I am looking to buy a shotgun for my son for dove hunting. I would like to know if anyone has any recommendations, good or bad, for a junior shotgun. My son is athletic and has hunted and fished with me since he was able to walk, so I am not concerned with him being able to handle the firearm, I'm just looking for brands or styles that you are familiar with. I am open to single-shot, pump, or O/U, it doesn't really matter to me. I have a Circuit Judge 45/410 that he has shot many times, but I would like to buy him something of his own and something that's a little better suited for bird hunting. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
I just went thru this getting a sg for my kiddos; Whatever you get, make sure lenght-of-pull is appropriate for his size (you didn't mention age/size)
IF a semi-auto is out of the question (because they absorb some of recoil), then recoil is gonna be inversely proportional to the weight of the shotgun; ie, lighter gun = more felt recoil. HOWEVER, if he is small now, you can get some Low-Recoil 20ga rounds at Academy ($7.99/bx) to get him started on any non-semi-auto-s-gun, and work way up to regular rounds.
I ended up with a Mossberg Youth pump 20ga 22" bbl black synthetic, lop adjustable 12"-14"; from Academy for under $200.
Mossberg part # 54210 - http://www.mossberg.com/category/series/youth-500-505-510/
Comes with a pretty decent recoil pad already built into stock. gun is only 5.25 lbs
Very pleased with choice; kids & wife (& me) are enjoying shooting it with the low-recoil rounds, and it's light enough that they don't tire easily holding it (consideration #2, after l.o.p.).
It shoots a nice even pattern at 30 & 40 yrds.
It's based on the Mossberg 500, so all parts interchangeable including removable choke.
However, with regular ammo - recoil is a bit snappy, and quite loud - I expected that, but it's almost the same as my heavy 12ga 870 pump - THAT was a bit of a surprise for me!
So regardless of which non-semi-auto gun you end up, with can 'tame' the recoil a bit WITHOUT making the gun unbearably heavier for them by using the low-recoil ammo. Sure the ammo costs more - but having them enjoy shooting and not tire after just a few rounds is priceless to me!