The Best Shotguns, Rifles, And Bows For Women?

Women Hunters Web Page. GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

I hesitate to post this, but in the spirit of sparking discussion….

I recently asked our on-staff firearm and bow experts what they thought the best gear in their respective areas was for women. Yes, they’re men, but they really know their stuff, and I was interested in their opinions. This was for a story that ended up not running in the magazine, but since I still had their responses on my hard drive, I figured I’d post them now. What do you think? Are they great suggestions? Just acceptable? Or way off?

Can only women recommend gear for other women? Or does it not matter as long as the person making the suggestion loves to hunt and has the experience to back up their opinion?

Shotguns
By Philip Bourjaily
1. Winchester Super X3 Field
A lightened version of the Super X2, the X3 weighs a shade under 7 pounds and makes an excellent choice for all-around wingshooting. The X3 is ultra-reliable and very easy to maintain. The gas operation and a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad take most of the kick out of 12-gauge loads. Stock spacers included with the gun allow you to adjust length of pull from 13 3 /4 inches to 14 3/8. $979; 800-333-3288; winchesterguns.com

2. Remington 870 Express Youth Synthetic Combo
If deer and turkeys are your main interest, this 20-gauge pump the only shotgun you'll ever need. The combo comes with a 21-inch vent rib barrel for birds and a 20-inch rifled barrel for slug shooting. Shooters of all sizes find the shortened synthetic stock handles easily in the woods. You'll want to add a RemChoke turkey tube. If you're recoil sensitive, pair the rifled deer barrel with Remington's Managed-Recoil Buckhammer slugs. $543; 800-243-9700; www.Remington.com

Rifles
By David E. Petzal
1. Remington Model Seven Youth Rifle in 7mm/08 or .260
If you are small—say, 5'2" or less—this rifle will fit you much better than a full-sized gun. The stock is an inch shorter than standard, and the barrel is only 20 inches long. It's a synthetic-stocked gun with dull-finished steel, and while it isn't pretty, it is very, very effective. $684; 800-243-9700; www.Remington.com.

2. Tikka T3 Hunter in 6.5x55
Tikkas come from Finland, and are some of the most advanced firearms available. They are noted for their remarkable quality, extreme accuracy, and fine triggers. The 6.5x55 is an old Swedish military cartridge that has been popular in Europe for many years, but is only now getting the recognition it deserves in the U.S. It's a light kicker that will take almost any game with dispatch. About $625; 800-636-3420; berettausa.com.

Bows
By Scott Bestul
1. Hoyt Selena
The Selena pitches arrows at 287 feet per second, making it a veritable flamethrower. But Hoyt also included Alpha-Shox technology in the riser and limbs, so this is a seriously quiet hunting tool. Even better, the generous 7-inch brace height makes the Selena forgiving, and the Pro-Fit Custom Grip insures comfort and control. Weight: 3.1 pounds, Draw weights: 30-60 pounds, Axel to axel: 31 1/2 inches. 801-363-2990, hoyt.com.

2. Mathews Mustang
Mathews packed the Mustang with many of the features of their top-end bows, including their Performance Cam and vibration-dampening technology. Available in draw lengths from 19-25 inches, this hot shooter reaches arrow speeds of 280 feet per second and features 70 percent let-off. There's little doubt why many top women hunters love the Mustang. Weight: 3.2 pounds; Draw weights: 20-50 pounds; Axel to axel: 31 3/4 inches. $550; 608-269-2728; mathewsinc.com.