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First gun advice for my son. A 20-bore or a .410? What’s best?

Q: I am about to buy a first gun for my son. He’s not yet big enough, or strong enough, to use a 12-bore, and I am wondering whether to buy a .410 or a reasonably light 20-bore. What would your choice be?

First gun advice

A: Mike says: It depends on the sort of shooting your son is going to be doing. If his first gun is just for a bit of general vermin control around a farm, then the .410 might be okay. However, if he’s going to do clay, game or pigeons over decoys, then I’d go for the 20-bore and light ammunition.

man shooting .410

Starting with a .410 can be frustrating

Tightly choked

Why? Well, most .410s are choked very tightly, either ¾ or full. That’s because it’s the only way to get a useful pattern out of such a small load of shot, and for your son it could lead to a lot of frustration. On the other hand, a 20-bore could be choked ¼ and ½, or whatever was appropriate on the day if it was a multichoke.

Webley & Scott Junior .410

The Webley & Scott Junior .410 is an over-under, which most youngsters learning to shoot will want to use, and…