Hand gun for the wife

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Randy Rooster, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Since moving onto our place about 6 months ago my wife has been bugging me about a buyign her a handgun she can use for defense of herself and our livestock from what ever . I have instructed her how to shoot a .22 rifle and she picked right up on it - actually can give me a run for my money for shooting ability. I have only fired a 45 caliber aoutomatic handgun whle n the service. My experience is all with long arms so I need some help here. What is a reliable and easily handled weapon for a woman to use which still has some knock down power behind it? I am looking for caliber, type, and brand advice here. Of course I dont have an unlimited bank account.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    Easy question.

    KEL-TEC 32
    Lightest 32 caliber automatic ever made.
    Only 6 ounces empty.
    Clip holds 7 rounds, but for a few $$$ you can buy a 9 round clip which extends the handle down far enough for a full four finger grip.

    Around $239.00
    extra clip, $20. to $25.00

    I haven't let a lady fire it yet that didn't fall in love with it.
     

  3. Dan in WY

    Dan in WY Well-Known Member

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    I'd buy her a 4 5/8" barrelled ruger blackhawk in 357 magnum. The gun is built like a bank safe so it'll last forever. Operation of it is VERY simple. If she's seen a western she probably already knows half of it. She can shoot 38 special target loads in it for recreation and small game. Load it with 357 mags for defense or larger animals. Lots of people recommend snubnose revolvers for women. These guns take a lot more effort to shoot accurately than their longer barelled siblings. I've met many beginning shooters(including my wife) that found the cycling of the slide on a semi auto handgun to be very distracting. My second choice for her would be a smith and wesson model 10 in 38 special. It lacks the power of the big ruger, but she might like it better if she wants something more petite. Don't waste your money on an el cheapo brand revolver. I've seen too many of them fail. for a gun that you might have to trust your life with one day, 100 percent reliability is an absolute must.
     
  4. jvjfarm

    jvjfarm Glad to Be Here!

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    Hi,

    Just my 2 cents! I love my Ruger SP101 - light weight .38 special. It's very comfortable and a blast to shoot! I use my dh's .357 light loads too.

    I use it for target mostly, but it's just fun to shoot. We got it used for about 150.

    Jill
     
  5. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    I have a concealed carry license and have two Beretta's-one a .32 and one a .380. Both these guns are pretty easy to carry, but the .380 is a larger frame.I love Berettas because they are very dependable and the .380 is one of the nicest guns I have used. It's a model 86, they call it a Cheetah. Very accurate and never jams, which to me is a very big deal. It is a bit more expensive but to me was worth it because of the accuracy and reliability...it also has a tip-up barrel, which gives you an extra shot and is a nice feature. I enjoy this gun as much today as I did when we got it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_86_Cheetah

    scroll to bottom and click on "external links" link for picture.
     
  6. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion the kel-tec is a very poor choice. The guns are cheap and usually pretty reliable. Their most significant feature is that they are small and light. That makes them difficult to shoot. I have one of the 9mm keltecs and while it's managable, it's not a particularly comfortable or accurate gun. The smaller ones are similar.

    For someone with non gun experience, I'd go along with the other posters and go with a .357 revolver. Not a snubbie, and not a light/feather weight.

    And if you've not shot recently, get both of you in to a gun safety class or even better an NRA basic pistol class.
     
  7. Bresias

    Bresias Restless User

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    I am a small woman with small hands, so that helped me make my choice. I have a Walther P99 9mm and a Glock 19 9mm, prefer the Walther b/c of size.

    These are the easiest guns to use and have "safe" safeties, meaning, you don't have to be an experienced hand gun user to remember to take off the safety, they are "point and shoot", called a safe action pistol (safety is the first 1/2 centimeter of trigger movement). Also, both have a reliable history of few problems.

    You can easily get the high capacity magazines for 15 rounds for the glock and the walther, up to 17 rounds for the glock 17, which is just a full sized version of the glock 19. Good for a woman with a larger hand.

    And, a glock can be purchased used for $300 bucks. They are virtually indestructable.

    Go online to Glock.com and look at their torture tests, it is very entertaining. Who thought this stuff up?? If the gun makes it through that . . .

    They can be very easily dissembled and cleaned, very simple, which is what I needed.

    If you are concerned about stopping power, they now have fragmentation rounds for the 9mm, bullet shatters when target is hit. Supposedly the same stopping power as a .45 hollow point.
     
  8. joaniebalonie

    joaniebalonie Well-Known Member

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    well i looked around awhile and thought i'd elect to get a smaller lightweight piece for practicality (you know, if it's too heavy/cumbersome you'll tend to leave it behind which of course would be the day you'd need it). we went into this one gun shop and i held this s&w 357 after handling a lot of other pieces and i just knew that's the pistol i wanted. it's so balanced! six shooter, longer barrel and i wear it religiously on our property; it doesn't hinder my work even though i'm a rather small person. my husband does well with a rifle and shotgun which basically just stay in the house; this was something for me to carry around and i guess like most things you'll know when you find the right one. for myself i learned that size (ok, heh-heh) ...uh, i can't figure out how to finish this line because i'm laughing. anyway!!! shop around :rolleyes: enuf said
     
  9. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    .357
    take her to a gun store (or better yet a range that rents guns) and let her pick the one that feels right.

    - after posting this I notice that joaniebalonie in the post above offers the same advice. What she said.
     
  10. jeffreyc256

    jeffreyc256 Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion stay away from all automatics for women and people who are not frequent firearm users as they will get confused with safeties, loading, unloading and immediate action drills in the case of a malfunction.

    My other opinion is to avoid dirty harry syndrome and big caliber rounds that will create bad habits or scare the operator. Avoid small caliber rounds without adequate stopping power.

    The best solution for a womans gun is a 38 special revolver like small frame 5-6 shots up to something like a ruger gp100. The 38 has stopping power, is cheap to shoot and practice with and particularly in the larger frame revolvers will not scare teh wits out of them where they will not want to practice. A revolver is pretty much idiot proof, pull the trigger........No criticisim on ladies intended.
     
  11. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I'd try to find a gun shop or range where she can try out numerous weapons. Make sure when she does start trying out different guns start her out on a smaller gun first and make sure she wears very good hearing protection. In my experience flinch is caused more by noise than from anything else. Most girls I have introduced to shooting I have started with a .22 and stepped up to a 9mm. They make all sorts of nice guns custom designed for women nowadays. I know girls who carry 9mm, a couple who carry .357 revolvers and few who favor the proven .45.

    As for brand I vote for quality. Names like Sig Sauer, Glock, Smith and Wesson, Kimber, Colt, Springfield, Ruger are good name brands. I'm a Sig Sauer and Glock man myself. As for caliber get as big as she can shoot accurately and comfortably. 9mm being the lower end of effectiveness. Whatever she gets practice practice practice and make sure that pistol is absolutely reliable with the ammunition that she will be using with it. Probably do you both some good to sign up for some good handgun training courses. I'm kicking around the idea of taking a trip out to the gunsite center for some additional training.
     
  12. Richard6br

    Richard6br Well-Known Member

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    I used to own a gun shop, so I handled quite a few different handguns. First off, I wouldn't recommend a handgun for home defense unless you are going to carry it around. Ain't nothing more scary for an intruder to see than the barrel of a shotgun pointed at him. My wife has a Winchester pump 20ga jr model, and she is very good with it. She also has a .357 Ruger SP 101 and can handle it VERY well . Revolvers are easy to master. If you do decide to go with a handgun stay away from automatics, too confusing for most women to learn to use, [At least I found that to be the case with my wife.]. Go to a well stocked gun shop and handle as many different revolvers as are available. You may find a good deal on a used .38 or .357. All the major brands are good, Taurus, Ruger, S+W, Colt. Some of the newer Rossi's are decent also. S+W makes or made a very nice .357, I think it's called the Lady Smith. P.S. Revolvers come in both single action and double action. The single action needs to be cocked with each shot. With the double action you can cock with each shot, or just pull the trigger.
     
  13. brendanolen_CA

    brendanolen_CA Active Member

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    I have a Ruger P345. Don't laugh, but I chose it because I liked the way it looked. It's a little large for my hand, and heavy after a while but I sure do like the "boom". I almost wish I would have gotten the Glock 23. The grip fit my hand better and I could push the magazine release button without having to re-adjust my hand. I don't like revolvers... only 6 shots :)

    I also had my husband show me how to take it apart and clean it. It was a lot easier to understand after seeing it.

    I agree with the other posts. Take your wife down and have her handle them. That's really the only way to know what she would be comfortable using (even better if she can fire it also).
     
  14. skeetshooter

    skeetshooter Well-Known Member

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    I have two Taurus', a 9 mm with a 15 round mag and a 45. Both are heavy all mental frames. I also have a Bersa 380 for my conceal gun which in my opinion snaps worse in my hand than the 45 -- because there is no weight to absorb any recoil. I have my eye on a Para Ordinance 45 cal. conceal size when money allows. The Bersa cycles just as well as the other two guns.

    The 45 is under the bed with hollow points and the 9 mm I use at the range for heavy duty practice, but I have hollow points for that as well. The 380 is the carrygun, but I would prefer a bit more stopping power if I can find a gun that I can comfotably conceal. (don't carry a purse) I have concealed both the 45 and 9 mm in my waistband in a pinch.

    I'd find a gun store and let her pick up and put down some guns. While I plan on buying a revolver for the collection, it wouldn't be my first choice. Doesn't seem as balanced or something to me. I rented a Glock and while I was deadly accurate with it, didn't like the feel of the polymer frame.

    Regardless of what she buys, she has to get used to shooting it.
     
  15. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I grew up with guns, started at about 10 years old with the usual single-shot .22 rifle and progressed from there.

    For years, I've owned a .38 ... couple of different ones, but the one I've had now for years is a Ruger .357 with the short barrel and I use .38 ammo rather than the .357 cartridges. I would not recommend anything smaller than a .38, just not enough power, but for me anything bigger than a .38 is more than I would ever need.

    I'm a small person, with small hands, and I like the convenience of the smaller gun. I don't use a gun enough to be comfortable with a revolver ... in an emergency situation, if there ever was one, I want to be able to pick up the gun and pull the trigger. I'd like to think that under stress, I'd be calm enough to remember all the steps before you can pull the trigger on an automatic but I'm also practical enough to realize that might not happen. Point and shoot is automatic for me ... pull the slide back, slide the safety off, pull the trigger is not automatic.

    I did a lot of long distance driving for years, most of it alone, and like the carrying convenience of the smaller gun as well. The shorter barrel makes it easier to carry and to get to and my feeling has always been that if I can't do what needs to be done with 6 bullets, I'm going to be out of luck anyway.
     
  16. gjwandkids

    gjwandkids Member

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    I would concur with the people who advised you to take your wife to the gun store and let her shop. If you possibly can, take her to one with an indoor range. The gun shop we went to allowed me to try things out before I bought.

    I am a medium build woman, (5'4") and my closest girlfriend is built about the same. However, I have a 9mm, and she bought a .45 (which is fairly hilarious since her husband only has a .38).

    Handguns are an intensely personal choice, let her pick.


    Just my two cents.
     
  17. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the Kel-Tec, but go with the P3AT, which is a .380. More knock down power, about the same size and weighs about one ounce more. I traded my .32 in on one and it's great for concealed carry, or for a woman. I paid $229 for mine. If you go to a gun show you can compare prices and see how they fit in their hand, etc.
     
  18. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    Unless your wife intends to get serious about shooting, I'd definitely recommend staying away from the automatics and would opt for your basic .38 revolver. It's simple (no forgetting about what to do, even after years of non-use) and safe (no mistake about whether there's a bullet in the chamber). I've got a Smith & Wesson .38 special with a sawed-off hammer pull, the latter feature being just another safety precaution that makes the gun double-action-only.
     
  19. skeetshooter

    skeetshooter Well-Known Member

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    Another thought . . .

    Depending on how much she likes to shoot - 9 mm is about the cheapest ammo. A buddy of mine bought a 357 and a 44 mag and doesn't shoot as much as he would like because of the cost.

    The other note of interest - its always presumed that women have smaller hands. We tried this at the club one day. Wrap your hand around a pop can and compare. Usually they compare pretty close as men's hands are usually thicker. My hand is 7" from the base of the palm to the top of the middle finger.

    And be cautious of the opinions of the saleman behind the counter. Often they get caught of up in their idea of "fit" and what a woman's gun should be. I was at a store the other day and daddy was bringing 14 yo daughter in. "Well my gun just seems to be a little 'long' for her. . blah blah blah." So salesman hands over this junior 20 gauge pump shotgun which will kick her shorts. I'm about 5'-7" and 150 pounds. I shoot a full size, uncut 12 gauge citori. There isn't a reason in the world that young lady could not have used my gun with a bit of practice.
     
  20. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Randy the most practical handgun for defense around the farm/homestead is a Smith and Wesson Model 10 in 38-special. Recoil is light with most all ammo unless you hit the plus-P variety. My uncle has successfully used one for the past 30 years. My aunt hates guns but can and will use the S&W model 10 if the need arises.

    My wife uses a FEG .380 she chose it and to date have killed several rattlesnakes, 2 stray wild dogs and a big nasty mangey cat.

    I prefer (for me) a Ruger Vaquero in 45 long colt. Planning on getting a leveraction rifle in 45-long colt maybe next year.

    There are so many choices that it'll come down to one that fit's her hand and that she is confident in it's ability to get the job done.

    If money is no object start with a good 22LR revolver and move up in calibers as she becomes proficient with each one. I recommend a Smith and Wesson Model 34 or Model 43 if you can find one.

    Kenneth in NC