Yeti

Female Shotgun Advice

SixPoint

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Nov 16, 2013
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175
Location
Southwest Montana
After getting my young lab dialed in on upland birds last fall I found my wife thoroughly enjoying the hunt. From watching our dog work the birds to spending time in the outdoors together it was a great new experience for the both of us. On our last outing she even asked if she could try shooting my shotgun... she's a small framed but tough gal and seeing her trying to handle my 1187 was awkward to say the least. nonetheless she blasted off numerous rounds trying to get the feel for it. About all she got was a big bruise on her shoulder.

So my question is, I'd like to purchase her a shotgun that fits her properly and doesn't break my bank account. The length of pull on my Remington is way too long for her. I'm sure there's been numerous other husbands that have gone down this same road. Do I purchase a youth sized gun or buy full sized and have a gunsmith cut it down. 20 or 12 gauge. Auto, Pump or over/under...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to try and keep the total price at or below $500 and I am certainly open to purchasing used.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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Sep 15, 2010
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Gem Lake, Minnesota
They can be tough to find, but I picked up a used Beretta 3901 Youth 20ga about 10 years ago for $325. It is a great shooting little gun, and Berettas are known for being soft shooters. I bought it for my wife at the time, she hasn't gotten into it, but it will be great for our kids someday.

If you can find one, you can probably get it for 500ish.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
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Ideally a 20 gauge semiauto with a youth stock is your best bet. Youth stock ranges vary pretty wildly but I'm guessing something with a length of pull between 12.5 (remington) to 13.5 (beretta/benelli) will fit. If you went the pump route (more recoil but cheaper) I would get a Benelli Nova compact.
 

Ben Lamb

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Aug 6, 2010
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Cedar, MI
Best bet is to take her shotgun shopping and find one she likes and fits. Most gun shops should be able to help with the fitting.

As for which gun - at your price point, I'd look at the used rack before thinking of new. Some great deals on classic shotguns can be found, and they're a lot nicer than new guns. I'd also not be afraid to spend a little more if the budget allows if she finds a gun she likes.

20 gauge is never a bad choice for upland. Neither is 16 or 12.

Here's a decent blog post on the issue of selecting the proper shotgun: http://georgiapellegrini.com/2013/1...women-on-getting-the-right-gun-fit-and-mount/
 

Jamen

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Oct 5, 2013
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North Dakota
I will be one to throw the wild card out there I would go with a Remington wingmaster. I have shot them a few times and enjoyed them a lot. They are light weight and shouldn't break the bank. Now as mentioned above the youth guns would be ok for size but from my experience my sister and mother both shoot full size 12ga with no problem. I am not a fan of Semi-autos especially for beginners they tend to get trigger happy and just squeeze off the rounds and can become discouraged fast. I am not sure if that is her case not having much experience or if she has shot a shotgun before. I would suggest a pump action people tend to value a shot more knowing they have to pump every time rather than pull a trigger. And sometimes the actions on the semi autos are "scary" for some people to operate and you want them to feel comfortable in the field when handling any weapon. Once they catch on with a pump one can become very fast with them. In most situations I can get my three rounds off if need be in a fast enough time where I wouldn't know the difference if using a semi auto. (I use a browning BPS pump and love it, just suggested the wingmaster based on weight)
 

TimeOnTarget

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Feb 13, 2015
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SD
Franchi affinity. Awesome little shotgun, available in either 12 or 20ga. My wife loves hers.
 

JLS

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Almost Arkansas…..
I'd echo most of the thoughts above. I'd look for a 20 gauge autoloader, as that will be the easiest on her in terms of recoil. Find something with choke tubes. Alter the stock if you need to.

Might not hurt to get her a shooting lesson or two.
 

maxx

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Jul 31, 2015
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Look at the Weatherby SA-08 youth gun if she is really small framed.

I have one for my kids and it is a decent little gun. Right in your wheel house for price also. I think I paid 520 for the one we have.
 

mulecreek

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Nov 16, 2010
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Rock Springs, WY
Rem 870 Express youth model 20 ga. Not much to look at but it is cheap, about $215 and hit where you point it. We got one when my wife expressed an interest in bird hunting. The thought being that we had not invested much and if she enjoyed it we could upgrade. If she did not then we weren't out much. Turns out she liked hunting and likes the gun. She has not wanted to upgrade in the last 10 years.
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
I bought my rather small framed wife a Mossberg 500 20 gauge bantam and it fits her very well and she loves shooting it.

The Mossberg bantam I bought for my youth hunters has a variable LOP with included buttpads being the variable. When I purchased mine it also came with a coupon good for $ off towards a full size stock, if you should ever want to bring it to a full size 20.

I find that the 12 gauge Mossberg pump vs other pump guns had a more vigorous "thump" of recoil until I put a limbsaver buttpads on it for my son, and the action on the 500 is trickier to strip, clean and reassemble than other shotguns I have owned.
 

TimeOnTarget

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Autos have less recoil than a pump. Just something to consider if that may be an issue.
 

maxx

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Autos have less recoil than a pump. Just something to consider if that may be an issue.

Correction Gas Auto's have less recoil than pump.

I find the re-coil auto's to be about similar. The SA-08 is a gas gun!
 

TimeOnTarget

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Correction Gas Auto's have less recoil than pump.

I find the re-coil auto's to be about similar. The SA-08 is a gas gun!

I used to think that same thing, Only gas had less recoil.

Then I bought my wife a Franchi Affinity which in interia driven just like the benellis.

There is still a night and day difference between the franchi and the 870 pump, and the 870 weighs considerably more as well.
 

Matt-LSI

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Jun 3, 2015
Messages
143
we have many Escort Shotguns that would fit the bill. All are affordably priced and many different options to choose from.
 

kenton

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Mar 19, 2014
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Ohio
Best bet is to take her shotgun shopping and find one she likes and fits.

Best advice there is! Even if the shop doesn't have the gun she will get, its much easier to find what the right fit is when you can test several different sizes.
 

SixPoint

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Nov 16, 2013
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175
Location
Southwest Montana
Wow, thanks guys this is great!

Looks like I have my homework cut out for me. I've heard of and/or looked at most of the guns mentioned. The more I think about it, it probably makes the most sense to take her to the shops with me to see what fits her there first.

Thanks again everyone!
 

10Dogs

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Jan 11, 2015
Messages
148
Look at the over / under Mossberg Silver Reserve in 20 guage.
They are about $600 but Dick`s sporting goods will have them for about $500 once in a while.
We were very close to buying one for my small framed wife in 2010 and it was a perfect fit.
I would imagine as a light / short barreled gun it may kick more than say an 1100, but it is a beautiful solid gun.
And nothing is more visibly safe when standing at the line in clays or in the field than a double barrel with the action open.
10Dogs
 

maxx

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Jul 31, 2015
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I used to think that same thing, Only gas had less recoil.

Then I bought my wife a Franchi Affinity which in interia driven just like the benellis.

There is still a night and day difference between the franchi and the 870 pump, and the 870 weighs considerably more as well.

I put close to 10,000 rounds through a Stoeger over a 8 year period. I loved how it shot, it finally broke on me. I didn't want to mess with fixing it because I had started to shoot my Berretta more anyway at that point. It was very light and it kicked like a mule. Worse turkey gun every.

I am not recoil sensitive so I didn't mind it. I shot it well even though it had a terrible pattern on paper.

I think a big part of recoil is how the gun fits you. I have a little 9mm that doesn't fit my hands for crap. I am not a big fan of shooting it but my wife loves it go figure.
 
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