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Old January 13, 2019, 08:20 AM   #1
USNRet93
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Handgun choice priority?

Pretty new here and new returnee to handguns..lots has changed since 1978, when I sold my S&W model 39.
BUT, day before yesterday went to range..shot my Glock 42 and LCP..about 300 rounds, great fun. Snowy day, pretty crowded. Couple next to me..average size lady and pretty big, beefy, strong guy..Handgun seemed loud so I stepped behind yellow line and watched her. She was trying to shoot a Glock 30 one handed. Holding it up, her hand was shaking, a LOT and the resulting shots weren't even close to center of target, which was 5 yards away..She wasn't having any fun..I heard her say(electronic ear protection is really keen), "how am I going to carry this thing?"..Guy with her, 'ya gotta carry a .45, just in case ya need it'..

My discussion..'seems' for more than few, size, caliber(meaning BIG) is the number one priority, 'just in case' but find a large, hi capacity handgun is either tough to carry comfortably or not much fun to shoot. The 'chances' of needing a handgun for protection are not zero but are pretty low, VERY low. I even know a local LEO who has never pulled his handgun out. Seems, in the journey to find a carry handgun..'effectiveness' should certainly be on the list but the other priorities that impact the person almost everyday should be perhaps, 'more important'. Like ease of carry and concealment, shootability, cuz almost 100% of the gun's life is going to be spent putting holes in paper targets, melons and water jugs.

Just muzing on this cold winter's day. When I started down this path toward CCW about a year ago..

As time passed, I came to realize I had 3 'number ones'..shootability, reliability and concealability...effectiveness, number 2..

For the lady next to me..I don't think she was thrilled about shooting and then carrying, that gun..IMHO, of course.
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Old January 13, 2019, 08:36 AM   #2
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Gotta feel bad for that gal. If that pistol is hers, I doubt it'll get carried for more than a couple of days. Comfort and confidence is a huge chunk of the pie. The best (or worst) handgun isn't worth a darn if it's always left in the safe.
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Old January 13, 2019, 08:50 AM   #3
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Sadly, we see posts about this on a fairly regular basis: Guy picks gun for Gal, and fails miserably. What you saw, that G30, is a gun that she'll leave at home.
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Old January 13, 2019, 09:40 AM   #4
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FLG and I were at the range one day while a guy who was shooting his "Porsche of pistols" (H&K P7) and had furnished his wife with a SP101 and all the Magnum ammo she wanted.. which wasn't much.
We caught him looking the other way and gave her a box of .38 wadcutters.
A cylinder full showed her that shooting didn't have to hurt.
By the time the box was empty, she was hitting better than he was.
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Old January 13, 2019, 11:04 AM   #5
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I suppose I am one of the fortunate ones. When I rearmed after many years of being unarmed I purchased a Taurus PT92C used. After a few months I convinced the wife to try it as she had never fired a gun before in her life. As a matter of fact one of my 1st posts here was asking for advice on how to help her feel comfortable handling the gun and then help with her shooting it.

Anyways after a couple trips to the range she was doing well and she decided she wanted her own gun so we went to a couple shops and a couple gun shows and she decided she liked and wanted a Springfield XD Mod2 4.0 9mm which she did buy for herself.
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Old January 13, 2019, 11:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kmw1954 View Post
I suppose I am one of the fortunate ones. When I rearmed after many years of being unarmed I purchased a Taurus PT92C used. After a few months I convinced the wife to try it as she had never fired a gun before in her life. As a matter of fact one of my 1st posts here was asking for advice on how to help her feel comfortable handling the gun and then help with her shooting it.

Anyways after a couple trips to the range she was doing well and she decided she wanted her own gun so we went to a couple shops and a couple gun shows and she decided she liked and wanted a Springfield XD Mod2 4.0 9mm which she did buy for herself.
Yeah, but the bolded part makes all the difference in the world.
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Old January 13, 2019, 11:44 AM   #7
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Agree I bought my daughter an sp101 for bear protection to back up her bear spray. She loves putting 38 through it at the range and 357 for normal carry. It’s a lot better than the 454 casull I got her that sits inside a box. At least the 357 is better than a sharp stick on a bear
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Old January 13, 2019, 12:57 PM   #8
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I see this kind of thing all the time. Not only for females either. There are a lot of people who have no gun experience buying handguns for SD. There is always some jack wagon
pushing his favorite conversation piece. There is no question a 45 is better than a 380, but
that's not the point. I see poeple buy both large calber and large guns and they end up not
carrying them for one of those reasons. Most of these people will shot a 380 or 9mm better
than a large cal, and will be more likely to carry it because of less bulk & weight. These people aren't gun people and aren't going to devote a lot of time into training. It's not fun
to carry a big handgun around in day to day travels, ask a cop or someone who has to.
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Old January 13, 2019, 12:57 PM   #9
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My wife has had a Kahr P9 for years that she likes and shoots okay.
She also has a Shield 9mm, shoots it okay as well.
One day she shot my 1911 in 45 acp and shot it more accurately than the Kahr/Shield, I said you need a 1911 in 9mm; she was reluctant because of "cocked & locked" but willing to give it a try.
We got a Ruger 1911 lightweight CMD in 9mm and she shot that pistol better (more consistently) than the Kahr or Shield, 9mm 1911 became her carry pistol.
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Old January 13, 2019, 03:41 PM   #10
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Comfort in carrying is very imprtant to me and if the gun isn't pleasant to shoot, I don't even want it taking up real estate at home in the safe much less on my person. Reliability, accuracy, shooting/carrying comfort are all top priorities. If it doesn't meet those criteria, effectiveness is a moot point. I'm one of those guys that feels secure with a 380 within reach. Hell, a 22 would be better to me than nothing.
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Old January 13, 2019, 03:58 PM   #11
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Most shooters are complete IDIOTS when it come to introducing new shooters to firearms, frankly it pisses my off.
Guys especially tend to impart their own fragle egos onto others and unfortunately it is utterly counterproductive.

Long term success requires confidence.
The guy sounds like a fool, and she will suffer as a result.

I would be more afraid of 70yo granny that confidently and regularly practiced with a single-six.
Than a blowhard fool who carried a 10mm and rarely practiced.
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Old January 13, 2019, 04:43 PM   #12
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I agree with the OP on all points.

Especially for first time shooters, "shoot-ability" is the number one priority. If one is frightened by the recoil/noise/flash of the gun, all kinds of issues are soon to follow, such as flinching, limp wristing, etc.

The worst example I can remember was about thirty years ago when I was still living in STL. I was at my usual indoor range when in comes a couple. The man was about 6'5" *(or more) and easily 250 lbs. Probably more. His GF/wife/whatever was about 5'3" and 120 lbs. maybe. He pulls a S&W M29 4-incher out of his bag and loads it up and fires a couple wheels downrange. Then he loads it up again and hands the cannon to his companion.

Well, she was obviously already intimidated by the blast/flash of the full power .44 mag blasts she just witnessed, and with noticeably trembling hands she took the gun and pointed it downrange. She used an arms bent isosceles stance, but as per usual with many women, she stood with her back slightly arched to the rear, and pulled the trigger. Well, the gun snapped hard up and back, nearly hitting her in the face, which prompted her (probably extremely startled/frightened) to lose her footing and she fell back onto her butt. And fired a second round into the ceiling.

This guy took the gun away from her and began criticizing her immediately. Fortunately for everyone on the range that day, the manager came out and took the couple off the line.

From my personal experience, I recently took my mother to the range after she expressed an interest in obtaining a CCW and SD gun since my father's passing. She's 4' 10" about 100 lbs. with arthritis in her hands and other upper body strength issues. I discovered quickly that about the only gun she could handle in terms of recoil was a .22lr pistol. To compound the problem, she had trouble remembering how to rack the slide, drop a spent magazine, insert a new one, etc. In other words, she needed something along the lines of point and shoot, with a very low recoil impulse.

I haven't decided on exactly which gun she should probably buy, but I have effectively eliminated nearly all calibers above 9mm and most all semi-autos available today. Over the next month or so we'll hopefully narrow her choices down to less than half a dozen makes and models and find one that she can shoot. Caliber isn't even on the radar at this point.
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Old January 13, 2019, 05:55 PM   #13
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The guy doesn’t have firearm experience and is just parroting to her what he has been fed by other inexperienced people, you hear it all the time, even on this forum.
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Old January 13, 2019, 06:05 PM   #14
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USNRet, I share your opinion. Within my humble experience, guys tend to buy for wives/girlfriends,etc. what they'd actually like to buy for themselves, or what they are sure a woman should have. FWIW, the women in my extended family, who have chosen to have a firearm, have chosen a "point and shoot" type firearm. They all chose some variation of S&W J-Frame .38 Spcl. revolver. Not TactiKoool, not extra powerful, not high capacity,etc. But small, light, simple, "point and shoot" as Rangerrich said. But they chose, NOT their husbands.....
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Old January 13, 2019, 06:13 PM   #15
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To elaborate on my wife's experience. She had never fired a gun before and was truly afraid to do so. I spent a good deal of time with her getting familiar with the gun and safe handling. We did a lot of dry fire. When she was finally ready to try we went to a range that I had never been to before. Big mistake. It was cramped, crowded and no dividers between stations. After just a few shots I could see she was physically upset and uncomfortable, partly because the guy next to her was raining down spent brass on her. Needless to say we quit and left. She was upset and stated she felt like she let me down which I did my best to assure her that wasn't the case. I had to reinforce that she did nothing wrong and even I felt uncomfortable there.

A few weeks later she was ready to try again and we went to a different range that I knew. An older indoor range that I suspected wouldn't be busy at the time we were going and it wasn't. She was much more relaxed and did quite well.

About six months after that she bought her XD and then about six months after that she bough another XD Mod2 in 45acp. It took her a few minutes to fire off that first shot with it but now she shoots it very well!

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Old January 13, 2019, 07:21 PM   #16
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The final choice should be up to the person that will use and carry the gun. I think it should be something without a lot of recoil and simple to operate. I would suggest a J-Frame size revolver in 22 Mag or 38 Special.
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Old January 13, 2019, 07:51 PM   #17
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I'm surprised with the existence of something like .50 GI we don't see more "wise guys" recommending that over .45, I mean, it's bigger! I guess because Walmart doesn't sell the ammo is why.

Anyway, priority is and has always been the gun you shoot best with in the largest caliber that you are comfortable carrying. For most women, they're not going to want to shoot anything bigger than .22, but that's really an option for last resort. The .380 in an LCP makes my hand shake after a few mags, so for a woman I can imagine it will take less than 10 rds to get the shakes.

.32 ACP, a .32 revolver, or a .38 Special with a light load are better than a .45 for a woman. Heck, a Glock 43 wouldn't be a bad choice either.
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Old January 13, 2019, 08:41 PM   #18
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My wife's friend brought by a pistol that her husband bought for her to use as a CCW. She'd never shot it and really didn't know how it worked. After checking it over, I asked her to rack the slide....this proved to be impossible for her. I had her try my wife's S&W EZ .380, which she could handle.

Why her husband would purchase a weapon for her without first trying it is difficult to understand.
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Old January 13, 2019, 08:59 PM   #19
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Shootability is a great concern, flinching, limp wristing etc.
But that's not the biggest problem. If you have a gun that hurts to shoot it won't be practiced with. If you don't practice with your carry gun you should leave it at home. It won't do you any good when you shake, flinch and hope for the best.
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Old January 13, 2019, 09:04 PM   #20
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Really complicated. Not sure what my criteria are. I personally believe that every firearm I have is potentially a combat weapon. Therefor, I will never buy one that I believe is capable of failing even occasionally. Price is a big condition, I can't afford to fool around with a thousand bucks. I don't care about size, I can usually conceal carry most of what I own, since I am almost always going to be wearing bulky clothing. Accuracy? I'm not willing to buy a gun known for poor accuracy, I consider it to be very accurate, there's nothing worse for morale than spraying rounds all over. I want accuracy, shooting, to me, means hitting the targets.
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Old January 13, 2019, 09:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
As time passed, I came to realize I had 3 'number ones'..shootability, reliability and concealability...effectiveness, number 2..
My 3 number ones are reliability, rebiability, and reliability. "Shootability" is good, but I tend more to adaptability on my part. Concealability is something else that is adaptable. Differences in effectiveness is pretty minimal in most current SD chamberings. As is accuracy at the up close and personal range a CCW firearm would most likely be used at.
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Old January 14, 2019, 08:23 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by TruthTellers View Post
I'm surprised with the existence of something like .50 GI we don't see more "wise guys" recommending that over .45, I mean, it's bigger! I guess because Walmart doesn't sell the ammo is why.

Anyway, priority is and has always been the gun you shoot best with in the largest caliber that you are comfortable carrying. For most women, they're not going to want to shoot anything bigger than .22, but that's really an option for last resort. The .380 in an LCP makes my hand shake after a few mags, so for a woman I can imagine it will take less than 10 rds to get the shakes.

.32 ACP, a .32 revolver, or a .38 Special with a light load are better than a .45 for a woman. Heck, a Glock 43 wouldn't be a bad choice either.
Quote:
Comfort in carrying is very imprtant to me and if the gun isn't pleasant to shoot, I don't even want it taking up real estate at home in the safe much less on my person. Reliability, accuracy, shooting/carrying comfort are all top priorities. If it doesn't meet those criteria, effectiveness is a moot point. I'm one of those guys that feels secure with a 380 within reach. Hell, a 22 would be better to me than nothing.
Glock 42 would be my choice..small enough to carry easily, large enough to be a dream to shoot..There are other .380s out there that are similar. NOT teeny pocket guns..I have a LCP that I really despise shooting. BUT as mentioned, picking one for everyday, frequent reasons..cuz you are going to shoot it or carry it far more often than you are going to need it to shoot a 'bad guy'..THAT probability is nearly zero.
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Old January 14, 2019, 08:27 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cheapshooter View Post
My 3 number ones are reliability, rebiability, and reliability. "Shootability" is good, but I tend more to adaptability on my part. Concealability is something else that is adaptable. Differences in effectiveness is pretty minimal in most current SD chamberings. As is accuracy at the up close and personal range a CCW firearm would most likely be used at.
Yup, shows that everybody's 'number ones' are different. Long story, but a certain close member of my family doesn't know I have a CCW. But knows I shoot a lot(indoor and outdoor ranges)..'pick yer battles'...So shootability and concealability are important..
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Old January 14, 2019, 09:11 AM   #24
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At my personal range, the favorite handgun for females to shoot among the bottom feeders is my 1911. Least favorite is the LCP. But iffin they had to conceal the gun, I'd bet most would go for the LCP. Seems like the lady in the OP was not being properly trained how to shoot as well as having a gun she didn't like. The two could have been related. The G30 supposedly has a short trigger reach, a good thing for small hands. Had she been properly instructed in a two handed grip, she may have shot much better. Most men I see shooting handguns, could not hold a handgun out a arms length steadily for more than a few seconds also.

With the type of training she was getting, I doubt very much of she would be thrilled with " shooting and then carrying" any gun.
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Old January 14, 2019, 09:29 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by buck460XVR View Post
At my personal range, the favorite handgun for females to shoot among the bottom feeders is my 1911. Least favorite is the LCP. But iffin they had to conceal the gun, I'd bet most would go for the LCP. Seems like the lady in the OP was not being properly trained how to shoot as well as having a gun she didn't like. The two could have been related. The G30 supposedly has a short trigger reach, a good thing for small hands. Had she been properly instructed in a two handed grip, she may have shot much better. Most men I see shooting handguns, could not hold a handgun out a arms length steadily for more than a few seconds also.

With the type of training she was getting, I doubt very much of she would be thrilled with " shooting and then carrying" any gun.
The range has a variety of 'ladies night' type events and the people working there will gladly take any person onto the line and give them instruction...for FREE(just pay for the gun, ammo and range time)..
But these guys are pretty devoid of 'opinion'..they see showing the 'new to guns' person what's the best for them.

I couldn't teach my then girlfriend and then wife, how to drive a stick shift car...this big guy shouldn't be 'teaching' this lady anything about guns.
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