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  #1  
Old 06-02-2003, 01:41 AM
Theophorus Theophorus is offline
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Best Handgun For Women




I'm shopping to purchase a handgun for my wife, and want to purchase something reliable. I have been considering a Taurus small frame revolver in .38 +P, as well as a Kahr K-9. Any opinions and factors I should take into consideration?

Thanks, Theo. :-)
  #2  
Old 06-02-2003, 02:09 AM
Jim V Jim V is offline
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The best handgun for your wife is what she likes and not what you think she should like. Take her to a range where she can try different pistols and let her make her choice.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2003, 03:28 AM
steelheart steelheart is offline
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Seconded. Whatever fits her hand. I had my girlfriend looking at different guns for several months trying to figure out what might work. I did reserve the right to pick the minimum caliber as I was paying. She ended up with a S&W M66 2.5". Now we just have to find time to get the two of them out to the range more....
My mother just tried to relieve me of my P32. I told her that if she wanted one to get her own. I paid for her first one (taraus 605) and the others were up to her.
The point here is that my girlfriend and my mother are close in height but chose two different sizes of gun.

Steelheart
  #4  
Old 06-02-2003, 04:38 AM
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How bout a GE minigun with purse mount?
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2003, 07:02 AM
Richard Richard is offline
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I went through this process with a female shooter (Wendy) on another board. I met Wendy and her husband range.

I had with me a S&W M37, Kahr K9, heavily customized Kahr E9, Taurus PT111, EG Makarov, and Glock 27. Wendy took a liking to the E9 and the shop had a nice one for sale. Wendy bought the shop's E9.

My point is let your wife pick and choose for herself. I would only interfere if she were to want a .25 etc. or a weapon I knew wasn't quality.
Regards,

Richard
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Old 06-02-2003, 08:14 AM
CastleBravo CastleBravo is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim V
The best handgun for your wife is what she likes and not what you think she should like.
Bingo.
  #7  
Old 06-02-2003, 08:59 AM
Double Naught Spy Double Naught Spy is offline
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Whether or not the handgun is for a woman is immaterial and there is no way that anybod on this board can tell you what is good for your particular wife anymore than we can tell you what is good for you. The salient questions you should be asking yourself pertain to your wife's particular situation just as they would pertain to you if you were buying yourself a gun.

1. What is the largest caliber that can be handled very well by the shooter? Ideally, something larger than .38 Special is good.
2. What is the platform that the shooter can best operate accurately under stress and can correct malfunctions?
3. What size (usually pertaining to the grips) can be held best by the shooter? Small hands often require smaller grip sizes, and vice versa.
3. What is the situation in which the shooter might be using the gun? If the gun is for something like home defense and is not going to be carried concealed, then more options are available that include many of the larger-sized guns that don't conceal well.
4. If concealed, in what manner will the shooter be carrying the gun?
5. What is the absolute best quality gun you can afford that meets the 4 criteria above?

In American Handgunner one or two issues ago, there was an article (by Clint Smith?) on handguns for wives and he made the points that these get bought by husbands and often are not well thought purchase decisions. For example, if the caliber and gun type are such that recoil during firing is painful, then the person is not going to practice with the gun. One of the mistakes commonly made is to provide the wife with the older carry gun the husband is giving up when he purchases a new gun for himself. The gun given up is often non-optimal for the wife, but the husband rationalizes that it does need to be since she probably won't be using it anyway. On top of that, the old gun being given up is often given up because it isn't great quality or maybe isn't all that reliable, hence why the hubby needs a new gun. If a new gun is purchased for the wife, the mistake is often made that she be given a lightweight "Ladies gun" such as a S&W Airlite (however it is spelled) model. While lightweight and hence the designation of being a Ladies gun since ladies would not want heavier guns or could not handle heavier guns, lightweight guns are often the absolute worst choice. In th context that the gun is being purchased for the wife who is obviously not a skilled shooter (or she would be selecting her own gun), the lightweight guns have less weight to absorb some of the recoil. What happens then is that the gun is harder to handle while firing. Plus, these are often harder on the hands and once again, the shooter isn't going to practice with the gun if it is painful or hard to control.

As Smith noted, why would you want your wife to carry a less than optimal gun for herself, one that has been imposed on her by the ignorance or poor decision making of the husband?

Do note that sometimes the best choice is not what you would expect. I took my (approaching 70) mother to a local range that rented guns and had her shoot several. DA revolvers were difficult for her to pull the trigger with arthitic hands. I got the impression that mom wasn't going to be a person who remembered to disengage the safety when needed as her limited shooting experience had been with revolvers. So while we tried some auto like Kahrs, the Glocks in 9 mm really seemed to be the most ideal choice. She did not like the full-sized Glocks at all and did not shoot them well. Actually, she didn't shoot them badly, but compared to the gun she ended up with, she didn't shoot them well.

As it turns out, the young lady in the lane next to use offered to let mom shoot her Glock 26 (baby Glock). Mom proceeded to empty the magazine into the black on her target with all shots. The gun was a perfect fit for her. Since that time, I have snickered quite a bit at the guys who complain that the Glock 26 is difficult to control during recoil as compared to larger frames that absorb more of th recoil. If you can find a good match between the shooter and the gun, some potential problems you might expect will be overcome.

Mom still isn't exactly one to have a blazingly fast draw from the holster, but if she does manage to get her gun drawn in time for the situation, then she is going to do very well for targets inside of 7 yards (stationary, moving, big, small and regardless if she is stationary or moving). At longer distances, she isn't quite as good, but she still shoots better than some of the who carry guns for a living that I have seen shoot.

So completely erase for consideration that the person you are buying for is your wife. Instead think about it that you are buying a gun for your partner and so the gun needs to fit that partner given the relevant criteria noted above. Remember, it may not just be your partner's own life that is being protected. The gun purchased may be what is used by your partner to save your butt.

I am proud to say that my wife's preferred gun is a full-sized 1911. We put thin grips on it so that her hands better fit the grip. I have no qualms about her backing me up or saving my butt with that platform as she shoots it well. The significance of bragging on my wife here pertains to compatibility issues. We both prefer 1911s. So should she end up with my gun for some reason, she is going to be able to shoot it as well as her own (I have thin grips as well) and I am going to be able to handle hers just as well. So for whatever gun your partner ends up getting, you need to be fairly proficient with it as your partner does with your gun. As queried by the instructors at Thunder Ranch, "What makes you think you are going to be fighting with your own gun?" I saw a news brief recently that noted an officer had shot a suspect with the suspect's own gun. It seems the officer found the gun during a frisk and right after that, the suspect produced a second gun that was conealed and turned to fire on the officer who immediately put the suspect's first gun to good use.
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2003, 09:03 AM
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Len S Len S is offline
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Theo, now be real careful I took my wife shooting now my 1911 is hers and I do not have one My wife loves to shoot "our"1911 in .45. She can get her hand around it fine and it is comfortable for her. That is the most imortant part.
Good Luck and if she really takes to shooting maybe she will give you her handmedowns.
Len
  #9  
Old 06-02-2003, 09:06 AM
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My wife is petite, 5' with small hands. Her choices (so far) are:

Glock 33
S&W Scandium 357Mag revolver (I forget the mode)
Taurus PT111 Millenium
Mauser M2 (after I conviced her that everyone should have at least 1 45ACP
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  #10  
Old 06-02-2003, 09:09 AM
ssr ssr is offline
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Best handgun for women

Don't know. Whats' the best handgun for men?
  #11  
Old 06-02-2003, 09:24 AM
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I agree with what's been said here before. I'd like to add one thing though. Women that are not "into shooting" (as in hobby, or something they get excited about), but rather just want to be capable of defending themselves with a handgun if they had to (when armed man is not around ), case being my wife, prefer .380 or 9mm because of lighter recoil and less of "intimidation factor" (for themselves when shooting it). Others, that actually enjoy shooting, most likely go head to head with the rest of the boys when it comes to size and caliber. JMHO.

BTW, the same holds true for men.
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2003, 09:48 AM
Forkhorn Forkhorn is offline
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Then there is cases such as my wife. She absolutley loved her Taurus Mod 85ul and shot it extremly well. But.. then she had an unrelated surgery ,CTS, and now when she tries to shoot it she gets a knot on her wrist and is painful for her. She loves plinking with a Single Six I have. I dont want her to have a .22lr for a defensive caliber by any means but it would beat nothing. Im hoping that I can get here to try something like a Bersa Thunder in .380 our one of the PPKs on the market. She was very dissapointed in that she really liked her lil snuby. Such is the way it goes with injuries I guess.
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  #13  
Old 06-02-2003, 10:22 AM
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I took my wife to the range several times to shoot everything she could wrap her small paws around, then we went to the local shops and handled a bunch of other guns. Then one day she came home with a HK USP Compact in 45. That's her gun, I have to ask if I want to shoot it (its an itty-bitty thing, doesn't happen too often).

I've found ladies are often more sensitive to muzzle blast than recoil. If she's going to shoot something loud like a 40SW, 357Sig or Mag, make sure to use plugs and muffs.

Help her decide by letting her shoot/handle as many different guns as possible. But, as others have said above, let her decide.
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  #14  
Old 06-02-2003, 10:27 AM
Theophorus Theophorus is offline
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Quote:
Don't know. Whats' the best handgun for men?
Oh, come on that's easy! The best handgun for men is a custom 1911. Everybody knows that.
;-)

Jolly, Theo. :-)
  #15  
Old 06-02-2003, 10:31 AM
Theophorus Theophorus is offline
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In my experience I find .45 ACP the most comfortable larger caliber to shoot behind .38. After that I would say 9mm, and .40 is very uncomfortable for me. I've recently ordered a Valtro so that I might once again enjoy the pillowy recoil of a 1911.

Theo :-)
  #16  
Old 06-02-2003, 10:49 AM
Sheldonj Sheldonj is offline
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The best handgun for your wife is what she likes and not what you think she should like. Take her to a range where she can try different pistols and let her make her choice.

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Seconded. Whatever fits her hand. I had my girlfriend looking at different guns for several months trying to figure out what might work. I did reserve the right to pick the minimum caliber as I was paying.
Those without a doubt are the best responces in the post. When the wife recieved her CPL I likewise reserved the right to specify a minimum cal. and she ended up with a CZ100, but now she is looking at a Lady Smith, due to it's slightly smaller size and ease of cinciealment. I did try to use the KISS theory (Keep It Simple Stupid) and talk her into a wheel gun but since I had a semi auto, she would have to part of it, and wanted one too. Yes there was a learning curve for her on the semi but the extra range time was nice.
  #17  
Old 06-02-2003, 11:31 AM
vic303 vic303 is offline
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Chicks & guns!

As a woman "gun nut" I feel somewhat qualified to offer my opinion here...Most folks have already given you the advice I would--Let her pick the gun she wants, fits her well, and that she shoots well. Your advice as to minimal caliber will be helpful if she understands how/why it may matter in time of need.

My suggestion is to let her try as many firearms as she wants. I recommend trying to find a Ruger GP-100 series pistol in .357 for her to try, preferably 3" (try gun list). I love my 4" GP, but it's a bit large for carry. Makes a great home defense pistol though!! I have let numerous other women try my pistol collection, and literally all of them have liked the GP-100 best. And in .357, she can shoot .38Spl +P, in it, or .357 if she likes it ( 125gr JHP over 7.7gr Bullseye is my personal favorite for .357 practice).

Hope this thread helps you both out!
  #18  
Old 06-02-2003, 11:56 AM
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Women being women...I would recommend something compact, light, controllable, reliable, effective, and cheap. Bersa Thunder 380.
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Old 06-02-2003, 04:44 PM
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My better half defied all logic I tried to bring into finding what she liked (I know typical for a woman... LOL). Anyway, She liked the .22's ok for starters. I progressed up through .38's in the wheelguns and .40's in my Glock. She hated any revolver I gave her to try and also hated the Glock. Since she hated the Glock, I was hesitant to move her up to the .45, but she insisted on trying my Gold Match. First shot was a dead on bullseye at 7 yards (Obliterated the X on the target) and she hasn't stopped yet. When I had some spare gun money she insisted I buy her her own .45, a Kimber Pro CDP, aluminum frame and all. She won't shoot anything else any more. Best advice is as others have suggested, let the shooter decide, and ignore logic!

later,
AJ
  #20  
Old 06-02-2003, 05:07 PM
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AZ Husker AZ Husker is offline
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No doubt about it...insist on the two-tone Ed Brown Classic Custom. Only the best for HER!
Hopefully she won't like it, then it's yours.
If she does, at least you can shoot it occasionally.
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  #21  
Old 06-02-2003, 06:26 PM
Double Naught Spy Double Naught Spy is offline
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Damond, just what exactly do you have against Theophorus' wife?

You are joking right? You are calling a Bersa Thunder a reliable and effective handgun? Bersas hardly have a stellar reputation and .380 can hardly be considered an effective round compared to other rounds out there. If a .380 is all Theophorus' wife can handle, then caliber size is determined. My guess is that she can handle more than just a .380. Heck, some 9 mm guns have similar handling characteristics as the Bersa including recoil, but with that you get a better quality gun and a more effective round.
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Old 06-02-2003, 06:55 PM
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Id certainly feel more at ease with a .380 +P say than a .22mag or 32acp. I certainly wouldnt want a 85 grain HP expanding anywhere in my torso.
But DNS,in his recent reply to the Bersa Thunder statment is the 2nd opinion Ive gotten just today on them.

DNS...what do you know about them?Am I reading a negative here? I was considering that model a comprimise for my wife since she can no longer shoot her .38 snubby. My dealer/buddy said it wouldnt be a good choice for her because they are light and have to sharp of a recoil. That would defeat the whole reason for her getting rid iof the .38 I guess.

Anyone shot a .32 H&R mag. That might be a solution for my wifes case and is a caliber I dont see mentioned tooften in these senario/questions?

Wish I could get her to try my Hi-Power a little more..but dont want her to hurt her wrist anymore and make it not fun for her to practice.
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  #23  
Old 06-02-2003, 07:05 PM
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DNS...I too read that post as not only an insult to Theo's wife, but against all women in general!

Forkhorn...Without knowing your wife's wrist condition, would it be possible to switch her primary shooting hand? If not, how about keeping her defensive weapon in an acceptable caliber and let her practice with a .22 in a close "feeling" configuration? In the event that she would need to use her primary weapon, I'll bet her pain/strength issue will not even come into play. Best wishes to both of you!
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Old 06-03-2003, 06:40 AM
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The folks in the "let her try them all" camp are right on

At the risk of sounding politically incorrect (is that even possible on a gun board??) let me say this comment is not meant to be judgmental.

Women (generally speaking) don't have the fascination with tools men have. We find long threads discussing the pros/cons of various pistol calibers, operating types, sizes, makes, etcetera, endlessly fascinating. Women, for the most part, couldn't care less about all that stuff (unless they're gun nuts, of course). Arguments about what would be "best" for them will likely fall on deaf ears. This attribute isn't right or wrong, fair or unfair, good, bad or indifferent, it just happens to be true.

So your best bet is likely to lay out a group of pistols you'd find at least acceptable in terms of defensive capability, even if not "ideal" in your opinion, and let her pick from those. I'd suggest both small revolvers and small autos in several calibers. I got my mom a Taurus Model 85 concealed hammer using this approach (steel, not the newer titanium ones) this way, with pachmayr rubber grips. She'll carry it, and finds it not too unpleasant to actually shoot. Loads it with 125 grain Federal Nyclad HPs.

Would I prefer she carry a commander size .45? Sure I would. But the fact that she likes the snubby and the round is not totally useless makes me feel pretty good about her choice.

Ladies, sorry if there are any of you I offended out there, it was not my intention. Even if you like technical discussion of tools and other implements, you have to admit that most ladies simply aren't wired to be interested in those kinds of discussions.
  #25  
Old 06-03-2003, 07:30 AM
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After some "missed" tries, I finally took my wife down to the gun store and told her to pick out something. She ended up selecting a S&W 5906. She really likes a 1911 style pistol but found a .45 a little much for shooting. She gave me "permission" to find her a 1911 in 9mm but for the time being she will carry the 5906.
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Oh man, now where did this part go?!?!?!?
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