Advice on shotgun for mother?
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Thinking about buying my mom a shotgun strictly for home defense. She's not much of a gun person. She's not against them, just limited experience in recent years using them.

She's small, about 5'4" at the most. No more than 150 lbs.

Because of her limited experience recently, and small size, I'm thinking maybe a 20ga youth model side by side?

Honestly I really don't know much about shotguns. I don't know much about chokes, lengths of pull, etc. This will be a gift so taking her to a gun store and trying some out is basically out of the question.

Thoughts? Mostly I'm concerned with the size of the gun and the design. Is side by side not the best choice? I'm going for simplicity and ease of use. I doubt she will practice much with it. So I want something she can intuitively pick up and know how to use. I'm thinking 20ga for recoil reduction considering her small size.

Is there anything I'm missing?

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Last edited by JW357; 08-06-2013 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:35 PM   #2
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a 20 gauge would do it. If her length of pull is short a youth model 870 would do the trick. My father in law uses one for turkeys. He tags out every year. Decent ammo and it will be plenty of gun to keep the home fires safe

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Old 08-06-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumJunkie
a 20 gauge would do it. If her length of pull is short a youth model 870 would do the trick. My father in law uses one for turkeys. He tags out every year. Decent ammo and it will be plenty of gun to keep the home fires safe
Thanks drum, that's basically in line with what I was thinking.

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Old 08-06-2013, 06:37 PM   #4
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If it's a mother in law you can get a double barrel..one going each way...I'll be here all week!!!
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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A .410 pump with wood stock would be heavy,

but would negate a lot of recoil.

Might I recommend an autoloader in .32 caliber?

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Old 08-06-2013, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumJunkie
If it's a mother in law you can get a double barrel..one going each way...I'll be here all week!!!
Lol. No it's my OWN mother. For my MIL I bought an M&P9. But she hasn't gotten it yet. It is replacing her Glock. she picked it out
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therewolf
A .410 pump with wood stock would be heavy,

but would negate a lot of recoil.

Might I recommend an autoloader in .32 caliber?
I've never shot a .410 and I'm sure it would be "enough" for the intended purpose, and definitely better than the baseball bat she currently keeps near the front door... But I just can't shake the feeling its not quite enough.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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The 410's best load is 000 buck and it has a lot of penetration. The 20 gauge would work quite well. Most common defense load is #3 buck 20 pellets. You might look at a youth model like a Mossberg SA20 Bantam semi auto. I always worry about an inexperienced shooter short stroking a pump. Dont reject a double. They are short, fast and 2 very quick shots. Easy to load and unload.

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Old 08-06-2013, 07:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JW357

I've never shot a .410 and I'm sure it would be "enough" for the intended purpose, and definitely better than the baseball bat she currently keeps near the front door... But I just can't shake the feeling its not quite enough.
Know there is self defense ammo out there got the 410. Intended for the judge pistol, but a little shotgun would do great with it too.

But whether it's a .410 or a 12 gauge, at in home range (15 feet and closer) there is not much spread and most hunting ammo will do in the lower numbers.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JW357 View Post
Thinking about buying my mom a shotgun strictly for home defense. She's not much of a gun person. She's not against them, just limited experience in recent years using them.

She's small, about 5'4" at the most. No more than 150 lbs.

Because of her limited experience recently, and small size, I'm thinking maybe a 20ga youth model side by side?

Honestly I really don't know much about shotguns. I don't know much about chokes, lengths of pull, etc. This will be a gift so taking her to a gun store and trying some out is basically out of the question.

Thoughts? Mostly I'm concerned with the size of the gun and the design. Is side by side not the best choice? I'm going for simplicity and ease of use. I doubt she will practice much with it. So I want something she can intuitively pick up and know how to use. I'm thinking 20ga for recoil reduction considering her small size.
Is there anything I'm missing?
Has she ever expressed any interest in owning a shotgun? You mention that it's unlikely that she would go out & shoot it. While shotguns are pretty simple to use, they can be... a bit much as a first firearm.
Honestly, for "non-gun people" who want a SD gun, I generally steer them toward a medium frame .357 mag revolver (K frame S&W, for instance). Especially for those who will place in a drawer and forget it until they hear a bump in the night. They are the original "point & click" interface. If the user is recoil sensitive, .38 Special JHP ammo will work just fine for most threats. Though, recoil sensitivity can be dealt with with some training and practice.
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