First handgun for my wife?

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jamo

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
12
Location
Hampton, NJ
i have a 9mm SR9, but my wife can't handle the strong slide pull. So, I'm asking you guys about revolvers for her - which one do you recommend for her for plinking and self-defense? (I know - two very different things...smaller caliber preferred -FIRST handgun....) Thanks.
Jamo
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
Location
Ohio
I say.....

1. Ruger LCR
2. Kimber Pepper Blaster (pepper spray)

Why buy a gun that has a 357 length cylinder when you know she will probably want to shoot 38's most of the time? I would go with the LCR over the SP-101. Snag-free, light weight, easy trigger pull, +p capable, designed for the 38 round (not a "do-all" gun), it is 100% designed for defense......which makes it easily defendable in a courtroom.

The pepper spray will fit nicely into her purse and she will be able to take it into areas where freedom is not repsected (no gun zones).
 

sfhogman

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 18, 2002
Messages
1,839
Location
The living corpse of San Francisco Ca USA
There is a wonderful website for women who are into guns or are considering it. It's run by firearms instructor and writer named Kathy Jackson, and this lady knows what she talkin' about. I think it might be a good read for you and especially your wife- there's a section on gun selection for women, and much more.

http://www.corneredcat.com/

Good stuff.

Jeff
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,748
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Welcome to the Forum.
As an instructor for the NRA Women On Target program,, and my wonderful better half being the head of our WOT clinics etc,, I've instructed a LOT of ladies when it comes to shooting. In fact,, Miss Penny was invited to NRA HQ last weekend to be part of a ladies only focus group to discuss ladies & shooting. She is considered to be one of the top 10 female instructors in the country.
All that aside,, let me tell you what I tell ALL ladies.
First,, do NOT let a man decide what you want. Find what fits YOUR hands,, and YOU can shoot & operate comfortably. Generally, casual lady shooters find the semi's a bit heavier in recoil, harder to operate,, and are uncomfortable in the general operation of them. (I'm talking about the OCCASIONAL lady shooter.) So,, for simplicity,, we usually suggest a good quality double action revolver,, preferrably a 357 in caliber, with a set of grips that fit HER hands. Why a DA revolver? Simple to operate, and almost infallible. Why a 357? Because you have MORE choices of ammo available. (38 shorts, 38 spls, 357 mags.)
Once most ladies realize that all that makes sense, it comes down to the "great debate." Lightweight vs heavier handguns. The lighter the handgun,, the sharper the recoil. The heavier the gun,, the lighter the recoil. Physics.
A person should practice on a regular basis to be comfortable with a home defense firearm,, so most prefer a good solid heavier shooter model. Yet,, once many of them start carrying,, they complain about the weight. It's a trade off,, and only THEY can decide what works best for them.
The SP-101 is an excellent firearm,,, with it's weight the only issue. The LCR is also a great lightweight,, but several ladies think it kicks too much. The S&W lightweight DA's have more felt recoil than most,, due to several little things.
So,, have your wife study & shoot (if possible) several guns to decide what she likes. And remember,, grip panels CAN be swapped out making all the difference in the world!
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
5,424
Location
China Spring TX
Even though I do love my Ruger revolvers I think that a good used Smith & Wesson model 10 or 15 is always nice. I see those for between $200 - $250 range in these parts. I have both models and think highly of them.
 

nuts4ruger

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
2
Location
ogden,UT,USA
Take a look at anything in the 327 federal mag. Guns chambered for this round have the ability to accept 4 different rounds. The ability to start with ultra mild 32 S&W to 32 S&W long, 32 H&R mag. and finally the 327 mag. Let her work her way up without the recoil and noise of the bigger cartridges. She'll enjoy the experience and won't drop a nice handgun the first time she experiences the snap of a small firearm.
 

David LaPell

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
979
Location
Upstate NY
I can tell you that the first handgun my wife ever shot was a Smith & Wesson Model 10 with a 4-inch barrel, and she loved it. She had the same problem, she could not work a slide. I know the first six shots she ever fired were at about 7 yards and all six went right into the ten ring of a B-27 silhouette target.
 
A

Anonymous

I agree with Contender. My husband took me to a gunshop and we tried several guns. The ones originally suggested to me I did not like--either how they felt in my hand, or the trigger pull, etc. I ended up with the LCR and I really like it. Yes, it has a little recoil, but once I was taught how to properly grip the gun, the recoil was really nothing. I have read other women who have used the LCR and do not like the recoil. I have read men say this as well--I think its a very individual thing.

I shoot my LCR at least weekly and receive instruction in general shooting as well as self defense tactics, and have no problem with comfort in carrying it concealed.
 

Silent Sam

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 26, 2006
Messages
728
Agree again. If she doesn't pick it out, you are on the road to ruin. All the logic and reason you can come up with doesn't mean anything if it doesn't suit her.
 

Shoot44

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
150
Location
The Ozarks
Lots of good advice here. In my (wife's) case, we tried a number of my guns first. She LOVED the trigger on my old model 15 Smith, but it was a bit too big for her small hands. (She shot it VERY well, though.)

So the next time we went to a gun show, we looked for a gun for her. Found a Walther P22 that fit her hands PERFECTLY. Now she is a very able lady with mechanical things, so the semi-auto action didn't bother her a bit. Although she shot the 38 and 9mm ok, she liked the quieter 22 a lot better. (She has her CCW, but does not intend to carry.) So we got the Walther and she loves it. beCAUSE she likes it so much, she shoots with me more!!!!

BTW, my shooting buddy's wife also took the CCW course, and she chose the SP101 in 327 Fed Mag. The weight and recoil didn't bother her, and she did NOT like having to mess with all the 'semi-auto fuss'. Just pull the trigger and it goes 'bang'. So you see, it is a very personal thing. Let her pick out what SHE likes!

Good luck; and you are lucky that your lady likes to shoot!

P.S. Two more things: 1) although you may lean toward the 380 for its small size, remember that most of them are 'blowback' types; these require a stiffer recoil spring that many ladies find very hard to 'rack' by hand! and, 2) In spite of all the negative stuff you'll hear about the 327FM, DO consider it. It has a LOT going for it!
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
Location
Ohio
Agree again. If she doesn't pick it out, you are on the road to ruin. All the logic and reason you can come up with doesn't mean anything if it doesn't suit her.

Silent Sam,

While I understand what you are saying, I would still have to respecfully disagree with you (in some aspects). She is not picking out a new purse or a shade of lipstick, when it comes down to choosing a gun.

It all boils down to leadership. Yes, let her pick it out. However, if I turn my girlfriend loose in a gun store, with my checkbook, then it would be for certain that she would buy the pink kel-tec. I'm not saying that girls don't have the ability to make wise choices when selecting a firearm. I'm just saying that we need to step up and provide some sound guidance, to those who are not as familiar with firearms, as we may be.

Like I mentioned before in this thread.....a light DAO revolver in 38 special, that goes bang eveytime you (she) pulls the trigger, is the best chioce for most women....hands down. Go with the LCR. Maybe even the proven S&W j-frame.

My girlfriend can't even pull a double-action trigger, with one hand, on some of my guns. She has to have both hands on the gun to make it go bang. How am I going to expect her to rack a slide on an auto when she is under the stress of an attack? What if the small auto, that she may have picked, stove-pipes at the moment of truth (and you know it will)?

Also, revolvers have no empties to leave behind. Believe it or not...that may save a ton of future grief after a shooting has occured. A DAO revolver can also be shot through a coat pocket if need be. A small auto? Not so much.

An SP-101 over an LCR? Do you want her to actually carry the thing in her purse or would you rather she leave it behind because, "it's too heavy to lug around?"

In the Marines, we use something called Operational Risk Management. You look at your goals. Then you throw out most of the negatives or the risky things. Next, you build upon the positives and the strengths. You form a plan and execute the order. Take this approach, when preparing someone for personal protection, and they will be more likely to survive an attack.

If your wife is only 1% likely to use a gun, while under attack, and 99% more likely to use pepper spray then the pepper spray would become the better option. Period. If she says, "holy crap, I hate shooting a small 357" then you need to get her a 38. It's just that simple.

Bottom line....don't just let someone make a choice, without mature guidance, because you think that if you act that way, you will give that person more freedom. Your kids are "free" to eat whatever they want. However, you and I both know, that without an adult level of guidance, they would only eat pizza and they would only drink Mt. Dew.
 

Pal Val

Buckeye
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
1,547
Location
S.E. PA, USA
I've told this before. I rented four different guns for my wife to try. She didn't like any. One day she tried my SP101. It's now her SP101.

The one gun she hated the most was the "Lady S&W". The think looks cute and is really light, but it will kick itself out of a woman's grasp when it shoots. Semi autos had the problem of her not being strong enough to rack the slide. She didn't like the trigger in the little Beretta tip-ups.

Women are picky, and no force on Earth can change that.
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
Joined
Dec 30, 1999
Messages
4,424
Location
Maine
First handgun...get her a Single Six! let her learn the basics on a small caliber with little recoil and little report. She'll be more likely to enjoy it and continue shooting if it's comfortable (low recoil, low noise) for her. More shooting builds her confidence and helps her learn the fundamentals. Once that's done, move on to a larger caliber if SHE wants to and let HER pick out HER gun.
 

Scott

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
296
Location
Missouri
+1 on the single six. That's what worked for me, being new to the handgun world. My next was an SR9 after I had gained confidence of the small caliber and comfort with the simplicity of a SA. I'm still trying to get my wife interested in shooting it, hoping she will become as interested as I have, then moving her up to a self defense caliber.

One of the best things my CCW instructor told us was "guys - please don't' buy a gun for your wife without her input - you woudn't buy a pair of shoes for her that way, would you?"
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
Joined
Dec 30, 1999
Messages
4,424
Location
Maine
Scott":30wfbbz3 said:
One of the best things my CCW instructor told us was "guys - please don't' buy a gun for your wife without her input - you woudn't buy a pair of shoes for her that way, would you?"

Bingo! IMO, until you want the wife buying you YOUR stuff, you don't choose HER stuff. :)
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
Location
Ohio
Bingo! IMO, until you want the wife buying you YOUR stuff, you don't choose HER stuff.

If I were in the market for a table doily and a gift basket then I would ask my girlfriend, for some sound advice, on where to get such items, which ones to buy and whch ones to avoid.

I would hope that if she were in the market for a gun that she would let me help her to get started off in the right direction.

There is a huge difference in buying something for somebody and helping them to make a wise choice. Ever heard of a thing called magicians's choice? A magician will let YOU choose between a certain number of variables with the outcome always ending with the same result, no matter the order in which you "directed" things. Now, I'm not saying that you should trick her in some way. This is just an example of common psychology that can be used to achieve desirable outcomes on both ends.

If it were me I would just come up with 4 good choices and let her decide between the 4. That way she feels like she made the choice. It's not a matter of being controlling or anything. It's a matter of looking out for her safety.
 

jpb in me

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
212
Location
Maine woods
I vote for the LCR but would not overlook a 22mag revolver. I know a couple of LEO's that carry them as backups. Good ballistics.
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
^ Yep, direct, and encourage, using the knowledge you have of the gun world, but don't demand that she see things exactly your way. Heck, half the guys on the forums don't agree with you (regardless of your position - on anything ;)) so why should your lady?

Seriously, what I'm saying is that there is no perfect gun. We all have our preconceived notions of "best" gun type, caliber, action type, etc, but as shown by the vast array of products available, it's a wide open subject. If you're a .45 ACP semi auto guy and it turns out she's a .38 revolver girl, that's fine. There are guys on this board who feel more than comfortable with a Blackhawk as a side arm, others who carry LCPs.

Just don't let her get the .25 ACP Lorcin, and you've done your best.

-- Sam
 

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