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View Full Version : Help me Pick a Shotgun for the Misses


David the Gnome
September 11, 2009, 06:54 PM
My better half has decided she will go rabbit/bird hunting with me this fall and I need to get a shotgun for her. We went to the shop today and she tried a few full-size pumps (Remington 870 and Mossberg 500) but she was having a lot of difficulty reaching the front hand-guard comfortably. She's only 5'7" so it's looking like she'll need a youth sized model in order to find one that will fit her. Bud's has a youth model 870 21" 20 gauge but I had hoped to find her a decent 12 gauge. The only other way I think we might find a gun to fit her is if we went with an over/under or semi-auto setup where she could hold the gun further back.

Any ideas?

Quick Edit: She's making the decision, not me, I just need some options to give her (there's a lot of shotguns out there and most of them probably won't be suitable for her). I am completely open to 12-20-28 gauge or whatever the suggestion may be. My own gun is 12 gauge and it would simplify things if we could both shoot the same shot.

oneounceload
September 11, 2009, 07:01 PM
Try taking her to your local shotgun club and explaining your/her situation. See if they have different models to rent/try/borrow either from them or members there. I know a woman who is maybe 5' and shoots a regular-stocked gun that fits her - granted it is an O/U, but nonetheless, if any gun fits, she will LOVE shooting and have a good time. If it doesn't and slaps her hard, she won't go back.....(been there, done that)

Micropterus
September 11, 2009, 07:39 PM
Have her try on a Benelli Nova ladies/youth model 20 gauge. The Nova is an extremely comfortable and soft shooting gun. For rabbit/bird/clays/anything else, the 20 is just fine.

RNB65
September 11, 2009, 07:47 PM
12ga Remmie 11/87 or 1100. Take it to a gunsmith and get the stock cut down to fit her.

Shoot light target loads to keep recoil to a minimum. Teach her how to properly shoulder a shotgun. Start out a few shots at a time until her body learns how to handle recoil.

oneounceload
September 11, 2009, 08:34 PM
12ga Remmie 11/87 or 1100. Take it to a gunsmith and get the stock cut down to fit her.

Shoot light target loads to keep recoil to a minimum. Teach her how to properly shoulder a shotgun. Start out a few shots at a time until her body learns how to handle recoil.

First, Remington, (not Remmie), makes a youth stock

Second - you're assuming HE knows how to teach that aspect

Third - Bodies DON'T learn how to handle recoil. The effect is cumulative and not handled properly can lead to flinches and serious damage. Gun FIT is everything - if it doesn't fit, trying to "manhandle" the situation does nothing for her, except turn her off to shooting

RNB65
September 11, 2009, 08:56 PM
Gun FIT is everything

I agree that gun fit is critical, but bodies do indeed learn how to handle recoil. Even perfect gun fit will leave a sore shoulder until your body becomes acclimated to recoil and how to absorb it.

oneounceload
September 11, 2009, 09:13 PM
Unless you're shooting some magnum BS slug/buckshot/heman shells, perfect gub fit will NOT leave your shoulder sore......sounds like you've never had a gun that was fitted right...most folks never have and just assume that close enough is good enough and you just have to suck it up......that is SO wrong

vts
September 11, 2009, 09:49 PM
I think a H&R\New England Topper, 20ga is the perfect beginner shot gun.

Cheap, shoots well, light recoil and easy to carry all day.

Any most gunsmiths can fit it.

http://www.hr1871.com/Firearms/Shotguns/topper.asp

David the Gnome
September 11, 2009, 09:53 PM
What about this Browning BPS Micro 22"?

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/images/012225m.jpg

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?value=011B&cat_id=012&type_id=225

Maromero
September 11, 2009, 10:15 PM
Anything in 20. Beretta makes a Silver Pigeon o/u. A 1100 in 20 also.

Lee Lapin
September 11, 2009, 10:25 PM
First of all, IMHO you should let the missus pick out her own gun.

She's having to reach out so far on the guns she tried so far because the stocks are all way too long for her. She might also find that a steel receiver 12 gauge is too heavy for her to manage comfortably. If SHE likes the Youth model 20 gauge in the store... then let her shoot one somewhere and see if she still likes it. She doesn't HAVE to have a 12 gauge to kill a li'l ol' bunny wabbit, ya know.

And there's a Youth version of the 20 gauge 11-87 that would be nice, if recoil is a problem... if the family budget can handle it. Semiautos are pricier than pumpguns.

FWIW,

lpl

zippy13
September 11, 2009, 10:37 PM
Anything in 20…I beg to differ, IMHO: With the proliferation of light 12-ga loads, I would recommend against the 20-ga. Learn with a heaver (and recoil eating) 12-ga. It's much easier to load down a 12-ga than it is to load up a smaller gun. In the long run, the versatility of the 12-ga will be appreciated.

rjrivero
September 11, 2009, 10:41 PM
I shoot mostly 20 guage these days. It just fits better and swings well. If I had an opportunity to get a 28 ga, then I definately would. They pattern well, and swing like a dream. Just sayin.

zombieslayer
September 12, 2009, 03:11 AM
if she likes the youth 20, go for it. hell, i hunt rabbbit, squirrel, quail, dove, etc, with a .410 bolt action. I personally wouldnt hunt rabbit with 12ga, but to each his own

dalecooper51
September 12, 2009, 07:28 AM
I went through this a few years ago with an ex-girlfriend.

After shouldering and shooting a few guns, she had some ideas as what she liked but still wasn't really sure. We took a couple lessons together to get her shooting. After she was able to narrow down what she wanted, I picked up a nice used 1100 LT20 for her. I bought it from a gentleman at the gun club and had it fitted and added a pachmayr pad as it originally had a hard plastic butt plate. IIRC, I paid just over $300 for it.

Definitely let her make the choice. If you pick a gun for her and she's not a fan of it, neither of you will be happy and she won't keep shooting with you.

ArizonaRick
September 13, 2009, 09:21 PM
I have been a weekly shotgun shooter (sporting clays, trap, skeet, 5 stand) for the past 35 years and have always invested in the higher end over and unders. I bought my eight year old son a Mossberg Bantum 500 series shotgun in 20 ga and he master the gun very quickly. It has a 22" barrel (3 choke tubes), 5 shot capacity and 13" LOP stock. For $18 you can buy the adult sock. Due to the aluminum receiver, it is very light and "quick" and points quit well. Great for clays or hunting. My wife started shooting this gun and also loves the ergonomics of the design (tang safety & shorter reach for the pump. I bought it at Wal-mart for $139 three years ago and would highly recommend it to anyone for a beginers shotgun.

LanceOregon
September 14, 2009, 02:47 AM
A gas operated semi-auto will recoil much less, and thus be easier to teach her how to shoot.

Checkout the CZ 720 Youth Model. It is a 20 gauge with a 24 inch barrel. Great reliable and soft recoiling gas operated action. The action, chamber, and barrel are all even chrome plated, just like expensive shotguns.

And you can order one for only $383:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/37_588/products_id/18307

http://static.cz-usa.com/czusa/product-images/372/CZ-712_png_637x200_q85.png

David the Gnome
September 14, 2009, 09:40 AM
Thanks Lance that looks like something she might like. I'm not too sure how excited she is about the pump-actions. :p

Evyl Robot
September 14, 2009, 09:46 AM
With the proliferation of light 12-ga loads, I would recommend against the 20-ga. Learn with a heaver (and recoil eating) 12-ga. It's much easier to load down a 12-ga than it is to load up a smaller gun. In the long run, the versatility of the 12-ga will be appreciated.

I tend to mostly agree with this statement. 20's are great as well, though. In my house, we have two 12's, a 20, and a .410. The 20 was the first, because I wanted my wife to be able to shoot it. Since then, she's given it up for her own 12. If we had it to do all over again, we probably wouldn't have gotten the original 20. But, it's still a great gun, and we do shoot it from time to time as well.

Couzin
September 14, 2009, 11:40 AM
My wife (bless her short little arms...) has a Beretta 3901 RL 12ga that she picked out on her own (made so proud - her first gun...). Great fit for her and she can shoot it - wants to leave it to her grand-daughter someday (how's that for a twist). A little pricey at $850.00 to $1200.00 (depending on the seller) but a lot better than buying a gun and then hacking at the buttstock to attempt to make it fit.

JagFarlane
September 14, 2009, 09:31 PM
Hmmmm is there any chance you could give us a price range in mind?

Couple suggestions:

Browning Silver Micro (http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?value=020B&cat_id=011&type_id=375) 20ga, 26" barrel, semi-auto, weighs all of 6lbs.

BPS Micro Trap (http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?value=011B&cat_id=012&type_id=241) 12ga, pump action, 8lbs, 26" barrel

BPS Upland Special (http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?value=011B&cat_id=012&type_id=216) Just an off the wall thought, its about a 1/4" longer length of pull than the BPS Micro, however its available in 12ga, 16ga, and 20ga. The 12ga and 20ga are 22" barrels, two models of 16ga at 24" and 26". Both 16ga's and the 20ga weigh under 7lbs.

And since you're taking input as far as chambering, just gonna plug the ol' 16ga. Used to have one when I was a pre-teen to teenager and loved it. Just a little less power than the 12ga but that also means less recoil and still putting some more pellets in the air than the 20ga.

Good luck to her in her choice!

olddrum1
September 14, 2009, 10:53 PM
I've never had a problem finding a shotgun for the Misses, its finding a shotgun for the hits I have problems with.

Blackops_2
September 14, 2009, 10:58 PM
My mom shoots a 1100 skeet B 20 GA. She's about 45. Doesn't kick at all.

apr1775
September 15, 2009, 06:23 AM
My wife had the same issue with my home protection shotgun. She ended up choosing the Mossberg 500 youth and ladies size in 12ga. So now both home protection guns are basically the same model with different stock demensions and can use the same ammo. For sporting use there may be other considerations. My advice: take her gun shopping.

LanceOregon
September 15, 2009, 06:09 PM
That CZ 720 is definitely the most affordable decent semi-auto with reduced dimensions for a woman.

The Browning Micro Silver would definitely be a fantastic gun, but is way more expensive.

Other more expensive options that are slightly less expensive than the Browning Micro Silver are:

The Franchi 720 Short Stock:

http://www.franchiusa.com/firearms/images/720_short_stock_20ga_lg.jpg


The Franchi Model 48 AL Field Short Stock: ( this gun is sort of an improved and updated Browning Auto-5 )

http://www.franchiusa.com/firearms/images/48al_short_stock_20ga_lg.jpg

guns and more
September 15, 2009, 10:34 PM
I'm not a fan of the 20 ga. If you get her the youth model, it will have the recoil of a 12 ga. (due to the light weight.)
I'd say get her a .410 or just go with the 12 ga. and smaller loads.

A while back I recommended a 20 ga. for a lady friend, she bought the youth model for the fit, and she hates shooting it.

dabigguns357
September 16, 2009, 01:13 AM
I'll agree,let her pick the shotgun.My wife and i went through this back last year.I took my family on vacation and while there a friend took us out to the range with he and his wife,while there my wife expressed some interest when she saw my friends wife shooting.Next thing you know both women were out shooting shotguns and then i heard some thing that made my jaw drop,she loved it so much she wanted her own shotgun:D

After testing both a 20 g and a .410 she choose the .410 youth model,now she keeps it by the bed as her go gun if i'm away.

armsmaster270
September 16, 2009, 02:06 AM
My wife loves her Browning BPS Youth 20ga.

Evyl Robot
September 16, 2009, 02:15 PM
Check out my wife with her 12-gauge Defender! (http://entertainment.webshots.com/video/3069989160098336179bDXAXI?vhost=entertainment)

:D

David the Gnome
September 16, 2009, 10:32 PM
Well we're in luck because there's a gun show in town this weekend. I'll be taking her around the stalls and let her pick out one that fits her best. If we don't see anything we may order one of those CZ's.

LanceOregon
September 16, 2009, 10:33 PM
I'm not a fan of the 20 ga. If you get her the youth model, it will have the recoil of a 12 ga. (due to the light weight.)

I'd say get her a .410 or just go with the 12 ga. and smaller loads.

A while back I recommended a 20 ga. for a lady friend, she bought the youth model for the fit, and she hates shooting it.


Absolute nonsense!! Having a proper fitting stock is crucial to good shotgun shooting. If she is a petite woman, then a youth/woman's model shotgun would clearly fit her better.

A .410 is no where close to being either an effective hunting or self-defense round. And the ammo is way more expensive than 20 gauge ammo too. So the recommendation for a .410 is an extremely poor one to make.

Getting either the CZ 720 or Franchi 720 short stock models will be very easy shooting, due to their gas operated action. Both of these guns are 3" inch magnums, too. So one can get 3" magnum ammo with 12 gauge like heavy load performance if you want to.

--

roy reali
September 16, 2009, 10:45 PM
A .410 is no where close to being either an effective hunting or self-defense round. And the ammo is way more expensive than 20 gauge ammo too. So the recommendation for a .410 is an extremely poor one to make.


I couldn't agree more. Great reply!

darkgael
September 17, 2009, 05:47 AM
As fond as I am of the .410 bore, it is not a good recommendation in this situation - for the reasons already cited. It's an expert's gun, not a beginner's.
Pete

b.thomas
September 17, 2009, 07:31 AM
Remington 20 gauge 1100 youth model would be perfect!:D

LanceOregon
September 17, 2009, 03:39 PM
Remington 20 gauge 1100 youth model would be perfect!


Except that Remington has unfortunately discontinued production of that shotgun and no longer makes it.

So finding one is not going to be easy. I checked gunbroker.com, and there is one used one in real nice condition for sale there for $500

I own 4 Remington 700 rifles myself, and have mainly been a big fan of Remington products over the years. But the decisions that the company has made lately in discontinuing good products, and coming out with new products of rather dubious benefit and design, really has me wondering about the folks that are now calling the shots there.


--

David the Gnome
September 19, 2009, 08:57 PM
She ended up picking the Remington 870 in 20 gauge. I'm going to take her out next weekend and shoot some clay pigeons. Should be a lot of fun. :)