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Old December 9, 2012, 12:37 PM   #26
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I strongly recommend against choosing a lightweight, 5-shot snubby revolver for a beginning shooter.

Contrary to internet public opinion, snubbies are among the most difficult guns to shoot. Although they are excellent and a lot of fun for experienced shooters, the short sight radius, (often) vestigial sights, heavy trigger pull and strong recoil make them a poor choice for someone who hasn't already learned to shoot on more forgiving guns. The short barrel length also tends to get in the way of a newbie learning good muzzle control. The heavy DA trigger pull makes it difficult to hold the gun steadily on target while pulling the trigger, and the short sight radius magnifies minor sighting errors. The brisk recoil tends to create very stubborn flinch patterns in new shooters -- and yes, this stubborn flinch tends to happen even to those who enjoy the recoil sensation. Those who don't enjoy the sensation of brisk recoil from a light little gun often practice less than they should. All together, these factors tend to create a painfully steep learning curve that just doesn't encourage the beginner to do well or to keep practicing.

Also: after more than a decade on a busy range, I have never met a healthy adult woman who could not be taught how to rack a slide -- which is a matter of technique, not strength. I have met many women who could not be taught to pull a heavy DA trigger (or who couldn't do it while holding the gun steady) -- which is a matter of strength, not technique. This means that if hand strength is a genuine issue, a revolver may be a worse choice than an appropriately sized semi-auto.

If she has the hand strength to manage the heavy DA trigger pull and wants a revolver, I recommend she starts on a mid-size (not snubby!) steel revolver with .38 ammunition.

If she prefers a semi-auto, I recommend she starts on a mid-size, mid-weight 9mm with a consistent trigger pull (not DA/SA).

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Old December 9, 2012, 12:57 PM   #27
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Pax, of course, is so correct. Check out

While not a big sample, it's pretty clear that low skilled shooters are not as successful with the pocket sized guns.
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Old December 9, 2012, 01:01 PM   #28
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my wife prefers her Kahr K9 elite 9mm over anything else she has, accurate, easy to rack, easy for her to shoot well... she also has a KelTec PF9 which is easier to carry but is a snappy little bugger just like her S&W bodyguard in .380...
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:05 PM   #29
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Pay attention to Kathy - she knows her stuff.
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:33 PM   #30
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I got my wife a P238 since it's super concealable, and 6+1 of .380 Auto is respectable for a woman to carry easily. She really likes it, but she's a little underwhelmed with .380.

However, my wife still has kind of small hands- but she loves my New Agent .45 that she got me for carry... and she has requested a full-size Sig 1911 in .45 for her next CARRY piece in a shoulder holster for her birthday...

She has more huevos rancheros than I do
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:54 PM   #31
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Not to oversimplify things, but. I'd say let her shoot some service caliber handguns. Get her whatever she can shoot well.
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:38 PM   #32
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My daughter is expressing the thought to get herself a CCP in Virginia.She has attened, at my suggestion an NRA defensive course. At the course, she had opportunity to shoot their 9MM semi's. She's fired my 380. .38 Mdl 10 and .38 Mdl 85. She's of small frame and found it difficult if not impossible to pull back the slide on the .380 & the 9MM's. A 2nd daughter got her CCP and I advised her against a semi-auto, pointing out the problem with pulling the slide. She disregard my advise and listened to her husband and bought a .380 semi auto. Guess what. She now regrets that decision. She also has a small frame. Her hubby is 6' and got a big build. The .38 revolver is a forgotten item in today's desires to have those semi auto weapons you see all the time in movies. 9MM's, 45's etc etc. The .38 has been forgotten. I have carried both and rely on my mdl 85 with 38+P Remington 125 gr HP rounds. It's not only where you hit your aggressor it's also what you have coming out of the barrel, that's important to stop an attack. I've had semi-autos jam on me at the range once in a while. NEVER had my revolver jam. I've carried a ..38 Revolver for over 44 yrs now and have never had a jammed round. My 2nd daughter has smartly decided to go for the 2" Mdl 85. Great for her in concealed carry, great for her with recoil and no need to re-rack a jammed round in a hurry. I'd recommend a .38 +P Revolver with a respectable round.
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:56 PM   #33
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I went through this process last year. After many years of my patient coaxing, she finally decided that she was ready to own a firearm. I let her hold both autos and revolvers at a local gun store, just for her to get the feel of the two. Her small hands gripped revolvers better. I bought her the Ruger SP101 in .38 special and she does very well with it at the range.

Once a month, I take her to a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant and then we follow it up by 30 minutes at our local indoor range. Each time, she gets more and more confident with it.
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Old December 10, 2012, 04:55 PM   #34
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She has attened, at my suggestion an NRA defensive course. At the course, she had opportunity to shoot their 9MM semi's. She's fired my 380. .38 Mdl 10 and .38 Mdl 85. She's of small frame and found it difficult if not impossible to pull back the slide on the .380 & the 9MM's.
Sounds like an Instruction issue ...... Pax's site has a page on how it's done, right and wrong:

The NRA signed off on somebody to teach a defensive pistol course and this person can't teach basic manipulations? (Or won't, same thing) ...... that does not speak well of the NRA.
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Old December 11, 2012, 03:18 AM   #35
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MAIN QUESTION> What would you buy your wife to carry???????
MYSELF. but she alreay has me. I don;t fit her purse to well though
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Old December 11, 2012, 10:47 PM   #36
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I think a K frame S&W in .38 Special, never a J frame to start with, never ever an air weight J frame. No one I've ever seen other than dedicated shooters shoot the air weight well, Even in .38 it kicks like a mule. Whatever you get, practice practice practice, learn to make the first shot count, it may be the only shot you get.
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Old December 11, 2012, 11:17 PM   #37
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The lady referred to in the OP needs Chuck Norris and Arnold to be her escort. A sure fire manstopper will be tough to haul around. A double barrel 12 would probably work. Or a "howdah pistol" is another idea.

Seriously, the lady needs to have training and try various firearms till she finds one she likes.
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Old December 12, 2012, 01:42 AM   #38
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Seriously, the lady needs to have training and try various firearms till she finds one she likes
I'd go with the 38 from every 70s cop show as suggested unless she wanted something else. I realize some are saying nay to this but I wanted to touch on something else.

my wife has her CCW permit but doesn't shoot much. She is just not that interested. Some women(and this doesn't have to be genders) want a firearm for protection but they aren't interested in trying a bunch of weapons, going to different ranges, etc. Does this mean they shouldn't buy or possess a gun? not in my opinion, not if she is responsible and knows how to use the firearm in an emergency. my wife can fire a 38 to save her or my offspring's life. It is also a nice concealable revolver.

just my two cents...I know in a perfect world the man should be at the range trying different weapons instead of having the CCW sit in his night stand drawer. I am just saying this isn't a perfect world. Some spouses would be waiting into a second lifetime to have all the proper steps taken. On a side note, someone who follows every step and is 100% proficient can be the idiot who leaves the weapon out for JR to shoot at his sister. Life is funny that way. Sometimes you just have to make your way. If you are responsible and safe, you can own a firearm for dire emergencies without being an expert. I know this also does subconciously at least touch on the semi/revolver debate...
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:57 AM   #39
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A frying pan? A Crockpot?

But seriously, an oven mitt for sure.
"Vegetarian, an old Indian word for bad hunter."
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Old December 12, 2012, 11:48 AM   #40
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I am going through this right now. First gun show suggested an LCR in .38, and she loved the way it fit in her hand opposed to some other things.
The Taurus Poly felt cobbled together, and the Smith cost too much.
That being said, I felt like the recoil of the LCR .38 with +P was going to turn her away from actual being proficient with it. So I started looking at the .357, not because it was more powerful but because it weighed 4 more oz. I figured I could start her on standard .38s and work our way up the power scale until we found the AMMO that fit her best. And .38s are affordable due to the tupperware worship that permeates the current gun buyer climate.

Now somewhere along this journey, budget came into play. And I realized that what she needed was training and confidence. She's an accomplished hunter and all she really needs is to be shown how a semi-auto operates, and let her shoot it a couple of hundred times.

So I borrowed a Walther P-22 and a couple of boxes of minimags, and she enrolled in her CHP training course.

I also showed her the Ruger SR22, and at $299+tax it's cheaper than almost every other quality option we have looked at. And doesn't have that stupid slide-mounted safety that the Germans are in love with evidently.

If she decides to keep the Ruger in her purse, I will load it up with Velocitors, and won't worry about it. If she can put 8 in the 10x ring and 2 in the noggin, it's good enough RIGHT NOW. It's a gun the whole family (including kids) can enjoy at a very affordable price point and with very affordable ammo costs.

Also, if she decides that she wants a bit more, I can move her into something like S&W SD9, a EAA Witness Poly, a Baby Eagle whatever so much easier than if she had taken her course with a revolver.
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Old December 12, 2012, 01:31 PM   #41
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my wife went w/the 357 stainless steel snubby S&W in the end. it wasn't hers but was the one she claimed so I was ok with it
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Old December 12, 2012, 01:52 PM   #42
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Agree with WC145. Recently acquired a Ruger LCR in .22, eight shots. Weighs 15 oz. The Lovely Lisa likes the looks of it and likes shooting it. She doesn't carry it, yet. If she decides to do so, I'll get another for my own because I like it, too. Not a cannon but certainly a deterrent. Better than a cell phone.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:48 PM   #43
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When looking at revolvers don't overlook the .32 caliber guns. If you get a gun chambered in .327 federal, you can start with .32 longs and work up to the magnums. Kick less than a .38 but still send much more energy than a .22.

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Old December 13, 2012, 09:54 AM   #44
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The question, I think, is what can/will she shoot?

My wife is not interested in guns but does come to the range with me on occasion ... she always picks my Smith 22a .22LR and uses it very well ... she's tried my 9's, .45s (way too much recoil, she says) ... .38s are about her upper limit, but she really doesn't like them either ... I've pretty much decided that if a .22 is her choice, I'll get her a good one, and in .22Mag, not LR ... a Smith 351PD is a likely suspect ... this won't be for carry (the best I've been able to do so far is get her to tote one of those Kimber 2-shot pepper blasters), but for nightstand use as a compliment to my 1911 ...

If the woman in your life is a gunner, congrats ... if she's not, find a gun she can deal with, find a class to teach her how to use it (home-schooling in this case is, I think, a mistake) and make sure she practices with it and knows how to care for it ...
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Old December 14, 2012, 08:01 PM   #45
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I second Kathy's advice.
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Old December 14, 2012, 10:12 PM   #46
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How many times should we say Pax is right?
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Old December 19, 2012, 01:36 PM   #47
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What would you get your wife for Protection?

A good old fashioned .38 Special revolver. (Let her decide the barrel length.) There is good ammo out there, although the 'old school of thought' was to shoot straight out wadcutters, not 'semiwadcutter', not 'semiwadcutter with hollow point', just 'wadcutter'.

Why? Is it not true that sometimes hollow points fail to work as advertised, and become 'wadcutters'? Is it not true that the velocity necessary for a hollow point to 'fail as designed', also proscribes it to be buzzing through wherever it goes, if the shot was a miss? Is it not true, that those same rounds give a little snappy recoil?

Therefore, wadcutters, with a velocity of 800fps, placed on paper, or 'between the shirt pockets', have done the job, as the late Jim Cirillo has journaled, and with minimal recoil and noise, which means your wife will not hesitate on that second shot! Hint ... wadcutters as first load, true non-HP semiwadcutters as 'speed loader' material.
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Old December 19, 2012, 10:31 PM   #48
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I got mine a G26 with Trijicon Sights...loaded with Corbon +p 110gr. she can hit 10 out of 10 rapid fire on 4" pie plates at 7-15 yards.
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:57 PM   #49
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I didn't "get" my wife anything. She "took" my favorite revolver, a S&W Model 66 2.5" .357 magnum and said "this is mine now." She's had her handgun permit much longer than I have and is an amazingly accurate shot (though she needs to work on her speed).

I did buy her a S&W 642 J-frame as an alternative for times when she might want something lighter, but no dice, she prefers the magnum. Now I carry the 642.

The one time I took her out gun shopping, the only thing she asked the clerk to take out of the case to handle was the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .44 Mag.

Moral of the story is - no telling what a woman would like as gun. Let her pick.
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Old December 20, 2012, 07:04 PM   #50
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I bought my wife a Ruger SP 101 3'' brl.
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