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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/3/2005 7:51:37 AM EDT
First time posting in here, but I figured this is the place to get relevant information.
My wife has decided that she wants to have access to my guns. (specifically when I am away on business, adventures, etc) I told her that she would not get access until she learned appropriate safety and mastered at least one weapon.

We decided (after me explaining the differences in all the choices) that a .38 revolver would be the perfect starter for her. For right now, this would be a gun that she would have access to in the home...she wouldnt be carrying for now at least (after some experience then she may decide to join me and get her LTC, but thats down the road)

What do you ladies like in terms of a .38 revolver....looking for something with managable recoil, and a light, easy to grip weapon. Since this is a starter gun for a newbie (that may not take to it) it should be on the cheaper side. If my wife gets into it, then the sky is the limit...but for now, we are just testing the waters.

Here is my primary concern:

Do you prefer a lighter gun even though the recoil is worse, or do you prefer a steel frame that weighs a bit more but absorbs the recoil a bit better?

Do you prefer the smaller grip with room for two fingers, and have your pinkie hang off, or do you like a full grip for your entire hand?

It's hard for me to objectively look at these questions, as I have been shooting for 30 years and have long held opinions about what makes a good defensive weapon....but I dont want to influence this purchase, as it should match what my wife needs. The better the fit, the more likely she will use it...and after all, that is the point!

Also, any other advice you can give for a first time woman shooter would be helpful, as I intend to share the responses to this post with my wife before taking her to the gun shop.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 7:52:50 AM EDT
get her a smith and wesson lady!
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 7:58:19 AM EDT

Do you prefer a lighter gun even though the recoil is worse, or do you prefer a steel frame that weighs a bit more but absorbs the recoil a bit better?


I prefer a lighter gun, but it took much practice to be able to control the recoil and practice, practice, practice to maintain that control. I am actually switching to a larger, heavier gun as I don't have the time to dedicate to the practice I need with a small gun. (I was carrying a .45 Kimber ultra, have switched to a .45 Kimber pro.)


Do you prefer the smaller grip with room for two fingers, and have your pinkie hang off, or do you like a full grip for your entire hand?


I prefer a full grip, better control of the firearm IMHO.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 8:20:38 AM EDT
I never shot a handgun until I went to the police academy. I was issued a .357 SW and that's what I took the academy. I love that pistol and am very accurate with it.

There were a couple other officers that had .38s but I was better with my .357. I now have a .38 [its not my ccw] but I'm not as comfortable with it as I am with a .357 and now my 1911.

I think MrsGH is right. The weight of the pistol and the size of the grips are a little easier to manage to be accurate. I do not have a lot of experience with different cals though. My husband has a .380 and I'm pretty comfortable with it [I covet it above most things] but I'm still much more accurate with my .357 and .45.

Patty
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:23:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2005 9:24:35 AM EDT by diabolical_chicken]

Originally Posted By macro:

I prefer a steel frame that weighs a bit more but absorbs the recoil a bit better

I suggest a full grip for your entire hand

any other advice you can give...




IMO, let her have some choice in how it looks--i am still a newbie at picking my own guns and like pretty shiny ones

Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:59:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2005 10:01:52 AM EDT by LdyGunner]

Originally Posted By diabolical_chicken:

IMO, let her have some choice in how it looks--i am still a newbie at picking my own guns and like pretty shiny ones




This is very true - a lot of my ladies make their first instinctive choice on looks (though most like the pretty 1911's). The LadySmith's are very attractive little .38's. Although I just had a friend pick up a taurus with perl grips in what looks like a fire blued finish - that choice was all about "pretty"; she owns several very practical firearms, both auto and revolver, but it's the pretty one she wants to make her new house gun.

I am also a big advocate of letting the ladies shoot everything themselves and making the choice for themself - if they like it, they'll shoot it. If the grip is too big, the trigger reach too long, the trigger to stiff etc - she won't do well or like it. The only way to see what fits her is to have her shoot a number of them (or at least dry fire a number of them) and see. Every woman is different.

The other thing I would recommend is to let your wife take a basic pistol course with someone else. A lot of ladies seem to do better learning from someone else other than a spouse - I think it has to do with the added pressure of wanting to make their/our spouse happy.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 10:09:05 AM EDT
.357 mag revolver. Go revolver if you are worried about maintanance, most wemon will not maintain their weapon on their own. If you want an autoMakarov is about the best of the cheapys, CZs in medium range, and in the upper Baby Glocks.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 11:13:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2005 11:16:03 AM EDT by 9X19]

Originally Posted By LdyGunner:

Originally Posted By diabolical_chicken:

IMO, let her have some choice in how it looks--i am still a newbie at picking my own guns and like pretty shiny ones




This is very true - a lot of my ladies make their first instinctive choice on looks (though most like the pretty 1911's). The LadySmith's are very attractive little .38's. Although I just had a friend pick up a taurus with perl grips in what looks like a fire blued finish - that choice was all about "pretty"; she owns several very practical firearms, both auto and revolver, but it's the pretty one she wants to make her new house gun.

I am also a big advocate of letting the ladies shoot everything themselves and making the choice for themself - if they like it, they'll shoot it. If the grip is too big, the trigger reach too long, the trigger to stiff etc - she won't do well or like it. The only way to see what fits her is to have her shoot a number of them (or at least dry fire a number of them) and see. Every woman is different.

The other thing I would recommend is to let your wife take a basic pistol course with someone else. A lot of ladies seem to do better learning from someone else other than a spouse - I think it has to do with the added pressure of wanting to make their/our spouse happy.



I agree that she should shoot everything she is interested in buying herself prior to actually purchasing something, and have someone else teach her, unless you are a very patient person. Everyone is different, and what works great for one person may not work for another. Personally, I prefer semi-automatics that do not have external safeties. But on the subject at hand, I used to own a Smith & Wesson Mdl. 442, .38 hammerless Airweight with a 4" barrel, solely for a CCW. It would be good for very close quarters shooting, but shooting 50 rounds with it for practice made my hand sore. I did not learn to shoot with this revolver, which had a long and heavy trigger pull. So I think it or something similar may be difficult to learn to shoot for a beginner, especially if she has small hands (you didn't mention this). My hands are very small. I own a Ruger GP100 in .357 with a 6" barrel, and it is a pleasure to shoot.

I taught a friend and coworker to shoot a few weeks ago, it was her first time ever shooting a firearm. I showed her the important things about sights, stance, etc. in the classroom prior to going out on the range, and then I started her out with my .22 semi-auto. Then we worked our way upwards shooting handguns with what I thought felt recoil would be, from what I have in my collection: Berettas, Sigs, then the Glocks. We finished up with my M4gery and AK-74 clone. She didn't shoot a 1911, because I don't own one, since I don't like how they feel in my hand. I asked her when we were done which handgun she preferred of the ones she shot, fully expecting that it would be one of the heavier pistols, since I thought there was less felt recoil with those. She preferred the Glock 19. She is now saving to buy one. Go figure.

Whether a first handgun is semi-auto or revolver, a person should shoot a few different ones so he/she can choose one that fits him/her the best.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 11:15:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2005 11:15:29 AM EDT by LdyGunner]

Originally Posted By Mattl:
.357 mag revolver. Go revolver if you are worried about maintanance, most wemon will not maintaintheir weapon on their own .



You don't know many women do you?

I clean all of my firearms every time I take them out - that's usually four or five a week, and I wipe down my P3AT every week whether I shoot it or not so it doesn't develop a rust problem. If I'm feeling generous I even clean my husband's guns.

Most of the women that I know clean their own firearms, and I teach all the women in my classes to clean their firearms because they're responsible for cleaning what they shoot in class.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:55:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LdyGunner:

Originally Posted By Mattl:
.357 mag revolver. Go revolver if you are worried about maintanance, most wemon will not maintaintheir weapon on their own .



You don't know many women do you?



Nobody has ever cleaned mine but me!

This may come as a surprise, given my nick and all, but I highly recommend the Makarov!!!
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 6:38:32 PM EDT
Thanks for all the answers so far...I would love to see some more opinions on the 'ultra light' metals vs. heavy steel with respect to recoil.

If it were my decision to make, I would think that a full size grip and a little heavier frame would be easier to control than a light weight frame and those two finger grips. Granted the smaller grips models are easier to conceal, but this isnt going to be a specific CCW...I am most interested in her getting a gun that is easy to learn, easy to handle, and easy to hit the target with.

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:24:53 PM EDT
Macro my 1911 is easier for me to fire than my .357. I think the action that advances the round helps. All I know is that it takes much more energy to pull the trigger of my .357 than my .45. and My 44 revolver [used for hunting] is harder yet. Patty
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:52:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macro:
Thanks for all the answers so far...I would love to see some more opinions on the 'ultra light' metals vs. heavy steel with respect to recoil.

If it were my decision to make, I would think that a full size grip and a little heavier frame would be easier to control than a light weight frame and those two finger grips. Granted the smaller grips models are easier to conceal, but this isnt going to be a specific CCW...I am most interested in her getting a gun that is easy to learn, easy to handle, and easy to hit the target with.




My wife carries a S&W 340PD, a Scandium .357. She doesn't shoot it for fun, because it's not fun to shoot. But it is easy to carry, and the gun you carry is more useful than the gun you leave at home, as I'm sure you've heard a million times... If it comes down to it, she knows she won't notice the recoil or the noise.

The gun she likes to shoot most is a Ruger GP100, 6" barrel .357. Loaded with .38's it's a teddy bear, and even with .357's it's easy on the shooter. Heck, that GP100 is the gun I like to shoot most.

A good compromise may be a Ruger SP101. Smaller, good grip, heavy frame for better control, it's even shiny. I would be reluctant to give a new shooter a lightweight gun just because of the increase in apparent recoil.

I'll second the motion of packing her off to a good shooting class without you. Less pressure all around that way.

Alpine
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:54:02 PM EDT
I suggest sending the her to a good school to learn to shoot and as importantly, to manipulate her weapon. I know that Gunsite offers two two day classes in a row specifically geared towards women, otherwise a five day 250 class would be great. Thunder Ranch is also a great school.

I know its expensive, but give a trained person a $250 police trade in revolver and he/she will shoot rings around a complete noob with a much more expensive weapon.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 11:09:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Makarov_Mami:

Originally Posted By LdyGunner:

Originally Posted By Mattl:
.357 mag revolver. Go revolver if you are worried about maintanance, most wemon will not maintaintheir weapon on their own .



You don't know many women do you?



Nobody has ever cleaned mine but me!

This may come as a surprise, given my nick and all, but I highly recommend the Makarov!!!



Most who use a site like this would be the exception not the rule. I remember seeing one pulled from a purse with all kinds of crap on it and hanging off it. Nice to see you agree with my point that was left out though. We share an appreciation for uncommon(here anyway) gems like the Makarov
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:57:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Makarov_Mami:

Originally Posted By LdyGunner:

Originally Posted By Mattl:
.357 mag revolver. Go revolver if you are worried about maintanance, most wemon will not maintaintheir weapon on their own .



You don't know many women do you?



Nobody has ever cleaned mine but me!

This may come as a surprise, given my nick and all, but I highly recommend the Makarov!!!



Yeah i think ladies on ARFCOM are not the normal type of gal when it comes to firearms.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 5:40:03 PM EDT
Briskette took my Glock 30 (.45) from me and won't give it back.

EVERY lady who has shot it (five or six, IIRC) has not only liked it, but has been a good shot with it.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 5:55:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2005 5:57:48 AM EDT by wedge1082]
Mrs. Wedge has a .357 snubby loaded with 38 spc.

eta. The .357 is a little bigger frame than the 38. That extra mass goes a long was in reducing recoil when loaded with 38 spc. compared to a 38 spc revolver.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 6:06:15 AM EDT
macro, some local PDs offer "beginner handgun courses" (some co-ed, some women only) for a nominal fee. Quality of instruction can be hit or miss, but it can be good to have some "formal" beginner training from someone other than the S.O., IMHO.

Anything like that available in your area?
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 2:06:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wedge1082:
Mrs. Wedge has a .357 snubby loaded with 38 spc.

eta. The .357 is a little bigger frame than the 38. That extra mass goes a long was in reducing recoil when loaded with 38 spc. compared to a 38 spc revolver.



WEDGE!!!

HE LIVES!!!



Sometime we'll have to find a way to have Mrs. Wedge and Briskette meet. Briskette is good with kids.

Ahem, oh yes, guns. For style (only), you could also consider the Sig P232. Very pretty, now if they'd just chamber one in something bigger than .380.....
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:00:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Brisk322:

WEDGE!!!

HE LIVES!!!




This could be Zombie-Wedge.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:13:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wedge1082:

Originally Posted By Brisk322:

WEDGE!!!

HE LIVES!!!




This could be Zombie-Wedge.





Hi Wedge!!
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:16:00 AM EDT
Lady Smith
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:53:51 AM EDT
My wife had the pick of the litter and went with a Sig 239 in 9mm. The grip is narrow, as it is a single stack. The trigger was decent in both double action as well as single action. The pistol has been reliable and is quite accurate. The factory sights are usable, too.

She is a lefty, and doesn't seem to have too much trouble with the controls on the pistol.

If she falls in love with an autoloader make sure she can operate the slide- with the hammer (if it has one) DOWN. If she doesn't have the handstrength to operate the slide point this out, no matter how much she thinks she likes the pistol.

If you go with a double action revolver don't let her just shoot it in single action. Hand strength and grips are really important on a double action pistol- If she has to struggle to operate the double action pull and groups suffer please give strong consideration to a trigger job. Everything you can do to ensure success is worth it! Make sure the pistol doesn't hurt to shoot- I really prefer a smooth trigger face, for instance. Small details can go a long way towards shooting comfort. Knocking the sharp edges off the cylinder release can also help.

Nice mild .38 Special wadcutter loads are wonderful for learning to shoot. They have shot well in all my .357 and .38 revolvers, too. If you have a .22LR pistol it really can't be beat for learning the fundamentals. Beyond that she will have to learn to manage flinching, and in my opinion it is better for a beginner to know what they are supposed to do- how to read a "good" shot, THEN deal with the added stress of a heavier recoiling firearm. The flinching or anticipation problem really can sink a beginner's outlook on pistol shooting, so let her know it is normal and everyone flinches in the beginning. I used to flinch so consistantly that I could get good groups!! Regardless, learning to control anticipation to the shot takes practice.

Keep things light and fun -practice should be fun, and recognize when she is getting tired.

Best of luck and please keep it fun!


Link Posted: 9/14/2005 10:23:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MrsGungho:

Originally Posted By wedge1082:

Originally Posted By Brisk322:

WEDGE!!!

HE LIVES!!!




This could be Zombie-Wedge.





Hi Wedge!!



Why, hello there!
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:03:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wedge1082:

Originally Posted By Brisk322:

WEDGE!!!

HE LIVES!!!




This could be Zombie-Wedge.



Must...not...photoshop...Baby Wedge...

Back on topic...
Make sure to keep in mind how she'll carry it.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:17:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 6:18:17 PM EDT by SigZiggy]
Do you prefer a lighter gun even though the recoil is worse, or do you prefer a steel frame that weighs a bit more but absorbs the recoil a bit better?

~Frame that absorbs a bit more unless we are talking only a backup weapon.

Do you prefer the smaller grip with room for two fingers, and have your pinkie hang off, or do you like a full grip for your entire hand?

~Full grip for entire hand. Less chance it will get ripped out of my hand by the bad guy. Also if I run out of ammo, I can shift my hand and pistol whip bad guy with a nice sized grip.

Sorry didn't read anything else but the bold type. I'm being lazy tonight...
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:34:42 PM EDT
For my GF , she found she likes a heavier gun , especially if it has a shorter barrel. the recoil is less with more weight, and IMO better for novice shooters. Bottom line though, let her pick what feels best for HER.
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 4:34:48 AM EDT
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