Shotgun for 8 year old?

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Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby glen1978 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:02 pm

Hey guys looking for a little pump for my girlfriends son. He is gona be 8 in December and is a decent sized boy. He wants to get into duck huntin with me. Just wana get him a cheap pump 20g he can start on. Looked at a Remington 870 youth and its just a little muzzle heavy....he has a hard time holdin it up. Believe it was 21" bbl. I saw a Maverick 20g at Cabelas for sub $200 and it was a lot lighter than the Remy seemed like to me. Any of yall buying these for the kids or wife? Any issues?
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby mudpack » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:08 pm

glen1978 wrote: Looked at a Remington 870 youth and its just a little muzzle heavy....he has a hard time holdin it up. Believe it was 21" bbl.

Then he's not ready yet.
If a youth 20ga 870 with a 21" barrel is too muzzle-heavy for the boy, then he needs to put about 2 more years on the clock. He's too small.
Take him hunting with you. Let him enjoy the experience without the pressure of carrying a loaded gun and having to actually shoot. Then, in a couple of years, he'll be ready not only physically, but emotionally.
Hunting is generally not for young children, and 7 years-going-on-8 is pretty marginal. Carrying a gun in the field is for someone with maturity. I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but it's the truth. This is not something you want to push.

When he can comfortably mount and shoot a 20 gage shotgun, that's when he'll be ready. Not before.
Last edited by mudpack on Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby glen1978 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:19 pm

Maybe your right, me and the g/f have been back and forth about it. I keep thinking if he aint in the action, wet and cold is gona turn him against it. I can say for me if all I could do is go and watch I wouldnt be going.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby Tim Terrell » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:57 pm

I'm with mudpack.
Before I was old enough to carry my own gun, I was keen to go hunting with my dad. Squirrels, rabbits and ducks. I learned to walk quietly in a squirrel woods; I held the dog's lead in the duck-blind... and I sat and watched Dad's beagle run a rabbit out of sight and then right back to us. Dad pulled up and killed it when it ran past us...and I thought that was magic. 'Ol Lucy was a real rabbit dog.
Point is, I learned plenty about hunting before I carried a gun of my own.
I have no interest in sharing a duck-blind with an armed 'almost' 8yr old.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby erp10 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:25 pm

Mossberg Super bantam is smaller than the Youth Remington. That being said the posts above hit the nail in the head.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby glen1978 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:27 pm

I see yalls point. He is very mature for his age I will say that and a good shot. I already let him shoulder that 870 and we been scouting and talkin shop about it.....if I tell him he has to wait Im not sure how that will go over. I understand Im the grownup and all that.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby BBK » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:31 pm

glen1978 wrote:Maybe your right, me and the g/f have been back and forth about it. I keep thinking if he aint in the action, wet and cold is gona turn him against it. I can say for me if all I could do is go and watch I wouldnt be going.


Maybe you need to re-think why he wants to go. Does he want to kill something or be in the outdoors spending time with you? Two totally different things. Sounds like you are the type that goes to kill some birds, nothing wrong with that.. just make sure which type he is. When I was young I LOVED to go with my dad in the boat, just to watch. I did it from when I was 7 until I was 12. At 12 I got to shoot for the first time, one shell in an 870 youth. It wasn't about killing birds for my father, his group, or me. It was about being outdoors.

7 going on 8 is way too young. If you take him you won't be hunting. You'll be holding the gun and taking care of him... At his age, a single shot .410 and water swatting is about all he is going to be able to do. You'll likely have to help him load it, cock it, and aim it.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby mudpack » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:58 pm

If you're concerned that he might lose interest if he can't shoot, how about letting him tote a Daisy Red Ryder into the blind? If he's big enough to cock it, he's big enough to shoot it at a duck. ( I doubt any game warden would find it ticket-worthy.)
It can help teach him firearm safety, gun control, how to handle a gun in the blind (and going to/from), all the stuff he wants to learn.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby glen1978 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:05 pm

Thats a good idea Mudpack I would say but heres the problems. Hes already shooting a .22 like a pro......snuff can size groups at 100 yds all day long. He will get behind my Remington SPS Tactical .308 too. Hes a VERY mature young boy. Im not saying yall are wrong or you dont know or anything like that just stating the facts. I dont want it to be a slap to the face for lack of better words. Granted duck hunting brings on its very unique challenges and being that its often very cold and wet doesnt help. I had already planned for him to go SEVERAL times with me w/out a gun anyway just to get his feet wet....literally.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby Cujo1 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:17 pm

Glen, determining when a child is old enough to hunt or use a gun is relly hard to determine. Both of mine were hunting at the age of 8 with a mossberg 500 youth 20 gauge. With that being said one boy was ready at 8 the other was ready at 6 and I made him wait. We spent a lot of time in the yard with bb guns and 22's before we moved up. One shell at first, lots of target practice and clay pigeons. Some kids live for it, others don't. When it actually came time to hunt, they were the hunters, I was the coach/safety officer. With young kids you have to be vigilant until 100 percent trust is established. Leave the dogs at home, leave the crew at home and possibly take one good friend like I did. This way there is constant mentoring and supervision. If you are worried about them not wanting to participate if they can't have a gun, they don't want it bad enough yet. A comfortable blind, heat, and snacks will go further to make them stay out than anything else. I chose the mossberg because it is a true youth model, everything is smaller for smaller people. The forearm comes all the way to the reciever to eliminate pinching unlike the others. Another good youth gun is the 1100 20ga youth. They are a little front heavy for small kids IMHO. But they are fantastic guns. Take your time, don't rush them and when the time is right you will know :thumbsup:
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby gooshnr » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:20 pm

Mossberg makes a 510 mini pump in 20ga and .410ga. I have both. My 8 year old might be a bit tall for his age but has a slim build. He uses the .410 hunting ducks and doves. The 20 is just a bit heavy for him to swing well but he uses it in the turkey blind with a shooting stick. They aren't the smoothest pump but at his age he only needs to be taking one shot anyway. In fact, I usually only put one shell in the gun for him.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby LiquidA45 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:20 pm

mudpack wrote:If you're concerned that he might lose interest if he can't shoot, how about letting him tote a Daisy Red Ryder into the blind? If he's big enough to cock it, he's big enough to shoot it at a duck. ( I doubt any game warden would find it ticket-worthy.)
It can help teach him firearm safety, gun control, how to handle a gun in the blind (and going to/from), all the stuff he wants to learn.



This is great advice, my dad gave my brother and I both bb guns we took duck hunting when we were young. I didn't get my first gun until I was 13. Size had nothing to do with it, my brother and I were always the biggest kids and are both big now. Its all about maturity, he has to understand the capabilities of a loaded gun and that you are out there for the experience, killing birds is a bonus. My dads friends would even tell me and my brother we shot ducks...we were too young to know better.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby glen1978 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:30 pm

I think maturity wise he is ready. He thinks like a little adult....seriously. I want him to get behind a little 20g to get the skeet practice, squirrel hunt, etc. I do honestly believe that he needs to see duck season at least most of this year without a gun just to see the dynamics of it. We have been out in the duck boat scouting in the evenings but when you add in pitch black, 20 degrees, sleet/rain it changes ALOT.....even for me.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby shoveler_shooter » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:31 pm

BBK wrote:7 going on 8 is way too young. If you take him you won't be hunting. You'll be holding the gun and taking care of him... At his age, a single shot .410 and water swatting is about all he is going to be able to do. You'll likely have to help him load it, cock it, and aim it.

Well, I'm living proof that you're wrong about that... :yes:
I started out with an old Winchester single shot 20ga that kicked like a mule when I was 7, at 8 I was using my 20ga 870. I definitely got cold on some hunts, part of that was the clothing I had, but as far as handling the firearms that was no problem.

BBK wrote:Maybe you need to re-think why he wants to go. Does he want to kill something or be in the outdoors spending time with you? Two totally different things. Sounds like you are the type that goes to kill some birds, nothing wrong with that.. just make sure which type he is. When I was young I LOVED to go with my dad in the boat, just to watch. I did it from when I was 7 until I was 12. At 12 I got to shoot for the first time, one shell in an 870 youth. It wasn't about killing birds for my father, his group, or me. It was about being outdoors.

Sheesh, he's only 7-8. When I was that age I just wanted to get out there and whack some birds. Wouldn't have had a clue as to what those sentences even meant.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby winchester1852 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:42 pm

let him shoot a few birds with your gun first then buy one for him if he likes the sport.
if you can read this your almost as smart as a dolphin.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby shoveler_shooter » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:43 pm

glen1978 wrote:We have been out in the duck boat scouting in the evenings but when you add in pitch black, 20 degrees, sleet/rain it changes ALOT.....even for me.

I would only bring him when the weather is decent....no colder than 30 degree lows. Until I got a little bulk on me when I was in my late teens, I didn't handle the cold nearly as well.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby olt d2 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:07 pm

I respect everyone's opinions on this one and I understand that hes a hell of a marksman at 8 years old.But let me ask you this. would you ever ask a 8 year old child to make a life or death destitution? Because that's honestly what you are doing when you allow him to take a game animal. IMO, children starting out to young and killing animals without a full understanding of what they are really doing is why we have young adults out hunting now that have no respect for others, the game and the sport. Like others stated if "killing" something is the only way you feel he will stay interested find another sport,Because your not going into it for the right reasons.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby biscuitsandgravy » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:39 pm

glen1978 wrote:I think maturity wise he is ready. He thinks like a little adult....seriously.

You can't be serious. I'm all for taking him along, but it seems you are rushing this a little tooooo much. Sounds to me like he wants to be with you, don't rush the shooting part IMO. Good luck in whatever you decide..... sounds like you have a future hunting buddy. :beer:
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby Sgtstadanko707 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:59 pm

mudpack wrote:If you're concerned that he might lose interest if he can't shoot, how about letting him tote a Daisy Red Ryder into the blind? If he's big enough to cock it, he's big enough to shoot it at a duck. ( I doubt any game warden would find it ticket-worthy.)
It can help teach him firearm safety, gun control, how to handle a gun in the blind (and going to/from), all the stuff he wants to learn.


This is what we did with my 7 year old niece to do during dove season. We let her shoot at the decoys on the dirt mounds.
We got her one of these to learn how to Handel but no way she going to the blind with it yet. She already loves being outdoors spoting all the birds for us. It's cool to watch her get excited when she sees birds. A few more years unless she proves other wise before she is shooting at moving targets.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby Feelin' Fowl » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:08 am

Get a youth gun, and let him bring it and shoulder it to start the season. He can practice getting the gun up safely, while unloaded, and concentrate on finding his target safely without the pressure, or chance of a mistake.

With enough practice in the first part of the year, he may develop the physical strength to handle the 870 mid-season.

When he is able, I believe one shell is where all kids should start.

When I learned to hunt pheasant, I walked for a season, carried/shouldered empty for a season, got one shell for a season, then got to act like a big boy.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby shoveler_shooter » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:27 am

olt d2 wrote: IMO, children starting out to young and killing animals without a full understanding of what they are really doing is why we have young adults out hunting now that have no respect for others, the game and the sport. Like others stated if "killing" something is the only way you feel he will stay interested find another sport,Because your not going into it for the right reasons.

Completely wrong.
It's how the kid is raised overall, not what they get out of hunting at a young age.
The problem occurs where the parents aren't involved in the kid's life at all and they try to get into hunting without a mentor. Even then, it doesn't ALWAYS turn out bad.
My response to BBK also applies to this.
Sheesh, he's only 7-8. When I was that age I just wanted to get out there and whack some birds. Wouldn't have had a clue as to what those sentences even meant.

There's no way they're even gonna understand that until they're in their mid-late teens at the earliest.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby glen1978 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:12 am

Lots of good points and good ideas here and appreciate them all. Keep em coming guys.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby mudpack » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:16 am

One other thing: has he ever shot a 20 gage?
The recoil is a bit more than a .22 rimfire, and a small child can find it off-putting. You don't want to sour him by having him absorb punishment before he can cope adequately. Only body mass can alleviate the effects of stiff recoil. How much does this 7 year-old weigh?

Good luck, you seem to have a good head on your shoulders.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby glen1978 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:56 am

He is a healthy boy. Not fat just a big country kid. He is 4'3 and will weight 80+ Im thinking. He can shoot my Remington .308.
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Re: Shotgun for 8 year old?

Postby clymerfowler » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:26 am

What do you shoot for a gun?
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