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Thread: Shotguns for smaller women: How do I select which shot shells to use in my shotgun?

  1. #31
    Senior Member nedrgr21's Avatar
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    as to recoil - I shot two Rem 1187's (semi-autos), back to back, 1 a 20 ga and the other 12 ga. The 20 was much easier to handle/manipulate, but the lighter weight resulted in recoil about the same as the 12 ga. Going with an even lighter weight gun in either guage would result in even heavier recoil. Given that you want a weapon that's easier to handle and lower recoil, I would go with a different platform - an AR. Much more maneuverable than any shotgun, negligible recoil, better inside a home, easier access to suppressors - just use expanding ammo.

    Steve

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    Senior Member Blackhawkgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    as to recoil - I shot two Rem 1187's (semi-autos), back to back, 1 a 20 ga and the other 12 ga. The 20 was much easier to handle/manipulate, but the lighter weight resulted in recoil about the same as the 12 ga. Going with an even lighter weight gun in either guage would result in even heavier recoil. Given that you want a weapon that's easier to handle and lower recoil, I would go with a different platform - an AR. Much more maneuverable than any shotgun, negligible recoil, better inside a home, easier access to suppressors - just use expanding ammo.

    Steve
    I did get an AR recently, I love it!! It is perfect for around the house, AND, at some point I would like to use it for 3 Gun competition.

    I do still want a shotgun at some point, though, for Cowboy Action shooting. Since I started this thread, I have drifted away from a shotgun for home defense for a couple of reasons:

    1) I would blow out my eardrums shooting a shotgun in the house for self defense.
    2) There is not a lot of spread close range with a shotgun, contrary to what most people think.
    3) I am darn quick with target acquisition with the AR, at least my AR-15 .22LR at Steel Challenge competitions. I cannot use the .223 at these same competitions, but I am competent and confident enough with the .223.
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    Southern Steel Subhuman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawkgirl View Post
    I am a smaller women who wants to trade her big 12 gauge skeet shotgun (used to be Dads) for something smaller and easier to handle. I am looking for another 12 gauge, side by side, under/over or pump. Yesterday, I found an awesome light, shorter barrel police pump action shot gun at a pawn shop. I loved the feel, it fit me well. The light weight is concerning because I might be more subjected to harsh recoil.

    Being right handed, my left arm has to support the bulk of the weight of a shotgun/rifle and I have shoulder issues with my left arm, so I need something lighter. That is a lot of the reason I need to find a substitute for Dads old, long, skeet shotgun.

    Anyway, I know for certain sports like cowboy shooting, there are some very light loads. I have tested a lot of 9mm and .38 special loads, so I know some are easier to handle than others. I am familiar with handgun ammo, but I do not know a lot about shotgun ammo. Has anyone tested and/or know of a light 12 gauge shotgun load, prepackaged, that would be easier for a smaller person to handle?
    these may help with recoil and it will give you several more rounds than full length/load shells

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    Diligentia,Vis,Celeritas.

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    I learn something new every day. I didn't know they make short shells.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallsrider View Post
    I learn something new every day. I didn't know they make short shells.
    Yep combined with one of these Serbu pumps they give you a awesome amount of firepower in a package about the size of a Desert Eagle
    https://goo.gl/images/d9Qt3b
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    Senior Member chuck's Avatar
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    I have experienced FTF problems with the mini shells in both my semi and pump shotguns. Think for a second, would you rather have 6 pellets of 00 buck at 1250 FPS or 9 pellets of 00 buck at 1345 FPS (Federal LE12700). I know what I'll pick. Mini shells also cost 2 1/2 times that of standard shells.
    Last edited by chuck; January 5th, 2018 at 10:52 AM.
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    Member mountainraider's Avatar
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    You can find low recoil shells from Remington and Federal.Also for practice,you can use shells load with 28gr-30gr powder...they don’t kick much....


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    Senior Member Blackhawkgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subhuman View Post
    Yep combined with one of these Serbu pumps they give you a awesome amount of firepower in a package about the size of a Desert Eagle
    https://goo.gl/images/d9Qt3b
    Interesting. I think my next question would be, then, how to choose a shotgun that is adaptable enough to take the smaller shells? My only real shotgun experience is with the big skeet magnum Dad gave me that takes 3" shells. Anything other than that, all kinds of feed issues and jams.

    Also, since I got the AR (after I started this thread), I am no longer looking for a shotgun for home defense. I would be more looking for competition, like 3-gun and cowboy action, more emphasis on the cowboy action. With that, I am limited to older style guns, over/under, side-by-side, and old style pump action.

    Would the shorts work in a side-by-side modern coach gun? Or even an antique?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawkgirl View Post
    Interesting. I think my next question would be, then, how to choose a shotgun that is adaptable enough to take the smaller shells? My only real shotgun experience is with the big skeet magnum Dad gave me that takes 3" shells. Anything other than that, all kinds of feed issues and jams.

    Also, since I got the AR (after I started this thread), I am no longer looking for a shotgun for home defense. I would be more looking for competition, like 3-gun and cowboy action, more emphasis on the cowboy action. With that, I am limited to older style guns, over/under, side-by-side, and old style pump action.

    Would the shorts work in a side-by-side modern coach gun? Or even an antique?
    Certainly they would work in the double barrels, but I've never used them so I don't know how easily they would shake out. They won't work in the lever actions and pumps. Remember speed is essential and these small shells might be more difficult to manipulate.

    If it is all about recoil, again I suggest the shells most clay shooters use. There are 10 years olds shooting trap with them and they are often shooting more than 100 at a time.
    Never take advice on self defense calibers or tactics from people who have never been in a real gunfight.

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    Senior Member Blackhawkgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChanceMcCall View Post
    Certainly they would work in the double barrels, but I've never used them so I don't know how easily they would shake out. They won't work in the lever actions and pumps. Remember speed is essential and these small shells might be more difficult to manipulate.

    If it is all about recoil, again I suggest the shells most clay shooters use. There are 10 years olds shooting trap with them and they are often shooting more than 100 at a time.
    True. I have tried the equipment of others at the Cowboy shoots, I loved the older double barrel. They showed me how to grab two shells at a time to load for speed and then breaking the gun open and tossing the used shells over the shoulder. I would think the longer shells would be easier to grab.

    I think most of the Cowboy action folks do their own reloads and have the ability to do lighter loads than what might be purchased. I am not at that point yet. I don't even have all the guns. I am trying to pool guns with my boyfriend, so we can have a complete set between us for the time being.
    Contact your reps about restrictive gun laws->https://act.nraila.org/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawkgirl View Post
    True. I have tried the equipment of others at the Cowboy shoots, I loved the older double barrel. They showed me how to grab two shells at a time to load for speed and then breaking the gun open and tossing the used shells over the shoulder. I would think the longer shells would be easier to grab.

    I think most of the Cowboy action folks do their own reloads and have the ability to do lighter loads than what might be purchased. I am not at that point yet. I don't even have all the guns. I am trying to pool guns with my boyfriend, so we can have a complete set between us for the time being.
    Perhaps unnecessary but I feel compelled to make one correction: Some SASS matches allow reloads provided they meet SASS standards but none of the CMSA matches do unless complex rules are followed. All mounted shooting blanks used in CMSA WPQ matches, demonstrations, social practices sanctioned, approved or covered by the CMSA’s spectator liability policy shall be CMSA certified and approved. All certified mounted shooting blank providers shall submit 100 rounds of their mounted shooting blanks to CMSA for testing & certication approval. Each mounted shooting blank provider upon approval shall be issued a numbered CMSA approved mounted shooting blank provider certificate. This approved mounted shooting blank provider certi cate number shall be included with all WPQ match results. (From page 7 and 8 of the CMSA Rule Book)

    This makes it impractical to reload for CMSA. Everyone I know just buys the brands that have been certified. If SASS is an interest of yours you might try joining this forum: https://www.sassnet.com/forums/index.php Since I haven't participated in SASS for many years, I don't use it but you might find it of value.
    Last edited by ChanceMcCall; January 6th, 2018 at 05:58 PM.
    Never take advice on self defense calibers or tactics from people who have never been in a real gunfight.

  13. #43
    Member fastreb's Avatar
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    From what you posted, and if you can't afford to go out and get 2 firearms to do the separate jobs, then I'd suggest getting a pump or semi-auto shotgun for HD and worry about picking up one for cowboy action later. Of the different gauges, the easiest to obtain at any time are the 12 & 20, with the .410 coming in somewhat further back. The 10, 16 & 28 gauges are harder to find, and when you do, are fairly expensive. I'll basically concentrate on the 12 & 20, with a mention on the .410.
    If you are going to get a coach gun, most times it will be in either 12 or 20 gauge. If you decide on a pump, then while not as numerous, the .410 can still be had fairly readily. The other gauges can also be had in different actions. For cowboy action type shooting, the SASS rulebook says that only an 1897 Winchester pump or replica can be used, if you want a slide-action shotgun. I imagine other cowboy shooting will probably have pretty much the same rules. There are few 1897 Winchester shotguns or replicas floating around. So, if you get a pump, shooting it in cowboy action matches will probably be out. Also in the SASS rulebook, there is a restriction against auto-ejectors for S/S shotguns. This will rule out a lot of S/S weapons to use.

    12 gauge - This is by far the gauge most shotguns are manufactured in. As a result, you can find shells for this gauge when you won't for any other. Since you are a smaller shooter, a "bantam" or youth size would probably fit you better than a full-size gun. While the weapon itself might be a little bit smaller, you're not going to be seeing a great difference in weight between the two. This means that using the same load, you'll get some but not a lot of difference in recoil. This size gauge also has the most different types of actions manufactured. You can get single-shot, S/S, Over/Under, Pump and Semi-Auto without problem. Probably the two most manufactured shotguns in this country are the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500. Both can be had new or used, with barrels ranging from 18 1/2 inches to more than 30 inches. Both have many aftermarket parts made for them, with the edge going to the Rem 870.

    As for ammunition for this gauge, it also has the widest selection available. I won't go into the game loads and I'll stick with those suitable for HD. While any of the loads would be deadly at very, very close range, I would select loads usable out to 20-25 yds. These include everything from #4 Buck and larger, with the easiest to find being 00 Buck and slugs. One of the biggest advantages of this gauge is that the shotshells can be found in both full-power and low/reduced-recoil types. Many police agencies have moved to issuing the low-recoil ammo, so it can be found. I believe Federal's numbers for their ammo is H132, F127 and LE 132. Winchester list their low-recoil loads under RA1200 (with 9 pellets) and RA 12008 (with 8 pellets).

    20 gauge - This is the next most numerous made gauge of shotgun. Many are labeled as "bantam" or youth shotguns. However, they are still plenty powerful when used for HD/SD. Like the 12 gauge, it can be found in all the different action types and all the different types of shotshell are made for it, with the exception of the low-recoil type. If they make that type, it will definitely be harder to find.

    .410 gauge - I mention this gauge only because it has gained some popularity since Taurus and S&W have introduced their "Judge" pistols. The ammunition manufacturers have, accordingly, introduced better loads for use in HD/SD. This gauge will be the lightest-recoiling you will find. The weapons for it will also be the lightest of the shotguns you will find. This might be the best option, considering the problem with your arm.

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    Dont know anything bout this but it looks awesome for shotgun. ..comes in semi auto or pump
    https://www.legacysports.com/catalog...adius-shotgun/

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