When to move a youth from 20ga to 12ga

hawkman

Six Pointer
What are the age, size, ability, and/or experience factors you consider when making the switch from 20 to 12 ga for a boy?

Mine is 11yo, limited shooting experience. 5'5" and growing fast. (I'm 6-4 and Mom is tall) probably 120 lbs or so. Athletic enough.

Thinking primarily for turkey hunting.

I have a single shot 20ga with modified choke. I don't want to but a youth 20ga if I can help it. If I buy another gun, I'd rather buy adult size 12 or 20.

I have an 870 exp Supermag that is like him to try but he's already nervous about the kick.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

BLOODBROTHER

Twelve Pointer
Start him on some #8s with the 12. Then ramp it up to a turkey load slowly to see if he’s shy or doesnt like it. Hell, I don’t even want to shoot a 12 gauge turkey load.
 

kilerhamilton

Twelve Pointer
If I could afford it I would buy a nice semi 20ga and retire the 12s all together. Except for ducks at the coast maybe. I love the 20 for turkey hunting. No need for 12s anymore with shell innovations. The 20ga is a great duck gun too with heavy shot and swamp hunting.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
What are the age, size, ability, and/or experience factors you consider when making the switch from 20 to 12 ga for a boy?

Mine is 11yo, limited shooting experience. 5'5" and growing fast. (I'm 6-4 and Mom is tall) probably 120 lbs or so. Athletic enough.

Thinking primarily for turkey hunting.

I have a single shot 20ga with modified choke. I don't want to but a youth 20ga if I can help it. If I buy another gun, I'd rather buy adult size 12 or 20.

I have an 870 exp Supermag that is like him to try but he's already nervous about the kick.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
I think you are reversing the trend amongst turkey gun gauges. more are regressing than progressing thanks to TSS.
But I gotta be honest there is a lot to said for 900 9's flyin at their heads in a 12 guage load. :)
 

Cyperry

Six Pointer
I’d get him a 20 gauge mossberg 585 or 870 express 20 with a nice Carlson or Indian creek choke. Some TSS loads, and it’ll last him the rest of his life.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Uwharrieman

Eight Pointer
If I could afford it I would buy a nice semi 20ga and retire the 12s all together. Except for ducks at the coast maybe. I love the 20 for turkey hunting. No need for 12s anymore with shell innovations. The 20ga is a great duck gun too with heavy shot and swamp hunting.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I grew up with a 20 ga, my step-fathers. He had a 12 Winchester semi-auto for deer drives, but everything else was the 20 ga.
I don't have a 12 ga now, but if I ever get to hunt a dog club for deer I'll get one, other than that, as you said, I'll stay with the 20 ga.
 

kilerhamilton

Twelve Pointer
I grew up with a 20 ga, my step-fathers. He had a 12 Winchester semi-auto for deer drives, but everything else was the 20 ga.
I don't have a 12 ga now, but if I ever get to hunt a dog club for deer I'll get one, other than that, as you said, I'll stay with the 20 ga.

I do love my 12ga deer shotgun. Nothing like slugs whistling across a field. Backed with buckshot.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

JONOV

Ten Pointer
...Or look at a big recoil pad for it. Since he's turkey hunting if its a little long or short no big deal.

My concern about some of those single shot guns is that they can kick a bit.

Also make sure he has a good pair of ear muffs on when not hunting. Noise makes a difference towards recoil people feel.
 

deerslyr30-06

Old Mossy Horns
That 20 gauge is perfect for turkey hunting. I won’t carry a 12 ever again for turkey. Love a 20 gauge.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

nchawkeye

Old Mossy Horns
Funny thing is, we never had a 20 gauge in the house when I grew up...My brother and I both got a single shot Strvens .410 at 9, then a double barrel 12 gauge at 12...I still haven't ever had a 20...For a lightweight upland gun it's tough to beat a side by side double...For pass shooting, it's hard to beat an 1100 in 12 gauge, the extra weight helps with the swing through...I've thought of getting a 20 simply for the lighter weight, guess when I get old I may do so........ ;)
 

beavercleaver

Four Pointer
a 12 gauge was all i had when i started hunting at 8....i was smaller than most of my friends but when i went in the woods i had the big gun..i got my 8 year old a 410 right npw but shes only 40 lbs when she gets a lil bigger ill get her the stoeger 3000 youth 12 gauge for her upgrade go big or go home is what ive always heard
 

Tunanut

Ten Pointer
My son is 20 now and still using the Browning A5 in 20 gauge that I got him as a youth. He's taken turkey, deer, dove, squirrel, rabbit and a bunch of skeet with it. I love that shotgun, not much it can't do. He's never asked for a 12 because the 20 works just fine. 27244
 

Billy

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Nothing but personal opinion. No need to move up to a 12. A 20 will do anything a 12 will and if that 20 is loaded with tss, it’ll do it better.
I have an 11-87 12ga and a Mossberg SA-20, both set up with scopes and Indian Creek chokes. The 20 is putting more pellets in a 10" circle at 40 yds than the 12, both shooting Fed TSS 9's. I don't understand it, but it is. And the recoil from the 12 FEELS like twice what the 20 does. I bought the 20 for the grandson's, but I think I'm gonna hunt with it when they're not along.
 

dc bigdaddy

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
There's a Winchester FeatherWeight in a pawn shop here in Jacksonville that would work great for him. it has a 22" barrel on it now, but you could get a second barrel and have a nice gun for the rest of his life.
 

Buxndiverdux

Old Mossy Horns
What are the age, size, ability, and/or experience factors you consider when making the switch from 20 to 12 ga for a boy?

Mine is 11yo, limited shooting experience. 5'5" and growing fast. (I'm 6-4 and Mom is tall) probably 120 lbs or so. Athletic enough.

Thinking primarily for turkey hunting.

I have a single shot 20ga with modified choke. I don't want to but a youth 20ga if I can help it. If I buy another gun, I'd rather buy adult size 12 or 20.

I have an 870 exp Supermag that is like him to try but he's already nervous about the kick.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

IMO he is already answering your question....
 

Buxndiverdux

Old Mossy Horns
My son has always been a bigger kid. I didn't move him up to a 12Ga until 15 years old. I've kept him in the .243 Win till this year. He is 17 and 6'2.. There is nothing harder to break than a bad habit of flinching, not to mention the heartbreak of losing wounded game.
 

MJ74

Old Mossy Horns
Funny thing is, we never had a 20 gauge in the house when I grew up...My brother and I both got a single shot Strvens .410 at 9, then a double barrel 12 gauge at 12...I still haven't ever had a 20...For a lightweight upland gun it's tough to beat a side by side double...For pass shooting, it's hard to beat an 1100 in 12 gauge, the extra weight helps with the swing through...I've thought of getting a 20 simply for the lighter weight, guess when I get old I may do so........ ;)
I've never even shot a 20ga before. Only shotgun I have ever used is a 12ga.

Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk
 

beavercleaver

Four Pointer
If dog hunting for deer in a buckshot only club 12 ga definitely pack quite a bit more wollop but for turkey , squirrel,dove,probably not much differance
 

bag12day

Spike
My son has always been a bigger kid. I didn't move him up to a 12Ga until 15 years old. I've kept him in the .243 Win till this year. He is 17 and 6'2.. There is nothing harder to break than a bad habit of flinching, not to mention the heartbreak of losing wounded game.
After teaching / coaching youth for years with firearms I would say each kid is different and I let them decide when the time is right. My son was7 when he killed a deer with a 16 ga single, 10 yo when he shot my Ithaca 10 gauge and wanted one real bad right then. He has always been a big kid but watching and listening to the kid tells you when they are ready. Btw he got that a browning bps 10ga when he was 15...
Like @lasttombstone said a bad xperince will ruin them for quite some time. @hawkman contact me via pm I may have a solution for u if we can work out logistics.
 

41magnum

Twelve Pointer
No reason to change to 12ga for turkey.
...or ANYTHING imo, todays shells got ya covered!

If/when you try, have him shoot some dove loads in 12 ga. at clay birds.

NO reason to rush things in this dept.

Does the person coaching him know proper form?...like, when he (or anyone) shoots, the elbow of their trigger finger side, should be straight out, so there is a straight line formed thru BOTH shoulders to that elbow. Boy, I hope that makes sense.
If his elbow is down by his side, recoil is felt more, and bruising occurs, since the muscles are bunched up.

Let me put it like this......if he is right handed, his right elbow should be straight out, 90* from the side of his body.
 

41magnum

Twelve Pointer
There's a Winchester FeatherWeight in a pawn shop here in Jacksonville that would work great for him. it has a 22" barrel on it now, but you could get a second barrel and have a nice gun for the rest of his life.
remember, less gun weight, increases recoil.
 

25contender

Twelve Pointer
ill tell you the youth that hunts with us has been using a 20 gauge for the past 5 years and has killed birds from 20 - 50+ yds. I have thought about getting a 20 myself.
 

Packfan

Six Pointer
After shooting the little montefeltro 20 that i picked up for my 9yo about a month ago, I can’t wait until he thinks that he is a man and wants a 12ga. It trade him a 12ga SBE3 for his little 20ga any day and smile as I walk away from the deal.

He shot a turkey Saturday morning at 7:30am with 2 3/4” TSS and laid the bird flat out. An hour and a half later after a choke change, he was busting clays with the same gun at the Forks for the NC youth shooting foundation monthly tournament.

20’s and their respective shells have evolved and are about all you need in today’s world as others have said.

I will throw this out there. If he is 5’5” he needs an adult stock. He is already too big for a youth stock.
 
Top