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Old 08-10-2011, 01:30 AM   #1
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Default Thoughts on a type of small handgun that is relatively easy to use for a beginner

I'm a female in my mid-20s and am from a long line of sportman-type/farmer men in my family. Only thing is, I've never owned my own gun.

So, for a defense-type handgun, any suggestions on a small, quick, relatively safe, and relatively easy to use handgun. I would prefer a relatively light gun, but weight doesn't bother me. I would like to be able to carry it on my person from time to time for defence, as I am intending to get a permit to carry.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

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Old 08-10-2011, 02:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by lilpocky View Post
I'm a female in my mid-20s and am from a long line of sportman-type/farmer men in my family. Only thing is, I've never owned my own gun.

So, for a defense-type handgun, any suggestions on a small, quick, relatively safe, and relatively easy to use handgun. I would prefer a relatively light gun, but weight doesn't bother me. I would like to be able to carry it on my person from time to time for defence, as I am intending to get a permit to carry.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
From what you say, and if you have been shooting before, I would recommend a .38 Special snub nose revolver. If you haven't done much shooting, it might be better to start with a .22 revolver to learn trigger control and sight alignment. A .22 is much cheaper for practice.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:02 AM   #3
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For what you've described I would point you towards a revolver chambered in 357 Magnum. I would go for the 357 Mag because it will also shoot 38 Special which is a light recoil round that would allow you to learn to shoot well and when you're ready you can step up to a 357 round that packs a little more punch.

Revolvers are easy to use and shoot so you're covered there. I would recommend a 4" barrel or something close to it. That barrel length combines fast pointing(for self defense) with easy accuracy. It also it relatively easy to conceal should wou wish to do so.

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Old 08-10-2011, 02:06 AM   #4
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My sister, whom hasn't shot a handgun before, liked shooting my CZ82 last week. She also shot it very well. http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/c/c-r-guns/p/cz-82-czech-9x18-makarov-military-pistol%2C-very-good-condition%2C-one-mag-c-r-/cPath/290/products_id/3050
Take a look at the Bersa Thunder. Thunder 380
Or the Ruger LCP http://http://www.ruger.com/products/lcp/models.html

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Old 08-10-2011, 02:54 AM   #5
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Default Kahr PM9 or P380?

I like semi auto's so I like the Kahr alot for a CCW. My daughter however has some difficulty with semi autos. Therefore I like the suggestions of revolvers by the other posters. Smith and Wesson makes a nice bodyguard revolver with a laser built in. I would check Ruger as well. The Kimber Solo (semi) is very very nice, it is 9mm and has a safety on it, but it is new and hard to get. Be safe, practice a lot. Enjoy.

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Old 08-10-2011, 02:59 AM   #6
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A nice snub nose 38spl is what I would go with .

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Old 08-10-2011, 03:35 AM   #7
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Swing by the intro section, tell us more about yourself. Lots of good choices, find a range that rents, shoot several and find the one that fits you the best.

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Old 08-10-2011, 03:51 AM   #8
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Revolver - Smith and Wesson Model 36 (blued) or 60 (stainless)

Semi-Auto - Look at the Berettas with the "tip up barrel" feature ie; Bobcat, Tomcat, Minx, etc. Easy to use for small pistols.

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Old 08-10-2011, 04:33 AM   #9
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I'll go against the grain and say a Glock19.

Why?

1) It has a 5lb trigger instead of a 10-12lb DA revolver trigger, which will make it MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH easier for someone with smaller and possibly weaker hands to shoot. I think this is way too often overlooked (a DA trigger + snubnose = frustration for most new shooters when they can't hit anything). I'm at the range a lot and have too many times seen good-intending husbands and fathers trying to get their ladies to shoot some .38sp revolver, and watching the light-weight muzzle waver back and forth as they squeeze through the heavy trigger. I had my ex try dry-firing a revolver once, and the muzzle would move half an inch every time she pulled the trigger. I was pragmatic enough to know she wouldn't have the dedication to sit around dry-firing 50 times a day, so we stuck with autos and got her something she enjoyed shooting (a Walther P22) and she actually liked it enough to pretty regularly request range trips herself.

2) Ammo is a good 50% cheaper than any other centerfire caliber (including 38sp). So 100 rounds is $20 vs $30, etc.
3) Still no external safeties to worry about compared to most other service-sized autos (and it will take all of 10 extra minutes to learn how to make sure its loaded, etc).
4) 3x the capacity of a snubby (yeah I know odds are she won't need more than a few shots, etc etc, but IMO, relying on odds is silly when we're already preparing for something that is extremely unlikely to occur in the first place...).

Yes, Glocks are ugly as hell ( :P ), but they are fantastic designs. They are about as simple as you can get in a modern auto, and also about as reliable as you can get in a modern auto. Hard to ask for more for a practical defensive firearm.


Now, understand that this is all coming from someone who daily carries a .44 Magnum revolver, so there is absolutely no bias coming from here. But, I practice quite aggressively for hours every week, both on increasing proficiency with the DA trigger, and on reloading, which is an obvious weak point with revolvers. A G19 will be more fun to shoot and practice with for most [new] shooters, and will serve her better once she learns how to use it.

*edit to add pic*

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Old 08-10-2011, 06:28 PM   #10
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lilpocky,

The best thing you can do for self-defense is to move out of D.C.

OK, now that's out of the way. As someone else mentioned, do please drop by the Introductions section.

How often do you plan to practice? I always think simpler is better, but if you aren't going to practice much, simple is downright vital!

Look for an introductory class in your area (northern Virginia is probably your best bet). You should be able to find one that will let you try, or at least handle, a variety of guns. That will give you a better idea of what you will like than all of us on this board put together. Then once you've narrowed it down, you can almost certainly find someone here who has owned one and can tell you more about it.

Finally, here's a website that's written by a woman who has excellent advice for women shooters, including an article on how to judge whether a gun really fits your hand.

Happy shopping!

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