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Ok guys and gals I trust your opinions more then the average internet rable. So I figured I should ask this here my wife recently informed me that she really would like to start duck hunting with me which is fine by me. My one condition is the shotgun can't be hot pink in my duck blind. Pretty sure i am going with a remington 1187 unless you all have better options for under $700. Good semiauto less recoil and reliable I was wondering should we be looking at a 20 gauge or 12 gauge for her. She has very little shotgun experience I was leaning to the 20 gauge. if it doesnt kick as hard i can get her to shoot a lot more and that will do her far more service then anything.Know a good local stock fitter so will probably have the stock custom fit to her
 

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My wife has a rem 1187 in 20 gauge, she started 4 years ago on flooded timber ducks with me. She doesnt think it has a limit, she has also used it on geese. She does particularly well with kent steel.
 

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No easy answer if you are looking at wide range of shooting (ducks to maybe sporting clays). No problem with a a proper fitted 20 gauge with a good recoil pad. Many 20 ga guns kick like hell because of the myth a 20 ga must kick less so they do not have good (or any) recoil pads. A 1 ounce shot @ 1200 fps out of a 12 ga or a 20 ga? Many 20 ga guns are lighter and do not have a decent pad and thus kick like hell. Newer gun technology has helped recoil with new stocks/pads.

For 20 ga there may be less great loads for duck (particularly if longer distance) than a 12 ga. With some of the newer low recoil 12s and available low recoil/light loads to as heavy as you need for duck may be more versatile.
 

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Having seen so many women and girls scared off firearms completely by felt recoil, or even just stories of felt recoil, I would go with the 20. I shoot 12 myself but have been told about a million times that 20s are just as good, and besides that much nicer to shoot (and also to carry around).
 

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I think it should be mostly about comfort and confidence for her right now so she has a positive experience whether you take her out to practice with clay's or actually duck hunt. If you start her off with a 12GA and it's not a good experience [kaaaboom] - then you may have a shotgun that never gets used again. If you get her a nice 20GA and work her along at a moderate rate, hopefully she will love the experience and want to keep hunting. If the 20GA does not provide enough umph [but I hear the ducks almost land on you in Louisiana] later down the road you can step her up to a 12GA when the confidence builds.

Duck hunting is awesome, normally a lot of action and nothing like "the laughing that happens [automatically] when you fold a duck up in mid-air! It just always happens that way.

It is great that she wants to go with you!

Just my .02
 

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I am a life long duck hunter. At 10 years old, I went from a 20 gauge double barrel to a Browning A5, 12 gauge. It was a pretty good jump from the 20 to the 12. I would tend to recommend that she start with a 20 and have no bad experiences. A lot depends on the size of the bird, the distance and the weather conditions. She can always graduate to a larger gun as time goes on.

Hobo
 

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I did some shotgun shooting last month (00 buck through an 870) so the experience is fresh in my mind. 12 gauge is really not that bad as long as the shotgun is held properly.
 

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Fit to the shooter is everything. All other things being equal, 12 ga shell holds a few more pellets, which is a good thing with longer shots.
 

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Get the 12ga.

My wife was 6 months pregnant, picked up a 12ga over-under and blasted some clay pigeons with me.. that was about 2 years ago.

My wife shoots the 12ga fine. She started off hunting as a kid with a 20ga win 1300, now she shoots 12ga just fine. Start your girl off with a low recoil load before you give her a full power to see how she likes it. Heck let her shoot one of your 12gas first before you spend any cash.

I am with Garrard, the 12ga isnt bad if you hold it correctly.
 

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I'll also add that when I was shooting shotgun last month, there were a couple of females with me, one of which was 5'3", 110 lbs, and she could handle it.
 

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Why not a .410?

A saiga perhaps?
No, I strongly believe nothing less than a 20 is indicated for ducks. You're talking long ranges and hard feathered, hard to hit birds there. And I don't know how game wardens would react to the sight of a Saiga where this lady lives, but for sure the 3 shot limit for waterfowl would make one unnecessary, would it not?

Anyway, what kind of a choke comes with those Commie things? You want modified to full.
 

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a semi auto 12ga that fits her. you can buy light 12ga loads for practice, and step up to hunting loads when she is ready. with shotguns, fit is absolutely everything, from how well one can shoot it, to how bad recoil is. a poor fitting gun is hard to hit with, and can beat the snot out of someone.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Guys I appericate the info and the over whelming responses. I have a rem 1100 I think I will let her shoot if she thinks its ok I will get a 12 for her and have it fit and get a recoil pad that should help her out alot.
 

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Guys I appericate the info and the over whelming responses. I have a rem 1100 I think I will let her shoot if she thinks its ok I will get a 12 for her and have it fit and get a recoil pad that should help her out alot.
The Remington 1100, being a gas-operated semi-automatic is the best design to use, as it has the least felt recoil. This is more important than gauge, in my opinion.
 
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