Pistol for my girlfriend


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KentuckyCountryboy
April 17, 2013, 09:45 PM
Hey, new here. Got a question about smaller pistols. My girlfriend is looking to get her first gun. She's hated every auto she's looked at. The only pistols she's shot have been a Taurus 709 slim, an airweight smith & Wesson .38 and a Western Auto revelation 99 .22 (HS Sentinel). She likes the revolvers better, but it's just because of the smaller grips and lower recoil. The 709 has a decent kick for its size and I think it left a bad taste in her mouth for autos. I'm more of an auto pistol man myself. Nothing against revolvers, just don't shoot them as good & think they're harder to conceal comfortably. I'd rather her carry an auto for the reloads and so I can use it if I for some reason don't have anything on me. Any suggestions for a small grip lower recoil auto? I'm shooting for .380 or larger. Sorry for the long post. Thanks.

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Fred_G
April 17, 2013, 09:48 PM
Has she shot a 9mm in any auto flavor? I like the M&P line by S&W. You might also consider a Ruger Mark II or III in .22 as a starter/range/target gun. Are guns available to rent at your range? If so, try all you can, and see what she likes.

Sergei Mosin
April 17, 2013, 09:51 PM
If she wants a revolver, she should get a revolver. It's for her, not you.

Also, you should both spend a few hours reading http://www.corneredcat.com/

Josh45
April 17, 2013, 09:51 PM
Kentucky,
First off, Welcome to THR.

For your GF, I suggest you take her to a range with rentals and let her choose a few more pistols and let her see what fits her hand best and what caliber she if comfortable shooting.
Looks like she has tried a few but hasn't really tried enough.

There are plenty of autos out there that can soak up some recoil better than others.
Which one those are, Well I have to leave that up to you two since recoil is perceptive.
I believe that is the correct term for it. If she likes something with a smaller grip, Maybe she can try Kahr Arms or something along the lines of the M&P line up.

My brother owned a Kahr CW9 and a M&P 9mm, They both manage pretty well but since the CW9 was a DAO and smaller, The recoil was a bit more than he cared in 9mm.
As for me, I prefer 45 ACP.

I have a Springfield XDs in 45 ACP and it is pretty easy to manage with my reloads.
However, My carry loads Speer 200 Gr+p HP are pretty snappy for me. I can shoot them well. Again, Recoil is perceptive.

Just my 2 cents and sorry for the long rant/post.
Point is, It is up to her to find the correct firearm since she will be the one to buy it and use it.

OptimusPrime
April 17, 2013, 09:54 PM
Take her to the gun counter.
Give her your credit card or wad of cash.
Take 3 big steps back.
Shut up.

That's what you'll hear 100 guys on this forum say, and it is good advice.
I've been there; I've worn your shoes; I heeded this advice; they're right.

KentuckyCountryboy
April 17, 2013, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the quick responses. I get that its her gun, not mine. I'm just looking for suggestions for small gripped autos. We ain't been to the big gun shop yet. I have only been to a range once and it was public. We have land and a backstop with plenty of open space behind it (probably a mile) with no houses or anything. She shot 2rds of 9mm from the 709 and had enough. She emptied the airweight though with no complaints. Out of what she's looked at, she liked a Taurus .38 with some form of over mold grip on it best. If it was one of the 7-shots they sell, I'd have no problem. I'd like for her to be able to carry easy, quick reloads though.

LeonCarr
April 17, 2013, 10:16 PM
What Josh and Optimus said.

The gun that most of the ladies I have taken shooting like the best is the 1911 .45.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

dprice3844444
April 17, 2013, 10:39 PM
Pistol for my girlfriend,sounds like a great trade

jbh13
April 17, 2013, 10:42 PM
SW bodyguard. Small .380 and has a laser so you can react faster if needed.

IdahoSkies
April 17, 2013, 11:38 PM
You have good suggestions here, there is also another thread ongoing with a very similar question and a sticky above. Check those out.

However, I took my wife to the rental counter a week ago and I'll tell you what she liked. The Ruger SR9c. Hands down after some brief instruction from the lady at the gun counter my was shooting tiny groups. For reference, my wife is 5' even (maybe a shade under) and 130 lbs.

There are lots of options out there, your gal should try them. But that is what worked for mine.

ArchAngelCD
April 18, 2013, 02:49 AM
an airweight smith & Wesson .38 and a Western Auto revelation 99 .22 (HS Sentinel). She likes the revolvers better, but it's just because of the smaller grips and lower recoil.
Like said above, it's her gun and she should get what she wants. It doesn't mater if you shoot a revolver well or if you like revolvers, it's not your gun.

Just because you think 5 rounds isn't enough doesn't make it so. Fast reloads are possible with a revolver and a speedloader. If she gets something she doesn't like she won't carry at all.

I carry a J frame daily with one reload and I'm perfectly sure it will serve me well if need be. It's more important to hit what you aim at than having 15 rounds. I hit what I shoot at so I won't need to spray and pray. I'm sure your GF will do just as well if she practices.

frankenstein406
April 18, 2013, 03:17 AM
makorov or 38 sw airweight?

Havok7416
April 18, 2013, 04:33 AM
I'll pile on here if only to reinforce the point: SHE needs to be shooting what SHE wants and likes, not what is convenient for you. If she likes revolvers, so what?
I can reload my 2-inch .357 faster than my P7 for what that's worth to you and I carry either one depending on my mood.

Hokkmike
April 18, 2013, 08:43 AM
If endangered your girlfriend should need only worry about two things:

1. Aiming at the center mass of target.

2. Squeezing the trigger.

She should NOT have to worry about:

1. wracking the slide.

2. Adjusting the safety.

3. Aiming at the center mass of target.

4. Squeezing the trigger.

5. Possibly clearing and rechambering the weapon following a FTF etc.

She will be under enough stress without making her job more difficult. It is my contention that semis, being fine weapons, are for experienced shooters who take time to practice fairly often.

Is the gun for her or for you?

coaldust
April 18, 2013, 08:47 AM
I bought my wife a S&W bodyguard and a Walther PK380 to try before taking her CCW class. The Bodyguard has a very ling trigger pull and the slide was hard for her to work, the PK380 was the go to pistol, decent trigger pull and the slide was way easier for her to work. She passed her class with flying colors usine the PK380.

460Kodiak
April 18, 2013, 10:04 AM
1. Welcome

2. Read the Sticky

3. She needs to pick what fits her, what she can handle, and what she wants.

4. Snap reaction, S&W J-frame, Ruger LCR, LCP, LC9, Springfield XDs in 9mm, Kimber Solo, and I think your best option based on your criteria ia a Walther PPK. She really needs to pick though, and learn that recoil is not really a big deal. What matters is proficiency and ability to handle the weapon effectively. If she is serious about a carry gun, then discomfort of shooting it should be secondary. If she won't carry, then get her a bigger gun that is more fun to shoot on the range.

Sniper66
April 18, 2013, 10:04 AM
I bought my wife a Browning 1911 .22. She loves the small size and it fits her hand well. It's not a revolver of course so she may not like it. BTW, it shoots great.

KevinB
April 18, 2013, 10:14 AM
Hey, welcome to THR. Best message board on the net for civil discussion and firearms education.

Things to keep in mind: The smaller and lighter the gun, the greater the recoil, and typically the harder it will be to shoot accurately. Everyone who has said "let her choose" is right on. If you haven't already, start here
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=564531

jrdolall
April 18, 2013, 10:17 AM
My wife got started shooting my Browning Buckmark and Ruger .22. They are "full size" guns that fit her hand nicely and she was able to practice a lot without her hand hurting or flinching.
Of course she eventually wanted to move up to a "big girl" gun so we started the process. She did not enjoy shooting ANY of my smaller sized semi autos. .380 or 9mm had more recoil than she wanted. She DID like the fact that the pocket pistols I have are basically point and shoot with no manual safeties so, as someone else posted, she didn't have to do a lot of thinking.

She really enjoyed shooting a variety of 1911s that I and some friends own but that was not practical for purse carrying which is what she was heading for. The full size 9mms we tried were also acceptable to her with minimal recoil. After shooting probably 50 different guns,semi and revolver, she eventually went with a S&W 642 with the Crimson Trace laser grips. Point and shoot of a revolver, lightweight with manageable recoil and fits nicely in her purse(Hell an AR-15 would fit in some of her purses). I wasn't sold on the laser until I shot the gun a few sessions and really began to understand the attraction people have to them.

bigdaa
April 18, 2013, 10:29 AM
Wheelgun.

period.

Pilot
April 18, 2013, 10:37 AM
Like a fool, I tried to sway my wife into buying a semi-auto that I LIKED. I rented a Glock, Springfield XD, even bought her a Sig P228, and she tried a few others. She limp wristed every one, and couldn't get through a mag without a failure. In the end she chose a S&W 642 revolver .38 Spl with Crimson Trace laser grips. Totally surprised me. Guess what? It was a great choice for her.

dadof11
April 18, 2013, 10:49 AM
I agree with everyone else that it has to be what SHE likes. That being said, my wife shoots a Springfield EMP. It has the smallest grip of any 1911 I know of, as the gun was designed around a 9mm/.40 round. She has small hands and loves the grip. Of the 13 handguns we own, it is by far my favorite gun to shoot, as well as hers. She has it in 9mm. I liked hers so much I bought one in .40. I still like shooting hers better.

tarosean
April 18, 2013, 11:09 AM
I liked hers so much I bought one in .40. I still like shooting hers better.

Why?

(I'm trying to decide between them currently)



And OP listen to everyone else unless your trying to bolster your own collection.
My wife who hated semi's ended up choosing a Glock 19 after shooting countless handguns and getting professional training.

HankR
April 18, 2013, 11:10 AM
Also, you should both spend a few hours reading http://www.corneredcat.com/

Very good advice

Take her to the gun counter.
Give her your credit card or wad of cash.
Take 3 big steps back.
Shut up.

But first, check out the corneredcat.com, then with some inkling of carry method go to the huge gunstore rental place and try a few. I like the wheelgun suggestions, but my wife went with a semi (I guess I shouldn't have loaded her mags when she was starting). If she's going to carry in a purse, a regular snubby might be better than an airweight (more fun to train with, etc).

Good luck,

dadof11
April 18, 2013, 11:44 AM
Tarosean,

It is so smooth to shoot, I could shoot it all day (if there were enough ammo around!) The .40, as you might imagine, has just a bit more kick. For a range gun I prefer hers, but for carry, I guess I prefer a little more oomph.

That being said, right now I carry a Sig P238 since it fits in a wallet like back pocket holster and is so easy to carry. So much for oomph.....

bigdaa
April 18, 2013, 11:45 AM
For her protection and carry, I would give the DAO revolvers a good look.

There isn't a hammer to get caught on her stuff if she needs to pull it. Plus, in a drastic situation, my bet is she will be going double action by instinct and should be forced to practice as such.

Those Smiths do look nice. The LCP Ruger looks very nice, too. I have held one and it doesn't weigh but a smidgen!

38's and 38 +P's are a good load. Light 38's can be loaded with ease if you ever go that way or have a reloading buddy. Nothing like Wad Cutters punching the paper at the range.

You know, getting the revolver doesn't mean she won't expand her repertoire at a later date. You may see her turn into a gun toting, range blasting female shooting phenom on down the line.

I have introduced a number of people, m and f to shooting and watch them grow in ability and variety.

KentuckyCountryboy
April 18, 2013, 11:26 PM
Alright, I guess I was kinda looking at what I wanted. I just prefer some commonality among the arsenal. I basically just wanted a list of small autos that she might like. My favorite gun is a 1911, but I don't think she'll touch a .45 anytime soon. And I didn't see the sticky because I'm always on here via tapatalk, thanks for the heads up though.

weregunner
April 19, 2013, 05:32 AM
Since you get that this is about her gun let her take a look at these.
http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/bustles-bows-bullets/64578-list-your-women-guns-site-source.html

Quote from another thread:
If the checklists are followed in what to look for prior to buying one cannot get into trouble.
Revolver Checkout Procedure (http://thefiringline.com/Misc/library/Revolver-check.html)
How to check the condition of a used revolver - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMOGVWB-QHw)
Buying a Used Handgun (http://www.chuckhawks.com/used_handgun.htm)
Buying A Handgun (http://www.craigcentral.com/handguns.asp)
http://cheaperthandirt.com/blog/?p=1180


Problem is that many do not or make things up as they go along.

Infamiliartity with the gun and not reading and understanding the gun manual that comes with the gun are a great majority of the time why there are problems.

Second thing. People buying for the first time and no little or nothing about the firearms at all are on the rise in great numbers. It behooves these people to take basic NRA or NSSF accredited basic handgun courses to get a starting and useful knowledge about firearms.

Find a beginner course near you.
First Shots: For New Shooters (http://www.nssf.org/FirstShots/NewShooters/)

NRAInstructors.org - Portal for NRA certified Instructors, NRA Education and Training (http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx) Note: Check the left row for NRA basic courses.
For new beginning women shooters:
Women On Target Instructional Shooting Clinics (http://www.nrahq.org/women/isc/index.asp)

NSSF - National Shooting Sports Foundation (http://www.nssf.org)

Let it be suggested that she look at the links and then takes a basic NRA shooting course or a women's only basic course.

Then she can make a educated choice as to what ammo/gun combo will fit her and her needs.

Hope this all helps.

kimbershot
April 19, 2013, 08:19 AM
dao revolver with covered hammer shroud--can be light weight model. point and shoot, no muscle memory or fumbling with safeties etc.-practice, practice, practice for up close and personal.

orionengnr
April 27, 2013, 11:25 PM
I'd rather her carry an auto for the reloads and ...
Take what "you'd rather" and put it on the shelf. If she is not comfortable shooting it, or trying to rack the slide, she will not practice with it.
Lack of practice = lack of proficiency.

One more vote for the Cornered Cat website. Kathy knows of what she speaks. Take advantage of her experience and knowledge...and pay attention to her words. This will pay big dividends.

Tomcat47
April 28, 2013, 12:02 AM
You know this thread always contains the same (correct) answer each time the questions arises.....

Take her to the gun counter.
Give her your credit card or wad of cash.
Take 3 big steps back.
Shut up.

It is for her! :)

Now this post ( and there is a missed underlying great message here:

She will be under enough stress without making her job more difficult. It is my contention that semis, being fine weapons, are for experienced shooters who take time to practice fairly often.

I Agree! with this added! It is my contention that Revolvers, being fine weapons, are for experienced shooters who take time to practice fairly often.

If she is not going to shoot eitherfirearm fairly often, you will be doing a injustice that could be a disadvantage in the stressful situation!

My 2 cents! .... Girls don't do good with Semi autos....
For your educational enjoyment..... http://youtu.be/wgIqJYTidkE

Shadow 7D
April 28, 2013, 12:42 AM
Corneredcat.com
READ THE STICKY'S (they are there for a reason)

Your job, hold the purse, provide the cash, prevent flimflaming

ArchAngelCD
April 28, 2013, 04:32 AM
Jessie Abbate, I mean Duff is also VERY fast and accurate with a semi-auto pistol.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8iOg57ZmIE

She is also a great Cowboy Action shooter, SASS name Jasmine Jessie...

Mountain Range
April 28, 2013, 12:38 PM
I have found that boyfriends and husbands often underestimate the size of gun that their girlfriends/wives can handle. As someone said earlier, the smaller and lighter a gun the more felt recoil, as a general rule. The best shooter at our range is a 5'3" 130 lb. Woman who shoots a 1911 .45 and frequently beats one of our recently retired SWAT instructor (who remains a phenomenal shooter). A revolver is an instinctive recommendation for women, but don't underestimate the trigger pull required and it's impact on accuracy. As for dealing with malfunctions in a semi-auto or the ability to operate the slide, I believe strongly that those are not issues as long as the owner - man or woman - practices regularly and maintains the gun properly. as an instructor I generally find that women will frequently improve their accuracy with a larger gun. Of course, that triggers a different discussion about concealability and choice of caliber involves painful discussions about expense. YMMV

BullfrogKen
April 28, 2013, 01:06 PM
Your job in this process is to find a good shop with a decent person working behind the counter. And find someone who won't push her towards what he likes, like what you're doing right now.


Take her there and go find something else to do for an hour or so.


If she walks away with a Ruger MkIII .22 rimfire, that's a good day. You own more than one gun, why can't she? Let her have something she likes and has fun with. If you force her into something she doesn't like you'll turn her off from shooting entirely.

Infidel4life11
April 29, 2013, 03:50 AM
Glock 19
Springfield xdm 3.8
S&W M&P 9 or 9c
Ruger SR9c

In that order

Dlowe167
April 29, 2013, 07:09 AM
She wants a revolver go Chater Arms Lavender Lady in .38 +P. Love my C/A Bulldog Pug .44spl. ,Semi Auto go Ruger SR9c in 9mm

TheSaint
April 30, 2013, 06:08 AM
Has she shot the PPQ? That is one sweet little gun, and very easy to shoot, even if she isn't a fan of autos.

Potatohead
April 30, 2013, 11:28 AM
lemme tell ya, i went out and bought my wife a sig p238..i loved it, couldnt wait to bring it home and show her, i was SO excited, got home, pulled out the case slowly, "are you ready?" here it is, and.....she hates it. said it looked fake, like a g i joe gun.. Told me next time i go to get her something over 50$, that i should be sure and take her along to see if she likes it...anywho, ive got a little Sig now while my wife goes unarmed :(

-Jake-
April 30, 2013, 11:38 AM
thats funny I got my wife the rainbow sig p238 and she shows it off every chance she gets. it is a sweet little pistol, my wife's only complaint is the trigger is too rough and it hurts her finger after a while of shooting. My mom has the ruger lcr and the recoil is pretty bad honestly but it is a sweet shooter too.

Potatohead
April 30, 2013, 01:42 PM
yea i love shooting the little rascal. real well made. a little tricky though

justice06rr
May 1, 2013, 12:35 AM
Let her pick whichever gun she can shoot most comfortably and efficiently. If its a revolver then let her get that. Or maybe a 380 semi-auto if she can handle the recoil and hit the target.

sixgunner455
May 1, 2013, 01:58 AM
If the girl is looking for a gun, that's fantastic! Do you know how many times we get guys asking "How do I get my wife/girlfriend/mother/daughter/sister interested in protecting herself/shooting?"

If she's comfortable shooting a revolver, and doesn't like the semis she's shot, guess what? Shut up and don't interfere while she buys a nice S&W or Ruger revolver. Just make sure what she gets *works*, but don't try to sway her to a caliber you want, or a gun you want. Get your own guns.

Sauer Grapes
May 1, 2013, 10:38 AM
You might want her to visit here for some thoughts from other women.

http://www.corneredcat.com/

I tried my best to get my wife to use one of MY semi autos. Wrong move!
She settled on the Ruger SP101. She didn't like the snappy recoil from my S&W 12-2.
The heavier gun is what she likes, which in turn, is what I like....lol.

I just helped a women at our club that is learning to shoot handgun. Her husband bought the gun for her. Bought her one of the airweight DA S&W revolvers. She hates the gun!
He didn't even take her with him when he purchased the gun. Boy, did he get an ear full....:cuss:

joeponds
May 1, 2013, 09:46 PM
S&W J gun 442 ,642, lady smith if you want fancy.

macadore
May 1, 2013, 11:09 PM
Pistol for my girlfriend,sounds like a great trade
Every time someone asks this question I want to respond with, "Post some pictures of her and I'll get back with you".

Marlin 45 carbine
May 1, 2013, 11:58 PM
if you know pistol shooters that are willing to meet you at a range with their smaller guns let her try different ones. hopefully one will own a beretta tomcat.
flip-up barrel for eaze of loading/unloading, adequate mag eject pad, da/sa, cockable hammer and good safety lever. certainly not a heavy puncher - but try to find anyone willing to take a hit in the breadbasket from it.

tomrkba
May 2, 2013, 12:13 AM
She should NOT have to worry about:

1. wracking the slide.
2. Adjusting the safety.
3. Aiming at the center mass of target.
4. Squeezing the trigger.
5. Possibly clearing and rechambering the weapon following a FTF etc.

This is so wrong it's ridiculous. Depending upon chance in lieu of training is foolish. There is no substitute for training and experience. Training should be the first priority and she does not know what she doesn't know about running a gun if she's never attended a course.

She should attend training first and learn what attributes in a self-defense gun are desirable. Once she has the skills to correctly run a gun, she'll be able to decide what will most likely work for her. She should then rent a variety of guns and evaluate them using her newly acquired experiences.

But to say she shouldn't have to worry about this or that? What terrible advice! Please refrain from giving advice in the future.

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