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Old September 2, 2012, 08:13 PM   #1
mike!
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What's a good handgun for a young woman?

I am researching a handgun for my step-daughter (22 Yrs old).

Kel-Tec P-11 is what first comes to mind. I am going to take her to the range to check it out & maybe two others in the same caliber/price range.

I like Hi-Point for myself (You can't beat the price), but think she should have something more substantial (S&W, or Taurus).

What do ya'll think would be some good options?
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Old September 2, 2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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The simple answer. Especially because you are taking her to a range to try some. The one she likes!
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Old September 2, 2012, 08:29 PM   #3
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MY but you have just opened a huge can of worms here. How much shooting has she done? Is she recoil shy? If she is a shooter what caliber is her fav.? and a bunch of others come to mind.
While the Kel Tec P-11 is a good SD/CCW pistol it is heavy on the recoil and many find it bites the hand, it is not one you probably wish to practice with much.
You need to get her to a range let her shoot different pistoles and decide what is right for her. My daughter after a lot of shooting decided on a 3 inch model 36 and is doing fairly well with it.
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Old September 2, 2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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I have been down this road before..
what feels good for a man does not always feel good for a woman.

you can save a lot of headache by letting her try diffrent ones before deciding on one for her..She needs to make the decision.
whether the caliber she chooses or the one you prefer are the same or diffrent.

also think about the intended use, home defense, range use, target, or concealed carry. Diffrent models exist for diffrent applications, both in semi auto and in revolvers.

I have yet to find the perfect handgun, one that is in a caliber that is sufficient, with a grip that points naturally, with a trigger that is comfortable, with enough weight that is pleasant to shoot, but not to much to be burdensome to carry, enough size to be able to tame muzzle flip and give a good sight radius, but small enough to conceal.

the reason for this is that it does not exist. All of them are a compromise
range guns tend to be bigger,heavier and are pleasant to shoot but are hard to conceal.

concealable guns tend to be lighter, in smaller calibers, smaller size overall, and have more recoil and are not as pleasant to shoot for a extended range trip.

there is a website called http://www.corneredcat.com/Contents/ that is written by Kathy Jackson that is written from a womans perspective and has lots of great info in it.

otherwise you'll pick a weapon for her depending on your tastes, and end up trading it in 5-6 times before you come to the conclusion that she needs to pick it out herself..

best of luck down this journey..
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Old September 2, 2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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I don’t know what level of experience she has but I’m assuming she probably has very little.. I think I would do my best to get her comfortable with something lower powered and once the confidence builds go from there.

My wife is tiny and loves 40 Cal and 45 and give me crap when I occasionally carry a 9mm instead of my 45. The main thing is she has to enjoy herself.. so many idiots purposely give someone they profess to care about some ultra magnum and then laugh when it breaks their face or nose... (see youtube) They don’t care that they just ruined someone’s entire future with guns... Obviously you’re not that kind of person... 22 or 9mm would be a good place to start but I would try a full size gun and as said above, rent if you can, it will save you money in the long run.
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:04 AM   #6
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That's funny, my GF also liked my Glock 21sf 45. She kinda scoffs at my 9mm's.

Rent, rent and rent some more. Bring lots of cash.
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
I have yet to find the perfect handgun, one that is in a caliber that is sufficient, with a grip that points naturally, with a trigger that is comfortable, with enough weight that is pleasant to shoot, but not to much to be burdensome to carry, enough size to be able to tame muzzle flip and give a good sight radius, but small enough to conceal.
CZ P-06. Or P-01.
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:16 AM   #8
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Carry guns are a compromise? No way. I know someone out there makes a 14 round 45 that will fit in my pocket, less than 16 ounces, with the recoil of a 22.

To the OP, I'll second what others have said. If she hasn't shot before, start with a 22 and work up. Go to a range and rent some guns.

Picking out a gun for your stepdaughter based on our advice is going to be about as successful as you picking out a prom dress for her based on our advice.
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Old September 3, 2012, 05:47 AM   #9
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What does she want it for? Concealed carry, range work/target shooting, or home defense? All three you say? A semi-compact 9MM would be a great choice. Start with these.

CZ-75D PCR or P-01
Sig P229
HK P30
Glock G19
Springfield XDm
Walther P99/PPQ
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Old September 3, 2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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The Kel Tec 9s kick pretty hard. A lot of more experienced shooters don't like them just for that reason. I could see where a beginner might develop some bad habits such as flinching with these guns.

Try a S&W Shield. They are about the same size as the P11 but kick a LOT less and has a much easier trigger.
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Old September 3, 2012, 09:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
I am researching a handgun for my step-daughter (22 Yrs old).
22 --> grown up, able to live on her own. Let her try everything you can get hold of.
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Old September 3, 2012, 11:39 AM   #12
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She definitely needs to be the one that decides and may very well surprise you. My granddaughter has been shooting with me since she was 8 and is now 18. Last summer we went to the range with all my pistols from .32 to 45 Kimber custom carry. Her choice after shooting all of them was A Canik 100 which is basically a CZ PCR but with a safety instead of decocker or a CZ compact but with alloy frame. She like the Kimber a LOT but thought it was a bit big for her although she shot it well.

As others have suggested let her shoot a bunch and then chose. So many variables from fit to recoil to comfort to safety vs decocker etc etc.
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:09 PM   #13
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I am presuming she needs the handgun for Personal Protection?
Now we need to know a couple things.
Is the Gun for Home Protection?
Is the Gun for Car Carry?
Is she getting a Concealed Weapon Permit to pack it with her?

For Home and Car Carry I would go with a S&W K Frame 38 or 357 Revolver with a 4" barrel. The K Frame is Very Shootable for most anyone, and about as safe as anything you can use.

Now if she is going to Conceal Carry it, HOW & WHERE?
Is she going to dump it in her Purse?
Get a Concealed Carry Purse?
Carry in a Belt Holster?
Use a Clip on the Gun for inside the waist band?
Fanny Pack Carry?
Not Thought That Far Yet?

This is where the choices are hard. Anything with enough punch, and light enough to conceal carry Kicks Hard for a Lady. Also the Triggers are normally way to hard to pull. The only way you will ever get her to carry anything that is over about 18 oz. is for her to have had a very close call being dragged into the bushes. I have a lady friend of the family who was an ER Nurse in a large city for several years before moving to civilization. She carrys a Kimber 1911 Compact 45acp in her purse. She does not intend for them to be walking out of the Hospital the next morning after she has a run in with them. She has seen lots of shot up GangBangers, and she carrys a 45 acp. She is Motivated, your daughter probably is not.

With that said and seeing lots of handguns shot at the range. A compact version of a GOOD to GREAT Pistol is probably the best choice. A S&W M&P 9mm Compact is probably close to the top of my list. The new S&W Shield 9mm may very well be even better for a Lady to carry. I am all over Shootablilty. If she cannot hit with it, she has no business carrying it.

Being a Revolver Guy I would also have her wrap her fingers around a Ruger LCR-38 and try the trigger. She could also start off with an LCR-22 for her first gun, and as a practice gun, and pick her up a 38 as soon as you can afford it. I took the wife out the other day and she ran a brick of Federal through my LCR-22. She was doing pretty well way before the end of the box of ammo. The good point of the LCR-22 is affordability. You can shoot it all you want without going broke. Starting with a 22 is the best way to get her up to speed hitting with a small handgun. You can always move her on up to a 38 after she gets accurate with a 22 that recoils much less.

Lots of information to soak up on all the posts. Good Luck.

Bob
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:36 PM   #14
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Get her a copy of the Cornered Cat book, tuition for a training course and a membership to a local range....... buy her a gun and it may just gather dust. Foster a shooting habit and you may produce a gunny!
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:50 PM   #15
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Others have already given my standard inputs, but I'll +1 the following:

1) Have her read corneredcat.com
2) Take her to a LGS that has a range and rental guns, and let her try an assortment
3) Consider buying a lesson for her with an instructor
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Old September 3, 2012, 02:56 PM   #16
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S&W 442
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Old September 3, 2012, 03:32 PM   #17
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It depends on what fits her hands the best....what controls she likes the best...and what grip angle, what trigger suits her the best...etc ....doesn't matter if she's a young woman...or an old man....

the issues are the same ....

If I were to pick some of the guns that seem to fit / suit the young shooters in my family ...men and women....the Sig 239, a 1911 especially in a 9mm and in a 4" barrel with an alloy frame, S&W K frame revolvers in 4"...
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Old September 3, 2012, 03:42 PM   #18
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My girl likes a ruger lcp with laser for concealed...

Girls also have the amazing oppourtunity to conceal extremely large guns due to their purses. I mean I would be running for the hills if I saw my wife pull out a compensated 1911 with a high cap magazine out of her pink coach purse haha

My woman likes to dress sexy and her clothes fit her gorgeous body, no way shes keeping a gun on her without someone knowing.
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Old September 3, 2012, 03:50 PM   #19
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You have to start somewhere. Unless she is going to get in some significant range time then a double action revolver by S&W or Ruger would be a good choice or even Charter Arms if you are on a budget. Semi-autos take more practice to memorize.
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Old September 3, 2012, 03:52 PM   #20
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Another vote for the one SHE wants.

If she doesn't want one it will make no difference in the world.

If she is trained well with a .22 then I would think about these next.
I'm a big fan of a 4in .357 (train with .38's) for a newer shooter.
For an auto, lots of good options, the Stoeger Cougar in 9mm is great.

A mouse gun is not much good in a novice hand.
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Old September 3, 2012, 04:07 PM   #21
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Purse is the worst place to carry, because is someone takes your purse, they take your life line.

I would only recommend it if a lady wanted to carry a full size gun in there and then a back up on her.
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Old September 3, 2012, 04:56 PM   #22
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Not even a NAA?
I dress in smalls now and I have no problem hiding my Glock 19 under a small shirt.
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Old September 3, 2012, 05:06 PM   #23
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Best handgun for a novice woman shooter ever made. The Ruger LCR 38 polymer framed revolver. Very light double action trigger and very light to carry.
No slide to have to pull back, no not knowing if there is one in the chamber or not. No safety to have to manipulate. It's a no brainer.
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Old September 4, 2012, 09:34 AM   #24
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She definitely should try a variety of handguns.

One that hasn't been mentioned yet, which my daughter of a similar age settled on and likes, is the Beretta PX4. My daughter has the compact which, like the full sized (but not the subcompact) has a rotating barrel which softens recoil. It also comes with three different backstraps which allow the owner to customize the grip size to some degree. Fit and finish, accuracy, and reliability are all excellent. It is kind of an under-appreciated model, IMO, and worth having on the tryout list.
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Old September 4, 2012, 12:37 PM   #25
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My wife didn't like the LCR .38 at all.

Light weight = more recoil.

Small, light guns in service calibers have their applications, but a blanket recommendation for one as a perfect gun for a woman is a bit much.

By the way, my wife is a farmgirl and former pro horse trainer. She's not small, and she doesn't have weak hands, after decades of doing farm and horse maintenance chores.

Again, check out corneredcat.com to learn some of the factors that should go into choosing a gun; take the potential gun owner someplace where she can try on several different types; and spring for a lesson with a pro. Recommending any one gun is kind of silly, honestly; if anything, I'd say do some research in different categories of handguns, to figure out reliability ratings so you can eliminate some and highlight others, but it's counter-productive to say "THIS IS THE GUN!!"
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