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Posted: 4/28/2001 1:32:25 PM EST
I have finally won over a convert!Never Anti Gun, she has decided she wants her own firearm for personel protection now that she travels often.Here is my criteria---

1.Revolver for simplicity of operation.I don't want her to rely on any of my 1911's.I want to keep it as simple as possible for her.

2.Caliber-Probably 357,at least until she can handle more I'll load it with 38's but I can shoot 357's when I want

3.Size-mid size,Remember this is for a woman.

4.Barrel Length-Probably 4inch as after she gets a Concealed Carry Permit she'll want to carry it in her purse.

5.Action-Single or Double?As a 1911 person I'll need advice on this.

6.Price-I don't want to go to the high end so I'd say mid priced

Thanks everbody and remember we've got a new convert--even though she still does'nt understand why I need so many Assault Rifles or why I have to talk to the command post(AR15.com) every nite.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:01:38 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:24:17 PM EST
Ruger SP101 4" in .357

She can practice with .38 special.

Great gun.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:28:25 PM EST
Personally, I'd go with a titanium Taurus snub nosed .357.

They're reasonably priced.

They're nice and light, most women don't want a heavy gun.

They got great reviews in several tests.

They have a great warranty.

They pack plenty of punch.

Has a ported barrel. Titanium is so light that a titanium .357 without ports kicks like a mule. Taurus has a ported barrel, reducing the lightweight/recoil trade off.

.357/.38...perfect his/hers combo.

Snub nosed barrel is very sufficient for any self defense role where she is actually justified in shooting someone.

Just my .02
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:28:55 PM EST
I carry a 2" Six shot Colt Agent Light Weight. In summer I load up Remington Golden Sabers, In winter, 158 grain Lead RN. I like the extra weight for penetration, need it for winter clothing: Vests, Parkas and the like. Stick with S&W,Colt,or Ruger. Start looking at your local pawn shop, you might run into a good deal on a good pistol. 38s have planted many, you don't need a magnum for upclose and personal.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:30:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:33:54 PM EST
Rugers tend to be a bit heavy.  They will last forever though, and you can field strip them.  The older Speed/Service/Security-Six guns are lighter than the GP-100 with the barrel lug.  I have a Service-Six with a round butt and it's a great gun.  I bought it from a range where it served as a rental.  Boy it's had countless number of rounds through it, and it looks like heck, but it still works fine.  The round butt is really easy to hold too.  Total price was $125.

Any of the Smith and Wessons that are on the used market would be a great buy as well.  Again, I'd recommend a round butt K-frame.  The round butt is great because it gives you a wider choice of grip size you can use to fit your wife's hand.  

If you get a Taraus, get a brand new one.  The later ones are higher quality, and they don't honor their lifetime warranty on guns they made before the warranty came about.  

Get one with a conventional action.  i.e. single/double-action.  There's no point in having a DA-only gun, and no point in a SA-only gun either.  You might as well have the capability of both and chose as required.  Most revolvers will be this way, though some PDs had DA-only.  I'd avoid these.

Really any of the major makers will perform fantastic forever.  Just find the type SHE likes the best and get it.  Remember that it is for her and not you.  

Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:34:04 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:50:13 PM EST
SP101...Maybe spurless if she's unfamiliar with guns and is going to carry in her purse.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 3:45:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 3:50:17 PM EST
If I were to recommend a pistol for a woman, I think(ugh!!) a LadySmith.  All of the ones that I handled has a really good trigger.  For me, I personally would recommend a double-action-only, because here in Southern Calif.(Orange County) a man accidently shot and killed a person for stealing Halloween pumpkin from his house and now he is being tried for 2nd degree murder.  The homeowner "claimed" that the gun "just went off."  He may have cocked the hammer on his revolver, and under stress of the situation may have fired it accidently.  Under a stressful situation you may want a heavier trigger pull of DAO gun.  In a self-defense scenario, you also want to survive the courts also.  My $0.02.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 3:58:19 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 4:20:27 PM EST

I have a DW .357 snubbie that is my day-2-day carry, home defense, and so on.

I LOVE that gun, but remember.
.357 snubs buck like a mule, so if she isn't really experienced shootin that kinda hardware, keep her on .38's untill she can handle the monsters.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 4:20:35 PM EST
You can never go wrong with a revolver; it is simple and almost foolproof.  Two options come to my mind. Taurus and Ruger. If you get the Taurus, get the new one, as they are much better made than the early ones, Or a Ruger, they are extremely well made and will last a life time and a day. Taurus is more affordable ($250.00) Ruger run about $350.00. So here are my suggestions:

Model 605CH
Caliber .357 Magnum
Action Double Only
Capacity 5
Barrel Length : 2.25 inch
Barrel Type :Full Underlug
Weight :24.5 oz.
Sights :Serrated Ramp Front, Fixed Rear Sight
Firing Pin Floating
Safety Transfer Bar
Finish :Blued
Grips :Rubber
Features Concealed Hammer,

KSP-321XL .357 Mag. 5 Rnds Fixed Full 2 1/4" 25 oz 458.00
*Caliber: .357 Magnum SP101s handle all .357 Magnum factory loads
and accept factory .38 Special cartridges.  
All models have a stainless steel finish.
NOTE: Spurless-hammer models (Double-Action only) are designated by an "L"
in the Catalog Number.


[size=4][b]NEVER DO SMITH & WESSON[/B][/size=4]

Link Posted: 4/28/2001 4:33:24 PM EST
For my wife I have tried numerous pistols, but the one that she finally settled on (bought before the great sellout) is the smith airweight, concealed hammer, sporting crimson trace laser grips loaded with silvertips. I also bought her Coronado Leather (purse) of her choice. that my .02.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 4:33:45 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 5:10:16 PM EST
My Girl decided on the Taurus stainless .38 hammerless snubby with ported barrel.  She likes it but she's small and still doesn't carry it everywhere because of the weight (never fails to piss me off when she leaves home without it).  So definately go light weight and small if she's petit. If she's a full-figured woman it might not be such a big deal.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 5:15:10 PM EST
The lightwieight Taurus is a great choice as well as the Ruger.

Remember - her life may well depend on whatever choice is made.  Lots of people think more about taking it to the range and lots of other things and not enough about the fact that it must perform flawlessly when called upon and it must be adequate to stop an attacker hopefully with the first shot fired.

So think ease of presenting the weapon and a nice big powerful caliber so there is no doubt as to the outcome of an encounter.

A Glock 30 is compact and easily concealed.  It can spit out flying ashtrays with an easy but safe action trigger pull.... what is a life worth?

The Sniper
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 5:49:15 PM EST
The first gun I ever bought was a Ruger SP101 in .357 magnum with the longer barrel rather than the snubby.  I still love that gun but I have a smaller semi-auto as my carry gun.  I highly recommend the SP for women because of the size of the grip.  If you do go with this one, you may want to have the trigger worked on it to make it pull smoother.  I don't like hammerless, but that is just my personal preference.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 5:56:01 PM EST
I got my wife a Lady Taurus Model 85, .38 special. It has a three inch ported barrel in stainless.  I DON'T recomend ultra lights because they kick to much. She really loves it.  By the way it's loaded with 5 rounds of Glaser Silver safety slugs in 38 Special +P for defense. She also has a concealed carry license for the state of Florida. [:D]
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 6:04:57 PM EST
.454 Casull
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 6:12:37 PM EST
I got my wife the Ruger Sp 101. Simple and comfortable.She getting better with it.Practice,Practice.[:D]
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 6:56:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 6:57:49 PM EST
If you want a revolver go Ruger sp101 it will last her and fit her well. My wife is small 5'-2" and likes my GP-100 ( six inch not a full underlug) but says 357 loads are too much even in this gun ( it would be much like a 4" full underlug) for her size and small hands. Belive it or not she prefers my 1911 or best of all my Hi Power in 9mm. She will shoot the Hi Power until I'm tired of loading mags. As far as the question the new Taurus models are better possibly better trigger but if wanting to save money buy used and go Ruger I think you'll be better off.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 7:25:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 7:36:32 PM EST
Ruger SP-101 in .357/3 1/16" bbl.
As a purse gun, this thing would be excellent.  I recommend the Hogue grip, too.  If it can be had in the nylon version, it would be additionally snag resistant.
I had an SP-101 short bbl. with the hammer spur and the Hogue rubber grip.  It was a favorite, but I gave it to my best friend for his birthday.  I wanted a Security-Six snubnose 6-shot, so we both got what we wanted.  You should have seen his face when he opened up the GunVault he had ordered from me.  I put the gun and Ruger earmuffs and speedloaders and a Happy Birthday card inside.  He thought the GunVault was heavy. I told him it was a real strong unit. He opened the box and got his Ruger snubnose!
We both liked the revolver as it shot well and handled well with those grips.
Good choice in a gun.  I'd get the longer bbl. next time if I get another SP-101.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 8:44:18 PM EST
SP101. My wife loves hers.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 10:16:20 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 5:36:40 AM EST
Wow,thanks for all the responses.As usual AR15.com is a gold mine of info.Overwhelmingly it seems like the choices are the Ruger SP101 or one of the Taurus lite weights.I think I'll take the missus to the range that rents weapons ,let her shoot the two and see which she likes.I'll probably see if I can pick up a used one somewhere.
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 6:08:21 AM EST
This is what I did with my wife in the same scenario. Take her to a well stocked dealer and let her decide what will work for her, just make sure she sticks to major manufacturers.  She will be more likely to go shoot if she likes her weapon.  My wife chose a S&W model 37 airweight long before S&W went anti.:)
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 6:16:10 AM EST
Well, I owned a .357 SP-101.  It didn't kick that bad, the grips are pretty nice on it, and it's not a bad gun overall.  Problem with them is everyone I've seen has had a terrible trigger on it.  Gritty and heavy.  The titanium Taurus is light and all, but recoil is ging to be a factor.  It would be a dream to carry and a bear to shoot.  If your wife isn't going to carry it, I think she may be better off with a slightly larger and heavier gun.  That way she actually enjoys shooting the thing.  She may like recoil, I don't know, but a first gun should be easy and comfortable to use for that person.

Then when she gets a carry permit, you have another excuse to buy her another gun just for that.  Pretty soon she'll be wanting her own AR, her own Browning 50, and so on.  

Carryabiliy, concealability and shootability are trade-offs.  Sure there's ports, grips, barrel lugs, etc, but in the end an easy to carry gun tends to be harder to use.  If she doesn't have a carry permit now, seriously consider getting something easier to shoot, over easy to carry.  SHE is the one shooting it.  The gun is for HER.

Link Posted: 4/29/2001 7:02:01 AM EST
Been looking at gp100..blue...3"...personally feel this is a good mid sized good priced alternative....recently gave my model 36 (j frame 2") to the wife so had to replace.....local dlr has 2 stores and between the two, had about 12 used j frames to choose from....i like the square butts w/pachmeyer and picked a beauty for 225....IMHO..this is the way to go...they had a nice model 60 for $15 more (almost bought it also) but i didn`t really want stainless. another good one is colt det spcl...about the same size as sp101,but 6 shot. if you`re going to shoot a lot, don`t go lightwieght..for concealment/protection the j frames are best....i like 3" over2" for dual purpose because the three inch has quite a accuracy edge (at least in my experience) my only problem with the sp`s is the actual size, and that it is not avail in blue...i had a taurus (85?) in 357 (same size as j frame) and it was "impossible" to shoot 357`s out of with any accuracy, and it seemed to loosen up real quick...some model 60`s that you may find used will be in 357, since they hit the market a couple years ago in that caliber. colt recently put the det model out in that caliber also. i have a 66 21/2" and i think it may be a little heavy for a woman to carry,depending on her size of course....j frames w/+p`s are perfect for carry and shooting.......[pistol]
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 7:14:54 AM EST
My wifes gun... check out [url]www.jackweigand.com[/url]
dont shoot this out of your coat pocket however....if you plan for that tell Jack you dont want the ports...saves money and coats ..however the ports definetly reduce recoil if you are going to shoot 357..for 38s probably wont need them...great gun for small hands...
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 7:24:39 AM EST

Then when she gets a carry permit, you have another excuse to buy her another gun just for that.  Pretty soon she'll be wanting her own AR, her own Browning 50, and so on.  

View Quote
Now that would be selfish and coniving of me---which is exactly what I had in mine.What easier way to expand "MY" weapon collection than to get the missus interested.
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 5:56:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 6:06:03 PM EST
Colt Agent - six shots, .38 Spec., lightweight, helluva sweet trigger pull, can handle +P ammo.

This is good gun for the ladies.  Have her train with moderate .38 loads, carry +P loads.

If she ever has to fire the rascal in anger, she'll never guess it was +P!

Eric The Hun
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 6:44:33 PM EST
Buy your wife her own gun? What? Are you nuts? She'll end up shooting you with it.[;)]. Assuming that you are serious and really trusting, why go with a revolver? Semi-auto's are much flatter,smaller, and easier to conceal, especially for a woman. Get her a DAO and what is the safety,or any other, advantage of a revolver?

Link Posted: 4/30/2001 1:06:01 PM EST
For a first gun, and for someone who hasn't had much experience shooting, I wouldn't recommend a semi-auto.  

I shoot a lot, (well, as often as I can) and I have problems with my husband's Taurus PT-140 DAO not cycling correctly with me.  He says it is just the way I hold it because it works great for him.  Plus, I don't care much for DAO either.  

I have a .380 semi-auto that I use for my carry gun now because it is small enough and flat enough that it is really comfortable to carry in the waistband.  (Don't everybody jump me because it is a small caliber! It's better for me to carry than nothing. [:)])

Link Posted: 4/30/2001 1:33:39 PM EST
Whatever she ends up with, send her to a training course. Not a 3 week thing, but rather a one day course provided by an LEO. I think that this and you together would get her very comfortable with her gun.
Link Posted: 4/30/2001 1:46:20 PM EST
If you are anti-Smith, as many justifiably are,
don't overlook the used gun market for a Charter Arms. They made them in .22, .32, 9mm
.357, .44 Special. They were light, accurate (not target guns but solid performers for snubs.)  and the ones that I have experience with were well made.
My Bulldog is a favorite carry piece when I want to carry something with a big hole in it!
I tried to teach the ex. to handle a snub .38 and she could not take the kick (she was a regular target shooter so she was not really against guns,noise etc.. It did snap some.) so I bought her a S&W model 34 (.22) to work her up.
It didn't work, she liked the .22 so much that it became her carry piece. As they say, it's better than a rock.
Link Posted: 4/30/2001 1:48:18 PM EST
1.  Buy what she will carry.
2.  Buy what she won't mind dropping, bumping, scratching up because it's really your gun and she knows it. (?some wives feel this way.)
3.  Don't overwhelm her with facts and figures.
4.  Limit the choices beforehand by visiting the range ahead of time and setting up the comparisons.
5.  Take special care to understand the trigger pull weight.  Too heavy  and she may not get through the 250 round concealed carry course.
6.  Remember she carries more stuff than you, and weight / size are very important.
7.  Check all revolvers for proper timing and for cylinder play with the hammer down and the trigger held to the rear after releasing that hammer.
8.  Consider recoil.  The .32 H&R Magnum may be ideal.  The Ruger is chambered in this load, as is the S&W Titanium 332.
9.  Hammerless!
10.  Cheap!
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