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7 Hunting Shotgun Choices for Women

By Bethany Beathard

Women have become the fastest-growing demographic in the hunting and fishing industry. It is no secret that gun manufacturers are catching on to the increase of sportswomen. Many have begun developing firearms specifically designed for women. Others are now offering compact models built for smaller structured hunters. Shotguns are one of the most versatile tools in an avid hunter’s arsenal. Hunters use shotguns for upland, big and small game hunting, waterfowl, and sporting clays on the range. Since this firearm will receive an abundance of use. Taking time to consider the versatility of options and manufactured specifications is crucial. Here are 7 shotguns made for or used by women in the outdoor world today.


Get the Youth Model

First, to let’s debunk a few myths that have plagued female firearm choice for years. “Get the youth model.” On average, women are smaller than men in stature. This does not exactly put women in the youth classification. Though, I, 5’2, do own one youth edition firearm. It is on the smaller size of all my hunting guns. Youth models are not the best options for most women, especially those over 5’2. According to, the average height for women in the United States is 5’4. Thus, is it bad advice to give that recommendation to a woman seeking a new shotgun.

20 Gauge vs. 12 Gauge Debate

Now, we have to address the 20 gauge vs. 12 gauge debate. I have heard it said that the “20 gauge is a woman’s gun.” Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference and comfortability of the shotgun. There are pros and cons to the usage of both gauges. Many factors go into how a shotgun feels. For instance, the weight, recoil, grip, and drop at the comb of the shotgun. Personally, I love my 12 gauge, though I would not mind having a 20 gauge option for some upland hunts.

Get the “Pink” one

Nothing gets a female hunter worked up more than a pink firearm joke! All jokes aside, just because it may seem female in color does not necessarily mean the specifications were designed for a woman. Color does not mean a tailored fit. Go to the gun counter, hold the firearm, and shoot it if possible. Your weapon is your primary tool in hunting. It is essential you make sure to choose a quality gun that you can handle properly. There is never going to be a “one size fits all.” Furthermore, just because they “pinked it and blinged it” does not mean it is for you.

7 Shotgun Options to Consider

Franchi Affinity Catalyst

The Franchi Affinity Catalyst was specifically designed for women. This shotgun showcases a Grade-A satin walnut stock with an anodized, black receiver finish. The barrel is a classy, blued, matte. It comes in 20 gauge with 26″ barrel length or 12 gauge with 28″ barrel length. It is chambering 2 ¾- 3” loads with a magazine capacity of 4 + 1. It is equipped with a red-fiber optic front sight and ready-to-use choke options of IC, M, and Full. Additionally, they have already drilled and tapped the receiver to fit an additional optic. Where we see the most significant difference from the other shotguns in the Affinity lineup is in the specifications.

  • Drop at heel: 1-1/2
  • Length of pull: 13 7/8
  • Drop at comb: 1-1/4
  • Overall length: 48.5
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs.
  • Retailing at $1,049

Franchi Affinity 3.5

Though not specifically made for women, the Franchi Affinity collection has become a popular selection among women hunters. The Franchi Affinity 3.5 come in 12 gauge option only. The affinity 3.5 has the ability to chamber 2 ¾”, 3″, and 3 ½” shells with a 4 + 1 capacity. This shotgun comes in an anodized black synthetic Realtree Max-5, Mossy Oak Bottomland camo patterns cover the stock, barrel, and receiver finish. This gun has the power when you need it, with a 28” barrel length. This gun is designed for right-hand dominance and standard grip. Featuring a red-fiber optic front sight and is pre-drilled and tapped. Franchi has supplied 3 chokes, IC, M, and Full, and the choke key for easier changeability. I personally own this shotgun. The operations are smooth, and it has a very comfortable fit. Franchi has included a shim kit to adjust to drop and cast. This gun is very similar to the Franchi Affinity Catalyst. Compare the specifications below.

  • Drop at heel: 2-2 ½ (adjustable)
  • Length of pull: 14 3/8
  • Drop at comb: 1-1/2
  • Overall length: 49.5
  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Retailing at $1,229

 Syren (series) XLR5 Waterfowler

Syren firearms have been on a mission to create firearms that exceed the expectations of the modern huntress. The Syren XLR5 Waterfowler was created with unmatched performance. This shotgun is unlike anything currently on the market for women. Syren upped the customizability by offering the shotgun in right-hand and left-hand versions. It comes in Real max-5 with a soft-touch overall finish. The operation design is made of a stainless steel PULSE PISTON and is gas operated. The XLR5 Waterfowler has a 28” barrel and chambering 3” shells. Syren has included 5 inner HP choke tubes. Equipped with a soft black rubber microcell 22mm recoil pad, this gun was made with comfort in mind.

  • Drop at heel: 2.5”
  • Length of pull: 13.6”
  • Drop at comb: 1.5”
  • Overall length: 47.5
  • Weight: 7.1lb
  • Retailing at $2,225

Fausti Aphrodite

Master craftsmanship comes to mind when the Fausti Aphrodite collection is mentioned. This shotgun showcases the beautiful engraving of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The walnut oil-polished stock adds to the elegance of the guns finish. This shotgun is available in all shotgun calibers ranging from 12 gauge to .410. The barrel lengths range from 24 to 30 inches depending on gauge. This is an over-and-under style shotgun chambering 2 shells at a time. Fausti Arms was considered to be the first gun manufacturer to produce a shotgun line made for women. This gun is on the high end of pricing but worth the investment, there is no skip on quality here!

  • Drop at heel: 1.92”
  • Length of pull: 13.58”
  • Drop at comb: 1.33”
  • Weight: .410- 6.20lb, 28 GA 5.80lbs, 16 GA-6.40lb, 20 GA-6.20lbs,  12GA 7.25lbs
  • Retailing at $4,200

Remington 870 Fieldmaster compact 20 gauge

There is something nostalgic about using a Remington 20 gauge pump action shotgun. It is everything you would expect from an “America’s favorite shotgun.” The purchaser has a choice of black synthetic or standard-grade walnut for the stock finishes. The Fieldmaster compact is not a youth edition. Remington does offer the Fieldmaster compact Jr., which is smaller and a full-size 12 gauge version. The design of this shotgun is your standard pump action with a smaller stature in mind. The Field master features a single bead sight and a 21” barrel. The compact shoots both 2 3/4″ and 3″ shells with a 4-round capacity. Remington included a cable lock, magazine plug, choke tube wrench, and three flush Rem™ Chokes: Improved Cylinder, Modified, and Full.

  • Drop at heel: 2 1/2
  • Length of pull: 13”
  • Overall length: 40.5
  • Weight: 6.5lb
  • Retailing at $499

Stoeger M 3000 Compact

Stoeger created the perfect fitting gun for small-statured hunters and shooters. This model comes in a black synthetic stock with a blued receiver and barrel finish. Differing from the other models, this shotgun has a 26″ barrel length. A shim kit is included with the Model 3000, which allows you to adjust the fit of the gun for drop and cast. The Model 3000 comes with three choke tubes (IC, M, XFT) and a key. The chokes run from improved cylinder to extra-full turkey. This model definitely does not break the budget. Stoeger made a quality gun at an everyday price.

  • Drop at heel: 1-¾”
  • Length of pull: 13 1/8”
  • Drop at comb: 1-¼”
  • Overall length: 46.5”
  • Weight: 7lbs
  • Retailing at $499

Mossberg 500 Turkey

Mossberg has set a standard in firearm manufacturing. Again, this is your standard pump action with modern innovation. Mossberg features include dual extractors, steel-to-steel lockup, twin action bars, and an anti-jam elevator. This is a 20 gauge with a 22” barrel chambered for 3” shells. Mossberg maximized your shooting capability with the 5 + 1 round capacity. Mossberg 500 comes in a synthetic stock with mossy oak Greenleaf.

  • Drop at heel: 2 3/8″
  • Length of pull: 13.87”
  • Drop at comb: 1 1/2″;
  • Overall length: 41.25”
  • Weight: 6.75
  • Retailing at $644

Gun manufacturers continue to produce firearms with a feminine fit in mind. The customized and adjustable features just keep getting better. Among this list is something for every budget. As the number of women in the outdoor industry increases, I expect the number of women “sized” hunting guns will as well. I appreciate each manufactures personal innovation in each firearm produced. Women are revolutionizing what outdoor sports look like today.

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