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We are new to this sport and I went out and purchased him a Rem 1110 12ga 28" with rem chokes. The gun seems really heavy for him and he struggles with it but manages the recoil fine. I'm thinking he needs something different. Any suggestions on a different gun or should we just keep working with this one? I hear 1100s are great first guns.
 

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It's more about size and strength, than age. If he is smaller, you need to make sure the gun fits him. Jack West makes a youth stock set for the 1100. Have him build up his gun holding up muscles, so he doesn't lean back, to try to balance the gun.
 

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Hello: A Beretta 391 or the new A300 are great guns. The A300 with the synthetic stock that can be shortened to 12 3/4" should be good and they have a rebate of $100 right now. You will need a shell catcher and a modified choke and you are good. My son used a Beretta 391 and it worked great when he was 10. He now shoots a O/U and is 16. I will be getting a new gun for my other boy soon and it may be a A300 since the 391 has gone to a new owner. Thanks, Eric
 

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While the 1100 really tames recoil, it has a steel frame and is really heavy for most 11 year olds. My advice would be the youth model Berettas. You can pick up a used youth 391 AL for a decent price. These guns are light weight and great for kids. If he is not shooting doubles you can get a BT-99 Micro pretty reasonable. My daughter shot a pump gun at that age. We loaded the shells light with 7/8 oz. of 8-1/2s. Basically a 20 Ga. load in a 12 Ga. gun.
 

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For reduced recoil, I would stick to gas-operated semi-autos like the Remington 1100 and Beretta 390,391, and 400. I would stay away from the harder kicking o/u, single barrel, pump, or recoil-operated shotguns, especially if weight is an issue, as weight is the cheapest and easiest way to counter recoil on these designs with inherently greater perceived recoil.
 

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I can certainly sympathize with the poster! While I began to shoot trap when I was between 9 and 10 and did OK, my grandson who is approaching 11 is having a hard time with any of my smaller shotguns including Rem. M1100's in 20 and 28 gauge. He just doesn't have the strength to handle them. A 12 gauge of any description is presently out of the question. I take him out every few months to let him try out several gun possibilities and his next trial will be coming up before long now that school is out for the summer. I had hoped his tennis lessons and practice would strengthen his muscles enough so he could get started. So far it hasn't worked, but I'm hoping....

Johnpe
 

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You could get a magnetic gun rest. Either foam by Foxy or Gun buddy or leather by Shamrock Leathers. It allows you to rest the gun in between shots. There's a 6th grader on my team who uses one with a 30" Remington 1100 Comp Synthetic and that's not a light gun Pretty much everyone else on my youth team (20 or so members) including me, uses one too even though we're mostly 14+
 

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Keep working with what you have and he will work his way into with help from you. Started my son around 7-1/2 first with a BB gun and then onto a 12 gauge doing gun lifts in the garage. When he could do 25 or so we then went to range away from the trap fields and just shot the gun until he became comfortable holding, loading , pointing and firing. We then moved to the skeet field shooting station 7 low house targets which allowed him hit targets almost immediately.

You have to remember there's a good many adults much less youngsters who can't hoist and hold a gun for more than a couple of shots if that without wearing out, it takes practice and that's what any youg shooters needs to get up and running.

Regarding fit look for the best shot at your club and ask him to Look at your son and give suggestions.

Surfer
 

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You might try to find a light contour barrel in 24" or 26" with choke tubes. I've found that sometimes that youth shooters can hold up the gun, but the longer barrel puts the balance too far forward and they can't hold it up. Just a thought. I have purchased a BT99, installed an adjustable LOP gracoil so that it can be adjusted from 13"-14" LOP and am going to send the barrel to Briley and have it shortened to 28" and rechoked. I believe that this will make a great starter gun for my 11 year old grandson. Lighter weight, rearward balance and light in recoil, especially with 7/8 oz loads. Bill
 

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My 11 year old grandson will be starting to shoot in the near future. I gave him a 28 inch barreled 870 trap gun but my son in law tells me he thinks the recoil will be to much for him as he's not that big at this time. I do not know what your budget is but what I have decided to purchase is a BT99 micro with their shortest barrel they offer which I think is 30 inches? I want him to concentrate on shooting targets and not be concerned with fumbling around with the ejection of shells.
Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
 

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My 8yo 2nd grader (all 70 lbs.) handles a 32" BT-99 with PFS stock quite well. Why people keep having the idea they need to cut barrels and provide short 870's is beyond me. First thing, these guns will kick like a mule and secondly will perform poorly on the trap line. Recoil reduction, fit and correct impact are the main issues and must be defeated if the young shooter is to be successful. Let's not forget safety and that's where a break open single barrel shines.

#1 son started with Krieghoff Model 32 upgraded to a K-80 with 32" barrel at age 10 1/2. 2 1/2 weeks later he broke his first 25 and went on to 4 All-American teams.

Throw away those computer games for a few weeks and encourage them to do gun lifts instead. Spend a little more money at first and provide the best equipment possible. In the end it'll all be re-sold anyway!!
 

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We are new to this sport and I went out and purchased him a Rem 1110 12ga 28" with rem chokes. The gun seems really heavy for him and he struggles with it but manages the recoil fine. I'm thinking he needs something different. Any suggestions on a different gun or should we just keep working with this one? I hear 1100s are great first guns.
We found the 1100's too heavy, esp barrel heavy. A fine first gun for us ended up being the Weatherby SA-08 20ga youth model. It has a 24" barrel and weighs in at about 5.75#. Recoil is tame and we have found the gun to be totally reliable. The factory chokes aren't very impressive. Lop is 12.5" and the grip radius is built for smaller hands. This was my daughters first shotgun and it performed flawlessly. It will cycle most any 20g load except the "training" loads.
 

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Our small stature 4th/5th grade shooters have had great luck with Franchi Affinity Compacts in 20 gauge. They are light but very manageable recoil-wise, LOP can be adjusted with included stock extensions and a full size replacement stock is available. Great little gun.
 

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You could get a magnetic gun rest. Either foam by Foxy or Gun buddy or leather by Shamrock Leathers. It allows you to rest the gun in between shots. There's a 6th grader on my team who uses one with a 30" Remington 1100 Comp Synthetic and that's not a light gun Pretty much everyone else on my youth team (20 or so members) including me, uses one too even though we're mostly 14+
Auto loaders, despite the fact they are usually lighter & have softer recoil, maybe too unwieldy an seem heavier due to their added length ,due to a longer receiver. A micro Bt-99 may be easier for a smaller weaker person to mount.

Phil Berkowitz
 

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As said already, it all depends on the youngster's size and strength in both arms and legs. I started at that age with an 870TB but I was always big for my age. I started shooting targets thrown by an old expert trap my uncle had bolted to a bench rest table and I moved around to practice different angles. When I first went to a gun club I felt secure enough that I started without locking the trap on straights or anything else. In the 60's a light load was 2 3/4 dram ounce and and eighth, but recoil was never a problem. However with today's choices a 7/8 or 1 oz. load would certainly be more appropriate in a lot of cases. The most important thing is to choose a gun that can be handled safely by the young shooter.
 

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I was small for my age at 10 year old and started with a Remington 1100 20 gauge with a shortened stock without problems. Especially if weight matters, I would stay away from locked breach guns (SBTs, O/Us, pumps, etc) unless you can afford a PFS or Gracoil to put on it. I think an 1100 or one of the Beretta semi-autos in 20ga would be hard to beat.
 

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Semi-autos sound good as long as the young shooter has a daddy around to perform the frequent cleaning operation. My suggestion is for those individuals who recommend certain guns to shoot a few ATA events first with the same type gun. Then tell us again it's entirely appropriate for trapshooting success!!
 

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You might try to find a light contour barrel in 24" or 26" with choke tubes. I've found that sometimes that youth shooters can hold up the gun, but the longer barrel puts the balance too far forward and they can't hold it up. Just a thought. I have purchased a BT99, installed an adjustable LOP gracoil so that it can be adjusted from 13"-14" LOP and am going to send the barrel to Briley and have it shortened to 28" and rechoked. I believe that this will make a great starter gun for my 11 year old grandson. Lighter weight, rearward balance and light in recoil, especially with 7/8 oz loads. Bill
When your grandson outgrows that I want to buy it for my granddaughter (9 now and at least a year from starting)
 
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