Wife finally wants to learn


evan price
April 21, 2006, 08:28 AM
My wife is not anti gun and her family kept guns, she has always sort of thought it was a thing men liked to do, even though she is invited to the range often by me! She is just not interested. I keep her aware of what guns we have (generally) and where they are if she needs one, but she won't pay attention when I show her how to use them, she gets bored and says if she needs to use a gun, that's what I am for.

Well, I was on an out of town trip and she woke up at 4 am and thought she heard a noise outside. She looked out and the big mercury security light on the garage is out (I've had a problem with the daylight sensor on it). Then she thought she saw someone trying to look in the window of the garage.
Well, we live about 20 miles from town and the sheriff response time is about 5 minutes or so on a good night. She started to worry, and she told me, she thought it might be nice to hae a gun to protect herself & the kids. Then she told me, I realized I didn't know what ammo went to what gun or how to load them or anything. She said she felt uncomfortable. Luckily it turned out to be nothing. No intruder.

Well she now wants to learn how to use guns, I feel so proud of her.
The problem is that all of *my* guns are large frame weapons, (I am not a small guy) and the smallest I have is a Sig 239 in 9mm I use for CCW. With Hogue finger grips. IT was the only weapon she felt comfortable holding.
I don't want to get her on the range with a hand cannon and turn her off shooting. I have decided to buy another gun for *her*. I am looking for succestions. I was at Vances' yesterday looking at a Walther P22 but a .22LR has never struck me as a great cartridge. I don't want to spend a lot of money on this gun right now, it's just to get her familiar with shooting, when she is ready, we'll go together & she can pick out EXACTLY what she wants, cost bedamned (within reason!)
I am looking for something for a petite woman with small hands who is also a surgeon, so nothing that will beat up her hands. However she is pretty strong and drives the tractor so she's no weakling either.
I've looked at:
S&W 22A
Bersa Thunder .380 Gold
Walther P22.
Kel Tec P11

ANY SUGGESTIONS??? Obviously if I stay 9mm or .22LR it means I won't have to stock a different ammo.

If you enjoyed reading about "Wife finally wants to learn" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
April 21, 2006, 09:19 AM
I have a 22a and my girlfriend loves it. She has claimed it as her own. I would say that if you use it for protection get a few boxes of CCI Velocitors. I am slowly moving her up in cal and now she is shooting a 9mm CZ52. Next thing she wants to try is a 38 Spl.

April 21, 2006, 09:20 AM
...let her decide. Rent a bunch if you can. Keep in mind that some of the very light guns feel great in the hand until the trigger is pulled.

That said, my very petite wife loves her Glock 23 (.40 caliber), so I would suggest that you consider the Glock 19 (9 mm).

Any gun she likes and will practice with is better than nothing

April 21, 2006, 09:32 AM
My wife goes a buck 20 at 5'2". The only gun she could find that fit her hands was the Glock 19, so another vote for the Glock. She carries it daily and enjoys shooting it. My 10 year old borrowed it from her the other day to take to the range. He also loves it.

April 21, 2006, 09:48 AM
The story with my wife was pretty much the same. I started her out with the Walther P22, which she loves, but have gotten her hooked on the Walther P99. She shoots it better than I do, and is now willing to go to the range with me and shoot more often. It's a blast to take your wife. Have fun!

April 21, 2006, 10:20 AM
Okay, she's got two needs, 1) to learn to shoot, and 2) to have a gun with which she can protect herself.

I agree with you that a .22 is not the best for defense. It is, however, generally the best round on which to learn to shoot. It is inexpensive, low-recoil, and is least likely to cause her to develop a flinch. It's also a lot of fun to shoot.

But it's not a defense round, and she wants/needs a defense gun.

Because her hands are different from yours, you really should not be the one to pick out her gun. Narrow the choices down so she won't get overwhelmed by the possibilities, but keep your own mind open in case she wants something different when you take her to the gun shop to get her hands on the choices. Whatever she picks out for herself might surprise you -- and she is more likely to enjoy shooting it if she chose it herself.

With all that in mind, here are some possibilities for learning on .22lr :

* Ruger Mark II (or Mark III, but I prefer the II myself). Inexpensive, easy to shoot, lotsa fun.

* Beretta Neos. Freaky, fun, futuristic-looking gun that often appeals to beginners just on style points alone.

Here are some ideas for transitional guns:

* A Glock 19 (9mm), with a .22lr adaptation kit from American Arms. Provided the Glock fits her hands acceptably well, this would allow her to learn to shoot with the .22 and still have an identically-functioning 9mm available for home defense at the same time.

* A Ruger 22/45 -- a .22-caliber handgun with controls similar to a 1911. It is suited for small- to mid-sized hands. When she is ready to move up to a defense caliber, the logical next gun purchase would be a commander-sized 1911 variant which is suited for small hands. (Springfield Armory makes a 9mm version which I've been enamored with ...)

Or she could just begin by learning to shoot with a 9mm. She wouldn't be the first or last person to have done so, and it has the advantage of only requiring one firearm. Some to look at:

* Glock 19 or Glock 26 in 9mm.

* Springfield XD in 9mm. Have her look at both the compact and the subcompact version.

* Kahr PM9. Or any other 9mm Kahr, really -- but to learn upon, maybe steer clear of the completely polymer versions. These are the classic choice for shooters with small hands.

* CZ-Rami in 9mm. Not too expensive, and fairly well suited to small hands.

Hope that helps.


April 21, 2006, 10:27 AM
The Springfield XD sub-compact, available in either 9mm or .40 cal. My wife has small hands as well, and after a lot of shopping she found this had the best combination of ease of operation, portability, light weight, and accuracy in her hands.

evan price
April 21, 2006, 10:30 AM
Thanks for the responses so far. I was leaning to a .22LR for the flinch reduction and lack of felt recoil, but again, not a SD caliber. Plus with a S&W or a Buck Mark or a Ruger Mk II or something it would be good for target practice for both of us.
She liked the feel of my Sig 239 in her hand so something about that size is likely. The Kahr was one I looked at. THey have those in 9mm or .45 I saw. Looked like a mini Glock.
The idea of a Glock is one I have tossed around simply for the reason there is no complicated safety mechanism to worry about. I like my G21 and G17 but she felt the G17's grip angle was odd. So something like that without a lot of extra controls to worry about would be choice.

I have even thought about a revolver but am unsure what I want. A compact .357 firing low power .38spl's for getting her used to it maybe?

Thanks for ideas.

April 21, 2006, 10:57 AM
If she disliked the Glock grip angle but liked the gun otherwise, do have her look at an XD. It's very similar to the Glock but the grip angle is quite different.


April 21, 2006, 10:58 AM
When Mrs. Big_R got interested in firearms, I bought her a short barreled Browning Buckmark .22. She has more now, but it's still her favorite.


April 21, 2006, 11:07 AM
and get her a revolver, a .357 but shoot .38's to start.Too many buttons and geegaws on most autos for a beginner to have to think about.Snce she's not gonna carry it, a 4" barrel will balance nicely and tame what recoil the .38's impart.Teach her to shoot it double action,and this will build up the necessary muscles to properly handle an auto.
imho,ymmv,and bring on the flames.:):evil:

April 21, 2006, 11:32 AM
My wife likes 1911's on account of the slim grip. She has small hands and it still works out. I got her started with a Kimber 1911 chambered in .22lr, and then moved to a Para Ord in 9mm. The weight of the gun nixes the recoil with a 9mm and she really enjoyed shooting that one. She even did fine with the Kimber Ultra Carry II in .45, with it's snappy recoil and all. She was perfectly comfortable with my Bersa .380 too.

Just take her to the range, rent lots of guns and go for it.

April 21, 2006, 11:54 AM
My wife is in the process of choosing a pistol too. She can hit COM consistantly with my .45 but doesn't enjoy it and I want her to carry something she is comfortable with and has confidence in. Practices with the .22 but I also don't consider it a definsive round. She doesn't want a revolver. Fired a Walther PPK an found it comfortable except it bit her. Went last weekend and she fondled a Sig 232 .380 and Smith Wesson 908 9mm. She liked the Sig better but had a much easier time working the slide on the Smith. After payday we'll go rent both and let her pick one or keep searching based on that.
I'd like to see her with a 9mm for the power & ammo cost but am being very careful not to push. One way or another there will be another gun around the house so that makes me happy.


April 21, 2006, 12:03 PM
I have to put my money on the Bersa T380. My wife and daughter both shoot this gun and with just regular ball ammo it is fun to shoot. I took my CHL with it and useing CCI Blazer ammo shot 249/250 so the gun is very accurate. In the 800+ rounds I've never had a FTF or any problem. Comes with a liftime warranty and for around $200 I don't think it can be beat. IMHO.....Jerry

Red State
April 21, 2006, 12:19 PM
My two cents:

Definitely start her out with a .22. That way she doesnt get immediately turned off to shooting after trying something that has rough recoil. And I agree with Pax - beginners seem to really like the Beretta Neos.

After the wife is comfortable with the controls and feel of the .22 pistol, you can start moving up to more powerful rounds. Everyone else offered pretty good advice about what to try from there.

April 21, 2006, 12:44 PM
Have someone else teach her the basics - a NRA certified firearms instructor or other firearms professional. Teaching a wife to shoot can involve too much psychological baggage.

pete f
April 21, 2006, 02:36 PM
A +1 on letting someone else teach your wife, all it takes is one bad day at the range and you may loose her to the idea of good guns.

As far as which gun, Let her decide. Go to a retailer or range which has a large selection and find out who you think is a pretty good sales person. low key and helpful, but not forcing every one to look at his choices first, then talk to him/her, Explain you want to bring in your wife and let her try out a variety of gun, tell him you will be buying one soon, but that you want her to see a lot of guns, feel how they feel in her hands, and if you have some non starters, (jennings, or mavericks etc) tell him now. Then bring your wife in and let her choose, she will make a good choice, after all she chose you once....

evan price
April 23, 2006, 01:10 AM
Thanks for the advice again everybody. I'll clear up a few more things. Mrs. Price will not be knowing about the purchase of her "inaugural" firearm, since it will be just a training gun, to eventually be used also for my kids when they are big enough.
As far as revolvers go, she hefted my Series III Colt King Cobra in 4" .357 and said it was too big, too heavy, not what she wanted. I was thinking small frame revolvers. The Ladysmith comes to mind but since that is its intended purpose I dislike "cute" guns.

Kinda leaning towards the S&W 22A or Walther P22. Cost is a factor, would like to be under $300 and under $250 if possible. That leaves out the excellent Kahr and Kel-Tech entrants. Would like a Kahr or KT for myself someday maybe. Or she will choose one.
I fully intend to take her to a gun shop and let her take all day if she wants choosing her gun, once we decide she actually *wants* to continue shooting.

Anybody here with a Walther P22 or S&W 22A let me know how they have been and what ammo they like, reliability, etc... Thanks. Obviously if one of them can use a steady diet of bulk Wal-Mart .22LR for range use that's nice & xcheap.

If you enjoyed reading about "Wife finally wants to learn" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!