View Full Version : Blessed and Cursed. Help!(long post)

February 3, 2002, 05:08 PM
My wife just told me that she wants to get a bird dog for a family pet, trialing, and hunting. I grew up dong this with English Pointers, so I am feeling like the luckiest guy alive (she loves animals and wants a dog, I don't unless it's a bird dog...it took awhile to get to this point). This is the blessing. She also understands that she will need to learn to shoot a shotgun, which is also good. And, she has gotten my daughter excited about the whole program. Cool, aye? The curse(and here is where I would like to hear some opinions)? I want to get them started off right so they both enjoy the sport, and I don't want to screw up this one window of opportunity. Any recomendations on how to "ease them in" the fun way? Note: Wife is 5'7", medium build, left-eyed and able to shoot left handed. Daughter is a large 11 year-old, right handed. One gun that they could share to start would be nice, we can expand later. Or not? Money is a factor of course, but I think I could be happy and poor if my family is shooting and raising bird dogs with me.

Al Thompson
February 3, 2002, 06:21 PM
Twix, frankly I would encourage you to take yourself out of the training equation - mainly with your wife. Switching roles from partners to teacher/student is incredibly stressfull. I won't even teach couples to shoot if there is anyway I can avoid it. Rather teach oe at a time.

Fid a good skeet/trap/sporting clays range and ask about an instructor. Check references and hire the person.

Way cheaper and more successful in the long run.

Hardware? Proably a repeating 20 ga of some sort. Not much junk out there, we just like to debate the number of angels capable of dancing on a pin head and pick a few nits.


Chuck Graber
February 3, 2002, 07:14 PM
Getting a gun that will fit both your wife and daughter is going to be a challenge, especially since there is one lefty and one right handed shooter. I would suggest that you get a symetrical gun that has no cast-off. Beretta and Benelli both have shimm systems that sets the cast off of either a right handed or left handed shooter. You don't want to have to change the shimms every time you change shooters. My recommendation is a Remmington. Either the 1100 or the 11-87 should do nicely. You can find them used for reasonable prices. For your wife and daughter the Rem would also have another advantage in that it is one of the lightest recoiling guns on the market. I would also look into buying a 20ga. These guns are lighter than 12ga. autos and women like this.

Kansas has a program that is called "Becomming an outdoors woman". This is a network of instructors that put on workshops on shooting, hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. Many if not most of the instructors are women and this makes the novices feel more comfortable. I would suggest that you check if there is any comparable organization in your area.

When you finally decide to take them hunting, make sure that you do plenty of scouting. While they don't need to limit out, they should both get some shots on game. Not seeing any birds on your first outing is a real good way to dampen enthusiasm.

Chuck Graber

Dave McC
February 3, 2002, 07:43 PM
The guys nailed it. Best if others do the teaching, which is far different from just shooting. Pop was one of the best wingshots I ever saw, but he didn't know why he was good, and was unable to pass it on to me. I started shooting well 15 years after I started hunting.

I doubt using one gun will work for both Wife and Daughter, just based on stock fit.Chances are your wife can use something close to a standard stock, but Daughter will need something on the order of a 11" LOP.

She won't stay that way, so think about this....

First, get daughter a little single shot. if you're not reloading, make it a 28 or 20 gauge and use the lightest loads you can find for starters. Have someone who knows how fit it to her, with a good pad.She be able to handle a shotgun this light, but kick goes up as the weight drops. So light loads. If you reload, get a 12 gauge and use the superlight loads in the Lyman book.

Meanwhile,let your wife look over some shotguns at the shops, and let her pick out the one she wants. Again have her fitted, and leave when she gets her lessons.

And, since women often have better eye hand co-ordination and balance,take direction better, be prepared to get outscored.


February 3, 2002, 10:04 PM
Nuther thought.
12ga fitted to the youngun, nuther thicker recoil pad for momma. Quick switch. Or adjustable reach, like a try gun.

Either load very light or use international trap loads.

I seem to recall that Kim Rhode was usin a 12 when she was bout that age and she wasn't big for her age.

Maby even a Dave McC recoil reducer in the buttstock.

I think it is easier to get low felt recoil with a 12 than with a 20.

Grew up with a Parker 20 and had been shotgunnin for several years before I tried a superposed 12.......hated that hard kickin little 20 ever after.

I was raised by a Pointer.

Sam......just an ol man mutterin.

February 4, 2002, 04:30 AM
twix ,

If ever there was a man with a perfect excuse to get a 28 ga O/U,
you have to be him .

You can say that for eye-safety neither, of the women in you life,
should have a dangerous hull flashing across her face spitting
fumes , debris , - - - what ever , YOU care too much about their safety to consider that .

Oh , and remember , don't shoot without eye protection .

Lucky , Lucky , Lucky . Hawkaaa53

Captain Bligh
February 4, 2002, 07:22 AM
A nice bottom ejecting/loading pump in 20 gauge might kill two birds w/ one stone. Perhaps an Ithaca?


February 4, 2002, 10:13 AM
A used Beretta 686 in 28 ga is just the ticket for your daughter. Possibly a 20 GA 1100 for the wife. Wife is a lefty, Daughter is righty if I read your post correctly. You will not be able to use one gun for both!

Changing out stocks is a royal PITA with most guns, and cast off/on will be different for both ladies.

Let them try several different guns to se what they like. You might be shocked when they start hinting for a nice spanish SXS.

But what do I know :D

February 5, 2002, 09:02 PM
Thanks to all! You have confimed most of my thoughts and gave me a couple of new ideas. 1- we will find an instructor 2-my wife can pick her own gun. While I love the idea of the 28 GA, practicallity suggests a 20 semi-auto. I did a little preliminary shopping today, and I'm afraid that it will take two guns for wife and daughter. I failed to mention that there is a boy that will need to follow his sister. The good news is that the probably best shotgun club in our state is very close. I think we will pay a visit and ask about instructors and smiths who cn help us fit a gun. If Gene Hill could see, do you think he'd approve?