View Poll Results: Which gun caliber(s) should I get my girlfriend?

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  • 17HMR

    1 1.08%
  • 22LR

    3 3.23%
  • 22 Mag

    1 1.08%
  • 25 auto

    1 1.08%
  • 32 auto

    3 3.23%
  • 380 auto

    14 15.05%
  • 9mm auto

    36 38.71%
  • 38 spl or 357 mag

    22 23.66%
  • 40 SW

    4 4.30%
  • 45 ACP or GAP

    8 8.60%
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Thread: Which is the best "Ladies" gun?

  1. #1
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    My girl friend wants a gun and I would like to get her one, but I really don't know whatshe wouldprefer. She really doesn't like large hi-recoil calibers so I was thinking maybe a 380 auto Bersa. She is very fond of the 17HMR, but I don't think I would want one of those in a defense situation unless it was defense against a rabid squirrel.

    Please select which gun you think I should get my girfriend. Keep in mind her physical build: 5'6", 125lbs. about average size.

    Ladies in the forum, I would like your input on thisespecially.




  2. #2
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    There's going to be the obvious reply of "have her shoot different guns and find one she is comfortable with". That's not very good though since women, they have no mind for firearms. Ok I'm just kidding don't burn my apartment down. :P

    I'm going to be getting my wife a handgun once she gets to America and I want her to get a 45 (although it'll be whatever she feels comfortable with). It's all in the gun though. Alight 45 is obviously going to have a bigger issue with recoil than aheavier 45. My logic is that I want her to be able to end the threat with the least amout of action necessary. I figure a 45 will stop the attacker quick than 9mm. Plus I have a 45 so it'll make ammo interchangable and I'm a wee bit biased.

    I do hear 357 magnum is an excellent man stopper though. If she doesn't know much about guns and you're worried she might not be able to rectify a jam you might consider getting her a 357 revolver. Couldn't hurt.

  3. #3
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    N00blet45 wrote:
    There's going to be the obvious reply of "have her shoot different guns and find one she is comfortable with".
    +1

    Find a rental range, or borrow a buddy's guns for her to try. Let her try hefting a few at the store.

    That being said, I know Kendo_Bunny picked out a nice snub-nosed .38 Taurus she's quite happy with.

    I also know she has my 1911 wile I'm out of town.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  4. #4
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    My wife carries a Rossi snub nosed .357 Mag/.38 Special that fits her hand wonderfully. She chose a revolver over a semi-auto because she has trouble "racking" the slide on a semi. She shoots it in .38 as the .357 Mag loads are like a slap to the head even to someone like me!

    However, both she and my 17 year old daughter shoot best with my full sized, stainless 1911. The naturally pointing grip, single action trigger and enough weight to tame the recoil makes it a lot more accurate and fun to shoot. Neither has liked shooting a small .380 as it's too small grip and heavy trigger made it as accurate as if they had thrown it.

    A small, light weight gun will be carried more, but can be scary or painful to shoot. A big heavy gun will be a lot more enjoyable to shoot (which improves accuracy) but may be left on the night stand (which doesn't help much at all).

    If she is willing to shoot and learn and shoot some more, I say get her a .22. She will master that pretty quickly (women usually do) and then want to get something more "effective" down the road.

    LoveMyCountry

  5. #5
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    I really don't know whatshe wouldprefer.
    Ask her.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
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    What are you shooting? What do you have in inventory for her to try? Do you have a gun now that might serve as a trainer piece?

    Revolver vs Semi auto I've seen both as good and bad. Simplicity goes to the revolver but long heavy trigger pull can be a bigger problem than the complexity of an auto. If you do not have trigger control you will not hit. I've seen it first hand. Reloading takes a technique and it needs practice. To be able to accomplish an efficient revolver reload is a practised skill. You shoot a 5 shot revolver at anyone and you will be reloading. I will not fire once or twice stop the threat and stand there without reloading. I tell everyone that carries these that they have to reload. The semi offers more firepower easier reloads and easier triggers in general (DA to SA and DAO is near comparable) But more skills need to be learned and "programmed" into the brain so that malfunctions can be cleared rapidly and remember to disengage safeties if applicable. Some are more naturally pointing and for the most part they offer better sights than the typical blade and frame notch. Slide racking is more technique than strength.

    My wife carries a Para P-12 LTD. The bigger size and weight give her more control than my preferred piece a Warthog. She can shoot the Hog but likes hers better. She will not shoot the Taurus 851 Titanium 38 I got for demo because it doesn't fit her well and the recoil is "Snappier" than the "push" of the 45. She does carry the Ruger sp101 frequently in a purse in 357mag and fires it in 357mag for training. I on the other hand will never again fire my friends S&W 357 340pd ultra light it plain hurts but I like the Ruger SP101 and it is my backup weapon. My wife now has claimed my S&W 29 44 for herself as a target and rec shooter. She used it when she went through her instructors course. Interesting the looks from the guys in class when "Dirty Harriet" stepped up to the line and yes she shoots it with light magnum rounds.

    What does it mean? It is easy as what is one comfortable with. What fits the person? Is it a big enough caliber to do the job? IMO 9mm is minimum primary defense. Are you willing to tote the gun all day everyday? If it fits her hand and she is comfortable with the operation can she reach all the controls (auto or revolver) is the caliber sufficient for the intended purpose (works both ways we don't take 44s or 3006s squirrel hunting) can she conceal it on her person easily in several rigs (no one rig does all) and is she willing to tote the weight. ( I believe the heavier gun is easier to handle and better to tote a little weight and have more control) If not then it will be left at home.

  7. #7
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    revis_jonathan wrote:
    My girl friend wants a gun and I would like to get her one, but I really don't know whatshe wouldprefer. She really doesn't like large hi-recoil calibers so I was thinking maybe a 380 auto Bersa. She is very fond of the 17HMR, but I don't think I would want one of those in a defense situation unless it was defense against a rabid squirrel.

    Please select which gun you think I should get my girfriend. Keep in mind her physical build: 5'6", 125lbs. about average size.

    Ladies in the forum, I would like your input on thisespecially.


    There is not RIGHT answer, but I bought my wife a .357 and she shoots .38 Special's in it.



    Tarzan

  8. #8
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    I took my lady to the shop and let her look around. She had fired my 1911 and it was too much for her (carpal tunnel) wrists. She liked the look and feel of the Bersa Thunder .380, (and I liked the price) so we bought it (without firing it) and I figured if she hated shooting it, it would make a good back up for me. I feel a .380 is, while not a GREAT defensive caliber, at least a good one. (The minimum I would feel comfy with) She loves it. (and shoots it very well) We got lucky. (side note, she carrys 95% of the time, either OC or CC as her situation, mood, and yeah.. she's a girl.. OUTFIT dictates)

    I have to agree that the best idea for ANY ladies' gun is let HER pick her gun. Do all you can to give her the chance to fire as many different types/calibers as possible. Many smarter than I have said it well. The best gun for heris the one she WILL carry, and if she don't like holding/carrying/shooting it, she won't.

    Erus



  9. #9
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    My wife carries a P3AT as well. As far as .380's go, you have to be careful, as most operate as a "blowback" pistol, using nothing but the stiff recoil spring to hold the gun shut. These can be a bear to rack the slide on. The Keltec uses a modified Browning recoil system, and I think it recoils lighter than a PPK or Bersa, shooting them side-by-side.

    The other gun you might like to have her try would be a Kahr 9mm like the K9 (steel frame) or the P9 (polymer framed). I have one of each, (well the P9 is a Covert model, with a truncated grip) and they are easy to shoot, chambered in a serious caliber, and I've found them to be more accurate than ANY sub-compacthasa right to be.

    But, as has been said above, take her to a range that will rent guns, and spend some money on 3 to 5 boxes of different calibers, and start shooting the guns that match. Most women that I have instructed prefered the .380, .38 Special, 9mm or .45 ACP. The .40's and .357 Mag's and Sigs tend to be "snappier" than most women will commit to fire more than a couple of rounds out of.

    I thought my wife would prefer a smaller revolver in .38 Special, (or a .357 mag one, shooting .38's in it), and I was about to get a Smith or Ruger for her. I'm glad I talked it over with her and took her to the range first, because she ended up NOT liking revolvers at all. She had no problem understanding the functioning of an auto and put it into practice with very little instruction. I don't have any revolvers in the house, and she can shoot and reload/operate every single auto that I have without a problem.

  10. #10
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    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    My wife carries a P3AT as well. As far as .380's go, you have to be careful, as most operate as a "blowback" pistol, using nothing but the stiff recoil spring to hold the gun shut. These can be a bear to rack the slide on. The Keltec uses a modified Browning recoil system, and I think it recoils lighter than a PPK or Bersa, shooting them side-by-side.

    The other gun you might like to have her try would be a Kahr 9mm like the K9 (steel frame) or the P9 (polymer framed). I have one of each, (well the P9 is a Covert model, with a truncated grip) and they are easy to shoot, chambered in a serious caliber, and I've found them to be more accurate than ANY sub-compacthasa right to be.

    But, as has been said above, take her to a range that will rent guns, and spend some money on 3 to 5 boxes of different calibers, and start shooting the guns that match. Most women that I have instructed prefered the .380, .38 Special, 9mm or .45 ACP. The .40's and .357 Mag's and Sigs tend to be "snappier" than most women will commit to fire more than a couple of rounds out of.

    I thought my wife would prefer a smaller revolver in .38 Special, (or a .357 mag one, shooting .38's in it), and I was about to get a Smith or Ruger for her. I'm glad I talked it over with her and took her to the range first, because she ended up NOT liking revolvers at all. She had no problem understanding the functioning of an auto and put it into practice with very little instruction. I don't have any revolvers in the house, and she can shoot and reload/operate every single auto that I have without a problem.
    I was curious as to the reason she didn't like the revolver? I find most woman gravitate to them and then find out the long trigger pull is more than they can handle. S&W seems to allow their attornies into the production process of the gun and add several unneeded pounds to the trigger pull IMO.

  11. #11
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    revis_jonathan wrote:
    She is very fond of the 17HMR, but I don't think I would want one of those in a defense situation
    It's not about what you want. If you want her to actually carry it or enjoy shooting it, let her pick it. If I had let my fiancee pick her gun, she would probably have ended up with a Taurus 2" 38 special, not a Bersa thunder 380. She would probably want to shoot it more often, too. She's picking the next one.

    Look at it from the other side here for a moment. If your girlfriend wanted to buy you a gun, would you preffer that she got advice form a forum or just from males in general, or would you preffer that she let you pick it out?

  12. #12
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    gunrunner1911 wrote:
    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    SNIP*
    I thought my wife would prefer a smaller revolver in .38 Special, (or a .357 mag one, shooting .38's in it), and I was about to get a Smith or Ruger for her. I'm glad I talked it over with her and took her to the range first, because she ended up NOT liking revolvers at all. She had no problem understanding the functioning of an auto and put it into practice with very little instruction. I don't have any revolvers in the house, and she can shoot and reload/operate every single auto that I have without a problem.
    I was curious as to the reason she didn't like the revolver? I find most woman gravitate to them and then find out the long trigger pull is more than they can handle. S&W seems to allow their attornies into the production process of the gun and add several unneeded pounds to the trigger pull IMO.
    Too heavy a trigger pull, and low round count. Also, (compared to her KT P3AT) the revolver's cylinder bulge was not a comfortable carry for her, as she prefers IWB concealed carry.

  13. #13
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    revis_jonathan wrote:
    Please select which gun you think I should get my girfriend.
    Surely she would like to be able to say ... "Tell it to the Judge!"



  14. #14
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    If I were to get my wife a handgun, I'd probably pick up a 2" Ruger SP101 in .357 and load it with Cor Bon .38 Special +P JHPs

    She had a Taurus PT138 at one point and had no problem handling the recoil of the .380 ACP. She didn't however like racking the slide and long trigger pull. Add to the fact that she's a lefty...The PT138 got traded in towards my Kahr.

    She would probably be much more comfortable using her thumb to pull back the hammer on a revolver and have a nice light SA trigger pull.

    My $0.02.

  15. #15
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    It all depends on what body size she is and how recoil-shy. Does she intend to carry it for self-defence?

    - Ruger, I think, just came out with a .327Magnum, a fairly small frame revolver that can use 32H&R for practice and have .38Special power for carry.

    - I have a friend who is Extremely recoil-shy, she carries a FN FiveseveN in a IWB holster. It's bulky but she dresses ....... bulkily on her small frame.

    Take her to a few ranges, pay the $10 rental fee, or whatever and have a blast with her. If anything, work your way up rather than down, powerwise.





  16. #16
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    Any of the Bersas, except the .45.

    They make the 380Plus now; it's a double-stack magazine so has that much more capacity. If her hand can grip it comfortably, it might ease your mind. Since it's lower power, she'd have more rounds.

    I have the Bersa 380 in both single-stack and double-stack. I'm highly accurate with both of them. The .40 is also a double-stack.

    Bersa also has a 9mm, a .40, and a .45. I have the 9mm full-size; the .45 is a 3.6" barrel. The .45 kicks a bit, but the 9mm is very smooth.

    What you save in buying a Bersa you will spend in extra magazines. I'm from the school, though, where you don't have to carry but one in the gun and one spare. If you don't mind reloading them when you're at the range, that'll do. The magazines for ALL their guns run $30-$60.

    Given her size (I'm roughly the same height, but lots heavier), I'd think anything up to the 40 would be fine. The 380 is easier to conceal, if she'll be carrying concealed, and she might feel the 9mm or the 40 to be too overpowering if she carries openly, given her size.

    But whatever you get, make certain she feels comfortable and confident with it. I had a 9mm Makarov that felt wonderful in my hand (also not a bad choice, by the way) but was terribly inaccurate. Well, I could hit an 8-1/2x11 paper at 7-10 yds, but not with a tight group. If that's accurate enough for the purposes you envision, the Mak might be a good choice also.
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  17. #17
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    Here is a pic of my wifes carry gun S&W Centennial 442. A nice little gun when shooting 38s but a beast when shooting 38+P
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
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    my wife digs her Glock 19

  19. #19
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    FightingGlock19 wrote:
    my wife digs her Glock 19
    I don't have a wife. I just keep buying more and more guns for myself

  20. #20
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    The S&W J frame in 38 Special and the Cz 82 in 9x18 are both worthy of consideration.

    Hey, we have .22LR in the pole, but not the 9x18 Makarov? What gives?
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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  21. #21
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    There aremore than a fewreplies here advocating a wheelgun of some sort. I would tend to agree in principle that when it just has to work you want a revolver; with a sixer, there quite simply is no such thing as a failure to feed, eject or cycle, and a failure to fire is solved with another pull of the trigger; the only failure that stops you cold is a squib. In addition, guns of similar frame/grip size generally don't have much more capacity than a revolver would.

    However there are some caveats. A snubby is best concealed either in a jacket pocket or in a handbag. Either way, she must never fail to ensure that the revolver is the only thing in there. A pen, pencil, lipstick or mascara, if it makes its way into the trigger guard, can lever the trigger and result in an UD. Similarly, a "pocket rocket" 9mmor "mousegun" 380 or 32 could have the same problem, but those are easier to conceal in pants pockets or other deep concealment measures. It all comes down to how she plans to carry.


    As far as caliber, I personally would not go under .380 for defensive purposes, and really nothing less than 9mm if she can easily conceal it (though a Bersa Thunder 380 or Walther PPK is good for deep concealment). Smaller rounds like 32ACP quite simply do not do enough damage to quickly incapacitate an attacker, anything under 32ACP cannot be used to qualify for a CHL, and rimfires like .22s are cheap for a very good reason. I have not yet had a 9mm cartridge fail to fire in over 850 rounds through my Ruger P95 which is my main defense gun. When christening my new Buckmark .22LRI had 2 duds (the pin marked em good and they simply did not fire), 3 squibs (they didn't lodge in the barrel but the gun just barely cycled)and 2 failures to lock back (not enough oomph to hit slide lock). This is not a track record you want in a defensive pistol.Luckily the Buckmark is a paper puncher and can plinker only.

  22. #22
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    anything under 32ACP cannot be used to qualify for a CHL

    In SC I don't believe there is a restriction on that. I qualified with a SA 17HMR revolver. Needless to say I scored 100% very easily.

  23. #23
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    Liko81 wrote:
    SNIP.... and rimfires like .22s are cheap for a very good reason. I have not yet had a 9mm cartridge fail to fire in over 850 rounds through my Ruger P95 which is my main defense gun. When christening my new Buckmark .22LRI had 2 duds (the pin marked em good and they simply did not fire), 3 squibs (they didn't lodge in the barrel but the gun just barely cycled)and 2 failures to lock back (not enough oomph to hit slide lock). This is not a track record you want in a defensive pistol.Luckily the Buckmark is a paper puncher and can plinker only.
    You know what the funny thing is. I have a Wilson Combat .22LR conversion kit for my Kimber Custom Tactical, and the gun, so far, has functioned 100% with .22LR, while I've had two FTF's with the .45 slide in place. This is in the course of about 2K rounds of .22 and about 700 rounds of .45. (Both of the FTF's in .45 were with the same brand of widemouthed JHP, and I have since switched to a different brand of carry ammo that doesn't have any feeding problems in the gun.) Does that mean I should carry it with the .22 slide on it, loaded with CCI Stingers???? (Since it's more reliable that way?)

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    I baught my wife the Bersa Thunder .380. Fits her small grip perfectly. She said the Glock compact was too short. The only drawback is 7 shot cap. But heck, that's what I'm for, backup.

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    I don't think there's such a thing as the best "ladies' gun" any more than there is such a thing as the best man's gun. One lady friend of mine CCs a Walther P99 subcompact in .40S&W, and also owns a P99QA in 9mm Para, a SIG P232, and Ruger GP100; another CCs a G27, and also owns a BHP in 9mm, a BHP in .40, and a Super Redhawk. Yet another lady friend of mine used to (and maybe still does) shoot a 1911 in .45 ACP. My sister-in-law-in-law (my B-I-L's wife) is a fairly diminutive lady of Chinese descent, whose weapons of choice are, I believe, a G26 and an M1 carbine (with a shortened stock).

    My advice would be to check out this website: Cornered Cat, written by a lady who goes by the handle "Pax" on TFL and THR. She has some of the best advice on handgun and holster selection for women I've read.

    Short answer, though, if you're going to be buying the lady one gun which will have to function both as training and self-defense weapon (at least initially), I'd advise you to start by looking at semi-autos in 9mm Para and revolvers in .357 Magnum (but load them, at least initially, with .38 Spl, with an eye to working up to .38 Spl+P or even .357 Mag later on). Try to achieve a balance between concealability and controllability; I would suggest something in the order of a Glock 19 or Ruger SP101. But note that should be your starting point; don't restrict yourself to those calibers.

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