10 Best Youth Guns for Growing Hunters

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Hunting is a great and fun affair that parents can engage their children in. Unfortunately, most kids now don’t spend enough time outdoors to really appreciate how fantastic nature is and how hunting is a way of being one with it.

I spent most of my youth with my father hunting deer in Palmetto. This is something I still find great pleasure in today, though it is a bit diversified to different games. 

A great extent of success in hunting comes from having the right hunting gear. Luckily, several manufacturers have come up with guns for the youth that particularly suit the purpose. The firearms are light in weight and have a short pull, making them perfect for the youth and novice shooters.

Here are some of my favorite youth guns that has worked really well with my three kids and their friends:

The Best Youth Gun for Ultimate Comfort

Mossberg 500 | Youth Bantam Deer / Field

It is a shotgun equipped with two barrels. The 24-inch rifled barrel has adjustable sights while the 22-inch vent rib is interchangeable. 

The additional stock spacer allows for an extra inch of pull, while the blued finish protects it from rusting, thereby enhancing durability.

It is equipped with a tang-mounted safety slide on the side, which works well for right or left-handed shooters. The gun can stand up to one year of hard hunting. It has a nylon slip sling large enough to hold 25 shots in the elastic loops. The rubber features gripping prevents it from sliding on your shoulder. It ensures you can comfortably handle the weight.  


  • Excellent sling for carrying extra shells in a safe manner
  • Quality material
  • Unique rubber gripping
  • Holds numerous shots
  • Comfortable and lightweight to carry weighing only 6.25 pounds.


  • The security features aren’t well enhanced
  • Not durable hence recurrent costs

Best Youth Gun for Left-Handed Shooters

Savage | 11 XP Youth Combo

The Savage 11XP Youth Combo has a long outstanding reputation for better accuracy and comes in several youth-friendly calibers.  It has a short length of pull and comes with a scoop intact, therefore easy to mount. 

This gun suits all as a left-handed model is available. The barrel nut allows nut precise head spacing in your gaming. In turn, you can get the accuracy you deserve in the sport. It is light in weight, making it compact for the youth and novice hunters. Also, it bears a tang-mounted three position for safety and convenience. 

With one hand, you can easily adjust it to suit your needs. The Thumb loop for comfort works well for starters.


  • Comfortable to carry around
  • User friendly
  • Rubber thread technology which reduces noise
  • Heavy-duty swivels


  • It can be noisy, which isn’t suitable for hunting.
  • The metal buckle makes it heavy

Best Youth Gun for Training

CZ | 455 American Combo

The CZ 455 American Combo is yet another excellent gun for the novice and young hunters. It is ideal for target shooting, plinking, training as well as hunting small games like squirrels. It has no head spacing issues, and it comes equipped with everything you would need to move the rifle from one caliber to the exit in just a few minutes. With just scope and rings, you can quickly turn this to tack-driving and small game rimfire. 

The shotgun also features an adjustable trigger that you can adjust to your favorite position, hence convenient. 

Your safety can’t be taken for granted. Therefore, this youth gun comes with two safety positions to keep you secure.


  • High quality and durable
  • Has the  perfect dovetail receiver base
  • Security enhanced
  • An adjustable trigger


  • They are heavy hence cannot be carried for long distances
  • Flathead screws can be troublesome

Best Youth Gun for Short Range Shooting

Stoeger | M3020 Compact

This Stoeger M3020 shotgun robustly applies inertia-operated action. It is light in weight and reliable to a great extent, but only a few parts are movable. By virtue of lacking a gas system that requires frequent cleaning, you can be sure the device will serve you for years. 

It is an excellent composite and works well, hunting small animals and birds. The length has been reduced to make it light in weight, making it perfect for carrying. 

It works well for starters in the game and is suitable for shooting over short distances. 


  • Light in weight
  • Reliable
  • Few moving parts
  • Perfect shoots


  • The spring model is not well refined
  • It sometimes makes too much noise and can easily scare away your prey

Best Youth Gun for Small-frame Shooters

Thompson/Center Venture Compact Rifle

This is a perfect budget rifle suitable for the young hunter.  It is a compact and lightweight version made of silicon flex for convenience. It operates through a partially enclosed action, which makes it accurate. 

The 20-inch barrel comes equipped with riffling to prevent the bullets from damage. One fantastic feature about this gun is that it has five low coiling cartridges that make it a suitable companion for the youths, irrespective of the hunting game they want to pursue.

This compact rifle is made to withstand high temperatures making it suitable for hunting under harsh weather. The parts don’t get heated even in extreme temperatures. 

It can also hold two rounds of ammunition.

It makes it appropriate for long day gaming, as it won’t run out of bullets every time.


  • Can hold a large number of bullets 
  • Fits tight making it secure
  • Quick reloading


  • It is not suitable for beginners
  • Has recurrent costs

Best Youth Gun for Deer Hunting

Ruger 10-22 Rifle Compact

The American rifle has gained popularity among the youths as they pursue the hunting game.  This gun is way shorter than the usual rifles hence making it more manageable. 

It has a one-piece receiver with a full bold and three lugs, which comes in handy in reducing lift. The Ruger 10-22 also features adjustable triggers and a rotary cover magazine. Its accuracy is at par.   

Equipped with a ruler stock adapter, the rifle is accurate and efficient, and you rarely miss your target. 

The Compact pull makes it shorter and manageable during your gaming, making it suitable for starters.


  • Friendly to novice shooters
  • Has features that enhance accuracy when shooting


  • There are no safety features in place.

Best Youth Sports Shooting Gun

Vanguard WBY-X Volt

It is a trendy gun among youth hunters due to its superb accuracy. The gun has efficiency-enhancing features for the better sporting experience, such as the two-stage trigger. 

The firearm offers a great experience in a short-stocked youth manner that is available in the low-recoil chamberings. No matter the hunting experience you want to pursue, Vanguard WBY will work well for you. It is light enough to carry through the sporting trails but heavy enough to counter the recoil that would be sensitive to young shooters. 

To guarantee security for you, it has three-position safety. You can enjoy gaming using a secure youth gun.


  • Secured with the three-position safety
  • Comes with a high comb to mitigate recoil
  • It is lightweight and convenient for young shooters


  • It lacks advanced safety features 

Best Youth Gun for Small Game Hunting

Winchester| SXP COMPACT

It is one of America’s most versatile firearms available for young hunters who want to pursue hunting of small game such as rabbits, goose, and ducks.

It has a receiver made of aluminum, making it durable and light in weight. Also, it has a security mounted feature that is easily accessible. It has recoil pads meant to divert the recoil away from you. 


  • It is strong and durable 
  • Light in weight for convenience
  • It is secure
  • The Inflex recoil pad diverts the recoil 


  • It lacks accuracy enhancement features

Best Youth Gun for Bird Hunting

Remington 870 Express Compact Jr. Shotgun

It is ideal for young shooters and is suitable for novice hunters and shooters. The Remington 870 offers an adjustable length pull system that you can change as the shooter grows. It is best suited for waterfowl hunting.

The gun features an adjustable pull system allowing you to adjust accordingly, making it efficient for you to work at a comfortable length. 


  • You can easily adjust it to a length that is convenient for you.
  • It is durable and lightweight


  • Does not feature any accuracy enhancement features
  • There are no security enhancement features.

Best Youth Gun for Mid-sized Game Hunting

Savage Axis II XP Youth Centerfire Rifle

This gun has earned support due to its incredible levels of accuracy. It is equipped with bolt action as well as Accu trigger technology; it comes loaded ready for you to start your hunting expeditions. 

The Savage Axis is designed for young shooters. It has a shorter barrel and the length of pull, making it appropriate for starter youth hunters. It is perfect for hog hunting and as well as other smaller games. 


  • It comes loaded to shoot
  • The accuracy is well enhanced
  • It is perfect for starters
  • Light in weight


  • The security features aren’t well enhanced
  • It is not made of sturdy material

Slug Guns For Youths

What is a Slug Gun?

A slug gun is a heavy projectile usually fired from a shotgun and made of copper or lead. Mostly, slugs are effective for hunting large game such as elk and pronghorn.

What is the Best Slug Gun on the Market?

Mossberg 500 | Super Bantam Deer/Field

None of the modern and ancient slugs that I have come across can beat this double-barreled gun‘s versatility. It is a 20 gauge pump shotgun and comes with a stock spacer that allows 12-13 inches pull. 

The 24-inch barrel comes with sights that you can easily adjust, while the 21-inch barrel comes with removable choke tubes.

This gun also features a Mossy Oak Obsession camo dip to keep it concealed and protected from damage.

Similar to other Mossberg Pump guns, it has a tang mounted slide, assuring the user of ultimate safety. A fantastic feature I found with this particular slug is that it can accommodate both the left-handed and the right-handed shooters. 

This gun has been tested severally, and it has passed the test of durability. It can be your great hunting companion for years.

I happened to carry it into the woods for a couple of miles, and I didn’t even feel its effect on my shoulder. It is super light, weighing slightly above 5 pounds for an ultimate user experience.

  • Lightweight and convenient for young hunters.
  • It has safety enhancement features such as the tang mounted slide.
  • Suitable for both left-handed and right-handed people.
  • It is durable and can withstand harsh hunting conditions.

How Accurate are Slug Guns?

Their accuracy is dependent; they offer incredible accuracy when fired out of finer bores, up to 150 yards. After pulling the trigger, the slug expands as a result of rapid power ignition. This leaves no room for gases to escape.

Do I Need a Slug Barrel to Shoot Slugs?

For the smoothbore barrels, I would recommend the rifled slugs. The projectile may not revolve appropriately on a smooth barrel if the slugs are smooth.

In the same case, for a rifled barrel, choose a smooth slug for efficiency. 

The Best Choke for Slugs

For my slug, I prefer the cylinder choke or the improved version. This is because it tends to have a bigger diameter to accommodate and shoot the slugs effectively. Also, there is enough room, and this protects the shotgun barrel from damage, and at the same time protecting the shooter.

In this case, go for a choke tube that has little constriction or even none at all.

A Buyer’s Checklist: What You Need to Look out for When Buying a Youth Gun 

Enquiring about how to buy a gun can be overwhelming. With the varying styles and types of firearms out there, you will need to have the details to purchase a weapon that suits your needs.

Length of Barrel

Importantly, you should consider the length of the stocks and barrel. With longer barrels, you experience more control and stability while swinging your gun into position. Unfortunately, they are heavier and may interfere with the tight cover of the shotgun. 

Longer barrels prove useful when hunting in the open. Other shorter barrels may be helpful for shots at a close range. The stock and fore-end are either made of wood, synthetic version, or laminate.  


This will depend on personal preferences.  However, wood is more cumbersome and likely to scratch while in the field, although it’s preferable since it has a more attractive form.

Type of Gun according to Purpose: Rimfire vs. Centerfire

Centrefire rifles work better for larger animals. Their firing pin strikes the center of the cartridge to fire a bullet from the gun. Rimfire is a bit different in that firing pikes from outside the edge of the cartridge’s rim.

Nonetheless, rimfires are only found in small-caliber guns since they aren’t much reliable.

Size of Gauge

The smaller gauges are more powerful, with bigger gauges being less powerful. For instance, a ten gauge can pack a lot of power, and it recoils very hard when you shoot it. 28-gauge shoots won’t kick much at all. With that in mind, you need to look for a shotgun suitable with your hunting needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

12 Gauge vs. 20 Gauge: Which one is Better for Growing Hunters?

If you are a young shooter, you definitely need a smaller gun, and one with less recoil. In this case, a 20 Gauge has more recoil and is much heavier than the 12 Gauge. I would, therefore, recommend a 12 Gauge shotgun for a growing hunter.

In terms of energy, power, and speed, the 12 Gauge also tends to be more superior to its counterpart. 

Can I Buy a Gun for My Teenager? 

The minimum age for gun ownership in the US is 18 years. However, depending on the state, minors can still handle firearms for specified activities, such as hunting, ranching, or target practice. 

In Minnesota, for instance, a 14-year-old can be in possession of a long gun, if issued with a firearms safety certificate. If the certificate is not present, the minimum age is 16 years.

On the other hand, in a state like California, one has to be at least 21 years to be in possession of a handgun or long gun.

Despite all these exceptions, minors cannot purchase a gun by themselves. 

Centerfire vs. Rimfire: What is the Difference?

Centerfire ammunition is used for shotguns, rifles, and handguns. The primer of this type of ammo is centrally placed at the casing base, and most of them can be reloaded. On the other hand, you can find the rimfire’s primer on the casing’s rim.

Since the primer in a centerfire round is self-contained and suited for one function, it tends to be more reliable and accurate.

Do Slugs Damage Shotgun Barrels?

Absolutely not! Slugs are entirely safe and do not ruin your barrel. I would, however, recommend that you avoid shooting slugs through a full choke barrel.

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