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Old March 10, 2013, 12:31 AM   #1
Join Date: March 7, 2013
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Shotgun for multiple shooters

Hello all,

My wife and I are considering a shotgun for home defense use. We have done a lot of research and have narrowed it down to a Mossberg 500/590, or Remington 870. We have one big question though. I know that generally, one needs to buy a stock with a LOP that fits their body. But what about if it is 1 gun for 2 different people? I am 6'1" 210lbs, and she is 5'4" 140lbs, so obviously we will both be comfortable with different LOP's. So, do we get a stock that fits one of us and the other just deal with it? if so I'm guessing it should fit her? or do we get something adjustable?

Thank you all in advance for the advice!
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Old March 10, 2013, 01:55 PM   #2
Evan Thomas
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If you need to use the gun in a hurry, you're not going to be dinking around with an adjustable stock, so I wouldn't recommend that. A tall shooter can accommodate to a short stock more easily than the other way around; I'd consider a Mossberg 500 youth model -- available with either a 12" or 13" LOP, and has a short barrel so it's not unwieldy in close quarters. You'd be fine, also, with a 20 ga. for home defense -- it's underrated for that use.

The other nice thing about the Mossberg youth models is that you can get shim sets for them, so you have some leeway in finding a fit that works for both of you. It won't be perfect (ideally you'd each have your own gun), but if you're on a budget, it's not a bad solution.

And whatever shotgun you buy, the most important thing is that both of you need to practice with it until you can run it without thinking. Cheap target loads are fine for this, but you should also do some practice with whatever HD load you pick (I like #3 buck fo my 20 ga.). And once you've practiced for a while, you'll know whether you really can both use the gun, or if you need one for each of you.
Never let anything mechanical know you're in a hurry.
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Old March 10, 2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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Old March 10, 2013, 04:05 PM   #4
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Vanya gave very good advice. If you would like to read a good article this one by Massad Ayoob is a good one. Especially towards the bottom where he discusses the pool firearm.
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Old March 10, 2013, 08:41 PM   #5
Join Date: March 7, 2013
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Awesome link! thanks again everyone for being so helpful. I am thinking now a 20-guage youth model to start, and if I decide I want a 12-gauge down the line for me, I can always do that and make the 20-guage permanently hers instead of ours.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:53 PM   #6
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20 Gauge

I agree with Vanya. 20 Gauge is a very good round to start with. I personally own two 12 gauges, but I have shot many 20 gauges and I love them! They kick light and have a lot of power behind them. The Mossberg 500 is a great gun and is one of the most reliable ones out there. Also if you want to go high end you can get a nice reliable auto loader such as a Beretta or a Benelli. Auto's are faster and kick much lighter than a pump. Sure when it comes down to it a pump is more reliable, but with today's technology the automatics are getting really reliable. Choose well, and shoot safe!
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:14 PM   #7
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One of the biggest issues you might run into is the availability of defensive ammo in the gauge you pick,given your location and all.

The 20 is a very underrated gauge for home defense,but if the lady of the house is recoil shy you might want to look at the mossberg 500E cruiser and add a stock.

With the right load any shotgun can be up to the task.
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Old March 15, 2013, 01:44 AM   #8
Join Date: March 7, 2013
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She isn't really recoil shy, I have no doubt that she could physically handle a 12ga, especially with some adrenaline and the right load... But I know her, her pain tolerance, size, patience, etc... my biggest worry is that she wont enjoy shooting a 12ga much, and thus wouldn't practice. I think we can all agree 100% that a 20ga in the hands of someone who has trained a lot with it and knows it inside and out, will be more effective than a 12ga in the hands of someone who has maybe shot it 2 or 3 times. I won't make any final decisions on gauge and model until we get to try some out. We already have a pair of handguns, so it isn't like we are unarmed while making this decision, and none of the current proposed laws would affect a pump shotgun, so we are taking our time and making sure we buy right the first time.
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Old March 16, 2013, 07:35 AM   #9
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You and I have very similar sizes, weights, and wives. I'm 6'1",
195 pounds, my wife 5'4" at 130. She can't hold my 870 and won't even fire it. This is because of the weight, which is around 9 pounds (granted that's with a full mag, loaded sidesaddle and buttcuff). I've got the magpul stock on it, but when I bring it down to the shortest LOP (12.5") it looks on her by comparison how a 15-16" stock would look on me: big. And considering that shooting at such an excessive relative LOP would push her into a more bladed and less supported stance, it would mean the recoil would effect her more and she wouldn't enjoy it at all. Also consider the size of the butt pad- does it contact her collar bone? This is another reason I'm reticent to have her shoot mine.

I'm not trying to deter you from getting a shotgun, however your two bodies are pretty different and finding a sweet spot between comfort for her and you may be difficult. It honestly might be better to go with an adjustable stock and pistol grip so you can modify the gun to your body on the fly. Again your mileage may vary- your wife may be made from tougher stuff than mine and can handle what's being dished out, but I also know the worst way to make a bad impression with a gun for a woman is to make them fire something too heavy-duty for them. I stress precision in my wife's training whereas I focus on speed and dexterity.
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Old March 16, 2013, 07:30 PM   #10
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The worry of her having a bad experience is a big part of why i started her out on 9mm handguns. that way heaven forbid she has a bad experience with something down the line, worst case is she gets turned off to that style of gun. She shoots her 9mm PPQ frequently and has become very comfortable with it. I just want some kind of long gun for added power at home, and I really can't justify a semi-auto rifle right now with how pricey they have become and me being in the process of buying a house and such.
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Old March 16, 2013, 07:56 PM   #11
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A tall shooter can accommodate to a short stock more easily than the other way around
This is very true, and while not the best solution, in your situation, it is about the best option. (in an ideal scenario, you would each have a gun that fits each person individually)
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Old March 16, 2013, 08:46 PM   #12
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A gun with a shorter LOP willl fit your wife. A slip on recoil pad will add 1-1 1/2" of length for you and can quickly be slipped on and off as needed.
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