In that letter that R sent regarding a gun for his wife and a 12 year-old kid, I would like to offer the following. We ran a youth-parent day at our club this summer where kids and their parents could try shooting targets with shotguns, air rifles and bows. Most of these people had never seen or shot a gun, so we spent a lot of time on safety and mechanics. As an aside, it was mostly mothers who showed up with their sons AND daughters. Very few fathers from this upscale/yuppie area.
Anyhow, we started the kids and their mothers out shooting .410 single shots, but mothers found the guns a little short. We had 20’s and 12’s available O/U in both. Mothers and older kids preferred the 12’s since they had less “kick”. I have seen several fathers buy 20’s for their kids and watched as the welts formed from the fact that the 20’s are generally lighter. The range of loads available in a 12 ga can be adjusted such that kids will want to do it again (along with their mothers and/or fathers.
Just my two cents Bruce, thanks.
The biggest complaint about 12 gauge O/Us that I hear from women and children is that they are too heavy, not that they kick too much. The complaint that I hear about O/U 20s is just what you observed- that they kick too much, not that they are too heavy. The 410 may be light weight and have low recoil, but I really feel that the 410 shell is for experts only. I mean, who would want to start a kid on something called “the idiot stick”. Personally, I find shooting the 410 humbling, humiliating and frustrating. The fact that I continue to shoot the 410 merely means that I am not as smart as the average 12 year old kid. True enough, at least according to my wife.
To me the ideal beginners’ or smaller persons’ gun is still the 20 gauge gas operated semi-auto or the 28 gauge O/U. Beretta and Remington make sweetheart 20 gauge gas guns, while the Beretta 686 and Browning Citori 28 gauge O/Us are tough to beat.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)