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When I was young we used whatever shotgun was available and sometimes these had a pretty good kick to them. I started out with a single shot 410 as my first shotgun but nowadays there is a bigger push towards youth shotguns.
What advantages can someone expect to find buy purchasing a youth shotgun as opposed to a standard style? Are they cheaper? Is the size that much different?
when you shoot a gun that does not fit you right. you start bad habits, you get kicked more. with the new youth shotguns they fit better then if a young boy or girl would shoot a shotgun for a man. most of the guns made for youth now days are lighter, less recoil, and are user friendly. i have started my boys and some other kids off on 20 guages. for first time shooters, i start them out with a 410 to get them used to getting kicked. then i move them up to a 28 or 20 gages. youth shotguns and rifles that are made for kids are a great thing. starting a youth out with the proper gear and guidance will have a young person in the shooting sports for a long time.
I bought my sons each a N.E.F youth 20 guage to start them out when they were 10 and 11 for about $80 a peice.
Looking Back maybe if I had started them sooner and maybe with a 410 it wouldn’t have been such a terrible waste of money. They did hunt with them for one year but after that they would rather use dads full size 870.
N.E.F is noted for single shot firearms at affordable prices and a varitety of guages and rifle sizes. Barrels are interchageable in some or most models. However through personal experience these short barreled (22″)youth shotguns are a hammer to fire. My sons complained of hard recoil. One morning of Dove season or shooting a box of rocks would leave purple bruses on their shoulders.These guns “did not” come outfitted with recoil pads which for a youth gun is a mistake in the first place.
I have fired these shotguns with 7 1/2 shot 20 guage shells and in my belief kick harder than #5 Pheasant loads in my 870, Why? Small lighter guns absorb less recoil.
I started out with a regular Stevens single shot 20 guage when I was 12. If I had to do it over again with my kids thats what I would have started them with. I’d look into shorter stocks that fit the kid before going with another youth model. Possibly a shorter stock would cost nearly the same as a youth model but in later years the original could be replaced. This to me makes more sense than having a youth gun that will be used for a relitively short time.
Well the main concern I looked at was indeed recoil. You’re shooting the same shot sizes as other full size shotguns in the youth models with, as you mentioned Will, a lighter gun. It stands to reason that it would produce more recoil. I am sure there are some fine youth shotguns on the market with considerable padding on the butt plate that would be of great help but it should be a standard when targeting our next generation of hunters and shooters.
I have to agree with YoungGun also that producing good shooting habits is a big plus. Its like any other weapon be it a handgun, a rifle, shotgun, or a bow, if it doesnt feel right in my hands then I dont want it to begin with. I remember some of the “long tom” guns I shot when I was a kid and just picking the damn thing up was a chore much less aiming it and preparing for the kick of a lifetime. I realize the choices back then werent what they are today, and even though they built some character and a few laughs, I would never start my kid out with one of these old monsters.