Shooters get the best performance when their gun is tailored to their needs. In general, most women will benefit from a shotgun with a relatively short length of pull and fairly low recoil. Compact designs can also be useful, but weight reductions need to be balanced with the increase in recoil that they can provide. Finding the best shotgun for women means balancing all of those factors, and it can be quite a challenge. We’ve made it a little simpler by finding ten of the best options based on their ergonomic qualities, recoil, and performance under normal shooting conditions.
10. Winchester SX4 Field Compact
The SX4 Field Compact is a small hunting shotgun from Winchester. It has a fairly short stock that shifts the gun’s balance to make it easier to shoulder and aim for long periods. The recoil pad helps to keep the gun’s kick under control, and that combines with the good factory sights to encourage accurate shooting. The trigger group is designed to drop out of the gun for easy cleaning, which combines with good chrome plating in the barrel to reduce maintenance time. Most hunters will want to consider this gun, especially those that prefer easy maintenance.
9. Remington 870 Wingmaster
|Caliber||.410, 12, 20, or 28 Gauge|
The Model 870 Wingmaster from Remington is available in a variety of calibers, but they all share some core features. The quality of the pump is high, and it moves smoothly with relatively little effort. The steel receiver can hold up to a lot of abuse and remain reliable. The gun’s ergonomics are fairly good, but there are shotguns that are better in that area. This gun offers good overall performance without standing out in any specific areas, so it’s a good choice for shooters that enjoy a variety of activities.
8. Benelli Montefeltro
|Caliber||12 or 20 Gauge|
The Montefeltro from Benelli is a hunting shotgun that works well for taking fowl. The gun is extraordinarily light and easy to maneuver, which makes it ideal for quickly aiming at moving targets. It uses a highly reliable inertia system for chamber new shells, which cuts down on weight and helps to prevent the gun from jamming. This gun is also available in left-handed variants. Consider it if you need a left-handed gun, or if you want to be able to take aim as quickly as possible.
7. TriStar Viper Youth
|Caliber||12 or 20 Gauge|
The Viper Youth from TriStar is a strong and fairly economical option for rather small shooters. Most young girls and some adults will be comfortable with it, so it is a decent choice for a first gun for a daughter. The forearm is coated with a special finish to make it more comfortable to grip. Which combines with a good recoil pad to make for a very pleasant shooting experience. The gun works well with a wide range of loads, so it’s also a good choice for experimenting with new shooting sports. Consider it if you are looking for a small shooter’s first gun. You can also check out our best youth rifles recommendations.
6. CZ 720 ALS G2
The Model 720 from CZ is designed to be shared within a whole family. It comes with an excellent adjustable stock, so it is easy to make it comfortable for shooters of any size. The shape tends not to be ideal for everyone, but it is comfortable enough for most users. The gun has low recoil, but it still has the power and accuracy for most shooting sports and hunting trips. This is the best shotgun for women that expect to share with their family, but there are better guns for individual shooters.
5. Browning Gold Light
The Gold Light from Browning is a specialized choice since it uses 10 gauge shells rather than a more common type. That gives it a lot of power and a good shot pattern for hunting but comes at the cost of a heavier shotgun and more recoil. The gun uses a gas operating system to cut down on recoil and an aluminum receiver to help with its balance, but it remains less comfortable to fire than most of the alternatives. The gun’s power and accuracy are major advantages, but most shooters should only consider this if they need something chambered for 10 gauge shells.
4. Beretta 691 Vittoria
Beretta produces the 691 Vittoria, which is the best shotgun for women with a large budget. It has excellent ergonomics, with a short length of pull and a narrow grip that makes it fit the hands comfortably. The components are all quite durable, and the decorations on them make for an attractive weapon. As a break action, it holds less ammo than most shotguns, but it is also easy to use and maintain. Enthusiastic shooters should consider this model, but it won’t be a good fit for new or casual users.
3. Beretta A400 Xplor Light
The A400 Xplore Light from Beretta is the best shotgun for women that want a light hunting weapon. It includes a special buttpad and shock absorber system to reduce recoil, which makes it easy to handle in spite of its low weight. Moreover, it can be disassembled and put back together without tools, so it is also easier to maintain than most shotguns. It costs more than many shotguns with comparable stopping power and accuracy, but the added comfort will be worth it for many shooters.
2. Mossberg FLEX 500 All-Purpose
The FLEX from Mossberg is designed for easy modification. It uses a special set of connectors to make it easy to swap out recoil pads, forends, and recoil pads. That makes it possible for any woman to look at the options and find one that fits her body. The system is fairly cheap for people who only buy one or two sets of components, and the gun shoots well for its cost, which makes this a good fit for novices. It’s the best shotgun for women that are just getting started, but it also works well for experts.
1. Franchi Affinity Catalyst
|Caliber||12 or 20 Gauge|
The Affinity from Franchi was designed specifically for female shooters, and it is certainly the best shotgun for women in most circumstances. The gun is much cheaper than most that are designed for women, but it still has quality components. It uses an inertia-driven system to make maintenance easy and to improve the gun’s weight and balance. The gun’s stock matches the female form, and it offers an excellent level of control for most users. Most women should consider this gun for general use, but it really stands out in sports that benefit from quick and easy aiming.
Making The Right Choice
Most female shooters shoot more accurately and have a better time if they use a gun with the right ergonomics features and a reasonable level of recoil. The best shotgun for women combines those features with adequate accuracy and solid construction. If you run into a good gun that we didn’t review, be sure to point it out in the comments so other shooters can take a look.