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Beretta Youth 20 light load cycling

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by build4u, Apr 22, 2012.

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  1. build4u

    build4u Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    129
    I posted this on another forum and thought someone might find it useful.Being a fan of the 391 model, when I went for shotguns for my 9 and almost 11 year old son and daughter I found 2 - 391 Youth 20 gauge models new. The first time out I was amazed at the recoil of the guns with AA lite 7/8 ounce loads. They are a very light gun which is good for them to hold up and load etc. The first time out with my son (8 at the time) he was breaking low 7 target after target then miss, miss, miss. When I asked what he was seeing different than a few minutes ago he said " I do not know my eyes were closed". We talked about pain and decided to stop then. I installed a White target bead and Mid bead and we met with a good stock guy at our club and used the shims to get the fit as close as possible and took about 1 inch off the stocks and fit thinner Kick Eez pads so we could go longer later. I added a Wrapid Comb system on my daughters for now. I started working up a load with 3/4 ounce of 8.5 shot in AA hulls with the new 3/4 ounce Claybuster wad and International powder. I kept turning up the powder and testing and once it would eject discovered it would not feed a second shell. When the load was hot enough to cycle round 2 the recoil was stronger than I liked. At this point I realized the recoil spring was a big culprit being the same part # as the 12 ga. with a lighter bolt and load. At that point I had cut four coils off the recoil spring. I then went to a total of 8 coils off total and it would run. I then tried a Coles gas spring and it was consistent but shortened the ejection. The spring was designed for a 12 as well. The staff I spoke to at Coles were great and helpful. I am supposed to call and let them know how everything worked. They are working with a spring manufacturing company on a lower power recoil spring that I had done some magazine spring work with in the past. At that point I put the factory gas spring back in and ended up with 10 or 12 coils clipped off which left 63 coils counting the starter coil wrap. At that point I started to drill the gas ports in the barrel. At first I worked up in number drills until I seemed to be removing some chrome flashing or burrs in the ports. At that point I went up a size to .136 for the ports and the guns eject about 5 to 6 feet with 13.2 grains International and Remington primers. This should be about 1170 fps. If you have never drilled gas ports try just the recoil spring first and then let a qualified Gunsmith drill or ream the gas ports, If you break a drill bit your are possibly doomed and the barrels are chromed. For their smaller hands I put an Angleport bolt closure and Briley Bolt handle that I put in the Mill and shortened and hollowed it out some more to keep the weight down and look a little better on the smaller reciever. Very reliable and pleasent for them to shoot now. Once school is over they are going to start the youth schoolastic program at my club. I hope someone finds this helpful.
     
  2. HTSmith

    HTSmith Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Messages:
    516
    Location:
    Central North Carolina
    Very helpful. I work with the Boy Scouts on their merit badges at our club and recoil is the enemy for sure. With the 1100 youth model, I did the same as you only with Green Dot. 13 Gr operates the action fine and gives very light recoil. I was lucky.
     
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