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Best CCW pistol for newbie female

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Sky Dog, Oct 4, 2013.

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  1. Sky Dog

    Sky Dog Member

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    I'm looking info on a carry piece for my wife-to-be. Mid 50's, small frame and an absolute newbie to firearms. I'm looking at SW 637/638CT Airweight .38 specials. You all's thoughts?
     
  2. BrotherFrankie

    BrotherFrankie Member

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    i would stay away from airweights... but thas my opinion..

    take her out and let her choose..

    be blessed
     
  3. Mousegun

    Mousegun Member

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    I have a S& W 638 Airweight, it has a very smooth action and lite trigger when cocked. Generally speaking it is a great gun but you wouldn't expect anything less from S&W.

    My wife has a Taurus model 85. It is a 38 special with +P capability. The nice thing about the Taurus is if you shoot it double action, a subtle hammer stop can be felt at the end of the trigger travel just before a bit more pull makes it go bang.

    Both guns weigh about the same and work flawlessly. The Taurus is somewhat less expensive.
     
  4. vamo

    vamo Member

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    Women have the option of carrying in their purse so I would stay away from the smaller pocket pistols, and obviously avoid any caliber bigger than she can handle. So the best would depend on just how big a purse she carries full sized pistols tend to have less recoil and be more accurate than their smaller counter parts. Though if she still wants something a little smaller a good compromise would be a walther ppk or one of its various clones, or a snubby 38sp revolver, though avoid ones that are too light.
     
  5. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    Have her pick out her gun and remind her that there are a variety of grips that fit J-Frame guns. As a new shooter It may be wise to look at something with a laser. Those things can be very intimidating when sitting on a BG's chest.
    As others have pointed out she may do well looking for a 3" model 60, if it is not a carry gun she could even opt for a longer barrel.
    In either case try to buy, or load, some wadcutter target ammo so she can get used to the recoil.
     
  6. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Nothing wrong with the airweights, but if she doesn't mind a little extra weight go heavier. It will handle recoil better. Depending on ladies' hands, it's even more important than guys to hold before you buy.

    I would also advise not carrying in her purse. That's the first thing muggers and plain old pursesnatchers go for, and then they have the purse and the gun she may need.
     
  7. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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  8. ourichie

    ourichie Member

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    I was considering an airweight .38 for my wife, but she ended up choosing the Bersa Thunder 380 adn carries Buffalo Bore 100gr Hardcast "+p" and she loves it.
     
  9. bomberbill357

    bomberbill357 Member

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    I'm a big fan of letting your wife/ girlfriend significant other pick out her own gun. I took my small framed, tiny hands fiance out to the range and let her try a Glock 26, S&W 649, a SIG p239 and a Glock 17. After she shot them all and a had chance to handle them all she picked the Glock 17. The biggest gun there. She said it felt more natural and was easier to shoot. When we talked about carry options, she indicated it would ride in her purse which is almost as big as her. She had a carry method all figured out. How to keep it in place and how to get to it. Moral of the story: you never know what will make them happy.
     
  10. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    1. Let her pick her own gun.
    2. This involves shopping, dry-firing, and shooting. If she is not willing to participate in this process, she is probably not going to carry the gun anyway. She must be comfortable with the weight and feel of the trigger and control of the gun under recoil.
    3. Airweight .38 Special revolvers have substantial recoil and heavy triggers.
    4. The Walther PPK has a heavy recoil spring and is difficult to rack without using proper technique or at least average hand strength.
     
  11. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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  12. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Go to a place that rents guns let her shoot every type that interests her.. You just sit back keep your mouth shut and pay...


    I would have never chose the gun that my wife chooses to carry. (Glock 19)
     
  13. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    Absolutely agree - and make sure she shoots several, not just hold them. I wife LOVED the LC9, right up until she fired it.... She ended up with a M&P 9c, which she chose over an Airweight.
     
  14. Queen_of_Thunder

    Queen_of_Thunder member

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    As usual when men talk about getting firearms for their wives I like to point out its best to take them to the store and let them try them on and if the shop has a range then rent some to see how she feels about them. Pistols like shoes must be tried on to check fit. A bad fit results in a bad experience and thats not what you or her are looking for. SO take her to the LGS's and let her shop. Whatever you do do not force your idea of what she should have on her and don't let the LGS employee do it either. LGS employees like to push little stuff on us because they think we women cannot handle anything over a 38 at the top end and .380 at the bottom end.
     
  15. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    Luckily my local range has rentals and one can shoot just about anything they are interested in. My Wife's personal fav now (she has a Colt Officers ACP .45 that she has grown too old to handle the recoil) is a Colt 1903 Model M in .32 ACP.

    Then she shot one of her fathers revolvers - an S&W model 19 4" and loved it. Then she rented (and is continuing to rent and test) several guns including a Ruger LCR, a Walther PPK/S .380, a Glock 26, and a Ruger LCP 380.

    She's still looking but so far she feels the most confident with her Colt 1903.

    End result is that the user must choose...we can only offer reasonable suggestions.

    VooDoo
     
  16. nplant

    nplant Member

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    This may be a dumb question, but if she's in her mid fifties and has not ever shot a gun (my take on the phrase "absolute newbie to firearms"), what is the rush to get her to carry concealed? Why not go through a bunch of familiarization first, allow her to develop her own opinions on firearms and what feels "right" and then pop the question (you know, "Which one will it be, my darling?")

    My opinion is that if she must absolutely carry a concealed weapon in short order for whatever reason, get her a couple of intensive training sessions and a Glock 17 or 19 - they're inexpensive, and work really well. From there, she can form her opinions and will probably want to ditch the Glock at some point in the future.
     
  17. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    Sky Dog - having had to teach my 7X year old mother to shoot about 10 years ago, take your wife to several stores and let her try various guns to see how they fit her hands.

    As a newbie, you might want to stay with just revolvers. They are less prone to mechanical flaws than autos.

    After working with my mother on a .22 revolver and my .380 (she could NOT work the slide!), she tried several revolvers and got a Ruger SP101 2" snubbie in .38 Special.

    Good luck to your wife.

    FYI
     
  18. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    My wife has taken a liking to the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard in .380 with the laser. I plan to make it a Christmas present. I like the idea of a slimmer semi auto to a revolver.


    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
     
  19. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    My wife had trouble with the slide on auto and she chose a S&W 640 Centennial.
     
  20. tommy.duncan

    tommy.duncan Member

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    I looked at several, but when I took my wife out she liked the feel of the 1911a commander. This was her choice and that is what I bought her. She now has several more and she picks out her own. I would never tell her to get anything. Let her handle them at your LGS.
     
  21. Nomad

    Nomad Member

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    I agree with the comments relating to being able to rent and actually shoot the model she thinks she wants. J frames are great guns but they are not for the beginner or novice. The require more practice than larger frames and because of their light weight they tend to recol a bit more.
     
  22. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    One of my sisters got her pistol permit a few years ago. She was in her mid-50's and a total newbie. I did a lot of research on someone like that and it usually wound up pointing toward a small revolver in 38 Spl.. A friend of mine is the owner of the LGS who is very knowledgable on the subject and is a retired sheriff also recommended the same thing and said; "if you don't believe me, do some research on your own". I told him I already did and we had her see how she liked the feel of a few. She wound up with a S&W mod. 642, J frame snubby which she has had for 4 years now. No slide to rack, no safety to flick off under stress, just pure, reliable simplicity. I'll admit those little snubbies can be hard to aim except at point blank range but luckily I reload 38 Spl. and with some practice time she got pretty good with it at normal self defense range. Her only complaint at first was that the recoil was worse than she expected. Turns out she wasn't gripping it very tight; and now she enjoys shooting it. If she ever decides she wants something else I told her she can sell it to me but I don't expect that to happen anytime soon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  23. Sky Dog

    Sky Dog Member

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    I think I'll let her make her own choice, but strongly suggest a .38 snubby.
     
  24. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    No way I'd steer any new shooter to a snub nose, lightweight revolver.

    As many others have said, take her someplace where she can rent or borrow a bunch of different kinds of sidearms and have her shoot until something tickles her.

    It MIGHT be a snubby airweight. That's great. But DON'T try to steer her to that. Let her find something SHE's comfortable shooting and can shoot ACCURATELY with. It very well might be a .45ACP 1911. (They're easier to shoot well than a snubby revolver anyway.)

    Snubbies tend to be neither comfortable for new shooters nor accurate in their untrained hands.

    Let HER find what works for HER.

    (FWIW, my 11 year old daughter prefers a full-sized 9mm. Trying to shoe-horn her into shooting a light snubby would have been disaster.)

    Do it RIGHT. No just following the conventional wisdom of what you think a "ladies' gun" should be.

    And because Kathy's site has only been mentioned once or twice:

    http://www.corneredcat.com/article/for-the-men/what-gun-for-a-woman/
    http://www.corneredcat.com/article/for-the-men/buying-a-gun-for-your-wife/
    http://www.corneredcat.com/article/for-the-men/how-to-make-your-wife-hate-guns/
     
  25. Revolver Ocelot

    Revolver Ocelot Member

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    My wife started on an old 38 service revolver with a 4" barrel, she eventually shot a variety of guns and found what works for her until we took her to the store for her to pick one out for herself. Let her shoot some big guns (not calibers) and let her find what her comfort zone is, you wouldn't let someone else pick your carry gun right? ;)
     
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