The number of "girls with guns" who choose to be well armed is rising and for many of them a shotgun is their first foray into the world of shooting sports. However, the shotgun is also a great home defense weapon thanks to its relative ease of use and wide shot pattern.
Natalie Foster from the Girl's Guide to Guns writes
, "Shooting gives us a sense of equality, a sense of safety, a sense of being in control of ourselves. That sense of control is empowering, and is something we should seek in other aspects of our life. This, along with the 'tough woman' image of shooting guns, gives us a more positive self-image, which is a powerful thing."
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Here are six tips for women on buying a shotgun:
1. Purpose; Determine ahead of time what the shotgun's primary function will be, as this will have a bearing on the best gauge and action.
2. Fit: A critical factor in buying a shotgun is to make sure it fits your body. According to Top Gun Review
, factors to consider are:
- Length of pull – The distance between the center of the trigger and the center of the recoil pad on the butt of the stock where it contacts your shoulder.
- Comb – The widest part of the stock that encompassed by your cheek and shoulder.
- Drop – The distance between the top of the comb to the center point of the butt that helps determine the elevation of your eye in relation to the barrel. Too much drop will cause you to shoot low. Too little drop and you’ll shoot high.
- Pitch – The angle that the butt has against your shoulder when mounted. Very important because too great a pitch will cause the butt to dig into your shoulder and make the recoil feel worse than it is. Too little a pitch and the gun may slide up and down with every shot.
3. Shotgun gauge: The smaller the gauge (or bore), the larger the size of the shell. In other words, a 16-gauge shotgun is a larger shell than a 20-gauge. The larger the size of the shell, the greater the kickback and weight of the gun.
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4. Pump action: This type of shotgun is very common. Shells are pushed into the magazine tube and are chambered by pulling back on the pump handle and then pushing it back into place. Once the shell is fired, the shooter has to repeat the process during which the empty shell will be expelled onto the ground. This type of rifle is reliable and well-rounded in its applications. However, one disadvantage is not being able to fire rounds quickly.
5. Semiautomatic: This is one of the most expensive shotgun options but because the rifle ejects and reloads from the ammunition magazine automatically, it is also easy to use and fires multiple rounds quickly. Semiautomatic rifles do require more cleaning and maintenance than other action models.
6. Single-Shot: This is one of the least expensive options and is considered a reliable and accurate shotgun. However, single shot means exactly that. In order to reload, the breech of the gun has to opened, the expended shell has to be removed and the next shell loaded before firing off another shot.
According to Well Armed Woman
, a gas-operated semiautomatic 20-gauge is a good choice for women buying a shotgun. "The gas-operated semiautomatic is much softer kicking than any other shotgun type firing the same shell. The 20 gauge is readily available in an 18" length as well and in junior sizes which fit a woman's size better. The semiautomatic shotgun can shoot multiple shots quickly and without any manual action."
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