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Old April 18, 2002, 06:46 PM   #1
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Best Youth Shotgun?

I have a ten year old that I want to start in learning to shoot a shotgun for dove hunting in a few years. He has learned basic gun safety shooting .22 rifles and handguns.

I want to buy a shotgun that is comfortable and enjoyable to shoot. It would be nice to have one he could grow into. However, I don't know how realistic that is. My two choices, as I can see it, are the Remington 870 and 1100 youth models. Are their any others?

Any help picking the right one? Price is not an issue.

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Old April 18, 2002, 07:51 PM   #2
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Those Remingtons are great choices, but there's others...

The classics include the H&R/NEF single shots. These are availble from 410 up to 12 gauge. The stocks can be drastically shortened(Not possible with the 1100) and loads developed for young shooters. Did this with Son. got him a 12 gauge,. cut it down, and loaded up some creampuff 3/4 oz loads.

Downside, light shotguns kick hard.And, once past entry level, these tend to stay in closets until the next youngster needs one.

A 28 gauge H&R would be a nice starter shotgun for the non reloading family. Get the stock to fit, add a good pad.etc..

For upscale kids, Beretta makes a Youth 391. Runs about $7-800, IIRC. Being heavier, it may be hard for a youngster to hold up, but recoil will be light.

A suggestion, leave the 410 alone. Kids get discouraged when they don't hit stuff, and there's lots of misses with a 410 and its piddlin' shot load. It's more for veterans who want a challenge.

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Old April 18, 2002, 08:22 PM   #3
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If price doesn't matter----Beretta 391 20ga Youth----13.5 inch LOP---very lightweight-like 5.75 lbs.----very nice-----but not cheap---the one I looked at was priced at $799.

Benelli also makes a 20ga youth model---but the Beretta felt better to me---the gas action of the Beretta would also make it a softer shooter than the Benelli. The Benelli's LOP was very short---something like 12.5 inches
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Old April 19, 2002, 07:03 AM   #4
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Dave is right on target. If the boy is less than 5 feet tall, he will have trouble with a Youth model auto or pump. An NEF breakopen single shot will do for a starter, but it kicks like a mule. I used one of these guns in 20 gauge to start my son. Modifications that I made: Cut off stockand added a recoil pad; reamed choke out to .005 constriction (about skeet choke); bought the boy a strap-on PAST recoil pad; loaded 3/4 oz shells for him at what the book said was about 1150 fps (these required a .410 wad in the bottom of the 20 ga. shot cup to take up space).

After about a year he was tall enough to handle more gun, and I bought a 20 ga. 1100 youth model. That was an OUTSTANDING choice. It is a soft kicker, it has Rem Chokes, and it is a great gun. I still have both guns although the boy is now out of college. I use them for training young folks and women, and they work just fine for the purpose. Recently, my wife of over 30 years went to the skeet range with me and used the 1100 Youth Model to break a few birds. She wants to go back.
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Old April 19, 2002, 12:46 PM   #5
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My brother now 20 yrs old still swears by his 870 magnum 20guage youth model. He has a smaller frame than I so he still uses it quite easily especially with alot of coveralls on.

Due to their small size I think that these youth models would make great HD weapons if the kids do outgrow them. My dad keeps my First 20, a winchester 1300 with a butchered stock, by the back door for stray varmits that won't leave his garden alone.

I love the .410 alot but it really is short-changing a beginner.
It doesn't give you anything to get used to for a real shotgun.

My vote is a 20g 870 magnum youth model
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Old April 19, 2002, 02:51 PM   #6
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You can't go wrong with the Remington youth model 1100 in 20 ga.

If you cut down the stock and the child grows out of it, buy another stock.

Cheap, Reliable, lots of parts, and you can always sell the gun as someone somewhere has a youngster they want to teach.

My $.02
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Old April 20, 2002, 09:39 AM   #7
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20 ga (12 is fine if you load down). Something with an other easily-adjustable or changable stock. Light loads. Not a light gun, though.

You don't want to get anything too heavy but beware of something too light. My mother has a very light .410 SXS (her "Snake Killer"), and it kicks harder than any gun I've ever shot.
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Old April 20, 2002, 01:15 PM   #8
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I dont know if it would be 'the best', but the one I used, and then passed on to my son about 25 years ago, is a single shot Stevens 20 Ga. I cut the stock down for him when he was 6, and that was his first gun. Later, I bought a new stock for it, and he has it still. To this day, it is a premier Squirrel gun.
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Old April 20, 2002, 04:14 PM   #9
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Sumpin to think about. Kids grow. If you gonna cut a stock down, cut it straight and true with a very thin blade, save the piece. Later, if you can remember where the piece is, you can put it back on.

If you are modifying a pistol grip stock for a youngun, think about adding a bit of material to the front of the pistol grip to shorten the trigger finger reach required.

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