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Thread: Helping a woman decide on the proper handgun

  1. #1
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    Helping a woman decide on the proper handgun

    I spent over two hours with a Client (65 yoa female) the other day handling various hand guns. She made the mistake of buying a LCP because a freind had one it was small, lightweight and cute. She found out that she had a very hard time operating and shooting it due to its very small size.

    After handleing 10 differtant handguns she decided that she really liked the Glock 23,S@W 3913LS,S@W model 10 2inch and a S@W 3 inch model 60. She had no trouble working the sildes on the 2 semi autos{just more to hang onto instead of the LCP} and stated that she like revolvers for the ease of loading and checking to see if they were loaded.

    After a bit of coaching on the proper use of a double action trigger she had no trouble using the double action trigger.

    She like the idea of more rounds in the semi autos but she also realize that in personal self defense 5 or six is more then enough most of the time.

    We also went to the 2012 gun digest and looked at differant models and makers that would be appoximately the same as the models above.

    We decussed pricing and where she might find a handgun that suited her more then the LCP. She is on a limited budget and we talked about new, used, free marget guns and buying from a dealer.

    She decided that any of the models she handled would work for her and she will start looking around for for a used handgun that meets those requirerments. Any of the major hand gun makers would do.

    She is in the process of finding a suitable handgun and will be interisting on what she finds and decides on.
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    Regular Member robert1970's Avatar
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    I would suggest a good quality 357 magnum,or a springfeild xd in 45.I have been teaching my wife to shoot, and she can shoot either one of them well.

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    What I should have added

    Guns that didn't workout for her 44 redhawk to big but she like the custom trigger job on it. 6 inch 586 to big but nice trigger.

    Walther ppks she couldn't pull the silde back. The model 65 4 inch and security six 4 inch were ok but she wanted something a bit smaller. The ruger P90 was too big.

    She liked the buckmark but couldn't pull the slide back when it was decocked.

    You are right a nice 2.5 or 3inch K frame would work too, a 19,15,66,13 ect ect There are many handguns and makes that would meet her requirements. Finding one at the right price is where we are at now. She isn't dead set on cailber or make just finding a good handgun that she can operate at a price she can afford.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert1970 View Post
    I would suggest a good quality 357 magnum,or a springfeild xd in 45.I have been teaching my wife to shoot, and she can shoot either one of them well.
    A 357 with factory ammo is not much more than a 38 spl +P properly handloaded in a two inch barrel. Most 357 factory are loaded with a slower burning powder than 38 spl +P, which means more burns after the bullet exits the barrel causing more discomfort. A 38 spl loaded with a faster powder such as auto comp, or Universal clays will burn faster have less recoil and perform more accurately. Plus a 38 spl just like a 44 special can be loaded with a heavier bullet and seated to almost the 357 length and get the same performance out of the short barrel.

    Now considering she is probably not going to handload if she goes with a short barrel revolver she should get either a 44 spl or a 38 spl and stick with SWC standard factory loads which will perform well in a snub nose. Heavier bullet more powder burns, slower bullet but more weight upon impact than a lighter faster bullet. 158 grain for 38spl, and 240 grain for 44spl. Honestly a .380 +P will put out almost as much energy as a 38 spl from a short barrel, most have at least a 3 inch barrel, one more inch makes a big difference.
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    Regular Member Keylock's Avatar
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    Considering her age and newness to firearms, I'd say go with a revolver. As G. Gordon Liddy would say, revolvers are inherently safer for a newb. Pull the trigger and it goes bang. No safeties, slides, etc. to fuss with. Add a speed loader and double the capacity.

    My wife's first firearm was a Charter Arms .38... in pink.

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    Reasonable compromises

    Ruger 101 3" or S&W 60 3" using 38 special standard pressure ammo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keylock View Post
    Considering her age and newness to firearms, I'd say go with a revolver. As G. Gordon Liddy would say, revolvers are inherently safer for a newb. Pull the trigger and it goes bang. No safeties, slides, etc. to fuss with. Add a speed loader and double the capacity.

    My wife's first firearm was a Charter Arms .38... in pink.
    +1

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    Regular Member self preservation's Avatar
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    What happened to the advice of recommending the gun that she liked? That felt good in her hand? The gun that she had the most confidence in? The gun that was comfortable for her to carry?

    Just because you carry a .44 Taurus or your better half carries a .357 Mag doesn't mean that either of these guns are right for this women.
    Last edited by self preservation; 12-28-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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    1. Protection of oneself from harm or destruction.
    2. The instinct for individual preservation; the innate desire to stay alive.

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    She decide a glock 19 or 23 would be her frist choice a J or K frame 2 or 3 inch her next choices.

    Now it is just a matter of her finding one. With this buying frenzy going on it might be awhile.
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    For consideration

    A 3" revolver would be preferable over a 2" revolver to shoot. Other than pocket carry, the extra inch is no impairment to concealment. But they are scarce, especially in S&W.

    The GLOCK 19 has the advantages of less recoil and cheaper ammo over the 23 which will make for more shooting pleasure. All calibers practice ammo is scarce at present but should return eventually.

    But in the end, it is her call.

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    For consideration

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    Last edited by 6-shooter; 12-31-2012 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Duplicate post

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    I know what a dyke would carry: Beretta 92FS.


    What would a tender lady carry...hmmm: Glock 19 (comes with multiple backstraps for different hand sizes, light, concealable, few parts for cleaning, you can get a good .22 conversion for it)
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  13. #13
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    Thats what great about this country ,one can in most places have a large number of handguns to pick from.
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    Oh so true . . . *her* choice

    Quote Originally Posted by self preservation View Post
    What happened to the advice of recommending the gun that she liked? That felt good in her hand? The gun that she had the most confidence in? The gun that was comfortable for her to carry?

    Just because you carry a .44 Taurus or your better half carries a .357 Mag doesn't mean that either of these guns are right for this women.
    How many million times has this been repeated ?

    I . . . note *I* . . . purchased a Kahr 9 for my wife, because, yes, it was cute, and small, and . . . whoa . . . she's an excellent inherent marksman, but the recoil was smart, and into the drawer it went, and stayed.

    So, take two. I have an FN Five-seveN, and was certain that 'his and hers' with common operation, common ammo, was the ticket. Whoa (again), she is still an excellent inherent marksman. And she hated the double stack-width grip, forcing her to shift her grip to get to anything, and the slide gave her fits.

    On to take three. Someone gave me the same advice as this poster. Someone put a revolver in her hand. Back to the small auto experience, we went with an S&W 648 with a semi-shielded hammer, and grip laser. Heavy enough for .357 mag, she has .38 Spcl loaded . . . perfectly acceptable ballistics, and she's good with it. We did some practice with speed loaders in the dark. Went to the gun show, and SHE picked out both a belly band and purse holster. Now, she actually takes the gun out some times, and I feel better when she does.

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    .22 lr rd gun something to consider? While she thinks 5 rds is enough, it might not be in high pressure situations

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post
    How many million times has this been repeated ?

    I . . . note *I* . . . purchased a Kahr 9 for my wife, because, yes, it was cute, and small, and . . . whoa . . . she's an excellent inherent marksman, but the recoil was smart, and into the drawer it went, and stayed.

    So, take two. I have an FN Five-seveN, and was certain that 'his and hers' with common operation, common ammo, was the ticket. Whoa (again), she is still an excellent inherent marksman. And she hated the double stack-width grip, forcing her to shift her grip to get to anything, and the slide gave her fits.

    On to take three. Someone gave me the same advice as this poster. Someone put a revolver in her hand. Back to the small auto experience, we went with an S&W 648 with a semi-shielded hammer, and grip laser. Heavy enough for .357 mag, she has .38 Spcl loaded . . . perfectly acceptable ballistics, and she's good with it. We did some practice with speed loaders in the dark. Went to the gun show, and SHE picked out both a belly band and purse holster. Now, she actually takes the gun out some times, and I feel better when she does.
    Interesting. I have a Kahr 9 and the recoil is quite manageable. The grip feel is great and its weight helps in this (it comes in at 25 ounces loaded). All steel and feels great. I'm surprised she had problems with this one as it is one of the guns I would have recommended for the OP until I saw that price was a consideration. Incidently, my Kahr 9 is a K9 Elite '03.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    To the OP.

    So your client has chosen to go with a Glock 19 or 23. Even though my primary carry gun is a gen3 G23, I would suggest that between these two guns, she may be better served with the G19. There is another pistol that has not been mentioned which may also serve her well. Inexpensive, dependable, and easy to carry; the Kel-Tec P-11 or perhaps the PF-9. Either one of these 9mm DAO pistols would be a fine choice for SD for a lady because they are relatively small and light and would do well in a purse. Something to think about.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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  18. #18
    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    How about a CZ pistol? I can personally attest to the CZ 75 B, which my mother loved to shoot, and she's beginning to complain about "arthritis" in her fingers (I try not to let her think that, because it's been my experience that once you have that excuse, you just go downhill).

    I took her to the range for Mother's Day about two years back and she preferred the semi-autos, but her two favorites were (in order) the CZ 75B and the SIG Sauer P226 (the 220 just felt "off"), both chambered in 9mm. As it is, she doesn't seem to like my 1911 ("too wide", she says), and we both hate Glocks (ergonomics, mainly).

    All-steel, little-to-no recoil, slim grips, good ergonomics, SA/DA capability, condition 1 possibility, and 16+1 capacity; what more could a "little old lady" wish for in a self-defense pistol?
    Last edited by Rusty Young Man; 10-20-2013 at 06:11 PM.

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    She go to a range that rents out handguns and try out a few...
    I suppose my recommendation would vary on her strength...she could be a really buff senior. As a small not-so-buff female, I am quite happy with my 9mm G19. The recoil is very minimal which is great for someone without a lot of arm strength. If she plans on OC, it's not too large to lug around, and it's incredibly simple to fire.
    Otherwise, I really like my Ruger .357...until I went to the range and put 300 rounds through it...ending up with an incredibly sore hand. It was also hard for me to shoot it as accurately which would be important for self defense.

    Whatever she feels most comfortable with is probably the best.

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