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Old December 1, 2009, 05:26 PM   #1
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Small Left-Hand SG for HD...ideas?

I am a former marine and recently purchased my first civilian weapon: a bolt-action Tikka T3 hunter in .30-06 (not ideal for home defense). Due to recent neighborhood events I have decided that I would like my wife to have a shotgun at home for home defense on nights when I am away (I am a firefighter and work 24 hr. shifts).

After some casual research I have decided upon a 20 gauge, pump action shotgun. My wife however is both small-framed and left-handed, making the selection limited.

I really like (and more importantly SHE likes) the Remington 870 Express Compact line: shorter action, recoil pad, 20 gauge standard, but it does not come in left-hand receiver.

So I'm looking for one of two things, either:

A) Advice for left-handed shooters using a right-handed shotgun. Does it really matter? Is it important that she buy a left-hander?


B) Suggested models that come in left-handed youth sizes. For additional bonus points, she prefers a wood (or wood-looking) stock.

Any ideas?
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Old December 1, 2009, 05:37 PM   #2
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correction to original post

Excuse refering to the 870 Express Compact I said, "Shorter action," and I meant shorter length of pull.

Just trying to preemt those corrective responses.
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Old December 1, 2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Welcome to our little corner of the innernetz, and thank you for your service! And continued service in your new career.

As a southpaw, I gotta say that there is an constant fixation on getting everything in life to comply with lefty-ism (not politically... just dextrously).

All sorts of lefty-market items are out there for all sorts of different hobbies.

And... guns are no exception.

Charter Arms even makes a lefty-friendly revolver with the cylinder reversed to open to the right.

But, as I shoot more and get more experience, I learn that MOST (not all) products are just fine for us southpaws.

Specifically with shotguns... I'm not a big shotgunner. I like rifles, and I like precision, and I don't seem to experience that with shotguns... so I don't own any... but I've shot a few. I've never noticed any problems operating a shotgun as a lefty. I could load, pump, shoot, sight, and safe the firearm just fine.

It just takes familiarity, and getting over the whole "I'm a lefty so it has to be made different for me" syndrome.
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Old December 1, 2009, 05:48 PM   #4
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Take a look at the BPS Micro and the High Capacity. It does not reflect that the High Cap is made in 20ga- but for HD, light field or target loads may be manageable.
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Old December 1, 2009, 06:56 PM   #5
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As a LH person, you really don't notice the ejected shells too much. The Browning mentioned above is neutral - it ejects out of the bottom. Realize that many 20's recoil just as much as a 12 because they are lighter in weight. There are many choices in 12 for SD/HD, not as many in 20. You might see if you and her can rent/borrow both 12 and 20 and see if she really notices that much of a difference
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Old December 2, 2009, 01:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your advice. It accomplished both of my goals: giving me more options to choose from that are LH friendly and also setting my mind at ease about the possibility of selecting a shotgun that isn't LH.

I ended up taking my wife this evening, and after handling MANY models (thank you to the patient staff at Bass Pro Shops) she purchased a 20 gauge Remington 870 Express Youth with a hardwood stock, 21 inch barrel, and 4+1 capacity (RH). All in all we're very pleased with the purchase and excited about going to the range together.

I started an account on this forum for the purpose of solving this problem, but I can guaranty I'll be coming back for more. Thanks again for the timely and well-thought out responses.
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Old December 2, 2009, 03:36 AM   #7
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I'm right handed, but left-eye dominant. I shoot my rifles and shotguns left handed to make things easier.

That said, I've had no problems at all with my 870 police wingmaster. Its a right handed gun, but I've found that it runs just as good left handed as a dedicated left-hand reciver gun would.

I havent had any empty shells hitting me, and I've found that with the placement of the unlocking mechanism, its actually easier to work the pump left handed.

The saftey can be an issue for a lefty, but I solve that problem by leaving the chamber empty and the tube full.
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Old December 2, 2009, 04:43 AM   #8
Bill DeShivs
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My wife shoots left handed. She has a youth model 870 20 ga.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Old December 2, 2009, 11:27 AM   #9
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I'm left handed; Remington 870 or 1100, both righthanded, neither bother me with ejection. And I can pump the 870 with my right arm as good as with my left.
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Old December 3, 2009, 12:36 AM   #10
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I'm a lefty, and have had no problems adjusting to non-ambidextrous firearms.

On my Sig P6, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol that also is known in the US as the P225, the decocker and the slide release are on the left side of the gun, set up for the right-handed majority. A righty would activate these controls using their right thumb.

Being a lefty, I found that my trigger finger (left index finger) can easily activate the decocker, without changing my grip. This has the added bonus of the fact that my trigger finger has to be outside of the trigger guard in order to use the decocker. A right-handed person could break the "keep your trigger finger outside of the trigger guard" safety rule while operating the decocker with their right thumb.

For the slide release, I can use my left thumb to easily reach and activate it, but this forces me to change my grip to do so. Instead, I maintain my grip, and simply pull the slide rearwards with my right hand and release, which will allow the slide to slam home (and strip a round off of the magazine if loaded).

So, with a handgun that is in no way ambidextrous, I can activate the controls as easily and as quickly as a right-handed person could do.

Realistically, the only type of firearm that a lefty would have difficult using is a bullpup rifle, with the ejection port being directly over their left cheek. But most bullpups are able to be easily and quickly modified in the field to move the ejection port to the left side of the rifle, which eliminates this problem altogether.

Us lefties are resourceful and can easily adapt using most things designed for the right-handed majority, and most firearms are no exception.
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left-handed , shotgun , youth

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