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  #1  
Old 10-06-2017, 2:39 PM
jasmina jasmina is offline
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Default Buying a shotgun without shooting it first?

I'm a female and want to buy my first shotgun (EDIT: For home defense only). I've decided I want a semiautomatic. I've shot 12 gauges before but have little experience with shotguns overall and would really prefer to try several out before buying, but none of the ranges around me have semiautos for rent. So, my questions are:

1. How risky is it to buy a shotgun without shooting it first?
2. What shotguns should I look at if I'm going to buy without shooting first - both in terms of being good for a petite female, and also for resale value in case I don't end up liking it?

Was thinking of getting a Benelli that I had looked at in a store the other day - do these keep their value in case I want to sell later on?

Any other advice you have would be appreciated. Thank you!!!

Last edited by jasmina; 10-06-2017 at 4:00 PM..
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2017, 2:46 PM
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Check reviews on semi auto shotguns in your price range. Take it to a gunsmith and have it properly fitted to your length. Benelli makes great shotguns. But is it in your price range?
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Old 10-06-2017, 2:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfield96 View Post
Check reviews on semi auto shotguns in your price range. Take it to a gunsmith and have it properly fitted to your length. Benelli makes great shotguns. But is it in your price range?
Will having it fitted reduce its resale value?

Yes, Benellis are in my price range. Ideally I'd shoot a bunch of shotguns before trying but I feel a bit better with going with a well known "high end" make if I'm going to be buying without shooting :/
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2017, 2:48 PM
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For shot guns, it's all about the fit. How it fits you and your body type. The length of your arms and so on.
This has nothing to do with you being petite. It just needs to fit.
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Old 10-06-2017, 2:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedro View Post
For shot guns, it's all about the fit. How it fits you and your body type. The length of your arms and so on.
This has nothing to do with you being petite. It just needs to fit.
I see, thanks. For fit - what should I look for specifically? (Or is there an article / resource out there that details this information?)

For the most part I've not had trouble shooting any 12 gauge that's been handed to me, but I do worry a bit about recoil & the weight of the gun being too much to handle when I'm practicing for more than few minutes. The Benelli I checked out felt nice and light, though.
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2017, 2:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmina View Post
I see, thanks. For fit - what should I look for specifically? (Or is there an article / resource out there that details this information?)

For the most part I've not had trouble shooting any 12 gauge that's been handed to me, but I do worry a bit about recoil & the weight of the gun being too much to handle when I'm practicing for more than few minutes. The Benelli I checked out felt nice and light, though.
There's always a trade-off. For less recoil, you'll want the weight. For less weight, you'll receive more recoil. There are also "low recoil/low velocity" 12ga rounds, and I (and most LE agencies) use those to train, less abuse to the shoulder. I personally know of a handful of ladies (one of my sisters, for example) who use a 12ga but employ the low recoil 12ga ammunition for home defense.
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2017, 3:16 PM
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If you are willing to share your approximate location, someone on here might be able to recommend a range that you aren't aware of, that might have guns for you to try.

Or go to one of the skeet clinics (see stickies at the top of the shotgun forum), you will get a lot of good advice from the instructors.

Syren makes shotguns specifically for females. Might have a limited resale market.

https://syrenusa.com/syren-xlr5-sporting/
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Old 10-06-2017, 3:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBGBA View Post
If you are willing to share your approximate location, someone on here might be able to recommend a range that you aren't aware of, that might have guns for you to try.

Or go to one of the skeet clinics (see stickies at the top of the shotgun forum), you will get a lot of good advice from the instructors.

Syren makes shotguns specifically for females. Might have a limited resale market.

https://syrenusa.com/syren-xlr5-sporting/
I'm in southern California.

If I go to skeet clinics, won't they mostly have smaller gauge shotguns? I'm looking for something for self-defense (should've mentioned in my first post).

Interesting; I will check out the Syrens. Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2017, 4:11 PM
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Fit?

With those 18" barrels, don't you just blast from the hip?
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2017, 4:24 PM
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Syren won't have a home defense shotgun, didn't realize you wanted it for HD.

HD shotguns have short barrels and clay target guns are longer.

If you have any interest in shooting clay pigeons, try the skeet clinic out (but they won't have a HD shotgun).
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2017, 4:38 PM
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This is JMHO,

If you state your budget range, you will receive several specific models in your price range that you could select for your HD shotgun. Granted, responses are often generic to what the person who is responding owns so many of the responses can be one-sided. With that said, it will be hard for you to try out many shotguns and get a good idea on what you like because the way a shotgun shoots and feels that does not fit you is much different than one that is fitted to your LOP. Your best bet may be to select from a list of 5 or so that are highly recommended, take the one you selected to a local Gun Smith and have it properly fitted, then just make it work. The old saying of "you don't know what you don't know" applies because you don't have the option to shoot several that are fitted for you so you basically need to select one and go with it. You should be happy with any of the current popular semi-autos as all of them have a strong following. In terms of resale, it will be harder to sell it because the local GS will need to cut the stock down so the only person who would buy it would be someone looking for the same size. Not saying you can't sell it, it would just limit your possibilities. There are plenty of good semi-auto shotguns that will work for you.
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  #12  
Old 10-06-2017, 4:40 PM
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I'd probably look into a 20 guage.

https://www.benelliusa.com/compact-shotguns

And add an extension.

https://nordiccomp.com/categories/nc...lies-for-20ga/

The good thing about this is it could be used to shoot clays. Shooting clays will make you proficient with your shotgun.

See if anyone has one to rent.

I have a 20 guage montefeltro - love that gun. Very light and reliable.
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2017, 4:42 PM
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The clinics are a great place to try different guns that you can rent (and swap) at the pro shop at Triple B Clays. While there likely won't be a Benelli HD gun, you will learn a great deal about shotgun shooting for many purposes (including HD if you mention it to the coaches), and will learn firsthand about how a shogun should fit you, and what to look for in a well fitting gun.

Plus, it's just a damn lot of fun.

Good luck and safe shooting.
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  #14  
Old 10-06-2017, 4:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairball View Post
This is JMHO,

If you state your budget range, you will receive several specific models in your price range that you could select for your HD shotgun. Granted, responses are often generic to what the person who is responding owns so many of the responses can be one-sided. With that said, it will be hard for you to try out many shotguns and get a good idea on what you like because the way a shotgun shoots and feels that does not fit you is much different than one that is fitted to your LOP. Your best bet may be to select from a list of 5 or so that are highly recommended, take the one you selected to a local Gun Smith and have it properly fitted, then just make it work. The old saying of "you don't know what you don't know" applies because you don't have the option to shoot several that are fitted for you so you basically need to select one and go with it. You should be happy with any of the current popular semi-autos as all of them have a strong following. In terms of resale, it will be harder to sell it because the local GS will need to cut the stock down so the only person who would buy it would be someone looking for the same size. Not saying you can't sell it, it would just limit your possibilities. There are plenty of good semi-auto shotguns that will work for you.
Thank you. This seems to make a lot of sense. I don't have a budget, really... under 3k?
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2017, 4:55 PM
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With that budget you can have just about anything and I would argue that most of the responses are going to direct you to this:

https://www.benelliusa.com/m4-tactical-shotgun

Personally, I went without the pistol grip as I don't like them but to each their own. Good luck with your selection....
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Old 10-06-2017, 4:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairball View Post
With that budget you can have just about anything and I would argue that most of the responses are going to direct you to this:

https://www.benelliusa.com/m4-tactical-shotgun

Personally, I went without the pistol grip as I don't like them but to each their own. Good luck with your selection....
That was the one I'd checked out in a store and loved. The pistol grip is always optional to use, correct? In other words the gun can still be held as it would've been if it didn't have the pistol grip?
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  #17  
Old 10-06-2017, 5:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NATEWA View Post
I'd probably look into a 20 guage.

https://www.benelliusa.com/compact-shotguns

And add an extension.

https://nordiccomp.com/categories/nc...lies-for-20ga/

The good thing about this is it could be used to shoot clays. Shooting clays will make you proficient with your shotgun.

See if anyone has one to rent.

I have a 20 guage montefeltro - love that gun. Very light and reliable.
I tend to shoot every month and always practice my HD shotgun skills. I definitely won't be shooting clays to practice, at least not in the near future.
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Old 10-06-2017, 5:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trapperjohn View Post
The clinics are a great place to try different guns that you can rent (and swap) at the pro shop at Triple B Clays. While there likely won't be a Benelli HD gun, you will learn a great deal about shotgun shooting for many purposes (including HD if you mention it to the coaches), and will learn firsthand about how a shogun should fit you, and what to look for in a well fitting gun.

Plus, it's just a damn lot of fun.

Good luck and safe shooting.
Checked out the website. Looks very fun though I am skeptical that it'll have what I need specifically. I'm not new to shotguns; I do know how to use them, but at the same time have no idea how to buy one without shooting it first. And I don't have enough experience with lengths and grip types or even gauges, really.

I was thinking of maybe trying to get a private lesson with an instructor for shotgun HD but even then, how many shotguns is he likely to own that I'd be able to try out?
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Old 10-06-2017, 5:05 PM
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Beretta 1301 in either the Comp or Tactical model. It has adjustable length of pull and adjustable pitch shims included. Add the KZ-109 bolt on KickEEZ recoil pad for pretty good recoil mitigation. I paid $1k new and $100 more for the +3 mag tube extension and Kickeez pad.

This is my HD shotgun of choice along with an inexpensive XD-40.
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Old 10-06-2017, 5:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jasmina View Post
I tend to shoot every month and always practice my HD shotgun skills. I definitely won't be shooting clays to practice, at least not in the near future.
Huh?

You posted this:

"I've shot 12 gauges before but have little experience with shotguns overall and would really prefer to try several out before buying,"

So which is it?

1) you have very little experience with shotguns overall
2) you tend to shoot every month and always practice your HD shotgun skills
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Old 10-06-2017, 5:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NATEWA View Post
Huh?

You posted this:

"I've shot 12 gauges before but have little experience with shotguns overall and would really prefer to try several out before buying,"

So which is it?

1) you have very little experience with shotguns overall
2) you tend to shoot every month and always practice your HD shotgun skills
Both. I consider myself to have very little experience though I guess that's subjective. I know how to use a shotgun but have little familiarity with different types of shotguns.

The once a month practice is only for 20-30 minutes or so.

By comparison, I'm a CCW holder and feel that my pistol skills are "intermediate."
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Old 10-06-2017, 6:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmina View Post
That was the one I'd checked out in a store and loved. The pistol grip is always optional to use, correct? In other words the gun can still be held as it would've been if it didn't have the pistol grip?
Not so much because your three fingers that would normally hold the stock (index on trigger, thumb over) is in about the same spot as the pistol grip. You can order that shotgun with a normal stock and I find that the shotgun swings better without a pistol grip but there are many that prefer them, just not something I like.
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Old 10-06-2017, 6:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairball View Post
Not so much because your three fingers that would normally hold the stock (index on trigger, thumb over) is in about the same spot as the pistol grip. You can order that shotgun with a normal stock and I find that the shotgun swings better without a pistol grip but there are many that prefer them, just not something I like.
Thank you for the info & your perspective. This is an example of something I really have no clue about. I don't think I've ever used a shotgun with a pistol grip...
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Old 10-06-2017, 6:53 PM
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Find a club that has guns to let you try and shoot. Our club has various types to let new shooters try. We try and find one that fits you. Try before you buy. And watch out for too much information.
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Old 10-06-2017, 7:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedro View Post
For shot guns, it's all about the fit. How it fits you and your body type. The length of your arms and so on.
This has nothing to do with you being petite. It just needs to fit.
I hate to disagree with you nedro, but for home defense only, fit means little to nothing IMO.

If you don't train for home defense, and expect to bring a shotgun up to your shoulder in the perfect position, it ain't gonna happen.

It will probably be more like wait until some douche kicks in a bedroom door and the prospective victim points and shoots. While yes, a gun that's way too big or small might make a difference, it's not the fit that counts, it's experience with the gun.
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Old 10-06-2017, 7:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmina View Post
That was the one I'd checked out in a store and loved. The pistol grip is always optional to use, correct? In other words the gun can still be held as it would've been if it didn't have the pistol grip?
Get an M4. You can get it with a traditional stock if you don’t want the pistol grip.

If you want to add a mag extension just know it will be costly if you want it to be legal.

I will be buying one shortly, I don’t think there’s a better semi auto for the money.

And yes they do retain their value well.
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Old 10-06-2017, 7:28 PM
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Old 10-06-2017, 7:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonofWWIIDI View Post
for home defense only, fit means little to nothing IMO. If you don't train for home defense, and expect to bring a shotgun up to your shoulder in the perfect position, it ain't gonna happen.
And if you do train for self-defense, why wouldn't you train with a shotgun that fits you properly. If my wife grabs one of mine she needs to adjust because the LOP is set for me; however, the OP is buying her own and it should be fitted for her as that would make a difference in comfort and improved capability in practice which would translate to actual application if needed in a real word situation. Fortunately, the shotgun is on my side while she keeps the S&W on hers

Last edited by Hairball; 10-06-2017 at 7:34 PM..
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Old 10-06-2017, 9:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairball
And if you do train for self-defense, why wouldn't you train with a shotgun that fits you properly. If my wife grabs one of mine she needs to adjust because the LOP is set for me; however, the OP is buying her own and it should be fitted for her as that would make a difference in comfort and improved capability in practice which would translate to actual application if needed in a real word situation. Fortunately, the shotgun is on my side while she keeps the S&W on hers
Ya gotta go the other way here...forget fit for HD...pistol grip pump gun IMO.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmuller View Post
Ya gotta go the other way here...forget fit for HD...pistol grip pump gun IMO.
I think not...
A gun that comes to the shoulder effortlessly and shoots where you are looking is an advantage, no matter what the situation is.
Now, if you shoot from the hip or use the spray and pray method...have at it with your ill fitting gun.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:16 PM
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For an HD auto, the Benelli M4 is about the cream of the crop. A bit pricey for many, but you said under $3K and it's well under $3K.
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Old 10-07-2017, 5:48 AM
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I bought a Benelli M4 without first shooting it and loved it. Thought it was the best thing ever. Later, I got it fitted to me and I found out how little I knew about shooting a shotgun.

If that is in your budget, you will not find a better one. Shoots fast and soft. Urbino stock will likely bring it to near perfect fit. Save the old stock if you are concerned about resale. I did not save mine because the M4 would be the last gun I sold. It is that good.
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Old 10-07-2017, 5:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonofWWIIDI View Post
I hate to disagree with you nedro, but for home defense only, fit means little to nothing IMO.

If you don't train for home defense, and expect to bring a shotgun up to your shoulder in the perfect position, it ain't gonna happen.

It will probably be more like wait until some douche kicks in a bedroom door and the prospective victim points and shoots. While yes, a gun that's way too big or small might make a difference, it's not the fit that counts, it's experience with the gun.
HD was never mentioned before I commented. It came out later.
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Old 10-07-2017, 6:16 AM
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I haven't fired an M4, but I own a Benelli 20ga Sport ll. My 20ga Benelli has more felt recoil than my 12ga Berettas. For strictly HD, recoil won't be an issue but if you get into clay games, recoil matters.
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Old 10-07-2017, 6:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceh383
I think not...
A gun that comes to the shoulder effortlessly and shoots where you are looking is an advantage, no matter what the situation is.
Now, if you shoot from the hip or use the spray and pray method...have at it with your ill fitting gun
With shotguns in close quarters(HD situations) hip shooting isn't so much about prayer. Pistol grip pump guns are not inherently ill fitting either, they just have a different intended use. When something goes bump in the night I would prefer a pistol grip Mossy 500 over a waterfowl gun...just my .02.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Chubs T View Post
Beretta 1301 in either the Comp or Tactical model. It has adjustable length of pull and adjustable pitch shims included. Add the KZ-109 bolt on KickEEZ recoil pad for pretty good recoil mitigation. I paid $1k new and $100 more for the +3 mag tube extension and Kickeez pad.

This is my HD shotgun of choice along with an inexpensive XD-40.
the 1301 is a solid recommendation. The competition model has a longer receiver than the tactical.

This link is geared towards 3gun but it explains "fit" well.
http://www.multigunmedia.com/shotgun-fit.pdf
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  #37  
Old 10-07-2017, 12:32 PM
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For $3000 you can take your pick of most anything any have it customized to fit you like a glove
>1000 for a very good autoloader
>2000 >1000 $500 to get it fit to your liking
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  #38  
Old 10-13-2017, 3:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedro View Post
HD was never mentioned before I commented. It came out later.
You are correct. I didn't notice that the post was edited between the times of our posts.

My bad.
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Old 10-13-2017, 7:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanthippus View Post
There's always a trade-off. For less recoil, you'll want the weight. For less weight, you'll receive more recoil. There are also "low recoil/low velocity" 12ga rounds, and I (and most LE agencies) use those to train, less abuse to the shoulder. I personally know of a handful of ladies (one of my sisters, for example) who use a 12ga but employ the low recoil 12ga ammunition for home defense.
Sound advice. Also, since HD will seldom if every be more then a one or two shot situation a semi-auto does not apply in my humble opinion. An excellent choice for your situation would be a 20ga coach gun since even with the 20" barrels it is shorter then pumps or semi's as there is not receiver to speak of. For HD their are 20ga pumps that fit the bill like the 870 Jr's with the 18.75" Barrel or the Mossberg 500's.

As quoted above a 12ga with low recoil ammo will give you the same felt recoil of a 20ga but the low recoil does not function well in semi-autos.
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Old 10-13-2017, 9:10 AM
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This might be a crazy idea, but a Beretta A400 with Kick Off is shockingly gentle on top of being a great gun. With your budget, you could have a gunsmith shorten the barrel to 18" and have a pretty awesome HD shotgun. Find or have fabricated a magazine extension and you'd really be set.
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