Gun Shy Kid - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Gun Shy Kid

Any tips on helping a 7 year old get over being gun shy? Hes big for his age and shoots his 22 cricket with no problems. However he shot a youth 20 gauge and a 410 shotgun and said they kick too hard. I then got one of the rubber recoil reducers to put on the end of the stock but he refused to try it- just too afraid. Any tips on helping him get over this?

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 09:55 AM
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I got my kid one of those shoulder pads. It slides in her trap vest. There are other ones too that strap on. I also take her out for ice cream after shooting as a bribe.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:03 AM
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Wow, I never heard of anyone being bothered by the recoil of a .410. Part of the problem could be that the shotguns he shot were ill fitting, a shotgun that doesn't fit the shooter can enhance felt recoil. Many times people give kids guns that are too long or they are not holding the butt stock tight against the shoulder and the stock slams into the shoulder instead of pushing against it. I would check to see if the guns fit and how the boy is holding them. Single shot shotguns are notorious for not fitting. Before yousend money on another gun I would work on checking the fit and the way the boy hods the guns. Another consideration if the fit and hos shooting technique are not the problem is to go to a gas operated semi auto shot gun with a good recoil pad.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MntnHntr View Post
Any tips on helping a 7 year old get over being gun shy? Hes big for his age and shoots his 22 cricket with no problems. However he shot a youth 20 gauge and a 410 shotgun and said they kick too hard. I then got one of the rubber recoil reducers to put on the end of the stock but he refused to try it- just too afraid. Any tips on helping him get over this?
Is the recoil being felt by his shoulder or his face? Maybe both.

As someone pointed out, gun fit can be the problem. However, try to make sure that the gun is firmly in his shoulder and that his cheek is pressed down on the comb of the stock. Maybe get a small pad to put on the comb for him to press on if he is getting hit in the cheek.

Also, don't let him shoot these guns off the bench until he is ready for this. Shooting off the bench typically causes more recoil issues.

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:44 AM
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Give him time... don't push it keep it fun

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:53 AM
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Give him time... don't push it keep it fun
Exactly. He may just not be ready. If you push him he may never be.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 11:02 AM
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even to this day when we sit and shoot on the bench I use a knee pad between me and the gun... one of the hardest kicking guns we have is a Mossberg youth 20ga pump gun, I even hate to shoot that gun. Fit and how he is holding it may be an issue also..
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 11:03 AM
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I found out years later that it was not the recoil that scared my son. It was simply the loud sound. Get them out with good ear protection and it might not scare them so much. Even if they are watching you.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 11:19 AM
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Exactly. He may just not be ready. If you push him he may never be.
I agree. What is the rush to get a seven year old shooting a shotgun? I have kids in that range. They have all shot .22's and .223's. I have a nine year old that will be moving up to 6.5 Grendel and light .260 Rem loads this year. Give it time and work up slowly.

FWIW, the recoil energy on a 20 gauge is around that of a .270... probably a little much for most seven year olds. The fact that he shot both the 20 and the 410 tells me that he shot them in that order. He may have been able to handle the 410 (still a huge step up in recoil from a .22) but had already been conditioned by the 20 gauge to be recoil shy. I see a .223 class rifle as a great tool for moving up from .22's. It has a little bit of recoil and a lot more noise/muzzle blast. I think getting used to the noise without adding much recoil can be a good step. It won't be necessary for all kids but it doesn't hurt. Everyone is different and size isn't always a determining factor.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 11:28 AM
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Exactly. He may just not be ready. If you push him he may never be.
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Originally Posted by timberdoodle View Post
Give him time... don't push it keep it fun
That's my thinking as well. 7 is young. Kids change so fast in those young years, by the time hes 9 he may be pestering you to take him out to shot.
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