Revolver for a female friend


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Robert B
September 27, 2012, 10:31 PM
:)I have a coworker who is new to shooting. She wants to carry a CCW gun and also use that gun on the hiking trail for problem animals. I told her that we can go to the local range and that she and her husband could rent guns and shoot them to help decide what to buy. I also know not to pick my best choice for her to buy. I am wondering though. Would a SP101 or S&W 640 be a good choice? I told her that she could carry one of these with .38's for in town, and have her husband carry it on the trail with .357's in it. I like the weight of these two guns as they should not hurt her hand to shoot .38's. She is planning on purse carry so I will recommend a good pocket holster along with a designated section of the purse just for the gun. What do you guys think of my thinking on this? Which of the above guns would have the least perceived recoil? Thanks.

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Nathanael_Greene
September 27, 2012, 11:02 PM
What I think you'll find is that most people will say it doesn't matter what we think, only what she thinks.

That being said, I've taught a fair number of women to shoot, everything from .22s to .45s, and the gun that most of them have enjoyed the most is a 3" stainless Rossi 851 in .38. Easy to learn, easy to control, mild recoil, just plain fun (and light enough to stick in a purse without it feeling like a lugging around a bowling ball). So I'd think something in that ballpark would be a safe bet.

Texan Scott
September 27, 2012, 11:28 PM
I don't think she could go too far wrong with the sp101.

Certaindeaf
September 27, 2012, 11:40 PM
They usually like those tip-up berreta's that don't work. just leave them alone

Certaindeaf
September 27, 2012, 11:45 PM
I think it's recommended to recommend them to the Cornered Cat (http://www.corneredcat.com/Contents/) site.

[Fixed your reference and added a link. Ms. Jackson's site is a fabulous resource for women who carry, indeed!]

blackwalnut
September 27, 2012, 11:57 PM
I just went through this again with a friend who is trying to help his girlfriend or as he puts it "his friend who happens to be a girl" choose a ccw pistol.

I got stuck with her the 1st time and then again on the next and last outing trying to instruct her. Make sure your friend has the physical dexterity and or strength to operate safely the firearms she tries. Next make sure she can grip it and hold it out there without tiring. This all ties in to strength requirements.

This lady wouldnt listen and kept insisting an an auto that she couldnt even pull the slide back on. She also brought loaner guns from other family others that were all peices of ........ .

Good luck. i dont know if an SP101 is a good choice. She has to make that decision. I also advocate .22s to new shooters. Yeah I know its little but its better to hit than to "hope" that the loud noise and flash scare somebody away. Also more fun to practice and get good with and cheap.

weblance
September 28, 2012, 12:00 AM
The SP101 is an excellent choice. Consider the Ruger LCR also. The S&W 638, 640, 642 & 649 are also excellent choices. Taurus also makes good, small, dependable revolvers. The least felt recoil would be the heaviest of the lot... and that would be the SP101.

TAKtical
September 28, 2012, 12:05 AM
Why does everyone assume that a revolver is a good choice for a woman? Whats wrong with a small 9mm?

Certaindeaf
September 28, 2012, 12:16 AM
Why does everyone assume that a revolver is a good choice for a woman? Whats wrong with a small 9mm?
Because they are magich and 9mm's are wrong. And so the wheel turns, no pun intended. lolz

DeMilled
September 28, 2012, 12:16 AM
I'll share what happened when I was helping my wife pick out a purse gun...


We settled on the SP101, 2 1/4" barrel, with the stock/non-bobbed hammer, XS Big Dot night sight and took it to the range. After two cylinders of 357 she was done practicing. 38SPL she likes to shoot for about an hour of practice. "No big deal, practice with 38s and carry 357." Says I.
Ol Lady is confident with it and reloads it just fine. Good to go here...

I ordered a Simply Rugged Sourdough Pancake holster and asked her to pick out a purse to use as her gun purse. She is not overly big on purses and carries a wallet most of the time, so it was easy for her to pick a purse and designate it as the "Gun Purse".
I punches a few holes through one of the inner purse dividers and used 1/8" 8/32 machine screws and washers to secure the holster to the inside of the purse. If the gun is needed she knows exactly where in the purse it will always be found and the gun will not drag out an unsecured holster with it.

The purse she picked has an outer pocket thingy that is just perfect for two speed loaders.

The only things that go in her "Gun Purse" are her wallet, SP101, speed loaders and a 300 lumen LED flashlight, and I assume her cell phone.


Keep the gun purse simple, uncluttered and secure a holster inside it somehow. Reloads and flashlight are a must, in my opinion.



All that said; I would look real hard at the SP101 with the 4" barrel.
The S&W 640 is no slouch either.
Have her shoot the SP101, 2 1/4, 3", or 4" barrel and the the 640 and see which one she shoots best.

Glad to see you helping her out!
Guys like you aught to have one of those beer commercials just for you.
"Real American Heroes..."

ArchAngelCD
September 28, 2012, 12:19 AM
I do not like the SP101 or it's trigger but I'm a big fan of the M640. Either however is not a a pocket holster because of their weight, especially for a woman if she is on the small side. If she decides to carry in a purse make sure it's a purse designed specifically for carrying a handgun. Be sure she knows not to put her purse down or leave it unattended.

Before they do anything have both of them read the contents of a very good WEB Site, The Cornered Cat (http://www.corneredcat.com/Contents/) which was made by a very smart woman. Kathy also has a good book out that's a good read for both men and especially woman.

Confederate
September 28, 2012, 12:22 AM
The .357 is the logical caliber due to its versatility. And I've always said that the S&W Model 13 was the "perfect" home defense gun. Unfortunately, guns that are easy to carry have only 5 shots and magnum rounds are hard on the shooter. And 6-shot guns tend to be too heavy nowadays.

The SP-101 is the best I could recommend, especially on the trail with dangerous animals. A few years ago, a couple began being stalked by a black bear. No matter how fast they walked, the bear kept them in sight and sized them up. At some point the husband decided, for whatever reason, to run up ahead, get help and return. But by the time he did, the bear was feasting on her partially-eaten body.

Now I'm a big believer in pepper spray for man or beast; however, having a .357 on my person would make me feel much more comfortable. (When shooting bear, aim for the nose or mouth of the beast. If you shoot between the eyes, but bullet has a tendency to ricochet off the top of its head. The brain cavity is also somewhat lower, so the nose and mouth works.)

A 3-inch barrel also is ideal for outdoor carry. If you can, you might look for a used Ruger Speed-Six, which holds six shots or even used S&W 13/65. All can be had in 3-inch or close barrels.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/RugerSecurity-SixSm.jpg

Ruger Security-Six w/2.75-inch barrel. Outstanding pistol!


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/Speed-Six_4.jpg

Speed-Six with 3-inch barrel.

bromdenlong
September 28, 2012, 12:58 AM
I second the recommendation of corneredcat.com

weblance
September 28, 2012, 11:04 AM
Why does everyone assume that a revolver is a good choice for a woman? Whats wrong with a small 9mm?

Because a revolver is the logical choice for any beginner. Because a revolver always goes BANG. Because a revolver is still an excellent choice for CC. Because a revolver is basically foolproof. Because a revolver will never malfunction when limp wristed. Should I keep going...?

bannockburn
September 28, 2012, 11:46 AM
Not too long ago a friend of mine was looking for a revolver for his wife for CCW. She didn't like any of the semi-autos he had (including a S&W Bodyguard. 380), so he decided to go with a .38 Special revolver. Found a S&W Model 638 with a 3" barrel which was perfect for her. Also got her a purse specifically made for concealed carry with an inner pocket and several holster inserts for a proper fit for her gun.

aarondhgraham
September 28, 2012, 11:53 AM
www.guntotenmamas.com (http://www.guntotenmamas.com/)

I hate wearing a holster so I bought their Mens Carry Briefcase and love (https://www.guntotenmamas.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=GTM0155) it,,,
Several of my lady friends use their purses.

They are a scary bunch of ladies in the website picture,,,
But they were very pleasant to deal with,,,
I recommend them very highly.

Aarond

.

oneounceload
September 28, 2012, 08:20 PM
Because a revolver is the logical choice for any beginner. Because a revolver always goes BANG. Because a revolver is still an excellent choice for CC. Because a revolver is basically foolproof. Because a revolver will never malfunction when limp wristed. Should I keep going...?
weblance is offline Report Post Quick reply to this message

Because a revolver has an very long and heavy trigger pull resulting in pulling the gun off target and missing? Because the recoil can be horrendous resulting in missed shots and reduced practice? Because velocity out of a revolver is less than that of a similar-sized 9mm? Because when a revolver locks up - you can't "tap, rack, bang" and are left with a paperweight?

Should I keep going?.................. really..................

weregunner
September 28, 2012, 09:25 PM
The lady in question needs to go with basic www.nrahq.org/women/isc/index.asp or www.nssf.org//FirstShots/Seminars/ and then she can make informed choices as to what meets her needs the best.

I do like the revolver, .357 magnum/.38 Special combo, but that remains to be seen. Ammo versatility and one can tailor the ammo to the mission is a advantage. She'll be able to decide what ammo/gun combo works best for her.

S&W,Ruger,and Taurus revolver or pistols should be looked at to see which she can hold, shoot well,and can handle the trigger all the way through with aplomb.

I also recommend that she and you go through the links within this link. There's a lot of women sites that are informative.
http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/bustles-bows-bullets/64578-list-your-women-guns-site-source.html

Use this as a source.

JDGray
September 28, 2012, 09:44 PM
Because a revolver is the logical choice for any beginner. Because a revolver always goes BANG. Because a revolver is still an excellent choice for CC. Because a revolver is basically foolproof. Because a revolver will never malfunction when limp wristed. Should I keep going...?

Simply not accurate, any gun can malfunction.... To think otherwise is foolish to say the least.

bikerdoc
September 28, 2012, 10:08 PM
Check the sticky at the top of this sub forums main page;
"So you want to buy your wife/girlfriend a gun"

Lots of good info

mavracer
September 28, 2012, 10:35 PM
Sure a SP101 or a Smith 60/640 are good choices I'd second the motion to let her try some of the compact 9mm/40/45s too and then LET HER DECIDE.

tryshoot
September 28, 2012, 10:42 PM
I prefer s$w (no mistake). My wife prefers Ruger GP-100.

Trad Archer
September 29, 2012, 04:28 PM
Ruger SP101 in 327 Federal Magnum.

TAKtical
September 29, 2012, 04:39 PM
Weblance, there are so many things wrong with that statement, I dont even know how to respond. Revolvers are no more reliable than any quality auto-loader, they are not foolproof, limp wristing malfunction is a myth as far as im concerned. Ive purposely tried to make my auto-loaders malfunction by "limp wristing" and could not make it happen with glocks, 1911's or XD's. Corneredcat, a womens site, for and by women, has specifically addressed this myth that women need or want revolvers for their first gun. Maybe you should check that out. Everyone should make a well informed decision about their first firearm purchase.

Crowman
September 29, 2012, 11:37 PM
I have a Ruger SP101 in .327 Federal and the double action trigger is pretty rough. The Smiths are generally smoother to shoot double action. The lighter S&W .38/.357 magnum alloy revolvers are actually brutal to shoot.

My wife lacks the hand/arm strength to work the slide on a Glock, M&P, or 1911, and even a NAA .32 ACP slide is a challenge; however, she has no trouble firing or hitting with her ported Taurus Total Titanium Tracker in .357 Magnum. That gun truly fits her hand and she can really hit with it. That is key...what can they hit with, what works and what fits.

She keeps it loaded with seven 125 grain magnum JHP's (anti-personnel) and has 180 grain hard cast FP's in the ammo carrier for critters (we have bears & hawgs up here). She also keeps a 9x18 mm Makarov in the car, but I have to rack the slide for her. She's had to pull that one once to thwart a car jacker. He hauled butt into the next county.

Semi-autos are not as easy for some to use for that very reason; whereas, revolvers are simpler and easier. Either a S&W 351C ("hammerless" DAO Century frame) or a 351PD (standard exposed hammer J-frame) loaded with 45 grain Hornady Critical Defense loads in .22 WMR is also viable. Both are 10 ounce 7-shot alloy J-frame revolvers that are easy for someone with weak hands to manipulate and have no recoil. Plus, I don't know anyone who wants to stand in front of either one and take a cylinder full.

OrangePwrx9
September 30, 2012, 12:09 AM
TAKtical:
Limp wristing is NOT a myth. It's a real problem with women. Took my lady friend and her friend to a range where we shot both a Glock 17 and an XD9. Neither gal could make either gun run at first. One jam after another.

Instructed both gals to stiffen up their wrists and grip the gun firmly. My lady friend did as I said and had no further problems. Her friend continued to have problems on every round. I had zero problems shooting either gun.

Funny thing was, the friend had received training at Front Sight and could shoot either gun quite accurately; she was also amazingly quick a clearing jams. But for all that, she couldn't make either gun run.

The fact that YOU don't have limp-wristing problems doesn't mean they don't happen to other people.

Another problem with small semi-autos, especially small 9mms, is the difficulty in racking the slide. Women often lack the hand strength. It seems that the smaller the gun the stiffer the recoil spring. The Kahr K9 is my smallest 9 and the most difficult to rack. I don't imagine a CM9 or a Shield would be any easier.

ArchAngelCD
September 30, 2012, 03:02 AM
Small 9mm pistols also generate a lot more felt recoil than most .38 Special revolvers. (unless you buy one of those very expensive 12oz S&W Airlite .357 Magnums)

The S&W M640 or M649 are both good choices IMO.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/M640-02.jpg

AirForceShooter
September 30, 2012, 07:37 AM
See if she can find a .327 Magnum to try.
My wife is in love with hers.

AFS

Crowman
September 30, 2012, 11:29 AM
AirForceShooter has a point.

.327 Federal is an excellent but underrated cartridge. It is easy to shoot and is very accurate. The Federal 85 grain JHP works well in a compact revolver. The Speer 115 JHP loading is simply awsome. This is not only a great self-defense cartridge, it is a really good woods carry cartridge, especially in a 7-shot Ruger GP100 (but replace front sight with a Hi-Viz).

Revolvers in .327 Federal will also safely chamber and fire .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R as well. She can use mild and cheap .32 S&W Long ammo for plinking and firearm familiarization and will probably out-shoot you with it.

Many manufacturers make revolvers in this chambering: Taurus, Charter Arms, S&W, Ruger

The pick of the litter is the S&W offering. S&W makes two revolvers in this cartridge. One has an exposed hammer and compensated 632 Carry Comp 3" barrel...too expensive, too heavy and too much muzzle flash. Avoid this one. The other one is the all stainless M632 Pro Series, Catalog # 178045 snubnose built on the DAO Century frame. It has a 2-1/8 inch barrel, holds 6 rounds and comes equipped with rubber boot grips, front and rear night sights (the best on any revolver in this class). This is the one to locate and buy. I am searching for one now, and it will be added to my CCW rotation. SKS makes 6-round speed loaders for this chambering and Dillon sells 8-round rubber speed strips for the .327 as well.

I have a Ruger SP101 in .327 Federal that I sometimes carry in a pancake holster and it is a sturdy revolver, but the double action trigger really sucks. Also the weenie grips did not fit my hand so I traded them out for a set of excellent Trausch synthetic French grips as used by their police. These grips look strange but are designed to facilitate a two-handed high grip for fast shooting. The sights on the Ruger are very difficult to pick up under most light conditions and the front sight has to be replaced with something worthwhile. The S&W comes ready to rock as-is.

JRWhit
September 30, 2012, 12:11 PM
When looking for a gun for my mother She ended up going for the Ruger LCR. She had week hands and was able to easily squeeze the trigger and hit her target and their is no hammer or safeties to fumble with. I have recommended this to many women shooters looking for a defense gun. Like it or not women don't get as excited as we do about our firearms and all the goodies to go with it.(most of the time) I recommend revolvers for women not only for easy function, but because of where it is most likely to be carried. In a purse. Holstered or not there is a lot to come in contact with when pulling the gun out. Possibly bumping the magazine release,the safety,exe. With the revolver if a women feels threatened or has reason to do so can walk with her hand in her purse and on the revolver. Obviously not in full grip for reasons of safety, for those waiting to chest thump. If a SD situation should occur the revolver can be fire multiple times through the purse, where as a slide would be obstructed and not cycle fully. If in a threatened position this gives a women an edge as she is more ready than otherwise and giving an attacker no time to notice her reaching for something and advert it.

Haywood
September 30, 2012, 12:58 PM
If you can rent a Ruger LCR357. Shooting them with 125G 357 is not bad. Shooting them with 38+P is a breeze. You wont find a smoother trigger. I carry one daily and have sold them to many male and female CCW Students.

tomrkba
September 30, 2012, 01:13 PM
The snub nosed revolver is a terrible choice for any new shooter. Any short semi-automatic pistol with a short barrel and a grip that does not fully support the hand is also a terrible choice for a new shooter. Both are more difficult to shoot and the new shooter does not have the skill to run them. Attributes in a beginning revolver include: 3 1/2" to six inch barrel (some guys say 3", but I'm including 3 1/2" for the Model 27). and a full grip with gap filler behind the trigger guard. Semi-autos should have at least a three to four inch barrel and the grip should fully support the palm. Sights on both need to be clearly visible, preferably with at least a white dot on the front sight. 38 Special is a good target round and decent defensive loads are available. Any service style semi-automatic pistols in 9x19mm or 45 ACP should be fine. 40 S&W, 10mm and 357 SIG can be too snappy for new shooters. Much good can come from using a tuned 1911 in 9x19mm (or a Browning Hi-Power) since the trigger can feel beautiful and the recoil is low.

Crowman
September 30, 2012, 08:28 PM
Since your lady friend wants a gun to take to the woods as well as the grocery store, why not consider the S&W 386 Night Guard. It has enough mass to make repeat hits viable, will chamber 7 rounds of either .38 Specials or .357 Magnums, and is light enough for trail carry or purse transport.

I use one as my primary CCW carry gun, and frequently pack 180 grain hard cast FP magnum hunting loads for protection from the small black bear or hawgs we have up here. Additionally, I load Speer snake shot for copperheads, timber rattlers and Eastern Diamondbacks when I go about the property. When I go to town, I load it with either 158 grain JSP or 125 grain JHP magnums. It carries well in a pancake holster or Miami Classic rig.

The synthetic grips are big enough to control the weapon and it comes with excellent night sights that are extremely fast to acquire under any lighting situation. Believe me, hubby would much rather touch off a magnum load in this revolver than in a LCR or J-frame.

Mine is a very accurate revolver despite the short barrel and it is controllable. The night sights are fixed, and are regulated for 158 grain magnum loads (shoots dead-on to point of aim).

dprice3844444
September 30, 2012, 08:44 PM
also note,less chance of accidental discharges with revolvers

weblance
September 30, 2012, 09:33 PM
Weblance, there are so many things wrong with that statement, I dont even know how to respond. Revolvers are no more reliable than any quality auto-loader, they are not foolproof, limp wristing malfunction is a myth as far as im concerned. Ive purposely tried to make my auto-loaders malfunction by "limp wristing" and could not make it happen with glocks, 1911's or XD's. Corneredcat, a womens site, for and by women, has specifically addressed this myth that women need or want revolvers for their first gun. Maybe you should check that out. Everyone should make a well informed decision about their first firearm purchase.

I stated my opinion and I stand by it. Just because you cant make an autoloader malfunction by limp wristing doesnt mean it doesnt happen. Hand my wife or my daughter a P95 and it will malfunction. I have over 3000 rounds thru my P95 and I cant make it malfunction, but they can in less than a full magazine. Hand them a GP100, SP101, LCR or J Frame and it goes bang every time. I trust a J Frame with my life every day because my LCP is unreliable. The LCP is a gun that just about everyone says is one of the most reliable autoloader out there. I dont agree with that. I have been shooting almost 40 years and have never had a revolver fail in any way. I have had autoloaders fail many times. Mostly Feed and Ejection problems that dont happen with revolvers. Im sure you will come back with some comment about how autoloaders are better than revolvers or some websight that says so, but you are not going to change my opinion about this. I stand by my original comment that a new shooter is better served with a revolver, and not because she is a woman.

Crowman
September 30, 2012, 11:11 PM
The original thread started as a woman's request for a firearm & cartridge combination that is suitable for both the trail and town. Not sure where she lives, but around here, a .327 Federal would be the smallest I'd take in my woods. I have some hard-cast 115 grain FP handloads for penetration in that caliber. Usually I pack a 386NG in .357 magnum or a .45 Colt Mountain Gun. Bullet selection is key.

So, 10mm autos notwithstanding, this requirement precludes semiautos. They are lousy woods guns. Sorry, fact of life. Can't vary the ammo, bullet selection not there (need hard cast SWC's for big things that growl in the woods at night), JHP's work great on people, but lack penetration on hairy critters with big bones, thick fur, etc. Looks like a .38/.357 combo is the minimum, but in a controllable platform as previously discussed. Ammunition must be selected for the job, ie. .125 JHP for anti-personnel & 158-180 grain JSP or Keith style hard cast SWC for critters.

As far as "limp wristing" semiautos, a 6'-6" tall friend of mine visited from Huntsville, AL this summer and he brought his Rock Island 1911 along for fun and games. I broke out my pre-war 1911A1 National Match hard-ball pistol and we went to my 25 yard pistol range and blasted away at some good old bullseyes. He kept experiencing malfunctions with his pistol because he "limped his wrist" and the gun could not recoil back into battery properly. When I got him to lock his arms and adjust his grip properly, his malfunctions ceased. Whenever he lapsed back into his old bad grip habits, the malfunctions started up again, so it is possible, even with a big guy with huge hands, to induce malfunctions by adopting an improper or weak grip and hold with a semi-auto (1911) pistol. Back in the early 1980's, I was able to create a "limp Wrist" malfunction on demand with my Colt Combat Commander as part of my weapons familiarization drills. Have not tried to cause a malfunction in a Glock or XD pistol yet.

I went out to the "CorneredCat" website. Her advice on concealed carry situations was spot-on as well as entertaining and she has some very good practical gun handling information out on it. Especially the part about racking slides. I taught my Wife that technique several years ago; however, she still has problems with it...bad finger joints.

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