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Here Are Our Picks for the 6 Best Youth Hunting Rifles and Shotguns

Best Youth Hunting Rifles and Shotguns
Getty Images: ElviK

Introduce a young hunter with any of these youth hunting rifles and shotguns for a smooth transition. 

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Growing up with BB gun nearby shooting starlings in the backyard, I can vividly remember making the transition from a BB slinger to my first gun: a 20 Gauge Remington 870 with a trimmed down stock to personally fit me. It was one of the most intimidating things in my young life as an 8-year-old. With the trimmed down stock and coaching of my dad, everything worked out great.

Of course, this happened before youth guns were readily available for young aspiring outdoorsmen.

However, the smoother that transition is, the more likely a young shooter will become a steward to the sport of shooting and hunting. As adults, having a gun fit properly is a big deal when shouldering different styles in a store. The same goes for youth shooters. We like to look for something in a low recoil chambering that is also a highly accurate rifle or shotgun.

With the help of firearm manufacturers, we can now list the best youth hunting rifles and shotguns.

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1. Remington 870 Express Compact Jr. Shotgun: $349.99

Youth Shotgun

If I was a young shooter and could hand pick my first shotgun, the Remington model 870 would be near the top of the list. It typically retails in the $350 range, depending where it's bought, and offers an Adjustable Length of Pull System to change as the shooter grows. This gun is perfect for waterfowl and turkey hunting.

2. Savage Axis II XP Youth Centerfire Rifle Package: $385.99

Savage Arms

Savage has earned my support with their deadly accurate bolt-action rifles and AccuTrigger technology. This great youth .243 can be found as a package and comes ready to shoot. The rifle is designed for smaller shooters with a shorter barrel and length of pull, and it's the perfect starting rifle for youth hunters. The recoil pad will also help nervous youngsters handle what little kick there is with this platform.  The .243 youth rifle would be perfect for deer hunting and other various smaller game animals like prairie dogs, coyotes, or even hogs.

3. Keystone Crickett 22 Synthetic Rimfire Rifle: $115.99

youth 22 rifle

Crickett has built a name that is often associated with a shooter's first youth model rifle. Crickett boasts a lifetime warranty, which says a lot when most of the shooters could have the gun for decades. For new shooters, a .22 rimfire is going to be perfect for small game while being a non-intimidating introduction to the shooting sports.

Sportsman's Guide

The Keystone 22 rifle comes in various styles for all young shooters. The rifles retail well under the $200 mark and offer an affordable option for adults who want to introduce a youngster to the sport of shooting.

4. Mossberg 500 Bantam Field/Deer Shotgun Combo: $389.99


Next on the list, is a package that includes a field and deer barrel kit for young shooters who want to dive into everything hunting has to offer. The Bantam has an EZ- Reach forearm that allows for easier and smoother cycling. On Cabelas, this gun can be picked up for $349.99.

5. Winchester SXP Compact Field Pump-Action Shotgun: $345.99


This compact pump-action shotgun comes with three Invenctor-Plus choke tubes and Inflex Technology. Inflex Technology helps with recoil and directs it away from your cheek and decreases flinch and fatigue. This is a great feature for young hunters who are just being introduced into youth shooting shotguns.

6. Thompson/Center Venture Compact: $479.99

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This rifle is accurate and comes in an array of caliber sizes. The composite rifle comes in .22-250, .223 Remington, .243, .308, 7mm-08 offering plenty of decision making power. The rifle offers a 12 1/2" pull, 1" synthetic spacer and butt pad and even an adjustable trigger. It would work great as a first whitetail deer rifle or big game hunting rifle.

Gun safety is more important than anything when introducing the future generation of hunters and shooters. Remember to practice gun safety and lead by example.



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Here Are Our Picks for the 6 Best Youth Hunting Rifles and Shotguns