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Thread: Best youth shotgun

  1. #21
    Senior Member twall's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Default Another vote for the 391

    I have to say the 391 too.

    My daughter was on a youth trap team this year. Most of the kids, many girls included, shot the 391. In talking with a gun dealer at the state trap shoot he showed us a 12 ga 391 with a shorter stock for youth. It is otherwise a regular 12 ga. You can get a full sized stock later if need. Gun fit is going to be the most important facter in shooter comfort. You can get, or reload, light loads to help with recoil. Otherwise, I'm a fan of the 870 and O/U's. But, I think the proper fit and reduced recoil of the semi-auto are best for a new shooter. As far as safety goes, they can only load one at a time if that is all YOU give them!

    Only since my daughter started shooting trap have I given more than 1 shell at a time. While she is essentially a full-grown woman at 17 I still reload light target loads, 7/8 oz @ 1100 fps. She shoots my old 870 and doesn't even notice the recoil. She's more than happy to burn through shells faster than I can reload them!

    Make it fun for them and they'll be hooked for life!

    Tom Wall

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  3. #22
    Senior Member Steve Hester's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Fort Worth, Texas


    Remington 870 20 Ga. Youth Model. I also agree that safety is THE primary issue for a youth. An auto is a bad idea for a youngster, IMHO. All it takes is one mistake for somebody to die. Also, with practice, you can make follow up shots plenty fast enough for ANY kind of shooting. The single shot also has a lot of merit, being the ultimate in safety, and also teaching good first shot selection, as has already been mentioned.
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson

  4. #23
    Senior Member Heather McCormack's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    Grass Valley , CA

    Default Remington 870

    The Remington 870 20ga is the perfect gun for children. My youngest son started out with a Remington 870 youth model cut down by an inch. He is in the 4H shooting program and shoots trap. His score is generally around 18-22/25. He shoots really well and never complains of the recoil. He has been using this gun for 3 years and he is 13. This year we will have the inch added back to the stock as he finally grew.

    I think children should start out with a pump, they have to think about it more and it makes it safer. Also when starting out you would not want them to shut the action of a auto on there little fingers. They have some much to think about when learning gun handling that a auto just adds a little bit more danger to the situation. I also agree that its easyier for them to take apart a pump and clean it.

    My children had to learn to take them apart, clean them and handle them correctly before they ever shot them. They are extremly safe and love to shoot.

    My oldest son started out with Mossberg 20GA Pump, he just moved up to a Mossberg Silver Reserve 12ga O/U he is also in the 4H shooting program and on the shooting team. Their team just competed in a NRA shoot and took 3rd against alot of adults that have been shooting for years. He is 15 he shot a Youth 20GA pump until he was 13.

    All children should be taught save gun handling even if they never plan to shoot a gun. Mine started shooting 22 rifles when they were 6. Start them out with a 22 rifle or a 20ga pump and they should do great.

    Just my opinon!!!

    Heather McCormack

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  6. #24
    Senior Member caglatz's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    New Providence, NJ


    Another vote for the 870 express

  7. #25
    Senior Member brian breuer's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Spokane, WA


    If your concerned about safety, then only load 1 shell. As far as shooting a pump at skeet well good luck with that. It is hard enough starting out, why put them further back with inferior equipment?

    Gotta give the nod to the autos.

  8. #26
    Senior Member dmccarty's Avatar
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    Jul 2004


    "remington 870 yout model in 20 gage"

    Oh no... I had one and it was the worst gun for recoil I have ever shot. The 870 12g is much, much better and they make a youth/ladies adapter kit for it. Lots of other good choices mentioned, and I will throw another one out there. I shoot a Traditions 12g semiauto made for ladies/youth. It has been a great gun for the last 5 years and it hunts every season. I am a very small gal (5 foot tall, 110#) and the only time I feel recoil is with 3" steel shot. It uses Beretta chokes. I tried to post up a pic but it will only let me put up a tiny image.

  9. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    Look for a used Ruger Red Label in 20 gauge, they are cheaper than a new 391. I like break open guns for kids because it is easier to see if it is loaded from a distance. Sometimes you can't see the action on a pump or auto.

    If recoil is an issue there are some 3/4 ounce loads out there for the 20. Essentially a 28 gauge load in a 20 gauge.


  10. #28
    Member jevc's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Winston Montana


    A word of caution for those kids shooting a 410 single shot. That is the gun I started hunting with 35 years ago. Besides not being able to hit anything with it I dont think it is a very safe gun. The gun I have is a NEF and there are plenty of them around. A few years ago I took it out of the closet to shoot some pigeons. As I was pulling the hammer back for a shot my thumb slipped off the hammer and it fired. Fortunatly it never happened in my youth but that gun is now retired and I certainly would not let a kid with smaller and weaker hands shoot it. I dont have any other single shots so I dont know if the newer ones have a have a safety that wont allow that to happen or not but it would be worth checking on.

  11. #29
    Senior Member Tom H.'s Avatar
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    May 2005
    Central Illinois


    Have to vote for the trusty ole 870 . Just make sure it fits properly -
    Oxygen Vaporizer
    Last edited by Tom H.; 02-22-2011 at 06:33 PM.

  12. #30
    Senior Member Richard Finch's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    Remington Special Field 1100 20 gauge makes a nice first gun!!

    SHOOT EM' IN THE LIPS..........

    HRCH Otter Sloughs Bronze Gander " Gander"
    Annaloughan Arrow "Bailey"

    JOHN 3:16

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