what is the best carry gun for females??


Safety First
January 3, 2003, 10:36 PM
OK guys and gals,What carry gun do you reccomend for the fairer sex?? or at least the prettiest! I would like to teach my wife to shoot and many people seem to think a wheel gun is better for the ladies as the slide on most auto's is a little difficult to chamber.. would appreciate your thoughts...

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January 3, 2003, 10:45 PM
I like my 3" 629 loaded with Georgia Arms 240gr Gold Dots... ;)

How big are her hands? How strong is she? How much shooting experience does she have? How much practice is she going to put in?

Saying "what's a good gun for females?" without the above data is kind of like saying "what's a good gun for males?"

January 3, 2003, 11:03 PM
Seems that whatever she feels most comfortable with would be best- if it were me I'd have her try several and let her decide.

Jim K
January 3, 2003, 11:05 PM
I agree with Tamara that it is hard to generalize, but I'll go with the revolver. I think the one I used to carry, a 3" barrel .38 Chiefs Special, would be a good choice. The longer barrel gives better pointing characteristics, and that is the usual situation when a woman needs a gun. Women (police and military aside) are not usually going to engage targets at 25-50 yards; they need a gun when things get up close and dirty. Still, a very short barrel, though less likely to be snatched, is poor for pointing.

If a larger gun is an option, the K frame .357 (Model 19) is OK. IMHO, "ladies' guns" (.25 autos and the like) are worse than useless and give false confidence. They are guns for experts.

FWIW, I don't recommend purse carry unless there is no other choice. The purse itself is the target of thieves and it can be left behind (although my wife says no woman EVER forgets her purse!).

If wearing a suit, carry choices are the same as for men; with a skirt, an inside thigh holster (does anyone make them any more?) works well. Slacks and a sheer blouse leave only an ankle holster as a reasonable choice, since women's slacks don't have the loose fit men's trousers have. I know about more exotic carry locations, but most are just not practical.

Women have a problem men usually do not. Namely that a man can usually avoid being "made" even if there is a slight bulge, because no one is really looking. That may or may not be the case with a woman.


January 3, 2003, 11:09 PM
Well, since I have seen some females at the gun range that enjoy recoil a lot more than I do, I am going to stay away from much talk of caliber.

The only female I can really talk about is my wife. SHe has proven herself to be a competent shot with both my H&K .40, and 'her' Ruger Mk II. Of those, she enjoys shooting the Mk II much more, but knows that while a .22 is deffinetly a killer, it is not the mind of stopper she should carry.

So, right now we are looking for something in one of the following calibers for her:

.32 H&R Magnum
.38 Special
.380 ACP
9X18 Mak
9mm Luger
I'm not sure she would shoot a Kahr sized .40 enough to get good with it.

As for the 'prettiest' gun. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But, all the same, my wife is attracted to the asthetic qualities of a firearm, which is strange, since it is for CONCEALED CARRY, and no one is supposed to it. That being said, because I want to keep her happy, we are leaning towards a Taurus Model 85 UL that my local gun shop has in stock, with the rosewood grips, and gold trim on the moving parts. Very attractive gun.

Good luck to you, and make sure you have her hold it before you buy it for her. Even better would be shooting it, but I have found that the rental range's around here don't always have what I would consider 'carry' guns for rent.

Felonious Monk
January 3, 2003, 11:09 PM
I'm going to tell you my current experience, and hope you will understand that's ALL it is. People are not all the same, and you have to take the individual into account.

I bought a P32 for my wife for Christmas.
We're going 'r e a l' slow with the process.
She's been handling it, pulling back the slide, lining up the sight picture.
She's asking questions.

I'm giving her an understanding of Jeff Cooper's 'color code', having her balance a dime on the slide as she lines up the sights, and introducing the 4 rules.

We're going to shoot my little HP22 first, with full eye and ear protection. When she's comfortable with that, we'll graduate to her P32, and make sure she's comfortable with it. Once she's doing well with it, we'll also shoot the rest of the arsenal. If she decides she likes one of the revo's better, it's hers. If she likes the P11 better, ditto.

In any case, I would feel TOTALLY unable to steward this process, without the time I've spent at TFL and THR. Thanks to all, and please provide input if I'm leaving anything out of the teaching process.

Safety First, Tam's a PhD, I'm in grade school when it comes to this stuff. Hope this helps.


January 3, 2003, 11:19 PM
I'm not sure I would recommend a J frame revolver to a novice shooter,especially a woman. Recoil with the J frame snubbies is considerably sharper with factory 38s than a K frame like a model 19 snubbie. The extra weight isn't enough to prohibit its use as a carry piece, but it will dampen the felt recoil. Concealed carry on person by a female is much harder to accomplish due to the female anatomy but with proper clothing it can be done. Purse carry IMO should be a last resort, since if the purse goes bye bye so does the gun.

January 3, 2003, 11:23 PM
Among fellow female HighRoaders, I know of a G26, an SP101, a couple of USP 45Cs, and a Kimber Classic Custom, among others. I have a friend who doesn't tote often, but loves her Witness Silver Team.

My daily CCW is a 296Ti in my purse (aluminum/titanium DAO .44 Special L-frame) and a Beretta 950BS Jetfire in a pocket, usually accompanied by something or other on my belt.

Here's the 296Ti...

January 3, 2003, 11:36 PM
My wife is a good shot with my Commander (when I had it) my P12-45, my Llama Micromax 380 and her Taurus 85.

She's ok with the 45s. (when she shoots her CHL qualifier she will use my P12)
She hates the Micromax (hurts to much)
She likes the Taurus because it cuter.

She cant get into the "semi" thing. To complicated.

What ever you do, don't choose for her! :uhoh: Of course that way you could wind up with some extra toys, after she rejects them.

Hmmm, I think I'll go shoping!:D

January 3, 2003, 11:46 PM
If she is inexperienced, best to go to a range that rents, and rent a hammerless snubnose .38, and let her try it out against a compact 9mm semiauto of some type.

Let her do ALL the work with both guns...loading, slide manipulation on the semiauto...show her how, but let HER do it.

Most gravitate to the revolver at that point, simply because they can manipulate it better (in the case of some semiautos, some just can't move the slide).

There are a lot of companies that make this type, but I prefer the concealed hammer .38 for most (not all) women. Mostly because its a reasonable shooter, and they can use it/load it without much trouble.

Lots of companies make them in different variations...here is an example from Taurus (easiest one for me to grab a pic from...check out the other manufacturers as well) I like hammerless for consistant trigger pull when practicing (most people start to "cheat" while practicing by pulling back the hammer first...unlikely in an emergency), and the prevention of hooking on stuff in a purse.

January 3, 2003, 11:50 PM
You might try finding a handgun defense class for women. My wife took one (well, it was coed and she made me go too) and they had dozens of different revolvers, encouraged everyone to try different ones..

A few months later, she took the semi-auto class and got to try a bunch of different semis... (I helped out at the range on that one).

Plus, it helps a lot.. I think.. to have a 3rd party involved..

January 4, 2003, 12:09 AM
Makes a good point about the "myth" of what women shoot. Notice what she and her friends carry?

New shooters I'm familiar with are normally CHL students, Husbands and BF's sometimes makes the firearm choice, intimidate themby teaching... etc--A lose-lose deal. With real good hearing protection we'll start off with aModel 18 (22lr) then move to a semi 22lr. Early on the lady gets a feel for MOA.
We go to larger calibers, MOA. When a female finds HER preference in a platform in a caliber with consistent hits--BINGO!
We have someone that will practice, and continue to learn. They get a good carry set up (s). They learn a BUG or something when wardrobe dictates. Actually better than some men about always carrying.

January 4, 2003, 12:37 AM
My wife digs her Taurus pt-25. I like it too. Easy for a 'chick' because you dont have to rack the slide to fire it.

Similar to a Baretta m21.


Double Naught Spy
January 4, 2003, 01:59 AM
Tamara is right. More over, whether or not the person who intends to get the gun is a male or female is not all that relevant. Relevant factors would include gun handling experience, body strenght, hand size, hand strength, vision (relative to sights), how they plan on carrying the gun, whether or not they intend to practice with it, etc.

My wife doesn't carry, but her favorite is a full-sized 1911 and she has a belt and holster she uses while at the range.

My mom who is in her late 60s decided to go with a gun that several people told her might not be a good choice because of the amount of recoil. That gun was a Glock 26 or Baby Glock - a small 9 mm gun. She found she could shoot it better than any of the larger 9 mm Glocks (which seemed counter intuitive since the larger Glocks would have less felt recoil, but the clincher was the grip size fitting her hand).

Given those constraints, a good rule of thumb to consider is that she carry a gun of the largest caliber that she can handle very well, in a gun that is very reliable, and one that is suited to her carry needs and constraints.

For my mom, we took her to a range that rented guns and tried several. Then, a young lady in the lane next to us had heard us discussing which to try next and she offered to let my mom shoot her Glock 26. As if blessed by God, the first 8 of 10 shots were perfect and the two bad shots weren't all that bad and would have still been in the A zone. The distance was 7 yards. That size and configuration just meshed very well with her size of hands, body strength and even arthritis. That is what she has and she continues to shoot it well.

Kahr carrier
January 4, 2003, 03:52 AM
Interesting subject ,my sister likes shooting my Combat Commander 45 acp and my mom has been know to shoot my Redhawk 44 Magnum . I think all new shooters could benefit from a firearms safety class to start. Then I would start them out with a 22lr and let them get comfortable shooting and then I would find a range that has gun rentals and let them try different types of guns and calibers to see what they are comfortable with. Also Tamaras 44 Smith looks like an interesting hide out gun.:what:

January 4, 2003, 04:43 AM
S&W K-frame .38 Special revolver with four inch barrel would be a good defensive weapon for anyone.

January 4, 2003, 04:54 AM
Everyone's pretty well covered the salient points: don't pick a gun for her, but let her pick her own. Every woman is different. Her gender doesn't matter as much as her hand size, experience, hand and arm strength, etc.

I don't really agree with pushing a new shooter toward a revolver, unless she gravitates that direction herself. Partly that's because revolvers just never appealed to me, personally. More than that, though, is the thought that if she doesn't end up deciding what she decides because she decided it, she won't be happy enough with the choice to practice regularly and get good. She'll be unhappy when the gun comes out, and make all kinds of excuses as to why (not wanting to hurt your feelings).

If she likes the look & feel of a semi-auto, but has a hard time with the slide, remember that racking a slide is not so much a matter of strength, but of familiarity and technique. If she tries to muscle it back with just the strength of one hand, she may not be able to do it; but if you show her how to push with her right hand while holding or pulling very slightly with her left, it won't be nearly so difficult. (Something easier shown than told -- I hope that sentence made sense....)

I've got friends who just love the magic little mag-loader gadgets that take a lot of the painful work out of loading a stiff mag. If she has a hard time loading a mag, by all means get her the gadget and let her use it. The chances of her needing to load a magazine (as opposed to replacing a spent magazine with a previously-loaded one) under duress is vanishingly small.

Me? I carry and love my G26 in 9mm. Fits my hand, yes. But I fell in love with her because she's so doggone cute.

And yes, cute matters. :D


I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand. -- Susan B. Anthony

January 4, 2003, 05:31 AM
We actually have covered points for choosing a gun for anyone, regardless of gender, age, physical condition, experience.

Asked why we start with a 22 revolver for new shooters, I'll clarify. Simply the new shooter can visually see if loaded, how it works and takes some of the mystery and misconceptions away. Also its easier for trigger control because we put a dime on front sight and let them run a cylinder (s) through with out falling off--revolver allows this. Coupled with good hearing protection, and 22lr , no percieved recoil and focus on trigger, sight, techniques.

Captain Bligh
January 4, 2003, 08:32 AM
I generally try not to comment on women's issues because I don't have the parts for it. But, I think the best carry gun for a female is the one she shoots the best, likes the best, and can conceal the best.

By the way, Tamara, I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but that humpback is one ugly gun! ;)


Baba Louie
January 4, 2003, 10:35 AM
Buy her one of each, let her try each one out, keeping the one she likes best.

You keep the rest.:D


January 4, 2003, 10:38 AM
Advice from another woman shooter -- let the wife decide. I was pushed to a .38 model 442 S&W and I HATE THE :cuss: GUN!! Later I came to my senses and bought a Beretta compact type M, which was so beautiful at the range, I went out and bought another one in black! Never assume you know what a woman should use. If she's firing the gun it should be her decision. The arguement about a revolver can stay in the closet forever and doesn't need maintence is a load of :cuss: A gun that doesn't get used won't do a damn thing when the time comes to take it out. A pistol isn't the hardest thing in the world to maintain (such as the Beretta which is easy to up keep and use). If you can find a place to rent guns, let her give it a try and make her own mind up. :D

Ala Dan
January 4, 2003, 12:56 PM
Greeting's Safety First-

Hey, that's a catchy handle my friend! It all depends on
what a female feels her needs are; plus what type of
firearm she shoot's the best, and as a secondary note
what she feels most comfortable with? I've help train some
gal's that simply could not handle a .22 LR; either semi-
auto or revolver!:scrutiny: On the other hand, I've seen
some women that were really proficent with the 9m/m Glock
19's and SIG P228's. A female police officer (friend of mine)
routinely carries a .45 caliber Glock 21; on and off duty.
You had better believe, she knows how to use it too!

Most women, want something lite weight and kind'a
compact; such as the aforementioned self-loader's, or
a small J frame size revolver. One thing for sure, I think
I would have any female stray away for the Ti and Sc
revolver's as made by Smith & Wesson and Taurus.
Simply put, they are very erratic in trained hand's;
and uncontrolable in the hand's of petite
female's. If they desire a revolver, look at something
along the lines of a Smith & Wesson 2" barrel model
36 or 60. If they want a .357 magnum (which a lot of
'em do), I would recommend the S&W model 19 or 66
with a 2.5" barrel. Ultimately, patience and practice
will help anyone become proficent with the handgun!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 4, 2003, 01:00 PM
Have her fire the revolver first if she's leaning towards one. That might change her tune quick when her hands get a taste of the bite. :D

January 4, 2003, 05:10 PM
VERY VERY good posts so far. I love this forum!!!!

I am 5' 6" & I guess considered medium build. My older sister is 4'11" (she says 5' of course) and of small build. We both shoot anything from a .380 to a 10mm (in fact I just picked up a Glock 20C today).

We are both semi-auto people and absolutely hate revolvers (please, I'm not bashing revolvers). Just something about semi-autos that we love.

With that said, I carry different guns depending on my dress but they range from an HK45C to a Colt Pony Pocketlite.

Of all my guns, the .380s (blowback or not) are the hardest to rack the slide. My sister can rack the slide of all my guns (10mm, .45, 9mm) EXCEPT for my .380 caliber Sphinx. She just has trouble with that gun for whatever reasons. Yet she grabs one of my Colt Special Combats and just racks the gun with ease. So please don't steer a female to "revolvers" based on the perception that it is hard for a woman to rack the slide. It really depends on the gun & as someone else mentioned, it's a lot about technique rather than strength. It's also about familiarity and not being timid about handling the gun. Some of the new females shooters I have taken to the range begin out my handling the gun like an egg....afraid it's gonna break. By the end of the first lesson they're slamming the mag in the gun and slingshotting the slide like a banshee....ha ha ha!!!!! I think they rather get off on their newly found "power" :eek:

I must admit that I am OBSESSED with my guns so I practice alot and handle my guns alot.

Hope your wife finds what she likes but if not, try something else. I've churned guns for years now and still buy some that I don't like for one reason or the other. I just "take the loss" and trade em in on something else. I found that I don't shoot what I don't like!!!!!

Good luck.

January 4, 2003, 05:15 PM
Every new shooter should start w/ revolver .38 cal w/ 4" barrel. This should be a learning handgun until the new shooter learns to put into practice the safety rules. Once the new shooter learns to put into practice the safety rules. Then the new shooter should get what ever handgun the new shooter likes.

January 4, 2003, 05:21 PM
Have her fire the revolver first if she's leaning towards one. That might change her tune quick when her hands get a taste of the bite.

This statement makes me wonder how many revolvers (other than your Ti J-frame) you've shot. The vast majority don't "bite". A K- or L-frame gun with 110gr or 125gr .357 Magnums is really no more unpleasant to fire than your Beretta, and can be set up with a much nicer DA trigger. :confused:

January 4, 2003, 05:45 PM
We tried several different weapons -- Glocks in 9mm and 45acp, Colt M-1911s, J, K, & L frame 38/357 and smaller types - Keltec, Kahr, and Beretta models from 22lr to 380acp.

She likes the simplicity of the revolver. For some reason, she really enjoys using speedloaders too. We tried the alloy framed models, as well as a titanium rental. She hated the lightweight revolver due to the increased felt recoil.

She did not have trouble on racking the slide or manipulating safeties on semi-autos. In the end, she settled on a 4" Taurus 627 Tracker. She can consistently empty all seven rounds into the span of her closed fist at 25 yards in DA or SA mode very quickly. She also likes the fact that she can use the same gun for target practice, self-defense, and big bad --- kicking with wadcutters to magnum loads.

January 4, 2003, 06:36 PM
I had bought a S&W Chief's Special revolver for my girlfriend, but she she couldn't shoot it well. Since I wanted her to hit her target should she need to defend herself, I got her a Glock 33 (357SIG subcompact.) She shot the Glock far better than the revolver. The Glock was also less bulky to carry than the revolver.

The 357SIG round is pretty rough. If I ever have to go through that again I might opt for a Glock 26 (9mm subcompact.)

January 4, 2003, 06:38 PM
My wife wears a:

Glock 19 on the hip

or a:

Glock 26 in the purse.

Depends on the oufit of course!! :)


4v50 Gary
January 4, 2003, 06:55 PM
In response to the question - that's for a woman to decide.

January 4, 2003, 07:42 PM
Beretta or HK. Chicks dig 'em :D ;) :o:neener:

El Tejon
January 4, 2003, 07:57 PM
I'm with Gary. Let her pick.

It's odd, but every female who has shot with me has preferred the 1911 even the young & nubile who wants to be a federale (whose agency carries the G22/23). The GSC myths about recoil are silly once you show them how to hold it. Just racking the slide in dry practice will strength their hands.

In fact, the lovely young bride of TFLer Glock-o-matic has a couple of very nice Cylinder and Slide Kimbers and she stands a towering 5'3" or so.

January 4, 2003, 10:07 PM
My wife shoots a S&W Chief Special Airweight 38 spl, as a matter of fact, shoots that particular gun way bettter than I will ever be able too.

I guess the grip size just suits her more than it does me, fine by me, confidence is everything when it comes to a carry gun, and I'm glad she is comfortable with it.

Warmest regards,

Lord Grey Boots
January 4, 2003, 11:04 PM
Let her try out a variety of guns. See if your local range has a "intro to firearms" class she could take.

Its better if someone else than you teach her the basics. Ideally it would be a female instructor.

A good .38/.357 revolver by Ruger, S&W, Colt, or Taurus would work great, but it has to be her pick.

Stick with lighter weight bullets. EG 158 grn magnums in my .357 SP101 will give me a bleeding blister within a few cylinder fulls, but I can shoot 125 grain magnum loads all day.

Lighter bullet = reduced felt recoil.

January 4, 2003, 11:23 PM
Well, I may not agree with a revolver but she may not agree with a Beretta. Whatever she is most comfortable with should be the gun on her bill. Everybody has different tastes, that's what keeps the gun industry so busy!:D

January 4, 2003, 11:28 PM
What I'm saying is this:

Basing your opinion on the "bite" of revolvers based on your experiences with one AirLite Ti J-frame is like basing your opinion on the "bite" of semiautos on one alloy Commander converted to .460 Rowland.

It's like saying "all cars are hard to drive" when the only car you've driven is an early Porsche 356 with a crash gearbox... ;)

January 4, 2003, 11:32 PM
I echo the comments about don't assume that a revolver is best. Look for the handgun that fits her hands the best and points well. Stay away from "lightweights" because they are just too hard to shoot well. My first gun was a Star Firestar M43, which is a heavy, all steel single stack 9mm. It is still my favorite to shoot, mainly because it fits my hands and the heavy frame makes recoil almost undetectable. For a house gun, consider a heavy .357 revolver with a 4 inch barrell. I love shooting my new Taurus Tracker, which has a new high-tech rubber grip that makes it very shootable, even with my small to medium size hands.

January 4, 2003, 11:32 PM
You're right. I could be wrong and perhaps it's just the after taste still lingering from my own bad experience. I imagine if she buys a revolver very different from my small 442, it'll serve her well. What can I say? Maybe there ARE women that love a revolver. I guess I'm just a Beretta fanatic...:D

January 4, 2003, 11:46 PM
Anyone with small hands will like the Colt Police Positive revolver.


They don't make 'em anymore, so check the used gun market.

January 5, 2003, 12:03 AM
Since my opinion of my own CCW has changed many times over the years, hers probably will too as her experience and skill increase.

It's not like she's going to be stuck with whatever SHE chooses. Her first gun will be just that, her FIRST gun, and I wouldn't put it any other way. It's just a tool, and that choice is a highly personal one for everybody. So is her SECOND gun going to be, etc.

January 5, 2003, 01:34 AM
Having taught a few ladies to shoot, there's many good points above. Women are all individuals (duh!) & you can guide them, but let them choose.

The ex-wife still has a 4" Python, which she understands is a special gun, and a Smith 5904, which was always reliable. She often would shoot the Python with my full power handloads, which would startle most of the guys at the range.:evil: We started her with a .22, then the Python shooting .38's, then .357's.

A female friend is an avid Ruger .22 shooter. She's shot my 1911's a few times, but just doesn't like the recoil, even though she's deadly accurate. I expect an intruder at her house would rapidly find ten small holes in his chest, along with German Shepherd fang marks in his groin:p

To get even a petite woman to rack a semi-auto slide, have her point the gun straight out with her gun hand. Lock that elbow. grab the slide with the other hand, and have her use her shoulders to draw back the slide. This trick allows more leverage than hand and arm strength alone.:)

January 5, 2003, 01:38 AM
My sister shoots the larger calibers. She loves .44 Magnum. Go figure. She is also a better shot than me but you didn't hear me say that.

Bottom line is to shoot what you are comfortable with. The same advice holds true for men!

Kentucky Rifle
January 5, 2003, 02:41 PM
It difficult, but you gotta stand back and let HER pick. I was sure my wife would LOVE my P-32. She hated it. I took her to the gun shop and said "shop". She went right to the Total Ti Taurus .38 Special. As a matter of fact, her two favorite pistols are the Taurus Ti (which she's VERY good with) and a Ruger Single Six. She's just a "revolver woman". <shrug>
I'm just happy she likes to practice.


January 5, 2003, 03:18 PM
The two guns that my wife immediately said "lets buy one!" after shooting were the Sig P232 and the CZ-75SA. She doesn't have trouble with racking slides, once she was taught to bring the gun in close to your chest.

She liked the big S&W 625 shooting it SA, but wasn't too hot on the long DA pull. She thought revolvers were a bit of a hassle to load/reload.
Didn't like the little G26 at all.

Of the centerfire guns I actually own and shoot regularly, I think her order of preference is BHP GP Comp, 1911 and BHP. She liked my CZ PCR w/Hakans quite a bit before I sold it out from under her (she was kind of pissed at me for a while :eek: ). She loves the Ruger Mk II most of all.

I don't think her preferences reflect dainty "chick guns" very much at all.

I think for women, the biggest CCW difference w/men may have to do with the differences between how men and women dress. Plus, guys (at least most of them, even here around San Francisco) don't carry purses. You could hide a Benelli tactical shotgun in some of the purses I've seen women lugging around.


January 5, 2003, 04:05 PM
Another tip that will help any new shooter is, double up on the hearing protection. Wear plugs under the headset. I follow this myself, since wearing glasses tends to make a gap in the headset, and reduces their effectiveness.

Sean Smith
January 5, 2003, 04:07 PM
Most "conventional" suggestions for new women shooters (snubby revolvers and .380 autos) are about as stupid as possible. Small guns are much harder to shoot well generally, and light guns recoil worse than bigger guns in better calibers.

Medium or even large guns in .38 Special or 9x19mm are probably the best choices, aside from a .22LR of course. Enough gun to soak up some recoil, enough sight radius to make precise shooting less laborious. Revolver or semi-auto is more personal preference... if they aren't willing to learn the "complexities" :rolleyes: of a semi-auto, they should probably stick to a rock. Someone that disinterested in the weapon would be more apt to be negligent with it. But that's just me.

The only real objective difference from a shooting point of view between men and women is hand strength and hand size. And that's only "on average." The best new-shooter performance I ever got was from a short woman with small hands shooting a... Glock 20C 10mm.


So you never know.

January 6, 2003, 01:34 AM
My wife went through several pistols before she found her preference.

She ruled out wheel guns right off the bat because she saw I had none. That would be my first recommendation for a new shooter though. More time spent sighting and shooting, less spent fiddling.

My wife ended up with a Kahr K9 in nickel. Beautiful, smooth pistol, it fits her, and she's a tack driver with it. Basically as point and shoot as a revolver with faster reloads.

Main thing is to let her decide. Let her rent a few at the range.

Al Thompson
January 6, 2003, 08:37 AM
"... if they aren't willing to learn the "complexities" of a semi-auto, they should probably stick to a rock. "

Have to totally disagree with that statement. Several ladies I know have no use for automatics for what ever reason. That's why we have revolvers.

Totally agree that small and light is not always good - the conundrum is that small and light is easy to carry, hard to shoot. Large and heavy is easy to shoot, hard to carry. ( within reason)

I have a bucket full of aftermarket grips for a RB K frae - helped my ex immensely when we got her grips that fit her hand. This is an over looked advantage of revolvers, IMHO.

Kentucky Rifle
January 6, 2003, 10:44 AM
While going through a catalog last night and asking her, "Do you like this one" over and over and hearing, "Sorta" over and over--She finally says, "You KNOW I want a Ruger Bird's Head Vaquero with that case hardened finish". I said .45 Colt or .32 H&R Magnum"? She said, "Huummm". The ONLY option I have is to just take her to the gun shop and have her shop for the exact one she wants.
Now, WHY can't I get this in my head as "SOP"? :banghead:


January 6, 2003, 11:38 AM
My wife already owned a handgun when we met (one of the reasons I married her :neener: ) so I don't know if this advice applies, but...

Her favorite pistol in the whole world is the Kahr MK9 I bought her. She was carrying a Taurus PT92 under her car seat as her "CCW" because her father believes that all semi's should have 15+ rounds to be of any use... :rolleyes: I've never had to point it out, because he has kept his disapproval to himself, but my 6+1 in her purse is WAAAY better than 15+1 in the car!

She doesn't have any problems pulling back the slide, and I do NOT consider her very strong. In fact, I'd say she's fairly "under-strong" for a female. :what: Technique is much more important than sheer strength when chambering a round.

When I was shopping for the Kahr, she told me "no revolvers", so they weren't even a consideration. I don't really like wheelies anway, so I wouldn't have bought one even if she hadn't said so. Once I had finished the preliminary "reliablility/carryability" search on my own, I took her around to a few shops that had the 5 pistols I had narrowed it down to. She picked the MK9 on her own from a list of S&W 3913LS, Kel-Tec P11, Glock 26, Kahr K9, and Kahr MK9.

For the house, it's a Walther P99 in the bedside safe.

January 6, 2003, 11:47 AM
My Wife is a big Commander fan in .45 acp "cause If I shoot somebody I want to leave a big hole":evil:

January 6, 2003, 12:05 PM
Let's start here:


I'm an enthusiastic advocate of seeing girls get into martial arts as an integral part of developing the mental and physical reality inherent in defensive firearms training. Along with the comprehensive physical conditioning and flexibility comes actual sparring with strict supervision - and that helps a girl understand what it means to get punched-kicked-slapped-grabbed (very important to learn if the girl has never known such).

In selecting a personal firearm, I'd go for ergonomics first and foremost. (see about CZ's, and the Baby Eagle in .40, and absolutely the P232, and follow her interests from there) Next - she absolutely has to like the specific gun - even if her focus doesn't align with specifics you might prioritize. (if at all possible, get her gun individualized with a little engraving - such things can be important...)

Get her her own (individualized if possible) gun leather - and don't flinch if she asks about available colors.

If martial arts training is out for whatever reason, work with her on strengthening exercises focused on her grip, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and abs - then target her legs all-out. Yoga classes, or Tai-chi are wonderful for breathing and focus. Remember, we don't get drowned in testosterone when crisis arises.

Read these essays together and discuss them:


And, when it starts getting down to caliber:


And, for a concept of shoulder holsters that will really, really conceal her gun under a nice suit or light jacket when she doesn't want to carry off-the-body and a waist-carry is unfeasable, http://www.klnullholsters.com/

I have never seen enough repetition in any of my students or girlfriends' choices of favorites to say revolver or semi-auto; and I carry both. The American Derringer Model 1 is popular, though with just about everybody as an option that usually goes everywhere...

If either of you feel I may be able to provide any assistance, of course please write me, and I'll do whatever I can.

Last - get a copy of Paxton Quigley's book, "Armed and Female." I've loaned out 9 copies over the years - and they always end up getting passed from friend-to-friend, never (happily) to be seen again.

All the best!

Sean Smith
January 6, 2003, 12:32 PM
"... if they aren't willing to learn the "complexities" of a semi-auto, they should probably stick to a rock. "

Have to totally disagree with that statement. Several ladies I know have no use for automatics for what ever reason. That's why we have revolvers.

You missed the point. I didn't say women should use autos instead of revolvers (the line before I said it was personal preference between the two).

Alot of people suggest revolvers for people who are too apathetic to learn how to operate anything more complicated. My opinion is that there are good reasons to use a revolver, but that isn't one of them, because anyone that apathetic probably isn't responsible enough to be armed with a deadly weapon at all.

It certainly plays into the stereotype that women are too dingy around anything mechanical to figure out a big, bad, complicated semi-auto. :rolleyes:

January 6, 2003, 12:55 PM
Silly boy. The differences between women are bigger than the differences between them and us (as regards ability to shoot a firearm, anyway!).

Issues can include comfort and familiarity with firearms, willingness to practice, hand size and strength, and concealment options. But I've got a photo somewhere of a former 4' 9" girlfriend shooting a .357 magnum (full-power loads) with glee, and I'm sure this forum has lots of women a foot shorter than me who can out-shoot me six ways from Sunday.

What would you think if somebody asked "What is the best carry gun for males?" Would it sound weird to you? Would it bother you some?

Safety First
January 7, 2003, 08:43 PM
I was looking for information from those who know more about firearms than I do. Perhaps you did not read the question completely when I started the thread. Just looking for positive input from those who had something positive to suggest. Most of the answers I received were well intended as was the original question..

January 8, 2003, 11:27 AM
The largest one they can handle and carry everyday.

January 8, 2003, 10:42 PM
Pink ones of course.

Dirt Dude
January 8, 2003, 10:50 PM
Hello Pistoleros!
I'm new on the block, but I thought I would weigh in on the subject. I have a friend of the female persuasion that favors the Glock 36. She did a bit of shopping around and decided that the 36 felt good in her hand...and she can use it, too!

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