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I'm thinking about getting a handgun but don't know how to choose. I would like to hear from the women who have them, what their experiences are, which one they chose and why.

So far I've looked at Taurus, Glock, Ruger and I've read about a 1911. I think I'm leaning towards a semi-automatic as opposed to a revolver.

I want one for my personal safety. We live out of town and I'm home alone often. We were robbed shortly after we moved here and I no longer have my big dog patroling the grounds.

I plan to take a shooter safety course and also plan to apply for a CCW permit.

Thanks for your help.

Carla
 

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Suburban Homesteader
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If there is a shooting range around, you might want to check there. We live in a big city so things might be different here, but the shooting ranges offer free "Ladies' Night" where they supply everything. Sounds like a good way to try different firearms. In fact, one nearby range offers a one-night class for women on how to choose the right handgun, and part of the class is allowing the students to try the different handguns discussed.
 

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Bunny Poo Monger
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I've had several handguns and my two favorite were a Taurus .357 (7 inch? barrel) and snub nosed Rossi .357. I liked them both but the Rossi was much easier to conceal.

The downside of the Rossi was if you pulled the trigger too slow, it would catch and not fire. My sister had the same problem with her .38 special Rossi. I really liked the Rossi and learned to work around that glitch. It fit my hands very well and felt right. I spent time and ammo on gun ranges practicing to become comfortable with it. I spent more money on accessories for it than some mommies did for their daughters dolls. LOL

I'd thought a while about getting a 1911A (not a 1911) and learned that modifications needed to be made to make it an efficient handgun. I don't know about the 1911's needing modifications.

One dinky little handgun I have is a two shot over and under .38 derringer. It was given to me. I had it repaired and have never shot it. The grip is so small I'm afraid it'll flip out of my hands and hit me in the face if I shoot it.

Until you find out which handgun best suits you, you might consider getting a .410 (expensive ammo), .410 over and under (.410/.22, Ladies home companion) or a five round 20 gauge shotgun. A .410 has almost no kick. It's easy to learn how to "not" let the 20 gauge recoil eat up your shoulder.

For protection at home you don't need a CCW so any gun or rifle will do, but as you pointed out, a shooter safety course is necessary.

For carrying concealed you'll need something that's totally unnoticeable. I bought a lot of just past waist length blousy blouses that made me look a little chubby or pregnant when I carried concealed.

The only other thing I can advise came from a session at the shooting range with Dad (we were there several hours). After being there a short while it came Dad's turn to shoot (me and him taking turns) I was watching the other shooters. I asked Dad why these people kept shutting (blinking) their eyes when they shot their guns (he didn't). He told me it was because they were afraid of them. Whether that's true or not, I don't know but the reason I tell you about this is, you can't see what you're shooting at with your eyes closed.

It might take a little longer than you wish it would, but you'll get there. Ask as many questions as you can about the pros and cons of different handguns, rifles and shotguns. Visit gun shops and ranges. Get as much knowledge as you can.
 

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I love my Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum. It is hammerless and fits into my hand perfectly.
I can get very good results with it.



Rose
Rose you have got to be the only woman I know that has a picture o fher husband AND gun next to her bedside:nana:
 

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Missin Sweet Home Alabama
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Well I really don't think that I could pick just one, but I carry diffrent guns depending on what I am wearing. If I am wearing a coat or a heavy sweater I carry a full size 1911.
I tend to go for my compact para-ordinance when I am dressed more lightly.
 

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I have a Kahr PM9 and I love it! It's smaller and fits my hands nicely. I'm a pretty darn good shot with it also!

If there is a shooting range around, you might want to check there. We live in a big city so things might be different here, but the shooting ranges offer free "Ladies' Night" where they supply everything. Sounds like a good way to try different firearms. In fact, one nearby range offers a one-night class for women on how to choose the right handgun, and part of the class is allowing the students to try the different handguns discussed.
MariaAZ, you are so right. That's what I did. I was able to shoot several different guns and also ask the police officer running it what he thought. He was a wealth of information.
 

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Go to a gun store with an indoor shooting range. They will often let you shoot models they have just for that purpose. You might not get to shoot the exact model you want, but one very similar. Here, if you buy the gun the range time is free. I think this would be well worth any time or distance it took to do this. No one else can choose your gun for you.

Find one that fits your hand just right - you will know it when you find it. Test the trigger for how hard and smooth of a pull it has. This is vital. Light weight often means more kick. How many rounds to you available in one magazine - I have 7, wish I had 10 or 15.

Have someone knowledgeable watch you shoot - there are models that will fit different shooting styles. I have cross-dominance issues (left hand, right eye) my gun is bad for this - the trigger pull is hard and long and makes it especially difficult to keep the thing aimed right for long enough to shoot accurately. I am trying to learn point and shoot, but my hand/brain are resistant.

I personally like the Carr brand (but am not sure how it is spelled). I loved the 9 mm model. It was perfect for me.
 
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I have a 9mm Makaroff..don't like it anymore since I've found it increasingly difficult to load the clip (very tight)..also have to REALLY pull to chamber a round..Have shot Glocks and like them, but they're pretty big guns to haul around..
I'm thinking about getting a small revolver..zero clip and chambering issues..
 

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i have a cheap 9mm for shooting snakes. it isnt' as accurate as i'd like, so i must get fairly close to whatever i'm shooting. it also takes a birdshot shell, which i thought would make it better for me, but that doesn't help, i'm better off using reg. shells. i also have a 20 g. shotgun (mossburg) that i like very much. i do not hunt, but in our area, as i'm sure most of you too, the need arises to 'let the air out' of something now and again.

i would agree with going to a range or some other place that would let you try a few out.
 

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I love South Dakota
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My main carry gun is a 9mm Kahr. It's a bit big for conceal, but for now, I only open carry. I had a SW pistal, but could not get use to the feel of the trigger and started developing a nasty flinch. So I traded it off on this one and like this one so much better. It's all about what you are comfortable with and want. I'd probably get the same gun in the shorter barrel if I decide to conceal carry.

For in the house, I have a 9mm carbine with a 30 round mag and a red dot scope.

If you get a pistol, just make sure you can rack the slide. The trick is to grab the slide firmly, then push the gun away from you, not try to pull the slide towards you.

Cathy
 

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I love my Bersa Firestorm 380. It fits my hand fine. I have a med. size hand. It's a semi-auto. For a revolver, I want a smith and wesson called a Lady Smith 38. It fits my hand really fine.
 

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I have a Taurus Ultralight .38 revolver which will take a .38+p. I like it, it's small and light.
 

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Oh my goodness... I had a long ol' post about this earlier and it was here and now it's not! lol I'm kinda at the same point in trying to decide on a handgun for concealed carry. I'm at a tossup between the exact gun that Rose2005 posted, and a Smith and Wesson Airweight .38 special (can't seem to find one in .357, but I may have just not looked well enough yet lol). I like the S&W because it weighs about 10oz. less than the SP101, and I feel would be easier to conceal and carry, as well as the fact that it fits my hand just a little better. However, I like the SP101, because, well... it's a Ruger lol, and I know I can get it in .357 Mag. That being said, when I'm out hunting or just in more wild places, I carry a Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Mag on my hip, it packs a bit more punch. ;) And my current home/self defense handgun is a Ruger P345 (.45 ACP). As far as semi-auto vs. revolver, I prefer revolvers. The only upside I see to having a semi-auto is that it will hold more rounds, but for a self-defense/concealed carry firearm, you're not likely to be shooting at great range, and so shouldn't have trouble finding your mark with a few less rounds. There seem to be a few very nice newer model revolvers that are very lightweight and compact, and therefor perfect for concealed carry.
 

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Goshen Farm
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I have a lady smith and wesson as well as a beretta .38. Both of these weapons have smaller grip requirements that work well for some women. I also have a sig .45 from my cop days but it is a big heavy weapon that is a pain to carry around so I prefer the smaller ones. sis
 

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I, too, love my Lady Smith. One thing about a revolver, they dont jam, while a semi-auto can. I have the Glock at my bedside, Ruger in the safe. My CCW instructor, reccommended the Kahr 9--But so far, I havent found the model he showed me, what I have found feel bigger--and clunky somehow.
 

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You may want to purchase it and the ammo soon, because I'm sure after January they will be harder to get a hold of, or more costly.
 

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de oppresso liber
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I'm coming in late on this but in response to the original post;

A revolver should be your first choice for a self defense handgun. I have posted the reasons before but I'll hit the highlights here.

A semi is more complicated. They have safeties, slide releases, mag release buttons etc. You don't want complicated when you are dealing with a high stress situation, and believe me when you think you NEED a handgun you are going to be under a LOT of stress.

Also because they are complicated there are many things which can go wrong and when something goes wrong it takes time to solve the problem. Time is something you will not have in a life or death situation.

As I read a while ago a revolver is a point and click device. If it doesn't go bang the first time all that is necessary is to pull the trigger again.

If you do get a semi auto you should take more than a firearms safety class. You will need training on your specific weapon to make sure you don't press the wrong button or work the wrong lever when you have a gallon of adrenaline being dumped into your blood stream.
 
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