View Full Version : Lady's first shotgun for skeet

Dan in GA
November 27, 2000, 12:54 AM
My wife is very eager to get into skeet, and has asked me to get her a shotgun for christmas. I don't own a shotgun myself, so I'm looking for some TFL opinions on the right shotgun to get a woman that is interested in taking up skeet shooting. So far, i've come up with the following requirements:

1) Purchase price under $1000
2) 20 gauge only
3) 2 3/4" bore only
4) skeet choke included
5) no pump shotguns

Remember that this is a starter shotgun for a lady that has limited experience with shooting in general. I'm going to sign her up for some lessons at my gun club, and want to get her a decent firearm to start with. Semi-autos are okay as well as over/unders, but I assume that the only over/unders I can get in this price range will be used. Purchase price WELL UNDER $1000 is okay as long as it's a decent shotgun and is in fact preferable :). Thanks to all for your input......Dan in GA

Dave McC
November 27, 2000, 07:29 AM
First,take the lady to a range and let her try out some different shotguns and see what she likes. THEN,get her one.

I suggest trying a Remington 1100 in 20 ga. Available, durable, and parts are around if needed.

In O/Us,the Ruger Red Labels are popular, tho I regard them as a bit heavy in gauge and the balance isn't quite where I'd like it to be.

If you can find one of the Winchester 101s, or an older SKB in the Skeet models, she might like those.

Steer clear of the foreign made jobs for now, unless you know something about shotguns, you can get royally $%^&*ed.

November 27, 2000, 08:30 AM
Dave's advice is, as usual, right on the mark. Beg, borrow, rent as many different guns as you can to determine what she likes.

When I went through this with my spouse, I learned she didn't like heavy guns but recoil wasn't the problem she had originally feared. Even though lighter guns will seem to kick more with shells of equal power, most women I know prefer a lighter gun.

The semi has a lot to recommend it unless you intend to reload (It's a pain chasing hulls and some clubs won't allow you to pick up hulls off the ground.) The Remington 1100 and the Beretta A391 are personal favorites but the Browning Gold is also worth a look. Don't worry about a 2-3/4" chamber. Most guns are coming with 3" these days but will handle the shorter shells without problem. If the gun doesn't come with a choke specifically market "skeet" a cylinder or improved cylinder will do just as well.

old man
November 27, 2000, 02:10 PM
The Remington 1100 skeet bored gun is just about the right ticket for a begining shooter.

Dan in GA
November 27, 2000, 11:06 PM
Thank you all for your replies. I was leaning towards the Remington 1100 Sport, but wanted to know the opinions of TFLers such as yourself before I narrowed the list of possibilities. I looked at the Lady Gold as well, but it's only offered in 12 gauge and I believe my wife should start with a 20 gauge to ensure that recoil does not affect her experience in a negative way. Your suggestion to see if there is an opportunity to try a few different shotguns at the range is a good one and I will follow up with my gun club before I drop any cash on the counter. Thanks again to all of you for your input.....Dan in GA

November 28, 2000, 10:31 PM
I believe the 11-87 is offered in 20g now and you may want to try and locate an upland special. Straight stock and 23" barrel. Be still my heart.
If I can find two or three I'll let you know. (My wife wants one and if I can't borrow it I might need two of 'em.)

December 1, 2000, 08:55 PM
My suggestion would be a Remington 1100 20 gauge...the "Youth Model" if your wife is slight-of-stature[say 5-5 or shorter] or the standard version if she's not. We started my Wife off with a "Youth Model" 1100, and its been very satisfactory!!! Good Luck!!!....mikey357

Al Thompson
December 1, 2000, 09:10 PM
Hey Dan, if your shooting at Pinetucky, drop me an email.

FWIW, I strongly agree with the 1100 20 ga.


December 2, 2000, 06:22 AM
I think you are dead on going with a gas operated auto (for recoil reduction and sighting plane reasons). If there is a concern over recoil (read, depending on your wife's toughness) address it early and carefully. I made the mistake of letting my wife shoot a light 20 sxs that didn't fit her well with a heavy loads as her first shotgun experience and think it was the dumbest think I've ever done in my life!!!
I would say make sure the gun fits well (youth/ladies model if appropiate) and start with a lighter load (only if you reload, alot of 3/4 oz promo loads make up for lighter loads with higher velocities and that adds back the recoil). Also, start with easy targets (skeet low 7) and work up slowly so she starts with a good positive experience. Missing for a beginner is very frustrating because you don't know where you shot. Hitting on the other hand....
I would even consider a 28 ga. Recoil will be no issue and yet the cartridge has good performance (unlike the 410, in my mind a gun for experts, not beginners!!!!!). If you do, save your hulls, shells are so expensive you may want to consider reloading if 28 is her guage.


Bam Bam
December 2, 2000, 06:57 PM
Franchi makes a highly regarded 20ga semi. It is the lightest 20ga around. As an italian made gun it is very pretty. Yes, I am really saying that. Being light is good and bad. Your wife can get a vest with a pad to absorb some recoil. Ask around your club if anyone will let her shoot one. Maybe she can handle one in the local store and see how it fits her. She might like how pretty it is, too.

hmmm, is this guy infatuated w/ the Franchi AL 48 20ga at the local shop...?