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Posted: 12/24/2003 10:03:38 AM EDT
My sister is interested in getting a relatively concealable handgun for defensive purposes. What are some of your suggestions for either a semi-automatic or a wheel gun in 9mm - 45 acp?

Happy Holidays!
Steve
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:19:55 AM EDT
As much as I don't like the gun or the caliber, try a 9mm Glock. Women that I have taught pistol classes to love the Glock and shoot it and 9mm well. Those are both important points in defense and practice. Put some HydraShocks in it for her for carry.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:26:29 AM EDT
How about a SIG357?  Thats a nice semi-auto.
FN makes some nice semi's aswell.

I don't want to say glock, cause thats what most will suggest.

I have a POS Intratec Cat'e 45.  That's small!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:29:07 AM EDT
My sister was interested in a handgun at one time. I recommended a .380 minimum. One thing stopped her and it was the question of "Would you be able to kill someone?". She said probably not and I told her that with that kind of hesitation, she would be better off running rather than have the bad guy take the weapon from her and use it on her. She needs to have the mindset to use it, first, with no hesitation and a decision point when to do so made before she ever gets a gun. Make the decision first, then get the gun and training.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:39:33 AM EDT
I'm a big fan of the Glock and compete with one on a regular basis. I shoot approx. 15k rounds a year from either a G17 or G34. However, I have to say that her method of carry will dictate what she should be using. Due to the Glock's trigger safety, it needs to be carried in a holster that covers the trigger guard. If it is just dropped in a purse, there's too much chance that something else in there will get snaggled up in the triggerguard and an AD will occur. For a purse gun, I would recommend either a revolver in .38 special or possibly a small auto such as the Kahr. Above all, she needs professional training. I shot handguns for 20 years before I ever had any formal training. I thought I was fairly proficient with a handgun. I discovered after working with my instructor/coach that I didn't know shit. This applies to everyone. Get some training from someone who knows their shit. You won't regret it.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:40:39 AM EDT
My advice is to take her to the gun store with you and let HER pick.  It's hard to judge what feels good to another; it's kind of a personal thing.

You never indicated her level of familiarity, so.....

1.  Is she a new shooter?  If so, forget defensive use and find a nice .22lr for her to begin with.  In addition, find out AT A LATER TIME if she's even comfortable with shooting someone!  No need to scare her now!  [:)]

2.  Men are better with gross motor skills and women are better with fine motor skills.  Do not ignore revolvers- by a large margin women prefer them!

3.  If she IS familiar with handguns, don't ignore the .38 and .380.  Toss in +P with a gun that can handle the +P and you're doing well.

Goood idea and good luck!

Mike
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:43:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 10:45:20 AM EDT by DriftPunch]
Don't fall for the blowback trap.  Most 380s are blowback, and many people assume because a .380 is lower powered than a 9mm, that it's a better pistol for those that are recoil sensitive.  Not so, as blowbacks have a sharp recoil and feel much stronger than they should.  This being said, finding a locked breech .380 would be the stuff.  Colt made one, I think it was called the Mustang or something like that...

A worst case scenerio is the blowback Astra 400/600.  After firing a box of 9mm in my 400, my hand starts to become numb because of the sharp vibration of recoil.  I'd love to know how fast that slide is moving.  It's a good thing these were well built because if they were constructed ah'la Lorcin, they'd be the cause of lots of plastic surgery.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:53:28 AM EDT
Now if you'd have asked about a pistol for a brother...

[img]http://www.generaldiscussion.com/html/emoticons/afro.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:01:12 AM EDT
I have always liked the glocks I have shot and handeled although I don't own one .I don't know how much training and experience your sister has but I really like the simplicity of a wheel gun.Easy to keep track of loaded/unloaded status,basic point and shoot. I favor the s&w line,a 357 allows cheep practice with 38's and 38+P or full .357 loads will
get the job done . Good deals are to be had on good used guns if one is on a budget or wishes to spend
the spare change on ammo to practice with.Fun combo is a full size wheel for fun shooting and a house gun and a snubby or one of the exotic metal snubbies for carry.The super lightweights should be considered only by one with some experience as they can be a real handfull with full loads although they are a joy to pack around.
It is always a comprimise as small guns can be a handfull to shoot well,(experience,hand size and strength are factors)and large guns often get left home because they are a pain to carry.
I hate the whole concept of the so called "ladies guns",.22s and .25s are a poor self defence choice and I don't think much of anything less than .38sp or 9mm but a .25 in the hand beats a cannon that sits home.
Try to think about hand size and and come up with a way to shoot lots of guns to see what will feel right and work for her.Gun club buddies or a rental range are a couple things off the top of my pointy head .
After a choice is made try to bring her along to practice until she is at home with her gun.
NHSPORT
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:28:14 AM EDT
My wife has a problem with recoil as well as having small hands.  We purchased a taurus 85 and put some low power 38 rounds in it.  After 5 shots, she couldn't take it any more.  So, we traded it in for a Bersa Thunder 380.  No recoil problem, easy concealability, surprisingly accurate (groups competed with my springfield at all ranges).  the Bersa is not as expensive as a glock, has external safety as well as a decock.  

I agree with the recommendation of the hydra shocks.  That is the personal protection round we use in all our handguns.  excellent external and terminal ballistics.  Great penetration and expansion.  Definitely my recomendation.  

Now, most importantly, take her to the gun store and let her handle some different guns.  Nothing is more important than that fire arm being comfortable in her hands.  Too big a grip or too small a grip, poor grip angle or poor balance will all make for an uncomfortable gun.  If it is not comfortable in her hand just holding it, she will never be comfortable firing it.  If not comfortable firing it, she won't practice.  If she don't practice, she will freeze up if and when the time comes that she really needs it.  Spend a lot of range time with her so that handling and firing it become second nature.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:32:06 AM EDT
My 5'2" 105lb wife carries a snub nosed 45 long colt revolver made by taurus
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 12:24:38 PM EDT
My rule WRT calibers is rather simple: Stick with past or present military cartridges, except for 22LR.

For handguns, of course, this basically means 9mm or .45Auto.

Why?

Because the latest 'fad' caliber may be 'cool' for a gun nut, but for someone who's just getting in to shooting, all it's gonna do is reduce the amount of rounds they fire due to higher cost & the ability to find ammo...

In general, get a 1911 or USP if you're going with .45, and I'd reccommend a Beretta 92 or HiPower for 9mm...

The 1911 is the 'classic' .45ACP weapon, so inclusion is somewhat self-explanatory....

As for why the USP as choice #2? Well, it offers the most versitility of the 'modern' .45s. You can use it DA/SA like a Beretta, or single-action 'cocked & locked' like a 1911 or Glock. It's available in multiple sizes, and the .45 is probably the 2nd most common autoloader cartridge besides 9mm...

With regard to the 9mm weapons, I pick the Beretta due to it's common adoption (US military, several PDs, etc...) and the availability of cheap & reliable ($9.99) 15rd magazines (Who wants a gun where full-capacity mags cost $40-100 each?).

Finally, the BHP is to 9mm what the 1911 is to .45ACP. Aside from being a direct 1911 descendant, it has a comparable military record to the 1911, serving the same role in FN-armed countries that the 1911 did here... Due to this history, mags are also commonly available...

That's my (long-ish) list...
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 12:25:00 PM EDT
The biggest problem with autoloaders and novice women shooters is jams due to limp wristing. Another issue is malfunctions due to neglected maintenance, especially for a gun that rides in the bottom of a woman's purse.

Get her a S&W model 649 or 340. It fires every time the trigger is pulled and no worries about jams due to limp wristing or other autoloader problems.

Put 38 specials in it for training and 357 magnum hollow points in it for carry.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 12:31:44 PM EDT
Please get her more than one cartrige. At least ten, all the same.



Take her to the range and see what she can handle from the rentals.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 12:45:40 PM EDT
Sig 225 in 9MM.

ARH
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:00:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 1:01:48 PM EDT by Max_Mike]
The ideal handgun for most women is one of the new ultra light .357 magnum snub nose revolvers particularly the ported ones.

They are very light usually well less than 1 pound, reliable and you can shoot .38 special rounds for practice or if the recoil of .357 magnum is to much. There is no slide to rack operation is simple.

For carry IMO semi-autos are a bad idea for the novice and Glock the worst. Unless your sister is very experienced with handguns do not get her a Glock. Giving a Glock to a novice for concealed carry is asking for an accident.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:34:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
The ideal handgun for most women is one of the new ultra light .357 magnum snub nose revolvers particularly the ported ones.

They are very light usually well less than 1 pound, reliable and you can shoot .38 special rounds for practice or if the recoil of .357 magnum is to much. There is no slide to rack operation is simple.

For carry IMO semi-autos are a bad idea for the novice and Glock the worst. Unless your sister is very experienced with handguns do not get her a Glock. Giving a Glock to a novice for concealed carry is asking for an accident.
View Quote


Listen to Mike. I specialize in taking newbies to the range, its my fetish. Autoloaders for Self defense are for people who know what to do and have practice in doing it. Clearing, etc.

A FTF, FTE, FTanything when the SHTF can be a death sentence for someone.

I also advise the larger heavier 357 frame, but suggest 38SPL loads. Its a winning combo. And remember the numbers. Most gunfights are 7 feet and 2 or 3 shots IIRC. This gun is plenty for self defense, and it works....Each and everytime, no bs.

[b]A revolver is state of the art. Point and click.[/b]
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:42:21 PM EDT
revolver, no question. Point and shoot.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:09:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
Don't fall for the blowback trap.  Most 380s are blowback, and many people assume because a .380 is lower powered than a 9mm, that it's a better pistol for those that are recoil sensitive.  Not so, as blowbacks have a sharp recoil and feel much stronger than they should.  This being said, finding a locked breech .380 would be the stuff.  Colt made one, I think it was called the Mustang or something like that...

A worst case scenerio is the blowback Astra 400/600.  After firing a box of 9mm in my 400, my hand starts to become numb because of the sharp vibration of recoil.  I'd love to know how fast that slide is moving.  It's a good thing these were well built because if they were constructed ah'la Lorcin, they'd be the cause of lots of plastic surgery.
View Quote

Yep, I fully agree, those blow 380 are a real handfull to shoot. I've shot an old Remington-Rand, there was quite a bit of felt recoil. I've got a Colt Mustang, with a locked breech just like the regular 1911s, but they have their ejector in a funny place that when it gets out of place from cleaning can be pain to straighten out. The felt recoild is pretty light compared to that of a Walther PPK etc.

I would watch out with some of the superlight weight titanium revolvers espcially in 357Mag, the recoil can really be a handfull.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:25:54 PM EDT
I’d also suggest looking real hard at a revolver.

My preference would be a 5-shot .38 Special (or a .357 Magnum loaded with .38 Specials) such as an S&W Chiefs Special or Centennial.

Granted recoil is a more with a lighter revolver, but she’s going to carry it a lot more than shoot it.  And if it’s real heavy, she may not be carrying it the one time she suddenly needs it.

IMHO, Glocks (and to a lesser degree, 1911’s) require pretty good gun handling skills.  In the hands of a good shooter, they are superb firearms.  In the hands of a novice, the Glock - in my judgment - is an accident waiting to happen.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:49:05 PM EDT
IMHO a Walther PPKS in .380 is a great concealable double action auto loader. I know its only .380 but if it is good enough for Bond it is good enough for any gal too.
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