Female friend wants her first handgun


November 21, 2005, 02:23 PM
A female friend and coworker of mine (who is recently divorced and has a 4 year old in the house) has come to me, knowing that I'm a gun enthusiast and a trusted friend, stating that she wants a handgun to keep in her apartment for self defense. She has essentially no previous experience with guns.

Of course, I see this as a fantastic opportunity to introduce someone to the wonderful world of shooting and self-defense, but I want to make absolutely certain that I do it right.

On the one hand, I'm excited to see someone wanting to join the ranks of those of us who take personal responsibility for our own safety, but at the same time, I definitely want to introduce her in such a way that she doesn't: a) get scared off because I unintentionally come across as a gun-hyped commando-wannabe; b) get scared off with a bad first experience at the range; c) live in constant fear of an accident with her kid; d) get scared off by anything else I haven't thought of.

That's where you come in.

So, fellow gun community members, help me bring this new shooter in to the fold and keep her here...I'm looking for any resources (Internet or otherwise) that I or she can use to make her experience a pleasant one. I'd love to have a new range buddy and, more importantly, a friend whom I know can defend herself should bad things happen.

Now I'm gonna go play with my new .308. Thanks in advance!

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November 21, 2005, 02:34 PM
here darlin', try this Desert Eagle!

Well to prevent this you could start her on a .22.

November 21, 2005, 02:38 PM
may want to start by advising her that her friends and co-workers may not take kindly to her interest in guns, and not to let that bother her. its her choice, its her life and her childs to protect.

take her to your favorite gunshop (may want to warn them ahead of time that you and her are simply looking for soemthing that fits her hand, and probably wont be buying anything just yet).

try if you can to avoid going straight to the DAO revolver that every gunshop tries to sell to a woman. why it is that people in the gun community assume that a female can only handle something with the least amount of moving parts and the heaviest trigger pull and the smallest grip i'll never know. heck, if they can manage to put on their makeup while feeding their kid and driving a vehicle, they certainly can handle a semiauto with its safety levers and slide stops and whatnot.

see how she likes the 1911, or the BHP, or a sig. (the DAK trigger on the new sigs are sweet! and i think the p239 now is available with that trigger). if she really likes how the revolver fits her hand, and she doesnt mind the trigger pull, great. but i have yet to see anyone who is new to shooting pick up a revolver and use it with ease or accuracy. in fact, i've seen far more new shooters be able to shoot good groups with a semi auto over a revolver.

most importantly, introduce her to us here!!! :D is she hot? :evil: :neener:

November 21, 2005, 02:43 PM
I'd start ANY new shooter on a .22 target pistol. When she's comfy with that, ease her up to .38 or higher class.

November 21, 2005, 03:01 PM
If she's looking for a house gun is there a specific reason a handgun is mentioned or would a 20 guage short barreled gas-operated shotgun (1187 Sportsman) or a carbine (Su16) be acceptable also?

Jim Watson
November 21, 2005, 03:03 PM
I would (and HAVE!) started women on a .22 too, but if she is interested and motivated, the move up to standard self defense calibers can be pretty fast. Same day in some cases I have seen.

+1 on Spacemanspiff. Most men assume women are too stupid to operate an automatic but strong enough to drag a 12lb DA trigger through on a one pound .38 revolver and still be able to hit something.

Nicky Santoro
November 21, 2005, 03:08 PM
IMHO, her gun of choice should be a .38, ideally a Model 10. Start her with a revolver and low weight reloads, then work up a bit to a decent defense load.
BTDT with the wife. She wanted no part of guns to start. She now has a 649 with Pachy grips loaded with 135 gr Speer +P , registered in her own name, here in Nazi Jersey. Some of the ladies just need some coaxing to get past the social barriers to realistic self defense.

November 21, 2005, 03:17 PM
Whatever you do - make sure she gets something that SHE likes, not something someone else THINKS she should get. I took my wife to the range, let her try out all of my pistols and a rented Glock. She didn't like any of mine (thank God) but when she picked up that Glock she felt comfortable shooting it and was dead-on-balls accurate. So that's what she got. Personally, I hate the thing. But then, it's not MY gun.

November 21, 2005, 03:24 PM
Start by smearing camo paint all over your face, chicks dig this.
Then dress in your level III body armor and put your kevlar woven camo BDUs over them.
Wear pink shoes, girls love men with a femenine side.

November 21, 2005, 03:32 PM
Also point her to the $19.95 lockable, bolt-down pistol lockbox in the sporting-goods section at Wal-Mart. Plenty secure from young children and very inexpensive.

I'd recommend a medium-frame .38 revolver with appropriate grips would be a good starting point. With appropriate target loads, it's similar to a .22 as far as noise and recoil for just starting out, but much more potent in defensive chamberings.

A medium-frame .357 would also be a possibility; she could start out with low-powered .38's and keep it loaded with .38 Spl. defensive ammunition, but has the option of moving up to .357 ammunition if/when she gets comfortable with that.

November 21, 2005, 03:32 PM
mbs357...LOL! Finally, some advice I can use!!!

Ok, I get the "start small and work up" advice...very helpful. Also, I will certainly encourage her to feel and shoot several different frames and calibers so that she finds what she likes.

But do any of you know of some resources I can direct her to that can help her understand, feel safe with and enjoy shooting? Maybe even (though I suspect this is a long-shot) a resource for current shooters who need advice on how to properly introduce a new shooter to the subject? My Google search found slim pickings.

November 21, 2005, 03:39 PM
20 guage shotgun w/ HD barrel

#4-6 shot reduced recoil

November 21, 2005, 03:49 PM
Take her to a range that rents pistols and try things out. I agree with Spiff about revolvers, many women have really bad hand strength and in my experience they like manual safeties even if they're redundant. I'd say try out the usual roster of SA and DA/SA pistols.

November 21, 2005, 04:06 PM
This has worked for me in the past:

1. Before she ever even THINKS of touching a gun - Teach her the safety rules. Do not hand her a firearm until she can repeat them back to you.

2. Take her to the range and bring a wide assortment of handguns with you. Explain the safeties, slide mechanism, how an autoloader works, etc. Do the same explanation with a revolver. Let her handle several *unloaded* weapons and let her get used to properly handling them as per the safety rules. Don't be afraid to give gentle correction if she misses one.

3. Load up a .22 to begin with and show her how to use iron sights, breath control, squeezing the trigger, etc. A .22 is a fantastic starting point as the recoil is low, practice is inexpensive, and you can quickly build correct technique through muscle memory which will later carry on into larger handguns. Let her know that the .22 is inadequate for self defense but great for practice.

4 When she is comfortable with the .22, show her how to use some larger SD-capable calibers like .38 and 9mm, working your way up to whatever she feels confident handling. You may be surprised at discovering she likes a .44 magnum better than a lightweight pistol in a lesser caliber. Let it be her choice and practice with her.

5. Help her during the purchase of the gun she selects and have her get a nightstand pistol safe to keep it away from the kiddo. (who you might be able to teach later on as well!)

6. This one is important - Encourage her to obtain training from a professional such as an NRA range instructor or CCW class. Even though you may think you're a pretty good teacher there are things that you don't know and a pro does. Admit it, it isn't shameful. She will benefit from training beyond the basics you can offer.

Congratulations, you may have found a new range parnter. Plus, you've helped another citizen protect herself and her family. That is priceless.

November 21, 2005, 05:46 PM
Even though you may think you're a pretty good teacher there are things that you don't know and a pro does.

Boy, you got that right Bubba. Thanks!

November 21, 2005, 06:53 PM
do any of you know of some resources I can direct her to that can help her understand, feel safe with and enjoy shooting? I believe that this (http://www.io.com/~cortese/firearms/index.html)is what you're looking for. Ms. Cortese may be a self-proclaimed feminist, but certainly not in the same way as Rosie and Hillary. And her site is useful for all neophyte shooters, not just women.

Also, Paxton Quigley's Armed and Female (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312951507/103-9979083-9659019?v=glance&n=283155) may be worth checking out.

November 21, 2005, 07:15 PM
I'll repeat the obvious
--start small and work up
--let her choose
--don't be surprised if she chooses the biggest bore available
--safety lecture before shooting.
--let her handle the guns before beginning shooting. Hand familarity does a lot to avoid safety infractions in a noobie.
--Safety equipment
----eye glasses
----double up on ear protection
----high neck blouse (shirt)
----ball cap

Just thunk of something. Since her young'un is 4, I suggest getting a copy of Eddie Eagle from the NRA. Get the kid safed as well as the handgun. Also begin to look at the various quick access safes which are available.

November 21, 2005, 09:56 PM
Okay, two book recommendations:

1) Gun Proof Your Children by Massad Ayoob. Excellent resource, step by step guide to keeping your children safe around firearms.

2) Effective Defense by Gila Hayes. Written by a woman with a female audience in mind, this is a step by step introduction to the world of self-defense. It doesn't just discuss firearms, but covers the entire complex of issues women face when they begin to take responsibility for protecting their own lives -- including some of the social difficulties a new shooter might encounter. From making the crucial and life-altering decision that your own life is worth defending, to figuring out which risks are worth taking and which are not, to finding a suitable firearm and (if applicable) holster for it, Effective Defense gives a beginner's-eye-view of defense issues. The book explains the terminology and jargon of the gun world in clear, easy to understand language, and is thus a good introduction especially for women who are so new to this whole thing that they don't even know what questions to ask.


Two magazine suggestions:

1) Women & Guns magazine (www.womenshooters.com). Produced by the Second Amendment Foundation, W&G has articles which aren't too far out of reach for even the most beginnerly female shooter. It also has the nice side effect of reinforcing the knowledge that other women do like to shoot so there's no reason to feel like a freak about this new hobby. And the articles are, for the most part, written by other women which gives a good balance to the range bubba / testosterone hero flavor of too many other gun mags.

2) Concealed Carry Magazine (www.concealedcarrymagazine.com). While your friend may not be ready to carry a firearm yet (and might never decide to do so), this magazine is a good choice simply because it highlights ordinary people who've decided to take care of their own safety. Again, a good way to counteract the "I'm a freak!" feeling that sometimes strikes folks who are newly interested in self defense.


And two internet sites:

1) Cunningham Custom Leather (http://www.womensholsters.com/) has the best information on how to choose a woman's holster that I've ever seen. It's well organized and gives a quick overview of the choices, explaining just how & why holsters for women are not quite the same as holsters designed to fit men. The owner of the company makes a fine product, but even if you aren't going to buy from her, you owe it to yourself to check out this site before you buy a holster. The information there really could save you a ton of money & stress.

2) Marc MacYoung's website (www.nononsenseselfdefense.com) has tons of information about self defense issues, more than you'll be able to absorb at one time, and it's really well organized. Worth adding to your links page & visiting often.


Good luck to her & to you. :)


November 21, 2005, 10:12 PM
Start by smearing camo paint all over your face, chicks dig this.
Then dress in your level III body armor and put your kevlar woven camo BDUs over them.
Wear pink shoes, girls love men with a femenine side.

That is a very pretty mental image :D

Agree with those who say
1) start with a .22
2) let HER choose HER gun

When I take a new shooter to the range for the first time, I spend a lot of time on the four rules, safe gun handling, and shooting at big targets up close. If they leave the range having had a good time and feeling safe and secure about what happened, with a good sense of accomplishment and having learned something, then that is a success.

The second time out, of course, they always outshoot you ;)

Molon Labe
November 21, 2005, 10:18 PM
But do any of you know of some resources I can direct her to that can help her understand, feel safe with and enjoy shooting? Maybe even (though I suspect this is a long-shot) a resource for current shooters who need advice on how to properly introduce a new shooter to the subject? My Google search found slim pickings.Buy her a copy of Boston's Gun Bible (http://www.javelinpress.com/bostons_gun_bible.html). It's a hoot to read. And there's a good section in there on Women and Guns.

November 21, 2005, 10:59 PM
Bersa/Firestorm has a model that comes in .22, .380, and 9mm.

This would let her start with a .22 and then move up to a larger caliber without having to get used to a different setup.

I've been meaning to get the .22 so I for my wife to practice with, since her defense weapon is the Firestorm .380.

I'd have your friend rent a couple of different pistols and see what feels good to her.

November 22, 2005, 10:01 AM
Vacuum...now THAT'S what I'm talking about. Great resource!

The rest of you...you guys rock! I can always count on getting opinions at THR (what a surprise) :p

November 22, 2005, 10:50 AM
hm ~

I must be the only gun-owning woman in the world who is less than impressed with the Paxton Quigley book. It's got a great title, but it's gotten to be quite dated.


November 22, 2005, 10:57 AM

Ah, the sweet smell of critical thought. Thanks for your honest opinion. Given that you've proven your mettle for independent thought (well enough for my purposes on this topic anyway), tell me what you think of the site VacuumJockey suggested to me: http://www.io.com/~cortese/firearms/index.html

Frankly, I'm impressed. It appears to be the "I'm a woman and am thinking I want a gun for self-defense" resource I've been looking for...but I'd love to hear what you think (just in case I'm not thinking clearly) ;)

Anyone else who would care to editorialize as well, please do...like I can stop you.:p

Master Blaster
November 22, 2005, 11:12 AM
Interesting site I stopped reading when I came to this in the section on firearm safety

Another wonderful option is called a Magna-Trigger conversion, available on Ruger and Smith & Wesson revolvers. (For additional information, send $3 for a brochure to Tarnhelm Supply Co., Inc. 431 High St., Boscawen, NH, 03303-3800, or call 603 796 2551. You can also check out their web page at http://www.tarnhelm.com/.) This is a special compltetely ambidextrous modification to your revolver which renders the gun unusable by anyone not wearing a special magnetic ring. Don't let the mumbo-jumbo fool you; this is an extremely reliable conversion. You can simply wear your ring to bed and around the house. If your child gets hold of the gun, they will not be able to do a thing with it, but the minute it's in your hand, it's live. (This is also true with robbers or muggers -- and another great reason to get a Magna-Trigger conversion even if you don't have kids. In the extremely unlikely event that an assailant is able to get your gun away from you, they can pull the trigger until Doomsday -- you're safe.)

November 22, 2005, 11:16 AM

Yea, I cringed a bit when I read that. Absolute statements (particularly when they regard MY safety) are usually a red flag. On balance, though, I think the rest of the page had great info that can help me introduce my friend to self-defense with a firearm. You should read the very bottom of the page...good anti-victimization schtick.

November 22, 2005, 11:42 AM
On the one hand, I'm excited to see someone wanting to join the ranks of those of us who take personal responsibility for our own safety, but at the same time, I definitely want to introduce her in such a way that she doesn't: a) get scared off because I unintentionally come across as a gun-hyped commando-wannabe; b) get scared off with a bad first experience at the range; c) live in constant fear of an accident with her kid; d) get scared off by anything else I haven't thought of.

My memory of teaching a nineteen year old granddaughter to shoot:

1. Start off stressing the "Four Rules".

2. Start off with a .22 rimfire rifle. It seems easier to teach muzzle awareness when there is so much more to move about before getting into trouble.

3. The rifle is a better instrument to achieve success with proper sight alignment and sight picture and trigger control. Once your student gets that under control, she will be better prepared to understand what it takes to get rounds on target with a handgun.

4. Take your time. Only move at a pace that will ensure a measure of success. You will not be producing an Olympic class shooter in your first few lessons.

5. Don't try to do too much at once. Your student won't have the endurance to shoot for hours at a time. Quit before she gets tired.

6. Finish your training sessions with success. This is probably the most difficult task for an instructor, to recognize when your student is giving her best and it probably won't get much better that day. Hopefully she will have a target to take home to share with her friends and be proud of.

7. Let your student pick the handgun she is most comfortable with. I had several 9mm semi autos and .38/.357 revolvers for my granddaughter to pick from. She decided my Sphinx 2000 (CZ-75 clone) suited her best. She carries it and draws from the holster in Condition One. She just doesn't have the grip strength to handle double action trigger pulls.

8. Keep in mind that the training is about your student and not about you. You are not teaching her that you are the 'world's greatest pistol shot'.

9. Hopefully, your student's skills will improve to the point she will 'beat' you in some shooting drills. Be a gracious loser and praise her for her success.

Good luck.


November 22, 2005, 12:45 PM
hm ~

Just finished reading it, and agree it's a pretty good resource.

Impressions & nit-picking:

Overall I think the site dived into mechanics too abruptly. If I'd organized it, I'd have put mindset at the very beginning, followed by safety lecture, then discussed mechanics. It's pretty easy to scare off a newbie -- esp. a non-mechanical newbie -- by starting out with tech talk.

Not enough info about holsters & such. Though that's understandable, given the author's location -- and unnecessary for your particular new shooter, at least for now. Nothing wrong, though ... and that's saying a lot.

Re the Magna trigger. I once watched a woman struggle for nearly five minutes to get hers to work, before she realized what she was doing wrong (ring on the wrong hand? I don't recall the exact problem ... just remember thinking it would suck to spend the last few moments of your life trying to figure out what was wrong with your gee-whiz safety gimmick.

The author certainly had the right attitude about access, though perhaps a little idealistic about trusting educated kids. (Me, I'm a suspenders-and-a-belt kinda person ... keep control of the firearm, and teach the kids. Don't simply trust the kids, don't simply control the gun. Do both...)

Disagreed with her in re using a .357 magnum for defense. But ballistic quibbles are, you know, part of the pleasure of discussing firearms online... ;)

Her photos are all backwards. :) I'm not sure I've ever seen a photo of a left-handed Weaver. I've shot that way, but it really made me blink to see a picture of it! Ummmm, if your new shooter is right-handed, you'd do well to model the stances for her rather than leaving her to try to figure them out from the photos. It's hard to translate flat photos into physical motion, and even more so when you have to flip everything around too. (Us lefties are used to doing it; righties simply aren't.)

Oh, also disagreed with her re Chapman vs Iso -- but again, disagreeing about stances is part of the fun of online firearms chat.

She did do an excellent job in paring down the information to just what a newbie might need to know, esp. the caliber discussion.

There you have it. My oh-so-humble opinion, worth exactly what you paid for it. ;)


Of course I believe that solipsism is the correct philosophy, but that's only one man's opinion. -- Melvin Fitting

November 22, 2005, 01:12 PM
This is all great! Thanks for the detailed feedback Pax...very good break-down and analysis.

You know, the whole forum has provided such great support and feedback that I think I owe it to you to give you a detailed account, step-by-step, of how the process goes with my friend. So, as we take steps together, I'll keep everyone posted (and, of course, consider your feedback). If all goes as planned, this thread may end up helping a lot of folks in similar situations in the future.

January 18, 2006, 06:35 PM
Alrighty, my friend and I finally went shooting on Monday (1/15/2006). In the weeks leading up to this day, I briefed her thoroughly on the gun safety rules (the "Big 3" and then some), and discussed with her what to expect and what we were going to do while at the range.

I started her off on a .22 target pistol using the isoceles stance (the stance she felt most comfortable with at first) which bored her quickly. I did, however, hand her the casing from her first shot and told her to keep it to remind her of the wonderful new world she'd just entered.

Since the recoil (I know, what recoil?) didn't seem to bother her much, I asked if she'd like to shoot my Makarov. After the first shot, I think her love affair with shooting began. We then moved on to a Sig P239 (since she wants a carry piece) to give her an idea of what "real" 9mm shooting is like. After an hour, she was making 5" groups at 7 yds...only a bit off to the right in the 8 ring.

BTW, she ended up prefering the modified Weaver stance, and I've got a new range partner!

Comments welcome...the learning has only just begun.

January 18, 2006, 08:57 PM
I have worked in my friend's gun store for many years, and have had my own FFL also. As a result, I have seen many women come into the shop buying their first gun. Many come with another female friend and they inevitably gravitate to the pretty little .25 chrome plated garbage that most stores will stock "just because". They pick them up, twist their wrists and comment, "Isn't that pretty". Most of them have a lot of trouble working the slide either due to long fingernails or hand strength. I try to insist that they work the mechanism and cock the piece. It's amazing how many can do so only with difficulty and will insist (against my advice) on buying the gun because its so pretty.

The nice thing about a good gun shop is that she can go in and work a number or guns. If she can work the DA of a snub, .38 that would be my suggestion. Why?
1. When loaded, there's always a round ready to fire.
2. They always work just by pulling the trigger
3. She may never have enough practice to be comfortable with a semi-auto ESPECIALLY in a genuine emergencey for which she is not trained, to overcome the Load/rack/check safety/fire/misfire/clear/rerack scenario.
4. In the extraordinary situation that a round does not fire in a revolver, she only has to pull the trigger again, nothing fancy.
5. A .38 is controllable for most women and the report and watermellon of fire at practice will assure her that she has a real weapon.
I carried one for many years as a police officer and naver had it fail me.
(yeah, I'm old)

It is easy to say that with practice one can learn and adjust, and that's true. But she'll never get that much training/practice in emergencies, and genuine emergencies do make a very significant difference in how one functions when one's pulse hits 150, the vision narrows, blood pressure soars, hearing shuts down and the moment is truly violently upon you. When someone has grabbed you and is wrestling with you in the dark in your home, any contact could cause a semi-auto to misfire. While the same could be true of a revolver, the solution is to just pull the trigger again. THe solution with a semi-auto would most likely be impossible.

Well...you asked..
And yes, my wife (when I was married) had and still has my snub nose .38 (with my insistance and blessing) and I'm comfortable that she is protected as well as possible. She's far too good of a women for me.

Andrew Rothman
January 18, 2006, 09:12 PM
try if you can to avoid going straight to the DAO revolver that every gunshop tries to sell to a woman. why it is that people in the gun community assume that a female can only handle something with the least amount of moving parts and the heaviest trigger pull and the smallest grip i'll never know.

A DAO revolver is a very good choice for a new shooter of EITHER gender.

January 18, 2006, 10:11 PM
People covered a lot of good points, which I won't repeat.

My advice for a new shooter's "just in case" house gun is a mag fed pistol caliber carbine autoloader. They're easy to handle, easier to hit with, and aren't dependent on handgun skills that take commitment to acquire and retain.

My advice is to avoid shotties, even 20 gauge, unless and until the user warms up to them on her own terms. For all their power, shotties are creatures of vast noise and recoil, and _most_ women I know who shoot hate them.

If a handgun is desired, my recommendation is a service sized hi capacity 9mm, along the lines of a sigarms 226. The big guns soak up the recoil, are fun to shoot, and are plenty enough to get the house defense job done.

Edited to ad:

I just notices she's also interested in a carry gun. In that case, she should consider something smaller than a service pistol. ;)

January 18, 2006, 10:35 PM
As you are in Texas, both you and the lady should join the Texas State Rifle Assn.
This group has a number of programs for women, training, competition and special hunts.
You really should search for it, get some contact #'s and see what help is available.
Just about any information you can think of is available and I would bet some woman member would be glad to assist in any way needed.

January 18, 2006, 11:39 PM
hm ~

Excellent. Glad she had fun. :cool:

When's the next range trip?


January 19, 2006, 10:34 AM
Effective Defense by Gila Hayes

Pax mentioned it before, it will give her the information she needs as well as justification for a firearm that some women seem to need.

January 19, 2006, 10:57 AM

Next week!:D


Your advice is greatly appreciated. I think DAO and revolvers are something she should be introduced to in the near future (possibly at our next range session).

Given your experiences and all the wisdom I've gleaned from many on this board over the years, my philosophy has generally been that the best gun you can own and use for self-defense is the one you can shoot effectively, troubleshoot and maintain best (and that fires a round damaging enough to stop a bad guy). If that ends up being a .38 snubby, great! If it ends up being a P226, great! I want to provide guidance and good advice to this new shooter without making arbitrary statements about what specific gun/caliber she should shoot. But, again, that statement should in no way be construed as a swipe at you...the chance certainly exists that the combination of my advice to her in concert with her effectiveness/comfort-level with a particular gun will lead her to select your suggested firearm. Know that I have been and will continue to make our new sister aware of the pros and cons of all firearms choices during her journey without prejudice.

January 19, 2006, 11:37 AM
Like a lot of other people here, I reccomend starting her with a .22 then move up to a 9mm. Me & Chuck Hawks* like the Glock 19. Don't start her out with a Remington 870 12 gauge with 000 buck like my dad did to me when I was 11. OUCH!!!!!

Teach her to teach her kid about guns as well. DO NOT LET HER ATEMPT TO OUTSMART HER KIDS WITH TRIGGER LOCKS OR A GUN SAFE!!!!! If she tries that, she's asking for trouble. There will be a time when she leaves the safe open accidently, or the kid finds the key or combination, or if she just leaves it in her closet without teaching her kid about gun safety, the kid will probably find it while searching her room for candy. I know this from experience.

Teach her that some people will be unhappy that she chooses to have guns. Her own parents might not like her anymore.:( Her friends might not visit her. Teach her to be able to defend against a anti-gun person who is probably just misinformed.

Help her understand the self-defense laws where she lives.

* www.chuckhawks.com

January 19, 2006, 11:46 AM

We've actually talked through most of those topics already, but thanks for your advice!

As a Pro-2nd Democrat (and former gun control advocate), I assure you that I am singularly qualified to advise my friend on the cultural ramifications of gun ownership. As for the "guns and kids" issue, I preach GUN EDUCATION for kids all the way. Demystify guns, teach respect for guns, teach the handling and use of guns. That in addition to control of physical access to guns is the only way to go.

See my recent post from yesterday to see what guns I had her shoot.

January 19, 2006, 12:04 PM
As a Pro-2nd Democrat (and former gun control advocate), I assure you that I am singularly qualified to advise my friend on the cultural ramifications of gun ownership.When things slow down for you, I hope you see fit to detail your intellectual journey that got you from one of "them" to one of "us".

January 19, 2006, 12:25 PM

Absolutely! I've been thinking about chronicling my journey from gun control advocate to pro-2A for awhile now on some other thread. Thanks for the encouragement!

*now back to your regularly scheduled thread, already in progress*

January 19, 2006, 02:18 PM
The NRA has an excellent program for first time/new shooters.

If you will contact the NRA they can help you find local instructors.



January 20, 2006, 03:39 PM
Ok, my friend watched a video clip of an exhibition shooter demonstrating the Beretta Xtrema2 (shooting 10 clays out of the sky in 2 seconds, etc...) and now she really wants to shoot skeet. After explaining to her that the video she saw was fantasy to all but the chosen few super-expert shooters, she still showed interest in trying the sport. Lucky me! We're going to the skeet range in about a week...will report back.

January 20, 2006, 04:09 PM
That's awesome man, good deal!

January 20, 2006, 08:54 PM
http://www.2asisters.org/ (2nd Ammendment Sisters) might have something useful for you.


http://www.armedfemalesofamerica.com/ (Armed Females of America)

January 31, 2006, 05:46 PM
Well, the trip to the skeet range got postponed on account of rain. For 40+ days we're in a drought, then WHAM...the one day we plan to go skeet shooting, we get 2". No word on when we'll reschedule yet...updates to follow.

January 31, 2006, 05:48 PM

Around here, if we weren't willing to shoot in the rain, we wouldn't ever shoot. :D


March 13, 2006, 07:37 PM
Alright...we finally went skeet shooting! ...and I shoulda prepared her as well for this outing as I did for her first handgun experience.

My first clue that I didn't provide enough pre-instruction was when my friend walked up to me from the parking lot wearing a spaghetti string tank top. "Is this tank top ok for shooting a shotgun?" she asked. Ugh. My bad.

Fortunately, I had brought my strap-on shoulder pad to lessen the severity of the bruise she was sure to get (and, yes, she did get a doozy).

I brought the only two shotguns in my arsenal (for now), Mossberg 835 12 gauge and my .410. We went to the trap range and started with the .410 so my friend could get a feel for a smaller gun and the paths of the trap.

She had a ball shooting the .410! OF course, there weren't many "hits" (like, zero), and that didn't sit too well with her competitive nature, but she got a good feel for the gun and enjoyed shooting it.

She and I took turns shooting, and I went ahead and pulled out the 12 gauge (I was sick of missing all my targets!) :rolleyes: Of course, she decided she wanted to take a crack at the 12 gauge.

1st shot--She thought she may have gotten whiplash, but wanted to keep going.
2nd shot--Thought she may have bitten her tongue, but there was no blood, so she wanted to try again.
3rd shot--Got a nice little red mark on her cheek from recoil...didn't have her face planted on the stock too well.

Then, we were saved by senendipity. As we all know, there's rarely a friendlier or more willing person in the world than a fellow shooter at the range. A gentleman and his two teen sons joined us at the traps with a 20 gauge Winnie and a tricked-out Benelli 12 gauge (both autos and with very effective recoil pads). Of course, they offered to share their guns with us...and THAT is when the real fun began. My friend took to the 20 gauge Winchester like a dolphin to water. With the Winnie's reduced recoil (compared to my composite Mossberg 12's formidable kick), the convenience of auto, and the recoil pad still firmly affixed to her shoulder, she started hitting a few frisbees. I really wish I had remembered to bring a camera to capture the look on her face...she was lovin' life!

She was (and is) hooked....no thanks to me. Hell, *I* shot better with the 20...it's next on my wish list!

Granted, as of this writing, she is sporting a pretty nice purple badge of honor on her right shoulder. But, she's still as amped as ever about shooting and can't wait to get back to the range...skeet, trap, handguns, it doesn't matter.

I got very lucky...some people (men as well as women) might have shied away from shooting after taking a 12 gauge in the shoulder one too many times...but that's a mistake I vow not to make again. Live and learn. The good news is, I've got a new shooting partner.

I'll keep this post up to date from time to time, but I think I've reached the "end of the beginning" with my friend. She is no longer brand new to shooting...she has taken that crucial first step into a new world...and she likes it! She still has so much to learn, but we all do, no matter how expert we are...or think we are.

I hope my documentation of this journey shows that with patience, persistence, good judgement and an eye for finding someone who might be interested in shooting, we can keep our sport...our way of life...intact and alive for generations to come.

Thanks to all of YOU for your feedback, advice and encouragement!

March 14, 2006, 07:24 AM
Yes yes, I know what I'm talking about.
I dress this way every day (camo paint, BDUs, my pink Converse) at school and I pick up 't3h m4d ch1xx0rz.'*

*Disclaimer: I am single and very lonely. =(

July 16, 2006, 08:10 PM
Well friends, she wants to go bird hunting! Is this a success story or what?!?!? Gonna fit her for a 20 ga youth (she's 5'0") semi-auto shottie this month and start shooting skeet like it's going out of style to get ready. More updates as they become available...

July 16, 2006, 10:14 PM
Have her fire a .357 or .45 or .38 or .22 or whatever pistol about 10 ft from a silhouette target. Then have her fire a pistol grip 12 gauge. Then tell her the guy in the silhouette is going to slit her child's throat then kill her. Then ask her to look at the target and choose a pistol or shotgun. Next question!

August 11, 2006, 02:11 PM
Meh, I strongly disagree. If recoil is a turn-off for a particular firearm, then practicing with said firearm will NOT be high on the priority list, no matter what scenario you tell the individual to "imagine".

I'd much rather have my friend proficient with a .22 than inept with a 12-gauge.

August 11, 2006, 02:32 PM
I - not being a parent of the child, would not get involved with placing a gun into the household. Just MOHO. Stay away from this one. :eek:

August 11, 2006, 07:26 PM
Go witha .357 and load it with .38s and move up from there

August 11, 2006, 08:34 PM
taurus with 9 shot 22lr/22 mag cyls, just to get her used to the pop. Then for reals, 4 inch bbl, 357 revolver. so she can shoot 38's in it , when plinking.

Travis McGee
August 11, 2006, 08:40 PM
KISS: Five shot .38 Special revolver.

August 11, 2006, 09:05 PM
If your female friend has the hand strengh to load/fire DA and/or DAO(double action only) .38spl revolvers, I'd say that would be a good bet. Tell her to get a simple stainless steel .38spl DAO model like the Smith and Wesson 640 or Taurus CIA model in .38spl. The recoil and muzzle flash are low, ammo is affordable and in ready supply. These models also come with trigger locks and lifetime factory repair agreements from the firearm companies. Either weapon can be concealed and she can get a lasergrip lasersight from Crimsontrace.com, www.lasersights.com www.crimsontrace.com .


PS: for CCW/protection ammo, suggest the Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P load or the W-W 158gr Lead SWC-HP in +P. :D

August 15, 2006, 08:28 AM
What did you get her, if anything ???????

August 15, 2006, 09:39 AM
Some people don't read before they post-

Great job on getting her started, though the skeet episode could have started smoother-you owe that gentlrman with the 20 ga. a big debt.

It's great she wants to go bird hunting, and a 20 ga. gas-operated gun is an excellent choice. Offer to show her how to clean and maintain it, and point her towards a good gunsmith for when she doesn't have to time or just doesn't feel like it. (You should do this even if you offer to clean it for her, you may not always be there to do so.)

Don't forget the NRA's instructional books-I just gave the NRA Rifle Marksmanship book to a friend's daughter, she comes out and shoots some of our .22's and other guns (She's even shot a Mosin Nagant and AK-47! :) ) when we shoot at their farm. She might even let her Dad look at it when she's done!:p

My own opinion as to an HD firearm. I keep a .38 Spl. as my first line of defense, the one my wife can 'grab and go.' I have an 870 at the ready, she has been shown how to use it, doesn't like long arms however, and won't shoot it. That's the one I'LL grab while handing her the Cobra. :evil:

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