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Posted: 10/29/2006 6:54:04 AM EST
Alright, first, I know that the proper thing to do is take her to the range and have her try a couple of revolvers/semi-autos -- So my question is, what have your sisters/girlfriends/wives found most comfortable for themselves?

I'd like to build a small list of guns to have her try.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:02:55 AM EST
.38 revolver. Smaller frame. I like S&W for that.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:05:54 AM EST
get her the cricket i say a sub-compact 9mm like an XD or Glock
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:07:38 AM EST
Get her a .38 Special revolver, not a semi-automatic.

More here:

Teaching a Lady to Shoot
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:09:05 AM EST
Mine likes the CZ75 in 9mm, she's confident and accurate with it.

If she's not going to practice regularly though, common wisdom suggests a fullsize .38spl revolver. Easy recoil, point-and-click simplicity, and without a complicated manual of arms or a slide which may be difficult for some with weak hands to operate. I'd recommend loading it with something easy to shoot instead of the go-fast +p loads, as placement and volume will more than make up for optimal ballistic performance.

Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:12:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Get her a .38 Special revolver, not a semi-automatic.

More here:

Teaching a Lady to Shoot


+eleventeenbillion!!!
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:16:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cape_hunter:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Get her a .38 Special revolver, not a semi-automatic.

More here:

Teaching a Lady to Shoot


+eleventeenbillion!!!


Add another +1 to that....38 revolver si the way to go.
Just my opinion....dont go straight for the fancy lightweight metals that make the weapon featherweight. That is great for carry, and awesome for an experienced shooter, but for a newbie, better to have some heavy steel to absorb recoil and help balance the weapon when learning to hit a target. A .38 isnt going to be that heavy no matter what metal its made of....just not enough metal to matter.

After she gains some comfort with the .38 revolver, a Glock19 is nice next step IMHO.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:16:59 AM EST
Detective Special in .38
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:17:54 AM EST
Lady Smith or a S&W Mod.37 Air weight(detective special) carries Hella Good,,,,just opinion
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:18:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By southeast_scrounger:
Detective Special in .38




Beat me to it
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:20:28 AM EST
Is this handgun for self defense/EDC or is she a budding firearms enthusist that needs a gun for training/plinking?


Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:26:10 AM EST
I woudn't agree with the above posters at all until I took a lady to the range.



Like I dumbass, I took all automatics the first time. .22, 9mm, and .45

She loved the .22. I think she shot 200 rounds through it. The 9mm was my Glock 19. I thought it'd be better because it is smaller. She hated it! The recoil for her was unacceptable, due to the light weight polymer. The .45 she didn't exactly care for, and there was one thing that I didn't consider from ANY of them.

She was deathly afraid of the ejected casings hitting her. I explained to her that she would be fine and that they wouldn't hurt her.

About 30 minutes later, a piece of hot .45 brass went down her shirt. She wouldn't touch the .45 after that.

The next time I took her, I took a DIFFERENT 9mm (Sig P226) and my S&W 586 with both .38 and .357 loads. She loved both of them, but she was really comfortable with the revolver. Easy for her to load and understand, low recoil and NO flying brass to burn her boobies.

As O_P says, we learned many things that week:

Women prefer revolvers
Alloy frame 9mm service pistols beat plastic when it comes to teaching women
Just because a woman is 5'6" and 140 lbs does NOT mean she won't be scared

And, last but not least...

Shooting stuff is fun, especially with a hot chick.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:32:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 7:34:20 AM EST by HoustonHusker]
S&W Model 36 or 37, or a Colt Detective Special. Both are .38's and OP's right.

HH

ETA: The Colt's advantage is that it's a six-shooter, one more than S&W's of similar frame size.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:37:08 AM EST
height=8
Originally Posted By Procyon:
Alright, first, I know that the proper thing to do is take her to the range and have her try a couple of revolvers/semi-autos -- So my question is, what have your sisters/girlfriends/wives found most comfortable for themselves?

I'd like to build a small list of guns to have her try.

Thanks!
Well big brother smith & wesson has several very good to exellant revolvers such as the 360 airlight cheifs special double action .38-.357 mag subnose pistols that are light[12onces] and very accurate for a 1.875 in barrel. If price is not much of an issue might I suggest a smith & wesson model 386 mountain lite. It is a double action .38 special + p-.357 magnum with HiViz front sight and adjustable rear. Barrel length is 3.125 inches and for what she would be getting would be a managable weight of 18.5 onces. It comes with hogue rubber grips and has a seven round capacity.If price is an issue go to website for rossi,taurus or charter arms products.Out of those I least recommend taurus.Don't let some folks try to sway you into buying her a small automatic pistol. Calibers to stay away from;9mm,.380.32H&R,.25'.22,.22mag.Althou any one of these can have lethal effect when used by a practaced shooter I personally recomend nothing smaller than a .38 special and +p hollowpoint if at all possible. Start her out with low powered semi-wadcutter loads at first then in time and with the proper instruction she could be just as good with "her pistol" as just about any one out there.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:37:47 AM EST
Wife= 5'0 100 Lbs, weapon of choice XD40 Subcompact.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:43:08 AM EST
One more vote for a small (J) framed S&W revolver.

My wife has one with a Crimson Trace laser grip.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:48:41 AM EST
+1 for the 3-4 inch revolver and not a hi tech alloy one.

not for nothing but for a first handgun I think a .22 revolver is the trainer. Obviously it's not the carry or defense gun but a great tool for developing skill. If she only wants one then go right to the .38 special. You can loan her a .22 for practice but you might not get it back!

if she is set on an auto, sig 9mm or smith 9mm.

Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:51:15 AM EST
I’ve taught a few women to shoot over the years.

Every woman is different so there really aren’t any wrong answers. You just have to find something the woman likes and is comfortable shooting. For example, a friends wife, who definitely isn’t a gun person, loves her husband’s HK USP in .45ACP. (The slide is very easy to work.) But she hates some of the compact Sigs because she has to struggle with the slide.

That being said, everyone is right when they suggest a .38 revolver as a starting point. A lot of women seem to like the J-framed S&W revolvers (or clones). The Colt Police Positive Special is another good pistol to try, it’s what my mother likes. (They aren’t made anymore.)

But I’ve known women that like large revolvers and auto pistols. One woman I taught to shoot when she was in High School went on to become a police officer for a while. She loved her 10mm S&W auto and would have probably been insulted by the suggestion that she should get a .38 revolver.

Start your sister out on a .38, but let her try different things. Listen to what she’s saying about the kind of pistol she wants.

Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:53:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 8:13:37 AM EST by Lumpy196]
A simple .38 or a Kahr K9.

Ive met a lot of women who didnt have the hand strength to manage the heavy DA trigger pull of most revolvers. The Kahr solves that nicely.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:06:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:08:37 AM EST
My wife likes my 1911, but LOVES her G23. She didn't care a bit for my S&W model 19.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:14:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 8:18:47 AM EST by Paveway_]
G19
USP Compact
USP P2000
Sig 228
Walther P99
PX4
4" XD

Unless she is a four foot nothing weakling and an idiot or mechanically imcompetant, a compact auto should be fine. I think it is kind of demeaning to suggest a woman can't handle an auto as her first gun. With proper instruction and good coaching telling her what to expect, women should be fine with an auto. Recoil is percieved and when she gets her first gun or tries it out shoot a lot of rounds over several days. The first day/time will always be a shock with reguards to recoil. Next day they know what to expect and by the third and fourth time out they have gotten over the fear of it.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:15:34 AM EST
i like to let a lady shot as many different guns as i can after teaching the basics. like no one gun is good for all men. no one handgun is good for all women. my sister-in-law does not like the feel of the wheel gun her dad left her. but she likes my sigs.

my 2 cents
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:25:14 AM EST
My GF prefers my Colt Combat Target Master 1911, she is 5'8" 120lbs. But she doesnt CCW. I have been working on the CCW thing with her 6ys.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:51:42 AM EST
Good comments on the difficulty of certain guns to manipulate the slide. I forgot about that.

Not a bad idea to let her work and dry fire all the varieties that you have on hand without ammo or with snap caps at home before going to the range.

The exposure without the ammo will lower the anxiety and stress while giving her a basis of experience. I did this with a friend's wife (she won't listen to him, dumbass started her off shooting a 12 ga with turkey loads) we looked at what I had and what he had in the kitchen one Friday night while explaining the differences; single vs. double action in pistols and revolvers et cetera. She got to work the slides, see how the slide locked open when empty, open the cylinders and pull the triggers before we went to the range the next day. I was suprised she didn't like my mark II as the barrel was too heavy. She did like the .22s much better though. Like others have said, you never know what someone else will prefer.

SoS
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:53:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By SGB:
"The 1911 was the design given by God to us through John M. Browning that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and is true now."—Colonel Robert J. Coates, USMC


If the above is true, consider a 1911.

Here in Indiana, the Boone County Sheriff's Department provides basic defensive pistol training to citizens. Captain (Sheriff-elect) Ken Campbell conducts it and is a Gunsite instructor. After shooting a 1911 and learning its basic manual of arms, I sent my wife and oldest daughter to Ken's class. (Ken opines that husbands shouldn't teach wives/daughters to shoot, drive a car or paddle a canoe.) Both handled the 1911 well. In fact, my 5'7" daughter, using a 1911, sucessfully completed a defensive pistol/knife class and three carbine classes with Pat Rogers (whose diminutive SO also carries a 1911.)

The 1911 is a viable option. YMMV. Competent instruction followed by practice is the key. No varying mileage here.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:01:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By Submariner:

Originally Posted By SGB:
"The 1911 was the design given by God to us through John M. Browning that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and is true now."—Colonel Robert J. Coates, USMC


If the above is true, consider a 1911.

Here in Indiana, the Boone County Sheriff's Department provides basic defensive pistol training to citizens. Captain (Sheriff-elect) Ken Campbell conducts it and is a Gunsite instructor. After shooting a 1911 and learning its basic manual of arms, I sent my wife and oldest daughter to Ken's class. (Ken opines that husbands shouldn't teach wives/daughters to shoot, drive a car or paddle a canoe.) Both handled the 1911 well. In fact, my 5'7" daughter, using a 1911, sucessfully completed a defensive pistol/knife class and three carbine classes with Pat Rogers (whose diminutive SO also carries a 1911.)

The 1911 is a viable option. YMMV. Competent instruction followed by practice is the key. No varying mileage here.


I also have found most women I have introduced to shooting have prefered the 45. Recoil is less snappy than 9mm.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:08:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mazeman:
One more vote for a small (J) framed S&W revolver.

My wife has one with a Crimson Trace laser grip.


+1

I agree...keep is something like the above...easy to maintain and easy to shoot. If you can get a laser sight even better as they say accuracy improves by as much as 60% under stress with a laser.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:11:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 9:12:14 AM EST by SilentType]

Originally Posted By Submariner:

Originally Posted By SGB:
"The 1911 was the design given by God to us through John M. Browning that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and is true now."—Colonel Robert J. Coates, USMC


If the above is true, consider a 1911.

Here in Indiana, the Boone County Sheriff's Department provides basic defensive pistol training to citizens. Captain (Sheriff-elect) Ken Campbell conducts it and is a Gunsite instructor. After shooting a 1911 and learning its basic manual of arms, I sent my wife and oldest daughter to Ken's class. (Ken opines that husbands shouldn't teach wives/daughters to shoot, drive a car or paddle a canoe.) Both handled the 1911 well. In fact, my 5'7" daughter, using a 1911, sucessfully completed a defensive pistol/knife class and three carbine classes with Pat Rogers (whose diminutive SO also carries a 1911.)

The 1911 is a viable option. YMMV. Competent instruction followed by practice is the key. No varying mileage here.


While I am a huge fan of the 1911...I have to disagree with giving a first time shooter a 1911 as a personal protection weapon. You'll want to stick with something with a double action only and that doesn't require much maintenance.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 10:15:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 10:18:36 AM EST by niceguymr]
You have 2 choices for the best 1st handgun for a woman shooter (generally because of smaller more delicate hands that are TYPICALLY not as strong as a males's)

For a semi-auto, go with the Glock 19 9mm (or G17 if not for CCW). Hands down the best 9mm handgun around.

For a revolver, got with a S&W J frame 38 special. I personally would suggest the scandium model which only weighs 12oz, which is about half the weight of the next lightest 38special around. The other benefit of the Scandium models is that they can also shoot .357 should she ever decide to step it up a notch.

Most women who are not 'into' guns, but just want one to carry in their purse or whatnot for personal protection prefer a revolver because they're less complicated. I would also suggest a hammerless model as many women like to carry in their purse and it is less likely to get caught onto or snag when trying to quicky remove it.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 11:13:43 AM EST
I've taught 2 women to shoot. My wife and my best friend's wife. My approach was "ignorance is bliss" combined with "comfort and convenience". Both now carry, both have ultimately gone to "real" combat shooting schools.

My "bliss" approach started them out with a G23. Like all Glocks, simple so no learning curve on controls. Lightweight so no whining about upper body strength. Never mentioned recoil, except to say that there would be some, so I showed them the proper body mechanics to control it.

Made them wear hats, t-shirts and of course eye-pro. Brass was a non-issue. Never even mentioned it to them. Don't confuse them with the facts.

Comfort and convenience is key. Private pit at my club, just us. Outside so no smoke, little noise, nice day, good weather. Quality electronic ear protection so no yelling. They never loaded a mag, I just kept handing them full ones. Go slow, bring snacks and drinks. Make a picnic of it.

I ran them out of the holster. They liked that a lot, and it put them in the proper mindset.

We did a manual of arms/here's how it works/dry fire out of the holster stuff first so all that crap was out of the way first. They both liked that, it reduced the sensory overload when the real shooting started.

Started with IDPA targets at 5 yards. Very confidence inspiring.

Bottom line: when all was said and done, both refuse to shoot 9mm now!

IHMO the WORST thing you can do is drag them down to the local indoor range for an hour for their first shooting experience no matter what they are holding in their hand. Noisy, dark, dirty, smelly, too many people watching, etc.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 12:14:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 12:30:54 PM EST by Submariner]

Originally Posted By SilentType:

Originally Posted By Submariner:

Originally Posted By SGB:
"The 1911 was the design given by God to us through John M. Browning that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and is true now."—Colonel Robert J. Coates, USMC


The 1911 is a viable option. YMMV. Competent instruction followed by practice is the key. No varying mileage here.


While I am a huge fan of the 1911...I have to disagree with giving a first time shooter a 1911 as a personal protection weapon. You'll want to stick with something with a double action only and that doesn't require much maintenance.


While you are free to disagree, it doesn't change the fact that the 1911 worked for them as first-time shooters. It may work for others as well. Why spend time, effort and money on something else for personal protection when they are going to end up with that 1911, "the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be'," anyway? There are G19's available. (ETA: "The butt is too wide.") Nevertheless, they pick the Colt when it is time to practice/carry. It's all about women's choice, right?

Maintenance is really a mindset issue. Once one comes to grips with the idea that this tool might be called upon to save one's life, keeping it operable is a given.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 12:51:09 PM EST
Well, I'd say it depends on your sister.

In my case, since you restricted it to handguns I'd want at least a .44 magnum. But given my choice I'd go for something in the .300 Winmag range. She outweighs me by at least 30-40lbs and when she get's mad she's really dangerous.

Oh, you meant something for her to SHOOT?

I thought this was one of those "what calibre for moose?" threads
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 1:28:10 PM EST
Every woman I know loves my nickel plated S&W .38 snubbie. Most without even firing it. They like the look and the feel.

I've found most women are pretty darn accurate with a mid-barrel .38. Something about their eyes. They seem to shoot in a completely different way. More concentration and less pressure in the hands? I dunno, but I +1000 a .38 revolver.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 1:40:09 PM EST
I would not choose a 1911.

Don't get me wrong, it's truly a great firearm, but is not for most beginners. If you choose a semi-auto, then one with a de-cocking lever and a DAO mechanism is much safer for someone who may not practice a lot.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 1:44:01 PM EST
Definitely a medium-frame, 6-shot, 100% steel (stainless might be a good idea), .357 Magnum, but loaded with .38s until she works up to .357's recoil.

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 2:02:57 PM EST


In my experience, the recoil frightens many women. If you can find or borrow someone's 22lr revolver, I'd start with that to build confidence and practice hitting the target. Then, I'd move to a ,38 special with wax bullets or plastic blue rounds before having her shoot low power .38 rounds.

Link Posted: 10/29/2006 2:07:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kharn:
Definitely a medium-frame, 6-shot, 100% steel (stainless might be a good idea), .357 Magnum, but loaded with .38s until she works up to .357's recoil.

Kharn


+1

It's actually a good start for a wide variety of shooters. Steel-framed .357 revlovers loaded with .38 provide a nice and light recoil, though you actually feel like you're firing a firearm, unlike some .22s.

(Randomly loading a .357 revolver with a mix of .38s and .357s is a great way to recognize and reduce flinching, too.)
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 2:25:52 PM EST
.22 revolver.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 2:30:05 PM EST
My wife wanted to see how a couple of my hand guns worked the other day and this was the first time she showed an interest, other than using them from props in a picture. All I have for handguns is a G30 and a Keltec p32. She's 5'4" and 110#'s and could not work the slides on either. She just didn't have the hand strength.

She did however like the ease of use as both are very simple with nothing to work but the trigger. This was a big deal to her, as the more complicated the mechinism was the more intimidated she was about it.

I am planning on getting a steel .38 hammerless revolver, with laser grips for her.

If you take your sister shooting make sure you follow the advice some people have given. Keep it as simple and as fun as possible. Do all the reloading for her. DO NOT take her to an indoor range. The noise alone is enough to scare her away. Use targets that are close and preferable reactive. Old fruit, water jugs, shoot n see etc. DO NOT yell at her even once. That works for us guys, but if you yell at her if she makes a mistake even if dangerous, it might turn her off permentantly. If you have electronic muffs definitely use them and make sure they are dressed properly. No open shirts, open toe shoes etc. Shoot the lightest loads you can find.

Remeber the first rule of a gun fight is to have a gun. Even if it is a .22 or .25 or .32 it is still better than pepper spray or stun gun.

If the first gun she gets is not the one she ultimately goes with WHO CARES? Unless you are really poor don't worry about it. If she wants a different gun/caliber in the future this is a good thing let her pick it out then. Don't let the 'anything less than .xxx is useless' crowd scare you. Personally I like the .45, but I would be happy if my wife would even carry a .22 right now.
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