View Full Version : HD Shotgun for Mama

July 22, 2012, 10:16 PM
Considering This

Background is as follows. She is a long time libral teacher who has been deathly afraid of firearms for her entire life. I got my love of guns and freedom from my old man. Recent events have her shooting with me and considering a firearm for Hd. She is a small woman under 5 feet tall and just barley over 100 lbs.

I dont think she will ever carry so a youth sized shotgun for the house might be the best option. Does anyone here have specific expirence with this model? Other suggestions are welcome.

Regards, Vermonter

July 22, 2012, 10:57 PM
My Mom suddenly passed last November and while I love her and did love her, she wasn't "stable" enough to have a gun unfortunately lol.

However if I WERE to give her ( say things were simply so bad she had HAD to have one) the shotgun would have had to been .410 , 12 gauge is simply OUT of the question, and 20 gauge probably would have still been too much.

But with that fancy load of Winchester PDX-1 being made in .410 now, I would probably just get her a .410 with plenty of PDX-1 and maybe Remington HD Ultimate Home Defense shells.

And I'd probably get her the Saiga 410 for ultimate shooting ease, probably the softest shooting cause its a 410 Semi-auto gas operated, nothing to do.. I'd make sure she knows how to use it but basically would have her load it up, put the safety on, and keep it somewhere hidden but accessible. Also I would consider a Mossberg, I'm seeing a "500 HS410" Home Security 6 Shot 410 shotgun that looks like a mom type weapon.

Now everything I just said is of course purely hypothetical. I have no experience that I could actually claim with her, but it's what I WOULD have done if I was going to get her one.

July 22, 2012, 10:59 PM
In my mind, the gun isn't so much at issue, but more if she has the necessary mindset to actually use it on a human being. That can be a tough nut to crack... which sometimes only constant repetitive training can begin to overcome.

Best wishes,

July 23, 2012, 07:15 AM
That gun may be a good choice for her. Another one to consider is the remington 870 youth 20 gauge (13" LOP) or the 870 youth Jr. 20 gauge (12" LOP, available only though Gander Mountain). I bought the 870 youth Jr for my grandson. At 4'7"/65 pounds he has no problem handling and shooting it.

Lee Lapin
July 23, 2012, 12:30 PM
Kathy doesn't get into long guns a lot, but introduce your wife to www.corneredcat.com anyway. It should be a big help.

There are any number of guns that will work. If you can, let her try one of the Mossbergs on for size at a local gun store, and let her handle other options as well. Also consider a pistol caliber carbine.

July 23, 2012, 12:52 PM
My wife is 5' and can't shoulder my standard 870 with a 14" LOP. (At least that is what she says. I may need to take the 2 round extension off to reduce the weight and even have her practice shouldering the thing unloaded until she believes she can shoulder it.) I am curious to know what your Mom has been able to shoulder, even if it is a poor fit. So far I have gotten my wife to tuck the stock under her arm and point it.

July 23, 2012, 02:21 PM
I'm assuming she has made the decision - that she thinks she needs some kind of defensive firearm at home....so ....a couple of things...

A shotgun may not be her best choice. Recoil on any fixed breech shotgun ...even in a 20ga ...may be too much for her. But if she has decided she wants a shotgun / given that she is so petite...a semi-auto shotgun ( so the action absorbs some of the recoil ) ...like a Remington 1100 or 11-87 / even used...is a much better choice than a pump gun.

A handgun may be a better choice...but recoil / what fits her hands the best, etc ...is a big deal as well. For a more petite person / with smaller hands...something in a .380 or 9mm is probably about as big as you want to go ...and maybe something in a single stack / like a Sig 239 in 9mm is a good option...or a 1911 in 9mm ...( again, slim profile). Most double stack handguns will be too thick / and not comfortable for her to shoot ...and don't go any bigger than a 9mm

I have some ladies in my family that shoot occasionally ....even some young granddaughters....and 9mm is fine ( Sig 239's, Kimber tactical pro II model in 9mm, and maybe a shotgun in 28 ga ....20ga is big stretch / unless there is a lot of upper body strength ...and that varies a lot by individuals.

I've had adult women that couldn't handle the weight and recoil of a 28ga ...and yet some of my 13 yr old grandaughters can ....so its a hard thing to call / or recommend...

July 23, 2012, 02:53 PM
It's not that she has decided that she wants or needs a weapon, Jim. The other day the shooting in Colorado got her attention and she showed some interest in my 870 when I pointed out it is basically the same thing the shooter used.

So I got it down and she couldn't remember squat of what I had explained to her before. When I watched her try to load it, she even tried to slip a round in head first. I think a little light went on in her head and she realized that she simply wasn't paying attention earlier.

It may also help that the guy I shoot with got a lady's model 20 gauge Ithaca pump and we are going to try to get the two of them to come out to the range with us. (He also has a Cordoba, similar to your Super Sport, that may be a softer shooter for Debbie to use, if she can shoulder it).

July 23, 2012, 03:07 PM
bear in mind this comes from someone in a country where we don't have guns for HD


what about a regular SbS? in a .410 and with as short of a barrel as possible it will be nifty as hell and as close to 100% reliability as possible.

with practically onlyone mechanical thing for her to worry about, just close it and it is ready, get one with ejectors and with minimal training she could reload, less intimidating for any friends or family that could see it aswell


July 23, 2012, 05:03 PM
I think a self defense gun should look intimidating.

July 23, 2012, 06:04 PM
I just think the days are gone.....where it was almost automatic....when someone asked about a good "defensive" weapon...that a shotgun was the first thing to come to mind...

There are just a lot of other options out there today - in a variety of handguns...semi-autos and revolvers...that a person of petite size --- or maybe limited hand strength ---or limited mobility --- might find are way better options. Shotguns have their place...in defense...etc../ and if they ask about them sure...( but assuming that everyone is built like me ( more of a petite Buffalo ..??) - and can handle a 12ga fixed breech gun ) is a big leap / and something I see too often at my local range ...turn out to be a really bad idea for a petite lady or even a slightly build young man to shoot.

Just last week - at my local range...guy brings his fiance in to shoot his 12ga pump gun / with slugs in it. She pulled the trigger twice --- and she was done with it. She was still laughing ...but she clearly wanted to shoot other weapons.../ so he at least went to the rental case - and got her a couple of smaller framed 9mm's to shoot a little. Even his skill with the 12ga...lacked a lot of finesse....and with a target beyond 12 feet...he wasn't hitting a silhouette sized target either ...( mostly because of recoil / and how he shouldered the gun ) ...one of the range masters tried to get him squared away ...but at that point his ego got in the way. It was another example of a 12ga tactical pump gun ...in my opinion, that was a complete waste of money.

This guys fiancee at my local range....settled on a S&W revolver ...a S&W model 66 in a 4" barrel ...with .38 spl ammo in it ...as her favorite gun that day ( and if the guy is smart --- he'll listen to her / and buy her one ) !

July 23, 2012, 06:40 PM
This may sound dumb, but while a hand gun certainly is a fine defense weapon, even under stress I would think it damn hard to forget where the shotgun is. It is that big black thing leaning against the bedroom wall.

As for felt recoil and fit, I could be persuaded to pick up something like a 3901 20 gauge for the women to share. The one time to date that they came to the range with me I got my wife to take 3 shots with one and my daughter finished off the box.

Another option is to put one of those tactical KnoX adjustable stocks on it, and I can't do it to my 870. To some it is just an ugly black gun, but to me its my first shotgun (since my youth and who can remember that far back).

Al Den
July 23, 2012, 07:13 PM
Mossberg as below, however, I do recall my Mom keeping a NAA MiniMaster loaded with 50 gr. .22 Mags during Rodney King trial...

July 23, 2012, 08:07 PM
In moms shooting so far she has done way better with long guns than handguns. She handles my savage 22 well. I was thinking mossberg youth model 410 because it would be low recoile.

Regards Vermonter

July 23, 2012, 09:18 PM
Unless they have the mindset that they might be killing someone and are willing to practice, I'll veto the gun idea and instead say to opt for a dog, a can of pepper spray or wasp spray and a baseball bat

July 23, 2012, 09:33 PM
If she likes it and handles it well something small, light and easy to shoot like a Ruger 10/22 might be better than a larger gun she isn't willing to shoot or doesn't shoot well. Replace the horrible ruger sights with fiber optics, and even add a good quality Ruger 25 Rnd mag. (Assuming you have tested it repeatedly to make sure it is reliable). 10 -25 rounds of rapid fire CCI Stingers is better than nothing by a long margin, and heck who doesn't enjoy practicing with a .22 LR?.

July 23, 2012, 10:16 PM
Good option if you want something small, Rossi Circuit Judge. Easy to load and unload. Use Federal 000 3 inch shells. I have one of these guns, works flawlessly.

July 23, 2012, 11:13 PM
Oneounce has a good point, which is that if she doesn't want to practice so that she is comfortable with the gun, at the minimum, and if she is not going to pull the trigger if needed, she is better off with a can of pepper spray and a baseball bat. We already have the dog; a beagle that will lick you to death.

Al Den
July 24, 2012, 07:11 AM
18-1/2" 6-shot. Light. LOP is probably too long bot you can probably put a short stock on it. Been around for decades and a favorite among single women and those who, um, live with other women...

July 24, 2012, 07:43 AM
#3 for the Mossberg HS410. I handled one at my gun store recently and almost walked out with it. The LOP didn't seem to long for me. But alas, I was in there to buy a handgun and that's what I got.

I would like to have this shotgun for my wife though.

July 24, 2012, 10:28 AM
Sometimes folks ( women and men ) ...aren't really sure what they will do if they are ever confronted by a dangerous threat...( which for most of us the experts say, in my opinion, is a statistical long shot ).....but maybe its just enough to impart the knowledge on how to manipulate a weapon ( load it, the controls on it, etc)...and fire it a little ....and get some familiarity with a weapon platform ( a pump shotgun, a semi-auto shotgun, an O/U shotgun, a revolver, a semi-auto handgun, a semi-auto rifle, a bolt action rifle, a lever action rifle....

then they can make the decision - do they want a gun in the home - where to store it, how to secure it, etc....or in their car/or do they want to carry and get a concealed weapons permit...and will they train with it fairly often ( at least a couple of times a month ) so they maintain their proficiency.

While many of us on this forum - may choose to carry a gun / or have a home defense gun that suits us ....when it comes to advising others, even spouses, I think its important to expose them to weapons systems...and let them work a lot of this other stuff out ...and when it comes to picking a defensive gun / let them pick what suits them - not what suits you.

example: a friend's wife - carries a small .22 revolver.../ she's tried a lot of guns / hand strength, etc isn't there ( she's only 60 yrs old ) ...but its her reality. She wants to carry something - and she practices a couple times a month with it / and she's tactically accurate with it out to 21 Ft. But she freely admits - she is not certain if she would ever pull it / not sure she could shoot it at a person....but its her right to carry it / and she does it responsibly and safely in my opinion - and that is ok in my mind. Would I choose that weapon - no, but it doesn't matter what I'd do ---its her choice.

July 24, 2012, 09:09 PM
Seems to me the hs410 is basically the same as the youth bantam. The only difference seems to be capacty and oal. I believe the shorter youth model will fit her better so that seems to be the better choice.

Regards, Vermonter

July 24, 2012, 10:34 PM
If she will not shoot the gun then don't buy one. Sign up for a barney basic class first and then let her make an informed selection. A least pick up the book "Armed and Female" or "Effective Defense' By Gila May-Hayes. The equipment is the last piece of the puzzle not the first.

July 25, 2012, 12:26 PM
Seems like I should clear this up further. She has been a libral and against guns her entrie life up until recently. This started prior to the Colorado thing. I won't get into specifics however there was an incident with a student that got her thinking prior to her recent retirement. (She was planning to retire anyway so the incident didn't have anything to do with those plans.) I will only go as far as to say that the incident involved the student living in her same neighborhood and knowing where she lived.

That event is over for all pratical purpouses. (the young man met some LEO family members). It was her first realization that something could in fact go wrong in her quiet little suburban paradise.

She has stated repeatedly that she could and would do anything nessecary to protect herself or any of our family or close friends. She will not carry a weapon because she simply won't go where she feels like she needs one.

I have no doubt that god forbid she need it she would use anything available to protect herself up to and including deadly force.

She visits frequently and has come shooting with us every time she has been here. She has a great attitude (good teachers make good learners too). She has asked to borrow a gun for the house next time she comes. It is my intent to have purchased something already, function tested it to make sure it is satisfactory, and when she arrives pull it out as if I have had it for hunting for years and it is really just a loner.

As I said there are many LEO family members back home who have agreed to take her out more frequently and help her train with whatever I hand her.

Possibly that sheds some more light on the situation?

Regards, Vermonter

July 25, 2012, 01:06 PM
Ok, makes more sense...and she has more experience than I probably assumed - based on what you said originally...

and she's getting a lot of assistance from you and the other members of the family - which is great.

I still wouldn't pick a gun / or an action type for her....or decide if she needs a shotgun or a handgun ... just make some guns available to her to test ...let her make her own decisioin / and buy what she wants. You can go with her to the gun store / help her with the purchase / help her with the paperwork ...but no reason for you to buy a gun and give it to her ( it opens you up personally for other issues ).

July 25, 2012, 07:38 PM
Well in that case I would go shop for a nice used high standard 12 ga pump or a nice used Ithica 37 in 12 or 20 as my first choices as they are smooth like no others and shouldn't be over $300 and if it's a new gun an 870 20 ga.

If you go 12 just buy low recoil shells and your getting 20 ga performance out of a 12 or if you think it's easier to stick with 20 thats good as well and an M37 in 20 is a nice compact unit.

Al Den
July 25, 2012, 08:19 PM
Nah, the little .410 regular pump it is then. And some kind of defense ammo as below after she practices with the cheap stuff? Think they all hold 5 3" American-made shells.

Get her a flat of .410 to go try trap and skeet. Then a coupla boxes of each of these. One each to test, one each for defense, and get her a sleeve of whatever she likes best of the two...



July 25, 2012, 09:43 PM
I really think the Rossi Circuit Judge is the way to go. Very light, smaller framed, simple, quick, and reliable. Hornady and Winchester both sell 3 inch 000. Or you could try Winchester's defense rounds. Personally, I'd go with the 000. 5 .36 caliber pellots will put a hurting on someone. It holds 5 shots and double action, in just a few seconds 25 pellots could be fired. And on the off chance it needs reloaded, reloading is quick. If you modify the stock, companies make speed loaders for these too. I have one of these guns and I have no complaints.

Another option, Saiga .410, but I have no experience with one. But I have a Draco pistol, I wouldn't hesitate to buy an AK based gun, if I had the money.