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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 12-23-2012, 7:13 PM
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Default Wife wants a small handgun - advice?

Wife wants to learn to shoot. She is very small, barely 5' tall very small hands.

She can't manipulate the slide on my G-22 or pull the trigger double-action or lock back the hammer on my Colt Mk-III trooper.

I was thinking a .380, like a bersa, or the Taurus 5 shot revolver, or the S&W bodyguard .380. I've researched them and their specific issues but wanted to hear some of the ladies thoughts..

I was leaning towards the Bersa FYI. Heard the Taurus trigger pull is too hard for some.

I'd appreciate any thoughts.
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Old 12-23-2012, 7:50 PM
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Read the stickies, Let HER pick it out and be happy with whatever she chooses. I''m going to give my old adage of "I would no sooner send my husband to the store to buy a bra, as he would go pick me out a gun" He knows I wear a bra, size? band? cup? style? Nope. Do not pick out a gun for her. LOTS of good infor in the stickies in this forum/\
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2012, 8:00 PM
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If you got the money Kahr p380 single action. My 95lbs 5' girlfriend loves it. The recoil is low compared to the Bersa 380. Even though they are both 380 Kahr handles the recoil better.


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  #4  
Old 12-23-2012, 8:01 PM
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i'm not impressed with the .380 caliber. might as well have a .22.....imo.

yes, see the stickies.

if she wants a gun she needs to be in on the process. includes but is not limited to going to gun stores and holding guns to see what feels "right". however, feeling "right" in the gun store is different than firing a gun....which can become very uncomfortable even if it felt good in the hand prior to pulling the trigger.

think about a revolver. not the air/light weights! all metal.

ruger sp101, smith and wesson 60 [19 and 66, too, and you can find these used but probably not right now and expect to pay top dollar if you do find them].

eta: i hated the kahr i tried.....spent cartridges went up in the air and came down in my hair....but that was a .45acp.

and a lot of good info at corneredcat.com



the ruger innards often need to be worked on a bit [rough edges, etc]. the smiths are good to go from the box.

ruger is built like a tank....smith is just one awesome revolver to handle.

and don't forget she can change out grips for a better fit.

paramount: she must be in on the purchase and before buying anything should shoot as many pistols as can be rented or borrowed at a range.

many also advocate attending a class which also gives an opportunity to try out different pistols.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2012, 8:15 PM
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2nd for let her handle a few first

That said my girlfriend loves her 38 special smith with rubber/plastic grip

I'd also recomend getting her some medium-power loads to keep recoil decent. If its her very first time shooting then I'd go with the lightest load the gun can take for practice then move her up to real loads

She'l be so thankfull, she'l shoot your load... sorry couldn't resist XD
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2012, 8:28 PM
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It's really unpredictable how much gun a given woman can handle, and the assumption that small women need small guns is just plain wrong.

See the stickies at the top of the forum. And let her do the leg work on her own. Don't do it for her. She can handle it.
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2012, 8:38 PM
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.38 revolver to start with. Progress to semi autos from there.
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  #8  
Old 12-24-2012, 1:04 AM
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This is very true! I have several 3rd Gen Smiths in 9mm and i thought my wife would love the 6906 because its smaller and lighter but she shot the 5906 in stainless and loved it. Thats a heavy 9mm and alotta gun but she says thats her favorite gun.

I say let her try out a few. Im not sure where you located but you can have your wife test out some of my smiths? I have 6906, 5906 and a 3913 Ladysmith. All 9mm. And a Glock 19.





Quote:
Originally Posted by BonnieB View Post
It's really unpredictable how much gun a given woman can handle, and the assumption that small women need small guns is just plain wrong.

See the stickies at the top of the forum. And let her do the leg work on her own. Don't do it for her. She can handle it.
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2012, 1:14 AM
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The funny thing is that a full size steel frame 1911 .45 ACP is easier to shoot accurately and manipulate than any little pocket gun. A full size .357 revolver loaded with .38's would work well too.Yet, women still gravitate toward the mouse guns, which are hard to shoot and manipulate. Unless it is a LTC piece, little guns are pointless to me.
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2012, 7:57 AM
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I did not like any of the 380's but last night, as we were making the rounds around the family, I found out that my Uncle is quite the gun enthusiast as is my Auntie is too. He has a Colt.22 Long Rifle from 1923. It was made in 1923 and it is still dead on accurate at 25yds. I didn't want to say "Hey Uncle, when ya' kick the bucket, can you will me your guns?" LOL That gun was SOLID
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  #11  
Old 12-24-2012, 9:55 AM
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454 Cassull! See if you can get it in a 2" barrel.
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  #12  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:02 AM
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I took a couple shooting a year ago. The wife is mid-60's, probably 95#, 5'1". She shot my Ruger SP101 .38 (8# DA/5# SA trigger), a couple .22 handguns, HK P7M8 (9mm), and HK P2000sk .40 with the light LEM trigger (4.5# trigger). My HK USPf .45 was physically just too large for her hands so she didn't shoot it. Of them all, she liked the P2000sk .40 the most!

First, that was a big surprise. I would have guessed she would have liked the SP101 the most.

Second, despite the lighter frame and snappier recoil (although the HK tames it to be much nicer than most 9mm I've shot), the P2000sk was a pistol she said she not only would own but would love to shoot regularly.

The lesson: LET HER PICK! Just make sure she has a wide selection of handguns from which to choose. And don't assume that any one caliber will be more tame than another. I've learned from experience that despite their lightweight frame, HK's refined recoil control makes shooting even .40 cal pleasant. Leave your own prejudices as the door when pulling together a good selection for her to try.
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  #13  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:10 AM
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You need to explain to her that the smaller and lighter a gun is, the harder it is to shoot. I have a small collection of very small guns that she could try along with some bigger and heavier ones for her to compare them to.
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivers View Post
I..............The lesson: LET HER PICK! Just make sure she has a wide selection of handguns from which to choose. And don't assume that any one caliber will be more tame than another. I've learned from experience that despite their lightweight frame, HK's refined recoil control makes shooting even .40 cal pleasant. Leave your own prejudices as the door when pulling together a good selection for her to try.

thank you for your post, Rivers! sometimes the guys just don't want to take our word and hearing it from another guy that has done what you've done is good reinforcement!

i especially like the bolded! i've got to remember to quote you!

eta: CSA is also onto keeping it simple re smaller/lighter the gun the harder to control....usually...in a small hand. i say usually because my s&w model 60 is a snubby......but while it had been some years since i'd shot, i wasn't a complete new shooter either. and to back CSA up further i have a very small calibre pistol in a very small frame that bites my hand way worse than the model 60!!!!!
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Last edited by movie zombie; 12-24-2012 at 10:30 AM..
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  #15  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugguts View Post
Read the stickies, Let HER pick it out and be happy with whatever she chooses. I''m going to give my old adage of "I would no sooner send my husband to the store to buy a bra, as he would go pick me out a gun" He knows I wear a bra, size? band? cup? style? Nope. Do not pick out a gun for her. LOTS of good infor in the stickies in this forum/\
^This, in spades.

Agree on a budget, have swmbo hook up with a good trainer. The trainer should have a variety of weapons for her to evaluate.

My darling and I celebrate 30 years together next fall...I leaned early not to pick her guns, help her wallpaper, or attempt to teach her how to use software.

On topic, she happens to do very well with both a stainless government model Colt and a Model 27...both guns obviously larger than what most of us male idiots might expect the "little lady" to use.

Butt out, and do it now.

hth

-hanko
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Last edited by -hanko; 12-25-2012 at 9:26 PM..
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  #16  
Old 12-24-2012, 12:36 PM
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Mrs llamatrnr loves her Ruger LCR .38
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2012, 1:13 PM
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My wifes favorite HG is her Springfield EMP.
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  #18  
Old 12-24-2012, 3:06 PM
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If she is having trouble manipulated the slide and actions, try the USPs, which have extremely light tolerances. You can get the compact or p2000 to fit her hand.
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Old 12-24-2012, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletboy View Post

She can't manipulate the slide on my G-22 or ...

.
Oh c'mon! I've seen 10 year old girls and 90 year old grannies rack the slide on semi autos.
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Old 12-24-2012, 4:16 PM
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Default FP, I decorated your child's bedroom... Hope Ya' don't mind....

Christmas came a little early... Thanks to my older sons and husband chipping in while I was "shopping" with the younger one. LOL

Please enjoy!



On a more serious note, it too two Army grunts and a Wingnut to do this? LOL Love my military!
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  #21  
Old 12-24-2012, 4:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugguts View Post
Read the stickies, Let HER pick it out and be happy with whatever she chooses. I''m going to give my old adage of "I would no sooner send my husband to the store to buy a bra, as he would go pick me out a gun" He knows I wear a bra, size? band? cup? style? Nope. Do not pick out a gun for her. LOTS of good infor in the stickies in this forum/\
I don't think I've heard it put that way before
Sounds accurate though

If you can go to a range that rents
Have her pick up every gun they have, go to multiple ranges that rent, Markleys is in Watsonville if that's close to you, or if you go by it on vacation or something.

That's what my wife did, and, that began a year long journey to find a smith 908, that journey ended just a few days ago
She picks it up on the 2nd

Edit: maybe I should read the entire thread before replying huh
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  #22  
Old 12-24-2012, 4:41 PM
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380 pretty darn hard kicking IMO, and I'm a 200+ lb sometime construction worker.

I'd be thinking 22lr for sure, and don't discount it as a defensive round, especially with multiple hits. You are mostly just trying to 'discourage' an attack. Not THAT many Angle Dusted Bath Salted fast moving zombies YET.

Since you didn't mention budget I'd first have her try Ruger auto(they got 3 diff grip shapes on the 3 models) and DA revolvers 22lr(also a few grip shapes) and see what fits her hands.

I can't remember how tough Ruger slides were to work, but I'm guessing she can work a Glock slide no prob, just needs to "man up" on it.

One of my pet peeves that never gets support from any seasoned gun folks is how down right nasty and non-ergometric almost all gun controls are to anything else. Lots of sharp-ish barely rounded corners everywhere.

I remember in High School some guy's dad was a cop and of course the sort of thing we wanted to see is how tough it would be to grab a cop's gun out of his holster. First thing that happened was our hands got pretty torn up trying to roughly and forcefully grab it from non-standard positions. (this was unauthorized "when daddy not home" action, BTW)
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Old 12-24-2012, 6:02 PM
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I would suggest a 5-shot .38 caliber revolver--one that can handle +P loads.
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Old 12-24-2012, 6:46 PM
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Let pick her own HG. I learned it the hardway. First I got her a PM9, then LC9, then P380, then a P22, at last, my wife ended with an HK USP9C.

I should have spent directly to HK than testing the water.
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  #25  
Old 12-24-2012, 8:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletboy View Post

She can't manipulate the slide on my G-22 or pull the trigger double-action or lock back the hammer on my Colt Mk-III trooper.
If this is true, I don't think any of the guns you or the others have listed will work. In fact, I can't think of a single handgun that doesn't require you to rack the slide, cock the hammer manually, or pull a DA trigger. Perhaps one of those squeeze cocker HK's? Otherwise, I think your wife is going to have to learning better technique or build hand strength to work one of the suggested guns.

Last edited by G-forceJunkie; 12-24-2012 at 8:48 PM..
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  #26  
Old 12-24-2012, 8:59 PM
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glock 19 tell her to hit the weights.
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Old 12-24-2012, 9:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-forceJunkie View Post
If this is true, I don't think any of the guns you or the others have listed will work. In fact, I can't think of a single handgun that doesn't require you to rack the slide, cock the hammer manually, or pull a DA trigger. Perhaps one of those squeeze cocker HK's? Otherwise, I think your wife is going to have to learning better technique or build hand strength to work one of the suggested guns.
The LCR trigger is unlike any other revolver I've ever handled, and there have been many, many; really a lot . . ..

If you're anywhere near Sand Diego Backcountry, you and your wife are welcome to come shoot mine. pm
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glockwise2000 View Post
Let pick her own HG. I learned it the hardway. First I got her a PM9, then LC9, then P380, then a P22, at last, my wife ended with an HK USP9C.

I should have spent directly to HK than testing the water.
Yep, the USP Compact seems to be the only gun that I can rack the slide and chamber a round one handed. My hands are small and weak, so this illustrates how light the tolerances are.


Conversely, there aren't that easy to shoot due to short sight radius and recoil. You may also consider a wheel gun, since there are no barriers to operation.
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Old 12-25-2012, 7:12 AM
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once again, its all technique:



i don't hold mine as high up but i do something similar. it works.

JMP, you may find this useful as well.

also, there are lots of other videos on youtube that would be helpful to women having a problem with the slide.
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Old 12-25-2012, 5:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movie zombie View Post
once again, its all technique:
i don't hold mine as high up but i do something similar. it works.
JMP, you may find this useful as well.
also, there are lots of other videos on youtube that would be helpful to women having a problem with the slide.
I agree that it is all technique is a big factor. I don't have any problems operating a very loose tolerance USP vs. a very tight tolerance 1911. I have just found that the USP tends to be a good gun for beginners (and experts), since the tolerances are very loose--I think the USP is a cool gun, but it defintely does not preclude me from the sigs, glocks, and 1911's. It's hard to shoot as accurately as a 1911, but many advanced shooters do pretty well with the USP. I can hit 100 yard targets with a 1911 and a Glock I have. The Glock has been modified, but it gets the job done. USPs are my guns of choice if SHTF since they are so easy to operate. It is the one gun that you never have to use the slide release. Once you get the feel, inserting a new mag with a little pop will drive the slide forward and put in you ready to go in single action mode, locked and cocked.
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  #31  
Old 12-26-2012, 9:55 AM
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Bought the FS M&P 9 for the wife. A couple of hundred rounds later she said it's ok but wanted something else.Bought her a CZ75 SA with slim grips and she said it's better but not really feeling it.


Found a SA 1911 9mm,now it's hers and I can't even use it.So yes, let her choose the gun she wants and most comfortable with or regret buying a gun she won't like. She tried the M&P shield and wants it too.
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  #32  
Old 12-26-2012, 8:34 PM
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Have her start off with a revolver. And if she can not pull the slide back on your Glock she is going to have limp rist. That will also cause the gun to jam as well. Rent a few guns for her and see whats best for her fit.
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Old 12-26-2012, 8:41 PM
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Ruger SR-22
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Old 12-27-2012, 7:35 AM
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I saw some cool revolvers at the gun shop they are smaller with pink rails my wife liked them but we are tapped from christmas. I would still take it out and shoot it and she knew it to lol.
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Old 12-27-2012, 6:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movie zombie View Post
once again, its all technique:



i don't hold mine as high up but i do something similar. it works.

JMP, you may find this useful as well.

also, there are lots of other videos on youtube that would be helpful to women having a problem with the slide.
From another one of her videos:

Warning: Guns are sort of like shoes. You can't ever have too many.
Warning # 2: Holsters are like purses. You have to have a wide variety to choose from, because they become part of your personal flair.
Warning # 3: Your husband may be excited at first when you develop an interest in firearms. But, later he may have to put his foot down and tell you you can't have any more guns this month. Three is enough.


SO true! BF had to pull a #3 just recently because of #1.

CSA is right about the "cute little gun" and weight issue. I don't know why we seem to be attracted to the cute small ones, but definitely try an all metal model. Helps with recoil and just feels more balanced overall.

Also, +1 on the Ruger SR22. Very easy to manipulate and is a good platform to learn on.
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  #36  
Old 12-28-2012, 10:16 AM
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Function over form in this case! A handgun is a tool. It is not an fashion accessory.

Sure, it's easy to fall in love with a particular design, but if you can't shoot it well, it doesn't matter. This is not fashion, it's more like choosing a hammer that balances well in your hand.

So beware of falling for slick design or 'cuteness'. I like the looks of little tiny chrome revolvers, but really don't like to shoot them and wouldn't bet my life on anything tiny.

It was said about three times, above. Small light guns kick like mules, compared to larger heavier guns. This is a simple fact, because the larger gun is absorbing some of the shock itself, so your hands don't have to. I shoot well with a compact version of my gun-of-choice, but I'm having a devil of a time with the sub-compact version of the same gun, same caliber. Smaller, lighter and giving me fits.

If a woman thinks a handgun is heavy, when holding it out, arms extended, go to the grocery store and hold out a 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce, for comparison. Guns that look heavy may not be heavy. And no one is used to holding stuff out that far from the body, except maybe an umbrella or a wet baby. Compact Glocks weigh around 21 oz, unloaded.

Women can build up strength, racking and extending by practicing. I had to, and I did. Longer barrels can feel 'front heavy' and that feels weird, until you improve your grip and they suddenly start to 'balance'. Empty guns always feel front-heavy to me in the store anyway. The ammo balances out the gun.

I couldn't rack well at first, because I was protecting my manicure. Then I reset my priorities. Great Video above, Movie Zombie. I actually rack that way but I can't remember how I learned it.

You can have pretty much anything Ceracoted (essentially painted) in any color you like. Don't buy something because it's pink (or purple or teal). Buy what's right and change the color later, if you must.

So, for the umpteenth time, choose something you can shoot well, and then ceracote and holster to your heart's content.
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Last edited by BonnieB; 12-28-2012 at 11:09 AM..
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  #37  
Old 12-28-2012, 4:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonnieB View Post
It's really unpredictable how much gun a given woman can handle, and the assumption that small women need small guns is just plain wrong.

See the stickies at the top of the forum. And let her do the leg work on her own. Don't do it for her. She can handle it.
Exactly.
See the sticky up top.

I've shot a SW 500 Magnum, granted I won't shoot one again but I was able to handle it.

My favorite gun is my SW M649 in .357.
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Old 12-28-2012, 8:28 PM
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If your dead set on a .380 auto. Look into the Sig P238 ... I bought one this year for my wife who's alittle bit bigger than your wife and she handles it no problem. It's small and has a alloy frame, comes with night sights, single action trigger and as an exterior safety. She picked out the Titanium finish and I added a Crimson Trace laser to try and make things easier and more to her liking.

Last edited by e46sc3; 12-28-2012 at 8:31 PM..
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  #39  
Old 12-28-2012, 8:51 PM
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Exactly.
See the sticky up top.

I've shot a SW 500 Magnum, granted I won't shoot one again but I was able to handle it.

My favorite gun is my SW M649 in .357.
I disagree. Lady or man, it requires 25,000+ rounds to be a proficient shooter. Do you want to do that with a 9mm or a .357 magnum? The first gun is about establishing form. .22s are great for that.
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Old 12-29-2012, 6:28 AM
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Get her use to a Desert Eagle, after that she can handle anything! any handgun will do just keep practicing. and definatly take her to the store to pick it out, she'll probably settle on a 9 or a 40.
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