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Old December 12, 2012, 10:09 AM   #1
CoalCracker
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Beginner, advice on making first purchase, any input appreciated

First of all, I want to say I have a lot of respect for you guys/gals who devote so much of their time to firearms.. It's an awesome but serious deal. Personally, I own a rifle (.444 Marlin, love it), but am looking to start expanding my library! Anyway, this post concerns my girlfriend getting her first gun (a handgun, for concealed carry/defense and definately fun range time).. She's wanted a handgun for a while, and I have been greatly supporting this... I want her to be safe and be able to defend herself (god for bid that ever have to happen), but none the less, be prepared... She'll be my wife someday, and I want to do good for her!! Anyway, she really really liked the Ruger SR9c and SR40c.. Of course the looks got her first. Now, I have two buddies, both of which were Marines, and both spoke highly of the 9c. I dont know if they shot the 40c. I have another close friend who is a Federal Air Marshal.. he bought his wife the 9c. So, I was pretty sure I could count on these, and of course I want it to be reliable, and the Marshal says he feels it is. Yesterday, her and I went to a range so she could rent them and try them out. It was very professional, and certified NRA instructors work there. We had a great guy help us through the whole process. Not sure if he was NRA but he was an instructor none the less. They had the SR9c, and the SR40 (not the 40c)... She put about 50 rounds through each.. She said she was very comfortable holding them, and that she liked how they felt in her hand. So far so good. This was her first time shooting with a handgun let me point out. She shot the 9c first, then the .40. When all was said and done, I was surprised to hear her say she felt the recoil was easier to manage on the .40. She stated she liked the .40 better. My question is, is this because the .40 was an SR40, not a SR40c, and therefore the recoil was less? Its basically the 40c but with a longer magazine, correct? So i figured the recoil was more manageable for her because maybe she had a larger grip to hold onto and it was just larger. If she shot the 9c and the 40c, maybe she would like the 9 better because maybe then the .40 will be too much in the C version. Anyway she is set on either of these, and I was going to get it for her for christmas, but I'm worried if i get her the 40c it will end up being too much for her because its not the full size SR40 that she shot (remember, we going with the C on either). The only reason we had to shoot the SR40 and not the 40c is because we couldnt find that to shoot. Only had the SR9c and SR40. So we are trying to make the decision between the SR9c or the SR40c... And im not sure what to think after this experience... Too bad they didnt just have both the 9c and 40c! Whew im sorry if that sounded more complicated than it is! Just wanna make sure she gets her best fit and shes happy and comfortable with it! Thanks so much everyone.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:15 AM   #2
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Not much to add, you are doing all you can to let her check out the prospective choices. I really like the 9c but to each their own. If she likes the .40 - more power to her.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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I feel that there's nothing much to stress about. Whether she goes for the 9c or 40c, after buying and shooting it for a few weeks or months, if she decides she'd rather prefer the other one, it's a pretty simple matter to take it back to the store (or SOME store) and trade it in. No big deal.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:37 AM   #4
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The .40 is a snappier cartridge with more recoil than a 9mm, so the difference must have been the size of the gun, not the cartridge. That said, if she wants an SR40C get her one, just keep in mind the SR9C will have less recoil, higher capacity, and - most importantly for newer shooters - ammo will be significantly cheaper meaning she can practice a lot more.

On a side note, I caution newer shooters in trusting the gun advice of people solely based on their military/law enforcement experience. Those institutions don't necessarily teach anything more than just how to use the specific weapons one is issued; general firearms knowledge is rarely taught. Being a former Marine who spent four years in an infantry MOS, I can tell you that the Marine Corps only teaches you how to use weapons; general firearms knowledge is usually completely irrelevant, especially pertaining to civilian weapons.

Sure, there are many current and former military/law enforcement personnel who have received advanced training and are also well-versed in civilian firearms. But there are also a lot of those who don't have advanced training and haven't studied up on civilian firearms at all, yet still act like firearms experts just because of their military/law enforcement experience.

So while some of the best training and advice I've received has come from current and former military/law enforcement, some of the worst firearms advice I've ever heard has also come from the same kind of people.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:42 AM   #5
loose_holster_dan
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she's probably getting a better grip on the full size. if she went with the 40c, she would definitely notice the recoil difference.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:49 AM   #6
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I wouldn't recommend anything but 9mm for a first time "Big Bore" handgun owner. Easier to shoot without getting the flinch reflex, and almost as important, ammo is cheaper. Where I live, I can get factory ammo for about $.25 a round in 9mm, $.35 a round for .40 and $.45 a round for .45. The extra $.10 a round you pay for .40 will add up pretty quickly.

Those Rugers are nice guns. Never owned one, but shot a few.
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Old December 12, 2012, 11:07 AM   #7
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My question is, is this because the .40 was an SR40, not a SR40c, and therefore the recoil was less? Its basically the 40c but with a longer magazine, correct? So i figured the recoil was more manageable for her because maybe she had a larger grip to hold onto and it was just larger. If she shot the 9c and the 40c, maybe she would like the 9 better because maybe then the .40 will be too much in the C version.
Yes.


1. An object at rest with more mass (The full sized sR40) will resist an outside force (recoil) better than an object with less mass sR9c).

The sR40 is 1/3 of a pound heavierthan the sR9c, empty. Load 'em up and the difference gets more drastic.

2. The full sized gun has more grip area to get a good handle on it, and distribute the recoil force.

Before y'all decide on one or the other, compare apples to apples: shoot the sR40c next to the sR9c.

I really liked my brother's sR9c ......best trigger on any plastic gun I have ever fired ...... ergonomics certainly superior to a Glock. Price was around $400, making it probably the best value in a Carry gun that I am aware of.

IMHO, the full sized guns (sR9 and sR40) are a bit large for CCW........YMMV.
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Old December 12, 2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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IMHO, the full sized guns (sR9 and sR40) are a bit large for CCW........YMMV.
Especially for women, who have different body shape then men (which makes concealing a more difficult chore) and have a much different wardrobe than a man. It can be done, but a woman has to sacrifice a lot to conceal a full sized gun on their person. Men usually, not as much.

Smaller guns are easier to conceal but harder to shoot. Best bet is to get good shooting something full sized, then move to a sub-compact. But again, that might not be feasible. Best bet, go rent a bunch of guns if you can.
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Old December 12, 2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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Especially for women, who have different body shape then men (which makes concealing a more difficult chore) and have a much different wardrobe than a man. It can be done, but a woman has to sacrifice a lot to conceal a full sized gun on their person. Men usually, not as much.
Dolly Parton could Carry a Super Redhawk with one of these:

http://flashbangholster.com/home

They have a few other options as well ..... might be worth a look.
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Old December 12, 2012, 12:49 PM   #10
Gaerek
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Dolly Parton could Carry a Super Redhawk with one of these:
Ok, you honestly got a laugh out of me. But Dolly Pardon's enormous, um, tracts of land aside, in general, it's more difficult for woman to carry larger framed guns.
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Old December 12, 2012, 01:22 PM   #11
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IMO a woman would have to be rather Partonesque to carry under the bra. Probably why they chose the demonstrator they did Still, she'd have to wear certain things, stand a certain way, and have certain lighting. Surely other options are more realistic.

Interesting possibility though.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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When I was looking for concealed holsters, there's a leather company in my neck of the woods, Kramer Handgun Leather that makes holsters designed specifically for the fairer sex. Whether they're any good or even any different I can't comment. Quality wise, I'm extremely fond of my IWB from them.
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Old December 12, 2012, 03:41 PM   #13
jimbob86
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Still, she'd , and have certain lighting. Surely other options are more realistic.
I carry, and "have to wear certain things, stand a certain way" ..... I wear my shirts untucked now, or wear a cover shirt, don't bend over at the waist, etc ....

There are other options, listed on their web site. ..... all designed by a woman (Lisa Looper), for women ....
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Old December 12, 2012, 03:46 PM   #14
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I carry, and "have to wear certain things, stand a certain way" ..... I wear my shirts untucked now, or wear a cover shirt, don't bend over at the waist, etc ....

There are other options, listed on their web site. ..... all designed by a woman (Lisa Looper), for women ....
I just looked at their website and I think I'm going to show my wife. She thinks carrying on her person is the most uncomfortable thing in the world and wants to purse carry. This might help her.
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Old December 12, 2012, 03:53 PM   #15
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Purse carry ..... so the mugger comes up and sez, "Gimme the purse, B______!" ....so you hand it to them? With the gun in it?

On body carry, same deal? Toss him the purse. He asks for anything more, makes any move to you? Fill your hand and give him what you got, while he's holding the bag......



eta: "Gimme the purse, B_______!" was exactly the words the attacker used on the only woman I know that was attacked in public (late night WallyWorld parking lot, where she had gone for some .... "Midol" ..... she answered, "My purse? I'll give you my (bleep)-ing purse, you BLEEPdittyBLEEP-BLEEP!!!!", and she proceeded to beat him so severely with her purse, hands and feet, that he went to the hospital......
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Last edited by jimbob86; December 12, 2012 at 04:01 PM.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:04 PM   #16
Gaerek
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I totally understand. I tried to convince her that off body carry is a bad idea. I gave her all the reasons. Basically, she said it's too hard for her to carry with the different things she has to wear on her body, and it's too uncomfortable, so she wants to carry in her purse. When she makes a decision, it's hard to change her mind.

Basically, it came down to purse carry, or no carry. Purse carry seemed the better option to me. But if she can find a holster made for women by women, she might find a couple options that will work for her.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:34 PM   #17
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But if she can find a holster made for women by women, she might find a couple options that will work for her.
Turn it into a "shopping" event .... I did note that Mrs. Looper (Flashbang Holsters founder) names all her holster designs with feminine names The Marylin, The Betty, etc..... and the descriptions were definitely written in girlspeak..... "To top it all off we’ve added a layer of luxurious suede to the back for both comfort and fashion. The rich deep purple color takes this holster to the next level!" ......


The phrase "accessorize your handgun" springs to mind.....
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:32 PM   #18
CoalCracker
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Thank you to all who responded, all of these posts have helped with the decision... Also, GOOD point about the purse carry... Gonna see how she feels about carrying it on her person.. As far as the gun, we definately going with the compact since that's part of the purpose is for her to carry it with her, and as far as 9c or 40c, I am going to see her this weekend and will read all over all these responses you guys gave me and see what she thinks. Thank you all, I hope to become a frequent visitor here... I'll be getting a handgun soon I hope! Thank you.
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:46 PM   #19
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Love my 9c and so does the wife, but she feels it is still to bulky to carry on her. Granted we have not tried, and definitely will before we look at other options. But I like the 9c so much I am gonna pick up the 40c as well. Cant beat the price on it, and have no issues with all the safety features. I sure there are better firearms to be had, but I have no complaints so far.
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Old December 12, 2012, 06:01 PM   #20
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I'm very new to handguns too, so maybe my input will be useful from the perspective of being closer in experience to you and your girlfriend.

I figure if she's handling a full size 40 with comfort, she'll be able to handle the 40 compact just fine.

However, I think 9mm is the way to go - as others have noted - practice is going to be key and 9mm ammo is much cheaper. Moreover, in the case of an SD situation (though hopefully she never has to face one), she would probably want a few extra rounds over the additional stopping power of the 40.

And with the special 9mm ammo, you can get tons of stopping power anyway. Granted, those rounds are more expensive, but you're not going to be going through boxes of it for practice.
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Old December 12, 2012, 06:26 PM   #21
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CoalCracker
My question is, is this because the .40 was an SR40, not a SR40c, and therefore the recoil was less? Its basically the 40c but with a longer magazine, correct? So i figured the recoil was more manageable for her because maybe she had a larger grip to hold onto and it was just larger. If she shot the 9c and the 40c, maybe she would like the 9 better because maybe then the .40 will be too much in the C version
I have no personal experience with either the Ruger SR40 or SR40c.

Looking at Ruger's website it says the SR40 weighs 27.25 OZ. empty.
It says the SR40c weighs 23.40 OZ. empty.
It says the BSR40C & KSR40C and the KSR40 & BSR40 all can hold the same number (15 +1) of cartridges, so there would be no difference in weight gain due to loading the same amount of ammo.

KSR40 & BSR40 15+1
BSR40C & KSR40C 15+1
KSR40-10L & BSR40-10L 10+1
KSR40C-9L & BSR40C-9L 9+1

Depending upon the size of your girlfriend's hands she may or may not get more of her hand on the larger frame. These two factors mass (weight) and area of her hand experiencing recoil would be the primary factors in her perception of felt recoil.

If she has small hands that reduces the influence of a larger frame as her small hands would likely be filled with the smaller frame.

So go with her choice. It is hard to get blamed by your girlfriend for agreeing with your her. Her opinion matters more than ours. If it does not work out, you have an excuse to go to a gun store to shop some more.
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Old December 12, 2012, 07:54 PM   #22
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she can always carry in a belted phone case.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:40 PM   #23
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I got my SR9c last week and really enjoy it. I actually shoot it more accurately than my Beretta PX4 Storm, full size.

If ammo cost is a factor, the 9mm stuff will cost less than the .40
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