Youth shotgun thoughts and considerations?

Discussion in 'Shooting - Reloading Forum' started by 870, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

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    I am looking at getting a couple of 20 gauge youth pumps for our local Delta mentor hunts. Alberta this year has lowered the age to 10 from 12 to legally hunt waterfowl (and other game birds,,, so basically we are looking at a couple guns to fit 10 - 12 year olds.

    As my username suggests, I am a big fan of the 870, and I see the 870 express compact comes in 18 (junior) or 21 inch barrels. Short barrels scare me when I sit next to one in a blind,,, but most youth guns are pretty short... that said I am leaning towards the 21 inch barrel in the 870. Question,,, does 3 inches more or less make a big difference for 10 - 11 year olds of smaller stature?

    The Winchester SXP is another possibility, however at 6 1/2 lb and 26 inch barrel would that be too much weight and barrel for a preadolescent to hold comfortably?

    Then there are the Mossberg 500 Youth Super Bantam and the Maverick 88 (with 22") barrels. Both guns weigh in at 5.25 lbs,,,, at that weight does recoil start becoming an issue for young shooters?

    While I personally do not like the safety on top, I can see that as advantage for a "learning" gun in that I can easily check the gun for the safety on or off and the guns fit right or left shooters equally.

    Also I understand that barrels are interchangeable between the 500 and the maverick,,, why then the price difference?

    Anyways, I am open to thoughts, comments and suggestions from about these guns or any other youth shotguns that I should possibly consider.

    Thanks in advance for any and all replies.
     
  2. Pastor

    Pastor Senior Refuge Member

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    Mossberg 500 has been a great gun for my boy. He's stepped up to a 12 now but this little 20 gauge has been great. Screenshot_20190831-232510.png Screenshot_20190831-232003.png Screenshot_20190831-232111.png
     
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  3. oldfireguy

    oldfireguy Senior Refuge Member

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    I have grandkids that shoot both the 870 youth and the 1100 youth models with shorter barrels in 20 gauge. Recoil is not a problem and they solve as much of the weight problem as possible.
    Another option is a single shot 20. That is the easiest to handle and eliminates the "lead slinger" mentality.....yes I know they are shooting steel.
    I've taken several kids out for their first duck hunt. I never carry a gun then. Just sit next to them coaching, and watching for any safety problems.
    Good luck with your endeavor, keep us posted on results.
     
  4. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    The answers to almost all your questions depend entirely on the size/strength of the 10-12 year olds who will be using the guns.
    I will say this; a 20 gage, at barely 5 pounds and shooting waterfowl loads, will have significant recoil.

    On the price delta; it's my understanding that the reason is one is made in the USA and one is made in Turkey.

    Don't loose too much sleep over this question. This isn't a permanent step.
     
  5. fowlwhacker

    fowlwhacker Elite Refuge Member

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    I started my kids out with the 1187 20ga youth model with 21" barrels. I don't think I would want any shorter barrel than that. They tend to grow quickly and outgrow the barrel as it is.
     
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  6. shell waster

    shell waster Senior Refuge Member

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    I would get a gas driven semi auto to dampen recoil
     
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  7. spg

    spg Senior Refuge Member

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    Bought my daughter the 870 with the short barrel, never had any trouble. She shot everything from deer to ducks with it. She no longer hunts but I use the short barrel gun when I have long walk in hunts?
     
  8. Sunklands

    Sunklands Elite Refuge Member

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    I’ve seen quite a few kids, who were given a pump and would’ve been better off with an O/U or semi. Alot of kids find it very awkward to pump a shotgun, all the while keeping it shouldered.
     
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  9. Mallardmisser

    Mallardmisser Elite Refuge Member

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    Big no make that HUGE difference in size between the average 10 year old and the average 12 year old......

    I'm around a lot of 10 year old boys(youth hockey) most would be knocked flat on their arse shooting a 20 gauge with hunting loads.
    If you have them shoot the 7/8 steel load at 1500 fps out of a 5.25 lbs gun it's 31ft-lbs of recoil. A 3 inch fast steel produces about 33 lbs of recoil in a 7.75lb gun. Now for a 90lb kid to take 1/3 his weight in kick...That's a lot. 3 1/2 inch shell in a locked action only produces about 51lbs so if your 150lbs that's about the same ratio.... Not where I want to start a kid....My daughter is 10 and can shoot the reduced recoil loads in her 20 without any problem but anything more and it's not fun for her. She's 78 lbs and 5 foot, which is taller than 90% of 10 year olds, especially boys.

    I wouldn't hesitate to use a semi-auto as the first time hunter should only have one shell in it no matter the scenario... She has a SA-08 youth and is right at the edge of being comfortable with the length.

    I'd seriously consider a 410 and hevi shot($$$) if you're serious about 10 year olds...and I'll say again if it's 12 year olds 20 gauge will be great.
     
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  10. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

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    Thanks everyone,,, Yes, there is a huge size and strength difference between the average 10 year old to 12 year old. These guns are not meant to "grow with the kid" but rather be to be used maybe 3 -4 times per year by different new young hunters,,, trying to do a "one size fits all" kind of thing.

    Recoil is definitely an issue,,, unfortunately our budget doesn't really allow for the extra cost of a semi auto. And I am not crazy about 410 as waterfowl guns ...particularly since we have numerous field hunting opportunities for geese and I do like the idea of introducing kids to hunting on solid terra firma rather than swampy sticky mud.

    I am not a physics major but is there a noticeable recoil difference between the 5.25 lb Mossberg to the 6 Lb Remington Express compact shooting 7/8 oz steel loads?

    What's everybody thoughts on barrel length,, what is too long for a 5 foot (+/-) kid?

    Thanks again for all the replies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019

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