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Discussion Starter #1
single woman. I want a good reliable gun that I can use for the following things:

1) home defense
2) hunting
3) protection of chickens, rabbits and goat

Can I get this with one gun or do I need 2?
 

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Everyone has a preferance and ofcourse can learn/practice.For me, I like a shotgun. I've had to sleep outside in a lawn chair to get *****. I need glasses to see upclose, and a shotgun is usable for me without glasses. Now my dh, he uses a 22 and can wake up and hit a squirrl between the eyes. I'd need atleast a cup of coffee,just to wake up.
Maybe you can find someone that will let you try out all 3 and find what you are comfortable with.
 

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the do everything gun is by far the the shotgun 12 or 20ga , if your small get the youth gun the 2 i like are the Remingtion 870 and mossberg 500
if your left handed get the mossberg the safety is on top
12 is just a touch easier to find ammo and gun wise but the 20 is also easy to find and a better choice for those who may be recoil sensitive and will do almost anything a 12 will do , the 12 can be hard on the shoulder , you won't notice when your in the heat of it but you will during practice and you nee to practice some

my son got his mossberg 500c 20ga when he was 10 he shot it quite well , put a full or modified choke in it they normally come with one modified from the store buy a box of #6 shot for birds and small game like rabbit and squirrel , buy some slugs for deer , bear ,hogs , and buy buckshot for home defense, coyote , and things that you want dead around the chicken coop

get and improved cylinder choke or slug barrel for shooting slugs they sell it as a combo with both barrels also

what this lacks is efficiency , some times you don't need shot gun power to dispatch a animal for butchering , or to hunt small game or deal with ***** around the chicken coop

take a safety class

my grandpa farmed till he retired and had one gun his hole life a 12 ga shotgun it never failed to kill what he needed dead.

that said if you can find 22lr ammo right now a 22 is a great second gun it adds the efficiency and cost factor into dispatch and small game

next up on my list would be a pistol , it adds the portability aspect , it is a gun that while not the best at the job is the most convenient to carry which means it is with you when you need it , if you had only said personal defense a pistol would have been first on the list

finally a longer range high power rifle would round out your 4 gun collection giving you the ability to hunt game or varmint at longer distances.

with a shotgun you need to know your pattern get some large pieces of card board and put a mark you can see like a square of tape on the center and aim at that and shoot one load at each card board from different distances label them , this will give you a better idea of where to aim and effective distance for the load and choke
 

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I have found that a shotgun works best. My favorite is the 410. With age sight is a concern and I'm not accurate with a .22. I can load a shotgun, aim, and know I can hit without being dead on accurate (20-70 foot range mostly).
I don't hunt, so that is not a factor for me--the animals would run away laughing I would miss so many times!:)
Home defense and protection of livestock.
Heaviness of the gun is a factor for us women--I don't have the strength in my arms to hold up a heavy long barreled gun that I had in my younger days. I need an uncomplicated gun--load, aim, shoot--I know nothing about guns really, know nothing about chokes, etc....I just know if I load and shoot--I want the critter dead if I get that far. 12 & 20 gauge shells are easy and cheap to find.
 

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perhaps i should explain chokes and shot size a bit

a choke is a constriction a the end of the barrel , for many years the barrel was made with the constriction , MOD modified choke and FULL full choke were the most common this constriction helps to force the shot in the wad , the wad these days is a plastic cup that holds the shot in the shell and travels up and out the barrel holding the shot to keep the pattern.

now barrels often com with removable screw in chokes so that you can just change the insert at the end of the barrel for about 20 dollars and not the hole barrel at much greater cost of a 100 or more dollars

cyclinder bore is no constriction at all
then improved cylinder a slight constriction
then modified , more constriction
then full
then extra full
and now there are even some "turkey" that are tighter than extra full

slugs are safe to shoot through cylinder and improved cylinder screw in chokes , in fixed choke barrels with rifled slugs it was often done and i have never had any problem with it in my guns through a modified choke barrel the rifled type slugs are like a hollow cup of lead and are designed to swage down going trough a constriction as long as it is reasonable

I like Winchester super x rifled slugs in the 15 round value pack , and federal true ball slugs these are foster type slugs and the projectile looks sort of like a lead thimble but thicker and it does work well on large game out to about 75 yards remigtion also makes a slug like this that works fine , each gun tends to have a favorite brand so you buy a box of each and try them on a paper target and use the one yor guns works best with.

shot #9 shot is almost like powdered lead it is so small there are 8 , 7 1/2 , 6 , 5,4 ,3 ,2 , b, bb ,bbb ,T, then buck shot , #4 , 000, and 00 being the most common

6 do well on most small game and upland birds , 4and 5 are used on turkey you head shoot turkey, the smaller number is larger in size and are used on waterfowl although waterfowl shot needs to be steel now and not lead and there is a size difference between #2 steel and #2 lead

buck shots #4 is the smallest adn those the balls are 22 caliber , 000 is about 30 caliber and 00 is about 36 caliber the smalle rthe ball the more of them you get a typical payload is between 9 and 15 for the larger and 20+for the smaller

shot gun shells come in 2 3/4 inch 3 inch and 3 1/2 inch unless your going after water fowl or turkey your unlikely to need more than 2 3/4 inch shells , but most new guns are chambered in 2 3/4 or 3 inch with magnum guns chambered in the 3 1/2 inch these are often guns specialized for waterfowl or turkey hunting and not likely what your looking for

pattern this is the spread of the shot at a distance it is best if you know how far out you can expect to have a good pattern with enough shot going to hit the target to effectively kill or disable it a pattern is a cone very much like the cone of light that comes from the end of a flash light pointed at a distan object at some point there cone fo light becomes to weak for you to clearly see the object likewise at some distance the cone of shot becomes to spread out for it to be effective like the focus on a flash ligth the choke focuses the cone of shot , but like a flash light there is only so much it can do to focus the cone
 

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I have an old single 12 that was shortened to 18.5 inches. The barrel was threaded for winchokes. I keep improved cylinder installed. Fantastic pattern at 40 yards. Same choke with slugs is exceptional and great for hunting. With the one gun up on the hill, we can do a lot.
 

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I second a pump shotgun as the single gun for a homesteader. Pick your gun by how it fits and how heavy it is for you, not by whether it is a 12 or 20 gauge. You want to be able to hit things with it.

The recoil is dependent on the charge of the shotgun shell and the weight of the gun. You can buy shotgun shells with a wide variety of shot charge weights and powder charges. Twelve and 20 gauge overlap to a great extent. For instance, you can buy either 12 or 20 gauge shells with a 1 oz load of shot and a powder charge that propels it to a velocity of 1300 feet per second at the muzzle. The force generated by accelerating the shot charge out the barrel is the same but the 12 gauge gun will seem to kick less because it weighs more than a 20. My dear old daddy did me a great disservice by starting me out with a bolt action 20 gauge. It kicked like a mule.

I recommend a 12 gauge if you can handle the weight. Remember that you have to carry it for hours when you go hunting.

I agree with Green Country Pete on most of what he says. I disagree with his statement, "if your left handed get the mossberg the safety is on top". The cross-bolt safety on a Remington 870 can be easily be taken out, reversed, and installed as a safety for the left handed shooter. I like the 870 over the Mossberg because it is sleeker and handles better for me. Both the Mossberg and the 870 eject the empty shells to the right. The emptys fly across the vision of a left handed shooter. If you are a left handed shooter or your household has both right and left handed shooters, you may want to consider spending a bit more for a gun that ejects out the bottom like the Browning BPS.

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/family.asp?webflag_=011B

They also make the 870 in a left handed version.

http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/left-hand/model-870-express-lh.aspx

I would not be afraid to save some money by getting a used gun in good shape. many guns are very well made and only get used during hunting season so they have very little wear and tear on them.
 

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nimrod i didn't know that you could do that on an 870 , but that brings up a point we were talking about in hunters ed two weeks ago 2 identical or nearly identical guns that operate differently

my example was a newer and older marlin bolt action 22 on one the safety pulled back to fire the other forward to fire same lever same location almost identical guns of the same manufacture the magazine and bolt are different but not much

turning around a cross bolt safety you best make sure it's your gun you pick up and your paying attention

I did know you could turn around the safety on the Ithaca M37 but being right handed never had any need to.

I am getting to be a bigger advocate of doing something to personalize your gun if you spend time around a lot of other shooter with almost identical guns like trap league or 22 league
I mark all the 4H guns with paint marker they have all been assigned numbers and have the county name written on them i can count the numbers as i put them in the cases and know i have all of them and they are all the right ones


i have been at the range when a guy figures out his gun is missing , everyone goes over and identifies their gun and there is one unidentified gun left in the rack almost identical to the gun the guy is missing , luckily just then the guy who took it pulls in he said he got home and realized when he wiped it down to put it in the safe it wasn't his and brought it back out hoping the other guy hadn't taken his

like nimrod said especially hunting guns get used a week or two a year then are cleaned and put away , as long as they are in good shape I don't worry about buying them but there is often littel difference in price as a well cared for used gun will sell for very close to a new gun these days in many places.
 

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GCP---I appreciate all of the information, my BIL has tried to explain this to me many times :)
I just don't understand it all----
I suppose he gave up when he brought me over some shells in a box--different colors, said some are brass (tried to explain the difference and had me shoot some) and finally gave up and said "any of these will kill a mean dog or stop someone that is trying to hurt you"
yep--that works
I've always used a shotgun---feel very comfortable with a shotgun---pistols make me nervous..
I suppose I should make everyone else nervous not knowing all the technical stuff and just load and shoot. :)
 

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I'll toss another vote into the shotgun box but I'd strongly suggest a 12 over a 20. A 20 can do almost anything a 12 can but it can't do it all.

As I have said many times before only a shotgun will let you hunt everything from quail to elk and offer protection from everything from a rat to a bear all by doing nothing more than changing the type of ammo.
 
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Believe me Bluerose---nothing looks more serious than a woman carrying around a shotgun doing chores--people either think you are an insane crazy lady, or are looking to shoot some critter and don't want to get shot by mistake. I truly believe my shotgun (pump) saved me one night. At 2 am I was awakened by someone pounding on the door--my property is not designed where anyone off the street would be knocking at this particular door---I was home alone--I immediately grabbed the gun and the pump made the cha cha--I know the person heard the noise as the pounding immediately stopped and I didn't hear anything--I was up the rest of the night with "bessy" ready just in case. Another poster was correct that the sound of a pump is distinct-and most criminal types know what that sound is.
 

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countrytime , the most important thing that you need to know is the numbers on the side of the barrel have to match the numbers on the back of the shell

the gun will say **20ga 2 3/4 or 3 inch shells ** usually on the left side of the barrel and you only put shells that say 20ga shells in it usually i stick with 2 3/4 unless water fowl hunting

they stress this repeatedly in hunters education , you might want to take hunters ed it is good very cheap training

that said if it is home defense , dogs and critters that need killing around the farm just keep buck shot around , it don't even much matter what buck shot inside 25 yards there won't be much difference

you got to aim but you don't need to be super precise

in most cases the pattern is about the size of your fist at 20 feet double that at 40 and it doubles again about every 20 depending on the choke

you should shoot some card board at several distances to see how big your pattern is and that's about all i suppose you need to know

I do like to point out TABK thsi is the acronym that is drilled into all hunters ed students
T-treat every gun as if it is loaded
A- always keep you muzzle in a safe direction (usually up or down) but never pointed at someone you don't intend to shoot
B- be sure of your target and what is beyond for game this is be positive it is a legal animal of the proper sex and that no building or house is behind the target that you could hit, but for home defense this is make sure it is really a bad guy , use a light positive id and since it sounds like you live alone family members in the line of fire shouldn't be an issue
K- keep your finger out of the trigger guard till you are ready to shoot , this is a hard one for so many people their finger just finds the trigger every time they pick up the gun , place your finger on the gun above the trigger guard finger strait out
 

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Savage 24B .22 over .410 shotgun. Its big enough for defense, will shoot .22 cb caps for rats and hollow points for squirrels or fox. It will use .410 slugs for deer if you want and a load of #6 shot will deter an intruder if they are close enough to harm you, yet it won't kill a kid in the next room. And when they hold it up in court because you shot the tweeker in your garage at 2 am, it looks like it came over on the Mayflower.
 

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countrytime , the most important thing that you need to know is the numbers on the side of the barrel have to match the numbers on the back of the shell

the gun will say **20ga 2 3/4 or 3 inch shells ** usually on the left side of the barrel and you only put shells that say 20ga shells in it usually i stick with 2 3/4 unless water fowl hunting

they stress this repeatedly in hunters education , you might want to take hunters ed it is good very cheap training

that said if it is home defense , dogs and critters that need killing around the farm just keep buck shot around , it don't even much matter what buck shot inside 25 yards there won't be much difference

you got to aim but you don't need to be super precise

in most cases the pattern is about the size of your fist at 20 feet double that at 40 and it doubles again about every 20 depending on the choke

you should shoot some card board at several distances to see how big your pattern is and that's about all i suppose you need to know

I do like to point out TABK thsi is the acronym that is drilled into all hunters ed students
T-treat every gun as if it is loaded
A- always keep you muzzle in a safe direction (usually up or down) but never pointed at someone you don't intend to shoot
B- be sure of your target and what is beyond for game this is be positive it is a legal animal of the proper sex and that no building or house is behind the target that you could hit, but for home defense this is make sure it is really a bad guy , use a light positive id and since it sounds like you live alone family members in the line of fire shouldn't be an issue
K- keep your finger out of the trigger guard till you are ready to shoot , this is a hard one for so many people their finger just finds the trigger every time they pick up the gun , place your finger on the gun above the trigger guard finger strait out
Thanks! This stuff I know--been shooting (Occasionally) for over 30 years--used to target shoot clays a lot-(ex always bought the bullets)----but start talking chokes, anything technical, I dont even know what an AR is....and my mind just goes blank (maybe age? hehe)--just give me an old shotgun and I'm fine--went to buy a new Remington 870 at Bass Pro and discovered they have plastic stocks now, and LAMINATED stocks--(the part that goes on your shoulder right?) -- they felt cheap--I like real wood.

"that said if it is home defense , dogs and critters that need killing around the farm just keep buck shot around , it don't even much matter what buck shot inside 25 yards there won't be much difference"--yep that's what BIL says.....

Thanks for all the information---it really helps those of us who dont know or understand.
 

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Believe me Bluerose---nothing looks more serious than a woman carrying around a shotgun doing chores--people either think you are an insane crazy lady, or are looking to shoot some critter and don't want to get shot by mistake. I truly believe my shotgun (pump) saved me one night. At 2 am I was awakened by someone pounding on the door--my property is not designed where anyone off the street would be knocking at this particular door---I was home alone--I immediately grabbed the gun and the pump made the cha cha--I know the person heard the noise as the pounding immediately stopped and I didn't hear anything--I was up the rest of the night with "bessy" ready just in case. Another poster was correct that the sound of a pump is distinct-and most criminal types know what that sound is.
Same here with my 16 ga. "sweet 16" . Nothing like that sound of metal on metal when I hit the button.I can slide it silent too as I have when backing up Dh in the dark.
 

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"will deter an intruder if they are close enough to harm you"
I hate to say this really, but if someone is breaking into my house and coming at me (likely scenario being a woman) they will be deterred alright--they will be dead. I will not shoot to wound (at legs or such) so they can grab my gun and use it on me, or worse do something terrible to me and then shoot me. I like a pump that can hold several rounds, as most intruders have a friend-at least in my area it seems when you hear of these things happening.
And no---I will NOT hesitate to kill an intruder that wants to harm me--you need to get your mind in the right place with this--especially since we are women--we have a "nurturing" side of us that could cost us our lives if we were to hesitate under these circumstances. Past experiences taught me about this--I have thought years about it. Think about this a lot before something of this nature possibly happens. It's important.
 
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