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Discussion Starter #1
because of cost, I am looking at buying my 12 year old daughter a mossberg 20 gauge pump for christmas. I looked at several pump shotguns and I liked the mossberg best because believe it or not it felt the most balanced and it was the only one that had a ported barrel, price was pretty attractive too. Anybody have any experience with mossberg, good or bad? Thank you, Joe
 

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I have one that I use as a loaner for kids. It has worked very well. It seems to have less recoil with Federal game and target loads. Reloading with 3/4 ounce shot is a great step also. Longer stocks and barrels are easily found for when you want to make adjustments for growth. Ron
 

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Our club had a Youth Day this summer and the kids seemed to flock to the mossberg versus some of the other models available. The super bantam version has spacers that will allow for some growth of the user and may allow your daughter to use the gun comfortably her whole life.
 

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Joe,

I suggest that you check the comb height, the pitch and the length of the stock on the 500. Any or all may need some attention.

With your daughter's cheek snugly on the comb, she should see very little of the rib's surface. If this is not the case, raise the comb with some moleskin.

Depending on the development of your daughter, the pitch on the stock may need changing. (Pitch is the angle formed by the recoil pad and the rib, close to 90 degrees.)

The pitch is correct when, with the gun held in front of her with the barrel raised to a normal shooting height and the gun is brought back to her shoulder, the whole recoil pad, top to bottom, should make simultaneous contact.

If the bottom "toe" of the pad makes contact very much before the top of the pad, the pitch should be corrected by either putting washers on the top pad attachment screw between the stock and the pad or, by cutting the stock. Obviously, as your daughter develops further, the correct pitch will also change.

The stock's length is (currently) correct for your daughter when, with the gun mounted with the top of the recoil pad about 3/4" above her collarbone and her cheek is on the comb, there is approximately a one-inch separation between the tip of her nose and her trigger-hand thumb.

Also keep an eye on the wright distribution that she uses. If the gun is too heavy or the stock is too long for them, younger shooters tend to shoot with too much weight on their back feet. This invites excessive felt recoil and can dampen their enthusiasm for shooting. As you know, it is best if more weight is put on the front foot to help absorb recoil.

When the stock is too long for them, they also tend to shoot with their shoulders too closely aligned with the direction they are shooting. This is not good form because it hampers swings in the direction opposite of the side of their gun mount.

Along those lines, it might also be a good time to teach her the best way to swing a shotgun left and right. Ideally, the angle formed by the gun and a line across her shoulders, should not change as she swings horizontally.

All swings are best made by using upper body rotation at the waist and hips like the turret on a tank. Arm-swinging a gun by pivoting it left on the shoulder is not a good idea because it tends to misalign the eye with the rib and, as you know, the eye serves the same purpose as the back sight on a rifle. Move either and the bullet or pattern will move in the same direction.

Rollin
 

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I took my grandson to a Cabelas Family Day last summer. They had a trap, skeet and sporting clays course set up. During that time, my 12 year old grandson shot a super bantam Mossberg 500' a Remington 1100 youth and a Beretta youth OU.. He shot all three shotguns and kept going back to the Mossberg 500 Super Bantam.. After that day we went down to Cabelas and bought one and my grandson couldn't be happier. By the way, You also get an offer to upgrade to an adult stock and forearm at no extra charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone for the comments, I went to go and purchase the mossberg tonight and they had sold it so I spent a little more and got the remington 870 instead, I know the remington will be a great gun and she should be happy either way. Thank you all again. Joe
 

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I hope the young lady is going to hunt with the gun and not shoot clays with it. I have hunting guns I'd never shoot 25, 50 or 100 clay targets with. I started with a Mossberg 9200 auto youth bantam...NOT a pump for clays. I'm afraid it's going to knock her senseless! I'd go with a 20ga Rem 1100!
 

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I bought my Grandson a Mossberg Mini Bantam when he was 6 years old. Mossberg is the ONLY American Made gun out there for children. It fit him well with a small piece of peel and stick foam on the cheek piece. We have never had any issues with it. With my extra light loads he had a lot of fun and it didn't kick him more than he could handle. And he broke a few targets too. I gradually increased the Green Dot powder charge from 10.5 gr. to 15 gr. over the last two years. A great American made gun for the money.
 

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Make sure you test for her eye dominance. If you can, take a few first shots at a pattern board to get an idea about gun fit and gun mount relationship. With a light pump if you can find a friend to make reloads with 3\4 oz of shot at about 1150 fps you will have a much better time shooting more. There are some factory 7\8 loads in the 1100 fps range if you dont reload.
Be very careful of the dove and quail cheap stuff in the discount ammo box. Some of that kicks like a mule in the 20.
Some fun non flying targets can help establish comfort shooting the new gun. Think water jug hanging on a string swinging back and forth, or a balloon either pinned to the backstop or on the ground.
Great Job bringing another young lady to the shooting sports. Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
she is going to hunt and shoot some clays with this gun, I do my own reloads so I have a nice 3/4 oz light load that won't kick the crap out of her which is why I went with the pump, I have a remington 1100 semi-auto that you have to shoot really hot loads out of it to get it to cycle and I have seen several guys at the gun club that are just constantly tearing their semi-auto down to fix cycling problem. As she gets bigger I will probably get her an O/U, this will be a great starter gun.
 
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