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At 5'1" and recoil sensitive, she is going to need a youth stock and still may need to cut some off for a good fit. There is more to getting a good fit than cutting off the butt end and screwing on a recoil pad. For small hands and short arms you will also need to take out some length between the grip and trigger. A good youth stock is scaled down in all measurements not just length.
Being recoil sensitive, weight is going to be her friend. But it needs to be centered between her hands, not farther out on the barrel. That will make holding it up much easier. If the weight is out beyond her hands she will want to lean back instead of forward. That will have her starting off balance and make hitting with whatever gun more like just luck. She will need to get the gun forward and lean into the stock to be able to have her shoulder act as a shock absorber instead of a barrier.

I'm not against a well fitted 410 bore shotgun for self defence. they have the striking power somewhere around 45 colt and 44 mag. The problem will be finding one that fits her will be expensive, and shooting them is expensive. There are not many of them made, and even fewer are youth stocked.
In your price range , look for a 20 ga. if you can't get a youth stock look for one with a straight stock. [no pistol grip] That will allow her hand to grip it naturally. and then cut the stock to her length. Find or cut the barrel to 24 or 26". and then look at low recoil ammo. And unless you are also 5'1" you probably won't be sharing this gun.
 

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We have pistol grip Mossberg .410 and a Shockwave .410 - my wife & kids love shooting those. Winchester PDX .410 shells for HD.
I have a Shockwave 20GA - I do not like 12 GA recoil, even if shouldered - the 20GA Shockwave recoil aint bad at all.
Result of one 20GA buckshot shell at a few yards:
Shockwave2.JPG
 

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A Ruger PCC carbine in 9 mm might be a very workable and reliable option for your wife. They are very simple to operate very minimal recoil (especially when compared to a shotgun) and a 9 mm in a carbine barrel is pretty close to .357 magnum in ft lbs energy on target! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #25
A Ruger PCC carbine in 9 mm might be a very workable and reliable option for your wife. They are very simple to operate very minimal recoil (especially when compared to a shotgun) and a 9 mm in a carbine barrel is pretty close to .357 magnum in ft lbs energy on target! Good luck!
They are heavy tho, I've looked at one and was surprised at the weight. It's almost a full pound heavier than my AR
 

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I am not sure why people think the 12 ga "Tactical" low-recoil load featuring 8 OO buckshot pellets at 1100-something fps is the bees knees for defensive shotgun performance, but a .410 with 5 OOO buckshot pellets at 1100-something fps is somehow vastly inferior.

I do agree, however, that another choice, such as the 10/22, is appropriate if the user can't effectively operate a pump.

My wife is familiar with Colt DA revolvers and break-open single shot shotguns.
Superior? Inferior? Respectfully, those are not the questions when it comes to defensive shotguns.

IMHO the question is proven, or unproven. 12 gauge buckshot has served very effectively for over 100 years. 410 is largely unproven and indeed, has come to be something of a marketing gimmick.

Each one must choose what works for them. As for me and my house, we choose 12 gauge buckshot.

@Novarider One very effective answer is to replace the stock with a short length of pull (12" LOP) model. Hogue makes one that is perfect for people of smaller stature and even makes it more effective for big brutes.

I like these:

https://www.hogueinc.com/stocks/mossberg500/12gauge/kits/mossberg-500-12-gauge-overmolded-shotgun-stock-kit-with-forend-12-l-o-p

My suggestion would be to allow her to shoot a 20 gauge BEFORE you decide on one. We have owned several and only one survives to this day. Not because it is or is not effective, or doesn't kick like a Missouri mule, or is light. It survives because we inherited it. Her mother absolutely hated the thing, but Mrs OldChap evidently sees some value in that. :blink:

All the rest have gone away because ammunition is hard to find and there doesn't seem to be much advantage, if any over the 12. Just us though. Check them out.
 

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Taking the recoil out of the shotgun is more about technique. You want to “stretch” the gun, a push-pull, push forward with your front hand/arm, pull back into your shoulder with the firing hand. When I run a SG the stock is gently resting on my shoulder, little to no recoil is transferred or felt. It’s all technique.
 

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Mossie 12 will do fine. Add a 4 shot tac-star side saddle and be done with it. Good to go,

You can jazz it up all you want but as above, that will do.
 

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Taking the recoil out of the shotgun is more about technique. You want to “stretch” the gun, a push-pull, push forward with your front hand/arm, pull back into your shoulder with the firing hand. When I run a SG the stock is gently resting on my shoulder, little to no recoil is transferred or felt. It’s all technique.
Yep, and when you rapid fire a pump your forehand is still pushing forward when the next round goes off. You are actually pulling the trigger before it locks up.
 

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Yep, and when you rapid fire a pump your forehand is still pushing forward when the next round goes off. You are actually pulling the trigger before it locks up.
I’m going to get out of practice on the pump; just picked up a semi. :yup:
 
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I want to get a HD shotgun. I need something my small 5'1" recoil sensitive wife can handle. My M&p sport II AR is to heavy for her to hold up for any length of time. I've been thinking about a 20 gauge but they don't seem to hold many shells. I'm also thinking about a 12 gauge and using mini shells for less recoil and added capacity but I'm concerned about the weight. I'd like to keep it inexpensive at $200-$300, I'm not against buying used. I'd like something that I can put a recoil pad and shell carrier on. Suggestions? I know almost nothing about shotguns.
If she is too diminutive to hold an M&P Sport II, she's not going to be able to hold or adequately use a shotgun because the recoil is so much stronger than an AR.
Buy her an M&P 22LR AR (like 2.5 lbs less than Sport II and no recoil to speak of) and be done with it. My wife can put a 25-round mag into an eyehole with it at 10 yards, and she doesn't like guns or shooting. 22LR doesn't have great stopping power, but you'd be amazed what 25 rounds of 22LR from a rifle will do at close range, especially with good placement.
 

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Taking the recoil out of the shotgun is more about technique. You want to “stretch” the gun, a push-pull, push forward with your front hand/arm, pull back into your shoulder with the firing hand. When I run a SG the stock is gently resting on my shoulder, little to no recoil is transferred or felt. It’s all technique.
Shooting a shotgun well and without undue recoil also takes good posture. Your face must be in the same location every time because your eye "is" the rear sight. Your shoulder has to be in the right position to absorb the recoil not be a barrier to it. [ Have you ever fired a shot gun from a low prone position?] And we have to lean forward enough to put our weight on the balls of our feet.
It looks easy, and a lot of us grew up with a shotgun so we don't think about it. But new shooters don't think that way. Once they get it , they look at you and say that didn't hurt! It's not something that comes naturally. DR
 

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Well, I don't know what your AR weighs but something like a "Hi-Point" (995 model) 9mm carbine might be workable. They weigh just under 7lbs. I think. I don't think much of "hi-Point" products in general, but I know several people who have their 9mm carbines and they seem to function pretty well. I bought one for my wife due to her lack or strength holding up rifles and she does like it and is pretty accurate with it. I think you can stay well within your budget as well.
 

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I usually suggest a Remington 870 Youth in 20 Ga for use with women and smaller fram guys. Hey, even a 20 Ga for us older gents is a good option.
Remington 870 Home Defense 12 ga
Benelli Super Nova PG Pump is good (you can add the extension tube on it too)
Mossberg 590 Tactical Ghost rings
Benelli M-2 Tactical (about 1200.00 )
Benelli M-4 but HUGE $$$ (1600.00 +)

LOTS of options out there but the Mossberg 500 limits you on Tube Capacity (not my first choice but for a budget, it's workable)
Stoeger has come out with a few options too..... about 300.00 retail...
 
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