View Full Version : 12 year old beginner. .410, 28 or 20 guage?

09-14-2006, 1:12 AM
What of the 3 gauges would you start your young 12 year old daughter on to shoot quail/rabbits with?

I'm leaning toward the 28, but the 20 would be better as far as putting shot down range. However, the 20 weighs more than the 28.

Here's my choices:

.410 double
Remington 870 .28ga
Remington 870 .20ga

09-14-2006, 7:28 AM
If you're going to reload your own ammo, 28, otherwise I'd say go for the 20 and provide lots of training, start with light loads, etc. The .410 is fine, but would only really be useful for a few years (by the time she's 16/17 she should have no problem with full-power 20 ga loads if you've trained her right). She can also get a new barrel and use a 20 as a home defense weapon when she moves to the big city for college!

09-14-2006, 8:01 AM
.410 is a gun for an expert. I would go with a Rem 870 youth model. It would keep the weight down and deliver a good payload of shot down range even with light target loads. The youth model can be changed into a full size when she is older, and then back to a youth model for the next generation.

09-14-2006, 8:57 AM
20 gauge 870

09-14-2006, 10:10 AM
Ditto, their are plenty of reduced loads available for her to learn on. Just make sure to get her a gun with a shortened stock so it fits her properly.

20 gauge 870

09-14-2006, 10:36 AM
I can say that I don't do too bad a job shooting skeet. I can also say I've tried some serious .410 doubles and I can't hit crap most of the time. Not too many bullets going downrange with a .410:D

I'd agree a 28 if you reload or have money; otherwise, a 20. A double is easy to learn with and lighter; recoil is just like a pump if weight is considered. A pumping the action after the first shot on doubles can be frustrating to a beginner. My choice would be more toward a 20 gage auto gun, maybe an 1100.

Whatever gun you select, try it first with her for a round or 2 before you buy.


09-14-2006, 8:25 PM
I'd say go with the 870 in 20 gauge. I haven't ever had any experience shooting a 28 gauge, nor do I really know much about them in the first place. So I can't say no to a 28. However I would agree with 1SGMAT that a .410 is no good for your girl because it is more of an "expert/skilled shooters" gun.

09-14-2006, 9:06 PM
My first gun when I was 13 was an 870 Wingmaster in 20 gauge. In fact, I still have it and occasionally take it out to break some clays and/or do some hunting with it. Like someone else said, the .410 is an expert's gun, the 20 gives good power for it's size, is cheaper than 410 and has a larger selection of loads available for it. Not quite as good as a 12, but better than the 28 or 410. If you get the 3" model, it will do good if she wants to graduate some day to larger birds such as Ducks and Pheasant.


09-14-2006, 9:23 PM
I would also say a 20. It is tons cheaper, and better power
I would get a 12 over anything tho... use light loads to start. (Proably isnt the best for a 12 year old...i dunno tho)

09-14-2006, 11:41 PM
get a 12 make him a man....

09-15-2006, 10:30 AM
get a 12 make him a man....
Probably not a good idea, especially since we're talking about his daughter.

09-15-2006, 3:16 PM
I'd go 20 guage all the way for someone that age mail or female. :)


09-15-2006, 3:35 PM
Probably not a good idea, especially since we're talking about his daughter.

well then it will make her a woman! :P

09-15-2006, 8:34 PM
I started out with a H&R 20 guage single shot. I was about 100 lbs. We reloaded so light loads were easy. Even with normal loads I never had a probelm with recoil.

For small game like quail a 20 guage is plenty. Something like a youth model 870 sounds good. She won't outgrow it too fast and it should hold it's value pretty well.

09-15-2006, 9:50 PM
20 gauge all the way. Just remember to keep the 20 ga ammo separate from the 12 ga. I would go so far as to not shoot the 2 gauges at the same time in the field. The 20 will fit in the barrel of a 12 ga and still allow a 12 ga round to chamber behind it. Bad situation, really bad. That is why all 20 ga iare bright yellow, yellow means bad for 12 ga.

I felt it only necessary to tell you. If you knew that already sorry for the lecture. You can give me a kick in the but when you see me.:D

09-16-2006, 7:32 PM
*goes with the crowd*

Yeah 20g all the way...



I actually find this kind of useful. I was debating whether to get a 20 or 28 gauge to teach my fiancee on, and I was leaning towards the 28 just to err on the side of caution, but if so many people think a teenage girl can take the 20 fine, then I think it should be fine for her too.

Also, I really wanted to post to say that having your daughter take the shotgun to college is a HORRIBLE idea. Having firearm on any campus is a felony, and unless you want her to get all that bad juju her way, don't let her even think about it.

09-16-2006, 11:55 PM
well then it will make her a woman! :P

I don't like bruises on a woman. A 12 will give her bruises and that will make her look like a tweaker.

I think I'll go buy ANOTHER darn gun. It will be an 870 youth model in 20ga. Thanks for all of the input guys!

M. Sage
09-17-2006, 8:14 AM
a 20 will be absolutely fine. I was small at that age, and learned on a single-shot 16 gauge.

09-18-2006, 10:44 AM
Get a 20 or 28 gauge semi auto. Why burden her with the extra chore of pumping the damn thing while she is becoming familar with the basics? Plus less felt recoil.