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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a good, inexpensive 20ga for my 10 y/o son. He will hunt squirrel and rabbits to start, and we will probably get into skeet/trap and eventually bird hunting. We will use a rifle for deer hunting, so I don't see us using slugs. I am attracted to the Remington 870 Express, but don't know if I should get the 21" barrel Youth model or go with the 26" barrel.
Here is why I can't decide:
-The 26" barrel is only .25lb heavier
-My boy is already 4'10" tall
-While this will be his first shotgun, it will almost certainly not be his last

Do I go with the 26" barrel, or the 21", or am I overlooking some other brand/model altogether? I want to get him something with at least a two shot capacity. O/U shotguns probably do not meet my cost or weight requirements.
 

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Good considerations. When you say 870 I assume you mean the express. Still a great gun. Just doesn't have the nice walnut.

So the question I have is do the youth models and regular models have any other differences besides the barrel length? Is the length of pull or drop at comb any different?
 

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Nothing wrong with a H&R single shot for a 10 year old. New should be $150 or less.

If you are determined to go pump, both Remington & Mossberg have good youth guns. I never cared much for those because the kid will outgrow them too soon.

kypix
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good considerations. When you say 870 I assume you mean the express. Still a great gun. Just doesn't have the nice walnut.

So the question I have is do the youth models and regular models have any other differences besides the barrel length? Is the length of pull or drop at comb any different?
Yes, I am looking for Express. The kid can have "nice" guns when he starts buying them for himself.

It looks like the stock is 1" shorter on the youth, and the barrel is 5" shorter. I don't think there are any differences to the receiver or trigger.
 

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Yes, I am looking for Express. The kid can have "nice" guns when he starts buying them for himself.

It looks like the stock is 1" shorter on the youth, and the barrel is 5" shorter. I don't think there are any differences to the receiver or trigger.


Trigger and receiver will be the same on adult and youth models, Its the stock and forend that are different. Sometimes the barrels will be also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nothing wrong with a H&R single shot for a 10 year old. New should be $150 or less.

If you are determined to go pump, both Remington & Mossberg have good youth guns. I never cared much for those because the kid will outgrow them too soon.

kypix
That is my concern. With the full-sized Remington 20ga, it might be a little big for him now, but it is not much heavier than the youth model. I prefer to buy something he can kick around the woods now and use to get started on the other shotgun hobbies. If he takes hold of trap/skeet or bird hunting like he has squirrel hunting, we are probably looking at another purchase in his teens anyway. What concerns me is that the 5" shorter barrel in the youth model might be detrimental.

Maybe I pick up a used youth model and plan on selling it and upgrading when he outgrows it...
 

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In all honesty I would probably buy the express 870 youth. One inch less in length of pull isn't really going to make a huge difference and will probably even fit him better until he is 5'5" or so. 21 inches is plenty for a barrel, just make sure you get one with choke tubes. Those remchokes are great. I'm not sure they make them without remchokes on regular express models, but still get them. 21 inch barrel full choke won't be much looser of a group than a 28 inch full choke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Just thought of this. When he gets older, if you don't want to buy him another gun, you can just buy a nice extended butt bad that will add the one inch in length of pull back.
 

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Just thought of this. When he gets older, if you don't want to buy him another gun, you can just buy a nice extended butt bad that will add the one inch in length of pull back.
I was about to mention this... A youth model can be upgraded cheaply in the future. Just forend and stock... The Mossberg has a 22" barrel and the Rem has a 21", Both will do good in adult life as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was about to mention this... A youth model can be upgraded cheaply in the future. Just forend and stock... The Mossberg has a 22" barrel and the Rem has a 21", Both will do good in adult life as well
Am I being paranoid that the shorter barrel on the youth models will reduce range and accuracy?

I have far more experience with rifled barrels, and I don't know if 21" or 22" vs 26" is meaningful for a novice shotgun shooter.

From what I understand, otherwise identical 20ga and 12ga shotguns have roughly the same shot pattern, but the 12ga throws more shot to better saturate the pattern. If I go with a short barrel with a 20ga, do I significantly reduce range?
 

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Am I being paranoid that the shorter barrel on the youth models will reduce range and accuracy?

I have far more experience with rifled barrels, and I don't know if 21" or 22" vs 26" is meaningful for a novice shotgun shooter.

From what I understand, otherwise identical 20ga and 12ga shotguns have roughly the same shot pattern, but the 12ga throws more shot to better saturate the pattern. If I go with a short barrel with a 20ga, do I significantly reduce range?


I wouldn't think so... Some one that shots trap/skeet would know a little more about that. Also barrels can be upgraded down the line. When he out grows That 22" it can be cut down to a 18 and just get a 26-28 later down the road.
 

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I had a mossberg 500 youth. Loved that gun. Should've never sold it. Never had one hiccup with it. Never. The wood work and overall craftsmanship and fit and finish were excellent. I vote Mossberg. Then when he turns 18 he can buy his own 870 Express Magnum.
 

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At 4'10" you're hoi.g to want a youth model. Receiver is the same as a full size but they have a reduced pull stock (somewhere around 2" shorter) which helps a smaller shooter a lot with handling the gun.

If he out grows it, all it takes is a simple swap of the butt stock.

Mossberg and Remington would be my pick for a pump gun.
 

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I had the same need. A 10 yr old by in need of a shotgun.

We settled on the 870 Express with the 21" barrel with an adjustable LOP (i.e., it came with some spacers and hardware). It's a good little shotgun that has seen him through rabbit, squirrel, and turkey seasons.

I would have traded for a Mossberg 500 if one had come up. I think you can't go wrong with either the Remington or the Mossy.
 

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Would have to say that it starts with an "M" ;-)
 

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Why not get the full size and buy a youth stock for it. Then you get the best of both worlds. He'd have to buy a stock when he's bigger anyways.
 
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