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from awilli7711 on 09.23.09
The Remington 870 in 20 gauge is a great shotgun to start with. I started out with a 20ga. 870 wingmaster when I was about that same age and size. Remington makes a both compact and youth models to accomodate smaller hunters. And when they outgrow the 20ga a 12ga 870 is almost identical so the transition would be very easy. As far as rifles go I started with a 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser. Not a very common caliber, but great for kids. Very low recoil, very accurate, and great terminal performance. Its a little bigger than a .243 or .257, but not quite up to a .270. Although these three caliber are also good youth calibers. What is most important is to find a gun that he or she is comfortable shooting and that fits them well. Happy hunting.
Rifles I would suggest either a 270 or 243.
Advantages: Low Recoil, Accurate, Available Ammo. Light weight.
Buy a Bolt action if possible. You may need an extra shot.
Shotgun: 20ga. If you can find a pump gun with a combination slug barrel rifled or smoothbore and a field barrel. (Mossberg is a good gun, Remingto 870)
Advantages: Weight, Ammo performance, Recoil, Barrel options.
You don't need 3-1/2 inch rounds to take an animal. 2-3/4 and 3" work very well.
I am real partial to the Mossberg 20 gauge. You can get a rifled barrel for it for deer. Mine does real good out past 100 yds, but I wouldn't recommend shooting much beyond that. As far as the smoothbore barrel, it comes with 2 or 3 chokes that are easy to change. WalMart was carrying the gun for under $250 earlier this year. You should be able to get the rifled Barrel for less than $150. That will give the new shooter plenty of opportunity to hunt, bird, small game and deer. I think it is a great first gun for any shooter. It's not my first shotgun, but it is usually my "go to" gun. I keep it loaded with #4's with a full tube, improved cylinder choke, makes an awesome house gun. Nothing scarier to a guy breaking into your house than hearing a shotgun getting a shell racked. They think it's the next to the last sound they will hear.
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