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The little woman needs a nice revolver in .38 special...................except evidently many little women choose something else.


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"If you take good a look at your defensive options and determine that a revolver will best fit your needs, there’s nothing wrong with that. The only time a revolver becomes a problem is when people try to shoehorn it into situations that it doesn’t fit. When someone decides that around 50% of the population should always be carrying a .38 snub nose, they’re giving out bad advice."

 

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/the-womens-revolver-myth-might-finally-be-dead/

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A .38 snubbie was absolutely the best choice for my wife. My daughter carries a 1911!

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My opinion: The best teacher for women of firearms shooting and self defense is another woman. I see more ladies at my indoor range shooting together and shooting semiauto pistols. I would say 8 of every 10 ladies I see at the range are using semiautos. It used to be that ladies would always be at the range with a guy. Not so much any more. 
 

Men have their own ideas about guns and what women should shoot. Often this leads to a lady having the wrong gun or the wrong ammunition. 

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I shoot at an indoor range, part of a local first class gun store.  One of the lady employees who routinely carries a 1911 watched me shooting revolvers day after day and struck up a conversation.  She had never shot a revolver in her life and thought she should so she could be a better resource for her customers.  After shooting several of my Smith & Wessons, she bought herself an S&W 686.   :)

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Learning to shoot a DA revolver fast and well takes a lot of practice and in 30 years of the various shooting games I can count on one hand the number of revolver shooters who could keep up for the first 6 shots against a shooter shooting a semi-auto.  At back up gun matches, most shooters with a DA revolver had trouble hitting a 10" round steel plate at 30 feet.   And these are people who shoot far more often than the average police officer or CCW person.

 

I've seen most new shooters progress far faster shooting a semi-auto.  Recommending a small gun that has an 8-12 lb trigger pull that kicks to a new shooter has never made any sense to me.  I have seen DA & SA revolvers jam and most of those jams were not easily cleared and usually needed tools.  On the other hand most semi-auto jams can be cleared quickly and without tools.

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My lady teaches ladies to shoot. Well, she teaches guys too. And I also teach both.*

 

My lady can rock a full-size 1911, and also carries revolvers at times. I carry a revolver in the woods, currently carry a 1911 .45 ACP commander in town because the extra inch of barrel for a government model will not fit my car seats unless I carry too high to draw comfortably. But my lady can conceal a full size 1911 and really conceal it. A Beretta M9 too.

 

Her big lesson for guys: Don't choose a gun for your lady, she needs to pick her own.

 

The big lesson from me: Let your lady find a good lady instructor, let that instructor take your lady to a range where they can rent any number of guns. If you are going to buy your lady the gun, your only remaining question is "How much?" Then pay it.

 

The reality... Most guys, in my experience, choose a small gun for their lady. Small guns have too much recoil, shooting them is not fun, so then they do not practice. I do like my Sig P938, it is a tack driver, but it is a bit snappy. My Sig SP2022? Much better! But even with the smallest grip panel on it is a bit big for some smaller shooters (double-stack thickness).

 

It is not really important what a lady (or a guy) chooses, the important thing is that the individual makes the choice rather than someone else choosing for them.

 

* This is not a commercial post. Please do not contact me for training, I am off the clock.

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5 minutes ago, Chantry said:

Learning to shoot a DA revolver fast and well takes a lot of practice and in 30 years of the various shooting games I can count on one hand the number of revolver shooters who could keep up for the first 6 shots against a shooter shooting a semi-auto.  At back up gun matches, most shooters with a DA revolver had trouble hitting a 10" round steel plate at 30 feet.   And these are people who shoot far more often than the average police officer or CCW person.

And on the theme of my lady...

 

At a BUG match...

 

One shot on the activator releases a swinging target which comes down once, then goes back up... Never to be seen again.

 

My lady takes a DA shot at the activator, immediately pulls back the hammer to put the revolver in single action mode, and nails the swinging target.

 

I shot the same stage with my Sig SP2022, so DA on the first shot and SA on every shot after that.

 

She beat my time on that stage.

 

Revolvers have a different operationg system from semis, and Glocks have a different system from my Sig which is different from my 1911, and that is different from my Beretta. It takes a while to become proficient in all the variations and using them effectively.

 

For competition, any firearm which does not consistently go bang every time is an annoyance. For self defense, it is deadly.

 

I do agree if a revolver gets "horked," it is usually very bad; but I find semis are more likely to get "horked" though a quick glance will show which of two sets of operations are most likely to clear it. But in any of the three cases, due to time pressure in a self defense situation, the gun just turning into a club which needs to be used effectively in that current state and used that way immediately. In competition, where the targets do not shoot back, we do enjoy the luxury of learning to clear a jam -- if possible -- with only a time penalty.

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I won't get into my long involved story of men behind the gun counter trying to tell me which CC pistol I should buy.  I chose my own.  One thing a lot of men don't think about is the size of a womans hands.  On average they are much smaller than mens.  While Uno's Glock fits in his big paws just fine, it doesn't work for me.

 

When Uno worked behind a gun counter and a couple would come in looking for a gun for the lady, the first thing Uno would ask is to see the size of the ladies hands.  He learned from me what size gun fits in what size hands and would show the lady the gun for her size of hands.  If the gent tried to steer her to a specific brand or model, he would always make sure it was something that would fit the lady.  If it wouldn't fit the lady, he would ask her to take a look at one that fit her first.  Nine times out of ten, that is the one they would buy.

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My wife is not a shooter. It is all I can do to get her to go to the range and actually shoot with me. She literally had no interest in shooting but understands the importance of knowing how to shoot. 
She completely dislikes semiauto pistols. I do believe that the action of the slide bothers her. A few years ago I took her out to the country with all of my handguns and let her shoot them all to find out what she likes most and what she shoots best. 
The Glocks and my 2 Remington pistols were fired for one magazine and then summarily dismissed. 
I truly thought that she would either like my S&W model 10 or the model 36. She is small and has small hands. 
The gun that I nearly left at home except for a selfish desire to shot it myself was my N frame model 327 Night Guard. An 8 shot .357 magnum. 
That was the gun she liked best and shot best. Go figure. :D
 

Oops, forgot to mention my wife shoots “Brutus”, the 327 NG, with .38s. I wouldn’t want her to shoot .357 magnums in it. It might dissuade her. 
 

741C6062-ADC8-413D-B276-4C9C01827CA7.thumb.jpeg.2eb695831db5f2104a2e582cd0099a70.jpeg

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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A man has no more business picking out a gun for a woman than he does picking out her shoes, handbags or clothes.

 

A 'woman's gun' is the gun that a woman shoots best.  I've seen women that could shoot unbelievably well with everything from an I-Frame Smith .32 to a 1911 and a 4" Colt Python.

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It has nothing to do with gender. It has everything to do with hand strength, training and practice.

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UB is exactly right. I've worked behind a gun counter, either part-time or full-time, for more than a few years now. I believe I am qualified to say it doesn't matter what my opinion is regarding what a man or a woman should shoot. What matters is what fits them and works for them.

 

Mrs. Doc can shoot semi-autos very well, so long as there is one in the chamber. With arthritis in her hands, racking a slide is a challenge. I have one semi-auto, a full-sized pistol, that she can reliably cycle the slide on. I even showed her the Shield EZ, a little difficult, and she hated the ergonomics. For concealed carry, if she were to have a malfunction requiring any type of slide manipulation, she would likely be out of the fight with most popular concealed carry weapons. Say what you want about modern firearms and reliability, realistically, it is something a shooter needs to be able to do, consistently and with confidence.

For some like my wife, a revolver is an ideal choice. If .38 is too much, look at a .22WMR shooting Speer Gold Dots or some other personal defense round. Anything is better than nothing, and something that can be trained with consistently is better than something that induces pain and fear.

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My wife really likes our cowboy loads to practice with. She shoots regular loads occasionally so she knows what to expect. 

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2 minutes ago, Michigan Slim said:

My wife really likes our cowboy loads to practice with. She shoots regular loads occasionally so she knows what to expect. 

 

I used to use wadcutters for Mrs. Doc. They are nearly impossible to find except through special order, so last couple of times out, I've gone with cowboy loads as well.

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The NRA ran a study over a couple of years on what women liked in guns. It was conducted by women and was one of the very best articles I have ever read.

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4 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

I shoot at an indoor range, part of a local first class gun store.  One of the lady employees who routinely carries a 1911 watched me shooting revolvers day after day and struck up a conversation.  She had never shot a revolver in her life and thought she should so she could be a better resource for her customers.  After shooting several of my Smith & Wessons, she bought herself an S&W 686.   :)

Think I know the gal you're talking about in that toy store.

Many months ago I was shooting my S&W .44 mag Mountain Gun and she gave it a go.

OLG 

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I started my wife out with a S&W J frame 38 .

She hated it .

For about 5 or 6 years I kept buying here this or that .

She finally got a S&W Bodyguard 380 and loved it .

I should have saved me a bunch of money in the beginning and let her pick her own gun .

She has now carried that Bodyguard for about 5 years .

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8 hours ago, Raylan said:

"If you take good a look at your defensive options and determine that a revolver will best fit your needs, there’s nothing wrong with that. The only time a revolver becomes a problem is when people try to shoehorn it into situations that it doesn’t fit. When someone decides that around 50% of the population should always be carrying a .38 snub nose, they’re giving out bad advice."

 

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/the-womens-revolver-myth-might-finally-be-dead/

I spent a lot of years behind the counter in  a bunch of different gun shops across the country.  I sold a lot of S&W .38 specials with 4" barrels to FIRST TIME SHOOTERS, a lot of them women.  Many of them came back later (many of the men, too), took lessons for ladies on our instructor's list and bought something else.  Some upped to a different, larger caliber revolver, many (most?) opted for 9mm semi-autos, and a few chose other guns.

 

.22, .32, and .380 were not popular them but some of them went out the door, too.

 

Things have changed very little since then and still see a lot of macho guys coming in with their frail 53" girlfriend and try to get her to buy something in the "gee whiz" category of the current crop of guns loaded down with piccatinny (sp?) rails, lasers, scopes, and other crap that the lady can barely lift and won't ever be comforatble enough with to take the time to really learn how to shoot.

 

My wife was a better shot than I was and very proficient with a handgun.  After  a while she settled on a Model 19 S&W with a bobbed barrel, cut to just under 4" and Magna Ported.  She also had a Beretta .32 for close concealed carry when she went to court or the city hall...they didn't have scanners, etc. back then.

 

For a short time she carried a 4" 9mm Luger, but it was "too bulky and lumpy".

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Mrs. H. picks her own guns. She's as comfortable with a S&W 27 or a Colt Trooper as she is with a Walther PPS or a 1911.

 

When I think, 'Best gun for (fill in the blank),' I think less about size and gender, and more in terms of how the person is as a shooter.

 

We're all pretty much shooters here (ya think?) -- regular practice, regular competition -- for many, regular carry. Automatics or revolves? Meh.

 

But for the non-shooter -- the guy or gal who buys a gun and two years later still has part of the second box of ammo they bought for the gun -- I tend to lean towards a revolver, simply for the simplicity of knowing if it's loaded or not, a revolver not requiring a simple but crucial step between putting bullets into the gun and having it ready to shoot.

 

If the person does take to shooting and chooses a different gun later, after they've had more experience, fine. But if they only own one gun their entire lives and it only sees light of day once a year or so -- I believe they'd be best served with a revolver.

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14 hours ago, DocWard said:

 

I used to use wadcutters for Mrs. Doc. They are nearly impossible to find except through special order, so last couple of times out, I've gone with cowboy loads as well.

I may know why that is the case. I once shot DEWC in my .38 cowboy pistols. When Hubby got a Mr.Bullet Feeder, they wouldn't feed. So, now, I use TC in both my pistols and rifle.

 

BTW I like my 1911 just fine. The reason I rarely shoot WBAS anymore is the SG and brass picking hurt my neck and back.

 

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I have to admit that several times I have been at a gun store when a guy was picking out a gun for his wife or girlfriend and I have taken it upon myself to inject into their conversation with the clerk to say (very politely and nicely) “I recommend you folks go to (fill in the blank) shooting range and rent a few guns in a few calibers and see what the lady likes and dislikes. $50 at the range could save you hundreds down the road when perhaps she finds that she doesn’t like that $700 gun you bought after all.”


This has always received a good response from the couple except for one time when I bruised a guy’s poowah wittle ego. His mate, on the other hand, was very receptive and decided that’s what she wanted to do. Turns out it was her money and the Kimber “tacti-cool” Army green .45 was his idea. 
 

I did have a clerk at a Cabela’s jump both feet on my butt for doing this. Some clerks have easily bruised egos too, I guess. I made short work of his dumbarse. 
 

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a gut say “I bought my wife a (fill in the blank) and she hates it. I just wasted (fill in the blank) dollars.”

My response has always been “Did you let her pick the gun?”

The response is always a long diatribe about why HE thinks she should like the gun followed by a big resounding “NO” when pressed on the issue. 

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My wife just got her LTC and bought a S&W Shield EZ 9mm. The .38 snubby theory looks good on paper, but many if not most are absolutely miserable to shoot and women are afraid of them. Good way to get a flinch and lose confidence in the weapon.

JHC

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1 minute ago, Capt. James H. Callahan said:

My wife just got her LTC and bought a S&W Shield EZ 9mm. The .38 snubby theory looks good on paper, but many if not most are absolutely miserable to shoot and women are afraid of them. Good way to get a flinch and lose confidence in the weapon.

JHC

I agree. My wife fired all three of my J frames...one round each. 
She fired, put the gun down and said “Nope!”...and that was it. No more discussion. No more desire to shoot it. The loads fired were mild but apparently not mild enough. :)

 

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2 hours ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

I may know why that is the case. I once shot DEWC in my .38 cowboy pistols. When Hubby got a Mr.Bullet Feeder, they wouldn't feed. So, now, I use TC in both my pistols and rifle.

 

BTW I like my 1911 just fine. The reason I rarely shoot WBAS anymore is the SG and brass picking hurt my neck and back.

 

I recently gave away a box of Wahib full wadcutter .38 Special loads to a fellow who has never shot a gun before.  (We found him a nice Model ten with a 4" barrel for a reasonable price)  We couldn't find any .38 ammo anywhere. The Wahib loads are very accurate at 15-20 yards and powerful enough to cut lovely round holes in paper targets.  Now that he's attended a class at local range (they provide ammo with their classes and for members, but you can't get any otherwise) he's much more confident now and has been shooting range ammo.  Now he says he's been trying out some semi autos.

 

I may have created a monster. :P

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There have been a few times at various LGSs that I've inserted my $.02 into the conversion. The best one was when A guy INSISTED his girlfriend get a Kel Tec P40. She was trying to listen to the clerk and me, but he kept at it. She finally handed him the baby, and told him to GO OUTSIDE and wait for her. She left with a 4" .38.

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On 4/15/2021 at 3:11 PM, Sgt. C.J. Sabre, SASS #46770 said:

I've always started a new shooter with a revolver. First a .22, then a 4" 357 loaded with .38s. After they master the fundamentals with the .357, including a few .357s, we move on to other guns. My wife does, however carry a 2' .38.

This is my exact plan for our 13-year old grand daughter who wants to shoot for the first time.
Here in CA, the only concealed carry we do, is hidden drinking straws for socially-distanced dining out.
 

meme.gun.control.080.straw.california.concealed.carry.360.sfw.jpg

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I find the small frame revolver trigger in general very hard for me to use accurately with 38 loads, and find 357 to be painful at some time.  I love the medium and large frame revolvers, 454 and 480 hurt less than a 357 in a 2” 23 ounce package.

 

to an earlier posters point, unless something super close I would not be very effective, accurate, or fast with one....so the idea it’s a good fun for anyone would be hard for me to get behind.   Maybe if you had never shot any other trigger in your life you would be good :)  

Edited by JD Lud
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I've never understood why menfolk want to give a woman that's never shot a 2" J-Frame.

 

The things are hard to handle because they are so small,  kick hard, have too short a barrel to generate any velocity and the sight radius is so tiny that they are nearly impossible to shoot accurately.  They are a trial for larger and more experienced shooters to run well, fast and accurately.

 

The whole 'little gun for a little woman' thing gets carried too far when the results is setting somebody up for failure by making the process of shooting as uncomfortable and hard as it can be.

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My wife is an accomplished cowboy shooter (gunfighter).  When she decided to get her carry permit, we took a wide selection of handguns to the range.  She shot a Glock 19 well, but she wasn't confident with cycling the slide.  She wanted to stick to a revolver because she shoots them at three matches a month.

 

She didn't like the J framed Smiths and the grip of the Ruger LCR wasn't to her liking.  Then she picked up my Ruger SP 101 that has been smoothed up and has a spring kit in it.  I couldn't get it out of her hands.  She shoots it well double action, but she's much more accurate shooting it in single action mode.  I think the added weight and Hogue grips made the recoil more acceptable to her than the LCR or the J framed Smiths.

 

Those of you who mentioned letting the woman choose her gun/guns are completely right.  I made the mistake of buying her first set of cowboy guns for her.  I bought her a Marlin because it was lighter than a 73.  She hated it and took my 73.  She didn't shoot her NM Vaquero's well so she took the SS Blackhawks I was shooting at the time.  She never liked the double I bought her and now my favorite D model 97 is on her side of the gun cart.  I didn't complain (I'm not completely stupid); I'm just happy that she loves cowboy shooting.

 

 

 

 

Edited by TN Mongo, SASS #61450
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On 4/16/2021 at 11:20 AM, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

I may know why that is the case. I once shot DEWC in my .38 cowboy pistols. When Hubby got a Mr.Bullet Feeder, they wouldn't feed. So, now, I use TC in both my pistols and rifle.

 

BTW I like my 1911 just fine. The reason I rarely shoot WBAS anymore is the SG and brass picking hurt my neck and back.

 

 

Well, in all fairness, just about anything is hard to find right now, but even in normal times, I would keep an eye out for wadcutters at my local gun stores, along with the store I work at, to no avail. On the rare occasion I would see some, I would pick it up.

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No CCW here in Canada, unless you're a CRIP, drug dealer or other gang type member, but friends down your way found their wives had issues with semi's because of their lack of practice.

The wives were limp-wristing and had a lot of FTJs using semi's.

Their ladies did better with 3' and 4' revolvers in .38spl, but again, they don't practice very much or at all.

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My wife's 1st handgun was a 2" Rossie that her dad gave her.  I hated the thing; because, it had a large gap between cylinder & the forcing cone.  When I shot it with a two hand hold the burning powder & combustion gasses would burn my support hand fingers.   A coworker who is a gun collector & nut offered to give her some training in safe handling & marksmanship.  He is a stickler for safety.  He brought his S&W model 66 with 4" barrel to show what a good trigger is.  Needless to say the following week she & I went shopping for a model 66.  She is 5' 2' 105 lbs. with small hands.  She has no problem shooting a box of 357 158 grain in a session.  A couple of years latter she wanted a pistol; so, she shot a couple of sub compact 45 autos.  She bought a Kimber Ultra CDPII.  When I retired we moved from CA to NV and got CCL's.  After buying & trying a very small 380 she selected a 5 shot S&W 38 Bodyguard with red laser for EDC.

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