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Ladies Forum A place for our female Calgunners to discuss, share and interact without the 'excess attention' sometimes found in online forums.

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:39 PM
91 whiskey 209 91 whiskey 209 is offline
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Default Handgun for my 55 y/o mom

My mom asked me to go help her buying a handgun. Is there any particular handgun that you can recommend? She would like to be able to conceal it. She wants it small and probably under $400. No .22's please. I want it to have a little more power than that.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:39 PM
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Thank you for your advice btw.
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Old 07-13-2012, 1:36 PM
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http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...Ruger+LCP+.380

If you think she'd master the magazine and slide easy enough I think a small .380 like this would be fine; if you think that'd be a problem them go with a 38sp revolver.
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Old 07-13-2012, 1:38 PM
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http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/73923

Or if she can step up a little its not a ton more money and a decent amount more firepower.
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Old 07-13-2012, 1:41 PM
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That ruger looks promising. How is 380 compared to 9mm? Which caliber is more powerful? I know that a small handgun will limit the amount of rounds the mag can hold so im trying to find a balance between I want a lot of stopping power but don't want it to intimidate her. She will be a brand new gun owner.
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Old 07-13-2012, 3:31 PM
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Probably the best advice is if you can or have one nearby is take her to a range that rents a variety of handguns and shoot a few to see which she might like. If your mother hasn't shot before you might have her look into something like the NRA's Women on Target program or similar to get her some basics before purchasing anything.

You mention she wants it to be concealable. Does your mother want this for CCW purposes or just the idea of something to hide away in the house? If it's not for or she is unable to CCW, then a more full size handgun may actually be more appropriate for her.

In general small handguns are harder to shoot depending on caliber. .380 in a small package can be pretty snappy and a 9mm more so (9mm is more powerful than .380 btw).

You may also need to bump up your budget a bit to open up some options (say more like $600).

Also pistol vs. revolver. Each has their pros and cons but in general with a little instruction women can shoot either one though semi-auto tend to be easier overall.

Also she wants you to help her but involve her and let her choose what she likes or is comfotable with in the end. Mom might surprise you.

Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2012, 6:39 PM
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S@W J frame.
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2012, 7:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripon83 View Post
If you think she'd master the magazine and slide easy enough
I can't find it right now, but I saw a quote recently about all the mechanical steps a woman has to take to drive her car to the gun shop so someone can tell her autoloaders are too hard for her to operate. :-)

Seriously, I know of no reason why just about anyone - male or female, old or young - couldn't learn to operate an autoloader. Racking the slide isn't about strength; it's about technique, and technique can be learned. My teenage daughter, who's 4 foot 9 and 100 pounds soaking wet, with TINY hands, can operate the slide on a full-sized Glock with zero issues.

And, totally agree that the best thing for the OP to do would be to take mom to a range that rents guns, let her shoot a few different things, and see what feels good for her. No matter what she ends up buying, the confidence that comes from knowing what's out there and making a deliberate choice is priceless. After all, she's much more likely to practice and train with a gun she picked than one that was foisted upon her.

Tammy

PS: To the poster who said "J-Frame revolver"...seriously? With so many choices that are way more pleasant to shoot out there, why a J-frame?
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2012, 7:49 PM
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First, do NOT get a new shooter an LCP as a first gun. I own one and absolutely love it and would trust my life to it in a heartbeat if needed. However, I have been shooing for 40 year and have put a lot of work into learning to shoot it well. I have let several friends and family members shoot it and no one really likes it like I do. The trigger takes time to get used to and the sights are VERY hard to see.

I was thinking maybe the LCR but I hear these can be kind of snappy as well. I have an SP101 that I like but ultimately, like Atekhed noted, a full size 4" revolver or maybe a mid sized auto like the G19 or SR9 would be the best choice. The best plan is to get to the range and actually shoot as many guns as possible. Too bad you are so far away, I would let you try some of mine.

Scott
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2012, 8:39 PM
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Kahr K9.
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2012, 8:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunday View Post
S@W J frame.

Or similar. Taurus makes nice revolvers that are point and shoot for about $400 out the door.
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2012, 8:49 PM
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You do have alot of options. Find a range that rents an assortment of guns and one of my favorites is a Browning Hipower in 9mm. Every gun takes practice to master or to be competent. Just be patient.
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Old 07-14-2012, 1:42 AM
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Default Some concerns.

My personal feeling is that armed self defense is a right, however it is also a responsibility.

By your post it appears that your mom is looking to carry a gun for self-defense and I support her right to do so.

That being a self defense gun is only as effective as the user.

My personal feeling is that anyone who is considering carrying a firearm for self defense needs to train themselves so that if they find themselves in a hostile situation, that they will instinctively do what they need to do.

Yes I know that 99 percent of the time no shots have to be fired in reported self defense situations, but you have to prepare for the 1 percent where things just screw up.

If your mom is in a violent encounter, she will be lucky if she has 5 seconds to react, most likely if she has 2 to 3 seconds she will be lucky.

Here is a suggestion, how about you buy a .22 cal pistol and you spend quality time with mom teaching her basic shooting skills.

Moms love to spend time with their children.

Once your mom gets confidence with a .22cal, then how about taking her out and shooting some regular sized 9mms.

The must have requirements of any self defense firearm are the following:

1. Person who is using that gun is competent in shooting it and shooting should be second nature.

2. The gun must have enough stopping power because if your gun doesn't instantly stop an attacker, the end results for you could be disastrous. I view the 9mm as the min caliber, I prefer the 40/45s.

What I am proposing is the low budget way of doing things, but if you life is on the line, is this something you want to cut corners on.

My view is if you are carrying a gun, you must be able to draw smoothly and systematically hit your attackers quickly.

You should be able to draw your gun and hit your attacker within 1.5 seconds and be able to hit additional attackers within .5 seconds.

Yes these are "tough standards", but there is no second place in violent encounters.

Nicki
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Old 07-14-2012, 1:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlcwrites View Post
PS: To the poster who said "J-Frame revolver"...seriously? With so many choices that are way more pleasant to shoot out there, why a J-frame?
Because they are awesome.

Agree with not buying her any gun she hasn't shot and handled.

How much shooting does she do? Your requirement for a higher caliber may not be compatible with her wanting something small that is still shootable for her.
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Old 07-14-2012, 9:29 AM
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a woman of 55 years may have some arthritis issues and manipulating a slide can be a problem.

start off easy: more people are killed with a .22 calibre gun than any other calibre. don't discount it. the gun most effective her is the one she will practice with because its also about placement, not just calibre power/size.

a j-frame in .38/.357 means she can practice with .38's and have the .357's for defense. the snubby is snappy [i own it] even with .38's. the 3 inch barrel is a sweet heart.

THE J-FRAME LIGHT WEIGHT/AIR WEIGHT FRAMES ARE KILLERS ON THE HAND AND DO NOT BELONG IN THE HANDS OF A NOVICE EVEN IN .22!!!!!!!!! do not ask me how i know this.......

conceal carry: is she going to get the permit? make sure she gets her certificate prior to purchase and make sure she understands the laws in that little booklet apply to her. and make sure she understands that conceal carry illegally has all kinds of problems for her unless she is in her home and/or on her own property.

unless she has vast gun experience, buying a gun she has never fired is a no-no.

this isn't about you but about her: i echo rkt88edmo in saying, "your requirement for a higher caliber may not be compatible with her wanting something small that is still shootable for her."

remember: any firearm is better than no firearm and, again, more people are killed with .22 than any other calibre.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:45 AM
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Thanks everyone. A couple of you have pointed out my dilemma. Which is my moms requirement of the pistol being small vs my desire for a caliber with enough punch to stop an attack. my mom has NEVER fired a weapon.

A few months ago I found out that my mom was almost attacked outside of a Walmart. Apparently some "very strange" acting female approached my mom asking for money. The female also was asking my mom for help and tried to lure my mom around the corner of the building (more isolated). My mom is a very kindhearted person but "got a weird vibe" from this girl so she didn't follow her around the corner and instead hopped into her SUV and took off home. I guess my mom was shaking and cried in the car on her way home (she was very scared). I tried convincing her to go shooting with me but she refused. Well Thursday she comes over and says she wants me to help her buy a gun on Saturday (today). So here I am asking for the ladies advice. Im going to have her shoot my sp2022 in 9mm today to see how she likes that caliber.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:12 PM
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again, your mother needs to understand the responsibility of gun ownership, that conceal carry is not legal, that just being stopped by a weird person is not enough to get a conceal carry permit, that she will need to practice with whatever gun she buys, etc.

and its not just having her shoot: can she rack the slide herself, clear a jam, and clean the pistol?

in the situation you described her best course of action is to not engage in conversation with the stranger, and keep walking. just 'cause someone speaks to her does not mean she has to talk to them.

a good gun course would be an ideal start for your mother. please consider enrolling her in such a class before you progress much further with this on your own.

please also note that none of us have recommended that she conceal carry illegally! i would encourage you to NOT encourage her to do so.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:31 PM
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We are well aware that she will need a CCW. She will be applying. Our sheriff is great. We aren't a family of law breakers. I was just wondering what other females preferred, in general. Obviously every individual will have his/her own preference. Just wanted to see if there was something that I had not thought about since I'm a man, and this weapon will be for a older woman.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:34 PM
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This thread was not intended to be about CCW. It's about recommendations of a small handgun that is GENERALLY preferred among females. I apologize if I did not make that clear. I always post from my phone and it's a little harder than on the iMac.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:56 PM
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You say small hand gun for females. Other than grip size, the smaller you go, the harder, more difficult, more abusive to the shooter a small pistol is. Its basic physics. The notion that women need a dainty handgun done nothing other than put totally unsuitable pistols into womens hands. I'm a good size male that makes a living with his hand and is probably above average in strength. A J frame, a popular recommendation, is brutal for me to shoot. Same for the tiny, lightweight 9mm's. I'm going to assume most 55 year old ladys are not as strong, or able to take punishment as I am. I would suggest something she can shoot well, not beat the heck out of her, make her afrade of the gun, and discourage her from shooting or practicing with it. "I wana get a gun for protection" is often a knee-jerk reaction when it comes from someone who is not a firearms enthuist, has never shot before, and probably has no idea of the amount of training and dedication it takes to safely and effectively carry a handgun with the purpose and intention of shooting another human being. That said, I would get your mom shooting, get a bunch of different guns in her hands, see what she likes and can handle well. Now that I know more of the story than during my first post, I would suggest something like a 6 shot revolver with a 3-4" barrel. Load it with light .38 special cowboy loads.
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Old 07-14-2012, 2:13 PM
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j-frame: change out the original grips...makes a world of difference. i have several j-frames. the first was the model 60 snubby. i have small hands and shoot it without problem.

its not just the size of the hand: its also the shape of the hand can make a difference. then there are those with short fingers as opposed to those with long fingers. one must fire a gun to see if it "fits".
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"Her hands, her comfort, her confidence, her choice.", Mr K re buying a gun for a woman.

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Old 07-14-2012, 3:38 PM
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Also look into the M&P 9c. My wife prefers it over the LC9 which I also have. The XD compact by Springfield is another good choice.

Have her shoot as many as you can find to rent.
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Old 07-14-2012, 4:50 PM
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Another option to look at is the new M&P Shield in 9mm. Very concealable, slim single stack grip and in a proven defense caliber, 9mm.

Again if you can have your mother shoot as many guns as she can before settling on a final purchase. Some preliminary training wouldn't hurt either, even just a basic NRA class before buying.

Its understandable given the circumstances she wants a gun now but this is something that, especially a new shooter, requires some time and thought before just picking something.
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Old 07-14-2012, 6:09 PM
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One option would be a 22 Magnum revolver.
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Old 07-14-2012, 8:05 PM
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My wife has a S&W M&P 40c as her CCW. She has no issues firing it in .40 cal, although isn't as smooth rack for her because it's still somewhat new. I have an M&P 340 as my CCW, it's not as comfortable to fire, but it requires little thought if I have to fire it in a hurry.
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Old 07-14-2012, 8:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatso7 View Post
One option would be a 22 Magnum revolver.
yum! i want one, too.
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Old 07-14-2012, 8:53 PM
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Quote:
THE J-FRAME LIGHT WEIGHT/AIR WEIGHT FRAMES ARE KILLERS ON THE HAND AND DO NOT BELONG IN THE HANDS OF A NOVICE EVEN IN .22!!!!!!!!! do not ask me how i know this.......
\
this is a blanket statement which is true a lot, but not always.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:47 AM
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Hello, first time woman poster from Texas. I have a CHL and use several different guns. One is the Ruger .38 LCR with crimson trace laser grip. Love this revolver...very accurate, easy to conceal however, it is hard on the palm at the firing range. My hand knows it has been abused after 15 rounds. Small gun with the power of a 38 is going to sting the hand. Only other thing is, it is only a 5 shot. I prefer more rounds.

I also have the Springfield XD9 and Springfield EMS semi autos- both 9 mil. Love, love, love both of these guns. The XD9 gives me the option of 13 round mag and a 16 round mag. If I get into a life or death situation, I want to know I have more than 5 shots. Actually, if I can't do it in 1, 2 or 3 shots, I need to take the course again

It is best to shop around and try guns out. I had a beautiful Beretta Cheetah semi. I bought it on site without trying it first. Great gun, accurate but it was incredibly hard for me to pull back the slide. At the range, I had to put on a golf glove so I could pull the slide back. That was embarrasing. Was amazed it was that hard. So, I sold it and tried the Springfields, Glocks etc and had no trouble pulling the slide back on any of them. I decided on the Springfields because they fit my hand perfectly. Something about the glock didn't feel right.

So before you buy, shoot the guns that tickles your fancy and you will not be surprised the first day at the shooting range. When you find the gun you are comfortable with, you will be a better shooter and have a lot more confidence in defending yourself - Hopefully, that day will never come.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:02 PM
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She will fire 2 rounds out of a J frame, even in .38special, and never want to shoot another gun. Seen it hundreds of times with new shooters, especially women. Start her training on an airsoft, then go to a .22LR, low recoil, low noise, maybe a K frame S&W .22lr revolver, then get a 4" S&W 686, and start with 38spl.

You always get the largest frame that you can correctly grip, and in a caliber that you can manage the recoil with. Take shooting lessons and learn the fundamentals of stance, grip, sight picture and trigger control.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:24 PM
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http://homedefenseguns.net/revolvers.htm
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:43 PM
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Since I recieved my CHL - I have women friends coming out of the wood work wanting a gun.

My question, why do you want a gun??? Protection!!!

Okay, have you ever shot a gun? No but you can teach me.

My question, will you fire that gun if someone is threatening your life or stand there and shake until they take it out of your hand? Ahh, fire? Ding, wrong answer for a man or a woman. If you can't tell me, with strong conviction, that you will shoot to save your life, get a numerous cans of wasp spray and put one in every room including your car. It will blast them from 30 feet away rendering them temporarily blind giving you time to get out and call the police.

Here are my instructions to my friends that want a gun. I will take you to the shooting range and bring all five of my guns. It is going to be loud, hot and you will feel the stress on your first outing. I will teach you how to use each one, your stance and safety by not pointing it at me after you have made a good shot. If you have to wave your hand in celebration, do it with the empty hand or better yet, put the gun down and then do a happy dance. My 9 mil with have less of a kick than my 357 or The Judge that can shoot 45's or 410 shells. I don't want to see you scream and drop the gun if it is too loud or pushes you back 1 ft. I don't want a gun to discharge from that drop or damage my babies. You will watch me first and then you will try. If you still want a gun, you will sign up for shooting lessons by a professional. Simple enough.

I would not start them off with a 22 anything. A 22 will simply piss off a big man high on meth and he will keep on coming. Start off with nothing less than a 9 mil or 38. Don't let them get use to a 22 with little recoil( they will like it and want it) and very little stopping power. They need to know from the start - guns are loud, guns will have a recoil, guns are dangerous in the wrong hands, shooting ranges are loud...get use to it or load up on insect spray lol

Last edited by vision1214; 07-15-2012 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 07-15-2012, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLander51 View Post
She will fire 2 rounds out of a J frame, even in .38special, and never want to shoot another gun. Seen it hundreds of times with new shooters, especially women. Start her training on an airsoft, then go to a .22LR, low recoil, low noise, maybe a K frame S&W .22lr revolver, then get a 4" S&W 686, and start with 38spl.

You always get the largest frame that you can correctly grip, and in a caliber that you can manage the recoil with. Take shooting lessons and learn the fundamentals of stance, grip, sight picture and trigger control.
a J frame with wadcutters has pleasant recoil and is a good stopper, simple to learn on and it outperforms any 380 .
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Old 07-15-2012, 1:57 PM
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the Walther P22 is the only handgun my mom has said I WANT THAT.
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Old 07-15-2012, 2:00 PM
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I can't find it right now, but I saw a quote recently about all the mechanical steps a woman has to take to drive her car to the gun shop so someone can tell her autoloaders are too hard for her to operate. :-)

Seriously, I know of no reason why just about anyone - male or female, old or young - couldn't learn to operate an autoloader. Racking the slide isn't about strength; it's about technique, and technique can be learned. My teenage daughter, who's 4 foot 9 and 100 pounds soaking wet, with TINY hands, can operate the slide on a full-sized Glock with zero issues.

And, totally agree that the best thing for the OP to do would be to take mom to a range that rents guns, let her shoot a few different things, and see what feels good for her. No matter what she ends up buying, the confidence that comes from knowing what's out there and making a deliberate choice is priceless. After all, she's much more likely to practice and train with a gun she picked than one that was foisted upon her.

Tammy

PS: To the poster who said "J-Frame revolver"...seriously? With so many choices that are way more pleasant to shoot out there, why a J-frame?
small light ,easy to use,conceal,reliable and my wife has one on her ltc and has shot most guns that are commonly available. I have to agree on let mom pick her own but I still suggest a j frame. A 60-15 3 inch barrel with a lighter spring kit is wonderful.
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Old 07-15-2012, 2:01 PM
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If you can go a little higher, a Ruger GP100 in .357mag would be a great gun. Difficult to screw up, can't go wrong with a gun that if a FTF happens, you just pull the trigger again, and .38sp in a 4'' bbl is a great combo. Light shooting and has enough weight without being too much gun for her. The weight will also help with recoil when she practices. I'd go that route.
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Old 07-15-2012, 8:19 PM
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S@W J frame.
+1 - practice with low recoil wadcutters and a few +P just to get used to them. The softer rubber grips will also take a lot of the sting out compared to wood grips. My wife's Model 60 went bye-bye when she decided to adopt my little Combat Master Detonics 45ACP (stock photo - not mine). Gonna have to load up some real nasty stuff to see if I can discourage her and get it back - that probably won't work though as she's also pretty good with hot loads in my Super Blackhawk 44mag. She started at 8 years old when they moved to Paso Robles and by the time she was 12 she was shooting her dad's Garand off a rest.
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Old 07-15-2012, 8:20 PM
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i shot a j-frame air/light weight and almost never picked up another pistol.

i bought a j-frame model 60 snubby and never looked back. doesn't kill my hand and if i were a bad guy i would think twice about getting in my way.

ruger sp101 is also a good choice. change out the grips to fit a smaller hand. i didn't get one because it was too large in my hand as a beginner. now, i think i wouldn't have a problem.

again, novice/beginner is a complete different shooter than one with experience. keep it simple stupid works best here.

i also threatened and may still own a 3 inch and 5 inch model 60 because i just like them.
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Old 07-16-2012, 4:41 PM
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the gun most effective her is the one she will practice with because its also about placement, not just calibre power/size.
I'm going to add, one that she is not afraid to fire.

Honestly...we have no idea how big her hands are, what her hand strength is, or what she's comfortable with. You need to let her rent and try as many guns as possible rather than trying to choose something for her.
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Old 08-22-2012, 7:09 PM
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I'm older than your mom and I shoot a SA .40 caliber with no troubles.

I started with a one day handgun safety class (4 hours class, 4 hours shooting both revolvers and SA's). That's the first step. I learned very quickly in that class that I didn't like revolvers of any size. She should sign up at once, somewhere.

Next, you must remember that she asked you to help, not to do it for her. Hands off!

But, take her to your LGS and have her handle as many guns as they'll let her. Don't worry about caliber yet. If the gun doesn't fit her hand, it doesn't matter.

Once she decides on one or two brands and types for fit, go with her to a gun range that rents, and have her shoot some different caliber rounds in the brand and type she likes. It's not cheap to rent guns just to shoot 20 rounds, but it's cheaper than buying the wrong gun.

I did the above steps "all by my self", with some phone advice from a friend. I wound up shooting .40 caliber, and can handle it nicely. I could probably have done .45 and maybe next year I will.

Encourage her to use the largest caliber she is comfortable with. She needs to stop that 'Charging Rhino', not wave the gun around, hoping.
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Old 08-22-2012, 7:54 PM
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great post, BonnieB!
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