first-time female buyer - please help!!

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by vegas_chica, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. vegas_chica

    vegas_chica New Member

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    :confused: I am looking to purchase my first firearm for personal protection. From the limited online research I have done so far, I think I might be looking for a semiautomatic (easy to refire) 38 caliber (minimum that can be effective?) SA (if this is safer when the gun is not in use - is it?) weapon. Basically, I would like a firearm that is as modest as possible but works. I do not have children in the home or any record, but may be moving to another state that's a bit more restrictive than my current one.

    PLEASE help with some guy/gal opinions! The men in my social circle can't and don't want to help me anyway because of political objections, so I need some real practical advice. I don't want to head to the shop and be overwhelmed, cuz at this point it looks like I'll be going there alone. Thanks soo much for any help!!!
     
  2. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I am very new to guns but a revolver is a good first gun. Much simpler to operate and in my opinion, safer for a newbie. There are firearms instruction classes you can take that will help you decide which gun is best for you. They will let you shoot several different types of guns and help you fit the proper gun to your hand. I would advise you to take a safety class before you decide and buy a gun. Check around at any local gun shops to see where and how to sign up for a instructional course on guns. Good luck!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

  3. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Welcome to the FTF community chica.

    Winds gave you some excellent advice. First thing, sign up for a firearms safety class. Since you're in a relatively gun friendly state, find a range that rents guns and try several out.

    After your class, you'll be able to make a better decision. Then, before you buy the handgun, run your thinking by us here and we'll help you with your decision. It's not an imposition in the least and we'll be delighted to help.
     
  4. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    What they said.

    I'm sure it will be mentioned in your class, but remember that a larger heavier pistol usually doesn't recoil/kick as much. You probably don't want to start out with an itty-bitty hideaway pistol, though you may want one later on for carrying.

    You could cruise Youtube for some video of different pistols in use, but some of the people posting those videos aren't very careful with their gun handling.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    I recommend 2 things...look at Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard .380 semi-auto. Both are small, discreet and suitable for EDC (every day carry). Not what you are looking for but Ruger's LCR is a popular carry gun as well.

    The other thing...start hanging around with some real men and ditch the anti-gun wusses...:p And oh yeah...welcome to the Forum!
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  6. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    How strong are your hands? For a semi-auto, one must be able to rack the slide to load the first round. Some people have difficulties with that.

    BTW, winds-of-change is a lady that was in your position fairly recently. Her advice is really sound on this!

    Single-action/double-action doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on safety. Each type has its own pluses and minuses for safe operation. Your manner of handling any type of handgun is much more important when it comes to keeping a firearm safe.
     
  7. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    vegas_chica, 38 Special revolvers are a good choice for a new gun owner. Very simple to operate which is so important. My wife has two revolvers, a smaller one that's 5-shot and shoots only 38 Special and a larger Smith&Wesson Model 66 .357 Magnum that shoots 357 Magnum and 38 Special.

    Definitely get some good training before buying and try to shoot various models before you buy. I would try semiauto handguns like Chris was mentioning but you may find that a revolver is much easier to use. Semiautos require more technique and hand strength but are not limited to just five or six shoots like a revolver. If you have extra loaded magazines, semiautos are much quicker to reload as well. But honestly in most situations six well placed shots will end most confrontations.

    There may be free classes for women or shooting days at your local ranges. I'd check around. I know our Sheriff's office has a free concealed weapons class here in the Boise area. They cover the law for concealed weapons and for the use of deadly force in general. Then recommend gun training classes (which you do have to pay for).

    BTW, lots of Boise and Utah fans in town for the Macco Las Vegas Bowl game tonight. Hopefully some of them know more about guns than your Vegas friends! Go BSU Broncos! :D
     
  9. oneshot

    oneshot New Member

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    Chica

    We are headed your way next week to shake off the cold.My wife has the 92fs in 9mm and she likes it. when we were shooting every other week end she was starting to get good with it.
    I' am new to this forum also but I would like to say hello and welcome.


    By the way forcing us to talk guns twist my arm some more.
     
  10. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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    carry weapon?

    Well, will this handgun be a carry concealed weapon or will it be in the house?

    Revolvers are good first guns because you dont need to maintain them AS much as semi autos. also, with good ammunition, they rarely fail.
    the RUGER LCR AND LCP models have become very popular, are small enough to fit in your pocket without being noticed and are fairly user friendly

    LCR and LCP

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS0GMkdNmbE]YouTube - Ruger LCP & LCR[/ame]
     
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Vegas has several indoor ranges. Some have instruction available. If you head down to Havasu, my wife has a Ruger SR9c and I have a Ruger SP101 you can try out. I highly recomend getting into a class where you will learn safety and get to try out different weapons.
     
  12. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I'm going to disagree with much of what has been said here. I think an LCP or LCR would be a poor choice do to their snappy recoil(not good for a shooter who is learning) although they are both fine weapons. I also think a 1911 is not the best choice due to more involved operation and maintainence. I carry one daily and practice with it regularly including malfunction drills. 38 super is a fine round but again, not the best choice as a primary self defense weapon, it's expensive and again recoil could be an issue.
    I personally I would go with a 4" 357 revolver from Ruger or S&W. The reason I suggest this is that it offers the best of all worlds. A snub nose revolver is not the easiest weapon to shoot well and the longer barrel will help you learn and build confidence. While not as concealable as a snub nose it can be hidden relatively easily.
    The 357 can shot 38 specials which is an acceptable self defense round, reasonably cheap to shoot(read this as you will practice regularly which you need to do), recoil is mild. If you become comfortable with a 38 you can step up to a 357 magnum which is a known man stopper although recoil does increase as well.

    I come at this from the angle of being the person who taught my wife to shoot. She is a shy, petite woman who never handled a gun in her life prior to meeting me. I taught her to shoot with a 6" 357 using 38s. Recoil was mild so she wasn't afraid of it and she took to the basics quickly. When it came time to get her a nightstand gun I got her an SP101 in 357 which she feeds 38s and her time behind a longer barrel gun allowed her to quickly move into a snub nose without problem.

    I agree with with the comments about classes and getting proper training on safety as well as use and maintainence of your weapon.

    These are only my suggestions, I would highly recommend you going to a range that rents guns and shoot any gun you think you may have an interest in before you make your purchase.

    Oh yeah, welcome to the forum.
     
  13. vegas_chica

    vegas_chica New Member

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    Thanks for all the help, gals and guys, really appreciate it! Looks like my next trip is to the range. I do know a good store in Vegas, but they only sell guns, and now I realize I need to practice first. I will try some of these models out and your idea of 38 in 357, spittinfire.

    It turns out after my last post, I mentioned my dilemma to a work colleague and it turns out he has firearms training (who knew?? I just knew him from the office). He has kindly offered to accompany me to the range, and then I can come back here and report and hopefully get some feedback before purchasing.

    Great forum!
     
  14. CornCod

    CornCod Member

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    I agree with those who suggest a revolver in .38 Special. Maybe a small frame revolver in .38 with a 3 inch barrel. The barrel will be short enough for you to carry concealed, but long enough to be more accurate than a 2 inch snub nose, which some people find hard to master accuracy-wise.
     
  15. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I own a 6" GP100. That is a Ruger .357 Revolver. I agree a 4" revolver is probably a good first choice.
     
  16. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    My suggestion would be a Colt New Agent chambered in 9mm. But thats me.

    [​IMG]

    ^ Colt New Agent 9mm Model O7812D ^

    Here's another 9mm to look at;

    [​IMG]

    ^ Colt Defender 9mm Model O7002D ^

    What ever you do, try to shoot a 9mm 1911 before you make your final decision.
     
  17. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    i agree with this where wheel gun choice is concerned


    ive got one in 45acp and it seems more controllable to me than a full size not sure why. but i second what cane said check the colt out dont rule ou semis. women tend to carry their ccw weapons in purses full of stuff. that stuff can migrate into the small spaces of the cylinder meaning jamming the gun when you go to use it. a semi with a round in the chamber you will always get the first shot a revolver with a crud jammed cylinder is a paper weight.

    just something to consider. im not a fan of revolvers as ccw pieces. for open carry or in a holster on your person not big deal but if its banging around in a handbag back pack breifcase glovebox centerconsole under a car seat i wouldnt trust a revolver. uncle murphy will ensure that uneaten dropped french fry WILL find its way into the worst possible spot to rest
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  18. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    chica, you came on here with a bias to autoloaders. Stick with that decision, you will be happy!

    And recoil is a non-issue, its relative to both the shooter and the gun. Here's an example:

    The two guns in this photo have been mentioned in the above posts.

    [​IMG]

    The gun on top is my daughter's raspberry LCP, a .380 ACP autoloader. The gun it's on is my Colt Defender, a .45 ACP autoloader.

    Even though the .380 is a much smaller and less lethal round, the fun of shooting this mouse-gun runs out around the third or fourth mag. The .45 on the other hand can be shot to empty wallet before the fun departs.

    You need to make the call. Shoot the suggested firearms in this thread (+ any others that catch your eye) and make up your own mind!
     
  19. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I started my wife with a 22 S&W34 and went to a S&W19 with 38spl. She has trouble with double action and was cocking the hammer for each shot. I recently bought her a Ruger SR9c and she loves it. The grip is small enough for her hand, the recoil is mild, the trigger is easy for her to control and she has 10+1. She can rack the slide and load a 2nd mag. She can load the mags with a loading assist which the Ruger came with. On her 1st range session she put 47 out of 50 into a 5" circle at 7 yds. The revolvers are fine if the shooter can handle the trigger in double.
    I have to agree that the LCP and similar are hard to control and the recoil level is high for a small ctg. I would not start anyone on one. The Sig 238 might be an exception in the heavier frame. The light snubbies are great to carry but not so great to practice with. You need to shoot what you carry frequently.
    The heavier Kahr 9mm would be worth looking at.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  20. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I tried to get my wife to move into a 9mm for various reasons but she didn't like it and didn't shoot it as well as the wheel guns so I decided not to push the issue. She's comfortable with the SP101 I got her, I'm comfortable with it and she's good with it shooting SA or DA.