There's no denying the fact the number of women enjoying hunting and shooting sports has been on the rise in recent years, as both markets are catering more to the female demographic than ever before. For years, women have had to make do with men's hunting apparel and gear, and that includes firearms. Now, can effectively shoot traditional firearms and have success in the field or at the range, but more and more manufacturers are rolling out models designed for women to give them the size and fit they really should have in a gun.
Largely because of how many more shots someone is likely to take with a shotgun, they've created the greatest demand for more female-specific offerings. Fortunately, we're starting to see a noticeable difference in how manufacturers respond to that demand, as a nice variety of high-quality shotguns are now available for women to purchase. In fact, there are enough shotguns for women to pick from that we had to narrow down our list to a handful of our favorites, based on quality and affordability.
Now, shotguns obviously vary quite a bit, so one of the greatest factors in your decision is what kind of hunting or shooting you plan to do. Double-barrel shotguns, which come in side-by-side or over-under configurations, thrive in upland bird hunting applications, and are also a favorite among avid clay shooters. Many consider a semi-automatic shotgun to only be appropriate in a waterfowl hunting setting, but range-lovers can have a field day with the amount of shells they can cycle through, too. If you just want one shotgun that can do a little bit of everything, your best bet is a classic pump-action 12-gauge.
Shotguns are inherently versatile, though, so if you're partial to the aesthetic of one design over another, there's no reason you can't make it work, so long as you aren't hunting deer with a .410 or squirrels with a 10-gauge. We've compiled the shotguns we believe offer the most bang for your buck, while simultaneously best addressing the needs of female shooters.
Syren XLR5 Waterfowler
The only thing better than a dedicated women's shotgun is an entire brand committed to serving female shooters. Whether you're targeting pheasants, mallards, or sporting clays, Syren has the perfect shotgun to fit your smaller frame. With a stock designed just for women, the company's XLR5 Waterfowler weighs in at just over 7 pounds with a 28-inch barrel and features the Pulse Piston gas operating system, which reduces felt recoil and makes high-performance waterfowl ammo easier to shoulder. The 12-gauge semi-auto is finished in Realtree MAX-5 with a soft-touch finish. MSRP: $1,985-$2,185
Franchi Affinity Catalyst
Franchi upgraded its popular Affinity shotgun to provide a better, more balanced feel in a woman's hands. Available in 12- and 20-gauge models, the Affinity Catalyst boasts a drop, cast, pitch and length-of-pull specifically designed for the female frame. These semi-automatic shotguns feature Franchi's Inertia Driven System and weigh in at 6.6 and 5.7 pounds, respectively. With a 28-inch barrel length for the 12-gauge model and only 26 inches for the 20-gauge, the Affinity Catalyst is easy to handle and won't break the bank. MSRP: $969
Beretta 693 Vittoria
Beretta enlisted the help of its champion lady shooters to develop its first over-under just for women. Built on Beretta's 690 platform, the 693 Vittoria features a reduced length of pull, reduced pistol grip radius and reduced weight. The Vittoria is available in both 12- and 20-gauge models with a manual or automatic safety and features a beautiful wood stock and engraving. While these shotguns may be hard to get your hands on, they've received rave reviews and are worth doing a little digging to locate. MSRP: From $3,000
Blaser F16 Game Intuition
Blaser set out to build the most comfortable, perfectly tailored shotgun fit for female hunters, and the result was the F16 Game Intuition. A compact Monte Carlo stock allows women - with their higher cheekbones - to achieve the optimal shooting position, while a soft recoil pad ensures better recoil absorption and steady shoulder placement. The 12-gauge over-and-under is available with a 28- or 30-inch barrel and a variety of customization options. MSRP: $4,500
Other gun makers such as Fabarm, Browning, Benelli, Remington, and Mossberg offer compact, lightweight models that aren't specifically designed for women but still fit the bill for certain use cases. Be sure to do your homework and before you invest in your next shotgun.
READ MORE: TOP 6 SELF-DEFENSE HANDGUNS FOR WOMEN
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