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Black Widow 02-11-2013 11:12 AM

Hi from central CA.
Hello ladies...

I am new to firearms. I have been around them most of my life but have never shot one. I do not count paintball guns as 'shooting' lol so I am hoping to learn more about this new (probably obsession) hobby that my husband and I are embarking on. He is NOT new to firearms, but with the rise in crime in our area I have decided it's time to learn to at least use one in the case that I have to protect my family. Rather have it, know how to use it, but never need to.

He (like many, I am reading) believes that my first venture is a .380. He purchased for me a Kahr P380 (which I do like) but I am hoping that this is just the beginning and I can show him that me being little does not denote that I 'can't use' a bigger firearm. :)

I have been looking for people like me in my area. I live in Los Banos (ugh... yes, I know) but I travel often to San Jose and Modesto as well as the Fresno area. It sure would be nice to talk to some women about how their journey began and get some information about classes or training. I just want to make sure that I am doing things 'right' so to speak. In a way it is a bit overwhelming, as I've been researching, reading and discovering... but it is also very exciting and I am learning a lot.

I appreciate that there is a place where I can come to get a 'woman's view' on this topic since the only input I have had (off the internet) has been my husband and his uncle. They're awesome and VERY smart in this regard, but sometimes I just want to hear a woman's story. :P

Thank you in advance for all your help and perspective!

~ Ms. T

Mottmcfly 02-11-2013 11:13 AM


jonc 02-11-2013 11:15 AM


BonnieB 02-11-2013 11:30 AM

Yayyy, Ms T !!

Welcome to the women's forum. Your thoughts and attitudes are right on, and I'm thrilled that you resist the idea that you can only shoot a small gun. We have plenty of five footers shooting .45 around here.

There's a Second Tuesday group shooting in San Jose that is focused on newbies and women in particular. I'll update this post with the link tonight.

Again, welcome, we're glad you're here, we're glad you're shooting and enjoying it.

movie zombie 02-11-2013 12:20 PM


poke around here in the Ladies Forum....older threads and you'll find a lot of info.

personally? i don't like a .380......after doing my own research when i was getting my first pistol i decided it wasn't for me.

you may want to check out:

lots of great info.

what's important is that it fits your hand, that you like shooting it, that you have fun and will practice at a range with it.

so even if i don't like a .380 what's important is that you do! and the most important thing you've already voiced: better to have it and not have to use it.

and don't forget: it should also be fun! yes, fun!

again, welcome and do remember this: it can be addictive. there is no such thing as one purse, one pair of shoes, one ring, OR ONE PISTOL!

Poms&Guns 02-11-2013 4:35 PM

Welcome! So glad to have you! I am pretty new to the site as well. I'm in Santa Cruz and am hoping to set up some Ladies Shoots at a local gun range up in Scotts Valley in the spring. I am the new state coordinator for a national women's 2A organization and we are just getting the group back up and running. My mother just bought a 380 before Christmas. I have a Glock 19. I will be sure to post when we have our first shoot.

California Coordinator
Second Amendment Sisters

hartref 02-11-2013 6:18 PM


Asphodel 02-11-2013 9:17 PM

Hello and welcome, Ms T,

I suppose all I can really say is that there is good reason for the many varieties of handguns..........and it may take a while to find the one which 'makes friends with you'.....meaning it is the right shape, weight and 'feel' for you, and one with which you can 'bond'.

So.......if you can go to range events, and ask to try a wide range of different handguns, sooner or later you'll get some good experience in the subjective 'feel' of 'what works for me'......don't be afraid to experiment a bit, and understand that everyone else had to go through the same 'learning-curve'.

Personally, I prefer double-action revolvers, and, of those, prefer the feel of a Smith & Wesson over any other make.......the differences are subtle, but meaningful.

As a purely personal opinion, I don't care much for the Charter Arms revolvers, but then, I did mechanical inspection for years and years, so I tend to look closely at mechanical 'fit and finish'.....there's good reason for a H&R or Charter Arms to be less expensive, they're just not as well made as a Smith or Colt.

If I may offer an idea.......if you can possibly afford to, get a best quality (Smith or Colt) revolver in .22. The .22 is 'the key' to developing handgun skill, as its not very loud, doesn't recoil, and the rounds are so cheap that you can do lots and lots of practice. It does take time and practice to develop the 'muscle memory' to handle a handgun........I use the analogy of playing guitar.......after some practice, you can just think 'G chord' or 'C chord', etc., and your fingers will land on the correct strings at the correct frets. So it is with a handgun.....after a few thousand rounds in practice, you'll have 'the feel', like doing chords on a guitar or piano.

The .22 makes practice easy. You can shoot a lot of .22 for the price of a box of .38 or .45 rounds. Actually, the humble .22, with high-velocity hollow-point rounds is no joke as a self-defence weapon, should need arise. (unless your assailant is a wild boar, feral pit bull, or mountain lion, in which case a .41 or .44 mag is your friend)

Its an old truism, but it really is true.......its a lot better to hit, firing instinctively, with a .22 or .32, than to miss with a .44 or .45.

I have a .45 myself, but, then, I worked up to it over several years, with lighter rounds. Its too easy to develop a bad flinch if you start firing a hot .357, or .44 or .45 before you've developed the 'muscle memory' to instinctively compensate for recoil with, say, a lightly loaded .38, or a .380.

Once you've developed the instinctive compensation to handle recoil without getting hurt, which really is just practice and more practice, you'll find that you could handle a .41 or .44 mag easily........lots of relatively slender, lightly built women have done that, its not 'brute strength', but a sort of 'muscle finesse'......hard to explain, but it works.

Also.......different versions of grips can seem to completely change the 'feel' of a may take awhile to find the grip size/shape which is right for your hand.....persevere, there are many grip sizes and shapes to choose from.



movie zombie 02-11-2013 9:40 PM

great post, carla!

LittleOldLady 06-19-2013 4:41 AM

Hi, BlackWidow, I am new to the forums, I have been shooting for over 50 years.
I started out on a .22 rifle and a .410 shotgun. For my 18th birthday I received a .22 semi-auto handgun. I own several styles/makes/models of handguns.

The best thing to do is go to stores and handle the handguns. Find one that fits you. You will know if it feels right.
As far as experience firing them. Go to the ranges and bug the people shooting. Most are friendly and will let you handle them I believe.
There is no way to actually know what feels good to you or you like shooting without practical experience. That is why a group of like minded with different tastes is such a great idea.

I am in no way an expert. I live not too far from you. I would like to find like minded women for a 'shooting day'. There is a range not too far from us in Manteca which I will be checking out sometime next week. I shoot not very often.
I am considering a once a month foray and would be nice to have other ladies to shoot with.
Not sure about the .380 have never had experience shooting one of those. Congratulations on your first purchase!

movie zombie 06-19-2013 6:18 AM

well, my post welcoming you in another thread certainly was off base: you already know about the Manteca range and are a very experienced. but the welcome still stands!

LittleOldLady 06-19-2013 7:42 AM


Originally Posted by movie zombie (Post 11620727)
well, my post welcoming you in another thread certainly was off base: you already know about the Manteca range and are a very experienced. but the welcome still stands!

Thank you!

I think I will repost in the Ladies forum and introduce myself and hopefully find some women in the Central Valley that would like to try a shooting day around here.

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