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  #76  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:27 PM
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While I grew up on a 410 however knowing what I know now a 28 ga. is what I'd recommend. I had a 20 ga. for a 'short while' that kicked more than my 12 ga..
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  #77  
Old 01-22-2020, 09:26 PM
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My first scattergun was a 870 LW in 20G when I graduated 8th grade.
Up to that point, I used my father 870 in 28g. I have a 1100 in 28 that I adore. I learned to reload about the same time.I got that 20g. It is the way to go with 28's as the ammo is common, but not found on every street corner.
I have taken 100's of pheasant,quail, dove, a few dozen bunnies and even surprised some buddies here in SE LA swinging it on fast moving Teal.
IMO, the 28 is shotgunners, gun. Nothing swings better and tests the skill of a shotgunner, more than an 28 will. Master the 28 and you have mastered them all.
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  #78  
Old 01-13-2021, 10:20 PM
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I started my boys out on a Win 42 410. I still use it every season, now that they moved up to a 16ga 870 and a Moss 20ga. No you can't shoot 45-50 yards with any consistency. I just wait till they come down closer or else pass. I can get my limit every time with it.
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  #79  
Old 01-13-2021, 11:03 PM
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I have grown up with and become very accustomed to 12ga pump, including heavy hitting slugs and OOBuck. However, I have not forgotten the initial displeasure I experienced when I first started shooting shotguns. It was real. As an active firearms instructor I assure you, plenty of full grown and otherwise "manly" adults find it unpleasant. I love Remington 870, but comparing remington 870 12ga pump to Remington VersaMax 12ga semi-auto, the semi-auto of same caliber provides a night and day improvement in felt recoil. There of course are more expensive 12ga semi-auto that run even softer than Versamax. Point being semi-auto provides real benefits in perceived recoil reduction, and expensive ones do generally perform better and kick softer than cheaper ones.

Now carrying that to smaller calibers the same principal applies. 16ga vs 20ga vs 410ga, have less difference in feel than the reduction from 12ga is to any of those. My personal experience is fairly extensive. I truly love shooting shotgun, particularly speed drills and clay pigeons. My preference between all of the smaller shotgun gages is 20ga. 20ga ammo is the cheapest and most available. When patient I can usually find cheap 20ga bird shot at same price as your cheap 12ga bird shot. When providing instruction to new shooters, or even just enjoying range time with family, routinely the result of 12ga is my begging and pleading to just try it, and most first timers genuinely do not enjoy it. In contrast, when I switch that same shooter to 20ga semi-auto, they don't want to set it down. This includes new women shooters and children that want nothing to do with a 12ga.

Some of the posts suggested some single shot 20ga, which are affordable and light, but they do not compare in comfort to a semi-auto. The cycling action and little bit more weight over a single shot provide a real effect on reducing recoil. I won't go into the debate of different models or manufacturers because that is a separate discussion but I leave you only with my strong recommendation for 20ga semi-auto. It is the perfect balance of light to carry, soft to shoot, and with so many specialized loads available, I would argue that performance reduction from 12ga is minimal. Plenty of trap/skeet shooters, as well as bird hunters, utilizing 20ga.

Pretty humbling to show up at a competition and watch 16 year old kids from any of the high school trap teams, shooting perfect skeet scores with a $450 20ga, missing zero clays, beating all the geared-out duck hunters and ranchers with $1800 12ga.

12ga won't make you hit anything that you would miss with a 20ga. Id argue the comfort of the 20ga makes you shoot better. Same principal of why rimfire pistol is so accurate for beginners. I dont know anyone who can shoot a 9mm more accurate than a 22lr.

Last edited by 2nab; 01-13-2021 at 11:47 PM.
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  #80  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:08 PM
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I was never allowed to shoot squirrels with any shotgun as the shells were more expensive than .22 shorts and we wanted the meat.

If I were going to recommend a shotgun for squirrels it would be a 28 gauge. Once in a while I shoot a .410 at 16 yard trap just for a change of pace. I would not recommend it for hunting squirrel except at very close ranges.

Today I mostly squirrel with a .22 pistol. It's easier than a rifle or a carbine to carry around.
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  #81  
Old 01-21-2021, 09:02 PM
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Savage stevens 301 compact in 410 or 20. Single barrel, break open. Much lighter than the pumps and semiautos people are suggesting. A acope? Come on, man. Get serious.
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  #82  
Old 01-21-2021, 10:08 PM
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20 gauge

I haven't read all the responses but I will start my great grandsons out with a 20 gauge single. The low brass loads are pretty tame.
I have an H&R 20 but I think it is a bit too light. I'll drill the stock and add a slug of lead to tame it a bit.
I started out with an old 16 gauge single and used it for many years.
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  #83  
Old 01-22-2021, 12:17 AM
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If I am in an area where I need to use a shotgun, I take my SKB 20ga SXS. I use a savage four tenner tube in one barrel so it gives me a 20 and a .410 choice. Works very well.
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  #84  
Old 01-24-2021, 11:12 PM
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I started off with a Winchester single shot 16 gauge, at around the age of 12. Sure, it "shicked the kit" out of me, but I wanted to hunt and that was the only gun I could use. Little later on, my grandad bought me a double barrel 10 gauge. Now that was a hard kicking old gun. Killed a lot of game, though.

Were I starting a young person out today, I'd be looking for a gently used automatic 20 gauge with interchangeable chokes. A youth model could probably be found pretty easy, and certain models allow the stocks to be changed as they grow. Having said that, my 13 year old cousin shoots HS trap with a 12 gauge 1100 Remington. And he's small for his age.

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  #85  
Old 01-28-2021, 09:45 AM
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My son started with a cheap pump 12ga mossberg. The heavier gun has less recoil then a 20ga. He was 12yrs old average size kid.

Kids will be fine. Stood behind him and let him take a few shots. Then told him to lean into it.

When they really want to do something theyll tote the heavy boom stick. Put him on game and the excitement will make him forget the weight.
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  #86  
Old 01-28-2021, 10:11 PM
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Most of the recoil problems arise from using too heavy a cartridge, which is unnecessary and can be very detrimental to a new younger shooter. Heavier shot loads and high velocity in lightweights is guaranteed to make one flinch. Using 7/8 to 1 ounce of shot with velocity under 1200 fps helps a lot.
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  #87  
Old 01-29-2021, 12:30 PM
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You say he is going to be twelve. Get him a 20 gauge for now and when he is forty you can get him a .410 I believe this arrangement will work out for the best.
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  #88  
Old 01-29-2021, 02:09 PM
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A 28ga is a very nice gauge for the genteel enthusiast, but the cost, availability, and variety of shells puts it dead last in my opinion for a squirrel gun. 20ga with #6 is easy to carry and the recoil for 7/8 oz loads is pleasant for all but the weakest pipsqueaks. How much difference is there in recoil between $10 a box 3/4 oz 28ga and $5 a box 7/8 oz 20 ga? My guess is the sting difference to your wallet will be greater than to your shoulder. 20ga and 12ga are most often exactly the same price because they are the two most popular shotgun choices. 410 shells are more than double the cost due to smaller demand and it's harder to hit with and has shorter effective range due to the long strung out shot string and less effective patterns. However, 410 2 1/2 inch 1/2 oz of #6 would be fine up to 20 or 30 yards without making as much of a mess of the squirrel you want to eat and guns are more available than for 28ga. A lot of people start out shooting with a break barrel 410 or 20ga.
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