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That's a tough one.

My first impression is that unless she is willing to make a committment to practice and learn how to shoot a revolver, or any pistol, for that matter, she should leave the gun at home. She should understand this up front. A person that carries a pistol and doesn't know the basics of handling is a danger to themselves and others. Moreover, no one achieves any proficiency with a revolver or pistol without plenty of practice. This is a big step for some of us gals, since a lot of us were unfortunately raised to think that shooting is a guy thing. Thank heavens I escaped that.

If she can't make the committment, fine. I can understand that. In that case, maybe she should carry pepper spray or explore some other options, say, hiking with someone who is comfortable carrying.

I'm leaning to the 410 approach, too, but those guns are on the large side by necessity of chambering a 410. Will she carry such a gun or will she be tempted to leave it back home because of the size? I'd also feel a lot more comfortable with buckshot or at least 4 in birdshot, rather than target loads. There are now some 410 #4 buckshot loads that will make short work of coyotes. The recoil on these loads could be an issue for her, though.
 

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I agree I would love to find a .410 shotgun for myself. Does anyone still make them in anything other than single shot? I would love to find a .410 over under or pump or even lever?
You can still find some 410 pumps in the used market. Still some old Savage 67s around in 410 at a good price. Mossberg still makes 410 pumps in a variety of configurations.
 

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She is willing to learn, I think. I just am not sure what to do until she learns how to shoot. I hope I can get her to do more range time. I don't know if the judge will be to big for her or not probably have to get her to LGS and find out.
You're a good guy, by the way, to help her out like this. Glad you're there for her. Let us know how things progress.
 
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