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  #1  
Old 10-19-2012, 07:31 PM
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Handgun recommendation for a young lady


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My daughter turns 21, likes to go shooting with me and I want to buy her her own firearm for her birthday. I want it to be comfortable and enjoyable to shoot as well as serve her well in time of need. I was thinking either 9mm or .380. What suggestions on manufacture / caliber do you all have?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2012, 07:38 PM
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I set my wife up with a Charter Arms Pink Lady 5-shot .38 special. It's actually very well made, very accurate and weighs 12 oz. I really enjoy shooting it as well. I was actually shocked that I could hit the 4" targets on my shooting tree with it at 20 yards. They also have a newer one with high polished s/s called the Chic Lady, but if you get that one, you might want to look at the full size grips too. The little 2 finger ones it comes with are not the best for practice starting out. Chic Lady's come with the Pink Faux Alligator Case too.



Here's links to a couple places to review them:

Charter Arms 38 Special Pink Lady/2" Stainless Barrel/Pink F $338.00 SHIPS FREE

Charter Arms 53839 Chic Lady Undercover Lite 38 Spl 2" 5rd w $382.00 SHIPS FREE

***edit***
Oops: here's the link to the grips: Grips for Charter Handguns

Charter Chic Lady #53839

Last edited by tacklebury; 10-19-2012 at 07:43 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2012, 02:23 AM
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It depends

My significant other wanted her own handgun after shooting a number of mine. I got her an excellent used Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver. It is a 5-shot .38 Special with a 2-inch barrel. New shooters seem to do better with a revolver than a semi-automatic handgun. The revolver can safely carried fully loaded and is easier to get into action with one hand. So it depends. All the best...
Gil
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2012, 04:06 AM
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The 38 revolver options mentioned above are an excellent carry option for women.

I wound up buying my wife a Walther PK380, after she shot a bunch of rounds through a friend's P22. I looked at quite a few different handguns before settling on the Walther and one of the deciding factors is that the bottom of the magazine has a plastic tang that your pinky finger can grip. This was a big deal for my wife, as she wanted to be sure she could control the gun properly. Plus, like so many other things, "feel" is very important to a woman. The PK380 felt right, both when she was just holding it and the amount of recoil it has when she shoots.

The 380 is a tricky little round to load for, though!
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2012, 07:06 AM
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I'm probably going to get a Ruger LCR (.38) for my wife, and possibly one for myself!
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2012, 08:12 AM
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One thing I learned with women and hand guns is give them options you will be surprised on what we think they should like and handle and what they can and want to shoot. Revolvers are always a good start but if she can rack a slid don't count out a semi auto.

good luck shoot straight and shoot often
GF
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2012, 11:08 AM
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I'm in revision #3 to find the "right" handgun for my wife. A semi auto 22 was too unreliable, so we went with a 38 Airweight S&W, it's too snappy in recoil and hurts her hand even with reduced practice loads. One of our Marine sons had a Glock 9mm that she shot better than anything she has picked up so far, so am trying the compact Glock, and the M&P Sheild. She will carry my little 380 LCP Ruger, but I would really like her to have something a bit bigger. I'm hoping the little Glock will do the trick. But, we WILL go to a range and try the actual piece before buying this time, trying it in hand at a shop or gunshow does not do the trick, she has to shoot it to see if she's comfortable with it, and I want her to practice with it as well, and often!!
Good luck finding the right one for your daughter.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2012, 01:33 PM
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IME, "confortable and enjoyable" means NOT starting your daughter off with a snub nose revolver which barks, kicks, and needs perfect sight alignment to hit your target. I'm not down on snub nose revolvers (have two of them myself) but that's a gun that I would introduce to an experienced shooter. When it comes to comfortable and enjoyable, I interpret this to mean S&W K frame with adjustable sights, four inch barrel, .38 Special, and shooting .38 Special wadcutters. I'd buy her a S&W model 15 which is enough gun to hold comfortably and have her start off with wadcutters which she could quickly enjoy shooting. Given some proper training, she could become downright scary shooting this gun and to add icing to the cake, she could transition up to shooting 158 gr. .38 Special ammunition as she improves.

My wife, who had never shot a handgun before, started off this way with my model 15 and today, she shoots a SIG P228 9 mm drawing a crowd whenever she shows up at the range. Every so often I have to remind her to stop focusing on the crowd and get back to focusing on the sights.

.
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2012, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshal Kane View Post
IME, "confortable and enjoyable" means NOT starting your daughter off with a snub nose revolver which barks, kicks, and needs perfect sight alignment to hit your target. I'm not down on snub nose revolvers (have two of them myself) but that's a gun that I would introduce to an experienced shooter. When it comes to comfortable and enjoyable, I interpret this to mean S&W K frame with adjustable sights, four inch barrel, .38 Special, and shooting .38 Special wadcutters. I'd buy her a S&W model 15 which is enough gun to hold comfortably and have her start off with wadcutters which she could quickly enjoy shooting. Given some proper training, she could become downright scary shooting this gun and to add icing to the cake, she could transition up to shooting 158 gr. .38 Special ammunition as she improves.

My wife, who had never shot a handgun before, started off this way with my model 15 and today, she shoots a SIG P228 9 mm drawing a crowd whenever she shows up at the range. Every so often I have to remind her to stop focusing on the crowd and get back to focusing on the sights.

.
+1 on this. My wife loves the 3 inch M64 S&W I gave her many years ago. The K frame size is perfect for the new shooter, IMHO.
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2012, 03:34 PM
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Thanks for all the advise this far. This gun will not be for carry, just for range time. I'm going to need to check out those K frames. We are going to the range tomorrow and I'm taking my 38 to see how she shoots it, she has shot my 357, 6" barrel but only a few times. Plan to shoot a few different 9 mm as well.
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2012, 05:54 PM
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OK Mag Attag,

You answered one of my questions in your last post.

For sure I buy quality and integrity and that does not include Taurus and a bunch of the others such as Charter Arms, Rossi etc. Yep, am an old coot and opinionated at that, but Charter Arms has come and gone at least once, Rossi has been so so for many years, and on Taurus, a comment from one dealer pretty well sums it up for me. His comment was, they seem like pretty good guns once they come back from the factory after being sent in.

A friend had two of the Taurus that both locked up solid the first time out. That was the .45/410 Judge. I judge it to be an looser! He got his money back after the second one. I was with him the first time and he was using just normal run of the mill .45 long colt loads, nothing that would have stressed the handgun.

Now, I am not a real Smith fan, mainly because of cost. Current production is quality and with the exception of back in the Clinton years when S&W was owned by some questionable company so is most of the older production.

I like RUGER, Have owned them for many years and when it comes to strength and integrity it is hard to find better. Have 7 or so on hand currently and a number of others have gone through my hands since the early 60s.

Personally, a GP 100 in a 4" or maybe a 6" since it won't be a, "pack'in" gun would be great.

Reload .38s at a reasonable velocity and she will be able to shoot for hours without problems, and be able to carry full blown .357s if the need should arise.

I have a couple of the SP 101 .38/.357, but because of the weight and the sharp recoil with heavier loads, would not consider it as a good starter gun for a new shooter.

One, a stubby spurless resides on my left ankle as my carry piece.

I have an old Security Six - 4" which has seen a lot of ammo go through it and it is NO Where close to giving it up. One tough gun!

Now, I think for a starting shooter, a wheel gun is best, just so simple and easy to use!

However, RUGER also has a number of semi-autos that might ring her bell.

Also, awhile back I was looking at CZ. They look good and have a very good reputation.

Don't buy junk unless you desire a throw away!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2012, 07:11 AM
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Another vote for a revolver

I am sure there are new shooters that can handle semi-automatic handgun. However, I would lobby for a revolver. There are fewer moving parts, it can be safely carried fully loaded and is very fast and simple to put into use. Take care...
Oberndorf
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2012, 09:04 AM
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Several good points made (caliber, revolver vs autoloader, etc). As she already enjoys shooting, we can likely assume she has some preferences. I'd like to add a couple of points:

1). In general, revolvers can carry "hotter" loads.
2). For an inexperienced shooter, or someone who could get flustered, revolvers are generally safer.
3) Women generally do not have hand or upper arm strength like a man. For that reason, my wife recently switched to an auto. A D/A only was too much for her hand RE: repeat shots. She went from a Charter-to a S & W to a Colt, to a S & W, another S & W, a fourth S & W, then a Walther PP and ended up with a Bersa. She likes the Bersa and they are very well made and durable.
4) is this for CCW, woods-walking, range only, plinking?
5) There is something to be said for having rimfire and centerfire counterparts for practice.

Just a few thoughts for consideration==definitely INCLUDE her in the selection process.
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2012, 10:14 AM
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I'm with Marshall- a 38 snubbie is not a fun gun to shoot, and hardly the most accurate thing at the range. I've owned them, and currently own a 44 Special snubbie, but, they would be about the last handgun I'd recommend to start someone with- male or female.
For target shooting and plinking, it's hard to beat a .22 rimfire - cheap to feed, accurate, and it doesn't kick.
I also agree with the advice that you get something she likes. What fits your hand well may not fit hers.
As to concealed carry auto versus revolver, I don't see much difference. Comparing, say, a PPK or one of the Glock type autos to a snub revolver, they're both a DA trigger pull. Seems to me, DA is DA- nothing magic about a revolver.
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  #15  
Old 10-22-2012, 03:57 PM
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Upon further reflection - "target shooting" and "serving in time of need" are two very distinctly different things.

I'd go with a Ruger auto in .22 LR for target shooting, and whatever else you can come up with in 9mm or .38 Special for the "time of need."
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  #16  
Old 10-23-2012, 11:55 AM
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Long story short, a female relative bought a LCP for protection when Nebraska changed to allow CCW. She couldn't shoot it, load it, or clear it easily enough to pass the CCW permit class. I loaned her a S&W model 67 .38 special for the class and until she found a gun more suited for her. She passed the class easily, and bought the mod 67 from me (which wasn't my plan).

It is easy to fall into the "lady needs a small gun" mentality, and small autos are very popular right now. Women normally have less hand strength than men, and that is a huge disadvantage when operating a pistol.

You have a far better idea than us what she would like in a handgun, but I would say you cant go wrong with a SP-101 .357, a 4 inch midframe .38 or 357 (S&W K frame, Ruger GP 100 or Security/Speed Six, Colt Lawman), or a S&W snub .38. If she likes autos, I wouldn't go below a 9mm, the .380 restricts your choices in guns and ammunition both. In Autos, the 1911 .45 and Glock 19 9mm are universal for a reason.
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  #17  
Old 10-23-2012, 12:15 PM
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I believe that a good revolver or semi-auto .32 is also an excellent carry weapon for a woman. I have a Bersa Thunder .32 which is accurate and dependable. There is the .327 revolver which also shoots .32 ammo and then there is the H&R Magnum which also shoots .32 ammo.

All in all it's a nice carry caliber for a woman.
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  #18  
Old 10-25-2012, 02:04 PM
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You need to take her to the gun shop and let her put some weapons in her hand and see what SHE likes and feels good to her. There is no reason she can't learn to shoot and manipulate a semi-auto from the get-go. It is not that complicated and with the proper technique it does not take much strength to rack the slide. She may like a revolver better and if that is the case so be it but don't limit her to only revolvers. Make sure whatever she picks it's a good quality weapon from a company known for building reliable firearms i.e. Colt, Sig, Glock, Ruger, Kimber, S&W, etc. I don't want to offend anyone but I would steer clear of Charter, Rossi, Taurus and a few others. Remember, you pretty much get what you pay for. There is a reason those guns tend to be cheaper. I'm sure since it is your daughter whom you love and cherish, you want to know with certainty if she were to have to use it to defend her life if can be relied upon. Thus, err on the side of quality and not price. You can often buy a very good used brand name gun for about the same price as a new gun of lesser quality. I would also steer her away from larger calibers she might not be able to handle very well. Try to stick in the realm of 38 spl and 9mm. Remember it is going to be HER gun so, she it needs to fit her and she needs to have faith in it and herself shooting it. My two cents.
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  #19  
Old 10-26-2012, 02:27 PM
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a 9 or a 38SPL

Depending on what action you want

My dil has a Walther PPS in 40 and Loves it

Snake
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  #20  
Old 10-26-2012, 03:07 PM
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I took my wife to every store and indoor range I could find. She bought a CZ-83. It's a .380. She has put over 1500 rounds of inexpensive mil surp ammo through it without a single glitch. It's accurate too. Take her around and she what she likes.
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