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what would you start with


stu_young
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Got my first gun when i was 12 - a 20 bore but I think this was mainly because the old man fancied one,  I was about the same size as him at the stage so it fit us both (still does). Remember the lighter the gun the more recoil, so I would say get as heavy as he can comfortably manage and shoot sensible, smooth cartridges for the first couple of years 

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No reason not to start with a 12b (28 inch 7- 71/2lb) at that age and size, if that is what you use (commonality of ammo is an advantage).

I was shooting a 12b by age 12 and had no issues.

Start him on 21g clay 7.5 clay loads or soft shooting 28g loads like comp X until he picks up his muscle memory and can hit consistently, before using any heavier loads.

What I would say is that at 5'7" he has quite a bit to grow at age 13, I would reckon another 6-8 inches, so get something that fits well just now but can easily get a longer butt pad to accommodate any further growth.

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Bravado aside I'm not sure that giving your lad a 12 is the best way to go - he may well be able to "handle it" but when we are young and foolish the draw of such power can hide the potential damage being done - your lad so your choice but I would suggest a semi 20g to get him hitting targets, depending on his physical size it might be worth looking at the Hatsan youth model. Easy to develop a flinch at an early age and cause poor shooting which is where we find youngsters losing interest.

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Had you considered a self loading 12 if he’s a big lad? Plenty about and cheap to feed.

If you’re set on a 20 then I can recommend the Franchi 620. I bought one for my nephew when he started out at about 8 year old. He was a slight lad but the recoil never bothered him at all. 

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