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Hopalong Strong

Need shotgun recommendations for my son

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I just shot my first match this weekend and I am already looking for ways to spend more money. I started working on a new shooting cart and I started thinking about my son shooting too. I need to make a cart for both of us. The thing is I need to figure out what shotgun to get for him so I can figure out how much space it will need. He is 13 in a few weeks and likes shooting but is very intimidated by big rifles. He loves my Marlin 94 in 357 and handles the blackhawks just fine but what shotgun to get him? I know my 12 gauge 1897 with the full length barrel would be too much for him.

 

Here are my requirements and restrictions.

1. It should be reliable

2. Less expensive is better.

3. It should be easy to use.

4. It should be something that can be sold along when he (and his little sister) outgrow it.

 

any ideas?

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Guest diablo slim shootist

actually a "cut down" 97 works well for someone of small build.

With short stock ,recoil pad,internal recoil reducer and a short 18 in barrel

they can single load pretty easy.The main thing is to

set it up right. Many women also prefer a 97. ;)

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... I need to figure out what shotgun to get for him .... likes shooting but is very intimidated by big rifles. .... what shotgun to get him? I know my 12 gauge 1897 with the full length barrel would be too much for him......

 

any ideas?

Re the '97: Recoil-wise?

Not necessarily.

Featherlites, plus the weight of the gun should keep down the kick.

Size-wise?

Get an inexpensive double (an old Stevens, H&R, Iver Johnson, or other "popular price" brand) or even a single (does NEF still make SGs, or just the "Handi-Rifle"?). Cut down the stock to his length. Save the cut-off piece to re-install as he grows. Before cutting, deepen the butt plate screw holes to get the buttplate on the shortened butt correctly. Don't drill 'em out full size (desroying the holes in the cut-off); determine the size of the screw and drill with the pilot hole size. Drill a couple of holes for some dowels to align the cut-off with the stock when you re-install it. Or just buy another butt stock and trim it, and re-install the original as he grows.

Re cutting the barrels: unless he has problems handling the gun, don't. Again, weight is our friend in handling recoil; plus, it'll help keep the barrels open. The barrels cock the mainsprings, and those springs push back on the barrels a bit. With the barrels lightened,it tends to push them closed about 1/4" or so, usually enough to keep the shells from going in.

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Get him a hammerless 12ga sxs. Slick it up so it opens easily. If he eventually wants to go to a 97 he can do it when he gets bigger.

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See if you can find someone who already has a double and a 97 that you could let him try before you buy any of them. There is usually someone who has one cut down that would fit good enough to try so he can see what he likes the best.

 

My 12 year old son ( Rattlesnake Wrangler ) is 12 years old and does an ok job of shooting both. Ok well.... Maybe he does a little better than ok. Lol

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zomcEH0QnQU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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I use a 20-gauge Stoeger Stevens 311 and I am very pleased with it. They run $200-300 and the 20-gauge loads have less oomph than a 12-gauge. Hammers are internal, and the automatic safety switch can be disabled (I see no reason for that, though). The only downside is that the 311 is a full-length shotgun. Cutting it down will unbalance the gun and make it harder to open.

 

I've had mine for a year now and I see no reason to switch.

 

-Solo Sam

#91319

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After 10+ years of shooting SASS, I have noticed that the vast majority of the small statured people, be it children, women or men and those that are sensitive to recoil, use a 97 that has been cut to fit them and use Winchester Featherlites.

 

The shotguns that have a reputation of kicking the worst, are the short barreled 20 gauges that are built on a 20 gauge frame. You should also include 16 gauge in that category, through personal experience I found firing 16 gauge factory ammo through a 6 pound shotgun is unpleasant.

 

Since you did not indicate that you were going to reload shotgun ammo, keep in mind that there does not seem to be any company that is making lightly loaded ammo for the 16 or 20 gauge. The 12 gauge seems to be the only caliber were lightly loaded ammo is readily available.

 

If you get the 97, you can just replace the stock with a longer one as he gets bigger.

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Re the '97: Recoil-wise?

Not necessarily.

Featherlites, plus the weight of the gun should keep down the kick.

Size-wise?

Get an inexpensive double (an old Stevens, H&R, Iver Johnson, or other "popular price" brand) or even a single (does NEF still make SGs, or just the "Handi-Rifle"?). Cut down the stock to his length. Save the cut-off piece to re-install as he grows. Before cutting, deepen the butt plate screw holes to get the buttplate on the shortened butt correctly. Don't drill 'em out full size (desroying the holes in the cut-off); determine the size of the screw and drill with the pilot hole size. Drill a couple of holes for some dowels to align the cut-off with the stock when you re-install it. Or just buy another butt stock and trim it, and re-install the original as he grows.

Re cutting the barrels: unless he has problems handling the gun, don't. Again, weight is our friend in handling recoil; plus, it'll help keep the barrels open. The barrels cock the mainsprings, and those springs push back on the barrels a bit. With the barrels lightened,it tends to push them closed about 1/4" or so, usually enough to keep the shells from going in.

 

Plenty of great answers here except for the single shot. If you shoot at clubs that have clay bird poppers they will never be able to pick up the clay bird fast enough.

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As to felt recoil, the 97 with light loads (such as Winchester Low Noise, Low recoil) are the best. And the loading is a very simple process. Of course, unloading pretty takes care of its self. Butg the shooter has to be able to rack the slide with a little authority (not a lot, but not gently) - so that depends on the person.

 

A short SxS kicks the most, but a longer SxS would have less felt recoil, but would be hard for a smaller person to handle. And as stated, the 20 gauge generally kicks a little more than the 12 gauge. Until very recently, there were no commercial lighter 20 gauge loads. Plus the recoil of the 12 is a little bit more of a push, where the 20 gauge is a pretty sharp "snap."

 

The fit is so vital!!!

 

And the drop of the comb makes a difference. That is why many struggle with a Stoeger coach gun as it tends to recoil up into the face and is really noticeable if the shooter doesn't keep their face on the stock.. We had one woman that could not shoot for over a month due to a deep tissue bruise from a Stoeger 12 gauge coach gun.

 

Reducing Shotgun Recoil

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Oh, concerning the Savage SxS that Dog Ears kindly posted with such great pictures - take a look at the middle picture that shows the top of the locking action.

 

The lock up uses that tang that sticks up from the middle of the barrels and (when closed) comes back into the frame. It makes a great, strong gun, but also makes it much harder to load as we cowboys do. You have to "work around" that "tang".

 

They are great hunting guns and very nice, but therre are better styles for our game.

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My vote would be to have him try a SxS, I've seen a bunch of 97 shooters (ladies and otherwise) lately moving to them as they seem to be more reliable. (YMMV).

 

To get him used to shooting a shotgun, find someplace to get some cheap watermelons or similar, pumpkins in the fall work well too. Take them out and blast away. fun for the whole family! Mut the melons at a height and spacing similar to what the local matches use, and have him load and shoot like he was in a match.

 

Talk to the produce man at the local market, they'll often save off the less desirable stuff and will sell it on the cheap.

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I have SxS's, 97's, & most recently an '87.

 

My 15 year old daughter has just started shooting, three matches so far, and by far prefers one of my 97's.

 

If you are not reloading - Winchester AA low-noise low-recoil (make sure it's printed on the box) are the best, IMO, factory loaded shells for our use.

 

Proper fit is very important, but first determine what kind of gun he prefers to handle. If he has to fight with the gun while loading/unloading, chances are he won't enjoy the experience or want to stick around.

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wow! That was like taking a sip from a fire hose. I really appreciate it. I'll see how he likes my full length 97 with light loads. That may be the best starting place.

I will also look for someone who has a SXS for him to try out.

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I have shot a number of SxS's plus '97s and my 1887 though there are many, many cowboys with more experience than me.

I have also used a H&R single in 12-gage with 25" barrel (perfect for easy opening). The gun cost $65 plus $40 to shorten the barrel, add a larger sight and cut 1" off the stock. Singles with ejectors are very common, are SASS legal and can be very quick for a second shot since the empties fly out of the chamber. My uncle taught me to take multiples on flying doves with a shotgun set up much like this when I was in my early teens. He made me throw my own clays with a manual thrower and load and hit the bird. I would not hesitate to try the opportunity for a tossed clay pidgeon though they are rare in my area.

This gun is also very safe and basic. No manual safeties to mess with. The gun can be laoded with the hammer back. H&R's and NEF's are probably the best choices. He could get started right away and make a decision about a 97 or sxs later on after he has seen and learned more.

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