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Please lead me in the right direction
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Author:  toadstool [ Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Please lead me in the right direction

My wife and I are just getting started shooting sporting clays. She is VERY recoil sensitive. We rented a beretta O/U 12 that I (being the moron I am) loaded with 2 3/4 1 1/8oz loads. Needless to say she LOVED shooting HATED the recoil. We are ready to pull the trigger :lol: on her new gun and I need some advice please. She wants an O/U (due to looks and style) so my question is this. What is the softest shooting O/U out there? KICKER... Need to stay under $2000. Any advice would be great.

Thank you.

Author:  dthudon [ Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

Syren shotguns

Author:  toadstool [ Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

dthudon wrote:
Syren shotguns


Would love to get her one but as I said I need to stay under 2K. Thank you anyways.

Author:  dthudon [ Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

Based on the recoil sensitivity, it sounds like she needs a Syren Semi auto. My wife was in the same position. She wanted an O/U for the looks, but after trying everything under the sun I finally convinced her to try the Syren XLR5. It only took 2 shells and she was sold due to the significant recoil reduction and comfortability. Now she shoot any and every ammo she wants. With the O/Us we were even trying super low recoil rounds that were still and issue. At the end of the day, no matter how pretty the gun is, if she wont shoot it because it hurts, then it is just going to look pretty sitting in the safe. Probably all stuff you have considered but I thought I might share. Good luck.

Author:  MAJENKINS [ Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

dthudon wrote:
Based on the recoil sensitivity, it sounds like she needs a Syren Semi auto. My wife was in the same position. She wanted an O/U for the looks, but after trying everything under the sun I finally convinced her to try the Syren XLR5. It only took 2 shells and she was sold due to the significant recoil reduction and comfortability. Now she shoot any and every ammo she wants. With the O/Us we were even trying super low recoil rounds that were still and issue. At the end of the day, no matter how pretty the gun is, if she wont shoot it because it hurts, then it is just going to look pretty sitting in the safe. Probably all stuff you have considered but I thought I might share. Good luck.


CG no longer makes the XLR5 in a woman-sized model, having replaced it with the L4S, which is slightly lighter and under $2K NIB. Everything I've heard about the L4S has been good. Apparently the weight saving is on the front end, which makes some people happy and others not so much. I gave my sister the XLR5 for her birthday, and I'm giving me the L4S for mine, so at some point this fall I'll be able to shoot both in a side-by-side comparison. Mary Ann

Author:  stripersonfly [ Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

toadstool wrote:
What is the softest shooting O/U out there?


There are two parts to this answer.

First, the heaviest gun that she can shoot effectively. The heavier the gun, the less the recoil. A gas operated semi-auto will reduce perceived recoil somewhat, but if your wife is convinced she wants an O/U, than weight is the major variable to negate recoil. I have heard the claims that longer forcing cones and backboring will reduce recoil, and maybe they do, but the difference will be minimal.

Second, the better the fit, the more she will be able to handle whatever recoil is generated. Woman have unique stock requirements which are generally not met by off the rack guns in the price range you are looking at. If you really want to learn more about this I would recommend you purchase The Stockfitters Bible by Rolland Oswald. He goes into great detail about this. It is not just a matter of shorter length of pull. Woman have need for cast, and different drop at comb & heel. So whatever gun you purchase expect to pay some money dial in the fit. Perhaps with an adjustable comb and other alterations.

Finally, shop around for reduced payload shells. The other factor to help reduce more recoil is to reduce the shot load and velocity. Shop for such shells, though they can be difficult to find at time. If you are up for it you might want to consider reloading? You can easily reload a 7/8 oz. shell for your wife at comfortable velocities which would help reduce recoil.

Author:  oneounceload [ Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

Heavy gun and lightest loads in a gun that FITS her; that may mean having a stock tweaked. While a gas gun helps with perceived recoil (assuming both weigh the same), the one advantage of an O/U is the ability to shoot really light loads, like WIN 980 fps loads. Or you reload and make up some 3/4 or 7/8 loads running 1200. That will give the lightest recoil. It might behoove you to try and rent/borrow as many guns from the likes of Browning and Beretta to see which come the closest to fitting her. Again, depending on her stature and shooting form, etc., you might need to come up with some extra for having the stock adjusted to her. Buy once, cry once, but have a shooting buddy who will want to join you every time out.
Another factor in perceived recoil is noise. Get her the best hearing protection, maybe even doubling up with insert plugs and muffs over. It is amazing how many women don't mind shooting pistols when the noise is seriously muffled.

Good luck!

Author:  toadstool [ Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

Fantastic information, thank you all! I have 3 guns in mind now that I would like her to feel.

#1 Syren L4S / Impossible to lay our hands on before buying.
#2 Beretta A400 Xcel 20 / Impossible to lay hands on before buying.
#3 Franchi Instinct SL / Available locally to touch and feel.

I am leaning towards #2

Author:  oneounceload [ Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

There's a BASS Pro in Destin; that should be close enough to at least do some "showrooming"

Author:  Ulysses [ Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

Cabela's sell Herter's shotgun shells. They have a 12 gauge shell that contains 1 ounce of shot at 1060 fps muzzle velocity. VERY soft recoil, even in an O/U. If you haven't tried these shells, then you haven't really tried any SOFT recoil loads.

BTW, I've shot perhaps 10 cases of these shells and they do a fine job of breaking targets with almost no recoil. Also, there are several good O/U's that sell for less than $2,000 new, so don't give up on the idea of your wife shooting an O/U with soft recoiling shells.

Author:  MAJENKINS [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

Ulysses wrote:
Cabela's sell Herter's shotgun shells. They have a 12 gauge shell that contains 1 ounce of shot at 1060 fps muzzle velocity. VERY soft recoil, even in an O/U. If you haven't tried these shells, then you haven't really tried any SOFT recoil loads.

BTW, I've shot perhaps 10 cases of these shells and they do a fine job of breaking targets with almost no recoil. Also, there are several good O/U's that sell for less than $2,000 new, so don't give up on the idea of your wife shooting an O/U with soft recoiling shells.


+1 on the Herter's 1 oz 1060 fps. I've been shooting them about a year in my Syren Tempio and have no problem with felt recoil. And I'd suggest to the original poster that if his wife has her heart set on an O/U to look at used. There are some good guns out there; after all, you fire a gun one time and it's used. And if necessary look at the very good pneumatic recoil absorbers that can be attached to the stock. MAJ

Author:  toadstool [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

Ok last time I will bother you folks. Syren L4S or Beretta A400 Xcel, is there such thing as one being "better" than the other? Lastly, will the 20 Beretta kick less than the 12 Syren? Thank you all for your patience with me.

Author:  oneounceload [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

As to the 12 vs 20; typically a 20 can have MORE recoil as the gun is typically a pound (or more) lighter. I have 2 12 A400s, 1 is 8#, the other (my wifes uses now and again) is 7# and has the Kick Off. BOTH guns shoot my 3/4oz reloads and work perfectly and break targets just nicely.

Author:  VTHokiesDuckHunter [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

My wife and daughter both shoot a Beretta White Onyx 20 gauge with no problem. To make it better I’m going to have the stock adjusted slightly (slight LOP reduction/plus change the pitch).

I’ll probably also put some weight in the buttstock. I do buy reasonable speed and load shells as well.

Author:  oyeme [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

toadstool wrote:
Ok last time I will bother you folks. Syren L4S or Beretta A400 Xcel, is there such thing as one being "better" than the other? Lastly, will the 20 Beretta kick less than the 12 Syren? Thank you all for your patience with me.


I think the Syren L4S is a definite winner for a lady. It is modified from the factory to "fit" a woman better than other makers. It is also a very high quality semi auto. They are not sitting on the shelf everywhere but they are available. It is a simpler and more robust design internally. Good luck.

Author:  toadstool [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

Okey dokey folks I think you talked us into a Syren L4S sporting. My only concern is the 12vs20 deal with the recoil.

Author:  oneounceload [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

12 with the lightest, slowest payloads that will work the gun. NO more than 1 oz

You might see if Santa Rosa in Pace has rental guns and let her try as many as she wants.

Author:  toadstool [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

oneounceload wrote:
12 with the lightest, slowest payloads that will work the gun. NO more than 1 oz

You might see if Santa Rosa in Pace has rental guns and let her try as many as she wants.



Thank you very much for the reply. They actually do have three guns for rent. Two are Beretta over and unders and one is a semi that I believe is a browning. They are all three 12’s. We rented one of the over and under is the first time we shot two weeks ago when my wife said she loved it but said it kicked way too hard. We are going tomorrow and I bought some 1 ounce instead of 1 1/8 hopefully that will make a difference and I will also rent the semi automatic instead of the over and under. We are really out of luck as far is trying out other guns. would you think the 12 gauge syren with light loads would be equivalent to the Beretta 20 with 7/8 loads?

Author:  Texas Yankee [ Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

You can't beat the below advise. In my short experience of this sport, fit is everything when it comes to getting started and being successful. A used gun is also fine, lots of low mileage guns out there at a fair price. Then you need a stock fitter. I would guess her recoil sensitivity developed from a poorly fit gun and maybe some 1oz loads.
Welcome to the club, have her meet with some of the women shooters. Remember everyone has an opinion, nothing is written in stone except an ill fitting gun will hurt physically and mentally.


stripersonfly wrote:
toadstool wrote:
What is the softest shooting O/U out there?


There are two parts to this answer.

First, the heaviest gun that she can shoot effectively. The heavier the gun, the less the recoil. A gas operated semi-auto will reduce perceived recoil somewhat, but if your wife is convinced she wants an O/U, than weight is the major variable to negate recoil. I have heard the claims that longer forcing cones and backboring will reduce recoil, and maybe they do, but the difference will be minimal.

Second, the better the fit, the more she will be able to handle whatever recoil is generated. Woman have unique stock requirements which are generally not met by off the rack guns in the price range you are looking at. If you really want to learn more about this I would recommend you purchase The Stockfitters Bible by Rolland Oswald. He goes into great detail about this. It is not just a matter of shorter length of pull. Woman have need for cast, and different drop at comb & heel. So whatever gun you purchase expect to pay some money dial in the fit. Perhaps with an adjustable comb and other alterations.

Finally, shop around for reduced payload shells. The other factor to help reduce more recoil is to reduce the shot load and velocity. Shop for such shells, though they can be difficult to find at time. If you are up for it you might want to consider reloading? You can easily reload a 7/8 oz. shell for your wife at comfortable velocities which would help reduce recoil.

Author:  jbishop [ Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please lead me in the right direction

My wife shoots a Beretta A303 that is tricked out - back bored, angle ported, forcing cones removed, custom fit/altered stock, etc. Recoil is very minimal. She demo'd a Syren XLR5 auto last weekend just for kicks and said the recoil was about the same "out of the box" as her gun with all the mods. Syren has replaced the XLR5 with the L4S (which is what we thought she was going to demo). I'm told it's basically the same in terms of recoil but have no personal experience.

Edit: And Michigan Shooting Centers has a barely used Syren L4S for $1500 right now. I'm in Atlanta but bought a gun from them last year and had it shipped to my FFL. Great transaction and great people. Ceasar/Fabarm is making some great guns for the money right now.

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