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Discussion Starter #1
My son is 12yrs old and I was thinking about getting him a shotgun for his b-day. A few years ago I got him a Ruger 10/22 (his first gun). He has done very well with following all safety instructions and is a pretty good shot. I want to continue his firearm education and was hoping you guys would have some suggestions on what would be a good "next step" gun?

I was thinking a rem 870 20 gauge???
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm. I don't have much experience with the smaller caliber shotguns, but maybe he could shoot a 410 and 20 and see which one he likes better. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Said most tongue and cheek: The 410 shotgun was invented so that a son could accidentally shoot his father while learning and the father survive.


I am a huge fan of the 410. I have done nearly all of my hunting since 2003 with a 410, everything from dove to whitetail. That said I would not suggest it as a youth first shotgun unless they are of very slight of build and recoil sensitive.

The short effective range and poor pattern the 410 has makes it a challenging shotgun to shoot and one that require the self discipline to only take close range shots. Most youth simply do not have the skill or self discipline for the 410.

The 20 gauge 870 would be a decent choice but if you can find a nice 28 gauge that would be even better. The 28 gauge is and excellent compromise between a lightweight and low recoil shotgun while still have decent range and killing power. I bought my wife a used Traditions 28 gauge over and under. Very light easy handling gun and was only slightly more than you would pay for a new 870.

Rambling
mcb
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I agree that a 410 would be a great choice. They are a lot of fun to shoot and the recoil is manageable but present. It feels a lot more like a real "gun" than a 22 which sometimes can feel like a BB gun. I'm sure he'd love it. The only thing I can think of that sucks is that the ammo is expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would say 12 gauge. :) just kidding. I think the 20 gauge would be good. When he grows up he can still use it and not grow too much out of it...or by the time he grows out of it, he can pass it down already.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My 8 year old nephew's first shotgun which was last year is a 20 gauge. My 14 year old son's first shotgun which was also last year is a 20 gauge. It will be fine for all his life. He will grow out of a 410.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Maybe a shotgun is not necessarily the best "next step" gun for him?? What else could be a natural progression? BTW - the 410 is a great suggestion as he is on the small size for his age. He'll catch up though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think a 20 gauge is just fine. It might be a little stout right now, he'll get over it. It will help teach him to properly shoulder the gun as well...

.410 would be OK, but remember it's not a great hunting caliber for most game, and he'll outgrow it quick. Ammo ain't cheap, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, so maybe a 20 gauge would also work. I'm getting some good ideas from you guys. Thanks, much appreciated.

How do I explain to the wife why it was necessary for my son and I to purchase 3 new guns?! Who wants to take the blame?
 
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