Good starter gun for the girlfriend?


September 5, 2007, 04:12 PM
She told me today that she paid and booked for her firearms licence, I was pretty much stunned. She's always been fascinated with my guns but at the same time I wasn't sure if it was a legitimate interest.

Either way, I would love to surprise her with her first gun once she gets her license. I have no idea what to get her, and I need it to be inexpensive and not a handgun or an AR. Reason for that is that they are classified as restricted here and are harder to transfer, plus she's not going to join a gun club anytime soon (alot of cash for that).

A shotgun perhaps? maybe something in .410 or 20gauge? A bolt action rifle? She really enjoys target shooting with my .22

Some suggestions would be good.

Thank you.

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September 5, 2007, 04:28 PM
Well, while this is a fairly common question here, I do believe this is the first time I've seen it asked from CANADA (for all those who will stumble along and miss your location before they answer).

Usually, we would say, "let her try out several and choose what she likes," or something along the lines of "hey, try surprising her with a new pair of shoes that she hasn't tried on," you get the idea.

However, seeing as you're in CANADA and seeing as it's going to be a long gun, perhaps you could fill us in a bit on her experience.

Since she's been shooting before, and likes your .22, that's probably a good bet as a starter.

I mean, usually I would recommend a good .22 cal rifle as a starter anyway, as they're easy to handle and cheap to shoot.

I don't know what restrictions you have on auto-loaders (semi-autos) and stuff like that.

Now, if I were going to just recommend something -- blind, as it were -- I'd recommend something that I, myself, would like to have: Marlin 39A lever-action rifle in .22 cal. It shoots all three lengths of .22 (short, long, long rifle), is a handsome piece, and as far as I know doesn't break any rules.

If she has already outgrown the .22, then there's the Marlin 1894C chambered in .357 magnum and .38 special. A very useful and broad spectrum rifle all the way from targets to deer.

Give us a little more detail on her experience and any confining rules you have up there in CANADA.

I'm sure you'll get some useful input.

September 5, 2007, 04:36 PM
Don't buy her anything you would miss too badly should you ever break up:rolleyes:

September 5, 2007, 04:48 PM
yes, canada...

There are no restrictions on .22 rifles or magazine capacity etc for that caliber. I think i'll probably get her a target rifle with a scope, just like mine. She quite enjoyed it at the range and your right its cheap to shoot.
I wanted to get her a shotgun, but thats really what I want, not what she wants. ;P

September 5, 2007, 04:50 PM
Unless you are able/going to do things that are shotgun-specific like skeet or sporting clays, I would stick with a rifle.

If you can do those things, a 28ga semi-auto would be a good choice (if allowed). Very light and little recoil. A 20ga would be a step up for hunting as well and are easy to find in semi-auto or O/U or S/S.

For rifles, you can't go wrong with most .22s. For plinking, a Marlin 60 or Ruger 10/22 is great, if you can have a semi-auto. For bolt guns, Marlin makes one similar to the 60 except it is a bolt gun. Either is low-cost and fun to shoot.


September 5, 2007, 04:54 PM
My girlfriend started on a .22 Ruger Super Single Six. Living in CANADA and needing a long gun this changes things. I would recommend a weapon that can be converted such as a Thompson Center. She can learn on a small caliber and then if she decides to hunt or go to longer ranges and bigger bangs only have to change barrels instead of the whole gun. I believe that the encore can go from a .22 to a .308 to a 12 gauge shotgun just by swapping barrels.

September 5, 2007, 04:59 PM
another vote for a Ruger 10/22

September 5, 2007, 05:27 PM
brentn: Sir congratulations; What a Gal Friend you have:D:D:D:D
Ruger 10-22 and she will smile, grin, with happiness.
No matter what you end up getting her; be proud of her independence.

Good Luck and a Big:):) for the Gal


September 5, 2007, 05:53 PM
Arrange to take her out to dinner the day she gets the license, to celebrate.

Make sure you pick a restaurant near a gun store. After dinner, surprise by taking her to the gun store, and let her pick out a gun that you buy for her. That achieves two things:

She will pick out the gun.
She will spend time with you picking out the gun.

She will like both of those better than a "surprise".


Sniper X
September 5, 2007, 06:01 PM
I'd say a .243 bolt gun, or a Marlin model 336 in .45colt, or .357mag. The lever guns are super fun to shoot, and if she is anything like girls not from CANADA she will love shooting the lever gun. In fact, when I go to the range to train females who are freinds, I allways bring the Winchester 1894 in .357, along with the M4, a .243 Savage, a couple shotguns, and they (the women, and guys for that matter) all end up fighting over the Winchester. It s a total hoot to shoot!

Sniper X
September 5, 2007, 06:02 PM
Hey, RCPV be knowin the women folk!

September 5, 2007, 06:41 PM
If you want your girlfriend to enjoy shooting with her, let her pick out her own gun. You don't want her picking out your gun do you?

September 5, 2007, 06:52 PM
Don't buy her anything you would miss too badly should you ever break up

That is so cynical. But smart.

September 5, 2007, 06:54 PM
I would love to do that, but I want it to be a surprise.. Maybe we should just go to the range and try most of the rentals and after a few times see what one she uses the most.

10 Ring Tao
September 5, 2007, 07:04 PM
10/22 topped with a red dot or cheap scope.

Consider getting both of you into sporting clays. Its like a round of golf, but with shotguns, and is a great way to spend an afternoon with your sweetie. For this, go with a gas operated semiauto 12 ga. My preference are the berettas, especially the 3901 lineup, which is their economy line. If she is small statured, the pick of the litter is the 3901 target RL.

The Canuck
September 5, 2007, 08:14 PM

Okay, take her to The Shooting Edge and let her pick the gun from the rentals they have there. Try it out and see what she thinks.

Buy two or more calibers of ammo and then hassle the RO into swapping out the guns to try them all. The rates are all posted on thier website. Oh, and PM incoming..

September 5, 2007, 08:36 PM
Get her something cheap like a 22 or if she likes a lot of kick get a mosin. Both are cheap and have an infinite amount to buy so you wont miss if she breaks it or breaks up with you. God forbid.

September 5, 2007, 08:48 PM

It's my understanding that the Savage MKII is actually made in Canada. If that's the case, would the price be an influence in it's favor to you? You didn't post a budget figure ya know. I had one & thought it was a very good gun for the money.

OTOH, if you want to go whole hog, the CZ 453 is pretty darn hard to beat, presuming she's shooting from the right shoulder. If she's a lefty, go the CZ452 & Brookie's trigger kit.


September 5, 2007, 09:04 PM
Maybe we should just go to the range and try most of the rentals and after a few times see what one she uses the most.

That's the best idea so far. Then surprise her with the very best version you can afford of the gun she likes the most. I would expect the rental guns to be plane versions of the models available. A step up (or two) from the one she shoots the most should be a nice touch.

September 5, 2007, 10:00 PM
There was mention of leverguns... how well does she like those? I've run into plenty of levergun fans and plenty of non-gunny hunters who swore up and down they'd never be able to get used to a lever. You can't go wrong with a Winchester or Marlin either one. If she likes and those are allowed in Canada, I'd go for it.

The OP being in Canada, I'm surprised there was no mention of the No.4Mk1/2 Enfield in .303British. I was under the impression those were everywhere up there. For hunting and longer range shooting, this is another rifle you can't go wrong with, IMO.

Those to thoughts having been said, I also agree she needs to pick what she likes. The surprise can be had without going behind her back. There's a big different between...

"Oh! You shouldn't haaaave!!!"

...and "you shouldn't have".

September 6, 2007, 01:38 PM
Originally Posted by Muzzy B
Don't buy her anything you would miss too badly should you ever break up

That is so cynical. But smart.

Been down that road before with a gal and a puppy. I really miss that dog.

September 6, 2007, 02:17 PM
You never said what kinda .22 you have model wise
( or I missed it ) that she likes to shoot. If it's a bolt action .22 point her toward the Kimber 22 line. but you couldn't go wrong with the Marlin 39

Dr. Peter Venkman
September 6, 2007, 03:14 PM
My girlfriend went straight for my 1911.

She grew bored of my friend's 10/22.

September 6, 2007, 03:24 PM
The best present you could give her would be an emmigration for yourself and her to the U.S.

September 6, 2007, 04:30 PM
See if you can let her try a lever gun in pistol caliber. Those are light recoiling, especially in 38 Special/.357 Magnum.
You get the fun to shoot with a boost from larger bullets with attendant bigger splash.
Little more expensive than .22, but you have a really effective gun capable of putting down most animals if necessary.
A .22 can come later, and likely will, but will never be quite as much fun as the big boy.

September 6, 2007, 04:31 PM
Good advice given to me by my wife when she wanted her first gun:
Don't pick it out for her. Be available to answer questions and go shopping with her, but it should be her choice. It's a huge step for her. Let her get the most from it.

September 6, 2007, 04:35 PM
My advice would be a .22 rimfire either semi-auto or lever action. The idea is to introduce the "fun" aspects of the sport after all. A 22 allows a lot of firing time without breaking either the budget or the shoulder.


The Canuck
September 6, 2007, 04:41 PM
The best present you could give her would be an emmigration for yourself and her to the U.S.

You know, just about every Canadian gun owner has at the very least entertained that idea. Me? I'd go to AZ...

September 6, 2007, 08:22 PM
I have a full membership to the shooting edge and we have both been there many times. We don't really use the rentals cause most of them have issues, besides we both hate having to pay the inflated winchester winclean prices they charge for the rentals. Even with my discount its still retarded, thus we use my guns.

Like I said she really likes the 10/22 with the scope.
Me personally, if she bought me any kind of gun, I would be happy, very happy. Something unexpected that you suddenly end up owning is exciting.
Then again she is not me.

I think what I'll do is a little bit of both. I'll ask her what she likes when we go there. Something she finds physically attractive (lol) something that she has an interest in trying. I'll see what she likes and go from there.

September 6, 2007, 08:40 PM
Me personally, if she bought me any kind of gun, I would be happy, very happy. Something unexpected that you suddenly end up owning is exciting.
Then again she is not me.
How about if she bought you knitting needles? :D Part of getting someone into a hobby is letting them develop the interest. When they pick their own gun they wind up having a little more ownership of the hobby. Too many guys wind up forgetting this and its just something her guy bought her to make her come shoot with him.

September 6, 2007, 09:04 PM
IMHO - get her a .22 RF first - she needs to learn before she can 'run' with a centerfire. A Marline 39 followed by a Marlin 1894 are both fine weapons that can be enjoyed for years with pride of ownership and passed along to relatives.

The Canuck
September 6, 2007, 10:37 PM
They had a pretty snazzy 10-22 there the last time I was in (last Sunday)...

September 6, 2007, 10:42 PM
I agree with take her to buy it. Let her select what she likes. It seems to me more like treating her like your equal than someone who has be told what she should like because "we" said so. Sorry if that is too forward, but it is what I feel.

September 6, 2007, 10:48 PM
If it's going to be a long gun the LOP is critical... she'll have to try it out first.

Whether she lives in CANADA or Antarctica.

4v50 Gary
September 6, 2007, 11:50 PM
Don't buy her anything you would miss too badly should you ever break up

Wise words. Heed them. I don't like the idea of spending big bucks on a woman. That doesn't win a woman over (in my experience). Having dated mercenaries, I've been burned enough times (yep, I'm the average stupid guy).

September 7, 2007, 02:49 PM
I disagree with Gunpacker. A .22 RF will teach marksmanship
- sight picture/trigger control - and like any sport you learn to
walk before you run i.e. rimfire to centerfire.

Oh, and I checked the price on the Kimber 22 Classic and it goes
for one large ( close to $1,000 anyway ) Lower priced
.22 Bolt Actions would include

Remington Model 5 Less than $350

Also Googled the Remington 541 S which was discontineud in 1999 but
used to be the top Bolt Rem. put out and it had a stock worthy of a
Remington 700 BDL - seems they are holding their value well as a used
one was at $650 with the sale pending.

September 7, 2007, 03:16 PM
I vote for the Browning .22 auto. Small, light, elegant and beautiful, and dead-on accurate. She'll love it. A John Moses Browning design; I've always thought it's the class act among .22 autos.

Jake in TX
September 7, 2007, 07:56 PM
+1 on the Browning Semi Auto. Plus it can be scoped.

Jake in TX

The Unknown User
September 7, 2007, 11:36 PM
I'm voting for the idea of letting her pick out her first firearm.

Switch positions for a moment. How would you feel if your significant other surprised you with a brand new firearm, only to have it be something you didn't even want?

Elm Creek Smith
September 8, 2007, 12:13 AM
I think the Taurus M62 .22 rifle/carbine would be a terrific choice. She would have to work the action to load another round, but, whoo buddy, she can dump lots of rounds fast with a little practice! I always try to start folks with a .22. If they're children, it's a single shot bolt action. Once she's comfortable with the .22, the sky's the limit.

But the best advice is to let her pick the gun.


September 8, 2007, 08:02 AM
I strongly recommend that the both of you check out . Written be a super savvy lady that is filled with great info about guns and women. She is also a contributing author for "Concealed Carry" magazine.

September 8, 2007, 10:55 AM
I usually start people on my CZ452 bolt .22, and their response is usually how much/where can I get one.

Other than that, guide but dont suprise, as others have said.

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