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Kid gun question

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by GK Chesteron, Apr 23, 2011.

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  1. GK Chesteron

    GK Chesteron TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    The shotguns I have available for instruction are Beretta 20 gauge field guns with 1 oz of #9 Federal steel shot. This works well for kids 14 and older, but I was wondering about kids who are younger--as young as 11 years old? Do you think they could handle a 20 gauge? Childen under 14 are not permitted to use the Berettas for insurance reasons (go figure)so I was thinking a single barrel break action Stevens or Iver Johnson wouldn't break the budget. The stock could be easily shortened to accomodate younger shooters and the choke opened up to Modified for a more generous patten at 16 yards. With a good recoil pad I would think we'd have an acceptable "fun gun." My major concerns are: 1) That the break action isn't too stiff for younger shooters to operate and 2) I've heard that single shots with their light, straight stocks are brutal kickers--in 12 gauge anyway. Is this true? What about 20 gauge single shots with a good recoil pad---would that mitigate the kick enough for an average 11-13 to enjoy shooting?
    Also we can't use handloads, so custom light loads aren't an option. Are there any factory 20 gauge loads with 1 oz(I want to give them the best chance to break a clay---more shot =denser pattern, right?) which are "easier" in the recoil dept.?
    Thanks,
    John
     
  2. roger8918

    roger8918 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    696
    I would stay away from any hammer fire shotgun. Remington makes a nice 870 Express Compact 81148 that we use for our younger shooters. It has a 13" LOP and a 21" barrel that works very well for the small shooters.

    Both Winchester (WL20FL8) and Fiocchi (20lite75) make low recoil 20 gauge shells. These will not cycle in your semis but will work fine in the 870's.
     
  3. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Shawnee, Kansas, USA
    GK,

    Good for you for promoting the sport. Best of luck in your endeavor!!!!

    While I applaud you for your desire to get kids involved with clay target shooting, I think your plans are in need of some rethinking.

    "...single barrel break action Stevens or Iver Johnson ..."

    No, no, no. Unless you want them to never shoot again. These single shot guns, even in 20 gauge, are responsible for more kids deciding they hate target shooting than just about anything else. Recoil is a fun-killer. And these guns just hammer the hell out of grown-ups, much less kids.

    "...I've heard that single shots with their light, straight stocks are brutal kickers--in 12 gauge anyway..."

    20 gauge too.

    "What about 20 gauge single shots with a good recoil pad---would that mitigate the kick enough for an average 11-13 to enjoy shooting?..."

    No, no, no. These guns are the worst thing you can do for a kid. Nasty recoil. Not only that, the ones with the external hammer are potentially the most dangerous gun made, and people think they're a good starter gun for kids who can't safely de-cock them. I recommend you "86" this idea.

    Get a youth 1187.

    I repeat.

    Get a youth 1187. Short barrel, short stock LOP, and absolutely soft recoil.

    (they are much more costly, but you'll always be able to sell them for nearly what you paid for them.)

    "...Are there any factory 20 gauge loads with 1 oz (I want to give them the best chance to break a clay---more shot = denser pattern, right?) ..."

    No, no, no.

    Get some low recoil 3/4 ounce sub-sonic 20 gauge shells. They break targets just as effectively as a killer, shoulder whomping 1 ounce load.

    You, as a coach, need to put a skeet choke in the gun and be throwing the young kids cake, easy, soft incomers that hover about 15 feet above their head to start. If you don't have a machine you can set up to throw a hovering target, start the young ones off at skeet station 7, shooting the straight outgoers, and when they have a little success there, try some incomers.

    With the new kids you have to work them up to the more challenging shots like 16 yard trap, and slowly work them up to the more realistic shells they'll need to be successful shooting at those targets.

    They gotta crawl before they can run.

    If you are going to be doing much of this coaching, I strongly suggest you get hold of NSCA and take their Level I instructor class. Well worth the money.

    Good luck!!!!
     
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