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Selecting Youth Shotgun

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by coling, Jun 28, 2012.

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  1. coling

    coling Member

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    Was watching 12 year old Boy Scouts working on their Shotgun Merit Badge. They were using standard 12 ga pump guns. The guns were way too heavy and the boys had to lean back to balance the gun, and most of them had razzberries on their shoulder and or arm from the kick. My 12 yr son does not want to shoot again after shooting my 12 ga even with a very light load shell.

    I offered to purchase a 20 ga gun for our troop and several other fathers offered to contribute (or purchase additional guns). Here are my questions:

    1. It appears there are youth 20 ga pump guns for around $200 and 20 ga automatics for around $600. Cabelas has a Mossberg Super Bantamâ„¢ Youth Shotguns with 2 beads and adjustable length of pull for $300. Is there any reason to go to the cost and complexity of the 20 ga automatic for an 11 year old?

    2. How about adding a Kick-ease pad to replace the stock one for even more reduction?

    Colin
  2. Ajax

    Ajax Active Member

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    I just bought a 510 mini Mossberg in a 20gauge for my grandson. He's 8 and the stock has adjusters to lengthen the stock as he grows. I reload light shells for him. The barrel is 18.5 long so he can handle it with out having to shift the weight backwards.

    The thing I have found out about Youth shotguns is that most are just cut down in the lop and they don't make an allowance for the hands being small and being able to reach the trigger. This one does.

    Good luck,
    Ajax
  3. clayman51

    clayman51 TS Member

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    Colin,

    You will find the 20 ga pump will kick even harder because of the smaller bore size. Go to the 20 ga auto with a soft pad.You can even place weight in the stock to help out.Also the Bt99 micros are a great gun to start kids out with. Spend the extra money for a decent gun and it will last much longer. The cheap inexpensive guns do not hold up. I have seen to many of them that turn into a worthless gun in a short period.

    Dennis
  4. yakimaman

    yakimaman Active Member

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    My 10 year old grandaughter - not a big girl at all, shoots full factory loads in a Beretta 391 with a reduced length stock and will be soon moving to a BT 99 micro. She started last year with the little 20 ga Mossberg mentioned above but outgrew it quickly and found the recoil worse with it than with the Beretta 12 ga.
  5. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

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    I just got through doing the same thing for 20 Boy Scouts yesterday. We used a 1100 and a 11-87 youth 20 gauge. The LOP on them was 13" which was good for the smaller kids and I had slip-on pads to add for the older kids, which made them 14". Each scout shot 50 rounds and we didn't have any mechanical problems with either gun. Only the smallest scouts had a hard time holding the gun up toward the end. We shot in 10 shot groups, and rotated. I have used the Mossberg Super Bantam for our youth day, but kids only shoot about 5 times each, so they don't get as beat up. IMO the semi-auto gas gun is worth the extra money, if you are serious about getting a young shooter off to a good start. Mark
  6. PerazziMX2000

    PerazziMX2000 TS Member

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    The best gun out there for the kids in my opinion after working with a couple hundred kids is the 12 ga. Beretta 3901 RL, it is adjustable for length plus the comb is adjustable, If recoil is a issue which should'nt be in these guns with 1 oz. loads you could use Fiocci Trainers 7/8 oz.@ 1200 fps. = No recoil!
  7. wheelchair shooter

    wheelchair shooter TS Member

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    I teach Hunter Education to about 600 kids a year. We use the Remington 11-87 youth models with no malfunctions and the kids don't have a problem with recoil. Most of them would stay and ahoot all day if we would let them.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Thad
  8. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the Beretta is that it is expensive (MSRP $1000) and are getting hard to find, new or used. Mark
  9. benniesdad

    benniesdad TS Member

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    I have trained a number of young shooters using both a youth model Remington 870 a Remington 1100 LT-20 with a youth stock and a 23 inch Special Field barrel. No matter which gun was used I really think the shorter barrel makes a big difference for younger shooters. The auto has less recoil, but it not as easy to teach proper loading and unloading as the pump. Both have their place. If reloading is an option, definitely go with 3/4 oz loads.
  10. Bullcreek

    Bullcreek TS Member

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    Oregunner is right. The Beretta 3901RL is getting hard to find, but it is worth the time and money to find one. I started my son with his at age 10. He has been shooting it for 3 years and has put about 10000 rounds through it with out a single problem. The gun is a little over 6 pounds and the LOP is adjustable from 12" - 13". Its been a great gun and my daughter is fixing to start shooting it since I just got my son a 682.
  11. jm1079

    jm1079 Active Member

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    A Remington 1100 LT 20 with a 26 inch remchoke barrel w/a middle bead,a youth stock and 3/4oz loads might just be the ticket. FWIW. JM
  12. Grumpy Bear

    Grumpy Bear TS Member

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    We have started a youth hunter training program at our club. The kids practice on trap, skeet and
    5 stand along with ,22 on the rifle range. The gun of choice is the new Winchester SX 3 20 ga. youth model. Check it out before you buy something else.
    Jim
  13. wolfram

    wolfram Active Member

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    I'm not a fan of the cut down 20 gauge 'youth' model guns that you tend to find at walmart. They may be short but they do kick. (try one, you won't like it)

    My #1 choice is the Reminton M1100 LT20 with the 26" tube and appropriately shortened butt stock (about 12.5" LOP usually works). These aren't cheap guns and you may have to look for one for awhile but they are comfortable to shoot and balance well. Very easy to operate as a single shot too.

    The LT20 also makes a primo upland gun so it doesn't have to be limited to teaching kids on the range.
  14. WJN

    WJN TS Member

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    The Beretta 3901 RL will be hard to beat. It just gives you so many adjustment options. LOP 12", 12.5", and 13" if I recall correctly. Only issue I have found is if you locate a new one (Bud's Guns usually has them) the barrel they put on them now is made by Stoeger. The Stoeger barrel has fitment issues with the forend. You can correct it with sanding and/or as I did got another barrel made by Beretta. Wife now has the 28" Stoeger barrel and 30" Beretta barrel.

    Very light recoil with this gun.

    Jim
  15. DB Bill

    DB Bill Member

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    Not the cheapest option but they last forever would a BT-99 either a used one cut down with an butt-plate adj for length and cast or one of the newer Micro's.

    Break-open guns are much easier for smaller frame shooter's and you can tell at a glance if it's open or shut.

    Given kid's cheap guns with either pump hard, throw shells like a motar or have trigger's that take two hands to pull is poor planning and will discourage more than they will encourage.
  16. reddeath

    reddeath TS Member

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    God Bless all of you for working with the kids!!! The best legacy you can leave on this planet!
  17. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

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    It really is different talking about a community loaner gun for a scout troop, and a youth gun for a dedicated young shooter. A scout troop might use the gun a couple times a year, as opposed to a primary gun for a budding star. Mark
  18. Dr Joe

    Dr Joe Member

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    I have a 16 year old son who has been shooting trap since he was 9. He has owned more guns than I can remember. We tried 1100s, 1187s and 870 20gauges along with various over and unders and even a Benelli 20 Montefeltro. What we found was as we lowered the weight we obviously decreased comfort due to increased recoil. What finally worked best was the cheapest gun of all. A Traditions ALS2100 12ga semiauto. It looks like a Beretta 303 but when we put 7/8 oz loads there is almost no recoil and it weighs only 6.1 lbs. I bought the gun for $250 used and handed it down to a friend's son who loves it. If you put the same 7/8 load through a 20ga it cetainly kicks a lot more. A new Beretta 3901 would be awesome but funds might be hard given the nature of what you are doing.
  19. Wolfman

    Wolfman Member

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    Tell you what I did some years ago. I bought a Charles Daly youth 20 auto - 22" barrel and 10?" LOP. It is REALLY small, but fits all of the kids that are small, down to about 4'10". It is light enough for them to get a good stance and posture, and really doesn't kick that hard.

    Heard a LOT of bad stuff about this brand, BUT I have had it for 4 years, and it is shot hard. Real hard - every weekend at the skeet club hard. And other than the usual auto issues (don't clean it won't cycle), it has been absolutely problem free. I did add a check piece to raise the POI, and frankly it is well built and a really nice gun.

    This is the website where they can be bought:
    http://www.akkar-usa.com/600CY-COMPACT-SEMI-AUTO-SHOTGUNS_p_19.html

    And no, I am not a paid informant or reviewer.
  20. slide action

    slide action Active Member

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    4 things will make a gun unpleasant for a yougster to shoot---A stock that does not fit, a gun that is too heavy, a trigger pull that is too heavy, and felt recoil! Most pump guns you find(if they are too light) do have a lot of recoil with standard factory loads(especially the cheap mart cheapies)! We strarted our daughter out back in 1997 with a Win. mod. 1300 20 ga.. I found as used Win. stock (pleantiful for that model) and had it cut down to fit her. I hand loaded 3/4 oz. loads which reduced the recoil quite a bit. The gun was slightly heavier than some youth models but still managable weight wise for her. A 20 ga. is OK for little kids but most youth at or close to adolesance can handle a light weight 12 ga. just fine with reduced recoil loads.(my daughter went to the 12 ga. at age 12). In the 12 ga. 1 oz. or better yet, 7/8 oz. loads make the gun a lot tammer animal and have plenty of ump to break any clay target! Some shy away from a semi autos but, loaded with only one shell at a time safety is not an issue and they are reliable enough. It has been my experience that a shorter barrel(standard field barrels "NOT" the ultra short riot gun type) is not a henderance and the kids seems to do well without the added weight of a long barrel.
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