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Old 05-01-2012, 01:15 AM   #11
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I don't quite get the recommendations of a snub-nose .38 revolver. It has more felt recoil than most semi-autos. It has much shorter sight radius. It typically has abysmal sights. And frankly, it's much harder to hit a target with.

If she likes a 38 snub nose after trying several guns, then more power to her. Can't say I'd recommend one up front however.

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Old 05-01-2012, 09:24 AM   #12
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There's a lot involved with this type of recommendation. I get asked this from time to time being a dealer and also in my past working the streets.

There's no right or wrong answer here. Several things must be taken into consideration.
-Past experience shooting.
-Physical strength of the individual.
-Budget.
-Intended use of the weapon, CCW or home defense or both.
-Desire and/or ability to use a more complicated weapon (semi vs. revolver).
-Amount of time able to be devoted for practice on an ongoing basis.

So, as you can see, this is a very personal decision and no part of the process should be taken lightly. For example, using my wife as a subject, she had experience with weapons in the military. She has a bit of arthritis, so a heavy weapon is out of the question and recoil is an issue also, though she is no weakling. She understands the pieces and parts of a semi, so that's ok. Practice time is limited due to her busy schedule, but her knowledge base somewhat makes up for that. She owns three handguns as a result, all good for her. She has a .380 semi, a .38 lightweight J Frame, and a .25 pocket semi. And she hits the target just fine with the revolver. In fact, I'd never want to be on the business end of it with her behind the trigger. You're entitled to your opinion, Scott, but I've seen a lot of people be downright deadly with a .38 snubby, myself included. Budget was an issue as we're not exactly rolling in money, but getting guns at dealer cost helped here.

Best advice I can give the both of you is to take your time and get these questions answered as best as you can. Try to have her check out several guns hoping that she can do some live fire with at least a couple before you commit to buying anything. With the number of makes and models out there, it can be daunting, but she'll find the one that's right for her after a while. First and foremost, make sure she can practice safe handling in her sleep.

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Old 05-01-2012, 01:21 PM   #13
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You're entitled to your opinion, Scott, but I've seen a lot of people be downright deadly with a .38 snubby, myself included.
I have a .357 snubby myself, so I'm not knocking the handgun. My point was considering its design tends to require more experience to be proficient, I would not recommend it as a first handgun as is so often the case.

IMO, it is more difficult to be effective with a snub-nosed revolver than with most other handguns. In the hands of an experienced shooter, they are no doubt a very effective weapon. In the hands of a less experienced shooter, I'm concerned it would not be the right tool for the job.

YMMV
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mwmcclellan View Post
What's the best handgun for self defense for an 18 year old lady?
Here I go again pushing my opinion for the Ruger LCP 380. Ruger company should be paying me.

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Old 05-01-2012, 02:09 PM   #15
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I understand your point now, Scott, and am not completely in disagreement. Some inexperienced shooters can take to a snubby pretty well, others not so much. The lightweights can be more difficult to control for some as they tend not to recover from recoil that well. Another good reason for newbies to try before they buy if possible.

The pocket semis are a good potential choice for some newbies because of the lighter recoil as they are smaller calibers. Either the Ruger, Taurus TCP, or the Keltec are all good options. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Bodyguard .380 only because it has the laser. It's a bad idea to let a newbie get dependent on a laser before becoming a proficient shooter. I wouldn't recommend a newbie go into something small but powerful like the new Springfield XDS. I think something like that in .45 would be too much to handle. Something in 9mm like the Nano, possibly. .45, never.

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Old 05-01-2012, 02:12 PM   #16
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I wouldn't recommend a newbie go into something small but powerful like the new Springfield XDS. I think something like that in .45 would be too much to handle. Something in 9mm like the Nano, possibly. .45, never.
I haven't had an opportunity to try one yet, but I would imagine a .45 in that small of a package would be... eye-opening.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #17
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I see automatics as having a couple points against them in this debate. They must always use full power ammo to function( the 38 spl could use 38 short colt ammo for a very mild start), autos are more complicated and some never have the strength to work the slide. On the plus side of autos would be larger ammo capacity and flatter design.

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:34 PM   #18
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Let's get back to the part where she's 18. I don't know where you're from, or where she'll be going to college, but it might not be legal for her to have a handgun.

Here in Florida, I know it's legal for an 18-year-old to possess a handgun, but not to buy a handgun, purchase ammunition for a handgun or carry a handgun.

If the same is the case in your state, you are talking about a firearm for home defense and possibly — again, depending on laws in your state — for vehicle defense. Also check state laws about firearms on campus; she might not be able to even have it in her car legally while on campus.

Take her shooting, preferably more than once. Let her try as many different guns as you can manage. Then let her choose.

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:37 PM   #19
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What states allow people under the age of 21 to own a pisotl?

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:38 PM   #20
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Here in Florida, I know it's legal for an 18-year-old to possess
I live in Florida, and I know for a fact its unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to possess a pistol. It is also illegal for anyone to transfer a pistol to anyone under age.
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