Teaching your children how to shoot is as important a skill to learn as any in this unforgiving world we live in. I realize some of you may look at a 13-year-old and think that they’re too young to start shooting. However, I’m here to argue why you should be teaching your children to shoot at the earliest ae possible. First, learning the mechanics and safety of a gun is going to set your children up for a safer life. Secondly, the earlier you have child shoot, the better chance they’ll be proficient by adulthood. Finally, there is no better way to connect to nature than through hunting. The disconnect we have as a society with how we buy and eat meat is a big reason why Americans don’t feel as connected to nature as we once did. These 5 shotguns will give you the best possible chance at teaching your child how to shoot safely and accurately to harvest their own meat.

Mossberg 500 Youth 20 GA Shotgun

The Mossberg 500 is one of the most well-known shotguns in the world because it’s easily the most reliable and affordable shotgun ever made. The Mossberg 500 Youth 20 gauge shotgun is made to fit the smaller frame of a child by shortening the stock, the barrel, and the pump-action slides. Mossberg calls it the “EZ-Reach” forend system that moves the forend closer to the receiver so those with shorter arms can reach the forend and maintain control of the shotgun. The trigger for all Mossberg Youth shotguns places the trigger closer to the grip, so shooters with smaller hands can reach the trigger while still firmly holding the grip. I highly recommend this model for ages 13-18 because the shotgun is heavier than the other models and has a longer frame and barrel.

Specs:

Gauge 20
Capacity 5+1
Chamber 3″
Barrel Type Vent Rib
Barrel Length 22″
Sight/Base Dual Bead
Choke Accu-Set
LOP Type Fixed
LOP 13″
Barrel Finish Blued
Stock Finish Wood
Weight 6.5
Length 40.75″
MSRP $431.00

 

Where Can I Buy The Mossberg 500 Youth 20 GA Shotgun?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gunbroker
  3. The Shooting Store
  4. Gallery of Guns

Mossberg 500 Youth 20 GA Pump Shotgun, Wood Finish

 

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Mossberg 505 Youth 20 GA Shotgun

The Mossberg 505 Youth 20 Gauge shotgun is more in line with younger shooters with a reduced 20″ barrel and a lighter weight than the Mossberg 500. This is similar to the 500 because it’s chambered for 3″ shells and has the same vent rib for recoil control. As with all Mossberg shotguns, the 505 is built with dual extractors, twin action bars, and an anti-jam elevator for the smoothest possible operation as possible. The safety is still located on the receiver for easy ambidextrous control for both lefties and righties. This shotgun is great for a wider range of ages than the Mossberg 500 because it’s more than a pound lighter and has a shorter LOP. A 20 gauge is known as a very low recoiling shell, so it will not scare your child as they shoot. I still recommend this shotgun for children above 12 years old because the next options are more accommodating for smaller children.

Specs:

Gauge 20
Capacity 4+1
Chamber 3″
Barrel Type Vent Rib
Barrel Length 20″
Sight/Base Dual Bead
Choke Accu-Set
LOP Type Fixed
LOP 12″
Barrel Finish Blued
Stock Finish Wood
Weight 5.25
Length 37.5″
MSRP $431.00

 

Where Can I Buy The Mossberg 505 Youth 20 GA Shotgun?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gearfire
  3. Gunbroker
  4. The Shooting Store
  5. Gallery of Guns

Mossberg 505 Youth 20 GA Pump Shotgun, Wood Finish

 

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Mossberg 510 Mini .410 Shotgun

The Mossberg 510 Mini .410 Shotgun has the softest recoil of any other shotgun on this list. A .410 shell is the lightest of all shotgun shells and offers the shooter almost no recoil and limited noise. The .410 shotgun is barely louder than a BB gun and is great for teaching your children how to shoot a shotgun. It’s built around an 18.5″ barrel with an adjustable LOP for quick adjustment to the arms of each shooter. The Mossberg 510 Mini has the shortest LOP of any other shotgun and is specifically designed for children as young as 8 years old. The recoil pad is held to the stock with 2 screws that can be removed to adjust the spacers for a shorter or longer LOP. It’s also chambered for 2.5″ shells for an even softer recoil if you’d like to focus strictly on the fundamentals in shooting.

Specs:

Gauge .410 Bore
Capacity 2+1
Chamber 2.5″, 3″
Barrel Type Vent Rib
Barrel Length 18.5″
Sight/Base Dual Bead
Choke Fixed – Modified
LOP Type Adjustable
LOP 10.5″-11.5″
Barrel Finish Mossy Oak Break-Up Country
Stock Finish Synthetic w/ Spacer
Weight 5
Length 34.75″
MSRP $486.00

 

Where Can I Buy The Mossberg 510 Mini .410 Shotgun?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gearfire
  3. Gunbroker
  4. The Shooting Store
  5. Gallery of Guns

Mossberg 510 Mini .410 Bore Pump Shotgun, Black

 

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What Is A .410 Bore?

The .410 bore is the smallest caliber shotgun shell that you’ll find on the market. The whole point of the .410 shell was to be used as a pest control gun or “Garden Gun” in England to kill snakes, gophers, and other pests that would eat the veggies and leaves in the garden. The .410 was chosen for this task because the recoil is basically zero and the noise is very soft, so it won’t scare your neighbors. In our great country, you can use the .410 as a way to teach new shooters on the fundamentals of shooting or to hunt small game and rodent’s that terrorize your garden. There are people that will tell you that you can bring down a coyote or deer with a .410 slug, but I would recommend a larger caliber for the sake of the animal. To put it in perspective, a .410 can kill a deer if hit in the right spot, but there is no doubt that the deer with suffer along the way. I have seen deer run 100 yards with a 7mm Magnum hole in their lungs, how much suffering do you think it will have with a bullet with a tenth of the power and force.

 

Mossberg 510 Youth Mini .20 GA Shotgun

The Mossberg 510 Youth Mini .20 Gauge Shotgun is the same gun as the 510 above except this one is chambered in .20 gauge instead of .410. A .20 gauge shotgun is going to have more recoil than a .410, but it’s still negligible with the Mossberg models. I like the Mossberg 510 mini because it has a synthetic stock with spacers to make adjustments that fit the arm length and comfort of your child. As far as I’m concerned, a synthetic stock is always going to have less felt recoil than a wooden stock gun. With an extra shell capacity and the same LOP as the .410 model, I would buy this one so my child can grow into the gun as they get bigger. A .20 gauge shotgun is great for hunting anything from rabbits, turkeys, squirrels, duck, goose, gophers, and many other rodents and small game.

Specs:

Gauge 20
Capacity 3+1
Chamber 3″
Barrel Type Vent Rib
Barrel Length 18.5″
Sight/Base Dual Bead
Choke Accu-Set
LOP Type Adjustable
LOP 10.5″-11.5″
Barrel Finish Blued
Stock Finish Synthetic w/ Spacer
Weight 5
Length 34.75″
MSRP $431.00

 

Where Can I Buy The Mossberg 510 Youth Mini .20GA Shotgun?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gearfire
  3. The Shooting Store
  4. Gallery of Guns

Mossberg 510 Youth Mini 20 GA Pump Shotgun, Black

 

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Stoeger Condor Youth .410 Shotgun

I chose to add the Stoeger to this list because it gives you the option of teaching your child about different styles of guns and how to handle an over/under shotgun. The Stoeger Condor chambered for .410 is heavier than the Mossberg models and has a longer barrel, stock, and LOP. I like the Stoeger because I’m a sucker for traditional style guns with a unique flair about them. The Stoeger offers multiple chokes that can be easily screwed into the barrel for added versatility on the range and offers a great way to teach. For example, you can use the different chokes to teach your children about the differences between chokes and why you would want a full choke versus a medium choke. It’s also beneficial to learn how to use an over/under versus a pump-action or semi-auto because it will give your children more confidence when they face gun styles and models that they’ve never seen before.

Specs:

Gauge .410
Capacity 3+1
Chamber 3″
Barrel Type Vent Rib
Barrel Length 22″
Sight/Base Brass Bead
Choke Fixed- Full
LOP Type Fixed
LOP 13″
Barrel Finish Blued
Stock Finish A-Grade Satin Walnut
Weight 6.9 lbs
Length 36.5″
MSRP $449.00

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Where Can I Buy The Stoeger Condor Youth .410 Shotgun?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gun Broker
  3. RK Guns
  4. Bass Pro Shops

 

Stoeger Condor Youth .410 22

 

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