Selecting a Youth Shotgun
Many well-meaning parents eager to help their child get started in a newfound interest of clay target sports, rush out and buy a shotgun as soon as their child shows the first hint of interest in pulling a trigger—this is too often a mistake.
While it is true that each athlete on our team will eventually and quickly need their own shotgun–it is paramount that the shotgun selected is properly fitted to them. Shotguns are pointed not aimed and the dominant eye serves as the ‘rear sight’. So success with a shotgun begins with proper fit as the gun must point where the shooter is looking; without a shotgun that is at least close-to-fitted, it is very hard to be a successful shooter.
If your child does not have a shotgun, please do not rush out and purchase one before joining the team. Bring the child to practice first and allow our team coaches to help determine the fit that will be needed; and we always have access to loaner shotguns for new shooters to try. Also to further complicate proper selection, beginning shooters usually need to have a gun that is close to fit then spend time working on their shotgun mount to develop some consistency. In some cases, the gun must be generally fit with hardware that can be then adjusted further later. While in other cases, the novice can shoot the gun for awhile if the fit is close enough to start and then have the fit refined when a consistent mount is developed. The key is that a specific fitting plan must be defined for each shooter to help them achieve a proper and safe gun fit that will position them for consistent shooting success.
Several of our team coaches are experienced at shotgun fitting and some even have professional gunsmith experience–take advantage of their experience to save the costly mistake of purchasing a gun before having a fitting plan.