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Deer Hunting

Best Hunting Shotgun for Women (from a woman)!

Uploaded on May 09, 2013

I'm jumping on a soap box for a minute... I'm sick and tired of reading responses to the question "What is the best hunting shotgun for a woman" in which guys - yes men, I'm talking about you - tell us women that we should resort to using youth models. For the love of ladies everywhere, stop doing it. There are plenty of high quality, lightweight 12 gauge's out there that barely recoil. Women, just like men, need a shotgun that is versatile enough to hold a 2 3/4" 8 shot for shooting wobbler at the range and a 3 1/2" magnum for nailing turkey in the spring. Youth models and 20 gauges limit our range considerably, which limits our accuracy, which lets be honest, makes hunting a lot less fun, especially when your the only girl in the field and your the only one that didn't hit anything all day because you were told on a chat forum to get a youth model. For the record, youth models kick more than my daddy's old 10 gauge, and that's no lie! If you ever feel the need to make a suggestion to a lady about which shotgun she should buy, try telling her about the Benelli Super Vinci 12 gauge, which you can get with a 26" barrel and weighs less 6.9 lbs. Or the Winchester Super X3 Waterfowler, which almost has the same specifications. And if that woman is particularly petite, suggest getting the stock shaved down by a gun smith - do not, under any circmstances, tell her to get a youth model. Your welcome ladies :-)

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from RJ Arena wrote 49 weeks 17 hours ago

funny that you bring that up now, my wife is looking for her own 12, and the jokers at the gun store all push her towards youth models. I will pass on your advice, thanks!

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from ALJoe wrote 49 weeks 19 min ago

Spot on! Spot On! Great advice! Youth models very often come with a lot of recoil. My wife shoots a Beretta 390 20 gauge and loves it. Hell, I hunt with it as much as she does. She has no problem shouldering my Browning Gold 12. She swears it doesn't kick as hard as the 20.

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from DakotaMan wrote 48 weeks 6 days ago

Any time I recommend a gun, I like to understand the person's price range, weight and recoil tolerance and what they intend to hunt or shoot. Selecting a gun is not a one-size-fits all proposition. You have selected a couple mighty fine choices in the Benelli and X3. They have lots of power, reasonable weight and very low recoil, making them fine choices for any hunter, but women especially who may be more weight or recoil sensitive than most men. I like the idea of trimming the stock to fit if necessary and don't assume that a youth model will fit.

The problem is, most women that ask me about shotgun choices seem to have a budget of around $500-$600, sometimes around $400 or even less.

I don't agree with you that a 20 guage limits your effective range in hunting if you are a good shot. The shot size and pattern density are what limit your range. Shot size because it has to have enough energy to penetrate your game; larger shot size equals increased range. The density of pattern is controlled by the amount of the shot and the choke in combination. The 12 gauge allows you to put more shot in the shell and therefore you can increase density in a wider pattern. Therefore the 12 gauge gives you a wider "sweet spot".

Another way of saying it is that the 12 gauge can give you as good a pattern density with a modified choke as a 20 gauge has with a full choke. If both are using a full choke, the 12 gauge could be considered to be wasting shot by overloading the pattern beyond what is necessary for most hunting.

One gun I've often recommended for women who want a light but less expensive shotgun is the Rem 1100 or 870 in 20 gauge. You can pick up a used one for as little as $300-$400. They will shoot anything the Benelli will shoot (just not as sweetly). My lifelong buddy has used his 1100 since high school. He has continued to outshoot me with it on pheasants, ducks, quail, and geese over the last 50 years. Turkeys are not a problem either. They are pretty easy to kill standing still at 30 yards with a 20 gauge. He shoots at longer range than I do with all my 12 gauges and he has a better hitting percentage than I do. That is because he is a better shot than I am. He doesn't need a ten foot wide pattern to hit a goose at 50 yards.

That being said, I still opt for the Benelli and 3 1/2 inch shells for Canadian geese at long range. With the ability to use lots of large steel shot, you can bring them down more effectively with a dense shot pattern way out there. None of the other game birds mentioned require as dense a pattern as one of these big geese. Of course wouldn't you know it, my buddy still shoots them farther than I do with my big 12 gauge.

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from Macelka wrote 47 weeks 2 days ago

If you'd want I'd use a 12 gauge, but even the 20s are nice i own a few and use them frequently, I love my winchester SX3 hope I helped

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 46 weeks 6 days ago

Whether or not I'd recommend a youth model depends on the shooter's length of pull or physical profile, but I often recommend a 20 gauge (for males or females) as a first shotgun purchase. If they develop as shotgunners, they can make other choices but a 20 is frequently all they'll need. My son is 21 years old and he is taller than I. I purchased a 20 gauge Remington 870 for him, and he does a fine job with it!

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from ALJoe wrote 49 weeks 19 min ago

Spot on! Spot On! Great advice! Youth models very often come with a lot of recoil. My wife shoots a Beretta 390 20 gauge and loves it. Hell, I hunt with it as much as she does. She has no problem shouldering my Browning Gold 12. She swears it doesn't kick as hard as the 20.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 48 weeks 6 days ago

Any time I recommend a gun, I like to understand the person's price range, weight and recoil tolerance and what they intend to hunt or shoot. Selecting a gun is not a one-size-fits all proposition. You have selected a couple mighty fine choices in the Benelli and X3. They have lots of power, reasonable weight and very low recoil, making them fine choices for any hunter, but women especially who may be more weight or recoil sensitive than most men. I like the idea of trimming the stock to fit if necessary and don't assume that a youth model will fit.

The problem is, most women that ask me about shotgun choices seem to have a budget of around $500-$600, sometimes around $400 or even less.

I don't agree with you that a 20 guage limits your effective range in hunting if you are a good shot. The shot size and pattern density are what limit your range. Shot size because it has to have enough energy to penetrate your game; larger shot size equals increased range. The density of pattern is controlled by the amount of the shot and the choke in combination. The 12 gauge allows you to put more shot in the shell and therefore you can increase density in a wider pattern. Therefore the 12 gauge gives you a wider "sweet spot".

Another way of saying it is that the 12 gauge can give you as good a pattern density with a modified choke as a 20 gauge has with a full choke. If both are using a full choke, the 12 gauge could be considered to be wasting shot by overloading the pattern beyond what is necessary for most hunting.

One gun I've often recommended for women who want a light but less expensive shotgun is the Rem 1100 or 870 in 20 gauge. You can pick up a used one for as little as $300-$400. They will shoot anything the Benelli will shoot (just not as sweetly). My lifelong buddy has used his 1100 since high school. He has continued to outshoot me with it on pheasants, ducks, quail, and geese over the last 50 years. Turkeys are not a problem either. They are pretty easy to kill standing still at 30 yards with a 20 gauge. He shoots at longer range than I do with all my 12 gauges and he has a better hitting percentage than I do. That is because he is a better shot than I am. He doesn't need a ten foot wide pattern to hit a goose at 50 yards.

That being said, I still opt for the Benelli and 3 1/2 inch shells for Canadian geese at long range. With the ability to use lots of large steel shot, you can bring them down more effectively with a dense shot pattern way out there. None of the other game birds mentioned require as dense a pattern as one of these big geese. Of course wouldn't you know it, my buddy still shoots them farther than I do with my big 12 gauge.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 46 weeks 6 days ago

Whether or not I'd recommend a youth model depends on the shooter's length of pull or physical profile, but I often recommend a 20 gauge (for males or females) as a first shotgun purchase. If they develop as shotgunners, they can make other choices but a 20 is frequently all they'll need. My son is 21 years old and he is taller than I. I purchased a 20 gauge Remington 870 for him, and he does a fine job with it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 49 weeks 17 hours ago

funny that you bring that up now, my wife is looking for her own 12, and the jokers at the gun store all push her towards youth models. I will pass on your advice, thanks!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Macelka wrote 47 weeks 2 days ago

If you'd want I'd use a 12 gauge, but even the 20s are nice i own a few and use them frequently, I love my winchester SX3 hope I helped

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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