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#504572 02/10/18 06:32 PM
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I have a nephew who just turned 13 that I will taking hunting for the first time this year. I don't have a son, so this is the first time I've trained a youngster in gun handling. He has been shooting rifles with others and loves it, but is new to shotguns. He's a stout young man, and I have a 6.5lb 29" Husky mod. 51 16ga hammer gun in knockabout condition that would be perfect for him to learn bird shooting with (perhaps with the stock cut down). I could of course get a pump or single shot for him, but I already have this 51...

With regards to safety, I'm thinking the discipline required of a hammer gun might be useful for a young person to learn from, since I would require him to carry the gun closed with hammers down and cock on the flush. This would, in my way of thinking, force him to concentrate, teach him respect for the weapon and the game, and also expose him to the allure of sxs's at the same time. However, I don't want to make his first experiences hunting too difficult for him either. Thoughts??

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Mark, this is just my personal opinion, but I'd never start a kid on game. A long time on targets to develop familiarity with the gun, confidence that he can hit something, and iron clad safety rules. Then the excitement of game...Geo

type gun is of lesser consequence.

Last edited by Geo. Newbern; 02/10/18 07:00 PM. Reason: added final sentence
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Originally Posted By: Geo. Newbern
Mark, this is just my personal opinion, but I'd never start a kid on game. A long time on targets to develop familiarity with the gun, confidence that he can hit something, and iron clad safety rules. Then the excitement of game...Geo

type gun is of lesser consequence.


Thanks George, I agree. I had planned on quite a few trips to the range with him this summer before the season starts, and having him tag along with me during dog club field trials.

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Mark I have been down this road five times. My final system is to use a Remington 1100 12 or 20 ga.. I have a standard weight 20 Skeet gun with a cut down stock. Load with 3/4 ounce reloads. Load only one shell and safety is always first from the beginning. It becomes second nature.

I always try to get new shooter into hitting birds early.
Take him to the skeet field and take him to station seven. Start with going away targets. After he hits several of them have him take an incomer. From there I go back to station one. Start with the incomer and then the out going bird. Keep it short and simple. After he is comfortable with 1 and 7 I add 2 and 6. Easier to add 6 by shooting a few at 6 1/2. 3,4,5 are added the next time. I save 8 until last. It is the easiest/hardest shot for a new shooter.

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Fantastic advice. Thanks!

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Mark, I was started on a hammer single shot, a Winchester 37, and I like hammer guns because they are either safe or not. It is almost impossible to accidentally cock a hammer gun. That said, a double is more complex. The new shooter should practice cocking his gun on the mount, for that is how he should use it it in the field. A double is more complex because it has 2 hammers and any red blooded boy is going to try cocking both hammers on the mount. That can be a difficult trick, depending on the gun and one's hand size/strength. I have accidentally fired a shot trying to cock both hammers on the mount while skeet shooting. Better to let him usr the gun as a single, with only 1 cartridge loaded until he has mastered that skill, then move on to loading both barrels and 2 separate cocking motions.

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I think Ky Jon is right. An 1100 is perfect for a kid. Too many things to do right with a hammer gun. It is easier to control his consciousness of safety if things are simple. Recoil is not something to ignore either.

I have also been teaching my 13 year old grandson. He also was a rifle shooter and that was a lot to overcome. Keeping the gun moving is not natural to a rifle shooter. We started him earlier with squirrel hunting with a Charles Daly (probably Turkish) youth semiauto that weighed 5 1/4 lbs and that is a lot like rifle shooting. He was a real little guy but has hit his first real growth spurt. He is around 5-3 and slim but athletic so the standard 20g. 1100 was the next step. He has learned a lot on the skeet field.

Lots of luck Mark and enjoy this new experience. Your nephew will never forget it.


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Everything Danross70 said. My intro to shotguns as a kid was a 16 gauge Remington hammerless double, but lots of my friends began with break-action singles with manually cocked hammers. In our neck of the woods H&R 410s were common. Using the Husky hammergun as a single seems about as safe as you can get until he is thoroughly comfortable. If he's had rifle instruction he should have a grounding in muzzle awareness, and firearms etiquette, but flying birds, running dogs, and shooting companions moving across uneven terrain and varying cover all provide a level external stimuli and potential risks that are very different from a well run rifle range. Sounds like you have a great season lined up next fall!

BW

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Yep
Started mine on a Rem 1100 Standard 20 with skeet barrel.
Stock was cut just behind the nut to attach the stock to the
receiver. As they got bigger, more and more thick pads were
attached.
1st season, one in the gun, lots in the pockets
2nd season, two in the gun, lots in the pockets
2rd season, three in the gun, lots in the pockets

Mike


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I started a 12 year-old on a cut stock Beretta gas auto and 12 gauge reloads of 3/4 oz. To show him he wasn't being handicapped on a dove field, I shot the same load effectively on dove hunts with him. The hand-eye coordination of most youngsters is incredible to watch as they catch on fast. Gil

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