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Looking to buy my son a shotgun for Christmas this year. He’s 7 so this would be his first firearm. What are your gauge recommendations?
 

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I think for small game, such as squirrel and rabbit, a 410 is suitable for youth usage, but for hunting winged quarry, Chief is 100% correct.
 

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I think the size of the kid comes into play with a 20 gauge. A 20 might get heavy quickly for him.
IMO, 410 are toys, but you're right about a young kid. If I was buying a gun a that young of a kid, I'd buy a lever action 410 and add it to my quiver; letting the kid use it till they can hold a 20 consistently.
 

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410 for sure, but if he has some mass a 20 gauge could work. They have some good 410, .22 mag combos out there that could also be a good option.
 

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I'm still shooting a 20 pump from the late 60's, 18 1/4" barrel with screw in chokes. I cut it in the mid 70's. Light, zero overswing.
 

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Chief and TD are right: .410 is expert's gun. For a light 20 single shot, I had to down load the shells for a box or two to get my 10 yr old used to it. That was 20+ yrs ago and so now I am getting it ready for my grandkids!
 
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How about this idea? Let him open up a pretty good gun case for Christmas. Then you and him together can find a 20 gauge single shot that fits him and he feels comfortable with. Think about the quality time you get to spend with him, and the importance of buying guns that best suit him. One good thing about single shots. Those first shots tend to be important. Not a bad trait to learn.
 

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When my oldest was 10 I bought the kids this mossberg 410...

http://www.mossberg.com/product/505-youth-pump-action-shotguns-57120/

True it's not a good bird gun being a 410 but it's taken a few rabbits for them and one squirrel. It's light and has low recoil, so they actually enjoy shooting it. I put a slip on recoil pad to lengthen the stock and I like to hunt rabbits with it after quail season is done.

He's 10 now, but was 8 when this was taken, first ever hunt, using the mossberg.

 

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Maybe something in 28 gauge? I would not recommend a 20 gauge for a young shooter (especially a 7 yr old), unless it has proper weight and balance otherwise the recoil will be just as punishing as a 12 gauge!
 

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I got a 20 gauge when i was about 10. I didn't shoot it for the first year because i was scared of it because it kicked too hard. But a good recoil pad and some clay pigeons changed my point of view. As long as you put a good recoil pad an the gun and your son has fun shooting it, he will be fine with a 20 gauge.
 

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410 is a great gun and it’s a fun starter gun as well. My dad had a 12g when I was 10. I shot it once and never touched it again. Knocked the crap out of me...
 
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