Shotguns for Boys
Trap-shooting—that is, shooting clay birds thrown into the air by means of a trap—is the finest sport of the day, and if you are a real live boy you will certainly want to get in on it.
Until a few years ago the cost of a good reliable shotgun, its great weight, and the cost of the ammunition prevented a boy from indulging in this up-to-date sport, but now with a very moderate outlay you can get a good, cheap and light gun.
Now, a shotgun is different from a rifle in that it shoots a shell which contains a number of shot and this gives you a better chance of hitting your target than with a rifle. The barrel of a shotgun has a much larger bore than that of a rifle and it is also longer. The charge of powder in the cartridge is also larger and more powerful than that used in a rifle cartridge, and yet to make it light enough to use the barrel must be made of thinner steel than that of a rifle. For this reason you should be sure to buy an A1 high grade shotgun, for there is always danger in using a poor, cheap make.
There are so many makes of good guns on the market that it would be impossible for me to describe all of them here, but I will say this, that $25.00 is the least that you can buy a good double-barreled shotgun for of any make.
Shotguns are made in different bores, or gauges, and these are 10, 12, 16,20 and 28; the 10-gauge gun is the largest and most powerful and the 28gauge gun the smallest. The 12-gauge gun is the size most generally used by sportsmen, but it is too heavy and the recoil is too great for a boy to do accurate shooting with it. Instead, my boy prefers a 20-gauge Ithaca double-barreled gun, as it is safe, light and inexpensive, and it will just fit you too.
Although it shoots only two-thirds as many shot as the 12-gauge gun and weighs much less, the pattern is just as large and the penetration is just about the same. Owing to its light weight—5 1/2 pounds—and the light weight of the ammunition used in it you can get into action with this gun one-fifth of a second quicker than with a 12-gauge gun, and this is a great advantage, as some birds fly 20 feet in this length of time.
So you see that while the number of shot in the shell is not so great as in the shell of the 12-gauge gun, still you can hit your flying bird 20 feet nearer, and this more than makes it the equal in power of the larger gun. Taken all around, the Ithaca is an ideal gun for a boy, and I have found it equally good for myself.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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