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Old January 19, 2021, 01:44 PM   #1
Kalamity Kate
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12 ga. for a short woman in newer types

There are posts for women ( Prev. posts- 5'5" - 5'7" is average, NOT short) that are mostly 10 years old. They weren't helpful back when I bought my first shotgun. I have a Benelli Montefeltro 20 ga. I like the gun, but I had to settle. I got a good make in a youth gun so it would fit.

Now I want a 12 ga. and don't want to settle for whatever comes in a youth model that I can locate. I am 5' 2" and cannot fit the Mossberg 500 pump action that I wanted. A search of newer model shotguns shows possibilities. Kel-Tec makes a bull pup model- KSG. and Mossberg makes a model with a pistol grip. I still can't reach the distance if mounted on the shoulder, but the gun shop owner showed me a grip with the stock tucked under the right arm. Don't know if this would work or if recoil would send the shot wild and knock me back.

Mossberg has models with a strange rounded stock (birdhead?), but the same question applies. Without a firm placement at the shoulder, will it knock me back and send the shot wildly off target?

I want the shotgun for home defense (I already own several handguns) and for short distance hikes in the lands around my town. The area is now home to grizzlies, migrants relocating themselves out of Yellowstone. Don't plan to hunt them anymore than I would hunt the normally two legged beast, but I want more protection than the underwhelming force of my handguns and 20 ga. Yes, I carry bear spray. That is just as likely to blow back and incapacitate me. So I want more firepower.

Any thoughts?
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Old January 19, 2021, 02:23 PM   #2
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My wife is 5 foot and has a mossberg 500 Super Bantam. There's 1 or 2 spacers that extend or subtract length of pull. But if you're looking for a Mossberg 500 you can always get a wood stock and shorten it to fit your needs. And since it's so popular you can go to numrich (gunparts co) and buy a take off for $25 or so.

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-man...tocks-moss-500
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Old January 19, 2021, 02:48 PM   #3
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I've fired numerous manufacturers and shotgun types, and have concluded that gas-operated actions do the best job of reducing recoil for 12 ga defense loads. (00 Buck/Slugs)

[I mention this as, if you're firing at bears, your accuracy with all follow-on shots is just as important as your accuracy with the first. Reduced recoil assists with accuracy for follow-on shots.]

It's a subjective conclusion so your mileage may vary, but its a place to start.

One of the best gas operated shotguns out there in my experience is the Benelli M4.

https://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/...tical-shotguns

In terms of reducing the Length of Pull (LOP), Benelli's polymer stocks are not as flexible as wood stocks. That said, there are shortened aftermarket stocks available:

"Mesa Tactical offers a shortened length of pull stock, known as the “Urbino” stock, for Benelli, Mossberg, and Remington shotguns. The Urbino stock kit is very popular in our law enforcement market due to the shorter length of pull, allowing the user to wear body armor or bulky clothing without extending their reach.

https://www.mesatactical.com/product...-ga-black.html

The reduced length-of-pull (LoP) makes the Urbino the first truly tactical stock for the Benelli M4. The Urbino Tactical stock is durable, easy to shoulder and will not slip."

While I understand the word "tactical" can be problematic for many, in this case you've specifically noted that you want the shotgun for home defense and hiking where there are grizzly bears. The pistol grip stock is applicable for home defense, and I find mine not any more difficult that a standard stock for toting in the woods.

I'd take a look at an M4, given the specifications you outlined in your opening post.

Best with it.
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Old January 19, 2021, 03:39 PM   #4
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I'd look for a good, solid used gun in the model you prefer (such as the Mossberg) with a WOOD stock, and then, have that stock professionally shortened to fit you. With a good (thick) recoil pad installed. You might also consider having a good muzzle brake installed.

My mother was 4'10" (and a half! damnit!!) and could handle her father's Ithaca sxs 12 gauge, but NOT from the shoulder. She shot it from the hip, with the gun held firmly in her small hands, and allowed to "swing" with the recoil. Not so good for birds, of course, and wouldn't be good where precise aim is needed (bears etc) but she was plenty good enough with it to "repel boarders" and I even saw her bust a couple bunnies that way. Takes practice, though.

Decide on the gun you WANT, and then check and be sure you can have it properly fitted for you. I recommend paying a professional for the work, and having it done RIGHT.
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Old January 19, 2021, 04:17 PM   #5
wild cat mccane
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Mossberg makes a 500 12 gauge Bantam (youth) that is 13" LOP and shorter reach forend.

Model "52132"

I have one. I like it.
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Old January 19, 2021, 04:36 PM   #6
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https://www.brownells.com/shotgun-pa...prod24535.aspx

this puts a telescoping stock like an M4 style AR has. Adjustable to a very short length of pull
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Old January 19, 2021, 09:45 PM   #7
Kalamity Kate
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Thank you for the thoughtful replies. I take it no one thinks much about the bull pup models or the Kel-Tec I mentioned. I don't know of anyone who has experience with it.

I found the Mossberg youth model 52132 on the manufacturer's site and may end up ordering that one. Perhaps the youth model is more available than the full sized ones, since more adults are panic buying for themselves than for their kids. I hope I can attach a picatinny rail to hold a crimson trace with flashlight. The gunshop owner might know.

I also found on the site a Mossberg pump action ATI Tactical (model 50424). It has an adjustable stock. It is also 6 inches shorter than the youth shotgun. That is handy when in the house and easy to carry in the car and on my back with a sling.

I would still like to find out more about the Kel-Tec. The capacity is high and I heard somewhere that the quality was higher than their pistols.

Mossberg has a reputation for good shotguns and Kel-Tec has a reputation for so-so pistols. I passed up a rack of cheap unknown brands (to me) at the shop to keep looking for something I can rely on with my life.
Kate
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Old January 19, 2021, 10:14 PM   #8
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Do you happen to know what LOP will work for you?

The Beretta A300 Outlander Synthetic (beretta.com) has an adjustable LOP down to 13”. If you need shorter than that, the previous advice about cutting down a wood stock may be your best option.

I don’t have any experience with tactical shotguns, so I can’t help you there, but the Beretta is likely to be a solid shotgun.
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Old January 19, 2021, 11:05 PM   #9
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The length of pull can't be shortened on bullpups or the Keltec.
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Old January 19, 2021, 11:12 PM   #10
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Not from experience, but from what I have read, but Keltec might have a problem with reliability if you want a dependable shotgun.
Many will disagree, but a semi-auto (I have an 18" Benelli M2 Tactical) might work for you. They disagreement parts comes in, in racking the action which allegedly scares away any perpetrator. My disagreement is, why let the perp know where you are. I would carry a round in the chamber and push the safety button, all ready to fire! Good luck in your quest.
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Old January 19, 2021, 11:24 PM   #11
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You might think about which guns would offer the most aftermarket stock options...

That would likely lead to a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. Both would have a lot of short or adjustable stocks available.

I see you mentioned the Mossberg with the ATI stock. I've never used that one, but I had an ATI adjustable stock on a .22 rifle. It was okay, but unless the one on the Mossberg is much heavier duty than the one I had, it might feel flimsy on a shotgun. Also, with the safety being located where it is on the 500, it's not very easy to access with a pistol grip.

I currently have a Magpul SGA stock on my 500. By removing all the spacers, you can get the length of pull down to about 12" (which is as short as most youth stocks get). The grip is trim enough to fit small hands well, and I find the angle to be a comfortable mid-point between conventional grips and pistol grips.

But if you go that route, the recoil pad isn't very good. You can get an adapter that lets you use Remington SuperCell or LimbSaver recoil pads. That's what I did, but the cost starts adding up.

This is another compact option that's less expensive. Personally, I don't care for its thicker grip or grip angle, but a lot of people like them.

Last edited by idek; January 19, 2021 at 11:45 PM.
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Old January 20, 2021, 05:01 AM   #12
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You should be able to attach a rail and flashlight.
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Old January 20, 2021, 12:22 PM   #13
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https://www.mossberg.com/product/500...-bantam-52132/

Or you could get a used wood stocked 12 ga and have a gunsmith cut the stock down and fit a good pad.

If you are going to use a shotgun for grizzly defense, load it with Brenneke slugs.
Most shotgun slugs are foster type and are not suitable for something as big as a brown bear.
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Old January 20, 2021, 12:27 PM   #14
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Highly recommend the Bantam 12ga I mentioned above. Any 500 barrel will fit it and typically are just $100. If you don't like the stock 24" barrel.

No. Mossberg is going crazy ONLY making regular 500s. The Bantam 12ga is rather unique and not always around during normal times. I have had a few and find them most often in stock at Buds. I wouldn't expect to see it for just a bit. The shotgun market will crash soon though. It got too hot and they aren't used a whole lot in general. So the used market has ALWAYS been huge.

Another option is going with any Maverick 88 (which is Mossberg) and getting a short stock synthetic (Hogue Overmold I think it's called). With the $60 stock, that will put you at the 500 cost and the 500 is more preferred.

Good luck
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Old January 20, 2021, 03:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
I take it no one thinks much about the bull pup models or the Kel-Tec I mentioned.
No, because they have feed issues; I shot one of them, as did a lot of us at our local gun club, it dropped live rounds out of the magazine, jammed, etc. NOT something you want facing down an angry bear; they also are not that light in weight.
A gas gun with a stock made to fit YOU would be the best choice. Any decent gas semi should be adequate for the job.
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Old January 20, 2021, 03:27 PM   #16
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Grizzly Bears in the Florida Panhandle...?
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Old January 20, 2021, 06:27 PM   #17
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12ga

My 5'4"wife shoots a Charles Daley semi auto 12 that fits just fine.
I did have it MagnaPorted to reduce recoil.
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Old January 20, 2021, 10:02 PM   #18
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ladies and the 12 gauge

I've had quite a bit of experience with females and the 12 ga pump shotgun firing buckshot and slug loads. Off the rack guns and full power ammo were literally punishing for a number of female trainees of small frame. Getting a stock cut (shortened) to correct LOP and a high quality recoil pad are essential to acquiring proficiency and not getting kicked so severely and repeatedly that the shooter looses confidence and is intimidated beyond repair. Even then, some folks find the short 12 gauge with all up slugs and buck, more gun than they can handle. A recent development in shotgun ammo is reduced recoil slugs and buck ( if one can find any ammo these days). A gun that fits, and reduced recoil loads should go along way to help smaller framed folks handle the 12 ga. The development and wide acceptance of the patrol carbine in .223 has largely solved the problem of small frame LE personnel and the shotgun........they just don't use one and choose the carbine.

Regards the birds head grip guns, aside from easy transport/concealment(?) and perhaps manipulation in extremely cramped quarters like inside a vehicle, I do not see such a gun doing anything better than what can be done with a conventionally stocked firearm. A quality folding stock might be the best of both worlds.

Regards bears, the typical deer slug is quite soft and I have seen them fail to exit on broadside shots on deer weighing not much over 100 lbs. As an average weight for the big bears is 500 lbs+, slugs for dangerous bears need to be of harder alloy than the typical deer/Foster slug to insure adequate penetration. Brenneke is one manufacturer of such hard slugs, there are likely others.
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Old January 21, 2021, 12:48 AM   #19
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My wife is 5'0" and I got her the Franchi Affinity 3 Compact in 12 ga. Youth model and fits her well. Great gun.

However, you're asking about "newer types" and listed the KSG in that category. Have you looked at these AR style shotguns coming out? I'm looking to get one myself for home defense. I like magazine fed compared to tube for the MUCH faster reloading. Since they take AR buttstocks, you can adjust your length of pull to whatever fits you. Look up the Armscor/Rock Island VR80. That would be my choice. There are other similar guns but haven't seen any range reports on them.
Here's one of many links to it: https://palmettostatearmory.com/arms...tgun-vr80.html
Finding it in stock may be a challenge though.
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Old January 22, 2021, 12:56 AM   #20
Kalamity Kate
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Thank you for the advice given. The semi-auto option is out even though I have a 20 ga. Benelli Montefeltro that I really like because of the reduced recoil and its reliability.

I ordered The Mossberg pump action ATI Tactical. The adjustable stock reduces to my lop (13 in.) and it comes in a reasonable price- gun shop estimate is $550. Nobody has any idea when it will be available to buy and I suppose I could change my mind by then and purchase a pricier semi auto Benelli and pay more to have a new stock etc. etc... But I think the ATI will do the job. If it sets me on my butt with recoil, then selling it will be easy in my gun loving area. Most in my local shooting club own several long guns and are usually looking for more. No one is interested in selling a used shotgun right now.

Thank you, natman, for the Brenneke slugs suggestion. I will ask at the local gun shops about getting some. Very little ammunition is available lately. Shotgun ammo is not hard to find, but not in specialty variations. I was lucky and walked into a shop the other day and got some overpriced 9mm. The shop manager got it in mid morning and expected to be out by closing.

Question was about grizzlies in the Fl. Panhandle. I live in the Yellowstone area now. In Florida we had black bears coming off Eglin AFB. Here, grizzlies emigrate out of the park. Should likely have updated my profile.

Thank you all.
Kate
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Old January 24, 2021, 04:37 PM   #21
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If you like the Mossberg 500, get the Magpul furniture for it, you can set length of pull to whatever us comfortable to you.
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Old January 24, 2021, 08:13 PM   #22
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12 ga won't give you anything more than 20 ga offers.
The "power" difference between the two was a byproduct of case capacity limitations in the black powder era. But we no longer have those limitations. Today, you can load anything in a 20 ga shell that you can in a 12 ga, unless you are talking 3.5" mags. (But I assume not, since if you're afraid of recoil being an issue, 3.5" shells would likely be an issue anyway.)

So don't go for 12 ga thinking it'll be more powerful.
It will simply be different.
Anything you have expressed a need or desire to do, 20 ga can do just fine.
Find the shotgun that you want, and then see what gauge it is chambered for.
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Old January 25, 2021, 11:16 AM   #23
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My wife and SIL are both 5’2” and 40yr ago were both about 110lb. I bought my wife a Rem 1100LT 2.75” 20g. She has 21” special field VR-FC barrel & slug barrel. She did 7 deer in 7 seasons, no whammies and many squirrels. My cheap ass Bro tried to cut down a 500 moss 12g for his wife. It booted her bad. After couple of years she got Browning BPS 12g and she likes it. My wife has stuck with the 20g. She hasn’t hunted for 20yrs since we sold camp but still guns down anything that aggravates her in garden.
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Old January 25, 2021, 02:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
12 ga won't give you anything more than 20 ga offers.
I beg to differ. There are times when the larger bore of the 12 ga makes a difference, and when you look at slugs, 12ga slugs are significantly heavier than 20ga slugs. Of course, there's more recoil, you do need to live with that, there's no free lunch.
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Old January 25, 2021, 07:09 PM   #25
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For the “average” person shooting skeet regularly, a smaller person is looking around trying to find the 7/8 oz skeet loads in 12 that are stock standard in 20.

The OP has a Benelli Montefeltro which is a fairly nice semi auto 20. The next significant step up is syrenusa.com the branch of Fabarms that specializes in women’s fits for serious women competitors and hunters. $2k and up, and go take a trip and have it fit right.

Otherwise find a gunsmith that can cut down something used. Just because I think all this “tactical” stuff is ridiculous nonsense doesn’t mean it don’t usually go bang when you pull the trigger. Shop used, cut it down.
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