Forums / Gun Discussion / Newbie looking for advice

3 years 9 weeks ago, 8:07 AM

nomiegirl

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Dec 2012

Hi all,

I am new to this sight and all things firearms. I am a single mom who raised three boys alone and they are nearly all out of the nest so to speak. I think its time I learn a thing or two about self defense and I am interested in purchasing a shotgun. From reading, it sounds like a 20 gauge may be best for me so I don't knock my shoulder off with a 12 gauge but I would love to hear from you! I also think that I am reading a shorter barrel is a good idea but it seems that in a lower price range I will only find a shorter barrel in a 12 gauge or a kids 20 gauge. Does that matter? Would I be okay with a kids gun?

What kinds of things can I do to learn and practice? I don't want to have a weapon that I am unfamiliar with and/or afraid to use if need be.

FYI...I live in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan in a condo. I know big dogs can be intimidating too but that's not an option for me.

Looking forward to all advice!

3 years 9 weeks ago, 12:29 PM

margaritaville

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Hello there . This is a good place to start off anything firearm related, so congrats on getting here. Choosing a shotgun is possibly the best home defense decision that you can make. The sound alone of "Racking "one is a great deterrant to criminal action. The 20 guage in a kids version is a fantastic idea. I could recommend the Remington 870 youth. You do not sound like the average 225lb , 5ft 10.5 door kicker, so lets even the odds some. The 20 guage round with 1.0 oz shot is as effective as the 12 guage round with 1.0 oz shot. Just easier for a smaller framed shooter to use. If anything the range is farther for the 20 guage. The shorter barrell will help you "balence" the weapon as you learn to shoot it and will aid you in aiming it as well since the stock is shorter. The help is two sided in that respect. Too the 20 will take a lot of weight off the weapon. There are pads out there bolster or protect your shoulder as you shoot. Some are for the shotgun, and some are for you to wear. Thus far the kids 20 will be a better idea than the 12 guage. There will be no working differences between the two of them except size of the gun, and guage. You will be probably welcomed at any range that has trap or skeet areas. Don't be afraid to ask for help at the counter ever. That is what they are there for. If you can get a range officer to help instruct you good, if you can get a shooting /safety instructor that's better. I have never seen one say no to giving advice or helping a novice shooter learn. Such a thing would be contrary to the shooters creedo. Not to mention bad for business. I hope that this hasn't been too vague to help you in your quest. I wish you well in your endeavors. MV

Which way are my people going? I have to lead them there!
3 years 9 weeks ago, 1:08 PM

wilwhitewidow

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hello

I noticed you said you dnt want to knock your shoulder, me just throwing a few cents , i think you can handle at least a 410. Is a shotgun shell in where you can also get a revolver that uses that ammo. It would be an ideal gun of the nature you seek and something you can learn easily if you put your mind to it. Thanks

fear no evil.
3 years 9 weeks ago, 2:06 PM

nomiegirl

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Thanks

I appreciate your comments, margaritaville and wilwhitewidow. Thank you for taking the time to comment! I will look into all suggestions for sure.

3 years 9 weeks ago, 2:51 PM

jay sedler

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welcome nomiegirl

always nice to have a lady find our humble site.870 20 ga youth=perfect for a smaller woman,or anyone looking for compact/weight savings.saving weight and size will help in a real home defense situation by making your weapon more easily or more quickly maneuverable.weight and size savings will most likely also make you feel more confident as you will not feel as though it is too big for you,this is common for beginners.as mentioned above you should seek some professional training if you can,especialy since your stated purpose was self defense.

CRY HAVOC and let slip the dogs of war!
3 years 9 weeks ago, 5:20 PM

luckybychoice

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got to agree

Youth 870 20 gauge. Find an 18 1/2 inch barrel version. Google it. You can shoot slugs as well with a smooth bore.Might i suggest a couple night lights plugged into an outlet inside your door way and hallway to backlight anyone coming down the hall if you ae at the other end prepares to shoot that 20 gauge.Now i am a 12 gauge fan myself but nobody is gonna ask what gauge sjotty you have as they are trying to break in.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
3 years 9 weeks ago, 5:48 PM

MattyTheJet

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nomiegirl

First off, welcome, we're glad to have you with us. Second, before I changed careers I was part of the ownership and management family of one of the most successful independent sporting goods stores in the Southeast and my main line of expertise was firearms. Just to give you a little bit of an insider's hint, more women shoot the youth model shotguns since the average woman is about the same size as the 13-15 year old boys they're designed for. If you can find a nice youth model 20 you should definitely invest in it, since there's little in the line of home protection that's more effective, plus that "ka-chuk" sound of a pump shotgun loading a shell is a real attention getter, to the point where you might not even have to fire your gun and the police will find the miscreant by following the brown streak he'll leave behind. Good luck in your gun hunt, if you need any advice on pricing, capabilities, or anything else just speak up, you've got hundreds of guys here more than willing to help.

3 years 9 weeks ago, 6:56 PM

nomiegirl

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Brands

870 has come up twice, are you talking about Remington? Any thought about Remington vs. Mossberg?

Can't thank all of you guys enough for your guidance!

3 years 9 weeks ago, 7:34 PM

MattyTheJet

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Remington, Mossberg

Remington and Mossberg are both excellent weapons, the difference being the Mossberg will be in most cases a bit less expensive. However, if your local gunshop, Dick's Sporting Goods, or Wal-Mart has them in stock look at the H&R pumps. A friend of mine (also a fellow officer) has one and he LOVES it. Also, you might be able to find a used gun somewhere on line that fits your needs, which will also save you a substantial chunk of change.

3 years 8 weeks ago, 9:01 PM

upshot

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Jun 2011
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Wisconsin
Mossberg youth

I got a Mossberg 500 20ga youth model for my wife a few years ago and she doesn't have any trouble shooting it at all. She is 5'3" and 120 or so. She can shoot a 12ga, but prefers the 20.

3 years 5 weeks ago, 1:31 AM

youknowwhat

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Second Lieutenant
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Jan 2013
Remington 1100

younger, I had a Remington's 1100 20g semiautomatic synthetic body
not sure I'f it's the youth model but mines greatfor youth

3 years 5 weeks ago, 10:45 AM

MattyTheJet

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1100

Awesome gun!

1 year 9 weeks ago, 4:44 PM

Eric1911

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Major
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Phoenix, arizona, United States
Making it up as I go

Doesn't matter what gun I have. I just make sure to clean my gun on my front porch frequently and I've never had to use it once. there it is what you need is a good gun cleaning kit. J/K

1 year 9 weeks ago, 5:37 PM

captmax

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1100 20 Ga.

I bought one years ago, it is my rabbit/small game gun. It has a wood stack and is very light, you can carry it all day. I even use it for sporting clays once in a while and hit as many birds with it as the guys with the 12s.

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