Hi there! Sorry for the long post. I'm very new to guns (as in I've never shot one) I'm in the process of getting my FOID card right now, and I'm trying to make some decisions on what shotgun I want to buy. I've read a ton of different articles and opinions, but am still left with some questions. I want a shotgun that will primarily be for home defense, but I may take it out skeet shooting once a year, and I would eventually like to take up hunting (probably ducks to start out with). More importantly I want a shotgun that my wife can handle as comfortably as possible. At the moment I am leaning towards buying a Remington 870 18.5" tactical shotgun. My reason for this is that I am guessing the 18.5" barrel will be easier for my wife to support while she is aiming, and it has a ported choke which sounds like it will help a bit with the kickback. My biggest question is if this 18.5" barrel will be too short for hunting and skeet shooting effectively? I know it will still function, but I've read and heard so many different opinions that I don't know what to believe. Will I get an effective spread at longer distances with the shorter barrel, or will my spread break apart too much even if I install a full choke. Buying a second barrel is an option, but it also puts this out of the price range I was hoping to spend, so I guess it's going to depend on how big of a difference the longer barrel will make as to weather I need to save up a bit more.