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Hookmaster

Soft-shooting 20 gauge

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What is a soft shooting 20 guage for a youngster getting in to hunting? I assume I'm looking at a gas auto or can most handle the youth pump?

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Of course it depends somewhat on the age of the kid, but all things being equal any youngster of reasonable size and build should be able to handle a .20 guage. And frankly, if you take your time with them, they'll do okay with a .12 guage too and you can skip the "intermediate" .20 guage phase. On the other hand, I now do most of my shooting with a .20 guage, so the kid may never get beyond it, given the loads etc. available today.

Remington just came out with a dandy double gun. Check it out. Skip them rattely clanky ol' pumpers and gas blasters. grin.gif

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Remington 1100's and Beretta 390's (or any Beretta gas gun) are very light shooters. One thing to consider is that when learning to shoot a semi auto is a dangerous tool. I'd give them one shell at a time until they are 100 percent reliable with muzzle control and putting the safety back on.

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He'll be 12 this month. He's built like most his age, skin and bones. He'll be getting one shell to start with until he shows he can control the gun properly even if he shoots a pump.

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I went with a BENELLI M2 comfortech 20 gauge for our two grandsons. What a gun. I just love it. It's light, a good fit and it comes up OHHHH SOOOOO sweet. I will be using it for upland this fall in place of my M1-12 gauge grin.gif.

The grandsons also liked shooting it, but they had to head back home to Seattle, Washington frown.giffrown.gif.

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Purchased a Browning micro 20 ga for my 12 year old this spring.

The pump mechanism really is smooth. Gun has a nice balance and weight is not too light. Light guns kick more. He handled turkey mag loads fine.

The dealer tried to sell us an adult gun - because he would grow out of it so quickly. Well this gun will be one fine ruff grouse gun and/or will fit my petite daughter when she reaches 12 or 13.

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Several things affect "felt recoil". It is most important to get a gun that fits. Many manufacturers make youth size guns that also can be converted to adult guns by changing the stock later. Secondly, the recoil pad can be changes to a better one or a recoil reducer installed. Third, use light low base loads for practice. Lastly, studies have shown that flinch is usually a result of the noise rather than true recoil so always use ear protection. At age 11 when I started I used both a 20 guage and a 12 guage and the recoil never was a problem and I was just skin and bones too. Hope this helps.

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I thaught 20 gauges only came in pink? Add 1 year to any boy's age that starts shooting a 20 gauge and that will be the length of time that they are no longer satisfied and will want a 12 gauge.

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most of the recoil comes from how heavy the load is. there is a felt difference between a 1 3/8 oz game load compaired to a 7/8 trap load. recoil pads are next. i dont think there is much difference between my Rem 870 and benelli M1 super 90. it just feels like the recoil is spread out a split second longer with the auto. they both still seem to push equally. also the heavier the gun the less recoil there is. so if he is big enough id get an adult model.

just make sure he wants to use whatever you get.

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say the TriStars are light weight and very affordable. They come with a 5yr. warranty and the won't brake the bank account either.about $310.00 for a semi-auto

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I bought him a Mossberg 500 Bantam. I didn't get the 505 or the Super Bantam since they are 1 1/4 pounds lighter which would transmit more recoil. Took him out to shoot and he didn't want to because of the perceived recoil. I didn't push it ans said OK we'll try again later. Got a cheap kid's blaze orange vest and put a gel insole on with a grommet kit for an extra recoil pad. Last night he shot it for the first time and said it didn't kick as much as he thought it would. He went through 3 boxes of shells and hit about 15 clays. For his first time shooting he did well. He's pumped for the youth waterfowl opener on Saturday. So am I.

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My 12 year old daughter just got her HSCert and I was thinking about getting a 20 ga that she could use until she is old enough and has enough money saved up to buy her own gun. I figured by then my 9 year old son would be ready to use it and after that maybe my wife could use it. Only problem is my daughter shoots right handed and he is a lefty. So I was thinking about getting a Browning BPS because of the bottom eject. Any thoughts on whether that is a reliable gun or not? Are there any other good bottom eject guns out there?

Nels

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I hunt almost exclusively with a Browning BPS 20 gauge field special. I've been using it over twenty years. English stock (straight, no pistol grip), 22 inch barrel, Hi ventilated rib. It is a great gun. The only issue there is, is the tendency to short stroke when using a 3 inch shell. If you have been shooting a lot 2 3/4 shells when moving to the 3 you can sometimes not pull the pump back far enough. The shell ejects and clears, but the new shell doesn't chamber. The bottom eject vs. side eject controversy. If the gun is properly cleaned and oiled this pretty much a non-issue and like I said it the only thing issue I've encountered. The gun is fantastic IMHO. I have 1100's, a-5s, etc., but that is the gun I use unless I am hunting Geese or Turkey. And I have shot geese with it duck hunting too, but I wouldn’t recommend a 20 if geese were primary goal.

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For a soft shooter stick with a gas operated autoloader. The generally accepted most reliable gas gun is the Beretta 391 and it is a soft shooter. If it were me and the gun fit my youngster right that is what I'd get.

As far as lefty or righty. I am a lefty and shoot a Beretta AL391 which is a right side eject gun. I have had no problems with the ejection and think that it is mostly a myth. Having said that I recommend using protective eyewear for everyone. Safety glasses are cheap and your eyes are priceless.

Starting a kid with an autoloader is a little bit sticky so use common sense with it. One shell at a time until all safety habits become just that, habits. Then they can use multiple shells.

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Thanks for replies and I will check out the Beretta 391. I suppose this is going to be one of those $1000+ guns. The good news is it will still be my gun when its all said and done. wink.gif

Nels

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Quote:

I thaught 20 gauges only came in pink? Add 1 year to any boy's age that starts shooting a 20 gauge and that will be the length of time that they are no longer satisfied and will want a 12 gauge.


My son started hunting with a rem 870 youth 20 ga. last year at age 8. He still is happy with the gun after a few rounds of pre-season target busting. The recoil doesnt seem to bother him at all (he's 90lbs), so I highly doubt it would be troublesome to a 12 year old.

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I have a son being born in the next 3 weeks and I saw a deal on a new Remmington 870 youth 20 ga. for $229. I know it is a little early to start, but that was one heck of a deal. It was at Gander Mtn. this weekend, when you use the Gander Mtn. Master card. It probably won't get much cheaper.

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I went with the 870 Remington for both my sons when they were 11. I did not go with the youth because it is a little shorter and they would outgrow it too fast. This way they can use it yet when they are adults.

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My son got 3 ducks on the Youth Waterfowl Opener. He said he didn't notice the recoil at all. That is what I told him to begin with but kid's never listen to experience. The size of the youth stock is right for him. A regular stock would be too long.

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My sons are happy with their Mossberg 500 20-gauge pumps. Got the combo model (field and rifled barrels) for under $300 each.

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Gas auto probably the softest but personally I would stear clear of an auto for a beginner. I think they are too dangerous for rookies. My opinion. I think kids should start with single shot 20 ga. That was the rule in my family. Starting off with a single shot develops your skill so you settle down and make the first shot count instead of the 2nd, 3rd, etc. A bad habit I have deveoped as an adult. Also if your kid is going to be a life long hunter then the gun you give him/her should be their property forever. The pride a kid has knowing it is their gun can only help in the way they handle it and respect it.

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The only thing I don't like about the single shot 20 gauges is the hammer. I remember the one I shot as being quite difficult to cock. The Mossberg 500 Bantams come with a plug that doesn't allow any shells in the magazine. You can trim it later to only hold two shells in the magazine.

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