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Seeking gun purchase advice

5049 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  collky2
I'm looking to buy a 12, 16 or 20 gauge O/U. Do any manufacturers have models meant for women or youth? My first gun needed the stock shortened quite a bit (I'm 5'2''). Even then it didn't fit me too well, some friends said it needed more cast off. Anyway I'm a beginning shooter, have done some trap and sporting clays, trying to become proficient enough to gun over my dogs (springer spaniels). TIA for any advice on a gun that might work.
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I am aware of only one youth model o/u, the Fabarm Super Light Lion Cub (Youth) Model . The cost of the over and unders is such that most youth models are either single shot, pump, or an auto.

The Remington 870 is a standard youth model pump and there is Beretta that has the AL390 Youth Model which has been specifically designed to offer young shooters all the features that make the standard AL390 such a favorite among hunters. The light, 20 gauge gun is specially proportioned for smaller bodies. Featuring a 13.5 inch length of pull and 24 inch barrel, these dimensions help provide the better balance and reduced felt recoil that make the AL390 Youth Model the perfect way to introduce new shooters to the sport. The self-compensating gas system delivers all-load versatility in the field. Beretta's exclusive Mobilchoke® system comes standard.

If you pick a standard 20 ga and have it tubed for 28ga or find a standard 28ga both may need stock work to get them to fit you, but either would be suitable for chasing quail.

You may check with your local dealer to see if the Fabarm is still available. ... meset.html
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go to or they normally have some good deals on a used gun sometimes you can find one that has a shorter stock (i found a gun that normally retails for 2,300 for 1,950 i was really happy and it had a shorter stock and a recoil reducer on it)
Shoot a 12 ga for one season and you will be 5'1" tall!!

A 20 ***** over/under would work, but you still have problems. My guess is that you have, what, a 13.25 LOP? So you have two heavy barrels hanging out the front with a 13 inch stock. This is a problem. However, let me say this. Somebody else will have already tried this, and there are tons, and I do mean tons of 26 inch o/u on the market, and if it has a 13 inch stock on the gun you will buy the gun CHEAPLY.

The perfect solution for you lies with any gun and a Wiman New American stock for women. This stock has a 3 inch drop to heel with a parallel comb, and it would be PERFECT for you, and you could custom finish the gun to make it just right. The price really is isn't bad considering the benefit. Send Wiman a note and see if he has sold one to somebody in your neighborhood in the New American Women.
I am new to shotguns and have recently purchased a like-new used 12-***** Remington 11-87 Sporting Clays with 26" barrel and 5 extended choke set in original case. The stock was too long for me even though I attempted to shoot it and did so with accuracy. It was uncomfortable trying to shove the stock into my shoudler!. Remington, Browning, SKB and I believe Beretta all have ladies models. I would not suggest a youth model as the barrel would be too short. Any model shotgun can be fitted to you, so you do not have to look specifically at a lady's model. You would not wear a pair of shoes that do not fit you -- so why shoot a gun that does not fit you. Luckily we have a master gunsmith here in NW GA by the name of RL Matthews. No one is qualified other than a highly qualified gunsmith, to tell you whether your gun fits you or not. I went through a 15-20 minute fitting. My stock had to be cut off at least 1" as well as the steel in the stock. I had my old hard base replaced with a Packmayer Decelerator Pad which is great! I went straight to the shooting range and shot a 16 out of 25 the first time shooting clay pigeons on wobble trap game. A gun that fits is a wonderful thing!!!!!
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I have a Beretta S686 special which is brillaint would recommend it what about a new 686 onyx.
Dave :D
Fabarm gun gamma max sporting ........nice gun
I use it for should do for clays

Avoid buying a Beretta. I was very dissapointed having one
SKB has the 585 in a youth/women's model. Check out their site at I asked a whole bunch of questions of them, over the phone and via e-mail. They were terrific to deal with, very honest, polite and helpful. I ordered my 85TSS last week, so I can't say much about shooting it yet, though.
I was shoping for a "youth" gun for my wife, thought it would fit her better, (she is not a big women), however she ended up bying (and very hapy with) a Beretta 687 silver pigeon 12 g O/U... wow what a nice gun, and it comes with 2 recoil pads, one slimer then the other wich alows you to shorten the LOP. It seems to fit her just fine. today she hit 16/25 and 18/25. and that was the third time she EVER shot a firearm... I think she and the gun are good. :wink:
Karen, more important than it being a "ladies model" is that the gun fits you. Guns "off the shelf" only fit 50% of the population at best, whether it be ladies, mens, or youth models. The ultimate best recommendation I can give you is 1) go to a big shooting event, like the Grand American or a regional top-notch trapshoot event, and visit the vendors. Benelli, Browning, Remington, Perazzi, etc. will be there and they will measure you and help you find a good fitting gun. The next best bet is 2) to find a gunsmith in your area who knows how to measure you and has one or two guns for you to try out. The next best thing is to 3) go to your closest trap/skeet range and ask some of the women there if they would let you shoot their gun. My wife gladly lets women shoot her Browning o/u which has been custom fit for her. Before Kathy got the Browning Ultra Featherweight, she did not like shooting because the other shotguns she had did not fit her. Now that she has a gun that fits, shooting once a week is not enough. Gun fit makes the difference - - for everyone, not just women.
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KJB above offers wome very good advice. You are also progressing in a direction all new shooters should travel when buying their first gun.

To come close to correctly fitting you, you will need a gun that isn't too heavy to handle with your forward arm and one that has a stock with reduced length, a comb (top surface of the stock) at the correct height so you can correctly look along the rib with adequate pressure of your cheek to assist your head's remaining in place during swings to targets, a grip that allows you to pull relatively straight back on the trigger without the need to slide your hand up along the wrist of the grip, and one that has the correct pitch (angle of the recoil pad relative to the barrel) so that the bottom (toe) of the pad doesn't dig into your chest during recoil.

A youth stock will come closer to fitting you than will a stock designed for a man. It is well worth the effort getting a gun with a stock that at least comes close to fitting you even though the pitch may still need correcting. With a well fitting stock, felt recoil will be reduced and along with a correct shooting form (stance/foot positions, body posture, gun mount), it will allow you to improve much more rapidly.

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Karen, I am aware of 2 shotguns factory made with a shorter stock. I believe the first is a Beretta but can't remember the model. The second is the Browning Ladies Gold Sporint Clays. Both are semi auto's. In addition to the shorter stock, it has some other modifications specifically for women. I recently purchased one and love it. However, I agree with the other responses, a gun fit is hightly recommended.

The beretta is the 391 RL (reduced length) . It has a parallel comb and shorter lop. I have gotten a couple of them in for ladies at the club and they tend to like them and shoot them well
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