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Thread: When to start a kid on a 410?

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default When to start a kid on a 410?

    My son is only in his first year shooting his Henry mini bolt 22, which he loves. It is easy to handle and fits him well. When do most start their kids on 410 shotguns and are there any out there that fit a 7-8 year old, if thats not too soon?

    How do I fit my boy to a shotgun? Am I looking at overall length? Length of pull? Barrel length? Any suggestions for what size to look for and any specific gun recommendations? The snake charmer looks small, compact, light and ugly.

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    I got my son a single shot rossi youth model when he was 7. it came with a 410 barrel and an interchangable 22cal barrel i beleive you can get it with a 20 ga barrel as well. It is a good gun accurate, light weight, and dependable. as far as sizing it for your son have him shoulder him and see how it feels and looks. my son just trned 12 and still shoots and hunts with the gun. I hope this helps.

    Matt

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    I started my son on a Henry Mini-bolt also, when he was 7. He was 8 when I bought him the .410. His is a Mossberg youth model 505 pump. Since he's on the small side, it was a bit cumbersome for him at first, but it's now his favorite of three guns. He's taken several Ptarmigan and grouse with it, and it fits him perfectly now at age ten. It's a fine shotgun, highly recommended. He has a Rossi youth combo as well, with a 20 gauge (and .243) barrel, but still prefers his Mossberg over the 20.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I got one of those Rossi .410/.22 combos for my nephew at age 9. It's a great size gun for him, but the first couple of times he shot it he was surprised by the recoil. It's not rough by any means, but compared to a .22 it certainly has some snap (especially given the light weight of the gun). It was a good time to introduce him to it, though. Now at 11 he is very confident shooting at small game. I also enjoy stealing that gun when I go skiing/ptarmigan hunting in the winter, as it slides perfectly inside my pack.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    My boy has been shooting this old Stevens .410 since he was 7. He is good with it a 9. The old gun has gone through my three other kids, and is now his, 'cause he is the last!

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    Tim,

    I still have my old H&R jr trooper in 20ga that I got when I was about 8 or so (I must be getting old). Come to think of it I still have my old nylon 66 black diamond. Your welcome to let your boy try it out for a while. I can't part with it as I have a 4yr old daughter that may be interested in shooting in a few years though. I'm not sure but you may be able to get something similar if your boy likes it. It's pretty light and short and has a modified choke.

    John

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    From what I've seen, and I don't mean to step on anyone's toes, but it seems that the .410 is more an expert's gun than a beginner's. I've always tried to set my kids up with equipment that they'll be successful with from the git, and of the bunch, all but one did their best with a gas operated 20 gauge that fit 'em, and the hold-out went right to a pump 12. More shot in the air means more likelihood they'll hit their intended target. When they're hitting things, recoil doesn't seem to get in the way of having fun.
    Your results may vary, of course, and I held out till they were physically large enough to handle the 20, and that was around 9-10, which gave 'em two years for hunters' ed, and their first hunt. (can't legally hunt till they're 12 here).

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Darreld,

    Your statement mirrors my thoughts exactly. I view the .410 as an expert's gun - for aerial targets, anyway. When my son gets old enough, I plan to start him on a gas operated 20ga. Even as an adult, a good 20ga is just plain fun to shoot, so I'm not worried about him outgrowing it.

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    I view aerial targets, or wing shooting as more of an expert's hunting experience, and thus don't encourage my son to shoot at a bird in flight. When he's old enough to handle a 20 gauge well enough, he'll get plenty of practice shooting at clays before shooting at birds on the wing. That would just discourage him. The .410 is an outstanding upland bird gun though, as long as they are on the ground or in a tree. He has yet to miss in that scenario. He'll get to shoot as some hares this winter as well. It's a good way to get them started hunting in my opinion. Make the potential for success rather high, and it really gets them fired up for more, and makes them work all the harder for the next step.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    I started my kid with a Rossi Combo 22/410 when he was 8. The 410 shook him a little bit at first - huge (to him) recoil from what was the same little 22. He soon got used to the recoil and now loves the 410. Although it has taken a backseat to his other guns, it is now coming back out ready for late fall small game hunting.
    There are better 22s out there, but for an all-round small game package you can't beat it. Great for taking out for a days bunny/ptar hunting.
    The thing I really love about the Rossi's is that they break down to nothing and easily fit in/on a pack.
    A lot of people knock the 410, but as others have said, for small game on the ground it is a great size.

    Keep an eye out for Black Friday bargains - I picked up my son's Rossi for $89 last year.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    None of my children have been super exceptional marksman, but I would hate to count the numbers of grouse, rabbits, ptarmigan, sik-sik squirrels, and porcupines that have fallen to the trusty little .410 shown in the post I made above. A .410 is a dandy gun for a kid; a .20 gauge is for bigger kids and adults IMO. I have used a .20 for upland birds and even ducks for years. I addressed the gap many years ago with a .28 gauge single shot, and that is a sweet bore. My middle son prefers the .28 over all the other gauges we have around the homestead. The only downside to the .28 is the cost of the ammo compared to the .20.

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    Grew up in LOUISIANA, as much another planet as a state!!! Many strange things that bite live in our swamps. started off with daisy bb pump, at 6- .177 benjamin pellet gun at 7 - .22 at 8 - and 410 at 9. Am 62 now and have guided over 30 yrs. Still take that break down SAVAGE on all my trips. When the hunters get bored i just put her together and say go get us something for dinner. If you can shoot a .410 you can kill what your shooting at. Could bring the SAIGA, BAKIAL, mod12, ect- just too much fun to see what grownups can do with a child's shotgun!!!
    Personally i feel a .410 single shot is a wonderful learning tool, both in marksmanship and safety.
    Goo

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Depends on your kid and your opinion. I had my nephew a few months before he turned 4 shooting my halibut snake charmer. His first shot nailed a cup with it we found on the trail. He only shot it once that day, I think, and said kicked pretty good. He shot some more at rabbit creek. He hit the target and took off down range like a bat out of hell! He stopped and dropped when we all yelled, very fast kid, left seat in no time to get the target! I took him to shoot the first time after he sat down with the gun when I turned my back. Had it open in no time. So figured I would show him whats up. He loved going "moose" hunting with me. Funny little kid then.

    He is now 10 and has his own 20ga benelli nova in SC.

    Take him shopping, if it looks good and fits then go for it.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, I have a .410 H&R Youth gun, and it's still too big for the young'ns. To cut it back anymore might be tuggin' on the tail of the dragon, legalwise. +1 on the 28, beautiful little shotgun, and plenty good enough for Dick Cheney to hit a lawyer with at 40+ yards!!!

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    It all depends on the child and how they are around firearms. I started at a young age with .22's and moved up to my Omega / Kassnar .410 at 6yrs old. It was my birthday present that year. I still have both my first 22 and that ol' 410. Great rabbit gun and I've used it for skeet / trap shooting back when I was with 4H (mid 90's). It was a youth model, thumb ripper & fits the younger generation just fine. It's too short for me now to be real comfortable for regular use, but it's something I'm keeping for a lifetime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darreld Walton View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I have a .410 H&R Youth gun, and it's still too big for the young'ns. To cut it back anymore might be tuggin' on the tail of the dragon, legalwise. +1 on the 28, beautiful little shotgun, and plenty good enough for Dick Cheney to hit a lawyer with at 40+ yards!!!
    Huh, you must have small kids down there in Idaho. But seriously I guess I was a big kid. I did wrestled in the 154ld weight class in 7th grade and my knuckles still drag the ground when I'm not paying attention. Come to think of it I was shooting my uncle's .50cal muzzle loader at 11. Unfortunately I never grew and inch in high school and stayerd at 5'10in. Matbe that H&R 20ga is too much for a smaller kid but my offer still stands if Tim is interested.

    John

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    My inclination is to go with a 20 gauge over a .410. More shot and powder and easier to hit with since it throws more shot, but not much more recoil. Varieties of ammo available is usually more versatile, too. I remember my father taking us down to Montgomery Ward's on a Sunday afternoon after church. To my astonishment and great joy, he bought me a single shot hammerless break-open 20 gauge with a modified choke. Then he took me dove hunting. Learning to hit those jokers was challenging and took a while, but I finally figured it out. The next year he did the same thing for my younger brother. Although my younger brother is gone now, I still have both of those shotguns. I have Remmie semi-auto's and Mossberg pumps and an L.C. Smith 12 ga. double now, but I'll never get rid of those two Montgomery Ward single shot's. Just looking at them brings back many fond memories.

  18. #18

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    I started on a 410 Topper when I was 6, and before the year was out talked my way into a 20 gauge Topper. My own kids were 7 and 8 when I started them on 410's, and they didn't show a lot of enthusiasm till I let them try a 20 later in the year. They never shot the 410s again.

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    My first gun in 1960 was a Marlin 39A, I was five years old, My dad (May he rest in peace), set me up with a rest and I shot prone at 15 feet. I probably never hit anything and really had to shift to work the lever but those are some of my fondest memories.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbh40 View Post
    but as others have said, for small game on the ground it is a great size.
    That's what I was looking at a .410 for. Not ready to shoot on the wing yet.

    JC I do appreciate the offer to use the 20ga, but it would be too much for him. He's tall and skinny and weighs in at 52.

    He probably has another year or so on the 22 for now. He loves the 22, I need to get him to the range more, he's not a great shot with the 22 yet, but does good. I'd like to get a Moss. 510 for him to try and maybe an HR trooper-youth model. Seems like 8-10 would be the right age, depending on the kid.

    Tim

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