Best "Starter" Gun For a Noobie


July 22, 2009, 10:46 AM
Long time reader, first time poster. Looking for advice as to what to start my wife out. She's small frame with rather small hands as well. I have a 6" Model 19 and a 4" Model 586, both with target grips. Neither seems to fit her hand very well.

Any advice is appreciated.

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July 22, 2009, 10:59 AM
Either would be fine...just change the grips.

That said...I ALWAYS start out with a 22

less recoil so less "going on"

Thomas Garrett
July 23, 2009, 12:32 PM
Noticed your a S&W man. How about a Colt Diamondback in .22 or .38 Special. 4". Just an idea.

July 23, 2009, 12:40 PM
Those Target grips are known for being too big, even for average-sized men.

Check out these skinnier replacements:

My wife likes my K-frame with S&W Service grips, the skinny ones. They work great, and S&W sells them for $31.

If you want a Starter Pistol, I like this one:

July 23, 2009, 01:07 PM
+1 on change the grips. buy a box or 2 of wadcutters and let her get use to the pistol. eventually get her up to Gold Dots +p. they should be still quite mild in a 4" revolver.

July 23, 2009, 01:44 PM
is a 4". I have big hands and enjoy the large grips. Also, the Model 19 is a gorgeous gun.
My recco would be a .22 revolver. Simple, light recoil, easily mastered manual of arms.
Good luck.

Bruce H.
July 23, 2009, 01:59 PM
Before you buy your wife a revolver, make sure that she is strong enough to pull the trigger in double-action. I am not joking, my wife cannot pull the trigger on any of my double-action revolvers. I thought that she was messing with me when she told me she couldn't do it years ago, but she was serious. She exclusively shoots semi-automatics. She has a little trouble pulling the slide back to load the first round, but at least she can do it.

July 23, 2009, 02:12 PM
My wife can not pull the trigger on most revolvers and shoots a semiauto 22LR for fun. However she can pull the hammer back on my S&W model 63 and shoots it in single action.

July 23, 2009, 02:52 PM
First revolver? I vote for a Ruger Single Six or Bearcat. If you're committed to a double-action, how about a S&W 317 or a Taurus 94?

July 23, 2009, 02:55 PM
Whatever it is, start her on a good revolver or pistol in the .22 L.R. persuasion!!!

After a thousand rounds or so, learning the basic fundamentals of safety, function, familiarity, and accuracy, move her up to a larger caliber in a handgun with which she feels comfortable!


July 23, 2009, 04:43 PM
Thanks for all the good advice. I have an older Ruger Mark II we were gonna get started with and move on to some light .38's or possibly a 9mm.

July 23, 2009, 07:47 PM
I would look at a 22 -- 617 maybe -- and find some smaller grips that her hands can agree with.

July 23, 2009, 09:32 PM
NAA mini.
Small frame for small hands. Low recoil. Fun to shoot. Dead simple single action.

July 23, 2009, 09:40 PM
If you don't have a gun chambered in 22, load up some very light 38 special loads.

Can she operate the gun's double action trigger? Some women cannot.
July 23, 2009, 09:45 PM
"Store Bought" .38 Shorts make for a pleasant, low recoil shooting session.

July 24, 2009, 10:21 AM
+1 on the Ruger Bearcat. It's the ideal gun for a first-timer: It's fun to shoot, it's easy on the hands, it's accurate enough to be an effective paper shredder, and the size of the frame allows the accommodation of smaller hands. I picked up my first Bearcat 40-plus years ago and still enjoy taking it to the range.

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