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Gun Recomendation

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by tueller, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    I am asked about this frequently at my job, Cabela's Gun Library. Here is my take after many years as an NRA instructor and dealing with the issue of home defense. First let define her objective. It is HOME DEFENSE, not necessarily owning a gun. Here are some things I tell folks when they ask me about HOME DEFENSE.

    1. Live in a relatively safe neighborhood. Good neighbors will aid in HOME DEFENSE for the entire neighborhood.
    2. Get good strong locks on all your doors and windows. The object of home defense should be to never put your family in a confrontational situation with a bad dude. Don't let him get into your house.
    3. Get some good lights outside the perimeter of your house. Light up all your doorways. Put some motion detector lights up in the corners of your house that will come on at 3 am when the raccoon or bad dude walks through your yard.
    4. Have 911 on speed dial for all your phones.
    5. Get a security system for your house for when you and the family are or are not home. Add a barking dog motion detector to your interior.
    6. Learn how to talk COP to a bad confrontational dude, "LISTEN YOU MF, I HAVE A GUN AND if YOU DON'T GET OUT OF HERE AND AWAY FROM ME I'LL BLOW YOUR F----- HEAD OFF."

    What you are trying to do with all this is to avoid a deadly confrontation.

    Okay, once you have done all this to ensure your HOME'S DEFENSE then you should start addressing SELF DEFENSE which is a different but related subject. In my experience many folks, not just small women, are intimidated by firearms unless they grew up in a family that used them. They have never hunted, been involved in shooting sports, and only get their info about firearms from the boob tube. Other instructors on this tread will confirm their insecurity when first handling and shooting a firearm. So you usually have to start slow and easy with tons of patience when introducing a newbie to guns..

    One of the first questions I ask someone who seems aggressive about buying a gun to take out the bad dude is, "Are you ready to live with the fact that you just killed someone? Not just shooting someone, but actually putting him in a pine box and living with this the rest of your life." If not, then look for other means of self defense than with a firearm. There are some good pepper spray guns like the Kimber Pepper Blaster that work very effectively.



    All this being said, if you feel you have the ability to kill someone with a firearm then you have to decide what your killing weapon will be. This gets really sticky and I don't think there is a good answer except to advise the woman to buy what she likes, meaning she is comfortable handling it, knows how to store and care for it properly, understands what good ammo is for that particular gun, and hopefully will be able to hit a target with it, and if the target is a bad dude, kill him with it. I'm not pussy footing around here. If you are going to have to use a firearm for self protection you want the bad dude to stop his aggression and if that means killing him you will be able to do it. It easy to talk in the abstract about guns and shooting the bad dude but 99.9% of those doing the talking have never been in a life threatening confrontation with a firearm.

    So if you can get past all this, and still want a firearm, I'll tell you about some of the ones I have seen used by women.

    My wife, not a big women, likes her Beretta Bobcat .22. It is very light, small, fits her hands, and she can put a bunch of hyper velocity .22 rounds into a target accurately and quickly. Don't scoff about using a .22, one almost killed Ronald Regan. I have a couple of 9mm H&K USP models, compact, and full size, that she shoots well also but she likes HER small Beretta the best. A friend of hers, also not a large woman, goes to the range with us and she shoots a S&W 4" police model in .38 special. She bought it used, didn't feel she would ever be comfortable with a .357 mag, and felt that the intimidation factor was very good with this larger revolver. I should mention both are nurses, and if you have ever been around nurses you know that they are very good at speaking COP when they have to.

    Some women seem to like the S&W's, etc. with the built in laser or bright flash lights. I'm thinking if I were the bad dude and saw a laser beam flashing about I would quickly vacate the premises or end the confrontation.


    As you can see I do not think there is a definitive answer to this very serious question about guns for a woman (or a man). To me the goal for HOME or SELF DEFENSE is to avoid a deadly confrontation at all times, and if it comes down to a life or death or injury situation that you can not avoid, then be prepared to kill the attacker.

    Just my two cents on a very serious subject.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  2. bradpierson26


    Aug 7, 2008
    Speaking of historical odds, what percentage of people will ever need a gun for self defense? I might as well never carry a gun if we're playing the odds.
    Do me a favor; stare into your crystal ball and tell me what and when my self defense scenario is going to be. Being vigilant gets old. Tell me the date and time and I can prepare with rifles, body armor, and bring some buddies.
    That's what I thought.
    A $339 Shield from PSA will have more a more predictable trigger, better sights, better capacity, easier reloads, will be thinner & lighter than revolvers even at twice that price.
    Revolvers are inferior carry pieces when compared to compact 9s but they are a viable choice when you realize their shortfalls.
    That being said, I carry a 442 as deep concealment and a BUG. Stronger hands, more dry fire, higher round count, etc. make me comfortable with a 5 shot .38 as a backup. I would NOT let my wife carry it.
    The majority of females will not invest the time or the money to become proficient with a J Frame. That's not sexist or mean, it's just the truth.
  3. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    As for the revolver vs semi debate...

    My wife shot my Ruger Security Six .357/.38 and several semis including a Browning BDA .380 and Ruger SR9c. I showed her how each works, went thru pros/cons of each, and ran thru some "what if" scenarios with her. I then let her make a decision on what she wanted and what she felt comfortable with. After renting a few handguns (revolvers and semis) from ranges she chose her S&W Shield in 9mm. Educate your ladies (spend some $ on rentals + ammo) and let them make their own decision. You wont come to a conclusion in a day or two but it was worth it in my case. YMMV.
  4. Top's Custom Kydex

    Top's Custom Kydex KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 21, 2014
    S&W Shield in 9mm with the safety. Use the 8 round magazine for home defense 7 round magazine with a Pierce extension if needed for cc.

    I really like the safety on the Shield. You can rack the slide with it engaged making loading and clearing the pistol much safer for a novice. Glock 26 is too bulky for the purse and an off the body pistol just should have a safety.

    If you want a wheel gun I'd recommend the LCR in 9mm.
  5. muphasta


    Jun 30, 2013
    A woman used to own the gun shop near me. I asked her what I should consider for my wife and she suggested a .357 revolver. She said to pick the one that felt best to my wife.

    My mother-in-law had herself a Beretta .380 semi-auto. She had a concealed carry holster for it and everything.

    It does come down to how comfortable the firearm is in the hand of the user, but in each case I mentioned, two totally different firearms felt right to two different women. Your friend will need to handle several weapons until she find one that feels right. Hopefully, it will fall into her price range as well!
  6. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    Extremely few, but once the person chooses to own a firearm for defense, it's important you not encumber them with bad info.

    That's your choice and your choice alone.

    It's more important that I correct the misinformation you bandy about here in this thread.

    You haven't handled , carried, and shot many quality revolvers, have you?

    Just more bad info from you.

    Takes more time to become proficient in the proper manual of arms for an autoloader. As an example, consider the failure to fire drill for a revolver vs. the failure to fire drill for an autoloading pistol.

    Revolvers are perfectly fine handguns for women and simply are not the inferior firearms you would have all of us believe they are.

    Your last comment brings to bear my earlier questions to you that you avoided so thus remain unanswered --- Just how long have you been a firearms instructor? And how many women have you actually taught?
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  7. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
  8. SharpJax


    Dec 7, 2014
    Best answer yet:

  9. bradpierson26


    Aug 7, 2008
    You're a broken record. Say something to counter my arguments against a small revolver for a first time, female, shooter.

    I am not an instructor; simply someone that can apply thought and logic into a decision making process after weighing pros and cons. I can probably count the female shooter's I've helped on one hand.

    I'm not spouting misinformation in the slightest. Show me a revolver the size of a G26/M&P9c that has comparable sights, trigger pull, capacity, ease of reload or malfunciton clearance, the same or less weight and size, etc. I won't even bring lights, lasers, or holster availability into the discussion.

    I've handled and shot enough j-frames, N-frames, K-frames, GP-100s, Pythons, etc to know they can be awesome hunting guns, range toys, plinkers, and backup guns. I also have enough trigger time to know they are hard to master and I would not want to grab one to face an adversary.
  10. druid189


    Apr 27, 2008
    1. I will....there's nothing wrong in suggesting a small revolver as a first firearm. It's easiest to manipulate for the novice, as there are the least amount of parts to mess with. Point and shoot. Open, reload, close.

    However....that presumes the female is somehow ill-equipped to learn how to properly and efficiently use a semi auto. I submit that should be left to the female shooter to decide.

    2. I have instructed and I've instructed quite a few females. Aside from the random assistance on our department range as well as 'random female friends', I have a wife and 3 daughters. All of which took their instruction from me. Their age ranges at the time of instruction were wife at age 28 [she's now 52], oldest at 16 [now 27], middle at 15 [now 18] and the 16 yr old when she was 15.
    I provided 4 different revolvers and 5 different semi auto handguns to each of them. They ranged from light-load .38 Spl and 9mm revolvers, all the way up to my .45 ACP semi autos. Each firearm has it's pros and cons against each other. All but one [my wife] preferred a semi auto. She preferred the Taurus 85 with Hogue grips.

    The first thing people need to learn is picking a firearm that fits their hand properly. If it doesn't fit, they can't hold on to it correctly. If they can't hold on to it correctly, they can't control it properly. If they can't control it properly [not only is this an unsafe practice] they cannot learn the correct shooting fundamentals that go with learning it. That leads to compensating for something or using unorthodox methods to accomplish the task.

    3. It still depends on the learning shooter and what fits, in conjunction to what they prefer. Suggest all of them and let them decide what they should use.

    It doesn't hurt to make [reasonable] suggestions but ultimately it has to be up to the person learning the firearm.

    EDIT: Or you can take some advice from her, who routinely caries a Glock 19:

    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  11. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    Read again. I have (though I'll note you are the one adding the adjective "small" ---and FYI small or medium or even large might be the most appropriate depending on hand size --- but then again, you'd need to reread my posts in this thread. IIRC my first post in this thread had to do with hand size and fit to handgun and trigger).

    Mayhaps you aren't the best one to answer the question then. Just a thought.

    And FYI, a revolver trigger, a good one anyway (and there are many), is no harder to master than any number of DA autoloaders. You roll the trigger vs staging, stacking, or taking up the slack then breaking the trigger. A bit of dry firing at regular intervals is all that is needed. But that goes for any good trigger whether on an autoloader or revolver.
  12. Les Snyder

    Les Snyder

    Jul 6, 2010
    it is hard to beat a S&W M10 4" heavy barrel round butt (this one has Uncle Mikes grips) is a Department of Corrections trade in I got for around $325...holster wear, but very little actual use... for someone with not enough strength to work the slide... Beretta M86 with the tip up barrel, makes it easy to load and unload... for a higher perception of threat G19

  13. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    Nice. A Ruger Security Six is another great deal for a six-shooter. I had years ago in .357 and still regret selling it to a friend of mine.

  14. Pilot1

    Pilot1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    Let her pick. I let my wife do that. She initially shot my 9MM pistols at the range, and liked one of my HK P7's the best of course. I was ready to give her one as her dedicated pistol, then for some reason she decided she was only comfortable shooting .22LR. I don't know what happened, but she won't shoot 9MM anymore, only .22. So I bit the bullet (pun intended) and went out a found a NIB Beretta 87. It is similar to my 85 but in .22LR, and she LOVES it. It has been 100% reliable with CCI Minimags, and that is what she keeps in it. It is also reliable with Federal bulk for practice, but I think the CCI has higher QC so I give her that to keep in the pistol. They are pricey but worth it. A four inch .38 Spl revolver is another good suggestion, but my wife wouldn't hear of it. YMMV.
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Yes, plenty of compact 9mm's around. But are they as reliable functionally as a DA revolver? Doubt it.

    Carrying reloads is over rated since I don't carry a reload or concern myself with such since I have never had to fire a handgun in my life in self defense. Choice should be situational with regards to caliber and firearm. Guns are not a one size fit all kind of thing.

    Shotguns work well for home defense. I doubt she is going to be trying to reload a shotgun in a home defense situation. I also doubt that she will notice the recoil in a high stress situation.

    Honestly, I kept a 22 revolver loaded at home for years as my home defense firearm. Never needed it. Likely never will and if I do, well, I am comfortable shooting more than one shot if I need to. I don't recommend 22's, but they do work for me. They simply don't have the stopping power of most center fire caliber choices. Like gun choice, caliber choice should reflect what the person is comfortable shooting as well as the likelihood of needing a firearm for protection in your area. It is not a once in a lifetime choice.... change your mind, get another gun.

    A 22 you shoot is a lot better than the 9mm you never shoot.
  16. druid189


    Apr 27, 2008
    Not grounded in reality? Ok...let me ask you this.....exactly how many rounds need be fired by the homeowner to protect themselves? You act like it's a fight at the OK Corral or a bunch of hillbillies simulating a genuine 3 gun match. In fact, most home invasions halted by firearms are over in under 4 shots and less than 3 minutes [when that homeowner is prepared].

    You see me on a foot patrol...or even in just plain clothes. I have my Glock 23. Bothered by it? Not really? Ok now picture the same thing except now I'm holding a shotgun...or M4? Little more nervous now?



    Oh yes....revolvers, AR15's, shotguns....all horrible for females...

    this one's first time shooting it. she's so horrible, I want to cry:

  17. druid189


    Apr 27, 2008
    ...and this lady appears to be over 40 - shooting ONE HANDED...she really can't manage that recoil...


    and as for the rest:

    That's why this 10 year old GIRL is a multi-sponsored competitive shooter and shoots them all.....


    ...as well as this 13 year old GIRL:


    ...and there are newly hired women on my department that can out shoot the instructors who have been teaching for YEARS.

    You are a chauvinistic piece-of-work and before you start trampling on what you think women can and can't do, why don't you get some experience with them first?
  18. sideways


    Feb 19, 2013
    I still think the 22/45 is a good place to start. Trigger time trumps most other considerations in a first gun. :)
  19. The Government

    The Government

    Aug 21, 2009
    Most guns from quality manufacturers are probably going to sufice. Does revolver vs semi really matter THAT much? Man vs Woman? 45 vs 9 vs 40 vs 38? -Probably not. The right gear is only a small fraction of what they need.

    What we want to buy them is mindset, but unfortunately that is an internal thing. Mindset drives them to learn about their weapon, practice with it regularly, and build an understanding of how to fight with it. Mindset is what makes them aware of their surroundings. Mindset turns THEM into the weapon.

    I am not sure how to help people with mindset. Without it, guns often end up as unloaded paper weights under beds or inside closets; completely useless. There is a gun in my safe that a girl gave me to hang onto, because she never learned to make any use of it. Her brother bought it for her. She doesn't like to shoot or even think about a "fighting mindset."
  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The mindset is a tough one. I have the mindset when I sit behind my computer or handle my firearms at the range. But in a true self defense situation, I will just have to wait and see how it goes. By the way, it most likely will not be with a 22. My home defense gun is a 3" Ruger GP-100 loaded with 125 gr +P 38spl HP's and a loaded Remie 870 Police shotgun. If I have time, I will grab the shotgun as the primary. I keep a Glock 23 loaded as well at home with an extra loaded mag. I keep it in the room that I would retreat into should it be necessary. Everything else may or may not be loaded depending on the day. Frequently do have 22's lying around in my office.

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