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Old September 30, 2009, 02:11 AM   #26
Lost Sheep
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What you've got is good

Best handgun for home defense is your shotgun. Much easier to aim than any handgun, with light loads, recoil is going to be no problem. Then you can follow the advice from Chettt
Originally Posted by Chettt
Why not get a .22 as your first hand gun? Shoot all day for little money, hunt small game etc.
With a .22 rimfire, you both can perfect your handgun shooting skills for not much money (about one tenth the cost per shot as centerfire ammunition means you can fire 500 rounds in an afternoon for the same price as 50 rounds of centerfire). While you are shooting your shotgun and 22 at the range, you can meet people who have a wide variety of guns who might even let you look at, handle or shoot their guns. You can develop some first-hand experience and find out what fits your hands. You will refine your taste in handguns during that time.

Single action autos (Browning High-Power has been mentioned) often can fit smaller hands because the trigger finger does not have to move so far to reach the trigger (since the trigger does not have to go through a long double action pulling motion). 9mm is not too hard in recoil when fired from a full-size gun. From small guns (that many people recommend-mistakenly-for smaller people) any round will recoil harder than from a larger gun.

Check out Kathy Jackson is the site owner (known as "Pax" on this forum). Pax is quite the fountain of knowledge, and that knowledge is equally valuable for men as it is for women. Don't be shy.

Anyhow, what you already have is good. Add a 5 watt flashlight, cell phone and a tactical bag to keep them all together and you are close to basically equipped. Practice your emergency plans (fire, home invasion, being caught separated in your house, or one of you out of it.....the usual scenarios). Go to the Tactics and Training area of The Firing Line for this stuff.

Good luck, good shooting and good shopping.

Lost Sheep
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Old September 30, 2009, 11:52 AM   #27
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Good first handgun for HD

My dilemma is that I would like to get a gun that my wife and I could both use in an emergency if necessary. The problem is I'm 6'5" - 240lbs with large hands. My wife is 5'2" - 125lbs. with small hands.

Is there one gun that could work for both of us and still have "stopping power?"

Help a new guy out!?!
You do not mention any experience with handguns. You do not mention any training in defensive use of firearms. Since you did not mention either I will assume you and your wife have no experience or training.

First, you have a great amount to learn to make an informed decision about selecting one handgun that will suit both of you. The great differences in size makes complicates the matter; and makes the smaller person the limiting factor in ergonomic selection. If her hands don't fit the selected gun then it won't work, and anything she can reach you can reach. Taking the NRA Basic Pistol course can introduce you both so some basic pistol training. The NRA Personal Protection in the Home course is more advanced and covers more complex shooting issues; as well as, the law of your state regarding firearms possession, use, storage and self-defense.

Second, a revolver is easier to train with and become competent than a semi-auto pistol. A revolver has less levers and buttons to manipulate and fewer ways to malfunction.

A S&W K-frame size revolver in .357 magnum gives you options, such as the model 19 or the model 66. You can shoot both .38 Spl and .357 mag loads in it. You can select grips which better fit your wife's hands compared to the stock grips.
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Old September 30, 2009, 07:53 PM   #28
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Good first time handgun for SD:

I would definitely suggest a revolver first and foremost. Why, because all you need to do (especially in an emergency) is aim and pull the trigger. No safeties to worry about and/or having to jack a round in the chamber like in an automatic (your wife might not be able to do that). The revolver should do best for the both of you. Suggestions: Ruger 101, S&W model 10 or 15. etc.
If you do decide to go with an automatic I would suggest the Glock 19 as it has no safeties to speak of and is very reliable and is similar to using a revolver. But obviously you need to have a round in the chamber at all times to function like a revolver. Good luck
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Old September 30, 2009, 08:18 PM   #29
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I strongly echo the advice re: K-frame Smiths. I would go one step farther and suggest that you look for a 3" version on Gun Broker or Guns America. I've found two excellent examples through such avenues.
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Old September 30, 2009, 09:14 PM   #30
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Smith & Wesson model 10

$250-350 depending on condition.
Get some Pachmayr grips, that will work for both of you.
Available, reasonable, reliable, will get the job done.

If you don't think standard .38 spl is enough, check into Buffalo Bore.

For the price better get two.
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Old September 30, 2009, 10:32 PM   #31
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Ruger SP101, Springfield XD9, Smith M&P 9mm, Glock 19. Whatever you get, be sure to practice and get to know the gun well. I'd put Crimson Trace grips on whatever you decide to get too. It will add a ton of confidence to you and your wifes shooting.
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Old October 1, 2009, 06:45 AM   #32
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Is there one gun that could work for both of us and still have "stopping power?"

A S&W Model 10 or Model 64. They're the same gun with different finishes. The 10 is blued while the 64 is stainless. Both are 38 specials capable of handling the +P loads. Both are easy to handle and easy to shoot accurately. In my experience, women actually LIKE these revolvers. Many women do not like autos because of the difficulty of racking the slide, safeties, etc.

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Old October 1, 2009, 07:41 AM   #33
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Glock 19.
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Old October 1, 2009, 09:11 AM   #34
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I would go with a snub nose revolver.It's small enough for your wife,and it will go bang from doing nothing more than pulling the trigger.Caliber of your choice.I suggest a .357,but you could also go with .38spl,22 mag,.44 spl,or others.
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Old October 1, 2009, 09:29 AM   #35
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I'll offer yet another recommendation as a newbe myself. I have had extremely good luck with the XD. My wife, who is tiny, can shoot either of them (XDSC9 and XD Tactical 9) very well. Neither has had 1 bit of problems feeding anything I gave it. They are also relatively inexpensive.
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Old October 1, 2009, 09:38 AM   #36
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One more thing to consider,assuming that neither of you have CCW permits,and depending on your local laws,you may not be able to legally both access the same handgun,even in a break-in scenerio without CCW permits.You can only access the handgun registered to yourself unless you have a CCW permit.You might need to get separate handguns,or just get one for the wife.That is how it is here in Michigan,it may not be that way where you are,but I would check first.
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Old October 1, 2009, 10:17 AM   #37
Mark Milton
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For a pair of newbies I would recommend a Ruger GP 100 with a 3 or four inch barrel.

That should do the job.

I would only recommend a Smith if you buy used and can find one made before 2000, as the new ones have been aborted with Hillary holes, shoddy two peice barrels and MIM internal parts.

A Colt would be even better.
If on a budget, Taurus makes decent revolvers for the money that don't have the Hillary holes or MIM parts.
Charter Arms makes revolvers in .44 special that have plenty of stopping power without the Magnum muzzle blast you get with a .357.

I would not recommend any auto pistol for a novice.
Savvy pistoleros were surviving gunfights with .38s, .44s and magnums before most of us were born.
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Old October 1, 2009, 10:18 AM   #38
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I'm with everybody who advises that you head for a well-stocked gun store and both of you try a variety of weapons to decide which will fit both of you ... given your size differences, the gun may turn out to be a compromise and you may well be back in a few months for a second handgun for one of you ... that said, I'd be sure and try the Springfield XDm-9 ... mine is extremely accurate, holds a ton of ammo and offers interchangeable backstraps that help tailor the gun to your hand ... good luck ...
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