By Lisa Parsons-Wraith
Busting clays and bagging birds continue to attract women to the shooting sports. Shotgun ranges have done a tremendous job in attracting women to sports like trap, skeet and sporting clays. After conquering the clay games, many women are ready for a new challenge and decide to try their hand at upland or waterfowl hunting. Shotgun manufacturers have responded by increasing their offerings with special dimensions to better-fit women, meaning there are more quality shotguns and accessories on the market than ever before. Let’s take a look at some this month.
Franchi recently introduced their Catalyst shotguns designed for women based on their popular Instinct and Affinity lines. The Instinct Catalyst is an affordable over/under 12-gauge with the Italian craftsmanship you’d expect from Franchi. It has dimensions tailored to a woman’s body: The length of pull is 13.875 inches, drop-at-heel is 1.5 inches, drop-at-comb is 1.25 inches and it weighs 7.2 lbs. A satin walnut stock and red fiber-optic front bead sight round out the package. There’s also a 0.25-inch recoil pad spacer if the length of pull needs further adjustment. The Instinct Catalyst’s weight, fit and feel are designed to give women more control over their shotgun, making for a more successful and pleasant shooting experience.
The Affinity Catalyst is an affordable Inertia-Driven semi-auto 12-gauge that weighs just 6.6 lbs. It has the same female-friendly dimensions as the Instinct Catalyst, and sports a 3-inch chamber, which reliably cycles 2.75-inch field loads up to 3-inch magnum loads. A fiber-optic red bar front sight and satin walnut stock round out this semi-auto. Franchi also includes a shim kit to further adjust drop and cast.
Syren recently introduced two new shotguns to their line, as well. Women trap shooters will be excited about the Syren Tempio Trap, which Syren says, “… is the first and only gun specifically tailored for the female trap shooter.” The Tempio Trap comes in two versions — unsingle and over/under — and both sport a stock designed to fit women shooters with specialized dimensions including the length of pull, a smaller grip and increased pitch and cast. Another feature is the Dynamic Tuning System (DTS), which allows shooters to tailor the gun to their individual style.
The MizMac Perfect Fit mesh shooting vest has roomy pockets, an adjustable waist
and bold colors for lady shotgunners who want to make a statement.
The rib on both types of barrels is adjustable for point-of-impact. The DTS comb can be adjusted for height, drop, offset and cast. In addition, the DTS system allows the trigger to be adjusted for take-up, over-travel and length of pull.
The Tempio Trap is also an aesthetically pleasing shotgun. The action has a classic scroll and bouquet-engraved pattern highlighted by gold accents, and the checkering on the Turkish Walnut stock incorporates carved roses. The Tempio Trap is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
The Elos Sporting is Syren’s answer to requests for a value-priced gun that still offers outstanding performance, looks, fit and balance. This attractive shotgun has floral engraving and gold embellishments, and a Turkish Walnut stock with a TRIWOOD finish that adds grain and water resistance. The 12-gauge over/under weighs in at 7 lbs., 14 oz., and has a white Bradley-style front sight. Other features include five EXIS HP hyperbolic choke tubes and TRIBORE HP barrels. The Elos Sporting has a five-year warranty.
Upon recoil impact, the ShockEater’s Nano-Poly molecules stiffen, locking
together to form a solid-like state that maximizes recoil absorption.
Any serious shooter knows felt recoil can make or break a day of shotgunning — especially for beginning shooters. There are several add-on products available on the market to temper recoil.
A relative newcomer is the ShockEater recoil pad from Gamp Sports. ShockEater is a super energy-absorbing visco-polymer material using what the company calls Nano-Poly technology. Basically, the material stays soft and viscous until the shotgun impacts it. Then, the material bonds long enough to protect the shooter from recoil, and afterwards the bonds release and it turns viscous again. It’s amazing science and the result is a thin pad that doesn’t affect length of pull, yet lessens felt recoil. Because the pad constantly reshapes, it can be used with a variety of guns.
Gamp Sports also makes a line of short- and long-sleeve T-shirts in sizes ranging from XS–XXL to accommodate the ShockEater. The shirts are available in a variety of colors, in left- or right-hand configurations, in 100 percent cotton or moisture-wicking polyester.
The ShockEater also fits into a variety of manufacturers’ shooting vests including MizMac (owned by Peregrine Outdoor Products), which just debuted two new vests for lady shotgunners. The Perfect Fit mesh-shooting vest has adjustable Velcro waist tabs for a truly flexible fit. The expandable front pockets allow for easy access to shells and the back zippered mesh pocket holds 100-plus hulls. Genuine leather pad and trim, elastic side panels, notched shoulders and internal zippered pocket round out this great vest. It’s designed to make a statement as it’s offered in hot pink, turquoise and purple, in sizes XS-4XL.
Women looking for a more understated vest will appreciate MizMac’s Comfort Fit mesh vest. It offers most of the same features as the Perfect Fit, but instead of leather, this value-priced vest has a cotton twill pad and trim. The Comfort Fit is available in a more subdued color pallet of sage/khaki and is sized XS-4XL.
Browning also has a new shooting vest contoured for women. The Browning Ace shooting vest is made of a polyester/spandex material and has a full-length, nylon shooting patch. Features include bellows shell pockets, choke tube and valuables pockets and a large back pocket to hold empty hulls. A two-way front zipper makes this vest easy to take on or off, and a sewn-in recoil pad pocket allows women to add a pad to further reduce felt recoil. The Ace shooting vest comes in black/gray/hot pink or black/gray/purple, and in sizes XS-XXL.
Team Up With Your Community
The shotgun sports are a great way to introduce new shooters to the fun side of firearms. As the weather warms up, busting clays is the perfect way for women to spend the day. Try teaming up with a local range to host an introductory shotgun sports day for women. Or, if you already have a fairly active group of lady shotgunners, create an event where they can bring new shooters at a discount, thus increasing your customer base.
Once women discover (or rediscover) the fun of shotgun sports, your store can be their one-stop shopping location for the new shotguns and accessories designed especially for them.