While women shooters can fire the same models built for the boys, dedicated women's guns make for a better fit and more enjoyable days in the field.
But these four shotguns are some of the best on the market and a great place to start.
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, sporting clays or mallards, 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 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.
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