My wife wants a gun!! Maybe.


January 14, 2010, 12:39 PM
I was completely taken bt surprise when my wife told me she may want a handgun. She has been around firearms since we met many long years ago. She has never been against them, but has never wanted to participate in any shooting. Now she thinks maybe a handgun in her size might be nice when I am away. I agree. Question, what calibers besides 22 abd.380 should I look at. .25, .32?

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January 14, 2010, 01:23 PM
Edit ***If you are talking self defense. Just noticed you said gun in general
For general anything full size in 9mm should be fine. my G/f loves to shoot a Glock 34 and 1911's in 9mm.

I would consider this. Smith and Wesson 638 Airweight 38SP+P for self defense

Nothing against women, but under stress most are more emotional and might not stay cool enough to: click the safety off, rack a slide etc.

very simple, point and shoot. She should feel more confident in the weapon knowing she has to only do those 2 things as well.

January 14, 2010, 01:41 PM
I agree on a wheelgun for self defense. Man or woman when understress at 2AM the simpler the better. Nobody ever panics and forgets how to shoot a wheel gun. Load with 5, empty under hammer, and forget any safety.

For target shooting a nice 22lr like a S&W 14 would be a good companion with the defense wheelgun for cheap practice. My experience is that the ladies enjoy shooting if there isnt a lot of flash bang all the time. The 22 fits the bill well.

January 14, 2010, 01:55 PM
I know my wife is different then most "women", at least she definitely does NOT fit in the container created by SideArmed. If you come in to my house while I am away my wife will shoot you with her own M&P. She got it in .45 cuz she likes that round. If you survive you will wish you hadn't as you will be subjected to the lecture of all all lectures on why she shot you!

Then again my wife was a Drill Sergeant she may just shoot for amusement purposes.

January 14, 2010, 02:13 PM
Take her shooting, especially if you never have before, have her try out a number of different types of handguns and calibers if possible (let her pick them if looks matter to her, and they usually do), and let her decide what she likes best for herself. Then you can give her some advice if there are any meaningful issues with her selection.

What I've found is that while men tend to like revolvers in general, women usually don't like having revolvers shoved at them initially because they feel as though they're being told that they can't handle anything more complex. Not that revolvers aren't a great idea for any beginner or anybody else for self-defense, but they just don't like the implication. Most will eventually realize the merits of simplicity and go for that, whether female or male, and those who don't should get to choose what they want anyway.

Additionally, don't limit your wife to just the puny calibers you listed. If that's all she wants to or thinks she can handle after trying several, then that's fine, but let her try .38 Special and 9mm at the very least if her first gun is intended for self-defense (there's nothing wrong with a .22 LR for target practice or .32 ACP for ultra-concealability, but do give her options).

twice barrel
January 14, 2010, 02:16 PM

If you have a local shop with a range where you can test fire a number of guns (for a fee), I'd suggest you let her view/try them at her own leisure and make her own choice.

My two cents,


January 14, 2010, 02:24 PM
Congratulations on your wife's possible desire for a handgun. Some of the answers would be based on if your wife will be carrying the pistol or using it as a home defense weapon only.

Since she has has not gone shooting I would take her out with a 22lr handgun and let her learn basics of marksmanship.

Then let her shoot a bunch of your other handguns to get a feel for them and some rentals at a range. See what she likes and shoots the best. You never know and many men have turned of the ladies to shooting by deciding for them.

My fiance carries a P3AT and uses a shotgun for home defense. However don't fall into the trap of caliber and weapon type "for a woman". My fiance loves to shoot my 1911 and only shot handguns to "keep her skill" until she shot that.
Now she always wants that along and has started shooting it more than shotguns or rifles which where her first love.

January 14, 2010, 02:53 PM
Oh, and one other thing, make sure that your wife knows what the advantages of a longer barrel are and what the trade-offs would be if she chooses a short-barreled gun for better concealability or just for looks. If the gun will be a house/range gun only, then I usually recommend at least a 4" barrel for most calibers. Obviously, this will better utilize the power of the rounds, sometimes help manage recoil better, and reduce blast and flash (I sometimes enjoy the latter at the range but not if I ever have to use a gun in self-defense at home--in fact, I'd use a suppressor if it were legal).

chris in va
January 14, 2010, 03:06 PM
Question, what calibers besides 22 abd.380 should she look at. .25, .32?

There, fixed it for you. Let her decide after renting a few. My friend loves my Sig 220 45.

January 14, 2010, 03:11 PM
You both should read :

January 14, 2010, 03:22 PM
I will not anymore decide what is the gun that my wife has to have. If she wants a gun i will ask her what do you want and try my best to give it to her even though it is so wrong for me.

January 14, 2010, 03:51 PM
Please don't get your wife a .25 or a .32.

She might have to shoot somebody someday, and if she shoots them with either of those calibers, the person she shoots might find out about it, and then he'll be hoppin' mad.

Get her a medium-size, steel-framed revolver. If she will actually bother to take the time to learn how to shoot it and carry it safely and effectively, then she gets to keep it. She can move up to a more "modern" gun once she demonstrates the physical and mental facility required for the job. Otherwise, I wouldn't put a gun in her control.

The fact that you consider a .25 or a .32 even for a second give me pause that there have already been conversations about "I don't want a gun that's too heavy." Not an auspicious beginning. Not at all.

As for those Airweight .38's, I promise she will HATE that gun from the first shot she fires.
Only expert shooters can shoot those guns well.


January 14, 2010, 04:01 PM
My wife likes her Taurus 709 Slim in 9mm.

January 14, 2010, 04:26 PM
A revolver is a great choice for your wife simple to use, fires everytime. I don't recomend any of the light weight choices the recoil might be a little much. My wife doesn't carry but like's to have a house gun close by and its a revolver. She's fired my 642 and didn't like it. She has fired my sp 101 and now i can't get it back :banghead:

January 14, 2010, 04:28 PM
I think there should be a sticky about female shooters with the link.

January 14, 2010, 04:33 PM
Get her a medium-size, steel-framed revolver
Ill second that one. Your wife will probably not like shooting an airweight.

I would also try to stick with .38spc/9mm or bigger unless your wife just cannot shoot them.

January 14, 2010, 05:28 PM
One of my old ladys gifts for christmas were some pink houge grips for my 442 and her cpl course (SHE wanted it, I definitely didn't force). I figured oh ok good, she can use my 442 and I'll use my new sp101.... after a little range time the other week while we were driving home she stated that it's going to be so hard to decide what to get. I've never had such conflicting feelings. On the one hand, she wants to buy a new gun!!! Awesome, add one more to the stable. On the other hand I don't think my bank account is going to like me very soon, even if I don't pay for all of it. What an awful dilemma right? lol

January 14, 2010, 05:49 PM
Manco's on the right track. If a new shooter has little or no experience, I have a S&W mod 28 6in with upgraded sites. I have introduced more "friends to the sport" with this revolver shooting 38 spcl. Nothing creates a new shooter like success. Then let her try as many different types and sizes and let her choose. Keep the caliber .380 and above, but I would no more try to buy my wife a handgun than I would try to buy her a purse. She, far better than I, know what FITS, for her. Do not short-cut function drills, as she must be able to make it go BANG, every time with no assistance. Small autos require more hand strength than a revolver of equal power. Remember to make it FUN and POSITIVE.

January 14, 2010, 07:23 PM
Just a quick thought: as a woman I would NOT recommend any of the lightweight snubbies. I have a S&W 642 and if that would have been the first gun I shot, I WOULD NOT HAVE CONTINUED! It is not pleasent to shoot which means I hate to practice with it. That is certinally not a good idea if she decides to CC and use for PP. Also, don't assume she wants a revolver just because that's what ladies should carry. I have revolvers and autoloaders and each has a purpose. If she's willing to practice and learn about firearms then there is no reason to buy a "revolver for the little lady" URGH!

January 14, 2010, 11:16 PM
My wife never had any desire to shoot much but after trying out a .380auto, she decided that it wasn't so bad. I think I'll have her try some 38 specials in my 357 next to see how that works for her. As others have stated, I'd never recommend anyone count on .25 or .32 if it's for SD. Keep those for plinking fun or if that's the only thing available. I've also got a .32 mag revolver I could dust off but I figure the .380 is a better choice than it.

Rob G
January 15, 2010, 12:43 AM
I think there should be a sticky about female shooters with the link.


But I think the real answer is she should get whatever it is that she likes. Obviously take the time to see that she's properly instructed in firearms use, then see to it that she gets to shoot as many different types of firearms as she likes. Then take her to the store, hand her some money, and stand back. Let her pick whatever it is she wants, as long as it's not a complete ripoff or an unsafe/unreliable gun.

I did this with my wife and her first handgun was a Beretta 9000S. I can't hit a bullseye with this thing to save my life (grips are waaaaay too small for me) but she loves that pistol and is dead accurate with it (it's also been 100% reliable). I wouldn't have picked that for her, but then again that's why it's HER gun. Besides you might be surprised at what she likes, after all, my wife's second (and overall favorite) handgun was a Kimber Compact CDP in .45. I never thought I'd see my petite little wife shoot a gun that size in a caliber that large but she does, and she's very good with it. :D

January 15, 2010, 08:09 AM
I can't really give much advice on the girl likes the autos( so do I). I do agree that the revolver is a good fool-proof home defense pistol for anyone.

I started my girl off with a ruger single six in .22, just to get the principles down. She really didn't like it because it was heavy.Then Let her shoot a Glock 17,22,31,30, 21, and a 1911 in 45. She liked the 9mm. We went out and I bought a Kel-tec PF-9 for her. She liked it, but the long trigger pull was causing her to miss a lot. She started getting better , but I noticed that the little keltec was keeping her back. I sold the keltec and bought a M&P 9c for her. She had some limp wrist issues, but worked through them quickly. Then I let her shoot my Browning Hi Power.........

.....If I can give you a little advice....keep them away from the Hi Powers....they are chick magnets.

Now I don't have a Hi Power, she does, and won't come off of it. She is good with it too.

Good Luck

January 15, 2010, 08:40 AM
Years ago, I found 2 great used Smiths - a Chief Special and a 4" Model 15, and bought them both. I gave the Chief to my wife, who hated it, and took over the Model 15 after firing 6 shots from it. It is still her gun, although I get to clean it occasionally.
I have since sold the Chief.

She will be shooting it, and may have to rely on it - let her pick what she is comfortable with and you will both be better off.
Regarding airweights - DON'T do it - they are hard to shoot well even for us old timers.


January 15, 2010, 10:01 AM
I advise against the airweight .38's. The cartridge is on the barely acceptable range for self-defense (YMMV! YMMV!), and the recoil is very stout, which when combined with the short sight radius makes accurate shooting difficult for the new shooter (YMMV! YMMV!).

If it's not going to be carried, for a revolver I would recommend a steel mid-size revolver in .38 with a 3-4" barrel.

Semiautos may take a little bit more education, but they're not that complicated, and let you use the 9mm, .40 cal., and .45 cal. (Which, subjectively to me, all recoil less than the .38 does in an airweight and still have more power). Glock 19, XD, or M&P are fine choices.

The advice chorus will tell you, though, to have her shoot a lot of guns and pick one she likes. They're right, too.

January 15, 2010, 07:01 PM
If you're absolutley sure that the kick of a larger caliber handgun won't cause consistent off target shots, then get her into a .380. or preferably, a larger caliber. Otherwise, stick with a .32 and tell her to empty the gun when the time comes to use it. I'd rather my wife got 4-5 good hits out of 8 from a .32, than 1-2 from a .380, 1 from a .357 or none from a .45. As suggested by others, take her to the range and you'll find that out. If she's willing to practice, practice, practice, then maybe a larger caliber gun is in order.

January 18, 2010, 03:05 PM
Being a woman and wife myself (5' 5" & 137 lbs.), I say the .380 / 9mm short (nickel) Browning BDA 13 round high capcity mag. with backup mags as well ~ for concealment in her purse and home. Smooth shooting, well made, no plastic anywhere. ~Now, locked in your home alone and someone breaking in ~SHOTGUN~ hands down unless you're having to run. Never can have too many guns, teach your kids @ young age gun safety and to respect them. Strap guns under tables etc in case of "element of surprise". Now, the key is not only the gun, but it's technique as well. Learn how to shoot, become familiar with your gun. The more familiar you are with your firearm the more comfortable you are with it and the more comfortable you are with it, the better you will respond under duress. Therefore, your chances of shooting yourself or some other innocent person is decreased greatly. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. What can I say? I'm the oldest of 3 girls and my dad loves guns. (Oh yeah, if you go with a revolver, the 38 special "Lavendar Lady" by Charter Arms is "sweet" (yes they laugh at the color until you pop off a few rounds which is all it holds)~ and light weight ~ but, kicks more than the browning due to the difference in grains.) My husband wanted me to have a more "feminine" looking gun, that's how I got the "Lavendar Lady". It's cute and it works, but I don't feel the same shooting it. I still carry my Browning.

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