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Rancho Roy

Instructing a new shooter/spouse to CAS ?

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A couple months ago my wife decided she would like to join us!

 

She has fired exactly one rifle shot from a muzzle loader, 26 years ago. No experience with firearms what so ever.

 

I'm a NRA certified safety instructor so the first thing I did was give her the NRA Firearm Safety Course. She then applied for her CCW.

 

I bought her a pair of Ruger New Model Vaqueros in 38/357. Loaded light , 115g loads.

 

For a few nights we practiced safe handling and how to load and unload safely with dummy rounds.

 

I then bought wax bullets and cases and set up a range in the garage for her to live fire the revolvers. Turns out she is quite a good shot! Her safe gun handling is excellent.

 

We have now progressed to the range with live ammo, revolver, rifle and shot gun. Rifle is 1873 in 38-40 with 180g loads so very low recoil. Shotgun is SXS Stoeger in 12g.

 

At first, no holsters. Guns on table. "Hands by side, shooter ready, BEEP" commands

 

Recently we have started to use holsters.

 

She is doing excellent! Zero safety issues so far. Accuracy is excellent. As you can imagine, speed is not an issue and might never be. She is more interested in accuracy and the overall SASS "thing". (Already bought three sets of boots, two hats and a number of shirts and skirts)

 

She is intimidated by the shotgun. I'm using the Winchester extreme light recoil CAS loads and she doesn't like it. I plan on cutting the stock on her Stoeger and installing a good recoil pad. Hope this helps.

 

I'm looking for comments from folks that have taken a spouse down this road.

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I'm was an NRA & 4-H instructor

 

I tried to help the wife when she 1st. started, but she was not able to learn from me

 

Had another instructor friend of mine teach her with no problems.

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My Wife's shotgun has 2 recoil pads installed. The first is a grind to fit. It is covered by a lace on butt cover that also has a recoil pad built into it.

 

Action Products Lace on Recoil Pad

 

Second find a shooter that knows how to fit a shotgun for a female anatomy. There are some slight differences in how the butstock is angled but it makes a big difference.

 

I have no experience with them but a recoil reducer in the buttstock may help as well

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Cutting the stock and replacing the hard butt plate will help.

 

What also really helped my wife was adding the lace on leather butt cover listed below. It has a layer of shock absorbing silicon inside. She now says the shotgun gives her a little push, but it doesn't hurt at all.

 

http://www.kick-killer-recoil-pads.com/

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Morning Roy, Have her try a 97 pump , then u can spend more money collecting 97`s.

All kidding aside for some reason the S.G is the most difficult for the novice shooter.

My wife will never ever again use a double, the 97 has been so much easier for her to

handle, and I do not have to listen about the double beating on her.

Just make sure it fits her properly and she should be good to go.

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My wife also had issues with the SG. The solution was two fold. 1) got a receipe for an even lighter load; 2) sold the Stoeger and bought a Bakail.

All our SGs, including the Stoeger, were worked over by a Cowboy gunsmith.

Some final thoughts - make sure she keeps the stock firm against her shoulder and "cheek to wood", ensure her head is down or she'll shoot over the targets.

 

Good luck to you both,

Barry Sloe

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Hey Roy B.

 

For my ladies, stock length and fit solved a lot,of the shotgun recoil issues. Had to cut stocks and install recoil pads.

 

I also loaded the 12 ga with 7/8 oz. I can share recipe on pm. Very soft load. More than enough for SASS knockdown but not hard on shoulder.

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I have had the awesome opportunity to teach a lot of women in my shooting schools. Sounds like you have done a good job of getting her started. When my wife started shooting she had not had any shooting or gun handling experience. 14 years later she's won over a dozen Overall state championships in and out of state and a few regionals. I can safely tell you that she has not learned a damn thing from me LOL. Recognized early on that no matter what level she wanted to compete on or if at all it was not going to effectively come from me. We found her a mentor (his name was Fireball) and it was the best thing I ever did. Don't be afraid to let her learn from other people. And get that SxS fit to her ASAP and make sure it's slicker than anything you shoot. My wife equipment trumps mine by a long shot. Good luck have fun.

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Ditto to Duece on th guns for the wife. Get the best guns you can afford for her. Equipment malfunctions and failures will discourage more than anything. My wife didn't like a SxS and started with a shortened 97. Got the idea she wanted an 87 so we got one from Lassiter slicked and shortened. Send her to shooting classes. She will pick up more from them than you teaching her. Just remember, "If mama's happy with her shootin' irons, then the whole world is in harmony".

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Blackpowder 12 gauge shotshells can be loaded very light, down to almost .410 levels, and they will still handle most knockdowns. If you are interested in trying some, let me know and I will PM recipes, or contact a soot lord at your club for help.

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Thanks for the fantastic responses. She will be going to the Doily Gang classes as they become available. Many of the women shooters that we shoot with have offered to assist once she gets the basics down.

 

I've ordered a Recoil Eze recoil pad and a recoil sew on butt cover. This should help with a shortened stock. I also have a mercury recoil reducer I could put in the stock if this doesn't help. (I recently bought some of those very short, 12g, shotgun shells that have nearly no recoil. Would they be SASS legal? Not sure they would knock down hard set SG targets. Maybe a 20g? But when I started I used a 20g and it wouldn't knock down some of the targets.

 

ET, the use of a 97 was considered, but I didn't want to overwhelm her with more operational issues.

 

It was interesting that during initial training, I was using a pair of Colt SAA revolvers. She had huge issues simply lowering the hammer from half cock. It then dawned on me that a set of Rugers, without the need to half cock, was a much better idea. The less "operational issues" at the beginning, the better.

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https://www.aguilaammo.com/shotshell/

 

1C128968-12g-minishell-shot.jpg

 

THERE’S NOTHING MINI ABOUT ITS PERFORMANCE.
The perfect option for anyone new to competition clay shooting, our mini-shotshell offers less recoil and a quiet report. We are proud to be the only producer of a shotshell this size. Available in 7 ½ shot.

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First, well done Roy.

 

 

ET, the use of a 97 was considered, but I didn't want to overwhelm her with more operational issues.

 

 

It has been my experience that a '97 is easier to operate for those with little/no firearm experience. I expect it's because getting the shells in the gun doesn't have to be as precise.

 

As others have said, priority one is to get the long guns fit to her.

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Load her up some BP loads Roy. They do not kick like smokiless. More of a push. kR

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KR....When we are in AZ I'll need to borrow a few from you and let her try them.

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THERE’S NOTHING MINI ABOUT ITS PERFORMANCE.

The perfect option for anyone new to competition clay shooting, our mini-shotshell offers less recoil and a quiet report. We are proud to be the only producer of a shotshell this size. Available in 7 ½ shot.

 

I've seen those around CAS matches a few times over the years. They've never stayed long.

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Ny wife also found the 97 more to her liking. then had it cut to fit her and she really liked it more. I still use it in WB, but it looks like the bolt is going to hit my nose!

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Great advice!

 

Especially the pad AND the lace -on. I hope it works great for her!

 

The Stoeger has a little different stock design compared to the Baikel. So expect it to kick more to the face than the Baikel.

 

I got a Stoeger 18" barrel all tricked out with a great recoil pad, stock fit was just right for her, light loads. She hated it. It still came up and bit her in the shoulder and face. I didn't know about the lace-on so hopefully that will address the issue for you.

 

We had to go with a Baikel with a 24" barrel all tricked out. Due to having less of a "drop" in the stock design, the recoil is more straight back rather than rotating up. The little extra weight and length helped her. She likes it.

 

A 97 is another good option for easier to handle recoil.

 

She (we) must learn to "love" her shotgun. That means to hold it firmly and put your face firmly on the stock. This will the gun moving and gaining energy to hit or slap you.

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A couple of things.

Shotguns for women....

Stoegers ... I am not a small guy and I do not like the big thick stock of the Stoeger.

I shoot Rossi 12ga because the stocks are easier to hold on to due to the thinner stock pieces.

You could file down the wood but then there is this observation.

 

Women seem to shoot 97s better and easier than doubles.

 

When cutting down the stock most use the old bent arm and from trigger finger to bent elbow.

I found that if the stock is cut an additional 3/4" shorter, the gun becomes easier to use in cas.

It also makes reaching the beech opening on a pump much easier without taking the shotgun off the shoulder.

 

Stay with the 12ga.

12ga has a bigger barrel diameter and has less back pressure than the 20ga. for the same velocity.

And it is easier to borrow ammunition if you run out.

 

When teaching women to shoot shotguns, I found the ladies tend to lean back when shooting.

This increases the perceived felt recoil.

 

I ask the ladies to lean forward to shoot and see that they bend forward at the n=knees and not the waist.

By moving the front foot 2" more forward, it forced the bend at the waist instead of the knees.

 

I also explained attacking the stage by exaggerating the bend at the waist.

Basically laying over the shotgun for a few practice stages.

This seems to reduce the felt recoil and gets the eye more inline with the barrel line.

 

And what I found to be the most important.

Make sure the shotgun is pulled tight in to the shoulder.

This causes the felling of a push instead of a punch to the shoulder.

 

I don't know why it is other than being afraid of the shotgun kick, women tend to pull the shotgun off the shoulder just enough to cause a recoil hit rather than the push.

 

Good advise above is to have someone else teach the shotgun part of the the training.

We all know a woman does not care much for her man telling her what to do.

Having someone else help gets ride of that issue.

 

Women new to shooting really do listen to all the instructions and take it on good faith.

Actually, they learn fast because they don't have that male ego in the way and bad habits from having shot before.

 

Once the apprehension of shooting the shotgun has been over come, you will be going to more shoots.

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You done good Roy.

Let her try/fire outer shotguns at a couple of shoots, and see what SWMBO likes best.

OLG

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Great thread Roy--- My Missus ( Ellie Phant ) is starting this coming spring and also has the shotgun fears. All this info is wonderful. I'm just hoping if I get her "97 and have it cut, that I can still use it. Ellie has long arms---so that may not be an issue for us. Her Rugers are already much nicer than mine LOL

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Howdy,

 

Shoulder pad under shirt or jacket.

Several makers, take your pick.

Best

CR

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That issue about leaning forward worked wonders. I observed the shotgun really setting her back and I suggested an exagerated lean foward and it was much more pleasant for her.

 

I have a Baikal shotgun, but unfortunately I converted it into a 45-70 double rifle. Maybe I can find another set of barrels for it........Ir shoot is with 410 magnum loads... :-)

 

Stay tuned to see how we make out at the next practice shoot.

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A couple of things.

Shotguns for women....

 

When teaching women to shoot shotguns, I found the ladies tend to lean back when shooting.

This increases the perceived felt recoil.

 

I ask the ladies to lean forward to shoot and see that they bend forward at the knees and not the waist.

By moving the front foot 2" more forward, it forced the bend at the waist instead of the knees.

 

I also explained attacking the stage by exaggerating the bend at the waist.

Basically laying over the shotgun for a few practice stages.

This seems to reduce the felt recoil and gets the eye more inline with the barrel.

 

 

Cliff nailed it with the weight distribution. Many women tend to bow their backs away from it.thats not good.

As to the stoeger choice, my wife hated my Baikal and wants nothing to do with my 97's. Shes 5-2 and 100 lbs. It has a standard recoil pad, no reducer and although I load pretty light rounds now, I started with 1 1/8 and 21 grains of red dot. She shot them ok, but thats not good either, don't do that!

CC

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I have taught youngsters from and early age.

 

You have received some great advise so far.

 

Specific to women....

As you have probably noticed, they are constructed different than a man. It should be enough to say that if YOU were shooting a shotgun from high on your inner thigh, you would be hesitant and cautious about where you placed the butt of that shotgun.

Most women will understand better if you instruct them to place the butt firmly against their bra strap.

The weight of the gun has more effect on recoil than anything else you can vary.

I suggest finding another female shooter to get her to fall in love with the guns she is using.

 

PS. Make sure gun and ammo works flawlessly unless you are a very good listener..................................

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I'm with OLG.

 

Let her decide what she likes.

 

Then get it for her.

 

My wife's favorite is the shotgun. She said that is why she chose Ava Crowder for her handle. "Justified" fans should understand why that concerned me.

 

She shot a few and decided that she liked a 20 gauge Stoeger Youth Uplander the best.

 

I know what everyone says about 20 vs. 12.

 

If you're a "Justified" fan, you will know why I don't tell Ava Crowder anything about what she should shoot.

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I would echo the comments about black powder loads. I shoot a 7/8 ounce load with a reduced charge and fill the space with wadding and they make the Winchester Low Recoil/Noise loads look like mule-kickin' magnum loads and they never fail to knowck the targets down. I use fiber wadding, so there's no plastic to scrub out and cleanup is a breeze. :)

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Roy we will bring a 97, SKB, FS, a couple of 87's and various different loads to WR for her to try. kR

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