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Semi-auto for my wife


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I need advice.


I'm looking for a light-weight, low-recoil, 20 gauge shotgun for my wife. We've looked at a number of guns, mostly semi-autos, including Remingtons, Brownings and Benellis.


She likes the Benellis, especially the Legacy, for their lightness. Would she be better off with a model with a syntheic stock to reduce kick, or would a shock absorbing butt pad on the Legacy be enough to make the recoil less of a factor?


I have a Super Black Eagle, which I use primarily for turkey hunting and like it alot. But, with 3 1/2 turkey loads it does pack a punch.

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We don't know your wife or anything about her.

We don't know what kinds of shooting she'll be doing.


What she likes about Benellis is the very thing that she'll not like about them.


The only thing an Inertia gun has to lessen recoil is the gun's weight and the recoil pad.


By their nature, Inertia shotguns will deliver more recoil to her shoulder than will gas-operated guns.


Gas guns are typically heavier, and they re-direct part of the energy from the blast in order to cycle the action.

Both of these scrub off perceived recoil.


Have her shoot your SBE with standard velocity dove loads.

If the recoil from that bothers her, then she has no hope of being satisfied with any 20 ga. Inertia shotgun.


Instead, look at something the the Beretta 390 series.

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Thanks guys, I appreciate the sound advice.


Tucker, you are absolutly right, I should have given a little background about my wife. I almost did, but didn't want the post to get too long. But, since you asked....


My wife is 5"4', solidly built, turns 50 this March, and is a naturally gifted shot. She played a lot of sports in High School and some in college. She is a naturally good shot, breaks more blue rock than I can, and when she did go out smallgame hunting (it's been about 20 years since she has been out in the field) she was able to nail woodcocks with a 410! She has had some health issues during the last 5 years, mostly dealing with her thyroid. She tires quickly and does not have the physical stregnth she once did. Hopefully, she will recover a lot of that as she is stabilized with her medicine.


We have a new beagle, Daisy, who will turn 10 months old on December 1. She is from a good line of hunting dogs and we both want to take her out for rabbits. We both enjoy running beagles and belonged to the Lycoming County Beagle Club for many years. Our older beagle, Corkey is 11 years old, a great companian with a good nose, but gun shy.


We have decent grouse and rabbit hunting in the area, almost no pheasants, and occassionally run into woodcock.


So, to recap, Lynn wants a light gun, with little kick. She does have good shooting genes. Her family tree includes Doc Bogardus, a well-known sharpshooter of his time, who popularized the use of glass balls as targets in the 1870s.

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I had my wife shoot a S&W 20 gauge semi-auto and a Ruger Red label over-under 28 guage my brother owns. Lynn was fine with the recoil of both and was breaking about 2/3s of everything we through up with both guns. Not too bad for not shooting a shootgun in twenty years.


She liked the simplicity and handling of the over-under. We went shopping and we found a Browning Citori Lightning Field 28 gauge on clearance at Gander Mountain yesterday. She has now purchased her first gun! I am slightly jealous. It is a beauty.


The bad news is we need to shorten for the stock to fit her. Lynn's wrist to trigger finger measurement is only 11 & 1/2"s. I plan to have a Limbsaver recoil pad put on when we cut down the stock. It will be a lot of cutting.


But, I don't like the idea of cutting up the new stock. According to the shop's gunsmith the forearm and butt stock are matched by making them from the same piece of wood.


The gunsmith's Brownell's catalog had one replacement listed, but it was about $400. Any suggestions for other, more reasonable sources? Or, should we just go ahead and hack away?

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Tucker is right about the recoil. I will say this, even if your wife is buff, weight of the gun does matter (especially if she says so). Last thing you need is having her complain during a hunt or walking a sporting clays course about the weight of the gun being heavy. I know it is a fine line so look into a good recoil aftermarket pad like Pachmayr or Limbsaver and get a good vest (that fits her, not your old one, something like a MizMac womens only vest).


Ok, my wife is 5'2 and 96lbs. She hates recoil but she also hates heavy guns. I explained the whole ID system and lightweight vs. recoil thing so she knew what she was getting into. Well, got her a Montefeltro 20g. I had it cut down and fitted with the shims/spacers it comes with and a Pachmayr Decelerater pad. I also got her a MizMac Vest.


We have always shot guns but shotguns are new to us. Anyway, she took that thing out and loaded it up with some Magnums to break it in and and went to town. With the load she was shooting (1 1/4 oz shot #6 in 3 inch) kicked pretty hard for her. She did say that it kicked less than the 20 Nova pump she had been shooting. Now that it is broken in she shoots the light loads and let me tell you, she goes AFTER IT! She says that it kicks less than any Semi-Auto she has ever shot. She has rented and shot Beretta's and Brownings during the "which gun do I like Phase". Best thing I could have done is let here pick the gun. If you do that then it is not YOUR gun. It is hers and they will take ownership better over it.


I think alot had to do with the fit, pad, vest and loads but all I can say is she loves the gun A LOT! She likes cleaning it too she says and says it is super easy and fun, GO FIGURE!?!?!


Just my two cents. Good luck

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone. The Shotgun World site did the trick. We now have a stock on the way! The only downside is now I'm spending even more time on the computer exploring all the links on that site.

A side note. I ended up trading a couple of guns on a used Beretta Urika 391, 12 gauge, at a local gunshop, for myself after reading all the positive comments on the Beretta site.

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I own a 20 ga Monte with the short stock (12+1/2" LOP). I'm 5'5" with short arms. I use the lightest and cheapsest shotshells I can find, usually from places like Wal-Mart. My Monte weighs just over 5 pounds. I hardly notice the recoil especially when I'm swinging on a quail or grouse. These cheapy shells work just as good as the high priced heavy hitting stuff. On the rare occasion that I've flushed a pheasent, they go done hard. Of course I'm walking my birds up and not hunting wide open ranges like in Oklahoma. Did take the Monte to the range and shot some heavy loads plus 3" stuff. Won't do that again, ha ha. So, my advice for shooters that hunt close and not going for geese or turkeys is, use light shells. They work just as well with almost no recoil.


Also have an older Browning Citori 20 gauge Special Field, that I had a gunsmith shorten the LOP to 13" for me. The gunsmith did an excellant job and you can't tell the stock has been shortened. This little over/under weighs just over 6 pounds and when I shoot very light shotshells, IT IS, the perfect quail gun.


When I'm going into the field for 3-5 hours I always take the little Monte. When I've been invited to a short morning hunt with some fellars, I take the Citori to show off my shooting skills. These small shotguns with light loads are fantastic.

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  • 5 months later...

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