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Posted: 12/31/2003 8:04:44 PM EDT
ok, so far i've gotten out of her that she wants a "pretty gun"  i have no idea what the hell this means other than she likes the way the kimber compact CDP looks............

she also likes the sig P239 with the stainless slide.............

i dont know shit about choosing a gun for a woman..............not only does she want "pretty" but she's LITTLE BITTY (she couldnt rack the slide on a colt compact .45)  she's 110lbs and about 5'2"

what do yalls wives have?  can you recommend something for her?  thanks (she wants a gun, this is a step in the right direction as she has never wanted to shoot with me before)
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:10:07 PM EDT
take her down to the funstore and have her put her hands on some.  only way to really tell what fits.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:10:34 PM EDT
My wife is the same size as yours, and she has that taurus snub nosed .45 long colt in her purse. She handles it just fine
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:11:48 PM EDT
Hand strengthening exercises and a trip to the fun store.[naughty]
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:11:51 PM EDT
snub nosed .45LC?  no shit??????

she was looking for an auto though...........
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:13:48 PM EDT
Get her a Ruger GP100 with a 4 inch barrel, then feed it with mild .38 Special loads while she learns to shoot.  Pretty it up with after market grips made from laminated wood and a Bianchi leather holster.

The SP101's and small frame S&W's fit small hands better, but she might not like the muzzle flip from these revolvers.

I would avoid semi-automatics for a first gun.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:24:53 PM EDT
she has a Beretta 21 and a S&W36............and she can use em....
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:38:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TexRdnec:
snub nosed .45LC?  no shit??????

she was looking for an auto though...........
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She didn't like the 1911's or USP's, She seen that Taurus and that is what she wanted
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:52:38 PM EDT
Get together with some of your pals at the range, and let her shoot a few rounds to see what she likes. Buying a gun is like buying a shirt, it looks really nice on the rack, but you've got to try it on.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:53:38 PM EDT
Stainless P230???
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:57:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TexRdnec:
... she also likes the sig P239 with the stainless slide...
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That would probably be an excellent choice!  (Just make sure she’s got enough strength to cycle the slide.)

If at all possible, she really needs to fire whatever she wants to go with before buying it!!
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 9:30:52 PM EDT
Couple of options.  I sold guns for a couple of years, so I learned a few things about selling to women.

some women can't seem to operate the slide.  If you teach them to push the slide back, instead of pulling it like in the movies, many can get it.  Of those that still can't, cocking the hammer first usually gets most of those in.

Revolvers get pushed on women all the time.  Usually, the ridiculously heavy trigger pull makes it so they can't hit shit.

I agree with everyone else.  Hit the gunstore (wait, you ARE a gunstore [;)]) and try what I said about the autos.  I think a sig 228 or 239 would be a great choice, and if she cocks the hammer first, I'll betcha she can operate the slide.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 9:46:01 PM EDT
(wait, you ARE a gunstore )
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ya, but unfortunately enough im an inventory challenged gunstore!
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 11:20:16 PM EDT
I bought my wife a Sig 232 a few years ago.  She's pretty good with it and it's fairly compact.  However, if she is comfortable with a more powerful round, go with that.  Get her out there, and let her try out a lot of guns.

It is irritating that most people automatically recomend revolvers for women, but if I had to do it over I would have bought her a revolver.

I only say that because she is not into shooting, so she doesn't practice.  She also doesn't practice gun  handling.  One evening, I pulled the holstered gun out of her purse (it was the first time she carried in a loooooong time) and it was cocked with one in the pipe.  I cannot tell you how angry I was.  She has not carried since, and will not until she is willing to practice.

So, my point is, unless she will go to the range at least once a month (after the initial training), get her a revolver.   People who aren't into guns and don't understand the mechanics of a semi-auto will not carry them safely unless they practice regularly.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 11:32:53 PM EDT
My woman wanted a "pretty" gun. She asked me a few times for a chromed POS. She finally agreed that the BHP Practical was really pretty. I got a good deal on one, and now she keeps it by her bed cocked and locked. She knows how to handle it, and handles it quite well.

Link Posted: 1/1/2004 2:32:02 AM EDT
My wife is also small framed, and likes the feel of a Buckmark for .22 pistol shooting at our club's weekly pistol fun night. The six shot .357 ladysmith also fits her hand nicely.
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 4:05:13 AM EDT
This worked for my wife, who is almost built along the same specs as yours (325 lbs, 4'11")...

Have her take the UNLOADED pistol and place it in her right hand. Have her place her left hand on the slide just like she is going to chamber a round.

Have her slightly bend her right elbow, and when she goes to pull the slide back have her straighten her right arm. This will apply force in the forward direction to the frame. Her pulling back the slide will apply force in the backwards direction to the slide.

Simple body mechanics.

Just make sure her finger is out of the trigger guard and off the trigger.
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 4:14:35 AM EDT
KA3B - better edit your post before the wife sees it - I do believe you meant to type "125" instead of "325", correct? :)

Aero has the best advice, I think.  That's what we did for my wife - Ruger GP 100 .357 with 4", and tried out .38s first, then graduated rapidly to .357.
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 5:11:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RED_5:
take her down to the funstore and have her put her hands on some.  only way to really tell what fits.
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THAT'S the most solid advice for helping a female choose a firearm.

DON'T.  Let HER make the choice.  That's the only way you'll be assured of fit, comfort, and the all-important "cuteness."  [:)]

Link Posted: 1/1/2004 5:45:17 AM EDT
When you ask for opinions, you will get a lot of them.

I've trained a lot of women to shoot, as I am an NRA instructor.  Here's some things I've learned over the years (and this applies to non-gunny women, not championship shooters):

1.  When a woman needs a pistol, she will be afraid and nervous.  She will not remember how to work a semi-auto.

2.  If the pistol has a safety, she will forget how to work it.

3.  If it is carried without a round in the chamber, she will not be able to load it.


1.  Get her a .38 revolver.  No safeties to remember, no slide to rack, just point and pull the trigger.

2.  Let her practice a lot with mild .38 wadcutters.  Then load it with good quality JHPs.

3.  If she likes "pretty", get her a stainless with nice grips.

I know that for gunny guys like those on this board, a .38 snubnose isn't very exciting and is actually boring.  But that is exactly what a woman needs in a firearm.  Boring and simple.

When she goes to the range with you, be sure to make the trip pleasant. Make sure she has good hearing protection, mild loads to shoot, target close and big so that she does well, and let her quit when she is ready.

You will only get one chance to do it right.
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 6:54:34 AM EDT
Sorry this is so long but maybe it will help.

Sister & Niece decide they want handguns....

Well my sister and niece decided that they should have a handgun. There have been a few home invasions in the neighborhood and they live in a pretty rural area with virtually no police presence. So I offered to let them rummage around and see if they could find something that felt right to them to try.

Since neither has ever shot a gun (well my sister might have many, many years ago) they were both scared to death of them. You could see her hands start to quiver even before she picked one up.

To help them get used to the idea I spread things out over several weeks. And we never messed with guns two nights in a row. I always gave them time to absorb what they learned before we went on to the next step.

My brother in law has a small Rossi 38 so we started with other 38s for comparison. The first night I only brought one gun, a Dan Wesson 15-2. I picked it because we could dissassemble it and then the girls could handle the different parts and get a feel for how things worked. Since it was more like pieces parts than a complete firearm, the stress levels dropped dramatically. By the end of the evening, both were able to hold the gun, assemble the gun, take it apart and understand what functions each part played. Holding a threaded pipe in your hand and looking down it was much less threatening than looking down the barrel of a revolver.

We finished the evening with sessions on basic safety.

Night two started with some more wheelguns, the DW, S&W 19, 27, 28, Colt DS and Army Special. Again, I started with basic handgun safety and then we moved on to dry firing, single vs double action and how to lower the hammer safely. The difference in how they approached the guns was amazing. The hand shake was gone and the trigger fingers seemed to automatically stick straight out and off the trigger. Their biggest reaction was how heavy the guns were. I was thrilled when I handed a gun to my sister that I had just opened to show her it was empty and she immediately opened the cylinder to check for herself.

By the end of the eveniing she had decided that the M-19 and the M-28 felt best to her but that the grips on the M-19 (finger grooved) didn't feel right. She could tell me that one of the points was under a finger and that her hands didn't fall into the grips right. That was a great sign since now she was not worried about the gun, but rather how it felt. I promised we'd try different grips soon.

Surprisingly, I got a call asking how soon we could do it again. I knew then that we had crossed the biggest hurdle.

The third night was devoted to semi-automatics. There was a SiG 230, 225, and 226, and HS2000, Browning HP and BDM, STAR UltraStar and a Makarov. All were in 9mm of one flavor or another.

The first thing they commented on was how many more controls and buttons were on a semi. While there is only one control on a wheelgun, the cylinder release latch, there are a herd of controls on the semis and every one was in a different place or moved in a different direction. The second big thing was how hard it was to rack a slide, but by the end of the evening, the niece was doing it pretty well and my sister had decided that she simply didn't like that. For her, at this stage, semis were already off the list. She has tendonitis and it just plain hurt to work with a semi. But by the end of the evening, both were comfortable with either a semi or a revolver and they were actively practicing good handgun safety procedures and correcting each other at every slip no matter how minor.

The fourth night my niece worked with the semis (I thought I had raised her better) while we tried grips on the M-19 for my sister. We tried Hogue and Nils, stock Magnas and target grips and a few old Pachmyrs I had in the box. She finally decided that the set of Pachmyr boot grips felt the best. I left it with her so she could practice and get used to it. But as we loaded up the car she asked if we could maybe go to the range one day this week.

Man that felt great.
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Link Posted: 1/1/2004 7:06:58 AM EDT
I've also noticed that when women go shooting, they also like to be comfortable, so bring lots of snacks and drinks.  They also have to go to the bathroom quite a bit, so go to a range that has clean facilities.  Don't be there jawing with 8 of your gunny buddies who are loaded to the gills with hardware, looking like they are trying to start WWIII.  Usually, I find that shooting tends to be more pleasant for her (and for you afterwards*) if its more 1 on 1, preferably when the range is empty, so she can hear you talk (or hear herself talk).  Finally, leave when she is ready, not when you have finally bump-fired through those two cases of Wolf you've been saving [;)].  


*appended from the astrisk above: a buddy of mine took his GF to an ARFCOM shoot.  We all spent about 5 hours on the range, and probably shot 10k rounds of ammo between the 10 of us.  She was looking haggard and tired about 2 hours in, and sitting kinda dejected looking on the bench.  Well, on the way home, she dumped him.  
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 7:41:21 AM EDT
I have to second the hint in GhostShooter's post - if you go to a busy range, set up as far away from other shooters as possible to reduce exposure to their muzzle blast, or better yet, go when the range is empty.  My daughters like to shoot .22 rimfire, but don't want to be on the range with loud firearms.  [Our club has covered shooting points which aggravates the noise.]
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 10:10:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ghost-Shooter:
I've also noticed that when women go shooting, they also like to be comfortable, so bring lots of snacks and drinks.  They also have to go to the bathroom quite a bit, so go to a range that has clean facilities.
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I would be careful about eating, drinking, or smoking on the range. I would definitely washing hands before eating or drinking to avoid lead intake.
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 10:49:46 AM EDT

My Mrs is 4'11 and wears "Petite". Her hands are tiny.

She shoots a Browning Buckmark .22lr and carries either a S&W mdl 36 or her Kahr P40. The trigger on the P40 is easier for her to shoot. {Carpal Tunnel surgery on both wrists}
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 4:38:53 PM EDT
Yeah at 325 and 4"11", you don't need a gun.  You aren't going to go anywhere you don't want to go.  

If I was to get a carry gun for Ma Danby, I would look at the current line of light snubs from S&W or Taurus.  Now Ma is 5'9" or so, and working the action on an automatic is not too dificult.  If she needed one now, it would be a S&W 59 with one in the pipe, safety on.  If I had a day or two to get it from my brother, it might be my Dad's 2" Colt.

Also look at the grips on the snubs, they are pretty uncomfortable to shoot and some of the grips that fit my mitt, the Hogue Combat grips, would probably be real hard for a small woman to grip comfortably.  The automatics are more comfortable to shoot.  But the first round is the one that counts.

On an auto with one in the pipe, it's thumb the safety down and pull the trigger and the barrel doesn't pull up.  With a small revolver a lot of people tend to pull the barrel up when pulling the trigger.

In any case practice, practice, practice.
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