(Hunters only) what kinds of gun do you use?

I'm trying to find the best gun for a 12 year old.


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I'm going to be different and suggest that for a young hunter, a good gun might be a Marlin 1894 or Winchester 94 lever-action rifle in .357 Magnum. In that gun, one can learn the essentials of good shooting with mild-recoiling .38 Special, and can also take rabbit, squirrel, and other small furbearers. Move up to .357 Magnum, and the lighter bullets meant for personal defense will more than do the job against varmints. The heavier 158 and 180 grain loads will do the job against whitetails at ranges under 100 yards.

A good choice for longer-ranged shots would be a Marlin 336 or Winchester 94 Ranger levergun, or any bolt-action gun in .30-30 WInchester. Sure .30-30 Winchester doesn't shoot quite as flat as .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield, but it doesn't kick as hard, and does the job every time, and has been doing so for over a century.

If you're looking at shotguns, the best for a younger shooter would be a 20 gauge, hands-down. It will do most of what a 12 gauge will do, but without the fierce recoil. One might consider a .410 bore shotgun, and that's fine. A .410 is good for smaller children against rabbit and squirrel . . . but doesn't throw enough shot to be good against birds or skeet unless it's in the hands of an expert.

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when i was a kid i used a 243 or 270 they dont have much of a kick but will bring down big game

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I use a 12gauge. you should try him out on a 20 gauge. small less kick. first train him on the safty of the weapon.

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umm the only gun i've ever shot is a 22 or rifle and i'm 14 so

If I went out in the woods, dressed up as a deer durring deer hunting season.?

That depends..for deer or big game...I would recommend like a .243 or maybe a 22-250.

For game birds and sich I would go with a 20 guage shot gun...or maybe even a 410.

Remember to have them go through hunter safty and make sure to teach the proper gun safty.

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I would recommend that the gun should only be used if the hunter plans to eat what he shoots.The 12 year old will eat what he shoots.?? But then it is your right to bear arms.( to defend yourself??).

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For a 12 year old I would go with a shotgun or a .243 rifle.

The shotgun is your best best. A shotgun using 3" inch 00 buck is super forgiving for shot placement and young hunters always have trouble with that.


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For a twelve-er a nice .22 rifle that is proportioned for the shooter makes a great and cheap to shoot firearm for someone starting out. Can be bolt action,semi-auto,pump--whateve... the person likes.

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Depends on what you plan on hunting. For birds (not geese) I would give him a 16 or a 20 gauge shotgun. For small game, a .22 LR would be good. Big game, a .243 would work for deer. It also depends on the 12 year old. How big is he/she? Would he/she be able to withstand the recoil of a 30-06 or a 12 gauge with a 3" slug? I started deer hunting with an old Browning 12 gauge that delivered a kick comparable to a horses (and yes, I have been kicked by a horse) Lot's of variables to consider.

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Deer hunting
I started my son with a 30-30 at 10 years old,
I have a friend who has 2 boys, the last 4 years I take one and my friend takes the other.
That way each boy has the undivided attention of an adult to work on safety and good hunting habits.
Both boys were 10 years old when we started, the smallest boy used a 243. His brother used 25-06 neither weapon has a bad recoil.
So I would say 243, 25-06 or the 30-30 would work well with young hunters as long a an adult is with them to teach gun safety.
I would not go any smaller then 243 caliber wise, for a fast humane 1 shot kill.

For quick comparison, let compare 2 weapons of the same 243 caliber.
1= 243 caliber rifle weighing 5 pounds total weapon weight.
2= 243 caliber rifle weighing 9 pounds total weapon weight.
The heaver weapon with the weight of 9 pounds will kick less due to the added weight.
The heaver the weapon the less it kicks, the weight helps dampen the recoil.
There for I would go with a wood stock for weight over the lighter synthetic stocks.

Small game rabbet, squirrel, dove and quail 20 gauge shot gun.

Target practice or just Squirrel 22 rim fire rifle.

But first I would recommend that the youth go through a shooters safety course before getting any weapon.

You need to take in to account that if this is for hunting most states have minimum caliber requirements and some states only allow shot guns for deer, some states only allow rifles and other states allow both either or. Contact you States Department of Wildlife Conservation first before buying any weapon so as to get what they allow.


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I would get the kid a NEF youth 20 gauge I got one when I was 10 and I have killed everything from dove to deer. GREAT beginner gun. It's simple to work, like most single shots are, so he will be safer loading and unloading it. Shotguns are better to learn with because they have a short range and can be used for just about anything.

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To do what with ? Hunt ? hunt what duck " deer , elk , rabbit what? target shooting ? please with a question like that Ide say no gun till you know what YOUR doing.

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If he's new to the world of hunting, THE thing to start with is a 22 rimfire, and I'd suggest a bolt-action rather than an autoloader, though it's a close call. I bought one of mine a Ruger 10/22 at that age, but if I were doing it over, I'd probably pick the Remington model 5.
If you're looking for a centerfire rifle for deer and such, many would say a 243, but I'd go with a 7mm08 or one of the 6.5mm cartridges, and my pick would again be a Remington, in the model 7, which you can get with a short adult stock or an even shorter youth model, to fit, and fit is quite important for comfort.
For a shotgun, you should stay away from the 410. It looks like a kid's bore, but it's really for specialists. I'm personally lusting for a CZ Bobwhite side-by-side in 28 bore, though 20 might make more sense for your child.
Until he has all 3 of those, I would stay away from handguns, though if you have the budget and can supervise closely a 22 revolver like the Ruger Single-Six could be a ton of fun.
Well, I've just spent a couple thousand of your dollars and had a blast doing it. Good luck to you and the kid.

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When I was 9 I killed my first deer with a 410 shotgun slug. Get him a single shot 410 and he can use it for hunting everything from squirrels to bears, and it's good for grouse, quail, turkeys, deer, rabbits, and just about anything else he wants to hunt and is fun to shoot at targets too.
I'm 43 now and still have my 410, and 31 other guns.
Deer steaks in the freezer. Kids that learn to hunt eat good...

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first of all make sure he has taken hunter saftey to learn the safteys of using and handeling a gun, then find out in youre own opinoin if he is ready for a gun. After that is done the best starter gun is a .22, this is because before going rite into hunting big game, he can practice saftey with a 22 pegin cans off or small critters, also the sfest action to get is a single shot break action 2nd would be a bolt action single shot.

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I gave my 14 year old nephew my old .44 Mag 1892 lever action. He didn't even get to hunt this year because of school extra-curricular activities.

If he's big for his age I would get him a .243 Winchester (if he is already proficient with a .22 and likes shooting). The heavier stock (like wood) will hold down the recoil. Make sure he is familiar with gun safety rules and that he takes the hunter's course if required in your State.

What do I use? A .25-06 Remington, a 6.5 Remington Magnum, a .350 Remington Magnum, a .30-06 Steyr Mannlicher, a .270 Winchester, a .30-30 Winchester (rarely), a 12 gauge Remington 870 pump, a 7.62x51mm FN FAL (.308 Winchester), a .458 Winchester Magnum and occasionally, a .22 Browning Automatic Take-down rifle. I don't think I've left any 'long' gun out. Oh yeah... Nix that, I gave away my .44 Mag carbine but maybe I'll replace it with a new one. I may have to break down and also buy the new .338 Federal. We'll see.



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That depends on the game you intend to hunt and the ability of the 12 year old. I teach all my grandchildren to shoot starting with an air rifle and then moving up to a .22 eventually to a smaller shotgun like a .410 or a 20 ga.

At age 12 if the child has training then nearly anything will work if they have the ability to handle it. I would expect that if it was a shot gun something larger than a 20 ga. would be escessive for a youth. In a rifle, depending on the type of game anything from a .22 to a .270.

purchasing a semi-auto would reduce recoil and help a smaller person handle the firpower of a larger weapon. the drawback is that they must be proficient enough to understand that it will automatically reload the next round. So training with a single shot, or bolt action beforehand is a must.

Whatever you decide the firearm should fit the individual and the individual should have adequate training.

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for a 12 year old , mmm i started my kid with a bb gun then move them up to a 410, an as they got older ,up to a 12 ga,but it depend mostly what he be huntting,an please have a grow up with hinm, an good huntting

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I use a 12 gauge berreta over and under. I'm an NRA certified shotgun instructor and for a 12 year old I would recommend starting with a 20 gauge. If they do well then let them try a 12. A 12 might be too heavy for him, but the kick isn't as bad because it's a heavier gun and the heavier the gun is the less recoil it will have because the weight doesn't allow the gun to recoil as much. Remington sells a youth model that's very popular and was actually my first gun also. It's a Remington 870 youth model pump action. It's great gun to start with. One thing I will really stress to you is don't start with a .410. They are the absolute hardest guns to learn with. People think that because it's the smallest gauge it's best for young kids. This is very untrue. The .410 is the lightest shotgun you can buy, because of this it also has the most recoil. They kick harder than my 12 gauge. They also have the smallest shot patterns so unless your an expert target shooter it's really hard to hit anything. So one of the worst things you can do is start a young person off with a .410.

Another good idea would be to take the young shooter to a demo shoot. At a demo shoot you pay for tickets and you use them to shoot guns. It's a really great way to shop for a new gun and to find out what would fit a person best.

Good Luck!!

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i was 11 when i got my first rifle. a .243 winchester. very accurate and very little recoil. i still use it today (almost 30 years later) for deer with great success. i have killed elk and moose with it in the past as well as a mountain goat.
with young people you need to start out small because if the recoil hurts or scares them it creates bad habits like flinching and that takes the accuracy away. building confidence when young is the first and most important goal you should have.

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Seeing as how I'm a female and only 5'3'' I guess I'm somewhat equivalent to a 12 year old. I shoot a Remington 308 and a 243. Both are Youth stocks. The 308 is a synthetic stock and the 243 is wood. I prefer the synthetic myself, it's lighter. Neither of these kick hardly at all, and are plenty enough to kill a deer or a pig.

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First you need to let us know what state you are in. There some shotgun only states out there. However, if you are hunting shotgun, I would recommend a twenty gauge with a wooden stock. The reason I recommend wood is because it is heavier and will not kick as much as the lighter synthetic. Personally, I would get him a gun that only shoots one shot for starters. Kids are inexperienced and every hunter knows, there are few things worse than yahoos emptying their guns into the woods at running animals. If you can't hit it with the first shot you probably aren't going to hit a scared animal running full bore.

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in my opinion, for a 12 year old you should get them a .22 it is a great starting gun, basically no kick (if you buy one get a CZ model it is the most accurate 22 ever made) a .22 would be great practice and they could afford the ammo, rather than the larger more expensive rounds. (although i dont know how much experience the 12 year old has, be sure to teach him to be safe and check were they shoot, and that guns are not a toy, and other saftey measures,--its really really important!!)

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W W D answered this question almost verbatim to what I would have said. The only thing I would add: Owning both a 7mm-08, and a 6.5x55, I would pick the former if buying a new gun. It hits a little harder, and holds a little flatter than the 6.5. Also availability of ammo would tip the scales towards the 7mm-08

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