Handgun for the "little lady?"


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Hairpin M'berg870
February 26, 2007, 04:25 AM
I am considering buying my wife a handgun and was wondering what I should get for her. I have 3 shotguns and a rifle, but no handguns because of my young daughter, though I can certainly understand their usefullness. However, since my wife started a new job which requires her to visit some of the seedier parts of the city, I worry about her safety. We have talked about it and She agrees that its never a bad idea to have a "little something" for anyone who wishes her harm. And since She's no stranger to firearms,(she loves my 870 almost as much as I do) I feel pretty comfortable about her having one, as long as she keeps it locked up at home. If anyone has any input on what kind/caliber that I should look at, I would appriciate it. We looked at a S&W .38, but it was a revolver with a heavy trigger. Also, are you required to holster for CCW or can she carry in her purse?

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bogie
February 26, 2007, 04:34 AM
IMHO, the best firearm for "little ladies" is the Charter Arms .44 Bulldog... The .44 Special is especially effective on chauvinist pigs.

cambeul41
February 26, 2007, 04:46 AM
http://www.corneredcat.com/

ArfinGreebly
February 26, 2007, 05:05 AM
Take her with you.

Let her pick it out.

Make sure she can hold it and run it.

AlaskaErik
February 26, 2007, 05:17 AM
I also worry about my wife's safety at times and I too thought about arming her. But I have some concerns. To me, the most important factor in avoiding trouble is situational awareness. Since I work in LE, I'm always on the lookout for trouble. But my wife, like so many women, is in Condition White most of the time. The other day I came in the front door, took off my shoes and walked through the living room into the family room and totally scared her. When she comes home, I hear her as she comes up the steps. So I'm afraid that if she had a pistol, by the time she realized there was a need for it, it would be too late. It doesn't help that she's a Cali girl who grew up in a gun free environment. I'm not going to encourage her to arm up, but if she ever shows any interest, I'll deal with it then.

NukemJim
February 26, 2007, 07:03 AM
1 Go to Cornered Cat

2 Let her choose.

If you do decide to go with a S&W revolver and are concerned with a child at home you may wish to consider a Magna Trigger convesion.

http://www.tarnhelm.com/magna-trigger/gun/safety/magna1.html

NukemJim

Brian Williams
February 26, 2007, 09:25 AM
Your greatest participation in this is $$$$ and sending her to the corneredcat. My suggestion over the magnet ring thingee, is a good safe that has a multiple finger combo mounted on a shelf above the little darlings reach. Have your sweetheart look at the Ladysmith line from S&W I have a place for the model 65 but that 60 is a nice gun. Do not discard a nice auto, the 3913 is a good gun also.

armoredman
February 26, 2007, 09:27 AM
Training, training, training. I agree on let her choose - I went through 4 wheelguns with the wife before she discovered she likes semi-autos.:o

AirForceShooter
February 26, 2007, 09:54 AM
You're not buying her a gun, PERIOD.
She's buying a gun and you're paying for it.
She gets exactly what she wants and you get to shut up.

AFS

Leatherneck
February 26, 2007, 10:07 AM
AF,

:D :D :D :D :D

TC

boredelmo
February 26, 2007, 10:16 AM
Maybe check out the bersa line of firearms?

cuervo
February 26, 2007, 01:12 PM
My first thought was Bersa, too.

There is a balance between something very light for carry vs. something heavy enough to shoot and practice with comfortably.

The S&W Airweights are great to carry, but they are so light that shooting them for practice can get painful pretty quickly, therby discouraging practicing.

Bersa's are a little larger than a KelTec P3AT, but will be more comfortable to practice with since they're also a little heavier, but not so heavy to be uncomfortable to carry.

Added edit:
Regarding purse/holster: Tenn. law probably treats carrying in the purse just like carrying on the body, concealed is concealed regardless of carry method. Some people avoid CCW that isn't on their body because they are worried about losing the purse/portfolio/whatever.

However, as far as safety is concerned, the pistol should be kept in its own pocket of the purse by itself. If the pistol is in the main area with other items, she should very much keep it in a holster so that nothing hits the trigger and gets her an AD. Here is an idea on a dedicated CCW purse:
http://www.gungear.com/cgi-bin/ez-catalog/cat_display.cgi?2X300536

jessicalois
February 26, 2007, 01:51 PM
You're not buying her a gun, PERIOD.
She's buying a gun and you're paying for it.
She gets exactly what she wants and you get to shut up.

Agreed 100%.

Just a little advice: Remind her that the heavier the gun is, the less kick and more accuracy she will likely have. Obviously, there is a point where it gets TOO heavy, but I doubt she'd be looking at anything that would cause problems at that other extreme.

She needs to fire any gun she thinks she wants before you pay for it; I got a Kahr because it fit my hands and would hide better on my build but never fired one first (got a good deal at a gun show before I had a chance to shoot one) and I regret it now; It's too effing light and kicks toooooo much as a result. I can't hit **** with the damn thing. :banghead: I'm switching to something heavier, as I get *way better* comfort and accuracy with the heavier pistols.

Plus, I don't know about your wife, but I was greatly offended when I was first looking to buy a pistol and people suggested the "lady" lines to me. Maybe your wife is different, but I found it to be very condescending and I now realize that had I gone with, say, the ladysmith, I'd likely be having worse issues than I have with the Kahr- Ladysmiths are tooo small and light! I'd be more concerned with shooting innocent bystanders with one of those than the actual assailant.

Also, are you required to holster for CCW or can she carry in her purse?

I think this completely depends on your state's laws.

Food for thought all around.

Hairpin M'berg870
February 26, 2007, 06:39 PM
many thanks for all the good advice. As for the "little lady" comment, she's actually a pretty healthy backwoods KY girl who would probably beat my ass if she knew I referred to her as the little lady. Sorry if I offended anyone, especially those of the female genre who carry. sorry.
As for training, I have already gotten her signed up for a handgun safety class at the local armory.
Does anyone know if they make purses or maybe a clutch bag designed to hold a pistol?
Also, we went today and looked at a sig sauer p232 chambered .380acp that weighs just over a pound. She seemed to like it a lot but haven't got a chance to shoot it yet.


You're not buying her a gun, PERIOD.
She's buying a gun and you're paying for it.
She gets exactly what she wants and you get to shut up.
-truer words were never spoken.

thanks guys (and girls) :o

jessicalois
February 26, 2007, 07:54 PM
With regards to purses... they do sell purses and bags and such designed for this... do a google search for concealed carry purse and you'll get some stuff. That being said, there are two things to think about...

1) Women's purses already come with a million pockets all over the place; it is likely that you'll be able to find one at Target or Belk that fits the bill, rather than having to special order something.

2) It's not necessarily a good idea to carry in the purse. For one, thieves will just run up and take purses-- they don't always stage a hold up and you don't always see them coming. Therefore, the thief just got themself a purse AND a pistol. Yay for them. Further, if she IS held up in some traditional fashion (knife/gun pointed, "give me your purse, jewelry, whatever"), if she tries to get into said purse, thief is just going to flip out. He's not asking for what's in the purse, she has no reason to go in there. He wants the whole thing and may use force to get it if she doesn't comply as he says immediately.

So, I endorse carrying about the person, not in a bag. But, that's just me and my two cents :)

Hairpin M'berg870
February 26, 2007, 07:59 PM
Good point, maybe she'll just have to wear a jacket....:uhoh:

davhina
February 26, 2007, 08:32 PM
Hairpin,
Plenty of good advice here, regarding weight, recoil, size and concealabiltity.
First, get her to the handgun course, get her on the range, and rent some different size/caliber guns. Let her shoot. Take her to a good sized gun show, and let her look at and touch every pistol she wants to. Only she knows what feels comfortable. I say this with conviction and a wee bit of knowledge, because my wife and i are going thru the same process. I recently sat with her during the NRA CHP class. She did very well.( I now refer to her as Annie Oakley.:D) She fired a .380did not like it. That particular gun just did not feel right. The search continues. Be patient.
And if all else fails get her a Springfield .45XD:D If she does'nt like it keep it for yourself:D
Good Luck:)

pax
February 26, 2007, 09:05 PM
Yep, I would endorse the suggestion of stopping by www.corneredcat.com ;)

Please? :D

For some answers to the purse question, see the articles titled Should I Carry in My Purse? (http://www.corneredcat.com/Practical/PurseCarry.htm) and How Do I Hide This Thing? (http://www.corneredcat.com/Practical/HowHide.htm)

For a little bit more info about one important aspect of picking out a gun that is often overlooked, see Trying on a Handgun (http://www.corneredcat.com/FirstGun/TryOnGun.htm).

The above are mostly for her. Now for you: "Which Gun Should I Buy for My Wife?" (http://www.corneredcat.com/ForMen/BuyForWife.htm)

pax

mustanger98
February 26, 2007, 10:48 PM
The way I see it, and I agree with some points already posted, is that a woman can carry and shoot any handgun she's of a mind to just like a man can. Sheriff Jim Wilson once wrote that 80% of the shooting population can shoot a 1911A1 and he included petite women. My sister prefers an M85 Taurus .38spl and she can shoot any of my guns she wants to, but that's not often because she doesn't tend to like my choices. On the other hand, I can't hit the side of a barn from the inside with her's. In my experience, the grip's size and shape has a big effect on trigger pull and how that effects the sight alignment. Little skinny grips seem to me like they make the trigger feel heavier. The shorter the sight radius, the better the operator's trigger control has to be. (Read some Ed McGivern on that.) So, you can take any given double-action revolver and change things like the grips and trigger pull weight (by changing spring kits) and she'll think it's a totally different weapon.

I agree though that she needs to choose her own. She just needs to choose a quality piece and practice with it.

I mentioned Jim Wilson... I recall something else he said, and not that he's the only one that ever said something to this effect, but it's best to use light target loads to practice. Then shoot just a few rounds of the hot stuff to know where it hits when you need it.

This is not aimed at the OP because the OP already said his wife loves his 870. Just more thinking. And I've actually run into this. Regardless of which weapon she chooses, she'll have to practice with it. If she already likes to shoot, that's easier for her to get into. What I hate to hear is some woman walks into a gun shop wanting a little snub-nosed .357 to stick in her purse with full-power SD ammo and never practice with. "Dangerous Man Syndrome", the idea that a man with a gun is someone not to be trifled with, that ain't limitted to men. Someone with that idea is a lot more dangerous to themselves and bystanders than they'll ever be to a perp.

GRIZ22
February 26, 2007, 11:20 PM
Remind her that the heavier the gun is, the less kick and more accuracy she will likely have

100% agreed. Most of the "guns for the little lady" recommendations are for Airweights, Kel-Tecs and 9 oz revolvers made from moon metal. The guns are hard to shoot and don't encourage a lot of practice.

mustanger98
February 26, 2007, 11:34 PM
Most of the "guns for the little lady" recommendations are for Airweights, Kel-Tecs and 9 oz revolvers made from moon metal. The guns are hard to shoot and don't encourage a lot of practice.

Try shooting full power SD ammo in those too... it'll just hurt your hand and make you not want to shoot it. Some folks say "I'll carry it a lot more than I'll shoot it", but they're not considering practice. Right back to that "Dangerous Man Syndrome" I mentioned before.

Plus, I don't know about your wife, but I was greatly offended when I was first looking to buy a pistol and people suggested the "lady" lines to me. Maybe your wife is different, but I found it to be very condescending...

:cuss: :fire: I'm a guy and that burns me up too. A woman walks into this one gun shop I know, asks about a defensive sidearm and the first thing they pull out are the lightweight .38's and .357's like I mentioned before. They lay it on thick and build 'em up like they're the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they don't tell the downsides. It's all about sales and little or nothing to do with the needs of the customer.

Manager: "All women want are .38 snubbies to stick in their purses."
Me: (mentally and channelling Harry Morgan as Col. Sherman Potter) "horse hockey"

...and I now realize that had I gone with, say, the ladysmith, I'd likely be having worse issues than I have with the Kahr- Ladysmiths are tooo small and light! I'd be more concerned with shooting innocent bystanders with one of those than the actual assailant.

jessicalois, You just illustrated part of one of my points.

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