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Old March 7, 2012, 12:52 PM   #1
Southern Shooter
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Mountain/Woods Handgun For My Daughter...Which Caliber?

My 21 year old daughter is about 5' 2" and 120 lbs. She loves the mountains of Utah and Wyoming and enjoys hiking and camping in them. At times she is with friends and at times she goes out alone...against my better advice. She has various forms of pepper spray for defense. But, I am not totally confident in that and would like for her to have some firepower with her, too.

Which caliber and which guns would ya'll recomend for her? And, why?

Thanks
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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Revolver of some kind, the largest caliber she can comfortably shoot accurately.

May have to try out a couple of calibers, maybe try a buddies or rent one or two.
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Revolvers are more reliable, can drop a mag out of a revolver can't get jammed. Some women can tolerate 45 colt, some can't. You'll just have to let her try some.
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Old March 7, 2012, 02:16 PM   #4
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Let her feel and fondle a 4" Ruger SP 101. Heavy enough to sorta tame the recoil of a .357 full-house load, but not bad for holster carry.

5'-2" and 120 pounds is not delicate, but at 5'-2" there could be a problem with hand size vs. a pistol's grip size. Try a Smith K-frame as well.

Nothing wrong with "good used"...
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Old March 7, 2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
She has various forms of pepper spray for defense. But, I am not totally confident in that and would like for her to have some firepower with her, too.
Southern,
I'm not trying to be confrontational with you but I don't think this is for you to decide. She needs to decide on her own and willing to practice with the firearm. I have 2 daughters and I rather have them carry pepper spray than a firearm just because "I think it is better". For protection and ease of use, pepper spray is very effective. Unless she's willing to take on the effort of proper use/training, getting her a firearm "just because" isn't the best idea.
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Old March 7, 2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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Mountain/Woods Handgun For My Daughter
Yeah, OK, sounds like a fair trade. Send her and I'll send you a handgun.

Just kidding. I agree that your daughter should be part of the decision, and I agree with Art that the Ruger SP101 is a great choice. Hey, why not do both? See if your daughter agrees that a handgun would be a good idea, then if she does take her out to the gun shop and let her fondle the guns until she falls in love with one.

And don't be too hasty in your opinion about pepper spray. If it will stop a grizzly, it will stop a man.
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Old March 7, 2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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She Loves Handguns

I did not state this up front. My fault.

She is very comfortable with semi- and revolver handguns. She has been shooting them since she was 8 years old. And, has had a service size .38 Special and Bersa .380 Auto designated her's since she was 12 years old. And, she shoots them well.

It is not whether she wants or does not want a gun. She loves them. But, her guns are here in Louisiana and she is 1,600 miles away. Really, I just have not offered to send them to her, as of yet. Before I did so, I thought this might be a good time to add to her collection. Something that could fill the nitch of a moutain/woods gun. It sounds as if she will be staying out in those parts for a few more years.

So, before bringing up the topic with her I decided to check in with ya'll to gather up opinions and thoughts. Caliber, guns, barrel length, etc..

I do have a very nice stainless Ruger Security-Six .357 Magnum with a 4" barrel. She is welcome to that. But, I am also very open to helping her buy her own gun out there.

My two concerns about the .357 Magnum as it does have quite the snappy recoil. And, is it sufficient for two legged and four legged creatures. Was thinking of bigger caliber, heavy bullet, and slower velocity.

Thanks....
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Old March 7, 2012, 03:19 PM   #8
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A Little Hellcat

Scorch,

ha ha...The gun for my daughter might sound tempting...until she stomps her foot and gives you the glare. Heaven help the man who "thinks" he has tamed her.
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Old March 7, 2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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Your Security-Six sounds like a good choice to me...My woods gun is the 6" version.
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Old March 7, 2012, 03:32 PM   #10
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Ya know guys.. you may be missing something here.
This gal needs a gun for protection mostly from animals and not for "combat".
She also needs accuracy, power and probably will not care to have much pain from recoil.

All that said, I might recommend a Ruger Bisley in 357, 41 or 44 mag, or maybe a 45 colt. All work very well with heavy cast LBT style bullets.

The Bisley grip is the easiest grip of any for handling recoil painlessly.

A single action is still a very formidable gun to face a single human adversary with, and there may not be anything as good (let alone better) for a field gun for use on animals.

I live in Wyoming and I hunt in Grizzly and Wolf country every year. Those of us who live around them have a tendency to carry a lot of Single Actions, and it's not in any way related to the "cowboy image”! It’s because they work so well.

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Old March 7, 2012, 04:35 PM   #11
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I would recommend a either a 3-4" .357 or a .44 Special revolver.

Revolvers can be loaded to reliably shoot multiple rds of snakeshot if she will be in areas with rattlers. And they can reliably shoot a wide range of bullet weights and velocities. She could load light .38 for volume practice and heavy hitting, hardcast 180 gr LSWC from Buffalo Bore and others for bear. A medium load with 158gr HP would be a good all-around load.

If she can carry a .44 Special then she could get a larger heavy bullet without a lot of muzzle blast and recoil. Same thing as the .357, she could load with snake shot, mild recoiling 180 gr, or heavy hitting 300 gr.
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Old March 7, 2012, 04:52 PM   #12
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Sounds like some intra-familial communication might be a Good Thing.
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:01 PM   #13
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Glock 20 sf 10mm auto. Atleast as powerfull as .357 magnum. Recoil isnt to bad for most. 15 rounds of 200 grain xtps going 1250 fps will handle anything she will encounter. Glocks are known for being reliable and durable.
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:10 PM   #14
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The Glock 10mm is a good option if she can deal with the frame size, I'm a pretty big man and the grip is on the large size for me.

I would look hard at a .357. Train a lot with .38's and then load it with hot .357's when she goes to the woods.

I'm an east coast guy and will build a .357 to my specs once I settle down using a 6in 1/2 lug GP100 (current plan at least).
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:23 PM   #15
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Yea the regular glock 20 has a large grip. Thats why i said g 20 sf. Its got a shorter grip. I think for size capacity and power it cant be beat. In my opinion its the best all around.
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:50 PM   #16
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Give her the Security Six. Would be perfect.
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Old March 7, 2012, 06:25 PM   #17
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My advice would be to get a 4" Ruger GP-100 (357 mag) and a good belt holster. I use the Bianchi holsters quite a lot for general unconcealed carry.
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Old March 7, 2012, 07:17 PM   #18
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Ask her what she wants then send her the money to get it. Oh, and a nice holster.
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Old March 7, 2012, 07:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Glock 20 sf 10mm auto
Ive got the 20SF and it is my preferred trail gun, but Ill +1 it probably being too large for hands attached to 5' 120lb ladies.

As others have mentioned, the largest revolver the lady can handle with confidence and skill will be her best choice.
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Old March 7, 2012, 08:38 PM   #20
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With rubber grips.
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Old March 7, 2012, 09:50 PM   #21
Southern Shooter
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.44 Special or .45 Colt ????

So, there is not enough advantage to these calibers...say in Taurus Tracker or in a S&W...over the Ruger Speed-Six or GP100 in .357 Magnum? Especially, in the heavy-for-caliber 180-200 grain hard cast bullets?

Thanks
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Old March 7, 2012, 09:59 PM   #22
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Ruger Super Redhawk in .44mag. in a 6.5" barrel. Heavy enough to absorb the recoil enough it won't hurt her to shoot it and accurate enough to put the bullet where she wants it out to 50 yds. The DA gives her the opportunity if needed to just draw and shoot for protection. If she cocks it and shoot single action she can fine tune her aim and take game with it.

The .44mag will be excellent protection from most any animal she'll encounter in the woods - 4 legged or otherwise.

Make sure to get her a good leather holster for it too.
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Old March 7, 2012, 11:14 PM   #23
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357 or a glock 23 (40). She'll probably use it more for self protection against humans or a piece of mind than on a bear anyhow. Revolver to keep it simple but a auto if she can operate it.
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Old March 8, 2012, 03:41 AM   #24
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Go with the 357 or 44 mag. 357 will fire 38 spcl. and the 44 mag will fire 44 spcl. Let her decide which one she wants.
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Old March 8, 2012, 09:21 AM   #25
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Due to the popularity of the Judge series of pistols, the 45colt has a more variety of cartridge offerings. For a little while all that I could find was cowboy action loads.
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