Mossberg 20 Gauge for son

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
233
5
Central WI
Im planning to start patterning my Mossberg 20 gauge for the boy this spring, and maybe even use it for hunting this fall a little bit as hes only 9 and I figure hes got a couple years before he'll be using it. But its been in the cabinet and I don't think ive ever even shot the thing. Anyone have a recommendation on a choke tube for it? Mostly goose and duck hunting. Thanks. Luke
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,109
542
Eastern Nebraska
Hi Mustang. My son shoots a 20 gauge Mossberg youth model. He started with a borrowed 28 gauge from NE69 and transitioned to the 20 gauge last spring for turkey. He had just turned 8 years old when he started shooting it. We practiced with light trap loads to get him comfortable and then used real turkey loads and real goose/duck loads in the fall. Only you can be the judge of when he is ready but with some practice I'm betting most 9 year olds can handle it. To answer your question, we use a modified for both turkey and waterfowl.

He shot these three toms in the same afternoon.
turkey 2.jpg

Here are some of his geese from last spring. He used 3" #2 shot.
PART_1487604631235.jpg
 

Colorado Cowboy

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Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
If the gun isn't a youth model with the shorter stock, you might contact Mossberg and see if you can buy the youth butt stock. That way you won't have to cut it off, so as he grows you can put the standard stock back on the gun.
 

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
233
5
Central WI
Just looked on ebay and found no youth butts for sale, so I sent a message to Mossberg. We'll see what they have to say.
 

Hilltop

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Feb 25, 2014
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Eastern Nebraska
I had this gun custom fit for my son for $30. The gunsmith measured him, cut the stock off and installed the butt pad. He also Installed studs to be able to add the length back on as he grows. This option beat buying and shipping a stock to me. And the bonus- the gun fit him exactly right making it much easier for him to handle.
 

dirtclod Az.

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Jan 26, 2018
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Arizona
Started with a 12Ga. Topper.Dad cut off stock to fit me.When I grew out of it he bought me an Ithica Featherlight.
I still have the old Topper. I loan it friends who need to borrow a gun.Call it "THE MULE KILLER" cause thats what it feels like on your shoulder when you shoot it.(still Has the short stock)lol!20Ga. probably would have been better for a first gun.
 

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
233
5
Central WI
Well this last wknd while boiling down maple sap I had the boy shoot a 410 a few times at a turkey target. Did pretty good at it so I think we might try the youth turkey season. Then maybe after that see about shooting the 20 gauge with some light loads.
 

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
233
5
Central WI
Had him shoot the 20 gauge yesterday with just some #9 shot target loads and he said it kicked less than the 410, so I told him id leave the decision up to him for what gun we use in a couple weeks. Hell of a lot more bb's in the 20 gauge too, even with a #9 at close range should do the job id think.
 

Colorado Cowboy

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Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
I personally don't like to start kids with a .410 because of the fact you mentioned...less shot. The guns are usually lighter and kick just as much as a 20 ga. I also believe self confidence is a big factor.....more shot = better odds of a kill.
 
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Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,109
542
Eastern Nebraska
Had him shoot the 20 gauge yesterday with just some #9 shot target loads and he said it kicked less than the 410, so I told him id leave the decision up to him for what gun we use in a couple weeks. Hell of a lot more bb's in the 20 gauge too, even with a #9 at close range should do the job id think.
A single shot .410 does kick pretty good... Remember, he won't feel the recoil when shooting at a turkey. Practice with the #9 and let him hunt with the real stuff. He won't feel a thing when that big tom goes down. At a minimum, I would switch to larger shot in a lower brass shell.
 

badgerbob

Active Member
May 18, 2015
351
19
Eastern Oregon
I personally don't like to start kids with a .410 because of the fact you mentioned...less shot. The guns are usually lighter and kick just as much as a 20 ga. I also believe self confidence is a big factor.....more shot = better odds of a kill.
Very true. Esp. the confidence part. If he drops a turkey he'll never remember the recoil and from then on he's good to go.
 

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
233
5
Central WI
Good thoughts guys, I think this wknd ill have him shoot the 9 shot a few more times then when it comes time to head to the woods just drop in a turkey load. Like you said, he wont feel a thing escpecially when that tom drops.
 

Apparition

Active Member
Jan 26, 2014
211
0
54
Pine Grove, PA
I have 2 20 gauge mossbergs, ones a standard size the other is a youth with the LOP adapter, the standard uses a tighwad choke, the youth didnt pattern as good with a tight wad tried a few others, ended up using a redhead choke. I shoot federal heavyweight #6 or 7s, both have taken gobblers at 45 steps.
 

dirtclod Az.

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Jan 26, 2018
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Arizona
You might try an Ithica Featherlight,has bottom eject and is easily one of the best shotguns I have ever shot.
Easily cleaned and maintained.May have to cut the stock for beginner.But will last him a lifetime.
Also comes with screw in choke selection.
 

johnsd16

Active Member
Mar 16, 2014
353
3
N Idaho
I started my older son at 6 I think with his moss berg youth 20ga. I had him shoot it off a bog pod with the cradle. He didn’t like the recoil too much at 6 but we got enough shooting in with 7/8oz trap loads to be confident enough for turkey hunting. Got some toms in that spring and he didn’t want to shoot. We practiced some that fall and the next spring. He got really comfortable and confident shooting empty bottled water bottles with the modified choke at about 15 yards. When he was 7 he was probably 60lbs or so and he would ask to go shooting. He shot a gobbler that spring at age 7. He had missed one the week before but crushed a big boy at 15 yds with turkey loads out of the modified. He had no perception of the far heavier recoil loads.

Having a gun that fits them is paramount. Length of pull and overall length. The two I have for my boys have a very short lop with the one buttstock, maybe 11.5-12” then there are two spacers that can be added so it can have 3 sizes.

Also, if he hasn’t shot much make sure you know his eye dominance. My older son is right handed and left eyed. He really wanted to try shooting right handed and he just wasn’t accurate. He shoots guns and bows now left handed and he’s totally used to it.

As hilltop said, having the stock cut and fitted properly is well worth the meager financial investment.
 

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
233
5
Central WI
Well its almost time for the youth hunt here in Wisconsin, this weekend! Did some scouting this past wknd and found some birds, now only if the weather would be better. Rain, snow mix for sat and sunday. Guess we'll be in a blind, or an elevated deer stand with sides:cool: Hopefully next week this time ill be posting a pic of the boy with a bird.
 

Hilltop

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Feb 25, 2014
3,109
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Eastern Nebraska
Good luck from us as well! We skipped opening weekend here in Nebraska- single digit temps with snow just didn't sound right. I decided to pull him out of school Wednesday afternoon to hunt in 70 degree weather.
 

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
233
5
Central WI
Well todays forecast for the wknd shows somewhere between 8-18" of snow! Not normal for central Wisconsin this time of year. This is not cool at all. Hoping Saturday morning we can put the smack down on one right away and relax the rest of the wknd from inside the house.