearn the bad habits I learned with that crappy little shotgun.

I consider the .410 to be worthless other than as a snake killer or for busting clay birds.

H&R makes a dandy little 20 guage single barrel that i perfect for a youngster's first shotgun. If need be, trim the butt-stock to fit him.

Doc Hudson

March 5, 2001, 09:33 PM

I had clay bird busting in mind when I posted. Could you expand on your previous remarks?



Doc Hudson
March 6, 2001, 01:34 AM
Sorry Jamie,

From you post I assumed you were looking for a kid's first shotgun.

When I was a kid, I don't think anyone made single shot .410 with anything other than full chokes. With a narrow shot pattern, and only half an ounce of shot it does not build confidence in wing shooting.

I could not hit a moving target, so I simply gave up on wingshooting. Thanks to that miserable little .410, I did not discover the joys of wingshooting until I was past 30.

I say again, and again, and again, and again, :) a kid's first shotgun should be one that with a little instruction he can learn to shoot a bird, clay or feathered, with some degree of regularity.

In my opinion, a .410 shotgun falls into the same category as .25 ACP vest pocket pistols, snub-nosed revolvers and .500 Linebaugh Long revolvers. It is a specialized tool for a highly experienced shooter, not an appropriate teaching gun for a novice.

Doc Hudson

Al Thompson
March 6, 2001, 07:45 AM
Strongly second Doc's reply. Mine too was a .410 and it was a waste of time. I don't think I could hit well with it even now. About my 10th birthday, I graduated to a SS 20 GA. Much better success.

Hmmmm.... Might be fun to try the .410 though...


March 6, 2001, 08:03 AM
I love the .410 when someone else uses it on a hunt. I get to bring down the birds they either wing or miss completely.

For a young person, the Remington 1100 Youth model is about perfect: Light, low recoil, 20 gauge and shorter stock. If you don't like the idea of a semi for a youngsters first gun the 870 Express is also available in a youth model.

The various single shots are good utility guns but their light weight and stock configuration usually means recoil is a little stiffer which can be an issue with new shooters.

The other point about new shooters is that the noise is as distracting as the recoil. A good set of plugs and earmuffs go a long way to preventing noise from becoming a problem.


Dave McC
March 6, 2001, 09:08 AM
Ditto on Paul's suggestion on both plugs and muffs. Lots of flinches start with noise rather than kick.

The 20 ga 870 Youth Express has about a 12 1/2" pull, and should work well for most kids of more than say, 13 or so. However, load selection can be crucial, a heavy load turns this one into a vicious kicker, especially for someone with less than perfect form and little recoil experience. If you can find or load 3/4 oz 20 ga loads, I'd start them off with that.

March 6, 2001, 06:25 PM
Thanks guys,

I guess the answer to my question is no, not really but...

The gun is for my son but I had in mind we could start shooting skeet together when he gets a little older. With that in mind I think I'll focus on the autoloader.



March 6, 2001, 07:20 PM
i have strong opinions about this, too. stay away from the 410, it's an expert's gun, go with a 28 or 20. i have 7 year old who regulary breaks skeet targets on a regulation skeet field with a n.e.f. single shot 28. it does not recoil toomuch and has about the best pattern in shotguns. not necessarily the n.e.f., but the 28. we have a express 870 youth 20 ga, it kicks way to much for a small kid, it is not fun to shoot for my 11 year old, and she's 5'7" and 160, been shooting since she was 3, with help of course. she has a beretta 390 youth in drool paint she just loves to shoot.

the 28 is more expensive in ammo, but , it kicks less than a 20 and has just about the same effective pattern. the 410 has about a 6" smaller, in diameter, effective pattern for a given choke.

i shot competitively for a long time, it just seems to work better for a kid if they start with a gun they can hold by themselves and hit targets with. the confidence factor is very important. a little money spent on gun fit every year goes along way towards relieving the recoil and the problems that stem from it. keep the kid in a gun that fits them will really help them. they will not want to lift thier head to get away from the recoil, they will have confidence from breaking more targets, you will both have alot more fun.

March 7, 2001, 11:13 PM
I think the 28 gauge is perfect for youngsters. I pick up the NEF single shot 28 Saturday, and can't wait for my almost 7 year old to try it out.

He shot my H&R 20 gauge single shot (same design as the NEF) and got a nice little crescent moon laceration under his right eye to show for it - that and a busted clay pigeon! - a couple of months ago. He really wants to stick with .22s and pellet rifles, but this is an early b-day present. I'm thinking his 4 year old little brother will be shooting it before the year is out.

I do plan on trading stocks out on it so they can learn to shoot properly. It's got a great pattern, and makes shooting much more fun for youngsters.


March 12, 2001, 11:26 AM
I just looked through SHOOTING TIMES in a magazine rack and this months issue reviewed the Rossi .22-shotgun barrel switch gun. You can probably find it on their gun rewies web page. I think they were favorably impressed.

K-Mart had H&R now Marlins single shots new for less than $100.