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Pistol Shopping for a Woman

petey

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Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« on: February 16, 2012, 04:49:32 PM »
So I took my birthday jaunt to the local gun store today, a store I have never been to and its not one of the big box stores that still sell guns here in CT.  I noticed they sell way more handguns than rifles.  I was happy to see some nice Weatherby Deluxe models!!

But anyway, the main part of my post...  I do not yet have my pistol carry permit and it's been on my list for a while.  Looks like I will be taking this course with my wife and my 72yr old mother.  I'm thrilled that they are taking interest in shooting.  I am out of touch with pistols and have not shopped for one in 22yrs.  I notice that there are big, compact, and subcompact models.  I have my Beretta 9mm from my military days, but I don't know anything about handguns nowadays.  I know what I would be shopping for personally, but I need help guiding the ladies in the right direction.

What kind of pistol would you recommend for a woman... now my wife and mother are both about 5ft tall and petite, not to say that arent tough as nails.  Obviously, they need to feel comfortable shooting and carrying it.  I would take them shopping and make sure it is a good fit first.   It would be primarily used for protection.... for concealed carry or in home protection.  Like everything else, there are tons of choices. Anybody have any experience in a decent handgun that would be suitable AND effective for a smaller statured woman?  I am not even sure about caliber at this point.  When the time comes, I will take them both hands on shopping, but I am looking for an idea on where to start.

While I'm on the topic of pistol permits, I see places are now offering a Utah nonresident certification that is supposed to be reciprocal in 29 other states.  Does anybody have any experience with this and is it worthwhile if I were to travel to those states?  As far as CT goes, I need to take the certified pistol course, then get it signed off on in my town, and then in the state to be legal to carry.

I'm still chuckling about the prospect of having a pistol packin' mama!!

Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 05:09:09 PM »
Are you thinking compact 9 or maybe 380? CZ and Sig come to mind for a 380. I think the Sig comes with a trigger guard laser, and looks like a mini 1911. As for 9s the sky is the limit. You could also go with a small 38 snub nose. Be nice if guns were like cars, go take one or a few for a spin til you find what you really like.
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petey

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Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 05:18:06 PM »
I did look at the Sig 380 and it's on my list for the wife. 
Like you said, I'm looking for advice from someone who has taken them for a spin. Looking at the compact and subcompact models, I wonder how ridiculous some of them would be to shoot.   I would have no problem with my wife handling my 9mm, but it's big, and heavy. She's not going to want to carry it.  But I don't want a small handgun with a nasty recoil either.
 
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zonie

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Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2012, 05:56:32 PM »
Petey,   Utah has one of the most recognized CCW courses  for non-residents. AZ does also , but not as many states in their reciprocal agreements.  

One thing to remember women in general unless they are really interested in something  don't usually do well with mechanical.   That's a very broad statement I know and a lot of men are  that way also.   Unless  they are going to shoot all the time and remember things,   you are better off getting a  double action revolver.   Pick it up,  point and pull the trigger and  are less apt for mechanical failures.  If it doesn't go bang the trigger can be repulled to cycle another round.   If you take the same women  and she has a semi-auto, and she doesn't practice or understand or forgets the guns function,  and the gun jams or fails to fire  because she forgot where the safety is in a stress situation ,  I'll put it bluntly she's in deep do do ,  this goes for guy's also.     I never recommend a semi-auto to anyone who is unwilling to learn, practice and become proficient.  

With that said if someone is willing to learn and become and stay  proficient there are so many more options.   We are not required to have CCW's to carry concealed in AZ , that was a new law last couple years , although we still have CCW's for out of state carry.   My wife , son and I have had CCW's for years.    My wife's carry gun is usually a little Beretta Jaguar 71  in 22 LR ,  it's not a man stopper by any means , but it will get the bad guy's attention pretty quickly regardless.      When she does carry I wish she would carry one of our smith & wesson 38 special revolvers it's just more powerful.   She doesn't like my model 637 airweight it's very lite and tends to bite her when firing.   Any of the better 9mm or even a 380 is not a bad way to go.   They really needs to go out and shoot a varity of pistols and let them  make up her own mind as to what she likes and comfortable with.   Might surprise you she may pick up a little Glock or Springfield xd in a compact and feel totally fine with it.   If you have any gunshops with  indoor shooting ranges nearby they usually  have a few handguns you can try out or,  possibly a  beginners handgun course is not a bad way.   The main thing she can't be over powered or scared of the gun.  

Mike

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Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 06:00:33 PM »
I suggest taking them to a range where they rent guns and let them try a few different models and types...most such ranges also sell guns so they're usually quite helpful in that regard if they look at the interaction as a potential sale.

FWIW- Smaller automatics with blowback actions- ie..32s and .380s tend to have a harsh, sharp recoil. Locked breech 9mms are a bit better in that regard.

For folks who want to occaisonally shoot or carry a gun but don't really want to deal with a lot of bother- the small frame .38 has a whole lot going for it.
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Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 06:01:35 PM »
A 38 double action revolver.Whichever one feels best to them.
Roger
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petey

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Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 04:39:59 AM »
Thanks for the idea, guys!
We are going to start with dad's .22 revolver and my 9mm at the range and see how they do first.  I'm liking the double action revolver for mom.  Definitely better to have a 'just pull the trigger', less technical handgun for her.  My wife is tough, though so I can see her wanting something small to carry and something bigger for fun.

Should be an interesting process! Thanks again.

Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 07:26:00 AM »
I would check out the 25 caliber pistol. My grandmother got a little one that she keeps in here purse.
Scott

eodbud

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Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2012, 07:40:52 AM »
For what it is worth here is my two cent.  I own a Sig P232, .380 and it shoots great.  It is what I call one of my fun guns.  My misses wanted an automatic, so we when to the local gun store and I pointed out several she should like.  She choose a PPK/S Walther .380.  The first time she shot it, it stove piped on the second round.  Her grip was too weak.  I help her to correct the grip and she had no further problems. 

Here is what I recommended to her before she decided on the Walther; get a hammerless 38 Lady Smith.  She did not like the old look.  Anyway, a few months later our daughter came home with a pink handled 38 Smith Airweight, and my misses changed her mind and now it is her favorite gun.  She does not even look at the 380.   

Let your misses try out and handle the Smith and if it has the pink grips on it it's a done deal.  Besides the gun really shoots great.  From my experience a revolver is the only way to go for a new shooter.  So I must agree with Roger.  I believe strongly that if she needs a gun for personal protection in the blink of an eye she can not afford a stove pipe due to a weak grip.

Bud
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 07:43:28 AM by eodbud »
Bud Perryman

Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2012, 08:26:55 AM »
I would check the local requirement for your CHL.  In TX, there is a minimum caliber requirement (I don't think .25 would meet it).  Also, in TX, if you qual with a revolver, you can only carry a revolver.  If you qual with a pistol, you can carry either a revolver or a pistol.

Different states have different recipricocity agreeements.  I think the non-resident certificate might be for people who are not residents of Utah, but want to get a permit to carry there...but I could be wrong.  I know I have no special certificates on my TX CHL, and I can/do carry in many states.

A .380 comes to mind.  I carry an LCP .380.  The LCP has no safety, the slide does not lock back on last round, and it is not very comfortable to shoot as a range gun.  But, it is small and light, is 6+1, and fits well in my pocket.  A budy of mine has the Body Guard .380 and speaks very highly of it.  Says it is comfortable, slide locks back on last round, has a safety, and has a built in laser.

I like Rugers...so if I was to go 9mm as a carry, I would look at the LC9.  It is about an inch larger in both directions, when compared to the LCP.

In Texas, you don't have to carry what you qual with...so if you have access to some different pistols, they can qual with something like a comfortable 9mm (Ruger SR9 comes to mind) and carry something less comfortable to shoot (LCP).  That is what I did.

Just my 2 cents,
Sean
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Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 08:41:38 AM »
S&W ladysmith or the Ruger LCR both are 5 shot hammerless 38 spec,+p

Re: Pistol Shopping for a Woman
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 08:43:47 AM »
I would let her tell you what she wanted it will be cheaper that way, of course you need to be in on the decision but most will wanta have a say so in the decision and I would take them both to a shooting range if possible and let them try out different firearms! I strongly feel getting a 9mm would the smallest caliber for personal protection as most 380's are known to be unreliable and under powered for a bad guy  ;D My wife likes her Ruger SP101 38 +P and she shoots it pretty good with good e nough results ;D
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