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Thread: S&W for a woman...

  1. #1
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    I'm new to the site and new to the world of gun ownership. I'm purchasing a Smith and Wesson five-shot .38 special for personal protection. This is a big deal for me because there was a time when I was (wince) anti-handgun.

    Then my husband told me about the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, VA. Anyone heard about this one? It's an amazing story. Hubby is an attorney and he's from that area and that's how he heard about this.

    Crazy student enters the School of Law and shoots six people, killing three instantly. Two other students hear the gunshots and they run out to their pick-up trucks (true story) and get their handguns/rifles. They run back into the building and confront the shooter. He drops his weapons and they hold him on the ground until the police arrive.

    Later, a state trooper told them, "He was intending to shoot a lot more than he did. You guys stopped him."

    The media picked up this story and left OUT the part about the students having guns and said only, "Two other students subdued the shooter."

    I'm a former reporter and this was sickening to me. I did some research and learned that the number one deterrant to violent crime is a well-armed citizenry.

    So my question is, I'm a gentle soul and when I tell friends I'm getting a hand gun they say, "You could never shoot anyone. You're too gentle."

    I tell them, "I've given this a lot of thought. This is a huge decision that I'm making here. And I realize that if someone tried to harm my children, I'd shoot them dead in amoment. And then I realized that I am as important as my children."

    Anyone else here deal with well-meaning friends and relatives? I'm not the gun-toting type but after about three months of research and reading and thinking, I'm ready.



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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Respectfully tell them that even though they may not agree with it, you WILL be carrying.

    Mention the fact that it is not only for your protection, but for theirs when they are with you.

    What kind of S&W? I have an old Model 10 in .38 spcl and my wife loves it.

    Small frame short barrel?

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    Welcome to the forum. There are a lot of good people on here with a ton of knowledge. You've come to the right place. I myself do not own any S&W. Nothing against them, I simply prefer my Rugers, but they are excellent weapons. I have a buddy who has one of the lightweight snubbies. I cant remember the name offhand. I'm sure someone on here will come to my aid on this one. Anyways, you've made a wise choice and welcome to the forum. Be safe!

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    Welcome to the forum. I love S&W revolvers and carry one myself.



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    Welcome to the fold, Hope_Full.

    Pardon the following if you know more than you let on; I'm working on the assumption you have little experience with firearms.

    I've never shot a .38 revolver before, but I have shot a .44 magnum. Hell of a kick, but put a nice hole through the target. If I was going to take on moose or grizzly bear, I'd probably be carrying something like that.

    Revolvers are simple, reliable, and available in a wide variety of calibers - you can't go wrong with them. I don't know much about .38 cal (I carry a 9mm S&W auto), but I've heard that it's good to start out with. Try to practice as often as you can; I practice every week on my family's land. If you haven't already, make sure you get the right kind of ammunition - I'm not sure what the offerings are for .38 special but perhaps your dealer can help you out with that.

    As for defending yourself, you will likely never need to use your sidearm in self defense. No one wants to be put in that situation. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world and it is foolish to assume that you will never be in a situation that requires the use of lethal force. However you choose to carry - open or concealed - you will have the capability to defend yourself from those who would do you and your family harm, whomever they may be.

    Lastly, my parents are pretty foul about me carrying a sidearm. My mother is warming up to it but my father seems to think I'll never need it. My neighbors on the other hand completely agree with my point of view. It's surprising when those close to you seem to understand the least; it's especially surprising to me because both of my parents have much experience with the real world. I think it just comes down to misconceptions about the 2nd Amendment. With a little bit of time they'll get used to it and understand it as well (my mother has already expressed interest in getting a defensive weapon for herself). Some may never understand, but I'm sure they'll at least respect your point of view.

    In the end, it's a huge responsibility to take on, and not one to be taken lightly. However, it's a small step to take to look out for yourself - just like any other precautions we take in life.

    Hope you enjoy your time here!

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    Hi and welcome to the site.

    I do remember the incident you are talking about. I do recall them reporting on the students that ran to their cars and got their gun and stopped the guy.

    Well I just recently purchased a S&W revolver myself, It is a .357mag. but it also fires .38 special rounds (for the wife).
    If you are looking for a nice revolver I would suggest looking at one that has no hammer. In the case you have to draw your weapon in defense of your family, a hammerless revolver has a less chance do snagging on your clothing or inside your purse. But I would not recommend carrying in a purse, that method of carry jeopardizes your control of your gun, as apposed to having it on your person.

    When I was in the dealer purchasing my revolver a guy came in and traded his Taurus revolver in for a S&W. He said it has never been fired and was brand new. He and the dealer looked over it and agreed that the S&W was the better gun of the two. That should give you a since on the quality S&W.

    Also If your friends have anything negative to say about you having or carrying a gun, don’t tell them. It is none of their business anyway. I always say I am responsible for my self and my family and I don’t care what others think.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I tell them, "I've given this a lot of thought. This is a huge decision that I'm making here. And I realize that if someone tried to harm my children, I'd shoot them dead in a moment. And then I realized that I am as important as my children."
    I think that is overall a good way to approach it. You are as important as your children. Actually, for most kids, their mom is their world and losing you or your husband would be devastating. In that regard you have a obligation to your children and spouse to protect them AND to protect yourself to ensure that you return to them whole, physically and emotionally (eg you were raped and as a result were unable to cope with your motherly and wifely responsibilities emotionally).

    I have long said that women have more need to be armed than most men. What was the old saying, "God created men equal but Col. Colt made them equal" or something like that. Guns are often the great equalizer for a woman against a man who is typically larger and stronger. Congratulations on your decision to take responsibility for defending yourself and your family.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Hope_Full wrote:
    I'm new to the site and new to the world of gun ownership. I'm purchasing a Smith and Wesson five-shot .38 special for personal protection. This is a big deal for me because there was a time when I was (wince) anti-handgun.

    Then my husband told me about the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, VA. Anyone heard about this one? It's an amazing story. Hubby is an attorney and he's from that area and that's how he heard about this.

    Crazy student enters the School of Law and shoots six people, killing three instantly. Two other students hear the gunshots and they run out to their pick-up trucks (true story) and get their handguns/rifles. They run back into the building and confront the shooter. He drops his weapons and they hold him on the ground until the police arrive.

    Later, a state trooper told them, "He was intending to shoot a lot more than he did. You guys stopped him."

    The media picked up this story and left OUT the part about the students having guns and said only, "Two other students subdued the shooter."

    I'm a former reporter and this was sickening to me. I did some research and learned that the number one deterrant to violent crime is a well-armed citizenry.

    So my question is, I'm a gentle soul and when I tell friends I'm getting a hand gun they say, "You could never shoot anyone. You're too gentle."

    I tell them, "I've given this a lot of thought. This is a huge decision that I'm making here. And I realize that if someone tried to harm my children, I'd shoot them dead in amoment. And then I realized that I am as important as my children."

    Anyone else here deal with well-meaning friends and relatives? I'm not the gun-toting type but after about three months of research and reading and thinking, I'm ready.


    First of all: get some real training. Not a Gun safety class, not a pistol shooting class. take a gun FIGHTING class. The most important aspect of surviving a life threatening situation is MINDSET. Everything else is circumstantial.

    Second: Look at more options for pistols. I don't know what reason you or many women chose a .38 revolver over an auto-pisol, but if you can drive, operate the gas and break, change the radio station, talk on the phone all while stearing with your elbow and putting on lipstick, I don't see why you cant operate a slide and magazine.

    Carrying a gun should not be stylish or pretty, it should be worn as a tool to prtect your life.

    Here is why I advocate Glock 19's. This video is of an 11 year old girl training at Tactical Response in camden TN. I think she was about 75 at the time.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDlodGEp_9o

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    Second: Look at more options for pistols. I don't know what reason you or many women chose a .38 revolver over an auto-pisol, but if you can drive, operate the gas and break, change the radio station, talk on the phone all while stearing with your elbow and putting on lipstick, I don't see why you cant operate a slide and magazine.
    You need a pretty strong hand and grip to effectively use autos; my mother is pretty damn strong but she had problems racking the slide on my S&W. Before going for the auto pistols I'd suggest making sure you can rack the slides easily.

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    As for the original question: my sister thinks I'm a psycho, and dad - despite being a WWII Pacific theater veteran - is not a gun person either. My brothers think I'm ok, the gf has her doubts... all told, I guess it's a wash, the public relations aspect of being a gun person.

    Welcome.

    -ljp


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    Walleye wrote:
    Second: Look at more options for pistols. I don't know what reason you or many women chose a .38 revolver over an auto-pisol, but if you can drive, operate the gas and break, change the radio station, talk on the phone all while stearing with your elbow and putting on lipstick, I don't see why you cant operate a slide and magazine.
    You need a pretty strong hand and grip to effectively use autos; my mother is pretty damn strong but she had problems racking the slide on my S&W. Before going for the auto pistols I'd suggest making sure you can rack the slides easily.
    Horse ******* ****....

    sorry for the swearing but this is not true.

    Here is proof. This girl is 11 years old and about 75lbs wet and wearing boots.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDlodGEp_9o

    That is a Glock19 running XS Big Dot Sights in case you wondered. The failure to fire is due to snap caps intentionally loaded.

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    Horse ******* ****.... sorry for the swearing but this is not true. Here is proof. This girl is 11 years old and about 75lbs wet and wearing boots. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDlodGEp_9o That is a Glock19 running XS Big Dot Sights in case you wondered. The failure to fire is due to snap caps intentionally loaded.
    Well, gee-willywonkers, mister! I guess that makes her a pretty strong girl!

    Hence why I say you should make sure you can do it before you plonk down the dough for an auto pistol. It would suck to blow the money and then find out racking the slide is hard to do, agreed?

    (As a side note, that girl did have problems with the slide a few times.)

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    Semi-autos and revolvers both have their advantages and disadvantages. Its not strictly true that one is better than the other for all circumstances. I don't see any problem with a 5-shot.38 revolver, if that's what you want go with it. Since its five shotI'm guessing its small. The best gun isthe one you have with you. If you leave a gun at home because it is too big and heavy it does you no good (except maybe when you are at home.)


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    Think of any gross mechanical skill you have learned in your life. Anything from riding a bike, to swiming, or hell, even walking. It wasn't easy at first and you probably didn't posses the muscle to complete the task, but eventually you learned. Now those taks are subconcious... and so should be with your gun.

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    One strong advantage of the "snubbie"revolver is retention in close quarters defensive combat. There just isn't much of anything for your attacker to wrap his hand around.A light, compact revolver that can (and WILL) be carried 24/7 is better than a .45 SA that is left at home because it is too heavy, hard to conceal, and a burden to carry. This has all been said before, I know - the lethality of the .38 is well established - particularly in the + P JHP SD loads. It matters most WHERE the rounds hit the target. I don't feel the least bit out-gunned carrying my S&W 637 with 125 gr Speer Gold Dot .38 + P.

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    Another advantage of the revolver is its reliability.Especially when compared to small semi-autos. But even against full size semi-autos from reputed manufacturers they usually have the edge in reliability.No risk of failures tofeed or eject, they don't suffer from problems like limp-wristing, if you get a dud you can just skip to the next round, if a round is underpowered it won't cause a failure to feed the next round etc. They can even be fired from a jacket pocket (not recommended but I've heard of it being done) without jamming.

    This comes at the cost of not having 18 round magazines and quick reloads of course.

    Personally I'd be happy with either a semi-auto or a revolver, given that it is well-made. The ability of the shooter is usually of greater importance the the type of gun he has.


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    Folks, I wasn't trying to start a debate over what kind of weapon is the best. I simply believe that if Hope_Full wants a weapon for self defense, it should be one she's comfortable with. We can suggest choices from our own experiences, but we can't say she 'needs' this or that. I see way too much of that from my father, grandfather, and uncle.

    Lest we forget, the real concern is whether or not you carry a weapon - how it's carried or what it is doesn't matter; only that it's there and that you know how to use it.

    Hope_Full, don't be afraid to try everything out there, and stand your ground when you find something that works for you.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    My wife is about 100lbs, and she has trouble racking the slide of our hi-point, but she can use the Model 10 very well, and she reloads it pretty quick.

    I think that it would be a good carry weapon for her.

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    Bravo_Sierra wrote:
    This video is of an 11 year old girl training at Tactical Response in camden TN.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDlodGEp_9o
    actually, that was the Las Vegas class.

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    My wife, and mom had problems racking the slide on my .45. (I just don’t get it) Just grip and slide she almost hurt herself every time racking that thing. My wife is getting better at it now, but it seems so hard for her.
    But yeah a .38 S&W would be nice gun to start with

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    Bravo Sierra wrote:
    Second: Look at more options for pistols. I don't know what reason you or many women chose a .38 revolver over an auto-pisol, but if you can drive, operate the gas and break, change the radio station, talk on the phone all while stearing with your elbow and putting on lipstick, I don't see why you cant operate a slide and magazine.

    Watch the video you posted. The little girlssemi-auto jammed at least three, possibly four times and in real life, that can get you killed!

    I have a Colt 357 that has NEVER jammed a round on me; never stove-piped a round; never FTE'ed a round; never failed to feed because of a 'limp-wrist'; never had the slide refuse to completely close as a ladys' gun next to me on the range repeatedlydid at my CCW class.

    It has gone 'bang' every time I've pulled the trigger, and with full house loads it goes 'bang' with a lot more authority than a 9 mm ever thought of doing. I have a wife and two daughters , all of whom agree that they want 38/357 revolvers. They are simple to operate, very powerful caliber and they always fire.

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    Yep, a lot of those failure drills would not have to be practiced if you used a revolver.

    if you watch the others you will see that she had problems racking the slide repeatedly.

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    Loneviking wrote:
    Bravo Sierra wrote:
    Second: Look at more options for pistols. I don't know what reason you or many women chose a .38 revolver over an auto-pisol, but if you can drive, operate the gas and break, change the radio station, talk on the phone all while stearing with your elbow and putting on lipstick, I don't see why you cant operate a slide and magazine.
    Watch the video you posted. The little girlssemi-auto jammed at least three, possibly four times and in real life, that can get you killed!
    I was thinking the same thing, until I saw this comment:

    gixxerguy811's comment on YouTube:
    All of the jams are dud training bullets put into the magazines on purpose. So she gets use to what a misfeed is like and how to clear it. If those "tap-caps" were not in there that Glock 19 would have performed perfectly. But thank you for your comments!!!

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    Still, notice the times where she has to rack the slide multiple times, and that's just to get the slide forward after lock

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    Hope_Full wrote:
    I'm new to the site and new to the world of gun ownership. I'm purchasing a Smith and Wesson five-shot .38 special for personal protection.

    So my question is, I'm a gentle soul and when I tell friends I'm getting a hand gun they say, "You could never shoot anyone. You're too gentle."

    I tell them, "I've given this a lot of thought. This is a huge decision that I'm making here. And I realize that if someone tried to harm my children, I'd shoot them dead in amoment. And then I realized that I am as important as my children."

    Anyone else here deal with well-meaning friends and relatives? I'm not the gun-toting type but after about three months of research and reading and thinking, I'm ready.

    You are a few steps ahead of me, my friend, since you know what you are purchasing. Congratulations. I look forward to making my selection and going out and practicing with it. I want to be prepared should there ever be a need. It's probably like learning CPR----now when was the last time I had to use it since I learned it? Never. But in this day and age and the news reports I hear of citizens getting robbed, injured, or killed by some criminal makes me think the probability of using a handgun is on the increase.

    I've mentioned to a few friends about getting my CHL and they ask, 'Why?'
    There are some good replies to your post, so I'll get more familiar and able to answer with confidence my reasons for carrying a gun (where allowed). I would like to see other people get protection; perhaps we can be a positive influence.

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