View Full Version : Sport Utility Shotgun for the lil' lady?

Runs With Scissors
September 4, 2005, 01:25 PM
My wife's searching for a new long gun and kickin' around quite a few shotgun/ rifle ideas around right now. She whouldn't be using it for ALOT of anything, but a little of everything. Goin' out and shootin' a few sportin' clays every now and then, maybe some ocassional bird and rabbit hunting, HD duty, and beating through the woods/ riding in the canoe for bear protection.

Here's the challenges- She stands about five six, normally proportioned except for tiny hands. She also has bursitis in her right shoulder and severe tendonitis in her wrists, so recoil management is DEFINITELY a huge issue.

needs to be 12 or 20

definitely preference for 22 or 24 inch BBL...although not a parameter written in stone.

five hundred dollarish price range

Pretty open on actions, O/U, autos being the most frequently mentioned with pumps and SxS hovering in the background. (try to talk her outta SxS, but she's drawn to them)

In the autos I'm considering Remington 1100s, 11-87, and suprprisingly I seem to hear good things about the EAA IZH-27's/ Spartan SPR 453.

For O/U we've found more EAAs, Spartans, and an Ithica 500 in state with a 30 in' BBL...like these here:


For pumps an 870 in 20 Ga. is the most logical choice...I've had my own 870 beside my bed at night since the day she's met me in 1992., and she's been around it ALOT, since it's one of my most beloved. Maybe I could find one with a straight grip? I'm really pushing for this one, familliar controls for her, 20 ga. can get extra barrels and parts for a reasonable price, and can get ported chokes for it. I think this one's a can' lose proposition myself....

flittering in the background would be one of the bottom eject pumps in case she finally decided to learn to shoot left handed due to her wrist and shoulder problems.

If she insists on a SxS I'll do my damndest to find a used Savage 311, but...once again she's drawn to them %$%^&!! Russian guns.

As you can tell we're all over the map on this one. Input and suggestions would be much appreciated.

September 4, 2005, 01:59 PM
stick with the 20 way too much recoil in 12 ga.the russian guns are acceptiable quality and cheap count your blessings she could want a fox

September 4, 2005, 02:44 PM
The lightest felt recoil is the gas-operated auto.

The pumps and break-opens are noticeably sharper thumping the shoulder.
The pump is a good repeater... but you must practice "doubles" a lot or you might "forget" to operate the pump for repeat shots under stress. :(

O/U's "feel" one barrel heavier in the front end. :rolleyes: If she insists on an O/U the Ithaca 500 is a nice piece. (Check me, but I think it was made by SKB.)

The Remington autos are excellent. :)

The 20 guage will be lighter weight and the felt recoil even better.

The 20 is possibly not the best choice for black bears and definitely not for bigger bears. A slug would be required in any case.

Does anyone know if there is a suitable slug/sabot available for the 20 guage?

I have a friend who shoots a 20 and she can "reach out" beyond the 16 yard trap house about as well as the 12's do. The farther back, the less effective the 20 and the 12's start to outshine the 20 more and more.

She's a better than average shooter, BUT clays are a lot easier to "kill". :rolleyes:

Runs With Scissors
September 4, 2005, 04:43 PM
Actually Brenneke makes three inch magnum slugs for the 20. I keep a couple of boxes in my range bag whenever I go out shooting clays in case I run across a blackie for the pot. (I usually shoot a Savage 311 in 20 myself, inspite of being a bigger guy...it's just what I grew up with, ya' know?)

I actually saw one last fall, but he was at least six hundred yards off and since I'd been in a car accident the previous week and still had my left knee full of stitches I let 'im live. (shooting him woulda been easy...packing the meat out, another matter entirely!)

The 20 aint a 12 when it comes to brownies, but it's better than most handguns, or my own 12 ga that she left at camp, ya' know?

I'm thinkin' yer right about the auto. Of course it's gotta be the spendiest option on the table...I shoulda figured.... :D

The EAA has it's own selfish reasoning...(so I could steal it and shoot 3.5 inch mags) :D

September 4, 2005, 09:45 PM
Hey runswithscissors, you could possibly get her a similar 870 as yours, and also in 12 gauge, i am 5'7 and i weigh 130 pounds, and im 18, pretty small for the average 18 year old, and i never had a problem, but i was really interested in knoxxs products, but couldnt afford them being a full time college student and working to pay for college, my dad bought me the knoxx copstock for my 870 in 12 and the recoil is comparible to a 28-410, and if your wife isnt into the whole folder, they make a full stock as well as they just started shipping the spec ops, i believe thats the best for what she wants, although she may not be into the "tactical" look, and if she doesnt like the standard look, you could always take the shotty to lauer custom weaponry and have them coat it in any one of 63 diff colors and a mix of camo aswell, just think, you can get your wife the same gun you love, put a knoxx product on it for recoil and have it coated all for under $500.

just my .002 cents.


September 5, 2005, 12:29 PM
Take a hard look at the Remington 1100 Youth with a synthetic stock. It meets all of your requirements, except it has a 21" barrel. I looked at one yesterday as a sporting/HD shotgun for my five-foot-nuthin' wife. VERY nice piece of work (the shotgun AND the wife :D ). Slugs and #3 buckshot rounds can be had for the 20 gauge. Basically, 20ga buckshot rounds offer 75% of the payload of a 12ga with about half the recoil. Where's the downside to that? Oh, and the 1100 Youth I looked at could be had for just under $500 out the door....

September 5, 2005, 02:14 PM
EAA and Interstate Arms (Norinco) both offer 20 ga. 20" barrel SxS coach guns. The EAA about $300, the Norinco about $150-$200. Both meet the majority of your requirements (except barrel length) without costing too much.
They are popular with the cowboy action crowd and seem to be decent, dependable guns. No fancy engraving or what-not, but it doesn't sound like you're worried too much about that.

September 5, 2005, 02:41 PM
What about the Saiga line of semi auto mag fed shotguns?

They have them in 12, 20, and .410.

Light recoil

Extremely durable

uses mags, so small hands wouldnt fumble with individual shells

Fairy cheap

Can get them with straight stocks

Easy to load (fairly large bolt knob)


Extremely reliable action

I believe they have 20-22 inch barrels, and can accept 3 inch shells.

Sounds like something you might want to look into.

Just for SAG, heres 2 links to the 12 gauge version on gunbroker.

Hope this helped :)

September 5, 2005, 10:00 PM
Remington 1100 LT 20ga, not nescesarily the youth model either. At 5'6" she is at the usable range of a standard stock length. Beretta 391 20 ga also a good choice.

September 5, 2005, 11:03 PM
Remington 1100 Youth model in 20". It's hard to find a gun softer than the 1100 and you can change barrel length/profile for under $200.

September 6, 2005, 12:26 AM
I'm voting with the Remington 870 20 gauge crowd.

I just picked up a used 870 Express 20ga 3" with a 21" barrel and standard stock a few months ago. Light, fast and smooth. I suspect it may have been a youth model and someone added a full size stock to it.

One caveat, however. If your 870 is a 12 bore and hers is a 20, see to it that there is NO WAY you can mix up the shells by accident, even in the dark. Some years ago a friend heard a noise in the night, jumped up and rammed 3 shells into his 870. When it turned out to be a racoon he unloaded the gun to find that he'd put a 20ga as #2 in the magazine instead of a 12! :eek: