PDA

View Full Version : Revolver or Semi for my mother?


Fobjoe
01-02-2009, 5:01 PM
I know whenever this comes up men will typically say that revolvers are "best" for women. My mother wants to start shooting now and my father wants me to find a gun for her. The problem is that I live in San Diego most of the year and they live in Sacramento so I can't take her shooting for a while. Now I know it is always best to just "go out and shoot" but I'm curious as to what women think about the whole revolver vs. semi debate. The overall vibe that I get is that women typically prefer shooting semi autos, but male gun enthusiast always recommend revolvers for women.

I understand that a revolver has many positive characteristics which make people suggest them for women.
- ease of use
- simplicity
- reliability
- no slide to rack

At the same time, MOST women I have taken shooting prefer a full size 9mm service pistol (or even a semiauto 45acp) to my .38sp revolver. The reasons for them being the revolver's faults of:
- DA trigger is too heavy
- the gun itself has a high weight to size ratio
- holds only 6 rds

I personally prefer a semi auto as well. What do you ladies prefer?

grammaton76
01-02-2009, 7:53 PM
Most men suggest revolvers for women for reasons they can't clearly articulate. They're related to the turkeys who will insist that 45ACP is enough gun to break a woman's wrists with a single shot.

My wife has a very strong preference for my CZ-97B 45ACP semi. The slide is fairly light, the 45ACP round has very little sense of humor, and the weight of the gun makes it easy to keep recoil manageable.

Way too many people try to shove featherweight guns into womens' hands, without understanding that weight absorbs recoil.

Regardless though, you need to get your mom out to a range (with someone, even if it's not you) with rental guns if a good variety of guns isn't available. My wife loves the semis, but she wants a revolver for an open carry piece just because of how it looks. I'd consider checking into a bunch of ranges in the Sac area and ask how many of them have womens' intro to guns courses. For a small fee she'd get a class, understand the basics, and probably be able to rent some guns to find out what she wants.

The biggest thing though is to keep psychological factors out of it. Any guy who starts chanting that tired CRAP about how no women can handle anything over 9mm must be shut down instantly, as it completely varies from woman to woman. "I can only handle a 32" women are not born, they are CREATED by guys like that as misguided women listen to them. My mother in law was aghast that my wife had an AR-15 for home defense, and thought she needed to get her daughter a 38 Special just because a woman couldn't possibly handle anything that major. Her mom wasn't really at fault; she'd just been fed a line of crap and never allowed to determine the truth for herself.

Let your mom figure out what she wants to shoot, and support her on it... she'll probably decide she likes a 22 for targets and something in the 9mm-45acp range for "serious business".

CSDGuy
01-02-2009, 8:06 PM
To teach someone how to shoot, I'd want to use either a .22LR or a .357 with .38 ammo (teaching in a SA mode at first). The idea being LOW recoil while teaching the safety stuff as well as the sight alignment/sight picture thing. There's absolutely ZERO sense in beating up a new shooter. Once someone's figured that stuff out, then have them rent one of each (pistol and revolver) and let them decide for themselves.

This is one of those cases where renting is good...

Vacaville
01-03-2009, 8:39 AM
A double-action .357/.38 revolver is my choice for a family gun.

A revolver is easy to load and easy to check to see if it is loaded - open and close the cylinder and that's all there is to it. Pull the trigger and it goes bang. There is no slide to rack, magazine to load (or drop accidentally), or safety position to worry about. If your mother is not going to practice regularly I'd opt for a revolver.

My 67 year-old mother-in-law was talking about getting a gun for home defense. I am recommending either an S&W Model 10 or a Ruger GP100.

Good luck!

movie zombie
01-03-2009, 11:18 AM
i am a woman and i love revolvers.....but hate the air/light weights. i started with a .357 and only bought a .22 for fun later. i've added more .357's to my collection and have rifles in calibres to go with my revolvers....all just 'cause i like them.

my 84 year old mother has a walther .32 that she can now barely slide to rack...in fact, i'm not sure she can. i had problems with sliding the rack until a kindly ex-LEO working behind the counter at markley's showed me a technique. i'm now contemplating which semo-auto pistol [probably a .45] i'll be buying this year. however, i never regret that in the drawer next to my bed is a full loaded model 60 with .357 ammo.

what is best for a woman is what fits her hand, what she is comfortable with, what she's willing to practice with at a range, what she's willing to pay for ammo to practice, and what she's willing to clean herself. getting the range sooner rather than later will help her make her decisions.

movie zombie

TheBundo
01-21-2009, 2:42 AM
Revolvers are much simpler devices to operate and maintain.

Annie Oakley
01-22-2009, 10:25 AM
The first handgun I learned to shoot was the M1911A1 (.45 cal). This was done more for familiarization and not so much for qualification. When I met my husband, that was the first time I shot a revolver.

The .45 is a good gun and I didn't have any problem pulling the slide back. Revolvers are nice, but it takes a little longer to reload. The M9 is okay, but the grip is a little bulky for my hands. I have some mixed feelings about my SA.XD. It shoots fine, it's not too big for my hands, and I have the laser and flashlight on it. The only problem I have with it, for a beginner, it doesn't have a thumb safety, and I have to use a leather glove to disassemble my gun, because it hurts my thumb when I push the slide disconnect thingy up. All in all, if you can find a 1911 with the flashlight connector on the bottom, I would go with that.

One other little thing that some have a problem with is holding the 1911. I have seen some men and women cut their thumbs because it was too close to the slide. So be careful.

TheBundo
01-22-2009, 12:44 PM
The first handgun I learned to shoot was the M1911A1 (.45 cal). This was done more for familiarization and not so much for qualification. When I met my husband, that was the first time I shot a revolver.

The .45 is a good gun and I didn't have any problem pulling the slide back. Revolvers are nice, but it takes a little longer to reload. The M9 is okay, but the grip is a little bulky for my hands. I have some mixed feelings about my SA.XD. It shoots fine, it's not too big for my hands, and I have the laser and flashlight on it. The only problem I have with it, for a beginner, it doesn't have a thumb safety, and I have to use a leather glove to disassemble my gun, because it hurts my thumb when I push the slide disconnect thingy up. All in all, if you can find a 1911 with the flashlight connector on the bottom, I would go with that.

One other little thing that some have a problem with is holding the 1911. I have seen some men and women cut their thumbs because it was too close to the slide. So be careful.


I think the opposite is true, a revolver can be reloaded faster than a magazine. Unless you are talking about changing out to a different magazine. But eventually, however many magazines you have have to be reloaded. Of course, you can get speed-loaders for revolvers. Watch the last few seconds of this video in particular:

cY9CyA9s41c

Annie Oakley
01-22-2009, 3:36 PM
I think the opposite is true, a revolver can be reloaded faster than a magazine. Unless you are talking about changing out to a different magazine. But eventually, however many magazines you have have to be reloaded. Of course, you can get speed-loaders for revolvers. Watch the last few seconds of this video in particular:

cY9CyA9s41c

lol, nice! But how many of us really practice to do that ?

movie zombie
01-22-2009, 3:37 PM
i need to practice a LOT more with my speedloaders!!!!!!!! wow, that guy is awesome!!!!!!!

movie zombie

TheBundo
01-22-2009, 4:53 PM
A double-action .357/.38 revolver is my choice for a family gun.

A revolver is easy to load and easy to check to see if it is loaded - open and close the cylinder and that's all there is to it. Pull the trigger and it goes bang. There is no slide to rack, magazine to load (or drop accidentally), or safety position to worry about. If your mother is not going to practice regularly I'd opt for a revolver.

My 67 year-old mother-in-law was talking about getting a gun for home defense. I am recommending either an S&W Model 10 or a Ruger GP100.

Good luck!

Same here, a Ruger GP100 6". And I don't just prefer revolvers for women, I prefer them for myself too.

Matt C
01-22-2009, 4:56 PM
I would recommend a .380 Auto single stack with a light DA trigger no safety, but that's just me.

gottarollwithit
01-23-2009, 3:19 PM
This is a good thread. It addresses a very real and honest question.

If you're 70+ years old, alone, and living in the bad part of Oakland, what do you turn to? Currently she turns to a rusty old S&W in .32. With the very much present bad economy, the "badness" is going to start occuring more often.
I'm thinkin either an Airweight in .38 or maybe a G26? I agree with the earlier threads, it's gotta be light recoiling, fit the user, and be easy to use in the middle of the night. You must address the user that knows how to pull the trigger, but doesn't practice every year. The "badness" has already visited her before and luckily somebody else was around. I think it's better to proactive than reactive when it comes this kinda thing.

Logic:

Airweight revolver:
Simple - just pull the trigger and something becomes swiss cheese. Dunno if reloading this revolver would be easier to load than an auto though. Possible trouble in popping the cylinder open.
Bad side - Low capacity

G26:
Simple - keep it chambered so it's as easy to fire as the revolver. Reloading, racking, etc might be a problem. Then again lighting off 11 rds in her area.... Dunno if more than that would be needed.

Any thoughts or advice?

movie zombie
01-23-2009, 6:53 PM
an airweight revolver in .38 is not light recoil!!!!!!!

movie zombie

Cowtown44
01-23-2009, 8:15 PM
I agree with the previous poster, the .38 airweight is not light recoil. My wife shot hers for the first time today. She's 5'10 and has good arm/hand strength and it was a handful. If you go with a revolver, get something with a little weight to it.

Boatz
01-24-2009, 5:46 AM
I'm 5'3" and 130 lbs, getting older (retirement age) and arthritic, with ever reducing hand strength... I sold my Glock 26 because I simply did not enjoy shooting it (and without practice, I was pretty sure one day I would end up shooting myself in the butt with it). Replaced it with a reliable single stack .380, which is delightful to shoot - so I practice... that counts for much in my book...

I also keep a .32 snub which is my "kit gun"... which gun sits closest to me while around the house depends on how tired I am... the revolver takes much less thought (but I'm still learning about my .380). .32 cal seems to be "about right" in terms of recoil for a snubbie... JMHO...

I've owned and shot many different calibers without difficulty. Choices now with age and hand strength are a little different... I still may add a 9mm, but in a full size model...

gottarollwithit
01-24-2009, 6:59 AM
Hmm, ok. As you can see i usually don't buy arms for older folks and i'm certainly not big on the revolver scene... What do you guys suggest? Small, reliable, simple, decent capacity, lightweight, and light recoiling is what would be needed. Maybe a LadySmith? I'm trying to stray away from smaller stuff like .32's and .22's. 9mm is what i'm thinkin...

TheBundo
01-24-2009, 3:12 PM
Frankly, even a revolver in 22LR that holds 10 shots is going to be enough in 99% of the situations.

Boatz
01-24-2009, 4:26 PM
Has your mom ever shot before?

Let's see... don't know if this will help... my S&W .32 snub has a fairly heavy double action trigger (I'll probably, at least get it smoothed) but the recoil on it is very easy... my .380 is a Bersa Thunder (not the CC model)... it was not an expensive gun and I did have to hunt a bit to find one with smooth controls and a couple hundred rounds are recommended for "break in"... it is, so far, dead nuts reliable... its a nice size for women's hands and the recoil doesn't beat me up... (Firestorm is its twin sister)

I'm shopping for a 9mm and, as far a weight/balance, reliability and "slide rack-ability", the Beretta 92fs is looking like a likely candidate...

What I wouldn't recommend is a .38 snub in any flavor - even when I was young and strong, I hated shooting 'em... S&W with a 4" barrel was nice, but not the 2" barrel... If you are thinking Ladysmith, you might want to consider at least the 3" bbl...

take Mom shooting...

sorensen440
01-24-2009, 4:28 PM
The larger and heavier the frame the easier the recoil will be to manage regardless of if its a revolver or semi

movie zombie
01-25-2009, 9:39 AM
ditto re taking mom shooting! its the only way to find out.

movie zombie

Axewound
01-26-2009, 4:58 PM
i tried to give my mom a glock 19 and she couldnt even rack the slide, then she freaked out over not having a safety. then she complained that the grip was too large.

i told her to get a revolver

gottarollwithit
01-27-2009, 9:50 PM
Yea, she's been shooting since the 60's. Certainly not everyday, every month, or even every year, but she knows that pulling the trigger makes it go bang. I guess i'll take her out and see what she thinks about the G26. Hopefully she won't think the slide is too stiff. Lack of safety probably won't be a prob. I was thinking that she could just leave it chambered so if the time ever comes, there's not much needed...

If so, what do yal think about a Ruger SP101 in 9mm? I suppose i could have Gemini clean one up and make it nice.
She also has a larger 38 - i don't remember much about it, but she said that it was too big and heavy for her.
Big and heavy, stiff trigger pulls/recoil springs, etc do not work with her. She wants small, light, reliable, and easy to use. I just don't want to get her into some funky caliber that's not easy to buy. I'd prefer to stray away from .32, .25, and other exotics. If she does 9mm, at least i can reload for it and build up some low recoil stuff.

movie zombie
01-28-2009, 7:29 AM
model 60 j-frame stainless steel will shoot .38 and .357's is lighter than larger framed smiths, sturdy, reliable, easy to use.

movie zombie