So, your youngster wants to join you this year when you go hunting? That’s great news! Nothing can make a parent happier than a child who is interested in the same things they are. After determining how serious they are about going with you regularly, you’ll want to get them their own shotgun. However, it can be difficult to know which kind is the best for your child. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on choosing the right hunting shotgun for youth.
Get the Right Type
Most parents tend to get their kids a light 20-gauge pump-action for their first shotgun. While this isn’t a bad choice, it has some noticeable downsides. The most significant is the fact that they have so much kick. Young kids can get scared off by this. They will start pulling away each time they fire the weapon and might even call it quits because they’re too afraid to use their own gun.
A better choice would be a gas-powered semi-auto. These shotguns are much easier to fire and have significantly less kick. Kids who use them have much more fun hunting and learn better overall.
Consider Barrel Length
When your child is still young, it makes sense to get them a child-sized shotgun. However, they are going to quickly outgrow it, and once they do, its barrel will be too short for them to use effectively. That’s why it’s better to buy them one with a longer barrel that they can grow into. It might be a bit more challenging for them in the beginning, but you can make adjustments to help them use a firearm with such a long barrel.
Find an Adjustable Stock
Since you can’t really change the length of the barrel, you’ll want to get a shotgun with an adjustable stock or buy one separately. This will make handling much easier for your child since it’ll make the firearm physically shorter.
The best part is that you can lengthen the stock as needed as they get older. If they ever get too big for it, you can simply buy them a new one instead of replacing the whole gun, which you would have to do if the barrel was too short.
Buy Them a Safe
After choosing the right hunting shotgun for the youth in your life, you’ll also want to get them a safe to keep it protected when not in use. While we’re sure your child is responsible, there’s no telling if their friends are. That’s why you’ll want to make sure the shotgun stays out of their hands with a secure safe.
If you’re unsure which safe would be the best for your child, we recommend a single shotgun safe. It only covers the main assembly of the firearm. That way, your kid can still show it off to their friends while keeping everybody safe.