I don't know about others, but nothing to compensate for here. I do believe those who question this may just be afraid of a little blast and recoil? Anywho, I love my DE. Practical? Nope but ton's of fun!
As for your son, how old is he? How large is he? You do have to have fairly large hands as the grip is big in order to contain the 50AE cartridge. Recoil is pretty stiff and there's a lot of muzzle blast. Shoot it on a cloudy day or indoors and there's a great fire ball too!
I've heard the newer ones are not made well, mine is over 15 years old and made by Magnum Research. I have about 700 rounds through mine and just love shooting it and watching others shoot it for the first time.