A kid only gets one first gun, and this one is heirloom quality. The short-throw lever action cycles any mix of short, long, and long-rifle ammo.
This rifle in .308 is one of my personal favorite whitetail guns—but with a 121⁄2-inch length of pull, it’s a perfect fit for young shooters. It kicks a bit, so go with the .243.
This 20-gauge has an 18-inch barrel, interchangeable chokes, and a 3-inch chamber. Your kid can use it for everything from doves to gobblers.
Muzzleloaders teach kids how a gun works—bullet, powder, primer—and the importance of a clean first shot while hunting. This in-line is easy to clean, has good open sights, and is a tackdriver.