Advice on shotgun for mother?

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by JW357, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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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?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  2. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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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 :)
     

  3. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Thanks drum, that's basically in line with what I was thinking.

    Quick response!
     
  4. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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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!!!:p:D
     
  5. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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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?;)
     
  6. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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 :D
     
  7. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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.
     
  8. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  9. Jesse80

    Jesse80 New Member

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    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.
     
  10. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    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.
     
  11. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Good info, both.

    Thanks for the advice so far everyone. I look forward to more.

    Anyone have any experience (a girlfriend, a wife, a mother, etc) with small women starting on shotguns? Do you tend to gravitate more towards .410 or 20ga? Side by side or semi?
     
  12. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    I love wheel guns. And I almost always tell new shooters the exact same thing you just said.

    My hesitation in a revolver for my mom is that she will actually have to aim it somewhat. A shotgun is more intuitive, I think, and easier to hit the target. *shrug* I certainly haven't ruled out a revolver.
     
  13. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am glad you said intuitive. Too many people think you dont have to aim. They do have to aimed or at least pointed accurately. At 7 yards a 20 gauge #3 buck shot load will be about 6" in cylinder, 5" in Improved and 4" in modified. A shotgun, rifle or carbine are much easier to handle for a not too experienced shooter. They take a lot less training than a pistol. A good range session with some bird shot will give them a lot of confidence. I still like a double for beginning shooters. They are much simpler and a lot easier to clean. No exposed hammers though. Stoeger coach gun 20 gauge double 20" barrels choked improved and modified. At 7 yards mine is dead on. Stay away from the no stock pistol grip shotguns.
    Something else to consider. My wife has a choice of weapons but her go to is a S&W 15-22 loaded with Mini Mag HP. She is not intimidated by it and a 22lr out of a rifle is a lot more powerful than out of a pistol. 13" of penetration through 4 layers of denim in ballistic gel with good expansion. We practice off hand at 30 yards on swinging targets and she hits them 90% of the time. The only ammo that gun has jammed on was Velocitors and it just did not have enough recoil spring for the hot loads. A good 10-22 would do about the same with a good 25 round mag which I usually only load to 20.
     
  14. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I'm a firm believer in guns for home defense...but since she isn't a gun person....maybe an alarm system would be a better investment.:D
     
  15. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Only in the sense that she hasn't used a gun prolly since she was a kid. She doesn't have a problem with guns. She definitely is a pro-gunner, just hasn't used guns in awhile.
     
  16. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    The .410 has @ the same recoil as a .44 Magnum.

    the 20 gauge would be more stressful.


    I'm just thinking, if I had to hand my mom a gun for

    SD she wasn't going to practice with much, I wouldn't

    want to stress out her relatively weak wrists.

    A .32 auto pistol would kick a lot less, and some of the recoil

    of the weapon would get soaked up cycling the slide.
     
  17. mahall

    mahall New Member

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    I suggest a decent size revolver!! Simple to load and shoot, maybe a Smith Bodyguard!! No slide, no pump, just aim and shoot!! I get the basic principle on the Shot gun idea "just point" but if it seems to intimidating for her to use, might be better off with the simplicity of a revolver!! Only downside to a revolver is the lack of an external safety and most people that are not familiar with guns have a problem with a lack of a visible safety!! Just some food for thought!!
     
  18. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Interesting about the recoil tidbit. I feel like a .410's recoil is perceived differently than a .44 Magnum's, though? Being that one is a handgun and one has a butt stock.

    A semi auto pistol is basically out of the question. Too complicated of use, in my opinion.

    Not a bodyguard, Because I would want something more substantial for her. If I decide revolver, which I haven't ruled out, I'm thinking maybe a Ruger SP101 or something of the sort. Mostly because of the weight, for reducing felt recoil.
     
  19. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    I could always just buy her a shotgun and a revolver... Present her with both, let her shoot both, and let her pick one or both. If she doesn't like one I could take it for myself...
     
  20. nchunt101

    nchunt101 New Member

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    I would try to find a 20 ga semi. The Remington 1100 LT-20 would be a great gun for HD. Recoil is much less than a double or a pump and they weigh allmost nothing.