Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

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Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby JTracyII » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:59 pm

My question is for the lefties in particular or folks with lefty friends. Do you shoot a right handed semi shotgun with right handed safety? How big a deal is the shell ejecting across face and safety being on the wrong side? It seems like many online left handed people believe it is no big deal to shoot a right handed semi and have been doing it for years. I'm also wondering if it might be better for my son to get used to a right handed safety since almost every other pistol, shotgun, and rifle is built with a right handed safety, simply for consistencies sake?
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby mtlhdr » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:42 pm

I'm right handed, but left eye dominant and thus shoot left-handed. I shoot a right-handed shotgun but I flipped the safety. I put the safety on and off without even thinking about it at this point, which makes me think I could have easily learned to handle a right-handed safety. But having the safety swapped felt much better in the beginning. I've never had a problem with the right eject across my face with the shotgun but I always wear eye protection. I did one time have a weird experience shooting the 10/22, must've been an over-loaded round (I don't even know if that's possible with a 22LR), because it really cracked and I got what felt like a bunch of unburned powder across my face. Good reminder to always wear glasses. Re the pistol, never had a problem and always leave the safety in the right-handed position.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby Willie T » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:10 pm

Lefty here. I will give you my thoughts:

Shell ejecting in front of face, no big deal.

Gas operated that vents out of the ejection port is a big deal. Frequent burnt powder, often still hot, in the eye sucks.

Tang safety is ambidextrous and works great. Right hand safety on trigger guard sucks. It absolutely will cause the shooter to delay or miss good shot opportunities or worse yet, cheat by disengaging the safety early because It has defeated him in the past. Some safeties can be flipped and others require purchasing a left hand button to reverse. Highly recommended and what I do to my autos to allow disengagement on the mount.

Neutral cast stock works. Left hand or “cast on” stock is the bees knees. Neutral stock or one factory equipped with adjustable shims is the way to go. Right hand or “cast off” stock is a deal killer for a lefty.

Left hand autos are a better option. I shoot right hand autos that I tweak for my left handedness without issue.

Over time I have migrated to left hand stocked over unders but that is a pricey route for a shotgun your son will quickly outgrow.

Best wishes finding a workable solution. If you want advice or have questions regarding particular models, feel free to PM me

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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby JTracyII » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:21 pm

I assume inertia driven would be better than gas about not causing stuff getting into eyes?
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby Willie T » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:56 pm

JTracyII wrote:I assume inertia driven would be better than gas about not causing stuff getting into eyes?


Probably, but for a young shooter, gas operated semi automatic is a great option. They shoot noticeably softer, which is more conducive to a young shooter staying in the gun. For the purpose of softer recoil for a left hand youth, a gas gun like a beretta, that vents through the forearm would be my first choice. Inertia driven would be my second choice.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby mtlhdr » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:25 am

Willie T wrote:For the purpose of softer recoil for a left hand youth, a gas gun like a beretta, that vents through the forearm would be my first choice.

For the record, I shoot a low-end Beretta (3901) autoloader and love it.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby JTracyII » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:59 am

mtlhdr wrote:
Willie T wrote:For the purpose of softer recoil for a left hand youth, a gas gun like a beretta, that vents through the forearm would be my first choice.

For the record, I shoot a low-end Beretta (3901) autoloader and love it.
Willie T wrote:
JTracyII wrote:I assume inertia driven would be better than gas about not causing stuff getting into eyes?


Probably, but for a young shooter, gas operated semi automatic is a great option. They shoot noticeably softer, which is more conducive to a young shooter staying in the gun. For the purpose of softer recoil for a left hand youth, a gas gun like a beretta, that vents through the forearm would be my first choice. Inertia driven would be my second choice.
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I've looked at the Beretta's for both he and I. I am attempting to sell off a few items to try to grab an A400 Xtreme, hence, me listing my Alpha handheld on this forum. I will take a look and see if there are any youth Beretta's around.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby JTracyII » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:12 am

Just looked at the Beretta A400 Lite. Its got a GunPod 2 feature allowing you to capture moments on your hunt via smartphone. I'm not too sure what to think about this. Don't think I like it. Something else to go wrong and not work.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby JTracyII » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:35 am

Willie T wrote:If you want advice or have questions regarding particular models, feel free to PM me

Willie T



I'd be interested in your and others suggestions. You can either PM them to me or post here if you wish. Others may be interested in your reply as well. I have looked at pretty much every option on market. Thinking about the Benelli Montefeltro or Franchi Affinity as well as the M2, but the latter seems quite pricey for a first gun in 20 that will eventually be replaced by a 12, most likely. My buddy went with the Montefeltro Compact for his son. In thinking about that option it seems sound. Hard to determine if its possible to change the safety for left handed use, but I have found it difficult to find info on that online. The reason the Montefeltro compact in wood makes since to me is this...Like I said earlier the 20 will likely eventually be replaced by a 12. When that happens he would have a sweet little 20 in wood (adult stock can be added once older) for upland use if he prefers. The Montefeltro is said to take more time to clean than others. I am not stuck on the Benelli's. Never owned one actually. I'm open to other brands and less high quality models as well for his first gun.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:39 am

JT2, The Monte is a nice gun. I have shot an adult size 20 a Friend owns and it is a very nice handling gun. I have 3 inertia operated Benellis and like em. They are all simple and quick to clean, (but I seldom do and they keep running). All have been trouble free for me.

I bought my Nephew a youth model Remington pump express 20 gauge, years ago and it worked out really well. He was allowed only one shell for awhile. A pump seemed safer than an auto. 3 inch chamber and screw in chokes allowed him to hunt everything from doves, quail, pheasants, ducks and turkeys with one gun that fit him well. He learned to shuck the pump gun in short order once we moved to loading the magazine.

I just looked at this Mossberg youth model pump. It has a top tang safety as a plus for a lefty. https://www.mossberg.com/category/serie ... 0-505-510/

Just clicked on the model dropdown and I see it is offered in a left hand youth model! Might be just what you are looking for.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby Dmog » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:05 pm

I would throw out a suggestion to skip the 20 gauge and go right to the 12 gauge Remington V3. So many factory ammo choices. I own two V3's one for the wife/daughter and one for waterfowl. They both cycle low recoil AA loads like a dream. Easy to change the stock on the synthetic and Remington only charged $32 for a 13.5" LOP stock and put it on the 26" barrel. Safety is reversible and you can get them new for under $600 if you watch for sales. Pay a little more and you can get the compact V3 and add the longer stock later and have a 22" barrel. I just sold a Bantam Mossberg SA-20 and other than weight, the V3 with low recoil was similar to felt recoil to the Mossberg SA-20 gas and was more reliable. V3 has less recoil than the Stoeger M3020 which I shoot. It is inertia and will cycle most of the 7/8oz stuff and is one of the sharpest kicking shotguns I own due to its light weight. My Franchi Affinity 12gauge to me actually has less felt recoil than the Stoeger M3020. More of a pushing sensation from the 12's than the 20's which feels like, well a kick...

btw...the Franchi Affinity 12g will not cycle the low recoil AA...tried it for the fun of it!
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby Willie T » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:15 pm

Like AG suggested, a pump 20 ga 870 is what I started with. My grandpa first drilled the butt plate screws deeper, then cut the stock down so it fit me. He also installed a left hand safety button. A reversible safety button is available at midway. I successfully hunted everything from rabbits, squirrels, and quail, all the way up to Canada geese. He saved the piece he cut off. When I grew, with the pre drilled holes, longer screws in the butt plate was all it took to put it back with a perfect fit. Depending on his size you may need to cut down his stock for the proper LOP. I learned to wing shoot with that old wingmaster and had a lot of special times. It looks like hell now but back in the day you would have thought I was carrying a Perazzi.
If you are set on a semi auto, a used 20 ga beretta 390 is left hand friendly and really fits the bill. The stock comes with 2 spacers and the LOP is adjustable from 13” to 14 1/2” so the gun can grow with your son. They came with shims to adjust cast and drop that can be reversed to accommodate setting up for a lefty. The safety button is reversible. It is gas operated and vents at the front of the forearm away from the face. I shoot a right hand 390 and love it. A youngster is not going to handle his first firearm gently. Starting with one that already has some character marks will make it easier to focus on safety and learning to shoot without being overly concerned by rough treatment and devaluation.
If over under shotguns are on the table, a cherry little 20 ga browning micro Midas citori can be had for the same money as a mid tier semi auto. I see a lot of small statured 4H kids shooting them.

Fit should be a large part of what you choose for your son. A shotgun that fits him well will not beat him up. He will learn to shoot it a lot easier if it does not punish him. Keep the barrels to 26” or shorter so a youngster can mount and handle it quickly. Don’t break the bank on a first shotgun. When he goes through puberty he will likely outgrow it. He WILL scratch the crap out of it.

My son was a tall lanky right hander. I started him with a cut down little 1100 28 ga. When he grew I put a full size stock on it. Still his favorite upland shotgun to this day.

Good luck in your search. You guys have a lot of good times in front of you.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby JONOV » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:07 pm

AverageGuy wrote:JT2, The Monte is a nice gun. I have shot an adult size 20 a Friend owns and it is a very nice handling gun. I have 3 inertia operated Benellis and like em. They are all simple and quick to clean, (but I seldom do and they keep running). All have been trouble free for me.

I bought my Nephew a youth model Remington pump express 20 gauge, years ago and it worked out really well. He was allowed only one shell for awhile. A pump seemed safer than an auto. 3 inch chamber and screw in chokes allowed him to hunt everything from doves, quail, pheasants, ducks and turkeys with one gun that fit him well. He learned to shuck the pump gun in short order once we moved to loading the magazine.

I just looked at this Mossberg youth model pump. It has a top tang safety as a plus for a lefty. https://www.mossberg.com/category/serie ... 0-505-510/

Just clicked on the model dropdown and I see it is offered in a left hand youth model! Might be just what you are looking for.


Personally I'm not really a fan of the 870 youth models. In college we had a Trap Club and the club owned one for new shooters. I always thought it was a disservice to those learning to shoot; the recoil pad was hard and the design seemed to amplify the kick in a way that other guns didn't. And while a lot of kids are going to be too excited to notice the recoil consciously, they may develop a flinch unconsciously.

I guess I'd see how different options fit your son as best you can.
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Re: Youth Shotgun for a Lefty Son

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:17 pm

JONOV wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:JT2, The Monte is a nice gun. I have shot an adult size 20 a Friend owns and it is a very nice handling gun. I have 3 inertia operated Benellis and like em. They are all simple and quick to clean, (but I seldom do and they keep running). All have been trouble free for me.

I bought my Nephew a youth model Remington pump express 20 gauge, years ago and it worked out really well. He was allowed only one shell for awhile. A pump seemed safer than an auto. 3 inch chamber and screw in chokes allowed him to hunt everything from doves, quail, pheasants, ducks and turkeys with one gun that fit him well. He learned to shuck the pump gun in short order once we moved to loading the magazine.

I just looked at this Mossberg youth model pump. It has a top tang safety as a plus for a lefty. https://www.mossberg.com/category/serie ... 0-505-510/

Just clicked on the model dropdown and I see it is offered in a left hand youth model! Might be just what you are looking for.


Personally I'm not really a fan of the 870 youth models. In college we had a Trap Club and the club owned one for new shooters. I always thought it was a disservice to those learning to shoot; the recoil pad was hard and the design seemed to amplify the kick in a way that other guns didn't. And while a lot of kids are going to be too excited to notice the recoil consciously, they may develop a flinch unconsciously.

I guess I'd see how different options fit your son as best you can.


Maybe so. I have a short barreled 870 12 gauge which I keep outside the safe for swift access to a gun when a varmint needs to be dispatched. It kicks horribly but 10 minutes installing a Limbsaver would remedy it if I used the gun enough to motivate me to address it.

The left handed youth model Mossberg warrants a hard look unless a pump gun is off the table. Feature rich, versatile (like our dogs) great value.
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