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Picked Up an Old H&R Single Barrel for My Grandson Yesterday

woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior MemberPosts: 2,725 Senior Member
Plan on training my 12 year old grandson on an old single barrel 12ga break-down hammer gun before we get into bigger and better things, and found one yesterday in a local pawn shop. Darn thing is in very good to excellent shape, no rust, no dings etc. Very little wear anywhere on the ole gal! What surprises me is that there is a perfect 3/8ths inch castoff in the stock! Did H&R do this on purpose I wonder? or did the stock just warp to this perfect measurement? Just looks made that way to me. Price was right, too. Only $75.bucks!
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Replies

  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Panama City, Fl.Posts: 8,689 Senior Member
    Use light loads, those things kick like drunken mules!
  • gatorgator Senior Member Salome ArizonaPosts: 1,746 Senior Member
    I would suggest a good recoil pad if it doesn't already have one.mine kicks worse than my .444

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  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Big Al1 wrote: »
    Use light loads, those things kick like drunken mules!

    This.

    I learned on one just like what you are describing. I was about 10 or 11 when Dad started me. First time I went dove hunting that shotgun put a hurting on me.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Do you still have the Rossi .410-.22 switch barrel rig I traded to you awhile back?
    Jerry
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member SMIBville(Southern MD)Posts: 1,826 Senior Member
    First law of physics: Any small, light gun in a major caliber/gauge is gonna hurt.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Sounds like you found one that hasn't been used hardly at all. :up:

    Given your grandson's age and that shotguns recoil capabilities, I would strongly suggest that you buy only 7/8 to 1 oz. skeet loads for him to shoot right now. They have a lot less recoil than the 1 1/8 oz. field loads, and still work just fine for anything except pass shooting at high flyers. And he'll enjoy shooting it a lot more.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,245 Senior Member
    This.

    I learned on one just like what you are describing. I was about 10 or 11 when Dad started me. First time I went dove hunting that shotgun put a hurting on me.

    I learned with a double barrel 12 with two triggers, I learned real quick that you only put one finger in the trigger guard at a time!
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Plan on training my 12 year old grandson on an old single barrel 12ga break-down hammer gun before we get into bigger and better things

    A 12 bore/.410 chamber adaptor used to be a good starting point.

    tennmike wrote: »
    ...... I would strongly suggest that you buy only 7/8 to 1 oz. skeet loads

    That is as heavy as I ever went for my 21/2'' chambers, I could miss just as well with them as anything bigger. :tooth:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    shush wrote: »
    A 12 bore/.410 chamber adaptor used to be a good starting point.




    That is as heavy as I ever went for my 21/2'' chambers, I could miss just as well with them as anything bigger.
    :tooth:

    I haven't gone dove shooting in a few years, and it's been a long time since I went quail hunting, but the 7/8 oz. loads I took for my 12 ga. pump worked just fine. For doves I used the full choke tube, and for quail the cylinder choke tube. I passed up on a lot of shots at doves because I knew that they were too long. The quail didn't seem to know the difference between the lighter and heavier loads, and I ruined a lot less meat with those lighter shot charges. As to missing doves, no matter what load I used, I figured a ratio of 10 shots to bag one dove was a good average! :roll2:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Logansport Indiana, by way of Hohenwald Tennessee by way of Cocoa FloridaPosts: 1,720 Senior Member
    That is a real nice find and a good starter gun. My first, at the age of 14, was an Iver Johnson Champion..........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,249 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    I haven't gone dove shooting in a few years, and it's been a long time since I went quail hunting, but the 7/8 oz. loads I took for my 12 ga. pump worked just fine. For doves I used the full choke tube, and for quail the cylinder choke tube. I passed up on a lot of shots at doves because I knew that they were too long. The quail didn't seem to know the difference between the lighter and heavier loads, and I ruined a lot less meat with those lighter shot charges. As to missing doves, no matter what load I used, I figured a ratio of 10 shots to bag one dove was a good average! :roll2:

    Had a buddy go 0 for 125 on Doves one time.
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,245 Senior Member
    Had a buddy go 0 for 125 on Doves one time.

    So much for the old saying "even a blind hog"!
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Manistee Natl ForestPosts: 18,289 Senior Member
    shush wrote: »
    A 12 bore/.410 chamber adaptor used to be a good starting point.



    A .410 is a horrible choice for a young wingshooter....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    A .410 is a horrible choice for a young wingshooter....

    I took it is he was just starting..........start small,
    get him used to the gun and small recoil first.
  • gatorgator Senior Member Salome ArizonaPosts: 1,746 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    A .410 is a horrible choice for a young wingshooter....
    Agreed if he can't hit anything he might lose interest fast.

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  • gatorgator Senior Member Salome ArizonaPosts: 1,746 Senior Member
    shush wrote: »
    I took it is he was just starting..........start small,
    get him used to the gun and small recoil first.
    Getting used to recoil is a good thing, and a .410 is great fot that task.
    Shoot at some tin cans, balloons...
    I've seen doves shame some good shooters with 12 gauges.
    No point in making it harder on the lad
    than it has to be.

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    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member God's countryPosts: 4,646 Senior Member
    The 1st time I went dove hunting I used a 20ga Wingmaster with a full choke barrel. I'd been shooting skeet by that time and considered myself a decent shot. The doves disabused me of any notion I had of my wing shooting skills. But I was doubly humbled by the old man I sat next to in the brush. He used a Wingmaster too. A .410. He was nailing them. I've never seen his like since that morning. But I still remember that sweet looking little .410
    If I had the money I'd collect older Wingmasters. I've still got my little 20, it's a pre LW model. And I've picked up some extra barrels over the years.

    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    There is a lot to be said for starting out with a .410, and I think I'd better re-think what I'm doing. When I was his age I had an old J C Higgins full choke 12ga with a hollow PLASTIC stock :yikes:! I was very selective in pulling the trigger on that thing! (Good training for the little Mannlicher .318 Mauser I have now, however!)

    As for the abilities of a .410 for a wingshot gun, let me mention something: I live here right in the middle of the yankee quail hunting plantation country. Pebble Hill Plantation is just 2-3 miles up the road from me with Tall Timbers Research Station separating us. (Pull up TTRS if you want to see photos of what I see every time I open my front door! Have done a lot of forest management contract work for both Pebble Hill and TTRS over the years.) Anyhow....Pres. Eisenhower was invited down to Pebble Hill during his time in office several times to quail hunt since he really loved wing shooting. On his first trip down and on the morning of the first hunt, the President showed up with a .410 Stephens SXS. The Huntmaster, not knowing of the president's abilities, and thinking he had the .410 out of ignorance, tried to get him to take a high quality custom made SXS 16ga instead. No Way! Back then the limit was, I think, 12 birds a day. The Pres. went on to knock down the limit of birds with one shot each, never missing one! Some of the really old fellows around the plantations still talk about this!

    Teach: Are you sure we made that trade? I don't remember it! Please refresh my old senile mind!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    In the hands of someone who possesses the ability, a .410 can be very capable. I shot skeet in Chattanooga with a Unit Operator from the nuke plant, and he used a .410 pump. I rarely beat him using a 12 gauge O/U shotgun. He broke 25/25 with boring regularity. But he also shot 10 rounds of skeet almost every other day with that little pump. And he shamed EVERYBODY when we went dove hunting. I guess if you practice enough, you can be pretty good with a .410.

    But he started out shooting skeet with a Winchester Model 12 in 20 ga. He said he swapped to the .410 because it was faster to swing on doubles. Buffy would have been proud of him; he was a ginger, about 6'2", and skinny. :roll2:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Teach: Are you sure we made that trade? I don't remember it! Please refresh my old senile mind!

    Remember the Lexington show about 4-5 years ago? You had an oddball Dutch military bolt action rifle with some bolt parts missing. We swapped even-up for a Rossi .22/410 break-action single shot that I started my grandkids on. They had outgrown it and I moved them up to a NEF .22/20 gauge. I think it was still in the original box.
    Jerry
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Hey! I'm not THAT senile.....yet! Sold the House rifle recently, and got a darn good price for it. Kinda hated to let it go since I've busted everything with it from squirrel to bear, but gotta put my house in order since I'm oldern' dirt!

    Uh...I do have a beautiful custom made John Gillespie .40cal flintlock I'll let you have at a very reasonable price! It's an exact duplicate of an original Gillespie that we found at home in the Mountains. And accurate! MOA over the log at 60 yards I guarantee! Let you have it at a VERY reasonable price well below market! (Need $$! Want to go to Berlin and hear the Berlin Philharmonic play Beethoven's 9th before my GD hearing is totally gone!)
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Jerry....I remember now! I gave it to my son and he has it packed away somewhere! He's in grad school down at the U of Texas....I'll call him!
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,754 Senior Member
    My first shotgun I owned was a Winchester Model 37 in 12 ga. I was about 14 at the time. About 10 years ago, I gave it to my nephew.

    I think a .410 is for expert shooters, not a beginners gun. Sure, it's light recoil, but has a miniscule and L-O-N-G shot column. For game, it will wound a lot. Not for pros, but young kids are apt to take questionable shots. My choice for a beginner would be a 20 ga. Light recoils, available in lots of shot charges. But a 12 was OK for me, and I'm recoil sensitive.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member East TexasPosts: 10,815 Senior Member
    I started with a H&R Topper, Jr. in .410, because I had thirty dollars and that's what I could buy ($28.50 NIB) that my dad would agree to.

    I never recall hitting a wing shot with it, but shot several rabbits and squirrels that weren't sitting still. I outgrew it at about 10-11 years old, because I started teal and duck hunting and moved up to a 20 gauge, and then a 12 gauge, a year later.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    My first experience with a 20 gauge was shooting at (not hitting) hand-thrown clay targets with a full-choked break-action single shot at about age 13. The dam thing stomped a mudhole in my shoulder and then stomped it dry! I'd much rather shoot a well-fitted 12 gauge than try a 20 that doesn't handle right. Perceived recoil is more about how well the gun mounts than the actual kick, at least up to field-load 12 gauge territory. The masochists who insist on shooting max-load 3" and 3 1/2" shells deserve the pounding they're about to get!
    Jerry
  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Eupora, MSPosts: 2,814 Senior Member
    I've got a 20 ga mod choke single shot that kicks and stomps. It hurts to shoot that thing.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Manistee Natl ForestPosts: 18,289 Senior Member
    If you are teaching a youngster to wingshoot, you want to give the kid every advantage early on...a .410 is a handicap the kid doesn't need. A 20 gauge will give them the opportunity to actually hit something (which the whole exercise is all about). A .410 belongs in the hands of an experienced wingshooter. That's why you hear all those stories about old guys with .410s killing buckets of birds... A .410 in the hands of an inexperienced shooter will cripple a hell of a lot more birds than they bag...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    The best ever 20 ga. I ever got to hunt with was a Winchester Model 12 with modified choke that belonged to my Granddad. It didn't kill your shoulder with recoil, pointed naturally, and was light enough for me (at 10 years old) to carry hunting quail on some long hunting trips through the farms and woods with my Dad and his friend from work. I loved that shotgun for dove hunting; it was a perfect fit for me and I could hit with it. When my Granddad died, my cousin got it.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member God's countryPosts: 4,646 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    If you are teaching a youngster to wingshoot, you want to give the kid every advantage early on...a .410 is a handicap the kid doesn't need. A 20 gauge will give them the opportunity to actually hit something (which the whole exercise is all about). A .410 belongs in the hands of an experienced wingshooter. That's why you hear all those stories about old guys with .410s killing buckets of birds... A .410 in the hands of an inexperienced shooter will cripple a hell of a lot more birds than they bag...

    I agree and didn't mean to imply that a .410 is best for beginners. I think a 12ga that fits them and patterns well is best with a similar 20ga a close second. Later when I started duck hunting I still only had that 20 so I learned to be patient, let them get close and aim for their heads. The ol' butt, belly, beak, boom technique. Occasionally I got to borrow a sweet 16 and an Auto 5. I have no idea what the chokes on those were. Then when I was 25 I got a 12ga 870 with interchangeable choke tubes. Then steel shot came along.
    End of stroll down memory lane.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Manistee Natl ForestPosts: 18,289 Senior Member
    There are so many light 12 gauge loads out there nowadays...a well fitting 12 bore will certainly fill the bill as well. My first shotgun was a 16 gauge....and were they more available nowadays, those could be my recommendation...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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