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Old April 29, 2013, 07:53 PM   #26
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The Ruger SP101 in .357 or a S&W would be a great choice in a revolver. For a semi-auto, the Ruger SR9c might interest her. It does have a safety and it shoots nice.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:03 PM   #27
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I would choose something with decent capacity. Mountain Lion are pretty agile creatures that even the most seasoned shooter might have a hard time getting hits on it with a pistol.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:29 PM   #28
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Not a lady, but have a S&W 638 airweight, super lite and and shoot double action for that take your time shot. Also have Ruger SR9c. Great little gun with good trigger and sites. for me either one works great for ccw, just get both I DID>
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Old April 30, 2013, 11:39 AM   #29
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Mountain lions are no joke, they're one of if not the most dangerous animals in the lower 48. They're really good stalkers, by the time you see them it's too late they're already on top of you. Maybe some pepper spray would be a good idea if she's not into guns.
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Old April 30, 2013, 07:35 PM   #30
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I'm not actually worried about the lion attacking. It was just a precipitating factor in her deciding that guns might occasionally be useful.

Also, I'd like to again remind everyone I'm not attempting to pick her out a gun. I'm just trying to get suggestions for some soft shooting smallish guns for her to look at. One of the few downsides of living in the sticks is that it takes some planning to see much in the way of selection. The current mess doesn't help.
Also, she will be taking a class - one of my buddies wives is even going to take it with her. The purpose of this thread was just to help be brainstorm guns that might work.

So, as of right now, the list I'm going to try to find for her to look at are:

CZ po1
HK P2000sk
Ruger sr9c
Ruger LCR
Sig P239
Sig p225 - assuming I can find one
SW M&P9c
SW sheild
SW 60/642/640

Also, we'll obviously peruse the shops we go to, and look at whatever else we see. Are there any glaring holes?
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Old April 30, 2013, 07:44 PM   #31
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While older, the HK P7 is accurate, heavy enough for recoil reduction, about as foolproof to handle and shoot
My wife gave me one for my birthday and has somewhat absconded with that and my G26 as "her" guns...........

Both are awesome and easy to operate and manipulate
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Old April 30, 2013, 11:15 PM   #32
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From what you posted in your list a Sig 239 in 9mm should work really well for her, of course this is all speculation since I don't know your wife. The 239 is very easy to shoot and very light recoil, easy to rack the slide which is an issue for some women, grip isn't too large so it should accommodate smaller hands, comes standard with night sights, decent capacity and option of extended mags, gun is very accurate and naturally pointing. I plan to pick one up myself eventually.

I notice you listed the SR9C, and although it is a great gun and I carried one for close to 2 years, that sucker has one of the hardest slides to rack out of any semi-auto I picked up. The reason is the gun has a dual recoil spring, which although is great for soaking up recoil, it makes the slide very heavy and hard to rack. Was never an issue for me personally, but some women have trouble finding guns that they can reliably rack the slide on, just something to watch out for.

I also owned both a S&W 60 and 640 which you have on the list. Snub revolvers take alot of practice to become proficient with. I carried S&W J frames for close to 3 years, and even though I became pretty proficient with them, I was never satisfied with the accuracy I was getting, especially when the gun only holds 5 rounds. Snub revolvers don't have buttery smooth triggers like their larger counterparts due to having to use a heavy coil spring vs a leaf spring you see in larger revolvers. Throw in the very short sight radius and you have yourself a gun that's just not very easy to shoot without putting in the time for practice. If your wife is willing to put in the range time then go all for it, but if this is a gun she wont be shooting too often I would stray away from the snub revolver.

Last edited by Dragline45; May 1, 2013 at 12:16 AM.
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Old May 1, 2013, 04:18 AM   #33
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I'd include the:
Ruger SP 101
Sig P938
Springfield Armory XDs
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Old May 1, 2013, 05:37 AM   #34
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If she is comfortable with the Beretta, and wants to carry it, the new Beretta 92FS Compact L/M9A1 INOX would be a good choice. However, most of the guns mentioned would be just fine for cats, and personal protection. I don't worry about bears too much in CO. Don't pet the Elk in Estes Park, however, lol.
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:45 AM   #35
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In that size range I really liked the beretta px4 storm, It was accurate and shot nice. they also have a "subcompact" version.
My wife didn't think it was that great she just said ahahh.. and shrugged her shoulders.? so it might not be a lady charmer.
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Old May 1, 2013, 04:50 PM   #36
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My passing interest in a firearm is akin to my wife's raging passion. Go figure.
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Old May 1, 2013, 05:04 PM   #37
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If you go the auto route, no gun will be as comfortable for her as one of the S&W MP's. With the ability to change to small backstrap, it's a guaranteed fit. I own the 45, 4", 8rd model. AWESOME! Puts the Glocks, Springfields, Sigs, and HK's to shame!
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Old May 1, 2013, 05:51 PM   #38
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If you go the auto route, no gun will be as comfortable for her as one of the S&W MP's. With the ability to change to small backstrap, it's a guaranteed fit. I own the 45, 4", 8rd model. AWESOME! Puts the Glocks, Springfields, Sigs, and HK's to shame!
Going to have to disagree wholeheartedly with this entire statement. None of us are in any position to say which gun will be the most comfortable for her, and although the M&P is a great gun I don't think it puts any of the guns you listed to shame. All the manufacturers you listed make quality firearms, what's best for one person may not be the best for the other.
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:58 PM   #39
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FWIW my wife is small and has tiny hands but loves her Beretta 92 inox. She is almost a better shot than me with it(dont tell her I said so).

Either way she should probably try out different ones until she finds what is most comfortable to her. My wife wanted small and picked up a Shield 9. Then she shot it and hated the recoil. It's now a bug for me. Unfortunately she chose the Beretta next. Otherwise I may have had many more in my collection while she "tried" them out.
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Old May 2, 2013, 11:01 AM   #40
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Noob here ...

My wife just got her first, and after picking up and holding a few of my suggestions she decided she wanted the M&P Shield in 9mm. I saw it mentioned earlier in the thread about the SR9c. I have one, but she doesn't like the size of the grip - she has relatively small hands. So a week or so ago the Shield arrives at my LGS. Brought it home and cleaned it, and went to the range. She loves it, feels she made the right choice.
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Old May 3, 2013, 02:09 PM   #41
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Originally by deepcreek: It was interesting some of the guns she liked in the store she did not like the way they shoot.
I think this shouldn't be underestimated. To me, finding the right handgun is a process. Find what feels good in your hands, you can manipulate, etc...

But then always go rent it (obviously only IF you can). I've had so many guns that I knew I just had to have then after renting them I hated them. I'd love to say that renting guns has saved me from buying/selling countless guns, but then it's also talked me into buying some others that I might not have before...
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Old May 3, 2013, 11:25 PM   #42
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I went through this same ordeal a few years back. CC class was my best investment I could of made. The one thing I learned was that pettie women lack the hand strength to effectively work the slide on most common semi-autos. We tried every semi you can think of, the only one she was comfortable with was a Sig 230 .380 acp. She could operate slide and shoot it suprisingly well. But hand strength limted the abilty to fully load a magazine to capacity. It came down to one simple phrase she made "Semi's are just to complicated". She enjoys the simplicity of a revolver. .38 spl 5 shot with a extened grip for more comfortable shooting.

It took us 3 years to find her the perfect gun.

Good luck.
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Old May 4, 2013, 09:26 PM   #43
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My wife is very much an afficianado of large service type pistols.

Her every day carry pistol is a SIG-Sauer P226 in 9MM.

I am always amused at the looks she gets from younger shooters at the range. The little gray haired 68 year old lady with the big service pistol keeps an entire magazine of ammunition in a coffee cup sized group at the 10 yard lime, in rapid fire.
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Old May 5, 2013, 08:46 PM   #44
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Get the SR9C

Here's why:

1. It shoots like butter.
2. 10+1 and a 17-round mag on top of that
3. Adjustable backstraps, slim design should fit almost anyone.
4. Under $550.

It's become my everyday carry gun (over my SIG P239).

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Old May 8, 2013, 08:29 PM   #45
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My better half is very comfortable with a Taurus 85CH. It has the small Uncle Mikes rubber boot grips which resemble the J-frame grips. She shoots it very well out to 10 yds.
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Old May 9, 2013, 05:12 AM   #46
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My wives over the years have liked a variety of guns. My ex, liked Ruger 357's, especially the Speed/Security-Sixs. She wasn't a slouch with a Government Model 45 Colt either. And I know it's not a handgun, but that woman could smash clay pegions with a Remington 1100 in 12 ga all day long....POOF smoke in the sky.

My current wife has used a Glock 19, a Smith & Wesson 65-5 Ladysmith 357, and her current carry gun is a Charter Arms Lavender Lady in 38 Special.

In short women have different taste, same as men. They enjoy it more when they pick for themselves. About all we can do is advise.
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Old May 10, 2013, 10:47 AM   #47
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People always truck out snubbies when this question arises ... shooting a j-frame or LCR in .38spcl accurately enough to hit a moving cat would be beyond my abilities and I'm guessing an inexperienced shooter would have the same problem ... a reasonably sized semi in 9mm would be my suggestion, giving her more ammo for the inevitable misses and a far easier-to-shoot platform ... as always, let the lady decide, but make sure she realizes that while a j-frame might feel good in her hands, it leaves her with a hard-to-shoot weapon that takes lots of practice to shoot accurately while reducing the number of rounds she has available to actually hit the cat in question ...

my wife, incidently, has shot my (now-departed) Smith 637 and absolutely hated it ... hard recoil, heavy trigger pull ... she put it aside after 20-30 shots ... she loves my .22mag revolvers, however, and keeps an LCR in .22mag in her nightstand ... not the best for SD, but little recoil and she's made it clear she does not want anything bigger ...

and even if she can shoot well on paper targets, a moving target is a whole 'nother can of worms ...
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:28 AM   #48
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So, after looking at all the various options online we have a slightly better picture.
Out of all the autos she liked the look of the czP01 the best. However, aesthetically she seems to prefer the revolvers.

I've also got her to start shooting my .22. She seemed to have fun, and was able to keep all her shots in about a 4" group COM @ 10 yards. I'll get some actual targets for her eventually, but my range is set up with steel silhouettes at the moment, and they're a pretty good place to start. They make noise when you hit them, and they're big enough that you can still see most of your fliers.
I was actually quite impressed. Her group wasn't tiny, but it was just about perfectly centered around where she was aiming. So, she doesn't seem to have any trigger issues to overcome.
She said that the .22 was the first gun she hadn't minded shooting. Apparently it's just the recoil she doesn't like.

I got to thinking.
She wants something to carry in the woods, and when walking on our isolated, dead-end, dirt road.
While people do see a lion wandering through every 5-10 years or so, the most common critters she'd need protection from would be wild dogs or a rabid varmint.
She has no intention of carrying it in town for self defense.
She likes revolvers, but has a very hard time with recoil.

So, maybe she'd like a .22mag revolver - if not forever, at least as a starting point.
Granted, revolvers take a bit more practice to shoot well in DA, but I don't think they're all that much harder.

So, her search is far from done, but now we're looking in another direction. It's actually pretty fun searching together.
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:58 PM   #49
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You should consider a .32 calibre revolver. The .32 S&W has very low recoil. Even the newer .327 magnum is a joy to shoot. I believe that a .32 would easily handle the threats you enumertated.
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Old May 12, 2013, 04:27 PM   #50
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My recommendation is for a 22 rimfire (reasoning below). While not terribly good for defense against an animal (or person) intent on an attack, even a 40 grain solid does have a discouraging effect.

Ruger Mark I, II or current model III
or Browning Buckmark or
Smith & Wesson Model 41

Revolvers that come immediately to mind are:
Ruger SP101
Ruger Single-Six
Smith & Wesson's K-Frame K-22 "Masterpiece" (I had one a while back)
Smith & Wesson 617
Taurus (I forget the model #)

Here's my reasoning:

1 Practice is important for becoming a good shot. Practice (beyond dry firing) takes ammo. Ammo is cheaper for a 22 than for any other caliber. Example: 22 rimfire costs (around here) $20 - $30 per 500. 500 rounds of 9mm (a very inexpensive round) is at least $100 to $150 per 500.

2 Practice with a round that has almost no recoil makes concentration on sight picture, breathing and trigger control much easier without the distraction of recoil and excessive muzzle blast. You can add those elements later after you have gotten the basics ingrained in your subconscious. If you start out with a hard-recoiling round you are almost certain to develop anticipation (usually characterized by a flinch) which is devilishly hard to cure. Prevention is much easier to, especially while you are learning.

3 Having a good, accurate 22 will put her on the range (formal or informal shooting range) where she will get acquainted with other shooters, see their gun handling practices and see their guns. Most gun owners are proud of their hardware and if exhibiting good safety practices, a modicum of shooting skill and a little bit of polite interest, they will very probably let her handle their guns and even send a few rounds downrange. She can get to try out a wide variety of guns that way and collect testimonials from people other than salesmen in a store.

4 Most (accurate) 22 rimfire guns are cheaper to buy than similarly accurate centerfire guns and hold their resale value well.

I also recommend both of you visit a web site (mentioned before) owned by one of the administrators on The Firing Line, "Pax". It is principally written for women new to guns, but most of the information there is EQUALLY applicable to either gender. "New to guns" is "new to guns" whether male or female.

Good luck. Thanks for reading.

Lost Sheep
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